Matthew 22:32 “I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living.”
Why would the Lord of all Creation associate Himself with people? The Lord is high and exalted, people are lowly and corrupt in sin. The difference between people and God is almost unfathomable, we know how weak we are but I don’t believe we fully understand the magnitude of God’s glory.
Philippians 2:9-11 “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
No matter how many great things man does, he will never be able to exalt his name before God.
Jesus is the only One worthy of such acclaim.
So why does God often associate His name with people He created?
For anyone to be successful spiritually, they need a lot of help. Mankind on their own vices will be left with very little to show, within their corrupt nature lies a broken relationship with God. The remnants of an ancient past walking with God is now only a silhouette of what used to be. Temptation is too much to overcome in a lifetime, sin always takes root and always derails the one who practices self-righteousness.
God in His mercy reaches out to the helpless and to those who reach back and take His hand, the help cannot come too soon.
1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
Since all have sinned and this includes past patriarch’s as well as today’s followers, there must have been something that stood out that brought such notoriety.
How We Identify
From the beginning of mankind’s formation to the destination of God’s people in the end, God has clearly marked His people to reside with Him.
Revelation 21:3 “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.”
For those who have trouble identifying to God, He reminds us of those He has been faithful to in the the past. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the God who was faithful to men who were weak, helpless, and ultimately sinners, who needed God’s strength to live. These men trusted in the Lord and the Lord proved Himself faithful.
If God proved Himself faithful to these men, He will prove Himself faithful to whoever will follow after Him.
You may think that since your not jewish you don’t fall into the same line of God’s blessing….that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Galatians 3:29 “And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.”
For all who have been grafted into the vine are God’s people, the spiritual root of God’s faithfulness extends into all people who are called by His name.
Another aspect of Matthew 22:32 is how God refers to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He doesn’t say He was the God of these men but that He is the God of these men.
In other words, these men are still alive!
“God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”
For those who have lived faithfully there remains a promise of life to come. Death does not reign over God’s elect, though the body may perish the spirit lives on and even more so for God’s people will dwell in the presence of God forever.
The Same God
Bible stories can seem so distant, so foreign to our circumstances, and consequently God may appear distant like some ancient entity who no longer operates today.
Hebrews 13:7-8 “Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
- The same God who parted the Red Sea is the same God who goes before us today.
- The same God who lead Abraham to become the father of many nations, is the same God who leads those who follow today.
- The same God who wrestled with Jacob, teaching him to trust and obey is the same God who is patient with our unbelief and then shows us mercy.
The names today may look different, from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to John, Steven, or Cody the faithfulness of God and the extent of His power has never waned. The God of Jake will be found just as faithful as the God of Noah. The God of Bob is just as powerful and able to accomplish all that He began as the God of David. The God of Melissa, Shelly, or Julie, is the same God who showed favor to Mary, Ruth, and Esther.
No matter who you are, no matter what your name, the Lord does not change, His promises remain ever true, and He will fulfill all that He has begun in you.
John 1:12-13 “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”
Have you received the blessing of Christ?
Your name or my name is not what is important here, the Lord knows you…your person…the unique identity of your being that He created. Our names are just our identifiers, but it is the whole of you that God sees and knows—-and loves.
When God sees you He sees more than just a name, He identifies His glory and faithfulness with what you become when you partake of Him. When you trust Him, follow in His footsteps, and walk in His Spirit, you will experience far more than you could ever know on your own.
You will come to know Life itself.
- He is the God of all grace, the God of all love, the God of all our Hope.
1 Peter 5:10 “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”
Who will God be to you? If your hope is in Christ Jesus, He has become your salvation.
Will God be your Condemner or your Savior? For those who choose their own path, their names will pass on into obscurity, the eternal death of the condemned have no identity in Christ. For our names to matter, for our lives to count for something, they must be found in Christ.
Psalm 107:2 “Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story— those he redeemed from the hand of the foe”
How will your story be told when your days are through?