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    • January 18, 2017 5:33 PM EST
    • WELL GOD TOLD REBEKAH SHE WOULD HAVE TWIN BOYS & THAT JACOB THE SECOND SON WAS HIS CHOICE.  GOD HAS A PLAN AND HIS PLANS ARE NEVER STOPPED!

    • January 17, 2017 11:47 PM EST
    • This scripture is so important to me in my life. It's just such an amazing story with so many levels of relevance and applicability in so many levels of and within society today. I still get new messages from God everytime i read it. Love this, as sad as it is.

    • June 21, 2016 6:21 PM EDT
    • GENESIS 27 - Jacob Deceptively Gains the Blessing of Isaac
      GENESIS 28 - Jacob Flees Esau



      GENESIS 27: Rebekah and Jacob plot to deceive Isaac.

      Verses 1-4 tells us Isaac’s deathbed request to Esau.

      “Now it came to pass, when Isaac was old and his eyes were so dim that he could not see, that he called Esau his older son and said to him, “My son.” And he answered him, “Here I am.” Then he said, “Behold now, I am old. I do not know the day of my death. Now therefore, please take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me. And make me savory food, such as I love, and bring it to me that I may eat, that my soul may bless you before I die.”

      Now it came to pass, when Isaac was old: Isaac BELIEVES his time has come to die, and this is his way of “settling his affairs,” sort of a last will and testament. Although, we KNOW Isaac’s age to be 137 at this point, & he lived to be 180, so Isaac still had 43 more years.

      That my soul may bless you before I die: Strangely, Isaac INSISTED on giving the blessing TO Esau, the one God did NOT choose, who despised his birthright, and who has married pagan wives. It seems Isaac plainly operated in the flesh here, thinking only of the good food he received from Esau’s hunting.

      Verses 5-10 tells us Rebekah advises Jacob to deceive his father Isaac.

      “Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt game and to bring it. So Rebekah spoke to Jacob her son, saying, “Indeed I heard your father speak to Esau your brother, saying, Bring me game and make savory food for me, that I may eat it and bless you in the presence of the Lord before my death.’ Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to what I command you. Go now to the flock and bring me from there two choice kids of the goats, and I will make savory food from them for your father, such as he loves. Then you shall take it to your father, that he may eat it, and that he may bless you before his death.”

      Instead of trusting God to fulfill what He had promised in Genesis 25:23, Rebekah copies Sarah, in that she goes about to “do what is right” in the flesh. Good intentions don’t justify acting in the flesh.

      I will make savory food from them for your father, such as he loves: But again, Isaac is NO LESS scheming than Rebekah. In the willfulness of his old age, he is determined to pass on the blessing to Esau, DESPITE what the Lord has said and what the boys have shown with their lives.

      DID YOU CATCH THAT?
      The fact Isaac is trying to dispense the blessing SECRETLY shows he KNEW that he WAS wrong. Sadly, in this house, no one trusted anyone else, DID THEY? NOT EVEN GOD AT THIS MOMENT.

      Verses 11-17 tells us preparations are made for Jacob’s deceptive attempt to steal the blessing.

      “And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “Look, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth-skinned man. Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be a deceiver to him; and I shall bring a curse on myself and not a blessing.” But his mother said to him, “Let your curse be on me, my son; only obey my voice, and go, get them for me.” And he went and got them and brought them to his mother, and his mother made savory food, such as his father loved. Then Rebekah took the choice clothes of her elder son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son. And she put the skins of the kids of the goats on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck. Then she gave the savory food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.”

      Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be a deceiver to him: Jacob, true to his name (“trickster” or “scoundrel”), is all too willing to go along with this plan. His only concern is whether or not it will succeed.

      When we are willing to abandon the question of right and wrong, and when our only concern is “what works,” we have bought into the modern idea of pragmatism, as much of the church has today, AMEN?

      His father . . . Rebekah . . . Esau . . . Jacob: Significantly, at this point, each of these actors in this drama ARE IN THE FLESH and NOT IN THE SPIRIT, ARE THEY? Even Esau, in agreeing to Isaac’s plan to give him the birthright, disregarded his previous promise to allow Jacob to have the birthright.

      DO YOU NOTICE, like I did, that the WORST aspect of this all is they seem to regard the blessing as “MAGICAL,” as something detached from God’s wisdom and will. But the most Isaac can do is recognize God’s call and blessing on Jacob. Only God can truly BESTOW the blessing. Esau could receive the blessing from Isaac a hundred times, but it only matters if God in heaven HONORS IT, AMEN?

      Jacob receives the blessing Isaac intended for Esau.

      Verses 18-27a tells us Jacob lies to his father, pretending to be Esau.

      “So he went to his father and said, “My father.’ And he said, “Here I am. Who are you, my son?” Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn; I have done just as you told me; please arise, sit and eat of my game, that your soul may bless me.” But Isaac said to his son, “How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son?” And he said, “Because the Lord your God brought it to me.” Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Please come near, that I may feel you, my son, whether you are really my son Esau or not.” So Jacob went near to Isaac his father, and he felt him and said, “The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” And he did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau’s hands; so he blessed him. Then he said, “Are you really my son Esau?” He said, “I am.” He said, “Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son’s game, so that my soul may bless you.” So he brought it near to him, and he ate; and he brought him wine, and he drank. Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come near now and kiss me, my son.” And he came near and kissed him; and he smelled the smell of his clothing,”

      I am Esau your firstborn: Sometimes it is difficult to discern a lie, and whether it is sin or not comes back to the question of intent. But other times it is not difficult at all, and Jacob clearly LIES here, DOES HE NOT?

      Because the Lord your God brought it to me: Jacob, the scoundrel, did NOT hesitate to bring in God as a party to his deception.

      How can he do this? DOES HE NOT REMEMBER THAT THE GOD WHO SEES ALL KNOWSSSSSSS JACOB IS LYING THROUGH HIS TEETH?

      Simply because his only concern is “what works.” Since he knows God WANTS him to have the birthright, he will justify any lie or sin he commits in the pursuit of the birthright and say he is making a stand for righteousness!

      Jacob probably used the promise and calling of God as an excuse for sin; he justified it to himself by saying his sinful conduct was fulfilling the promise of God.

      Are you really my son Esau? Even under repeated questioning Jacob stayed confirmed in his lie. Partially, Jacob took advantage of his father’s good nature. Isaac probably would not believe his Jacob would lie to him so repeatedly.

      Verses 27b-29 tell us the blessing is given to Jacob.

      “And blessed him and said: “Surely, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field which the Lord has blessed. Therefore may God give you of the dew of heaven, of the fatness of the earth, and plenty of grain and wine. Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you. Be master over your brethren, and let your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be everyone who curses you, and blessed be those who bless you!”

      Isaac blesses Jacob as the spiritual head of the family. Isaac had the right to pass on this blessing related to the covenant of Abraham, not Ishmael. The son (Jacob or Esau) who received this blessing was able to pass it on to his descendants.

      May God give you of the dew of heaven, of the fatness of the earth: The words of the blessing are filled with pictures of the Lord’s rich bounty, and they echo some of the words of the covenant God made with Abraham.

      Cursed be everyone who curses you, and blessed be those who bless you: Again, it is important to see it wasn’t the bestowal of these words upon Jacob that made him blessed. Instead, Jacob was blessed because God chose him long before in Genesis 26:23. What mattered is that God said the older shall serve the younger (back in Genesis 25:23), not that Isaac said be master over your brethren.
      Esau discovers the deception of Jacob.

      Verses 30-38 tells us Esau’s grief at discovering Jacob’s deception.

      “Now it happened, as soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, and Jacob had scarcely gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting. He also had made savory food, and brought it to his father, and said to his father, “Let my father arise and eat of his son’s game, that your soul may bless me.” And his father Isaac said to him, “Who are you?” So he said, “I am your son, your firstborn, Esau.” Then Isaac trembled exceedingly, and said, “Who? Where is the one who hunted game and brought it to me? I ate all of it before you came, and I have blessed him; and indeed he shall be blessed.” When Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with an exceedingly great and bitter cry, and said to his father, “Bless me; me also, O my father!” But he said, “Your brother came with deceit and has taken away your blessing.” And Esau said, “Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has supplanted me these two times. He took away my birthright, and now look, he has taken away my blessing!” And he said, “Have you not reserved a blessing for me?” Then Isaac answered and said to Esau, “Indeed I have made him your master, and all his brethren I have given to him as servants; with grain and wine I have sustained him. What shall I do now for you, my son?” And Esau said to his father, “Have you only one blessing, my father? Bless me; me also, O my father!” And Esau lifted up his voice and wept.

      Isaac trembled exceedingly: AND HE SHOULD HAVE TREMBLED.
      WHY?
      Isaac was troubled because he knew he had tried to box God in, to defeat God’s plan, and God had beaten him. He realized he would always be defeated when he tried to resist God’s will, even when he didn’t like it. And he came to learn that despite his arrogance against God’s will, God’s will WAS glorious.
      GOD’S WILL AND PLANS WILL GO FORWARD, REGARDLESS WHAT MAN, THE WORLD, OR SATAN SEEK TO DO, AMEN?

      Later, in Hebrews 11:20, it says By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.

      SO, WHERE WAS ISAAC’S FAITH?

      Here it is, after Isaac’s attempt to thwart the will of God has been destroyed and he said of Jacob, “and INDEED he shall be blessed.”

      He took away my birthright: Both Isaac and Esau are grieved when they figure out what Jacob did, and now Esau is concerned about the birthright! Previously (in Genesis 25:22-34), he was willing to sell his birthright for a bowl of stew, and he despised his birthright. BUT NOW…WHEN HE THINKS HE WILL OUTLIVE HIS FATHER….NOW HE WANTED the material and political advantages of the birthright.

      When he saw it as a SPIRITUAL birthright, Esau did NOT value the birthright, but now that he sees it in material and political terms, he wanted it.

      He took away my birthright: Esau is also more than willing to rewrite history…AND CONVENIENTLY FORGET OR ERASE THE FACT THAT HE SOLD IT FOR A BOWL OF STEW & DISMISS THE FACT AS UNIMPORTANT THAT GOD CHOSEEEEEEEEE JACOB IN THE FIRST PLACE.

      Though Esau is right in accusing Jacob of acting true to his nature when he took the birthright from Esau the first time, he neglects to mention he SOLD the birthright for a bowl of stew, and he DESPISED his birthright.
      Esau cannot truly say that Jacob took away my birthright. Esau gave it away, and God is Lord over the birthright anyway.

      Bless me, even me also, O my father! This is MORE spiritual concern than we have EVER seen in Esau, though even this is colored with material and political concern.

      Esau lifted up his voice and wept: Esau’s tears were the tears of frustrated selfishness, not of regret for his own sin and despising of his birthright.

      AND HEBREWS 12:15-17 REMINDS US OF SOMETHING IMPORTANT HERE….“Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.”

      Verses 39-40 tells us Isaac gives a limited blessing to Esau.

      “Then Isaac his father answered and said to him: “Behold, your dwelling shall be of the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above. By your sword you shall live, and you shall serve your brother; and it shall come to pass, when you become restless, that you shall break his yoke from your neck.”

      Behold, your dwelling shall be of the fatness of the earth: So what did the blessing to ESAU MEAN?

      IT MEANT the “blessing” Isaac bestowed on Esau actually says, “your dwelling shall be from the fatness of the earth.” That is, Esau and his descendants would be desert-dwellers.
      You shall serve your brother: Esau would be under Jacob, but not forever. The promise also was that Esau would break his yoke from your neck.

      Verses 41-46 tells us Esau’s anger; Rebekah makes plans for Jacob to flee.

