In just a few days here in the United States, we will know the results of one of the most divisive presidential elections in our nation's history. I also know that because my blogs get shared with more than 2 million people each week.
Considering that number, no matter which candidate and party wins some of those reading this will be disappointed. Because I know this is true, I thought that for this week's blog I would write something that could be an encouragement to those reading this no matter who wins the election.
To do this, I thought I would compare two of the best-known men in the Bible and how they handled news of something devastating that effected their world. These two men are Noah and Abraham. The lives of these two men are in many ways very similar.
For instance, both men had a conversation with G-D in which G-D told them in advance of a devastating calamity that was coming upon the earth. In the case of Noah, it was the flood and in Abraham's case, it was the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. They both witnessed these horrible events taking place but their responses are very different.
Let's look a little deeper. Noah saw the world becoming corrupt and violent as we read in Genesis 6:11-12 (TLV):
"Now the earth was ruined before God, and the earth was filled with violence. God saw the earth, and behold it was ruined because all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth."
This was followed by Noah faithfully building the ark and getting inside with his family, which were the only human survivors of the flood.
Abraham's experience was a little different. In Genesis 16, Abraham's wife was barren and he has a child with his servant Hagar. In Genesis 17, his plan for Ishmael to be his heir is changed. In Genesis 18, G-D tells Abraham he will have a son with Sarah and that Sodom and Gomorrah will be decimated.
In Genesis 19, Sodom and Gomorrah are destroyed and the nation Moab is born. In Genesis 20, Sarah is kidnapped by Abimelech and then miraculously returned through G-D's intervention. In Genesis 21, ten years after the promise that Abraham would have a son with Sarah, Isaac is born.
But within this same chapter Abraham's heart is broken when he has to send Ishmael away because of the way Hagar was treating Sarah. We also find out in chapter 21 that Abraham had been having skirmishes with King Abimelech which came to a peaceful conclusion.
So, as we read, we find that both Noah and Abraham dealt with significant violence and tragedy. There is nothing new under the sun. We also know from the Bible that in the last days things will be as they were in the days of Noah and in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah. We also know that 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says:
"All Scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for restoration, and for training in righteousness, so that the person belonging to God may be capable, fully equipped for every good deed."
With this in mind, we should be able to look at how Noah and Abraham dealt with the difficult times and experiences in their lives and then apply what the Bible shows us to our lives. In other words, we should be able to learn from their examples. So let's read how Noah and Abraham responded to these traumatic events.
In Genesis 9:20-21, we read what Noah does after the ark has landed and G-D establishes His covenant with him and all mankind.
"Then Noah, a man of the soil, was first to plant a vineyard. He drank some of the wine, got drunk, and was uncovered in his tent."
Noah goes to work and then gets drunk.
In Genesis 21:33, we read what Abraham does after all of the events described above have happened.
"Then he planted a tamarisk tree in Beer-sheba and called there on the Name of Adonai, the Everlasting God."
Abraham goes to work and calls on the name of Ad-nai.
It doesn't take a Bible scholar to see the similarities between 2020 and the days of Noah and Sodom and Gomorrah. Violence and sin is all around us. And for some reading this blog, the results of the election will not be what you had hoped. My hope and the reason I am writing this today, is that everyone reading this will choose to follow the example of Abraham in their response to every event no matter how tragic it may be to them.
While events may be out of our control, our response to them is not. So, after the election results are in, no matter who wins, let me encourage you to go back to work and call on the name of Ad-nai. The reason this is so important is found in what took place right after Noah got drunk. One of his children sins and is cursed.
Please remember that your children (both physical and spiritual) are watching how you respond to the events in your life, both good and bad, and they will learn from your example.
Eric Tokajer is the author of Overcoming Fearlessness, What If Everything You Were Taught About the Ten Commandments Was Wrong?, With Me in Paradise, Transient Singularity, OY! How Did I Get Here?: Thirty-One Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before Entering Ministry, #ManWisdom: With Eric Tokajer, Jesus Is to Christianity as Pasta Is to Italians and Galatians in Context.
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