Galatians; Old Testament Faith

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

 

 

 

 

Here are my thoughts about this week’s SS lesson about Old Testament faith. You can also download the SS lessons to your cell phone.

In Genesis 15:6 God calls Abraham righteous, because He believed God’s promise. In Genesis 22, God tells Abraham to sacrifice his own son Isaac, and thus tested and proved Abraham’s faith to be a real faith, and not just a pretend or fairy tale faith. Real faith leads to real obedience. Earlier in Genesis 12, Abraham showed lack of faith when he asked Sarai to lie about their relationship in Egypt.” God tested Abraham again, even more severely, to demonstrate before the universe, why He was able to call Abraham righteous.  “It is thus that God still tests His people. And if they fail to endure the trial, He brings them again to the same point, and the second time the trial will come closer, and be more severe than the preceding. This is continued until they bear the test, or, if they are rebellious, God withdraws His light from them and leaves them in darkness. “ {Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 437

I had not been back home from college, too long, when I started working for a business forms company. I falling behind on some of my bills. I had been promised a raise which I had yet to receive, so I decided to “work out” my own salvation from these late bills. I was not going to stop paying tithe, but I decided to use my tithe to pay my bills. I recorded how much tithe I owed so I could pay it all back when I got my raise. Weeks later, what I owed on tithe was adding up and I still had no raise. Feeling guilty, I confessed to a friend that I owed tithe, but would pay it later when I got my raise. My friend told me what I already knew. I would not get my raise until I paid my tithe.

We got our pay checks every Friday, but this Friday I did not go into work or pick up check since I had the day off. Still, I went ahead and stepped out in faith and obedience and prepared my tithe check to turn in on Sabbath, which I did. Monday I went into work and picked up my paycheck that had been sitting there since Friday. I opened it up and there was my raise! I will never forget how God tested my faith and I proved Him to be faithful! When God tests our faith He is really asking us to test His faithfulness to us!

This same faith in the Old Testament is seen again in the New Testament, when Jesus tests Philip’s faith in feeding an entire multitude in John 6.

John 6; Jesus Has a Solution Before We Have a Problem

I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

John 6:5 When Jesus then lifted up [his] eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? 

 6:6         And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do

Jesus already had a solution before Philip even knew there was a problem. Jesus was testing Philip to see if He would trust him. Jesus does the same with us. He already has the solutions before we even  see the problem.

“Our heavenly Father has a thousand ways to provide for us, of which we know nothing. Those who accept the one principle of making the service and honor of God supreme will find perplexities vanish, and a plain path before their feet.”  {Desire of Ages, p. 330} 

 6:7         Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little. 

 6:8         One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, saith unto him, 

 6:9         There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? 

Good thing there was a young boy there with a small lunch. Good thing Andrew did not tell him he was too young to help and to come back later when he grew up. Jesus could not wait for him to grow up. He needed the boy now. Jesus needs all of our young people today, not later.

 6:10       And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 

 6:11       And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. 

 6:12       When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. 

 6:13       Therefore they gathered [them] together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten. 

The young boy who gave all he had did not go hungry that day either. I am sure Jesus could have worked the same miracle with just one loaf of bread, but after hearing about Jesus and His love it wasn’t enough for the boy to give a little. He had to give all! Just like the widow had to give all when she gave her two mites, and the woman who washed Jesus feet with the perfume that cost all she had, when the boy heard of Jesus’ love He had to give all. It’s just a natural response from anyone who understands the gospel and the cross of Christ.