Now I Know
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Genesis 22,   Blessed Assurance Goes Both Ways.

  
In most cases the term “now I know” is used when the evidence is revealed which eliminates the doubt. It could be the awaited final conclusion or even the first awareness of some personal enlightenment. It’s also a common phrase for a matter which could’ve had a different outcome. When our Lord used these same words back in the day of Abraham, the meaning is deeply revealing to him and to us. The chapters written about his very purposeful life gives every reader the same “now I know” about their own very purposeful walk with God.

   His birth name was Abram, but during his notorious friendship with God Almighty his name was changed to Abraham, meaning “Father of many”. Scripture also honors him with the title, "Father of Faith” for his dual role in the basics of what we believe and about the character of our eternal God. The chosen position given him in earlier years also defines the same inclusion for us in every way. Abraham being carrier of the seed of our Lord Jesus both in the physical sense and in the spiritual opens our eyes to all the similar ingredients of our Great Salvation.

   Toward the end of Abraham’s remarkable life he was called by the Lord to offer his son Isaac on the altar of sacrifice. The scriptural narrator tells the reader this was a test of commitment. At this stage, Abraham knew every word spoken in Faith by God Almighty had a powerful impact on what’s just ahead. Now he’s unknowingly being tried “today”, for the long running history he had with his Lord of the past. The many promises, victories and personal encounters were not forgotten when he hears God speak words so hard to hear and give instructions so difficult to follow. This required next day action, some unusual preparations and a three day journey to a specific place in the mountains. Here, God’s Word is known to only one man. Although they were a group of four involved, Abraham is alone with the Word of God.

   When Abraham had the knife pointed down over his beloved son, he was ready to follow through with exactly what he was commanded to do. Then, at that very moment a voice from Heaven says; "Do not lay a hand on the boy. Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son."

   “Now I Know”??   Does the scripture actually say it that way? NOW, as in the person of a man speaking it? In using this term has foreknowledge been eliminated? Check every version - it reads “now” in the exact way “now” is to be used. Could this mean Abraham struggled with God during the journey up to the point of action? Absolutely! Seems these words were spoken because the Lord was inside his heart agonizing in this situation along with him. As being in his present time-table, as being where his heart is RIGHT NOW. As in the very definition of “Immanuel”, as being, “God with us”. Note the beauty here; Even though our Lord knows the beginning and the end He says, “Now I know” because in truth, He and we are in this together in human time. To Abraham and to us He is the exact representation of our Lord Jesus as Omni-Present Immanuel without the least separation. Just like a man with us. Not just above us, not just behind us or ahead of us, but with us like a person in our company.

   Now behold a ram is seen stuck in the brush. The substitute for the Children of God which fulfils the commandment is available right now. Abraham deep inside his heart knew somehow God would provide it. This means he can say “Now I Know” in return. It’s at this moment where Abraham gives our God a very personal name; “Jehovah-Jireh”, meaning our Great Provider. Now he’s reassured all over again there’s never a reason to doubt the Lord's eternal Word. NOW I KNOW goes both ways and it’s purposely written for us! And the scripture teaches us it’s always at the present time we realize our Lord Will Provide. He is our Today, and then tomorrow He'll be there at the same time as us. Our deeper spiritual insight shows the death offered in sacrifice, and, the life received by the same sacrifice took place in the hearts of Abraham and Isaac that very day. The substance of Faith was the substance of sacrifice back then, and it’s the same Right Now.

   Now the inspired Word through James for those teaching incomplete Faith: “You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the alter? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did”.  Completed by_______??  Now consider the foolishness of making a forgone conclusion that Grace without deeds will pass the test of God. Consider how this passage defines Abraham's walk of Faith by what he did in natural time and without a predestined outcome. Our God given Faith and its actions proves Abraham as righteous and our God as Provider at the same time – our time. Seems that our Faith is not complete until the Spirit speaks the same Word; “Now I know that you fear God” AND, “Take up your cross and follow me”

   Our very purposeful walk with God is fully written in Heaven - YES, but the path we walk with our Savior should Never be thought of as a forgone conclusion - Because HE LIVES and He is the Living WORD in us! AND, we are Abraham’s living seed, AND, we are the living Body of Christ. And, you can be sure there is no separation between us and Christ Jesus the Lord, Now & Forever, Selah.

Author:
Teaching Staff at Bethany EPC


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