For a few bright shining moments in 1977, a 9-year old boy named Dean Briggs sat in a darkened theater in Tulsa, OK with his jaw on the floor and his heart in outer space. I was watching something too real to be special effects, and too true to be untrue. That night, common cellophane became life-transforming metaphor. By the time my parents had gathered our family around my grandma’s little kitchen table to discuss the various layers of Christian meaning, I had already enlisted in the cause. Without reservation, I joined the Rebellion against the Empire—against a world system led by a fallen, dark lord. Even more than I wanted an Atari (and I really wanted an Atari), I wanted a light saber so that I could destroy minions of the dark side.
Luke became my proxy. Leaving his old life as a sand farmer, he told his new Jedi mentor, “There’s nothing left here for me now. I want to learn the ways of the Force and become a Jedi like my father.” We were both making this decision. READ MORE >>>
As we’ve seen, God chose Abraham for a reason. His plan for history required very specific foundation materials. As a man, he had to have certain convictions, a certain value system. Abraham carried an emotional and spiritual gene which God found desirable to pass on to future generations. In fact, it was Abraham’s willingness to invest in future generations that God found so desirable. The first few verses in Genesis 15 help us understand this more. I’m going to look at them one at a time, a couple of verses each week.
“After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, ‘Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; Your reward shall be very great.’” — Gen. 15:1
One must start by asking, why is Abram afraid? Remember, God does not speak into a vacuum. He isn’t spouting random, semi-poetic phrases. If he says something, there is cause for it. Abram, apparently, is fearful. Why does he need the reassurance that God will be a shield to him? After all, he has just battled five kings and prevailed (see ch. 14). Abram should be doing a victory dance. What’s happening here? READ MORE >>>