Genesis 22:15–18, Isaiah 48:17–49:4
God is faithful and true and fulfills his Word. If someone who does not trust God nor believe that God fulfills his Word were to compare the passage in Genesis to Isaiah 48:17–19, would they come to the same conclusion? We would like to think so. From a perspective of logic, one can see that Abraham’s descendants didn’t fulfill their end of things. We see that from a spiritual side, too.
It the relational difference between these two passages. Abraham has shown his faithfulness. The Israelites have shown their faithlessness.
This is where God’s faithfulness, and God’s fulfilling of his Word comes in. It is, in many ways, where God’s promise to Abraham outweighs the failures of Abraham’s descendants.
The Israelites are condemned to rot in bondage. That could be the message. After all, they did abandon Abraham’s God for godless idols of wood and metal. Their relationship with God was transactional at best, and more along the lines of reluctant.
Sadly, not much has changed. We hear stories about people making transactional bargains with God, and lives transformed. We also hear about bargains that God did not fulfill and people are mad at God as a result. If one makes a bargain with God, that doesn’t make it a relationship. In many cases, it is less relational than handing money to the cashier and getting your change back. In the case of bargains made, whether fulfilled or not, the true relationship is when we allow God to transform us, and we partner with God in that transformation.
1) Have you ever tried to bargain with God? What about? What was the result?
2) Have you ever prayed to God about a need or desire? What about? What was the result?
3) What is the difference between a bargain and a prayer? Which sounds more like the Living Water of Jesus Christ, and which one sounds more like burdens and chains?