So the LORD said to him, "Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon."
Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half. Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away. Genesis 15:9-11 (NIV)
I hope that didn’t just spoil your breakfast. This passage seems a bit unusual at first. From yesterday’s reading, we see Abram questioning how God will fulfill the promise. Abram even tells God what will happen if God doesn’t deliver on the promise: Abram’s servant will inherit everything. Abram needed to make sure that God understood the consequences of His inaction.
Isn’t it great that God is so patient with us? We can freely talk to God about anything. He won’t get angry. He won’t strike us dead. He’s a patient, loving Father.
In response to Abram’s doubts and fears, God instructs Abram to offer a sacrifice in worship to Him. There’s a principle here (and it’s not be careful that the financial vultures of the world don’t steal your tithe). The principle is that when we struggle with doubt and fear, it’s time to connect with God.
The great thing about worship, especially singing, is that worship can bypass all of the things our brains are stuck on and connect our hearts directly to God. Whether it’s psalms, hymns or spiritual songs, sung or recited, worship is the vehicle God can use to bring us to a more peaceful place.
Often I find myself reaching back to the old songs I learned as a child. Maybe that was a safer time. Maybe they’ve just been with me longer.
When you are anxious and afraid, get in your car, turn up some praise music, and make a joyful noise. Other drivers might think you’re insane. If you don’t sing, then open the Bible’s songbook, the Psalms, and read them aloud to yourself (not while you’re driving though).
As we worship God, we connect with Him. Our doubts and fears can melt away. “Peace, peace, wonderful peace, coming down from the Father above, Sweep over my spirit forever I pray, In fathomless bellows of love…”
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