Pastor’s Letter – July 3, 2020 – Giving Gifts

And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac.

Genesis 25:5

Dear Church and Friends,

An inheritance can be a continuous issue. Books, stories, movies, and plays have been created around the tension caused by what a parent passes down to their children. The reason is obvious. It is a human drama that is repeated over and over. We’ve all seen it or been a part of one of these tragedies.

Abraham’s inheritance is front and center in Genesis 25. The chapter opens with the story of his second marriage. Nothing is told about Keturah except that she is a good judge of character. (She did marry Abraham.) They have six boys together. Midian and Jokshan stand out as men who founded great families. Their children make their way back into the record of scripture.

So beside Isaac, Abraham fathered seven others. The thing that is notable in this passage is that Abraham is guided by his covenant with God. He didn’t give up on the promise just because he was old, or because Sarah was dead, or because Isaac was grown and married, or because he had a new family. He ordered all things to advance the covenant God made with him.

Notice his love for Isaac in verse 5, “And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac.” This is the child of promise, so Abraham makes sure he is set for a successful life. However, his love for his other sons is evident. He gives them gifts. They too are blessed by their father, but he sends them away from Isaac. To Isaac belongs the promise of Canaan.

Abraham so believes in this covenant that the text tells us, “Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived.” He oversaw the distribution of his goods to his other sons. He didn’t leave this to someone else to handle. So that when he died there was no question about who got what.

Let’s be so guided by our covenant with the Father that even in our old age we order all things to glorify Him, just like Abraham. Let us give freely and love those who are not in covenant with our God, but give so that they too can hear the message of the gospel.

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Music: The Goodness of Jesus by CityALight.

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Prayer Request: South Asian Muslim Media Outreach.

  • Brother Jamshed* is a Muslim-background believer in Jesus who serves in an outreach effort to South Asian Muslims via the internet. This brother is in desperate need of surgery on his back, but it has been delayed multiple times because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please pray that his surgery can happen this month, and intercede for its success and for a speedy recovery for him so that he can continue to serve the Lord in this way. Please pray for his family, as well, as they care for him in the waiting and recovery time. (*name changed)

Question 96: What are we taught in the second part?

Answer: The right knowledge of God the Son.

Question 97: What are we taught in the third part?

Answer: The right knowledge of God the Holy Spirit.

Question 98: What are we taught in the fourth part?

Answer: The right knowledge of the Church, and the gifts given to it.

All my best.

Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah. And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah.

Genesis 25:1-2

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Published by David B. Smith

Author, podcaster, pastor, and Big Pappa to my grandchildren.

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