Day 11, January 11, 2021
Scripture: Genesis 24, Matthew 5
Isaac gets a bride. Jesus begins preaching the Sermon on the Mount.
What’s the connection? I’ve thought for a while about this and it dawned on me, Isaac had to marry a Hebrew woman. God’s desire is to keep the Israelites separate from other nations. One of the ways God approaches this is by expecting that they don’t intermingle with other nations.
This may not seem all that important to us in the 21st century, that a nation keep from marrying people from other nations. But a part of the way that God is working through the Israelites, a part of how God is working in them to bear witness to the world is by separating them from all other nations. Their distinctiveness, set apart, holiness is critical to the plan.
Jesus is the fulfilment of all of this and more. Jesus is the fulfillment of the law. Jesus stands before the watching world as the true holy one. In his distinctiveness, he now invites all to come and belong. And now, he can stand before a group of people and announce the good news that is for everyone. He can announce that Blessed are the peacemakers, merciful, poor in Spirit, and persecuted. All of those who never once were considered blessed, now have a place in the Kingdom of God.
Isaac marrying Rebekah, begins an early framework of setting apart a people for a distinct purpose. Jesus preaching the Sermon on the Mount marks the beginning of announcing that all people can be distinctively set apart as God’s people. Jesus opening with the blessed is opening the way for all people to come and be a part of the light, to be the city on a hill. All are welcomed to come in and shine for the glory of God.
You are the light of the world, shine for God today!