Abraham is one of those people in the Bible who gives me encouragement and hope…if not a little irritation as well!
In Genesis 20 he is lying about his relationship with his wife in an attempt to save his own skin! He decides to tell the people in the land that they are traveling through that she is his sister (not his wife). Essentially he is throwing her under the bus because he thinks that the people in the country he is visiting will want her enough to kill him. So he just gives her to them! AND NOT FOR THE FIRST TIME!
And then God describes Abraham in a way that is totally unexpected:
Now return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. Genesis 20:7
What? Really?! I mean, shouldn’t Abraham be the one seeking prayer, not giving it? Shouldn’t someone else, ANYONE else be described as a prophet instead of this guy? This isn’t how a prophet of God acts is it?
But this is what is so encouraging. Abraham has this bad habit of lying. He has a worse habit of giving up his wife! He is too afraid to trust that God will take care of him. And yet God still uses him, still blesses him, still cares for him. Why?! Why would God use Abraham or let him be any sort of representative? Couldn’t there be someone better? Doesn’t God see that as a prophet, Abraham is broken? He does act right, not the way God intended.
But this is the thing about God. He intentionally chooses the broken things. He has some deep affection for the ones that aren’t what they could be; aren’t what they should be. The ones imprisoned by fear; or stubbornly bent on controlling everything. The ones that don’t do as they should. The broken ones. The foolish ones.
Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. 1 Corinthians 1:26-29
God is so patient, and committed to his children, even when they deserve anything but his steadfastness. For me, that’s very good news!
I am broken too. I don’t act as I was intended to. I don’t necessarily represent God well. I have a bad habit of using others to protect myself. I have a tendency to try and control my circumstances and create a sense of security for myself.
But God chooses the foolish things; the broken things. And I am thankful.