      “So Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father blessed him, and Esau said in his heart, “The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then I will kill my brother Jacob.” And the words of Esau her older son were told to Rebekah. So she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said to him, “Surely your brother Esau comforts himself concerning you by intending to kill you. Now therefore, my son, obey my voice: arise, flee to my brother Laban in Haran. And stay with him a few days, until your brother’s fury turns away, until your brother’s anger turns away from you, and he forgets what you have done to him; then I will send and bring you from there. Why should I be bereaved also of you both in one day?” And Rebekah said to Isaac, “I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth; if Jacob takes a wife of the daughters of Heth, like these who are the daughters of the land, what good will my life be to me?”

      Then I will kill my brother Jacob: Esau’s somewhat spiritual concern for the blessing of his father quickly vanishes in a bitter hatred of Jacob, a bitter hatred having murderous intent, does it not? Esau planned to kill Jacob as soon as Isaac died, and this is a comfort to Esau.

      Revenge is a comforting thought to those who feel they have been wronged like Esau. If only Esau knew Isaac would live another 43 years!

      Perhaps Esau was going to test just how blessed Jacob was. His intention may have been to kill him in an attempt to defeat God’s revealed will regarding the birthright.

      Stay with him a few days: The FEW days Jacob was to stay with Laban and Rebekah’s family in Haran will turn out to be more than 20 years. Yet, God WILL fulfill His purpose in all of it.

      If Jacob takes a wife of the daughters of Heth, like these who are the daughters of the land, what good will my life be to me? Rebekah successfully maneuvered Isaac into telling Jacob to leave.

      SADLY, Rebekah’s diplomatic victory was complete; but she would NEVER LIVE TO see her son again.




      Genesis 28 - Jacob Flees From Esau

      Isaac’s farewell to Jacob.

      Verses 1-2 tells us ISAAC‘S instructions to not take a Canaanite wife.

      “Then Isaac called Jacob and blessed him, and charged him, and said to him: “You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan. Arise, go to Padan Aram, to the house of Bethuel your mother’s father; and take yourself a wife from there of the daughters of Laban your mother’s brother.”

      Isaac called Jacob and blessed him: Perhaps now Isaac resigns himself to what his wife Rebekah told him was the Lord’s will all along - that the older would serve the younger and that Jacob, not Esau, would receive the birthright. So he sent Jacob on with blessing and instructions.

      You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan: It is essential Jacob not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan, as his brother Esau did.

      WHY?

      Because Jacob is the one who inherits the birthright and carries on the seed of the Messiah.

      Verses 3-5 tells us the all-important transferal of Abraham’s blessing.

      “May God Almighty bless you, and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may be an assembly of peoples; and give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and your descendants with you, that you may inherit the land in which you are a stranger, which God gave to Abraham.” So Isaac sent Jacob away, and he went to Padan Aram, to Laban the son of Bethuel the Syrian, the brother of Rebekah, the mother of Jacob and Esau.

      And give you the blessing of Abraham: Essentially, this is the aspect of the birthright that Esau despised, but Jacob (who seems equally unworthy) will gain. Jacob is the one to carry on God’s promise to Abraham.

      Essentially, Jacob is promised a land, a nation, and a blessing, even as Abraham was in Genesis 12:1-3.

      To you and your descendants with you: Jacob is by no means worthy of this blessing. Each of the four parties in this whole birthright mess were in the flesh somewhere along the line. The amazing thing is that God could bring any good out of all this, and this is an example of a triumph of God’s sovereignty.

      So Isaac sent Jacob away: Tragically, this is the LAST TIME Jacob will see his father or mother.

      Verses 6-9 tells us Esau adds wives.

      “Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him away to Padan Aram to take himself a wife from there, and that as he blessed him he gave him a charge, saying, “You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan,” and that Jacob had obeyed his father and his mother and had gone to Padan Aram. Also Esau saw that the daughters of Canaan did not please his father Isaac. So Esau went to Ishmael and took Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, the sister of Nebajoth, to be his wife in addition to the wives he had.”

      Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob: Now the blessing and the birthright seem important to Esau. They were important enough to him that he determined to impress his father by marrying non-Canaanite women when he saw that Jacob had obeyed his father and his mother.

      Jacob meets God at Bethel.

      Verses 10-12 tells us Jacob’s dream of a ladder.

      “Now Jacob went out from Beersheba and went toward Haran. So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep. Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.”

      Then he dreamed: In this desolate wilderness, Jacob had a significant dream as he used a stone for a pillow (which would seem to cause strange dreams).

      I MEAN THINK ABOUT IT…ALL THE flood of feelings in Jacob at this moment: the fear, the loneliness, the isolation, the excitement, and the anticipation. This was an absolutely strategic time in Jacob’s life.

      A ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it: In Jacob’s dream, there is NOW ACCESS TO HEAVEN. Jacob now knew God was closer than ever and there was real access and interaction between heaven and earth.

      Jesus made it clear in John 1:51 that He IS the access to heaven. He is the means by which heaven comes down to us and by which we can go to heaven. He is the “ladder.” And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

      Jesus IS THE WAY TO HEAVEN. JESUS DOES NOT SHOW US A WAY, HE IS THE ONLY WAY!

      JOHN 14:6 reminds us, “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

      Verses 13-15 tell us God speaks to Jacob.

      “And behold, the Lord stood above it and said: “I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.”

      The land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants: These words are for comfort and hope in the life of Jacob, at this critical crossroads in his life. Essentially, God repeats to Jacob the terms of the covenant He gave to both Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3 and to Isaac in Genesis 26:2-5.

      Before, Isaac told Jacob the covenant was his (Genesis 28:3-4), but now MORE IMPORTANTLY the voice of God Himself confirms it.

      I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac: Jacob had no doubt heard about the great God who appeared to Abraham and to Isaac, but now this same God has a personal encounter with Jacob himself. This was a LIFE-CHANGING experience for Jacob.

      I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you:

      God gives to Jacob the same kind of promise found in Philippians 1:6: “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

      THEN AND NOW, God won’t let us go until His work is complete in us, AMEN?

      Verses 16-19 tells us Jacob worships God, naming the place Bethel (house of God).

      “Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!” Then Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it. And he called the name of that place Bethel; but the name of that city had been Luz previously.”

      Jacob was right in sensing the presence of the Lord there, but he was wrong in perhaps thinking God was in some places and not in others.

      KING DAVID KNEW THE TRUTH… IN PSALMS 139:7, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?”

      From his fleshly perspective, Jacob puts too much emphasis on a particular place. He doesn’t realize that if the presence of the Lord is not with him in every place, then God can never fulfill His promise to him.

      He called the name of that place Bethel: The city of Bethel plays an important (though not glorious) role in Israel’s history. It is second only to Jerusalem in the number of times mentioned in the Old Testament.

      Later, when speaking to Jacob, God refers to Himself as the God of Bethel in Genesis 31:13 too.

      Bethel would eventually become a high place, notorious for idolatrous sacrifice told to us in 1 Kings 13:32; Hosea 10:15; Amos 4:4.

      Verses 20-22 tells us Jacob’s vow unto God.

      “Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God. And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.”

      This can be also translated “since God will be with me”; but knowing Jacob, he undoubtedly means it in the sense of “if God will be with me.” God has given him a promise, yet he is still making “deals” with God, even promising God money if He makes good on His promise.

      The way Jacob prayed, it was evident God’s mere word was not enough for him. He had to see God do it before he would believe.
      Are we the same way?
      God says, “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” in Philippians 4:19.

      He says, “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him.” in Nahum 1:7.

      BUT THE QUESTION REMAINS FOR US, AS WITH JACOB, Do we believe these things BEFORE we see them?

      Keep me in the way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on: Here, Jacob sets the terms of his covenant with God. He is laying down the deal for God, instead of humbly receiving what God said would be the deal.

      Jacob isn’t very submitted to God, is he?

      BUT God will teach him submission in a very tough situation, through his Uncle Laban.

      Jacob made a vow: Unfortunately, there is a great contrast between God’s promise and Jacob’s vow. One is totally God-centered; the other is terribly man-centered.

      God’s promise (Genesis 28:13-15):

      I am the Lord God.
      I will give to you.
      I am with you.
      I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken.

      Jacob’s vow:

      If God will be with me.
      And keep me.
      In this way that I am going.
      Give me bread and clothing.
      So that I come back to my father’s house.

      How much better if Jacob had prayed like this: “Because You promised to be with me and to keep me and to provide for all my needs, and to bring me back to the land which you swore to give to my fathers and to me, I will be completely Yours, God.”

      BUT OUR TRIUNE GOD IS PATIENT.
      God is gracious enough to not call off the whole deal when He saw such a carnal response from Jacob. Instead, He is willing to be called, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob told to us in Exodus 3:6.


      TRUST JESUS CHRIST AND HIS PROMISES.
      JESUS WILL BRING THEM ALL TO PASS.
      NOTHING...NOT MAN, SATAN, THE WORLD, FAMILY, FRIENDS, BOSSES....NOTHING CAN AND WILL STOP OR DEFEAT JESUS PLANS FOR HIS CHILDREN....


      TRUST JESUS!

    • September 13, 2016 2:16 PM EDT
    • AMEN CINDY LOU AMEN!!!!

       

    • September 13, 2016 10:58 AM EDT
    • A big amen Faithy to all thee above 
      You can't walk with God, or please God, APART from faith.

    • June 21, 2016 7:25 PM EDT
    • GENESIS 5
       
      THE DESCENDANTS OF ADAM
       
       
       
      Introduction to the genealogy:
       
       
      Verses 1-2 tells us ADAM'S SIGNATURE
       
       
      "This is the book of the genealogy of Adam. In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and blessed them and called them Mankind in the day they were created."
       
       
      This is the book of the genealogy of Adam...
       
      There is good reason to believe this is the end of Adam's direct account, which was preserved and passed down to Moses who acted as an editor.
       
      WHY?
       
      The history of the heaven and earth comprises the things regarding creation that NO man witnessed, (and was given by revelation to either Adam or Moses). This history ended at Genesis 2:4 and from there to this point is Adam's "account."
       
       
      And called them Mankind...
       
      The human race - mankind - was given the name "man" by God from the beginning. It is NOT sexist or gender biased to call the human race by the general heading "mankind," because God does this.
       
       
      Thoughts on genealogies.
       
      One can arrange the following genealogies in a sequential manner and chart out a time line. However, one cannot establish an absolutely reliable timeline with this method, becase Biblical genealogies are not always complete. Sometimes generations are skipped over.
       
       
      BUT...If one takes the genealogies as being without omission, the time of Adam comes to be some 4,000 to 5,000 years BEFORE JESUS CHRIST.
       
      YET...Even with omissions, it is hard to imagine that the time of Adam was significantly more than perhaps 10,000 years before Jesus.
       
       
      This puts the Biblical record at INCREDIBLE variance with the assertions of modern science. Yet there are good reasons to believe God created the earth with age "built in," even as Adam and the trees of Eden had age "built" into them.
       
       
      We are also confronted with the problem of extremely long life spans.
       
      In this chapter, NO ONE lived less than 365 years (and this is Enoch, who was a SPECIAL case), and Methuselah lived a total of 969 years.
       
      How is this possible?
       
      Some have thought this is speaking figuratively or counting months as years (but then Enoch would have had to have FATHERED Methuselah when he was five and one-half years old).
       
       
      It is more likely that people did live much, much longer before the flood.
       
      WHY?
       
      This is because the degenerative effects of the fall on the human gene pool had not yet accumulated greatly, and because the environment in the pre-flood world was so different, with the blanket of water vapors surrounding the earth (Genesis 1:6-8). In the post-flood world, life spans quickly came down to the life-spans we are familiar with today.
       
