How can 4,000-year-old literature be relevant today? 

Happy New Year! This January we pick up where we left off last year in the book of Genesis, thinking about Abraham’s journey in our Sunday services and homegroups (Genesis 12–22). You may well ask how a piece of ancient literature which is probably at least 4,000 years old can be relevant to your life today? And if you’re asking this, I hope you will be pleasantly surprised as we think about Abraham’s story.

Here are some questions this story helps us to ask:

  • Can I trust God?
  • How does God speak?
  • Why does God sometimes make us wait for things?
  • How long should I wait for God to act?
  • Does God change his mind?
  • What does godly leadership look like?
  • Does God sometimes send us towards a destination only to change course on the way?

To me, these look like highly relevant questions to ask in 2019! We certainly need better leadership in our nation’s life. Christians need to learn how to wait for God in a culture which majors on instant gratification. We need not just to listen to God but to do what he says, even when that costs us a lot. And it’s important to know that, with God, your journey is just as important as your destination.

As we look through Abraham’s story, we see a variety of incredibly difficult and involved issues with which Christians need to wrestle. Abraham is given a key role in salvation history when he is over 70 years old. He bargains with God over the fate of the condemned cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. He walks his son Isaac up the mountain to sacrifice him when God asks him to. There are hard questions and hard truths about God and humanity here; of course, this is true about any section of the Bible we might think about, but there is plenty of fruit here if you will engage with it.

Mark Wallace, 04/01/2019