It is Thursday and it is Bin Day in this part of town (it makes Rita smile when I say this each week!), and not sure whether we are still clapping the NHS and their workers tonight, but we can still pray for them.
Today’s Bible passage is Genesis Chapter 21 verses 22 to 34.
We meet again Abimelech, king of Gerar, whom Abraham had previously encountered back in Chapter 20, one of the occasions when he said Sarah was his sister and not his wife.
Back then Abraham gave the reason for lying as, ‘There is surely no fear of God in this place’ (Ch.20 v.11), but at the end of the chapter Abraham had prayed for Abimelech and family and they were healed of their temporary infertility.
And so here in today’s passage, something has changed since Abimelech now wants to do a deal with Abraham because, ‘God is with you in everything you do’ (verse 22). It might not be a usual ‘spiritual conversion experience’, but through the mess and the muddle Abimelech recognises something of the reality and truth of the living God. The Lord is always a better missionary than we ever will be!
Abraham is now a bit more straightforward (verse 25) and this time (unlike previously) he is the one who gives the gifts (verse 27), so we can see Abraham changing for the better too. And through this encounter Abraham secures the well at Beersheba, an important milestone, and a place that will become the southern most point of the Israelite kingdom in the future.
So in our prayers today let us continue to pray for NHS and other frontline workers, and would encourage you to be obviously grateful to them if you meet them in person during this time. Please remember too George and Craig, Chaplains at Northampton General, and Philip, Chaplain at St Andrew’s Hospital which provides psychiatric and mental healthcare services, all of whom are having a very busy and sometimes quite stressful time at the moment.
In our own extended church address list please pray for 2 who were starting to attend more regularly before the lockdown,