       
      During this period, the world would be populated quickly.
       
      One writer has estimated that if Adam, during his lifetime, saw ONLY half the children he could have fathered grow up, and if ONLY half of those got married, and if ONLY half of those who got married had children, then even at these conservative rates, Adam would have seen more than a million of his own descendants.
       
      Using these calculations, we can say that by the time of the flood, there could have been SEVEN BILLION people on the earth.
       
       
      AND Genealogies can be very instructive.
       
      WHY?
       
      They speak to us of both the absolutely historical character of the Scriptures, and are a powerful testimony to the end of every person on this earth.
       
       
      CHARLES SPURGEON says it best, "Have you never heard of one who heard read, as the lesson for the Sabbath-day, that long chapter of names, wherein it is written that each patriarch lived so many hundred years, 'and he died'? Thus it ends the notice of the long life of Methuselah with 'and he died,' The repetition of the words, 'and he died,' woke the thoughtless hearer to a sense of his mortality, and led to his coming to the Savior."
       
       
      The descendants of Adam through Seth.
       
       
      Verses 3-5 tells us of Adam.
       
      "And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth. After he begot Seth, the days of Adam were eight hundred years; and he had sons and daughters. So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years; and he died."
       
       
      And begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth...
       
      Even as Seth was in Adam's fallen image and likeness, so also are every one of us. We are all sons and daughters of Adam, born fallen even as Adam was fallen. It would be redundant to say it, but every other person has been born in Adam's image and likeness EXCEPT Jesus.
       
       
      And he had sons and daughters...
       
      This tells us that Adam had MANY other sons and daughters who are NOT specifically named in the Scriptures. These daughters became the wives for the sons of Adam.
       
       
      Verses 6-17 tells us from Seth to Mahalaleel.
       
      "Seth lived one hundred and five years, and begot Enosh. After he begot Enosh, Seth lived eight hundred and seven years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years; and he died. Enosh lived ninety years, and begot Cainan. After he begot Cainan, Enosh lived eight hundred and fifteen years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Enosh were nine hundred and five years; and he died. Cainan lived seventy years, and begot Mahalalel. After he begot Mahalalel, Cainan lived eight hundred and forty years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten years; and he died. Mahalalel lived sixty-five years, and begot Jared. After he begot Jared, Mahalalel lived eight hundred and thirty years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Mahalalel were eight hundred and ninety-five years; and he died."
       
       
      Verses 18-27 tells us From Jared to Methuselah.
       
      "Jared lived one hundred and sixty-two years, and begot Enoch. After he begot Enoch, Jared lived eight hundred years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Jared were nine hundred and sixty-two years; and he died. Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah. After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him. Methuselah lived one hundred and eighty-seven years, and begot Lamech. After he begot Lamech, Methuselah lived seven hundred and eighty-two years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred and sixty-nine years; and he died."
       
       
      Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him...
       
      Enoch, the son of Jared, was carried away to God in a miraculous way.
       
      Enoch walked with God...
       
      Walking with God means:
       
      Walking by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7).
       
      Walking in the light (1 John 1:5-7).
       
      Walking in agreement with God (Amos 3:3).
       
      After walking like this with God, it is as if one day God told Enoch, "You don't need to walk home. Why don't you just come home with Me?"
       
       
      Hebrews 11:5 tells us the FOUNDATION of Enoch's walk with God:
       
      "By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, "and was not found, because God had taken him"; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God."
       
       
      DID YOU CATCH THAT?
       
      You can't walk with God, or please God, APART from faith.
       
       
      After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God...
       
      It seems Enoch began to walk with God in a SPECIAL way after the birth of Methuselah.
       
      DID YOU KNOW...the name Methuselah means, "when he is dead, it shall come."
       
      At the birth of Methuselah, Enoch had a special awareness from God that judgment was coming, and this was one of the things that got him closer in his walk with God.
       
      Jude 14 also tells us Enoch was a prophet; even from his vantage point long ago, he could see the second coming of Jesus (Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly …).
       
      So all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred and sixty-nine years; and he died...
       
      Methuselah's long life was no accident.
      It was because of the grace of God.
      When Methuselah died, the flood came.
      God kept him alive longer than anybody to give people as long as possible to repent.
       
       
      Verses 28-32 tells us from Lamech to Noah.
       
      "Lamech lived one hundred and eighty-two years, and had a son. And he called his name Noah, saying, "This one will comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD has cursed." After he begot Noah, Lamech lived five hundred and ninety-five years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Lamech were seven hundred and seventy-seven years; and he died. And Noah was five hundred years old, and Noah begot Shem, Ham, and Japheth."
       
       
      Lamech lived one hundred and eighty-two years, and had a son. And he called his name Noah...
       
      If these genealogies are consecutive, Seth died when Noah was 14 years old. Noah could have known Adam's son.
       
      And he died...
       
      The overwhelming emphasis of Genesis 5 is that ALL THESE MEN DIED.
       
      They were ALL UNDER sin and ALL subject to death.
       
      Some of them - many of them - were GREAT men, but NONE of them was the deliverer God had promised.

    • September 13, 2016 2:14 PM EDT
    • WELCOME CINDY LOU!!!  JESUS WORD IS ALWAYS WELL PUT!!!!

    • September 13, 2016 11:02 AM EDT
    • Amen Faithy well put !

    • June 21, 2016 7:23 PM EDT
    • GENESIS 6
       
      GENESIS 6: “As it was in the days of Noah…”
       
      Jesus Christ PROPHESIED this in END-TIMES…
      WHAT does Jesus mean?
      Let’s find out…
       
      Jesus tells us in Matthew 24:37-39 which says, “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be."
       
      Jesus Christ also AFFIRMS/REFERS BACK TO what was written in Genesis 6:1-5, which says, “And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they [were] fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
      And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also [is] flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare [children] to them, the same [became] mighty men which [were] of old, men of renown. And GOD saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every imagination of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually.”
       
      In Noah’s day…as it is TODAY…Noah’s world has BECOME increasingly, abnormally violent, rebellious, greedy, evil, satanic, amoral, undisciplined, & unethical. The MAJORITY moral foundations of ALL peoples, which had been God, Family, Friends, & then self…gave way to Me Me Me Me!
       
      Sexual, mental, and emotional PURITY/SANCTITY before marriage gave way to sexual one-on-one escapades, as well bath house orgies, where anything WAS allowed/permissible. Bestiality, meaning sex with animals, men with men, women with women, & WORSE children from the cradle were sold into and/or trained by parents to be sex toys/slaves/companions to either sex, which openly opened the door to pedophilia, which was also ACCEPTABLE and did NOT cause religious/secular society to even flinch. Quite the contrary, being CHOSEN to become a baby/young child boy/girl “sexual toy” was considered an HONOR & they were PRIZED & in a SPECIAL ELITIST class of their own.
       
      Fidelity within marriage, marriage contracts, much less marriage covenants grounded within “religious” sects, much less “secular/civil” sects, gave way to what we call today “open marriages”, where spousal “swapping” parties, morning/afternoon/evening “trysts” with strangers/friends/co-workers were the given, “the norm”…“no big deal” & did NOT cause the slightest ripple of conviction/censor/outrage/shame from the religious sects NOR secular society. Divorces were highly prevalent, but NOT brought about nor sought for infidelity, much less other Biblical guidelines/principles, but for “burning the toast”, not providing a “new toy/jewel/entertainment”, becoming a bore, finding a richer, more handsome/beautiful, younger, “more hip” partner, or lack of interest/involvement in the same things/games.
       
      Doctors, chemists, alchemists, vintners & brew-masters were wealthy and kept VERY busy supplying society’s SCREAMS/DEMANDS for BETTER/NEWER/CLASSY wines, liquors, and aphrodisiacs to enhance/sustain/enlarge sexual performance/appetites, as well uppers to keep them FEELING happy & good about themselves, downers to KEEP nightmares/night terrors at bay & allow them to sleep, and speed to keep them awake or wake them up after a weekend of partying.
       
      SOUNDS LIKE OUR DAILY GARBAGE IN THE SOCIAL MEDIA, DOESN’T IT?
       
      The Sabbath, and I USE the term loosely here, was pomp and circumstance on special “deity” day celebrations at best, a duty at worst, where the priests, or whatever so called “religious leader” was ready and willing to “cleanse them” for a price, so that they could be “absolved” and “free their minds” of any responsibility, latent guilt/shame/immorality/unethical behavior. It was no more than a ritual, done automatically, just as wiping your feet, before entering a house, is reflexive manners, but NOT a conscious act of CARING/INSURING that you do not track mud/dirt into the house. In this day and age, Almighty God, THE Creator/Supreme Being was written off/considered a joke, a myth, DEAD or all the above.
       
      They did NOT like Almighty God’s rules and commandments, so they “created” their IMAGES/NEW AGE ICONS/IDOLS in the forms of Roman and Greek deities/idols, or Nature gods of Druidism, or spiritual enlightenment via Zen-like, Yoga-like, Feng Shui-like, Karma-like, Crystals/Bells toting/wearing society in the hope of bringing harmony with/through nature and self disciplines…instead of getting on their knees and seeking Almighty God.
       
      The more Satanic “religious” sects in Noah’s day demanded the cutting of their hopeful initiates and BETTER their children’s cutting, blood-letting and/or drinking of their blood, to ALLOW their god EASIER access to their hearts, minds, and souls, as well those of the parents. Special times during each year, these Satanic sects would have mass orgies, as well, while praise and worshiping their “god/deity” of choice, Satan had/has MANY names since time began, Satan did/does NOT care WHICH ONE labeled him, nor which you believed in/followed/obeyed, as long as it was NOT Almighty God. Those satanic “religions memberships” WERE pleased and honored if their baby/child were chosen, picked, selected to be sexually used, and/or then killed on the altar, their blood caught in chalices, then their little bodies not yet dead, tossed into the ceremonial fires to burn as further proof of their love and devotion to Satan.
       
      Lawlessness was a given and prevalent. And “authorities” were hard-pressed to stop it or control it or punish it…so they did little or NOTHING at all. The law of the land was, if you are NOT strong enough, smart enough, wise enough, not protected enough to keep & safeguard your own possessions, then you were DOOMED to lose them, by whatever means the thief, bandit, gang, neighbor, official, or the demented CHOSE to use/employ to TAKE what they wanted/needed/coveted of yours.
       
      In Noah’s day, hedonism and narcissism was at its WORST and BEST. David Guzik, a wonderful Bible teacher did a Biblical genealogy “head-count” from Adam to Noah, and he estimates that there were SEVEN BILLION people on the earth when the flood came. SEVEN BILLION people brothers and sisters, and Noah, his wife, their three sons, and their sons three wives were the ONLY undefiled, (in bloodline, spirit, faith, trust and belief in Almighty God). 8 people out of 7 billion who were NOT dead-hearted, dead-spirited, demon-possessed, Satan and the world controlled, and given over to their basest and worst depraved selves. THINK ABOUT how ALONE and out-numbered they must have felt. But Noah walked with, talked with, followed and obeyed Almighty God in human flesh. Jesus was PHYSICALLY with Noah. Noah did NOT fear.
       
      And this world TODAY IS FAST paralleling Noah’s time.
       
      Every day you read some other INCONCEIVABLE bit of news. Such as man sentenced to life in prison for the murder of a person, is suing that family’s estate for the harshness of imprisonment. Man in prison for breaking/entering robbery/holding family hostage, is suing the victim family in prison for failing to HIDE him from police. A Christian on death row, simply because he says he loves Jesus Christ and refuses to denounce Jesus. Christian villages in Nigeria being burnt to the ground, all family members hacked to death and riddled with bullets, because they were Christians.
       
