Sunday, May 30th, 2021 (Trinity 1)
(Denise Gelder - Diocesan Reader)
(Related Bible readings can be found here)
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
please help us to hear and understand what You are saying in Your word to us today.
Trinity Sunday, a word not found in the Bible, the corruption of tri-unity, three persons in one, working together for our benefit, out of love for a fallen world and fallen mankind.
God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
As a new Christian I was advised to pray to the Father, in the name of the Son Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Three, working as one Godhead, each looking to the Father, in unity with each other, in harmony. Three is one of God's favourite numbers. It is a holy number and means completeness, perfection and is a number of divine fulness, completion, harmony, wisdom and understanding, a summing up of God's character.
I don't know about you, but I've often wondered why we read in scripture -
The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.
Never the God of Moses, Joseph or Paul etc. There are many references to the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, both in the old and new covenants.
It seems that the Lord wants is to learn about this threesome.
It kept coming to me again and again, so this is what I learnt.
God's perfect plan was accomplished through the seed of Abraham.
Galatians 3:16 says how the promises were made to Abraham and his Seed (with a capital S). It doesn't say 'and to seeds', as if to many.
On the contrary, it speaks of one 'and to your Seed'. This is a message.
Some Bibles have the word Seed capitalised,
Seed meaning Messiah, Yeshua or Jesus as we know Him.
The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is a type of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
God revealed himself through Abraham, a type of the Father, through Isaac, who's the son of a promise, through a miraculous birth and a sacrifice, therefore a type of Jesus the Christ and then through Jacob, who was a type of the Holy Spirit, as the fruit bearer, one through whom his sons, all twelve of them and eventually from them, the nation of Israel was born.
Jacob, whose father was Isaac, whose father was Abraham,
to whom the original promise was given.
God appeared to Moses at the burning Bush and said
'I am the God of Abraham the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob'
The Lord Jesus Himself uses this same expression in each of the first three Gospels.
God chose Abram, a worshipper of idols, took hold of him, called him out of that idolatrous land and said 'He is Mine!' Abram responded to God's love and acceptance of him and allowed God to change him into the image and likeness of His Son.
This is God's aim for each one of us. His starting point is his choice of us.
We need to respond to that and allow God to do his work in us,
so he can accomplish his plans in and through us.
In Genesis 17, we read how Abraham came to be known as a type of our heavenly Father. When he was 99 years old, God said to him (in Genesis 17)
'My solemn pledge, My covenant, is with you. You shall be the father of many nations.
Nor shall your name be Abram any longer (that is high and exalted father).
It shall be Abraham (father of a multitude), for I have made you the father of many nations. And I will make you exceedingly fruitful and make nations of you and establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations
for an everlasting solemn pledge, to be a God to you and to your posterity after you.'
Genesis 12, verses 1-4 tells us God called Abram out of Haran, a land where idols were worshipped. He was told to leave for his own advantage.
That applies to us too. It's for our advantage to leave the god of this world, satan, the fallen world we are born into and choose Jesus and the born again state, giving an entrance into the Kingdom of heaven and a relationship with Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Abram was told to leave his home, parents, relatives and go to a land God would show him where he would become a great distinguished, famous nation that would be a blessing to others. We know this is Israel and God will achieve this. He never breaks His promises.
In Genesis 15, we are told of God's promise to give Abram an heir, reinforcing His promise that his descendants would be so many that they would be unable to be counted.
Sadly Abram and Sarai, his wife, disobeyed God and did things their way and Ishmael was born from Abram and Hagar.
How often do we do things our way, not waiting for God?
Many of today's troubles in Israel are the result of that ungodly union of Abram and Hagar.
Isaac, the child of God's promise, was born to Abraham 14 years later, when he was a 100 years old! A miracle, just like Mary, a young Virgin promised to Joseph.
She gave birth to Jesus, a child of promise, God's Son.
'From Sarah will come many nations and kings of peoples' said God to Abraham
Surely this was in the back of Abram's mind when God told him to offer his only son as a burnt offering! Isaac was a type of Christ, a son of promise, an only son offered as a sacrifice and in a way raised from the dead. He would have been in his twenties or early thirties.
When he was 60 years old, his wife Rebecca gave birth to twin boys, Essau born first and Jacob second. Before their birth she had been told by the Lord that the firstborn would serve Jacob and Jacob brought this about in a deceitful way. Later the Lord appeared to Isaac and confirmed His covenant to multiply and bless his descendants, because his father Abraham had obeyed God. With the help of his mother, Jacob deceived his father and stole the blessing that should have gone to the elder. He did a similar thing to Essau earlier.
He was a real schemer, but God loved and chose this man over the elder son. Later, he was deceived by his uncle Laban and had to bargain to get the wife he loved. A clever and able man, but all this had to go for the will and plan God had for him. It had to be brought to nought. Everything he set his mind to went wrong, even in the womb. He even had to flee his home because his brother sought to kill him. He became wealthy, but had to be prepared to give it away to his brother in order to save his life, so he thought.
This is God's discipline, through his Holy Spirit, on us too when we are reconciled to Him. We have to learn, often through suffering, that we must live God's ways.
Jacob called out to the Lord
'Help me save my family and my life from the hand of my brother. You did say I will do you good and make your descendants as the sand of the sea which cannot be numbered.'
When he left his father in law Laban, Jacob sent everyone ahead of him and all his possessions and he was left alone. Here he met God and wrestled with Him, striving with Him, hanging on to Him and he won! He didn't let go of God - he was an overcomer!
But he was left with a lifelong injury. Jacob, means struggled with God and when he wept and sought God's favour, God changed his name to Israel meaning prince with God
and blessed him. Jacob named that place Peniel (meaning Face of God)
because he saw God face to face, yet his life was preserved.
Those who truly know God must put 100% of their faith in God and likewise trust and rely on Him and not on ourselves. When Jacob learnt this, he became an Israel (prince) of God.
A name by which the Hebrews were then known.
Its a name for the people and for an individual.
Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, sought God one night. He obviously knew there was something missing in his life, as Jacob did, so he went to speak to God (Jesus)
not fully realising to whom he was speaking.
Jesus pointed out it wasn't enough to be a divinity teacher, he needed to be reconciled to God, to be born from above, a supernatural act, a mystery involving the giving of Divine life by the Holy Spirit, involving our human spirit undergoing a change of state from being dead to God and Godly things, to us longing and desiring to know him, to learn about him, the beginning of a love relationship with our heavenly Father, His son and the Holy Spirit.
Just as we can't do without the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, so too we can't do without God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. We need both.
Abraham displays the purpose of God in His choice of us sinners.
Isaac shows us the life of God available to us in the gift of His Son.
Jacob sets forth the ways of God in the Holy Spirit's handling of us,
to develop in us the nature of Christ.
This is God's goal in His dealings with His own,
so we need to make sure that we belong to Him and give Him permission to change us,
no matter what the cost. It will be to our advantage.
God wants the best for each one of us and I want His best for me!
I hope you too want God's best, this is actually vital for us as the days ahead will get darker, before the return of Christ.
How do I know? The Bible tells us so.
God always warns us so we can be prepared.