Summary: Rev. Fair speaks of our needs to look to Jesus: Look full in his wonderful face And the things of earth will grow strangely dim. In the light of his glory and grace.
HOW FAR CAN YOU SEE THIS MORNING?
Genesis 13:14 “And the Lord said unto Abraham after that Lot was separated from him, lift up now thine eyes and look from the place where thou art”.
What we are and what we may become depends in a large measure upon what we can see, and what we see depends upon whether our visibility is high or low. Low visibility is a term used by airmen to describe atmosphere conditions.
A friend once took a plane from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara. Fog made it impossible to see the ground and the plane had to come in on the beam. The plane landed safely but on the run-way it was lost in the fog. The tower said, “come in flight 224 but the pilot could not see which way was in, and a truck was sent out to lead the pilot in.
When visibility is high one sees more clearly and over a wider area.
How far can you see this morning? Is your visibility high or low? I would like to use three examples from the Bible which contrast high visibility with low.
I. The first one is found in Genesis 13:1-18
In these scriptures we find two men standing on a hill in Palestine. Abraham and his nephew Lot. Abraham is a man of faith having left his ancestral home in the Ur of the Chaldes in response to God’s call to be guided by God to another land. Abraham got his possessions together, crossed the desert for a stay in Egypt, and had finally reached the borders of the land God had promised him.
Both have large herds of cattle and Lot’s herdsmen contend with Abraham’s herdman because there was a scarcity of grass and not enough for both herds. They had got along up unto this time, Abraham and Lot had gotten along. They had share the toils of the road, they had faced the desert dangers and storms, and they had become prosperous, but were about ready to come to blows over a few blades of grass. It doesn’t take much to break a freindship does it? In this case it took only a few blades of grass. Sometimes it takes even less, a sharp word; a misunderstanding may trigger it.
A few years ago a man stepped out on his back porch and looking up he saw a speck in the sky. It grew larger and larger. Then he saw that it was alive, a struggling living mass coming to earth. Two eagles were locked in deadly combat over a fish one had taken. The fish fell to the ground but the battle continued and with a loud wild scream, they hurled themselves at one another and fell to the ground dead. Greed had destroyed them.
Beginning as a speck, greed will grow on us if unchecked, and drag us down to destruction as it did the eagles. Unless we destroy greed, it will destroy us. Lot would have all the grass. He wanted to write mine upon it. He would erect a “No trespassing sign”. Abraham no doubt sensed what going through Lot’s mind, but he said to his nephew “Let there be no strife between us for we are brethren. Take the left or the right and go in peace”. It would take grace to give a grasping nephew first choice, it would take a lot of the love Paul talked about in I Cor. 13, “ Love suffers long and is kind. Love works no ill to his neighbor. Love seeks not her own, does not envy and is not puffed up”. Fits every occasion and never fails “Lot chose the well watered plain of Jordan and pitched his tent toward Sodom”. His choice was typical of men of low visibility. All evil may be rooted in the love of money. Jesus in his teaching warned against this attitude by saying, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures for yourselves on earth, where moth and rust corrupts and thieves break through and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven beyond the reach of moth and rust and thief proof”.
And how do we lay up our treasures in heaven? The widow did it with the two small coins representing her all that she put in the Temple offering. It was probably not the first time nor the last time she had done such a thing. Mary did it by pouring the expensive perfume over the head of Jesus. Peter did it by leaving all to follow Jesus. Paul suffered the loss of all things to serve Christ. Jesus once said that the giving of a cup of cool water would not go unnoticed.
One spring day, a man left a hoe and a rake at the blacksmith shop to be sharpened. Later he returned for them. He handed the blacksmith a dollar to pay for the job. The blacksmith refused the money. The man insist on paying but the blacksmith said, “Neighbor, can’t you let a man do something now and then to stretch his soul”. “It is more blessed to give than to receive”. What a blessing Abraham was in line for that day.