      Courts & government agencies coming into homes and removing children from the home, because the parents refuse to ORDER their children NOT to pray over their meals, or read their Bibles during recess.
       
      The world media mocking those in sports, business, education, government, entertainment who dare to seek to live moral, ethical, Jesus-loving/following lives, whereas, the world media PRAISES. ENVIES, and ACCEPTS with a hoot, howl, wink, nudge, those who abuse, steal, lie, cheat, murder, & abandon their children and families.
       
      Satanists, atheists, agnostics, cults, terrorists, and the demented demanding and being given voices/rights and are SOUGHT & ALLOWED voices, podiums, uncensored access to any and all things, but if you speak of or say Jesus Christ (other than as a curse/expletive) you are verbally/physically hammered in the media. You are vilified in your towns for seeking to live as Jesus Christ taught.
       
      In such a time, where legislators/voters THINK abortion is no big deal, that a precious life created in the hand of Almighty God, that begins long before the sperm meets the egg, but is NOT REALLY a person, just a blob, "a fetus". an “oops”, and can be flushed, removed, and discarded as easily as a dead goldfish down the toilet, down the drain, or in the nearest available trash can.
       
      Such a time that society seeks to SUSTAIN, keep alive, ARE INTRIGUED BY EVIL, so they can STUDY, hope to understand, to treat, to know WHY Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, Hilter, Pol Pot, Mao, Jim Jones…etc. etc. were born, why they behaved as they did, while society BURIES and DISMISSES the innocent victims and those grieving families left to deal with their horrific loses.
       
      ALL braintrusts/doctors NEEDS to do to FIND the answers is to READ THE HOLY BIBLE.
      The Bible HAS told us, shown us, warned us of …the WHYS of it.
       
      Pure, unadulterated evil, brothers and sisters.
      Pure, unapologetic, narcissistic, hedonistic sin, folks.
       
      As it was in the days of Noah… The MAJORITY moral foundations of ALL peoples TODAY, which had been God, Family, Friends, & then self…have once again given way to Me Me Me Me!
       
      The lost world, those dead in spirit/mind/body THINK ABOUT, CARE ONLY about SELF. And today, the world population numbers have just passed the SEVEN BILLION mark. There ARE estimated ONE BILLION Christians in this world today, MUCH better than in Noah’s day of 8 to 7 billion ratio, but WE who know and love Jesus Christ ARE STILL the minority.
       
      But even as wicked and evil as it was in Noah’s day, it was the PREVALENCE and ACCEPTANCE and FASCINATION of the demonic and Satan and his demonic angels. It WAS ANOTHER attempt of Satan’s to DESTROY the gene pool of mankind, POLLUTE the bloodlines, and INFECT the blood lineage from which Jesus Christ WOULD be born that SETTLED the matter for Almighty God.
       
      What do I mean by that?
      Almighty God TELLS US EXACTLY in Genesis 6.
       
      The wickedness of man in the days of Noah.
      (v.1-2) Intermarriage between the sons of God and the daughters of men. “Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.
       
      Remember during these days of rapid population expansion (especially because of long life spans in the pre-flood world), there was a problem with ungodly intermarriage between the sons of God and the daughters of men.
       
      WHO were “the sons of God saw the daughters of men?”
       
      Many have believed the sons of God were those from the line of Seth, and the daughters of men were from the line of Cain, and this describes an intermarriage between the godly and the ungodly, something God specifically prohibits in (Deuteronomy 7:1-4; 2 Corinthians 6:14).
       
      But this approach leaves MANY unanswered questions: WHY did this make God angry enough to wipe out almost all the earth’s population? WHY was there something “unnatural” about the offspring of these unions?
       
      Satan & his fallen demons SCHEMES makes Almighty God furious enough.
      It is more accurate to see the sons of God as either demons (angels in rebellion against God) or uniquely demon-possessed men, and the daughters of men as being human women.
       
      WHY do I say this?
      Because the phrase “sons of God” clearly refers to angelic creatures when it is used the three other times in the Old Testament (Job 1:6; 2:1, and 38:7). The translators of the Septuagint translated sons of God as “angels.” They clearly thought it referred to angelic BEINGS, NOT human PEOPLE descended from Seth.
       
      Also, Jude 1:6 tells us of the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own habitation. Jude goes on (Jude 1:7) to tell us they sinned in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh. Here in Genesis 6, as in Sodom and Gomorrah, there was an unnatural sexual union.
       
      Whether these “unions” were brought about by something like demon possession, or whether those demonic angels had power permanently to assume the form of men is not revealed. But we should understand the occult is filled with sexual associations with the demonic, and there are those TODAY who actively pursue such associations. The Anti-Christ WILL be Satan in a HUMAN body. Satan WILL use that HUMAN body to TRY to DESTROY Israel/Mankind NEXT.
       
      But Jude 1:6 ALSO makes it clear what God DID with these wicked angels of Satan. They are reserved in everlasting chains under darkness from the judgment of the great day. By not keeping their proper place, they are now kept in chains. Their sinful pursuit of freedom has put them in bondage.
       
      And BETTER YET, 1 Peter 3:19-20 tells us Jesus WENT to these disobedient spirits in their prison and proclaimed His victory on the cross over them.
       
      There is a point of debate in some Biblical scholar circles offered to this understanding is found in Matthew 22:30, where Jesus said angels NEITHER marry nor ARE GIVEN in marriage; but Jesus NEVER SAID angels were sexless, and He was also speaking about faithful angels (angels of God in heaven) when He said this. He was NOT referring to Satan’s rebellious angels.
       
      “And they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.” We can deduce why Satan sent his angels to intermarry (either directly or indirectly) with human women. Satan TRIED to pollute the genetic “pool” of mankind with a satanic corruption, to put a genetic “virus” to make the human race unfit for bringing forth the Seed of the woman - the Messiah - promised in Genesis 3:15.
       
      Jesus Christ could NOT be born of a demon-possessed mother. So if Satan could succeed in infecting the entire race, Jesus Christ could not come.
       
      And Satan ALMOST succeeded. The race was so polluted that God found it necessary to start again with Noah and his sons, and to imprison the demons that did this so they could NEVER do this again.
       
      (v.3-4) God’s response to this great wickedness.
      “And the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.”
       
      My Spirit shall not strive with man forever means God did NOT allow the human race to stay in this rebellious place forever. This means there IS a “point of no return” in our rejection of God through Jesus Christ. God will NOT woo us forever; there is a point where He will say NO MORE.
       
      ALL the more reason for us to GET BUSY. ALL the more reason for us to say TODAY, RIGHT THIS MINUTE is the time we will respond to Jesus’ offer of salvation instead of WAITING for another day. We have NO PROMISE of tomorrow.
       
      God tells us, he gave mankind an ADDITIONAL 120 YEARS, before the judgment of THE FLOOD. The flood happened 120 years to the DAY after this announcement.
       
      “Giants on the earth in those days” This refers to the unnatural offspring of the union between the sons of God and the daughters of men, though there were people of unusual size on the earth both before and after the flood (and also afterward). These ones before the flood were unique because of the demonic element of their parentage. They were the mighty men of old, men of renown.
       
      (v.5-8) The great wickedness of man in Noah’s day.
      “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.”
       
      Did you hear that? God said, “EVERY INTENT of the thoughts of MANKIND's heart was ONLY evil continually. This says a lot. It means there was NO aspect of mankind’s nature NOT corrupted by sin.
       
       
      Here is a biblical comparison between NOAH’s DAY and PRESENT DAY.
      Exploding population (Genesis 6:1)
      Sexual perversion (Genesis 6:2)
      Demonic activity (Genesis 6:2)
      Constant evil in the heart of man (Genesis 6:5)
      Widespread corruption and violence (Genesis 6:11)
       
      EVEN WHILE God commanded all the earth to be cleansed of this pollution, He found one man with whom to begin again: Noah, who found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Noah didn’t earn grace; he found it. No one earns grace, but we can all find it.
       
      It was true in Noah’s day, and it is true today. Romans 5:20, sums it all up… “But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.”
       
       
      (v.9-10) “This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God. And Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.”
       
      This description of Noah - unique to him - not only refers to the righteous life of Noah, but also to the fact he was yet UNCORRUPTED BY SATAN’S attempt to sow a “virus” among the genetic pool of mankind. We could translate “perfect in his generations” as, “Noah was pure in his genetic profile.”
       
      Shem, Ham, and Japheth, Noah’s three sons will figure into the account in a significant way. God will use them as a foundation for the rest of the human race. EVERY RACE in existence on this earth TODAY...can TRACE their bloodlines BACK to Shem, Ham, & Japheth.
       
      2. (11-13) The corruption of the earth and the grace of God.
       
      The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. And God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
       
      Some wonder if this is too harsh a judgment, or if is shows God to be cruel or a monster. However, since the fall in Genesis 3, every human being has a death sentence. The timing and method of that death is completely in the hands of God. YET in the midst of such corruption and judgment, there is ALSO GRACE. Instead of wiping out the entire race, God PRESERVED a remnant.
       
      You shall make it…And Noah did make it. Beyond the Bible, there is rich historical evidence for the reality of Noah’s Ark.
       
      In 275 b.c. Berosus, a Babylonian historian, wrote: “But of this ship that grounded in Armenia some part still remains in the mountains . . . and some get pitch from the ship by scraping it off.”
       
      Around 75 a.d. Josephus said the locals collected relics from the ark and showed them off to his very day. He also said all the ancient historians he knew of wrote about the ark.
       
      In 180 a.d. Theophilus of Antioch wrote: “the remains [of the ark] are to this day to be seen . . . in the mountains.”
       
      An elderly Armenian man in America said that as a boy, he visited the ark with his father and three atheistic scientists in 1856. Their goal was to disprove the ark’s existence, but they found it and became so enraged they tried to destroy it, but could not because it was too big and had petrified. In 1918 one of the atheistic scientists (an Englishman) admitted on his deathbed the whole story was true.
       
      In 1876 a distinguished British statesman and author, Viscount James Bryce, climbed Ararat and reported finding a four-foot long piece of hand-tooled timber at an altitude of more than 13,000 feet (4,300 meters).
       
      Six Turkish soldiers claimed to see the ark in 1916.
       
      In the early part of this century, a Russian aviator named Vladimire Rokovitsky claimed the discovery of Noah’s ark. He was stationed in southern Russia near the Turkish border and Mount Ararat. As he tested a plane he and his co-pilot flew over Ararat and discovered on the edge of a glacier what he described as a boat the size of a battleship. He said it was partially submerged in a lake, and he could see there was an opening for a door nearly 20 feet (7 meters) square, but the door was missing. Rokovitsky told his commanding officer and an expedition was dispatched to find the ark and photograph it. The report was forwarded to the Czar, who was soon overthrown and the photos and the report perished.
       
      In 1936 a young British archaeologist named Hardwicke Knight hiked across Ararat and discovered interlocking hand-tooled timbers at a height of 14,000 feet (4,600 meters).
       
      During World War II two pilots saw and photographed something they believed was the ark on Mount Ararat.
       
      There have been many more recent attempts to find and document the ark, but they have been hindered by politics and surrounded in controversy.
       
      Cover it inside and outside with pitch: The pitch worked to waterproof the wood. God told Noah to cover it with pitch inside and outside, which makes it possible that the ark was preserved for a long time. WHAT are the odds, that God STILL has a purpose for the ark, to use it to REMIND THE WORLD…“as it was in the days of Noah” of a PAST judgment shortly before a FUTURE judgment.
       
