“The spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions.
The nearer we get to Him, the more intensely missionary we become.”

Henry Martyn

TODAY’S READING: Genesis 22–24

Historians estimate that the Pythagorean theorem[1] was discovered around 1900 B.C., concurrent with the life of Abraham. It’s almost as if God is helping us see that (His blessings on His children)2 + (His Spirit)2 = (His glory among all peoples)2. Sarah dies and Abraham the Iraqi haggles with Ephron the Turk for a piece of land in Palestine using contractual means established in northern Syria for a burial site, then sends his oldest servant back to eastern Turkey to find an Iraqi bride for Isaac. Family, life, death, a little bit of math, and economics all converge in the context of diverse nations back then—as it should be now.

And speaking of death, there was the little matter of child sacrifice. Child sacrifice was normal to pagan worship in Abraham’s day, and tragically it has become normal in our day, too (abortion is nothing but a sanitized modern edition of murdering our own children and future). Three times Abraham said, “Here I am” (22:1, 7, 11), and all three are in context of relationship between father and son. After Isaac the son asked the pivotal question about the lamb, Abraham the father gave the prophetic answer (“God will provide for Himself a lamb,” v. 8). Then we have a most beautiful prophetic picture: “So the two of them [father and son] went together” (v. 8). Indeed, they did—all the way to Calvary.

God then speaks with missionary thunder: “Now that I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me… Because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son…I will bless you. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice” (22:12, 16–18). The missionary spirit is Father and Son agreeing together to go to the cross for the sake of all nations. The missionary spirit is fathers and mothers across the globe commissioning their sons, their only sons, to take up crosses and preach the gospel among unreached peoples.

And not just sons. Laban and Bethuel release their sister and daughter: Here is Rebekah…take her and go…as the Lord has spoken (24:51). It wasn’t easy, and when the cost and immediacy of sending began to hit home, the loving senders wavered: “Then they called Rebecca and said to her, ‘Will you go with this man?’ And she said, ‘I will go’ (v. 58). Rebecca had her own “here I am” response. “And they blessed Rebekah and said to her: ‘Our sister, may you become the mother of thousands of ten thousands’ (v. 60).

And so it is whenever parents and family stand crying in airports or kneel in suddenly quiet living rooms with tears in their eyes and pain in their hearts. God looks down at those who have entered into His pain (and pleasure) and He whispers over them tenderly, “I am Jehovah Jireh.” I am the Lord who provides (22:14).

[1] In mathematics, the Pythagorean theorem is fundamental relation in geometry among the three sides of a right triangle. It states that the square of the hypotenuse (the side opposite the right angle is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides. The theorem can be written as an equation relating the lengths of the sides ab and c, often called the “Pythagorean equation”: a2 + b2 = c2, where c represents the length of the hypotenuse and a and b the lengths of the triangle’s other two sides.

Prayer Focus: Ethiopia (35 UPGs)

Today’s Unreached People Group: Somali
Population: 6,812,000
Language: Somali
Primary Religion: Islam
Evangelical: 0.03%
Estimated Workers Needed: 136

[Source: Joshua Project]

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