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Where You Come From

by | Aug 21, 2023 | Brokenness, Forgiveness

Listen to Me, you who pursue righteousness, you who seek the LORD: look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug. Look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who bore you; for he was but one when I called him, that I might bless him and multiply him.

(Isaiah 51:1-2 ESV)

It’s a good challenge God sets before us. If we seek the Lord, if we want to be accepted by Him, we should look where we come from—at Abraham and Sarah, our ancestors in faith. They are the “rock from which [we] were hewn,” and “the quarry from which [we] were dug.” What can we learn from them?

Lots of stuff. Abraham was known as the “friend of God,” and Sarah is praised as a woman of faith (see James 2:23, Hebrews 11:11). And yet, their lives weren’t exactly wonderful, were they? Abraham lied and actually allowed his wife to be taken into another man’s harem because he wanted to save his own life (see Genesis 20); Sarah was downright abusive to her servant Hagar, whom she used to get a baby she could adopt as her own (see Genesis 16). These aren’t shining examples of righteousness, are they?

Of course, neither are we. I can supply examples of my own sin (but I’ll spare you). I’m sure you can do the same. Maybe we fit the rock we came from a bit better than we thought.

And yet … Abraham was called the friend of God, not because of his own actions, but because God chose him. God chose both him and Sarah to become the parents of a nation and the ancestors of Jesus, our Savior—not because they were good and holy, but because He loved them. God forgave their sins on account of Jesus, just as He forgives our sins on account of Jesus—because in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself—past, present, and future. And every one of us who trusts in Jesus, who died and rose for us, will be forgiven, be given new, clean hearts, and live forever. Even the worst of us.

A broken human family in need of forgiveness—that’s where we come from. And where are we going? To God’s kingdom, on account of Jesus, our Savior. Because He is now our Rock and our Redeemer. We belong to Him forever.

We pray: Dear Father, I am broken and needy. Forgive and cleanse me through Jesus. Amen.

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on August 22, 2023
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights

Reflection Questions:
1. What disturbs you the most about Abraham and Sarah as spiritual ancestors?
2. How do you see God having mercy on them—and on you?
3. Is there anybody so bad that God cannot redeem them?