      Peter, in 2 Peter 3:1-7, relates the future judgment to the judgment of the flood saying, unbelievers willfully forget . . . the world that then existed perished being flooded with water. Perhaps, before Jesus returns, God will make it even more necessary for people to willfully forget these things.
       
      An interesting side bar… BECAUSE of this mention of pitch (a petroleum product) in what most people think is the Middle East, John D. Rockefeller looked for (and found) oil in that region based on this verse. The Bible IS inerrant. The Bible IS factual. The Bible IS 100% truth.
       
      “Everything that is on the earth shall die” We can only wonder what Noah felt when he heard this remarkable announcement from God. God called Noah to an essential role in the greatest judgment - and greatest salvation - the world had seen.
       
      “But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark.” Despite the dramatic judgment coming, God will make a covenant with Noah, and he and his family will be saved. God will also use Noah to save a remnant of each animal so the earth could be populated with people and animals after the flood.
       
      “Thus Noah DID according to ALL that God commanded him, so he did.” When given this staggering job to do, Noah did it. We don’t hear of him complaining or rebelling; he simply obeyed.
      The words, “so he did” cover an awful lot of material and years; yet Noah did NOT shrink from what God told him to do.
       
      The Bible presents Noah as a great hero of God. He was an outstanding example of righteousness (Ezekiel 14:14), a preacher of righteousness (2 Peter 2:5), and Noah condemned the world by offering salvation in the ark that the whole world rejected (Hebrews 11:7).
       
      Noah was a preacher of righteousness (2 Peter 2:5), yet in his 120-year ministry it seems that NO ONE was saved…NO ONE CARED...NO ONE REPENTED.
       
      HERE is a lesson and a promise and a hope for EACH of us who love Jesus Christ. We, who love Jesus and who STRIVE to shine and to show Jesus. WHO seek the lost. WHO stay on our face praying for people. Who STRIVE to show the love, the patience, the kindness, the forbearance, the forgiveness of Jesus.
       
      And though we grow SADDENED, WEARY, DISHEARTENED, and DISCOURAGED…when we are laughed off, jeered at, rejected, vilified, and ignored. As it was in the days of Noah…so it is now more and more each minute, each hour, and each passing day…
       
      Mankind is ONCE AGAIN tuning out, turning off, persecuting, and rejecting the ONE PERSON who can give them eternal life: Jesus Christ.
       
      But The Bible tells us. The Holy Spirit still moves over the face of the earth. We, who love Jesus Christ, have HIS HEART, and want NONE to perish…are STILL reaching out into the lost world, WHILE there is STILL TIME.
       
      Jesus tells us, “Labor while you may, for the day will come when you can no longer labor.” Jesus is telling us that HE SEES, HE KNOWS, HE APPRECIATES, & HE WILL REWARD those who faint not.. press in and press on until HE APPEARS IN THE CLOUDS, AND TAKES US HOME TO BE WITH HIM, SHUTS US AWAY, JUST AS HE DID NOAH, TO PROTECT US FROM THE COMING JUDGMENT & WRATH of Almighty God upon a Jesus-rejecting world/earth.
       
      Jesus Christ WILL protect HIS Children.
      Jesus Christ WILL deliver those who love HIM.
       
      So, these “end times events, times, should be a SIGNAL to the saved, to reach out and seek to tell and bring the lost to Jesus. All the abnormal weather conditions, the growing evil of men, the attacks/persecution of Christians and of Israel…should TELL us to GET READY…Jesus IS coming soon.
       
      Remember Jesus encourages us always, “Be of good cheer, I overcame the world, and so shall you.”
       
      And remember Jesus Christ, “ Lo, I come quickly!”
       
      Stay blessed...stay ready...Watch the eastern skies...by night and day..
      Our REDEMPTION draws nigh...
       
      ________________________________________________________
       
      GENESIS 3..MAN'S TEMPTATION & FALL...PARADISE LOST
       
      IN OUR YOUTH…WE LOOKED AROUND US AND BELIEVED NOTHING WOULD OR COULD CHANGE.
       
      WE ALL WERE ONCE INNOCENT OF THIS WORLD.
      WE WERE ALL ONCE NAÏVE.
      WE ALL AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER POSSESSED THE IMMORTALITY MINDSET.
       
      I WILL LIVE FOREVER.
      NOTHING BAD WILL HAPPEN TO ME.
       
      OR THE BELIEF THAT WHAT WAS HAPPENING AROUND US OUT IN THE BIG WIDE WORLD…EVEN WHAT COULD SNEAK…OR THREATEN….OR MIGHT COME INTO OUR LITTLE PIECE OF THE WORLD COULD NOT TOUCH US BECAUSE WE WERE EXCLUDED FROM HARM, EVIL, UGLINESS….WE WERE UNTOUCHABLE…PURE…AND WOULD REMAIN THE SAME.
       
      WE WERE NOT PREPARED FOR CHANGE…EVIL…DISRUPTION…OR THE REALITIES AND POSSIBILITIES IN THIS WORLD…ANY MORE THAN ADAM AND EVE WERE.
       
      BUT COME EVIL DID…AND DOES.
      BUT COME REALITIES & CONSEQUENCES DID…AND DO COME.
       
      AND THAT NAIVETE AND INNOCENCE WAS AND STILL TODAY IS INSTANTLY SHATTERED….BECAUSE LIKE ADAM WHO DID NOT PROTECT…AND EVE WHO WAS NAÏVE & BELIEVED HERSELF UNTOUCHABLE…PARADISE WAS LOST.

    • September 10, 2016 11:40 AM EDT
    • AMEN CINDY LOU....GOD DID NOT NEED TO REST...BUT HE KNOWS HIS CREATION AND HE KNEW WE NEEDED ONE DAY A WEEK TO REFRESH, RENEW, AND RESTORE OUR HEART MIND AND BODY!!

    • July 28, 2016 8:54 PM EDT
    •   Amen Faithy God did NOT NEED REST on the seventh day because He was tired. He rested to show His creating work was done, to give a pattern to man regarding the structure of time (in seven-day weeks), and to give an example of the blessing/necessity of rest to man on the seventh day.

    • June 21, 2016 7:30 PM EDT
    • Genesis 2 - Adam in the Garden of Eden
       
      What does GOD TELL US ABOUT ADAM & EVE‘S CREATION?
      What does GOD WANT FOR MAN AND WOMAN?
       
      AND WHY?
       
       
      The completion of creation.
       
      Verses 1-3.… The 7th day of creation.
       
      “Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.”
       
      God did NOT NEED REST on the seventh day because He was tired. He rested to show His creating work was done, to give a pattern to man regarding the structure of time (in seven-day weeks), and to give an example of the blessing/necessity of rest to man on the seventh day.
       
      The seven-day week is permanently ingrained in man. Though some through history tried to change the seven-day week (a ten-day week was attempted during the French Revolution), those attempts have come to nothing. We are on a seven-day cycle because THE TRIUNE GOD IS ON a seven-day cycle.
       
      God SANCTIFIED the seventh day because it was A GIFT TO MAN for rest and replenishment, and most of all because the Sabbath is a shadow of the rest available through the person and work of Jesus Christ.
       
      Colossians 2:16-17 and Galatians 4:9-11 make it clear that Christians are not under obligation to observe the Jewish Sabbath today, because Jesus fulfilled the purpose and plan of the Sabbath for us and in us (Hebrews 4:9-11). Yet Christians do not lose the Sabbath; EVERY DAY is a day of rest in the finished work of Jesus Christ. Every day is specially set apart to God.
       
      WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
       
      Though we are FREE FROM THE LEGAL obligation of the Sabbath, we dare not ignore the importance of a day of rest. God has built us so we need one. But we are also commanded to work six days.
       
      Though God RESTED on the 7TH day of creation, He did NOT institute the Sabbath or show us His rest for His own sake. God does NOT take the Sabbath off. Jesus Himself says in JOHN 5:17, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.” God does not need a day off, but man needs to see the rest of God and know he can enter into it by the finished work of Jesus.
       
      DID YOU NOTICE?
       
      Every OTHER DAY of creation ended with the phrase, “so the evening and the morning were the seventh day” but this 7TH day of creation does NOT have that phrase.
       
      WHY?
       
      Because God’s rest for us isn’t confined to one literal day. In Jesus, God has an eternal Sabbath rest for His people.
       
       
      Verses 4-7 tells us the history of the heavens and the earth.
       
      “This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field had grown. For the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground; but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground. And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”
       
      This ENDS the “genealogy” of the heavens and the earth, a history given directly by God to either Moses or Adam, recording the history of God’s seven-day creation. This was something NO human was present to witness.
       
      This is ALSO THE FIRST USE OF LORD (Yahweh) in the Bible.
       
      Our English word Lord comes from the Anglo-Saxon word for bread (as does our word loaf), because ancient English men of high stature would keep a continual open house, where all could come and get bread to eat. They gained the honorable title of lords, meaning “dispensers of bread.”
       
      ALMIGHTY GOD DISPENSED MANNA=BREAD FROM HEAVEN TO FEED THE ISRAELITES IN THE WILDERNESS.
       
      JESUS CHRIST IS THE BREAD OF LIFE…IN JESUS WE WILL NEVER BE HUNGRY AGAIN.
       
      When God created man He made him out of the most basic elements, the dust of the ground. There is nothing “spectacular” in what man is made of in God‘s eyes, only in the way those basic things are organized. To our amazing TRIUNE GOD…the ATOM was simple…DNA was simple…it only took THE WORLD’S BRIGHTEST MINDS & ITS TECHNOLOGY 7000 YEARS to BEGIN to understand THE TRIUNE GOD’S “SIMPLE” things.
       
      REMEMBER THIS….when the Bible speaks of dust, it means something of little worth, associated with lowliness and humility (Genesis 18:27; 1 Samuel 2:8; 1 Kings 16:2). In the Bible, dust isn’t evil and it isn’t nothing; but it is next to nothing….UNTIL SUDDENLY….
       
      With this Divine breath man became a living being, like other forms of animal life (the term chay nephesh is used in Genesis 1:21; 1:24, and here). Yet ONLY man is a living being made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27).
       
      The word for breath in Hebrew is ruach - the word imitates the very sound of breath - is the same word for Spirit, as is the case in both ancient Greek (pneuma) and Latin (spiritus). God created man by putting His breath, His Spirit, WITHIN him.
       
      The King James Version reads: man became a living soul. This makes some wonder if man is a soul, or if man has a soul. This passage seems to indicate that man IS a soul, while passages like 1 Thessalonians 5:23 and Hebrews 4:12 seem to indicate that man HAS a soul.
       
      DID YOU CATCH THAT?
      GENESIS 2 ANSWERS ANOTHER QUESTION. MAN AND MAN ALONE IS A SOUL & HAS A SOUL. ANIMALS HAVE A SPIRIT, BUT NO IMMORTAL soul…ONLY MAN HAS BOTH.
       
       
      Verses 8-9 tells us of the TWO TREES in the Garden of Eden.
       
      “The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”
       
      Eden was a garden specifically planted by God; it was a place God made to be a perfect habitation for Adam (and later, Eve).
       
      The details in the creation of Adam and Eve teach us something. After reading Genesis 1, we might assume man and woman were made at the same time, but the text doesn’t specifically say so. We assume it. We DON’T know the details about man’s creation UNTIL Genesis 2.
       
      GENESIS 2 is probably the history of creation from Adam’s perspective. This is Adam’s experience of creation, which does not contradict the account of Genesis 1:1 — 2:7 - it fills it out.
       
      In Matthew 19:4-5, Jesus referred to events in Genesis 1 and to events in Genesis 2 as one harmonious account.
       
      DID YOU CATCH THIS?
      THERE ARE TWO TREES.
      THE TREE OF LIFE . . .
      THE TREE OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL.
       
