Genesis 23

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About God?

God was the first to grieve when death was born.

About Me?

Why do you look for the living among the dead? Those who have gone before have no headstone to visit.  They stand, living, along the race path…a great crowd of them…encouraging us on.

About the World?

“…death will be destroyed forever.  And the Lord God will wipe away every tear from every face.” Is. 25:8 ERV

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Genesis 21:8-20

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So when there is no hope of understanding, no hope of making life work any better, or any differently, no hope of any escape – when I can muster nothing except to sit a way off with my eyes closed, so as not to have to watch – God is still the God who sees.

About God?
“You are the God who sees me.”  Gen. 16:13  Hagar

About Me?
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope in God!  Ps 43:5

About the World?

Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes so he may see.”
2 Kings 6

Genesis 21:1-7

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About God?

God is gracious.

About Me?

“My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.” Ps 5:3

About the World?

Reminder: As desperate as it seems, you are not alone.

Genesis 20

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About God?

God can speak to anyone He wants to.

About me?

A distinct trait of humans is their ability to repeat the same mistake over and over.  And we are supposed to be the intellingent animals?

About the World?

God exists and is at work all around you whether you believe in Him or not.

Genesis 18:16-33

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Abraham and God are talking.  That in itself would be enough to think about for the day.  But God decides to include Abraham in his thoughts and planning.  He seems to do this because He is grooming Abraham to be the father of a great nation.  In doing that job, Abe will need to understand how God works so he can lead his family to follow God.  Abe will need to see, not just God’s actions, but what has motivated God to take action – to see his justice tempered by His mercy.

We all are “leaders” at some time or another and there are always disputes to unravel.  I’m grateful God is allowing a glimpse into how He does it.

So why is God checking out Sodom?  Because “the outcry against S & G is great and their sin is very grave.”  Makes you wonder who is crying out to God?  Could it be the righteous people who might live in the cities? Or maybe those in the area? Have the ones who have been injured by the unrighteous been calling out to God for help?  God is always listening.

But, it seems, God doesn’t just take their complete word for it, He goes down to check it out for Himself.  God looks for the evidence…He will know.

God includes Abraham so Abraham can intercede for the protection of the righteous – in spite of the wicked.  God empathizes with Abraham and demonstrates their hearts are on the same page.  Reading ahead we know God destroys S&G – but I think I’ll find that His methods will be consistent with His motives.

What are the traits God practices in this “dispute resolution”? 
1. Listens.  Be attentive to those you oversee.
2. Get involved enough to know exactly what is going on. Get all the facts.
3. Be transparent about your motives because actions alone can be misinterpreted. Balance: Justice vs Mercy.

About God?
God is willing to share His heart with any who wish to spend time with Him.

About Me?
Am I willing to always be transparent about my motives?

About the World?

God is about Justice but always tempered with Mercy.