Sometimes we stand firm; sometimes we collaborate … May God give us wisdom!

When Abraham was old and wanting a wife for his son Isaac, he knew just what he wanted.  
 He said to the senior servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh. I want you to swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living,  but will go to my country and my own relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac.”  Genesis 24:2-4
Abraham was esteemed among the Canaanites and you might think he could have found a wife among the locals for his son.  The text doesn’t say why Abraham so wanted to obtain a wife for Isaac among his people and not the Canaanites.  Pastor Mark Roberts writes, “Given what happens in the future when God’s people get in bed with their pagan neighbors, it’s not hard to imagine at least part of Abraham’s rationale.  If his son were married to a Canaanite woman, he would be tempted to abandon his distinctive calling and even his distinctive God.”

I think Roberts probably is right. But still, this kind of decision by Abraham makes me wonder, “How did Abraham know that this one decision was so right?”  For that matter, how do any of us know that we are right in any particular decision?  When is it right to listen to others and take in their opinion? What about those times that we know that we know and we are not budging?  People even ask us, “But how do you know?”  Well, we know it in our guts, we say.  We just know! 

So, if you have a tough decision, and we all do, should you turn to the Lord for guidance and courage? Absolutely, yes.  Should you seek wisdom from godly and discerning brothers and sisters in Christ? Very likely, yes.  Maybe for you it’s taking a long walk, clearing your head and slowly pondering your options.  

But when clarity comes — sometimes way down-deep-in-our-knower — stand your ground. At that point, God will give you the courage and strength you need to carry out his purposes.
Good leaders do set the course much of the time.  But effective leaders are also good listeners who seek advice from others and are willing to change their course on the basis of new information or the true wisdom of others speaking into their lives.  

Lord, help me to know when to stand my ground and when to compromise!

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