      THE PURPOSE OF THE TREE OF LIFE?
      The tree of life was to grant (or to sustain) ETERNAL life (Genesis 3:22). God STILL HAS a tree of life available to the His people (Revelation 2:7), which is in heaven (Revelation 22:2).
       
      THE PURPOSE OF THE TREE OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL?
      It WAS the “temptation” tree. Eating the fruit of this tree would give Adam an experiential knowledge of good and evil. Or, it is possible that it is called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil not so man would know good and evil, but so God could test good and evil in man.
       
      What does that mean?
      It means that Adam knew and understood the MEANING OF THE WORD EVIL…but he did not….and had not at that time SEEN OR COME FACE TO FACE with evil.
       
      Just as we can TELL OUR CHILDREN HOW TO SPELL “HOT” and we can TEACH THEM THE DEFINITION OF “HOT”…they do not TRULY UNDERSTAND AND BELIEVE SOMETHING IS AND CAN BE HOT….UNTIL….UNFORTUNATELY THEY TOUCH A HOT SURFACE.
       
      AND THEY CAN ONLY LEARN IT BY SIN…DISOBEDIENCE, JUST AS ADAM AND EVE DID.
       
      Verses 10-14 tells us of the RIVERS in the Garden.
       
      “Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became FOUR riverheads. The name of the first is Pishon; it is the one which skirts the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good. Bdellium and the onyx stone are there. The name of the second river is Gihon; it is the one which goes around the whole land of Cush. The name of the third river is Hiddekel; it is the one which goes toward the east of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates.”
       
      DO YOU SENSE, AS I DO, THAT THESE SCRIPTURES TELL US THAT IT WAS WRITTEN FROM AN ACTUAL EYE WITNESS? Adam probably wrote this himself.
       
      The name of the first is Pishon: These rivers are given specific names which answer to names of rivers known in either their modern or ancient world. However, the names of these rivers can’t be used to determine the place of the Garden of Eden because the flood dramatically changed the earth’s landscape and “erased” these rivers.
       
      We know modern rivers today such as the Tigris or Euphrates because some rivers in the post-flood world were named after familiar pre-flood rivers by Noah and his sons. THEIR LOCATION IS NOT THE SAME.
       
      Verses 15-17 tells us God’s command to Adam.
       
      “Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
       
      God PHYSICALLY PUT Adam into the most spectacular paradise the world has seen, but God put Adam there to do work (to tend and keep it). Work is something good for man and was part of Adam’s perfect existence before the fall. WHO IS THE PHYSICAL, HUMAN FORM OF THE TRIUNE GOD? YES….JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF PUT ADAM IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN.
       
      The Tree of Knowledge of good and evil…its presence in the Garden of Eden…TELLS US…FROM THE BEGINNING…ADAM WAS GIVEN A CHOICE…ADAM WAS GIVEN FREEWILL.
       
      THE TRIUNE GOD IS FAIR…HE WANTS US TO CHOOSE TO OBEY HIM…BELIEVE HIM…BUT THEN AND NOW THE CHOICE REMAINS OURS.
       
      There HAD TO BE a choice for Adam - because for Adam to be a creature of free will, there had to be a choice, some opportunity to rebel against God. If there is never a command or never something forbidden there can then never be choice. THE TRIUNE GOD WANTS our love and obedience to Him to be the love, trust, and obedience of choice.
       
      THINK ABOUT THIS….Considering all that, look at Adam’s advantages. He had ONLY ONE WAY he could sin and we, TODAY HAVE COUNTLESS ways to sin. There are many trees of temptation in our lives, but Adam had only one.
       
      ALSO NOTICE AND REMEMBER THIS….ALMIGHTY GOD made this command ORIGINALLY, FACE TO FACE, & ONLY TO ADAM, not to Eve; God had not yet brought woman out of man.
       
      ALMIGHTY GOD IS NOT SPEAK IN RIDDLES, HE DID NOT STUTTER…HE SPOKE THIS COMMAND SIMPLY & CLEARLY to ADAM, AND HE ALSO CLEARLY EXPLAINED THE CONSEQUENCES FOR DISOBEDIENCE.
       
       
      Verse 18 tells us God creates the first woman. God declares He will make a helper comparable to Adam.
       
      “And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”
       
      This is the FIRST “NOT GOOD” IN THE BIBLE…God saw something that was not good - the aloneness of man. God never intended for man to be alone, either in the marital or social sense.
       
      Marriage, in particular, has a blessed “civilizing” influence on man. The most wild, violent, sociopathic men in history have always been single, LONERS, never under the plan God gave to influence men for good. This is not good!
      God’s “blueprint” for creating this companion to Adam was to make a helper comparable to Adam.
       
      In reference to the marriage relationship, God created woman to be a perfectly suitable helper to the man. This means God gave the plan and agenda to Adam, and he and the woman together work to fulfill it.
       
      The phrase “in reference to the marriage relationship” is used because God has not ordained women to be helpers to men in authority (instead of being in authority themselves), except in marriage and in the church (1 Timothy 2:12-13).
       
      ALMIGHTY GOD WANTED/WANTS A MARRIED COUPLE TO BE A UNITED, UNIFIED TRIUNE TEAM…WITH HIM IN THE CENTER.
       
      God COMMANDS/GIVES to man the responsibility (and the accountability) to be the leader in the home and gives to the woman the responsibility and the accountability to help him.
       
      THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT WOMAN IS TO BE A SERVANT, A DOORMAT…NOR THAT WOMAN IS ON HER OWN, WITHOUT help from the man TO MAKE A GOOD HOME, FAMILY, & LIFE. It means when God looks down from heaven upon the family, He sees a man in leadership, good or bad, faithful or not, to the calling of leadership. A true leader will, of course, help those helping him.
       
      IN THE OLD TESTAMENT, BIBLICAL HISTORY TELLS US THAT MAN GOT IT WRONG. MANKIND SAW WOMAN only as “helping” & a position of inferiority when we think like the world thinks. God considers positions of service as most important in His sight (Matthew 20:25-28).
       
      A helper comparable…GOD CREATED WOMAN not only was the woman to be a helper, but also she was made comparable to the man. She should be considered and honored as such. A woman or wife cannot be regarded as a mere tool or worker, but as an equal partner in God’s grace and an equal human being.
       
      But man got it wrong…Jesus Christ set the world on its ear…when He spoke with, touched, listened to, thanked, helped, and YES defended women…& He ridiculed man for their treatment of women.
       
      Verses 19-20 tells us NO HELPER was found comparable for Adam among the animals.
       
      “Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.”
       
      THINK HOW INTELLIGENT…BRAINY ADAM WAS FROM THE INSTANT HE WAS CREATED. He did not go to school, college….HE WAS CREATED WITH AMAZING INTELLIGENCE ..HE WAS A BRILLIANT MAN. Since at this time Adam’s intellect had not yet suffered from the fall, he was probably the most brilliant man who ever lived. Adam was the first and greatest of all biologists and botanists.
       
      NOTICE Adam did NOT NAME ANY other creature AFTER himself, calling any other animal “man” or “human.” SORRY DARWIN, ADAM HIMSELF KNEW & TELLS US that he understood that he was essentially different, set apart, unlike ALL other creation….animals. ADAM KNEW HE ALONE WAS MADE IN THE IMAGE OF THE TRIUNE GOD.
       
      But for Adam there was not found a helper….It was obvious to Adam that the animals came in pairs and he had no mate. Since God deliberately had Adam name the animals after seeing his need for a partner (Genesis 2:18), God used this to prepare Adam to receive the gift of woman.
       
      GOD CREATED ANIMALS TO BE COMPANIONS/FRIENDS FOR ADAM, BUT THEY WERE NOT HIS OWN MATE. ADAM WAS THE SOLE HUMAN BEING…AND ADAM WAS LONELY.
       
      Verses 21-22 tells us God makes the first woman from Adam’s side.
       
      “And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.”
       
      This is the first “surgery” recorded in history. God even used a proper anesthetic on Adam so he would NOT FEEL PAIN.
       
      God used Adam’s own body to create Eve to forever remind him of their essential oneness. As Adam came to know Eve he would see many ways that they were different, but he must never forget that they are essentially one and that they are made of the same substance. They are more alike than they are different.
       
      Why the rib?
      Did you know that the BONE & THE MARROW WITHIN IT, ARE THE RICHEST AND MOST PERFECT AND UNIQUE SOURCE OF COMPLETE DNA?
       
      IT HAS ONLY TAKEN MANKIND 7000 YEARS TO GET SMART ENOUGH, & TECHNOLOGICALLY ADVANCED ENOUGH TO UNDERSTAND ….WHY THE RIB?
       
      THE ONLY OTHER PERFECT SOURCE OF DNA IS THE UMBILICAL CORD. SINCE ADAM WAS CREATED MATURE…FULL GROWN…AS WAS EVE…THERE WAS NO BIRTH…THERE WAS NO UMBILICAL CORD.
       
      AND Modern research into cloning and genetic replication NOW CAN FINALLY UNDERSTAND AND REALIZE THAT THE BONE/UMBILICAL CORD HAVE the body’s entire genetic blueprint.
       
      BUT THOSE WHO SAY WOMAN HAS ONE MORE RIB THAN MAN ARE MISTAKEN. IT IS A MYTH AT BEST…A LIE AT WORST.
       
      AND HERE IS ANOTHER WOWWWWWW MOMENT FOR ME, WHILE STUDYING GENESIS 2 IN RELATION TO THE REST OF THE BIBLE.
       
      CHRISTIANS, THE BRIDE OF CHRIST JESUS…also was CREATED/BEGAN from the wound made in the side of the second Adam, Jesus Christ.
       
      SOME TEACH THAT THERE ARE TWO BEGINNINGS OF THE HUMAN RACE….one in Adam and one in Eve. ALMIGHTY GOD ANSWERS ANOTHER LIE OF SATAN AND ERROR/ARROGANCE OF MANKIND.
       
      There WAS ONLY ONE beginning of the human race in Adam.
       
      God brought Eve to Adam and created Eve out of Adam. He was first - the source and the head. She was created to be a helper perfectly suited to him. Thus the subordinate relationship of wives to husbands is found BEFORE the curse, NOT only after it.
       
      Verse 23 tells us Adam’s brilliant understanding of who Eve is and how she is related to him.
       
      “And Adam said:
      “This is now bone of my bones
      And flesh of my flesh;
      She shall be called Woman,
      Because she was taken out of Man.”
       
      Adam INSTANTLY recognized that Eve was both LIKE him (bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh) and NOT like him (woman . . . taken out of man).
       
      “Flesh of my flesh”… Adam INSTANTLY UNDERSTOOD the essential oneness in his relationship with Eve.
       
      This point is SO IMPORTANT TO THE TRIUNE GOD & for MANKIND TO KNOW, UNDERSTAND, & TRUST that it is referred to SEVERAL times in the New Testament, including the great marriage passage in EPHESIANS 5:28-29, which says, “So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it.”
       
      The GOD GIVEN natural concern we have for ourselves causes us to take care of ourselves. In a healthy marriage relationship the husband realizes the essential union he has with his wife, that he cannot bless her without blessing himself and he cannot mistreat or neglect her without mistreating or neglecting himself.
       
      “She was taken out of Man”… Adam recognized that though he and Eve were one, she was NOT MADE the same as him. He understood that two different people were becoming one.
       
      1 Peter 3:7 tells husbands to recognize that they are one with someone different, someone whom they must understand…Peter says, “Likewise you husbands, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel.”
       
