This morning, I was reading through chapter 26 of Genesis .When I came across verse 26 of the chapter, it made me stop and pray for what it said:
They said, “We see plainly that the Lord has been with you.”
This is coming from Abimelech, king of the Philistines, concerning Isaac, the son of Abraham. How many of us have that same thing being said about our own lives by anyone, let alone a king? This interaction between the two men is coming on the heels of Isaac settling in Abimelech’s land because of a famine in his own. He began to plant and cultivate a life there that God returned to him “a hundredfold” in one year. He also was given by God a large accumulation of livestock and servants – so much so that the Philistines began to fear him and he was sent away from the community.
Even after all of this, Abimelech traveled to Isaac with the commander of his army to make a pact of peace with him because it was evident to him that the Lord was with Isaac. Scripture doesn’t really make clear what exactly the Philistine king saw that convinced him of this, but it was plainly seen. And I love that descriptor. There was no doubt in his mind and he was frightened by this fact.
Reading this verse made me think of other examples in Scripture when man experienced the glory of God and it instilled fear in those who saw him after. Like when Moses met the Lord on Mount Sinai and the skin of his face was glowing when he came back down to the Israelites (Exodus 34:29-35), or when the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit and began preaching the Gospel of Christ so ferociously that the religious leaders of the time tried to put them to death fearing their message so deeply (Acts 5:17-42).
Imagine what it would look like in our world today if the headlines on CNN and NBC were concerned about Christians because the evidence of God in His followers had been plainly seen – not fearing violent action, but simply the all-powerful majesty of the Lord making Himself manifest in the lives of His people. That’s what stopped me this morning. I prayed that God would be plainly seen in my life, not because of abundance or comfort, but because my joy and value and identity is so lost in the cross of Christ that He is plainly seen in my life regardless of the circumstance.
Oh, that we would see that plainly for the whole body of Christ followers. What an amazing sight it would be…