Life Among the Philistines

"Abraham sojourned in the Philistines' land many days." (Genesis 21:34)

This great man Abraham, who is known for faith as he "sojourned in the land of promise" (Hebrews 11:9), is also recognized for living faithfully among the heathen.

We who are New Testament "children of Abraham" (Galatians 3:7) should understand our role as "ambassadors" (2 Corinthians 5:20) as well as "strangers and pilgrims on the earth" (Hebrews 11:13). Jesus prayed to the heavenly Father "not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil" (John 17:15).

Abraham's life and testimony should encourage us to emulate his reputation. First, those with whom Abraham dealt recognized "God is with thee in all that thou doest" (Genesis 21:22). Even though Abraham lived among a pagan society, they knew him to be a man of God. Wherever the Lord may place us, our first obligation is to maintain a lifestyle and testimony that leave no question of our allegiance. "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Colossians 3:17).

Second, the expectations of the world's society is nominally just the same as the Philistines' leader: "That thou wilt not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son's son: but according to the kindness that I have done unto thee, thou shalt do unto me, and to the land wherein thou hast sojourned" (Genesis 21:23). In a purely practical way, "when a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him" (Proverbs 16:7).

Abraham ran a very successful agricultural business with hundreds of employees. He did so maintaining a godly testimony in a pagan society under stressful conditions. In Scripture, he is called the "Friend of God" (James 2:23). Would God this could be said of all of us. HMM III

Series: 
Old Testament
Book: 
Genesis
Verses: 
21:34
Article Type: 
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