      SOME ARROGANTLY AND WRONGLY TEACH that AMIGHTY GOD USED THE WORD “WOMAN” because it has been defined as compounded for woe and man, as if called man’s woe because she tempted him to eat the forbidden fruit; but this is no meaning of the original word, nor could it be intended, as the transgression was not then committed.
       
      Verses 24-25 tell us of the marriage of Adam and Eve.
       
      “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”
       
      “They shall become one flesh”… The marriage principle stated here is based upon the dynamic of oneness yet distinction. A man and wife can truly come together in a one-flesh relationship, yet they must be joined. It is a spiritual fact, as well a physical one, but the benefits of that oneness are not appropriated by accident or by chance.
       
      AND “They shall become one flesh”…forms the foundation for the Bible’s understanding of marriage and family. Both Jesus (Matthew 19: 5) and Paul (Ephesians 5:31) quoted it in reference to marriage.
       
      MONOGAMY…one man, one woman…married/united as one…WAS CREATED IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN by THE TRIUNE GOD.
       
      Adam and Eve ARE the original family. This is God’s IDEAL/PERFECT family.
       
      This isn’t polygamy.
      This isn’t concubinage.
      This isn’t the keeping of mistresses.
      This isn’t adultery.
      This isn’t homosexual co-habitation.
      This isn’t promiscuity.
      This isn’t living together outside the marriage bond.
      This isn’t serial marriage.
      This IS God’s ideal for the family, and even when we don’t live up to it, it is still important to set it forth as God’s ideal.
       
      “One flesh”… The idea of one flesh is taken by many to be mainly a way of expressing sexual union. While sexual union is certainly related to the idea of one flesh, it is only one part of what it means to be one flesh. There are also important spiritual dimensions to one flesh.
       
      Paul makes it clear the sexual union has one flesh implications even when we don’t intend so, as when a man has sex with a prostitute in 1 Corinthians 6:16.
       
      Husband and wife become “one flesh” under God’s BLESSING. In extramarital sex, the partners become “one flesh” under God’s CURSE.
       
      In the eyes of THE TRIUNE GOD….there is NO SUCH THING such thing as “casual sex.”
       
      EACH AND EVERY sexual relationship at least begins a one-flesh bond. The bond will either be something beautiful or it will be something grotesque.
       
      ONE FLESH…depends on whether the bonding takes place in a relationship with the right conditions: committed love, demonstrated by the marriage commitment, and a pursuit of true intimacy. Just because sex is taking place in marriage doesn’t mean it is truly fulfilling God’s purpose of bonding together a one-flesh relationship.
       
      ONE FLESH…though an initial bond in a one flesh relationship can be formed at the first sexual relationship a couple has, the fullness of what God wants to do in the one flesh relationship takes time. It has to become….it must be MUTUALLY DESIRED…MUTUALLY SOUGHT…IT IS NOT DUTY…IT MUST BE LOVE, ONENESS BASED….SEEKING ONE FLESH UNITY OF NOT ONLY BODY TO BODY, BUT HEART TO HEART, MIND TO MIND, SOUL TO SOUL.
       
      BEFORE THE FALL, Adam and Eve were both naked . . . and not ashamed. The idea of “nakedness” is far more than mere nudity. In THE TRIUNE GOD’S EYES IT has the sense of being TOTALLY open and exposed as a person before God and man. To be naked . . . and not ashamed means you have NO SIN, NO SHAME, & NOTHING TO HIDE.
       
      DON’T WE …often feel uncomfortable when someone stares at us. This is because we associate staring with prying, and we don’t want people to pry into our lives. We want to remain hidden and only reveal to other people what we want to reveal.
       
      AND DON’T WE…when we want to be most attractive to someone else, we do the most to change our normal appearance. We have the thought, “If I really want to impress this person, I have to fix myself up.”
      NONE OF THESE FEELINGS/THOUGHTS were present with Adam and Eve when they were naked . . . and not ashamed.
       
      JESUS CHRIST SAYS…I WAS THERE IN THE BEGINNING.
      I CREATED MAN.
      I CREATED WOMAN.
      I PUT THEM IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN.
      I SPOKE WITH THEM.
      I WALKED WITH THEM.
      I KNEW MY CREATION…WOULD BE LONELY ALONE.
      I DID NOT WANT ANY TO BE ALONE.
      I DID NOT WANT ANY TO BE ASHAMED.
      I GAVE MAN…EMOTIONAL STRENGTH, HEART, TEARS, & NURTURING IN WOMAN.
      I GAVE WOMAN…PHYSICAL STRENGTH TO PROTECT, PROVIDE, LOVE, CHERISH IN MAN.
      I CREATED MAN FROM ME.
      I CREATED WOMAN FROM ME.
      NEITHER IS BETTER.
      BOTH ARE UNIQUELY SPECIAL TO BALANCE THE TRIUNE UNITY.
      I BROKE THE MOLD WHEN I MADE YOU.
      I MADE YOU SPECIAL…UNIQUE.
       
      EVEN YOUR DNA IS UNIQUELY CREATED TO YOU AND FOR YOU ALONE.
      THERE IS NO OTHER MAN…NO OTHER WOMAN WHO HAS EVER LIVED…THAT I HAVE EVER CREATED FROM MY BREATH, MY TOUCH, & MY HEART….THAT IS JUST LIKE YOU.
       
      YOU ARE SPECIAL BELOVED.
      YOU ARE SPECIAL.

       

    • September 10, 2016 11:36 AM EDT
    • AMEN CINDY LOU...ME TOO!

    • September 8, 2016 7:52 PM EDT
    • Amen Faithy great word from the Lord amen i pray everyday to be more like Jesus and less like the world we can to easly fall into sin and become corupt like Cain !

       

    • June 21, 2016 7:27 PM EDT
    • GENESIS 4: CAIN & ABEL: EVIL & MURDER ENTER THE WORLD.

      IN GENESIS 1-2 ALMIGHTY GOD, THE TRIUNE GOD, INTRODUCES HIMSELF. TELLS MANKIND WHO HE IS. AND TEACHES US ABOUT THE CREATION OF THE WORLD, THE SOLAR SYSTEM, & MANKIND’S CREATION.

      IN GENESIS 3 ALMIGHTY GOD TELLS US OF THE FALL OF MANKIND, ADAM AND EVE, BY THE SLY, CRAFTINESS, AND DISTORTIONS OF THE EVIL ONE…SATAN HIMSELF….AND THE CONSEQUENCES THAT DESTROYED PARADISE.

      NOW IN GENESIS 4 ALMIGHTY GOD TELLS US THAT PURE EVIL ENTERS THE WORLD. THAT THIS CHOSEN EVIL AT ITS HEART IS SELFISH, SELF-CENTERED, & WILLING TO DO THE UNSPEAKABLE BECAUSE OF PRIDE, AND ONE UPMANSHIP. GENESIS 4 TELLS US THE UTTER DESTRUCTIVENESS THAT IS AT THE HEART OF THE DESIRE OF MANKIND TO BE NUMBER 1...TO BE APPLAUDED AND LAUDED…AND PRAISED…AND HONORED AT ANY COST…EVEN IF IT SEEMS THE PREMEDITATED MURDER OF A BLOOD BROTHER.

      SO TURN WITH ME NOW TO GENESIS 4...

      AND LET’S SEE WHAT JESUS SHOWS US & SEEKS TO TEACH US THROUGH Cain’s murder of Abel.

      Verse 1 tells us of the birth of Cain.

      “Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, “I have acquired a man from the Lord.”

      Now Adam KNEW EVE HIS WIFE…This is the FIRST SPECIFIC mention of sex in the Bible. The term “knew” or “to know” is a polite way of saying they had sexual relations and the term is used often in the Bible in this sense (Genesis 4:17; 4:25; 38:26; Judges 11:39; 1 Samuel 1:19).

      There is POWER, INTIMACY, SPECIALNESS, & UNITY & how our TRIUNE GOD VIEWS the sexual relationship BETWEEN HUSBAND AND WIFE.

      TODAY, more than ever, the lost world, society’s “terminology” DEGRADES & HAS MADE COARSE & CRUDE & CLINICAL of what THE TRIUNE GOD sees sex as a means of knowing one another in a committed relationship. “Knew” indicates an act that contributes to the bond of unity and the building up of a one-flesh relationship.

      The name Cain basically means, “I’ve got him” or “here he is.” It is likely Eve thought that Cain was the seed that God promised, the deliverer who would come from Eve (Genesis 3:15). There is a sense in which Eve said, “GOD promised us…and here he is!”

      Adam, and especially Eve, had GREAT EXPECTATIONS for Cain, far beyond what we as parents hope for in our children. Adam and Eve EXPECTED Cain to be the Messiah God promised to REDEEM THEM, what they got was a MURDERER.

      Verses 2-5 tells of the birth of Abel and the offerings of Cain and Abel.

      “Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.”

      DID YOU CATCH THIS?
      ANOTHER TRUTH GIVEN US?

      ABEL WAS A KEEPER OF SHEEP, & CAIN WAS A TILLER OF THE GROUND. Agriculture and the domestication of animals were practiced FROM THE FIRST. Adam and his descendants did NOT spend tens of thousands of years living as hunter-gatherer cave dwellers, as knuckle-dragging beasts.

      SINCE THE TREE OF LIFE…was the “holy of holies” for Adam and Eve, & their children…their meeting place with THE TRIUNE GOD as told us in GENESIS 3:24, we know Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground there.

      The Lord respected Abel’s offering, but NOT Cain’s.
      Why?

      Abel brought an offering of blood (the firstborn of his flock) and Cain brought an offering of vegetation (the fruit of the ground).

      Many erroneously assume that the difference between their professions, a rancher versus a farmer was the cause for God’s rejection of Cain’s grains/fruit, but LEVITICUS 2 clears up that mistake, by telling us that grain offerings WERE acceptable before God, though NOT for an atonement for sin.

      ALSO HEBREWS 11:4 confirms WHY CAIN’S OFFERING WAS REJECTED. “By faith Abel offered up a more excellent sacrifice than Cain.”

      ANOTHER BIBLE QUESTION ANSWERED. JUST AS THE LORD TOLD SAMUEL THE PROPHET, “YOU SEE AND JUDGE THE MAN‘S OUTWARD APPEARANCE, BUT I SEE AND KNOW AND JUDGE THE HEART.”

      JUST AS JESUS REJECTED & WAS NOT IMPRESSED BY THE PHARISEE AND HIS LOUDLY BRAGGING BOASTS ABOUT WHAT HE HAD AND HAD DONE FOR HIS TEMPLE & COMMUNITY…JESUS NOTICED AND WAS TOUCHED & PLEASED BY THE HUMBLE WIDOW WHO QUIETLY GAVE TWO PENNIES, ALL SHE HAD TO HONOR/OBEY HER LORD JESUS.

      THEN AND NOW…SOME PEOPLE WHO FOLLOW JESUS HAVE RELEGATED JESUS TO A “HERE IS MY DAILY CHRISTIAN WALK WITH JESUS CHECK LIST”. Pray today…check check!. Read my Bible today…check, check!…Attend church service and sit on the front row…check check! and after COMPLETING their MENTAL CHRISTIAN DUTY…NOT LOVE…BUT DUTY & LEGALISM TO JESUS….there are those who then RETURN TO THE REAL WORLD…AND THEIR LIVES. They may have a CLEAR MIND, BUT FOR THEM, THEY HAVE A DYING OR DEAD HEART.

      CAIN HAD A HEART PROBLEM, NOT A CHEAP GIFT OR LABOR PROBLEM, AND NOT A LAZINESS PROBLEM, BUT WHAT HE DID WAS DUTY…NOT LOVE, NOT RESPECT, NOT NEED TO FELLOWSHIP…IT WAS ANOTHER CHORE TO BE DONE AND CHECKED OFF OF HIS DAILY TO-DO LIST.

