The apostle Paul exhorts fathers, wives, and bondservants to live out their lives before the Lord’s face. The Lord does not only exhort adults to life a life pleasing to the Lord, but Paul also exhorts children. Why would Paul exhort children to obey their parents for that pleases the Lord? Could there be implications in this exhortation for baptism?
Job has made a passionate speech about someone taking his case to the heavenly courts. He is done with the counselors for they are not taking his case seriously. Bildad has heard these words and he responds to Job. Will this man, who is most likely a grandson of Abraham, respond with the promises of the Gospel? Will they come together and realize that maybe the Lord’s purpose is bigger than their understanding?
The Lord has bound himself to work in the context and the confines of the covenantal line. This means that the promise made to Abraham must have a successor to receive that promise. Isaac is getting old, he has two children, but the Lord has chosen one child to be the heir of the promise. Isaac does not want to confer the blessing to the younger, but to the older. Is the Lord still able to establish His Sabbath people?
We can think of the Lord being in the midst of his people as a New Testament promise. We think about Pentecost with the Holy Spirit being poured forth showing conclusively that the Lord is in the midst of His people. Is it true that this is only a promise for the New Testament Church or is this promise truly rooted elsewhere?
Balak is beginning to realize that he cannot control the Lord. However, he still tries by bringing Balaam to the Lord’s enemy territory. The diviner follows Balak’s lead by going to the enemy territory. Is Balaam able to curse the people of God even as they are camping in the wildness? Is Baal able to overpower our God? How does our God make clear that the Lord will establish the true Christmas day?
The Lord has made a promise to his people that he will bring them to glory. His people have messed up really bad, and so does the Lord really desire to establish His people? How do we know that the Lord can and will do this? How strong is the Lord? Is there a god, a prophet, or another power that can derail the Lord’s promises? Balaam and Balak think they can, but can they?
Knowing that the Lord is sovereign over all things is something that should give us comfort. The challenge in finding comfort in knowing the the Lord is sovereign over all things is that we cannot control this God. We have to wait upon our God. How do we know that waiting on the Lord is good? How do we know that the Lord is going to be faithful? What is the basis of the promise where we can ground our hope and peace in the Lord? Why wait upon the God of my salvation?
We can understand that Jacob is afraid to meet his brother Esau because Esau vowed to kill Jacob which is why Jacob left his home. So, we can understand Jacob’s angst as he is about to meet his brother. So, why would God take the time to wrestle with this poor guy rather than simply defeating Esau? What does this wrestling teach Jacob? What does this wrestling teach us? What does this wrestling declare about Christmas?
As protestants we champion the promise that we are justified by faith. Justification by faith is a wonderful promise because we can be assured of enteringinto the presence of God by faith in Christ. So, how did this blessing come to be? Is this merely a New Testament promise? What precedent do we see for such a promise?
So why do we baptize infants?