      THAT IS WHY ALMIGHTY GOD REJECTED CAIN’S OFFERING.


      AND ABEL ALSO BROUGHT THE FIRSTBORN…AND THE FAT OF HIS FLOCK. ABEL GAVE JESUS HIS PRIZE SHEEP.

      WHY WAS IT SO SPECIAL?

      The fat of the animal was prized as its “luxury,” and was to be given to God when the animal was sacrificed (Leviticus 3:16-17; 7:23-25). The burning of fat in sacrifice before God is called a sweet aroma to the Lord (Leviticus 17:6).

      ABEL WANTED TO HONOR AND PLEASE JESUS.
      CAIN JUST WANTED TO GET HIS DUTY DONE.

      ALSO THIS IS THE BEGINNING….ONE LAMB FOR A MAN. WHEN PASSOVER BEGINS WITH MOSES, IT WILL BE ONE LAMB PER FAMILY. ON THE DAY OF ATONEMENT, IT WILL BE ONE LAMB FOR THE NATION. UNTIL FINALLY, WITH OUR PRECIOUS JESUS CHRIST, HE WILL BE, …. “THE ONE LAMB WHO TAKES AWAY THE SIN OF THE WHOLE WORLD,” promised in JOHN 1:29.

      I HAVE HAD PEOPLE ASK, “HOW DID CAIN AND ABEL KNOW WHETHER THEIR OFFERINGS WERE ACCEPTED OR REJECTED BY JESUS?

      THE BEST ANSWERS ARE FOUND IN THE BIBLE. THERE ARE SEVERAL BIBLICAL EXAMPLES THAT TELL US
      an acceptable sacrifice consumed by fire from God (Judges 6:21; 1 Kings 18:38; 1 Chronicles 21:26; 2 Chronicles 7:1).

      Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell…SO WE SEE ANGER, & POUTING & PRIDE & ENVY have afflicted mankind since Cain. And pride and sin is QUICKLY becoming worse.
      Cain now commits the rather sophisticated sins of spiritual pride and hypocrisy.

      Verses 6-7 tells us of God’s warning to Cain.

      “So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”

      And we see here ALMIGHTY GOD IS STILL THE PATIENT FATHER…CONFRONTING CAIN IN LOVING PATIENT CONFRONTATION. GOD made it clear that he would be accepted if he did well & when his HEART matched his gift.

      And God KNEW what was going on in Cain’s heart and mind, but HE patiently pointed it out, because ALMIGHTY GOD IS STILL ALL ABOUT CHOICE…FREEWILL. AND HE WANTED Cain to know and STOP what was happening inside himself.

      AND GOD PATIENTLY WARNED CAIN about the destructive power of sin.

      GOD SAID CAIN YOU HAVE TWO CHOICES.
      YOU MUST CHOOSE.
      YOU CAN RESIST SIN & FIND BLESSING….OR GIVE IN TO SIN & BE DEVOURED.

      “And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it:” TOLD CAIN, AND HE IS TELLING US THAT WE HAVE THE CHOICE AND THE ABILITY TO PREVENT SIN FROM RULING OVER US…BY ALLOWING JESUS CHRIST to rule and reign within our hearts and lives. BUT WITHOUT JESUS AS OUR MASTER, WE WILL BE SLAVES TO SIN.

      OF COURSE…CAIN CHOOSES SELF…PRIDE…JEALOUSY.

      Verse 8 tells us Cain murders Abel.

      “Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.”

      Cain PLOTTED & PLANNED to catch Abel by surprise, lulling him with pleasant conversation. This shows that Cain NOT ONLY KILLED, BUT HE COMMITTED PREMEDIDATED MURDER, INSTEAD OF CHOOSING GOD’S WAY OF ESCAPE.

      NO human had ever died or been killed before, but Cain HAD WATCHED HIS PARENTS KILL LAMBS FOR SACRIFICE. HE KNEW HOW TO KILL…AND HE KILLED ABEL THE SAME WAY.

      IMAGINE EVE AND ADAM’S HORROR AND SADNESS…their hope that CAIN would be GOD’S PROMISED REDEEMER FOR THEIR SIN…BECOMES A murderer, and their SECOND SON BECOMES A VICTIM OF MURDER. ADAM & EVE’S HOPE THAT SIN/SATAN WOULD BE ENDED THROUGH THEIR CHILDREN IS DESTROYED.

      Verse 9 God confronts & questions Cain.

      “Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”

      God KNEW the answer to this question. He asked Cain because He wanted to give CAIN THE OPPORTUNITY TO CONFESS AND REPENT HIS SIN/HIS RESPONSIBILITY IN THE DEATH OF ABEL….AND TO START DOING THE RIGHT THING.

      JUST LIKE HIS FATHER ADAM, IT WAS INSANELY STUPID TO THINK HE COULD SUCCESSFULLY LIE, MUCH LESS HIDE ANYTHING FROM GOD, BECAUSE GOD KNEW WHERE ABEL WAS…HE WAS ALREADY IN WHAT WOULD BE LATER CALLED “ABRAHAM’S BOSOM.”

      “Am I my brother’s keeper?” This reply of Cain is famous. The POUTING DISMISSAL AND DEAD-HEARTED COMEBACK TELLS US WHERE CAIN’S HEAD AND HEART WAS AT.

      CAIN WAS THE OLDEST…AND HE WAS SUPPOSED TO CARE FOR AND WATCH OVER HIS YOUNGER SIBLINGS…but was instead his brother’s murderer, and he murdered him for the lowest of reasons. Abel had not injured Cain in any way. Cain’s murderous rage was inspired purely by a spiritual jealousy & as with ADAM to blame God and/or pay God back for, to his own mind at least, showing “favoritism” for Abel over him…the OLDEST SON.

      And Jude 1:11 warns & reminds us of the way of Cain, which is unbelief, empty religion leading to jealousy, persecution of those truly godly, and murderous anger.

      2 TIMOTHY 3:5, tells us that there is NO GREATER CURSE ON THE EARTH than empty, vain religion, those who have a form of godliness, but deny the power of God.

      Many are deathly afraid of “secular humanism” or atheism, but DEAD VAIN SELF-SERVING RELIGIONS send MORE people to hell than anything else.


      Verses 10-12 tells us God’s curse upon Cain.

      “And He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground. So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth.”

      The idea of blood crying out to God from the ground is repeated in the Bible. Numbers 35:29-34 describes how the blood of unpunished murderers defiles the land.

      HEBREWS 12:24 reminds us that the blood of Jesus speaks too, not of judgment as with ABEL…“but of better things, of grace and of sin having been judged.”

      The curse upon Cain was that Adam’s curse would be amplified in regard to him. If bringing forth food from the earth would be HARD for Adam (Genesis 3:17-18), it would be IMPOSSIBLE for Cain (who was a farmer). If Adam were driven from Eden (Genesis 3:24), Cain would find NO resting-place on all the earth (a fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth).

      Verses 13-15 tells us Cain has the ARROGANT GALL AND NERVE TO COMPLAIN OVER the severity of God’s judgment.

      “And Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear! Surely You have driven me out this day from the face of the ground; I shall be hidden from Your face; I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth, and it will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me.” And the Lord said to him, “Therefore, whoever kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord set a mark on Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him.”

      DID YOU NOTICE…EVEN IN THE BEGINNING…Cain didn’t feel bad about his sin, but only about his punishment. JUST A REMINDER THAT REGARDLESS HOW TIMES CHANGE….HUMAN NATURE AND ITS SELFISH, SELF-CENTERED MINDSET HAVE NOT CHANGED ONE BIT.

      THEN AND NOW….PEOPLE HAVE OR THE PSYCHOLOGICAL FIELD ARE QUICK TO MAKE EXCUSES FOR WHY PEOPLE COMMIT THE UNTHINKABLE…THE CRUEL…THE EVIL…THE DESTRUCTIVE.

      As significant as God’s judgment against Cain was, God did not want TO ENCOURAGE NOR GIVE THE NOD FOR ANYONE ELSE TO PLAY VIGILANTE.


      Verses 16-17 tells us Cain moves away and marries.

      “Then Cain went out from the presence of the Lord and dwelt in the land of Nod on the east of Eden. And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. And he built a city, and called the name of the city after the name of his son; Enoch.”

      Genesis 5:4 says Adam had several sons and daughters. Cain obviously married one of his sisters. Though marrying a sister was against the law of God according to Leviticus 18:9; 18:11; 20:17, and Deuteronomy 27:22 (which even prohibits the marrying of a half-sister), this was long before God spoke that law to Moses and the world.

      And at this point, the “gene pool” of humanity was PURE enough to allow close marriage without harm of inbreeding. But as a stream can get more polluted the further it gets from the source, there came a time when God decreed there no longer be marriage between close relatives because of the danger of inbreeding.

      Even Abraham married his half-sister Sarah (Genesis 20:12). God did not prohibit such marriages until the time of Moses (Leviticus 18:9). Marrying a brother or sister was NOT forbidden until God forbade it.

      “And Cain BUILT a city” Here we see the beginning of industry and of urbanization - and that it is strongly man-centered INSTEAD OF God-centered.

      Verses 18-22 tells us the generations following Cain.

      “To Enoch was born Irad; and Irad begot Mehujael, and Mehujael begot Methushael, and Methushael begot Lamech. Then Lamech took for himself two wives: the name of one was Adah, and the name of the second was Zillah. And Adah bore Jabal. He was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. His brother’s name was Jubal. He was the father of all those who play the harp and flute. And as for Zillah, she also bore Tubal-Cain, an instructor of every craftsman in bronze and iron. And the sister of Tubal-Cain was Naamah.”

      THESE verses show RAPID INDUSTRIAL/SOCIAL/TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES. Succeeding generations quickly made progress in areas such as the founding of a city, home building, music and the arts, and metalworking.

      AND HERE THE BIBLE SIMPLY & CONCISELY DISPROVES “idea people” & “theorists” over the ages, who say we were cave dwellers, knuckle-dragging Neanderthals, and scroungers for tens of thousands of years. ALMIGHTY GOD TELLS US THE TRUTH…MANKIND ADVANCED VERY QUICKLY.

      Lamech, was the seventh from Adam on Cain’s side. Lamech’s arrogance (Genesis 4:23-24) is a contrast to Enoch, who was the seventh from Adam on Seth’s line as confirmed in JUDE 1:14.

      Lamech took TWO WIVES, which makes him the FIRST BIGAMIST in history, going against God’s original plan for one man and one woman to become one flesh (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:4-8).

      EVEN the names of his wives and daughter show the emphasis in his heart: Adah means, “pleasure, ornament, or beauty.” Zillah means, “shade” probably referring to a luxurious covering of hair. His daughter’s name was Naamah, which means, “loveliness.” Lamech’s culture was committed to physical and outward beauty….they were the FIRST HOLLYWOOD mindset…where looks, pleasures, and ME ME ME…. are all that matters

      Verses 23-24 tells us Lamech’s chest-thumping boast shows him to BE IN THE IMAGE OF HIS FATHER…CAIN.

      “Then Lamech said to his wives: “Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; Wives of Lamech, listen to my speech! For I have killed a man for wounding me, even a young man for hurting me. If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, then Lamech seventy-sevenfold.”

      The way Lamech boasts about his murder of another, and the way he believes he can promise a greater retribution than God, shows a progressive degeneracy among humanity. Things are going downhill fast, a true devolution.

      AND YES…HERE IS ANOTHER ANSWER…HUMANISM began in Genesis 4…not just in the 1960’s, but right here with CAIN…who DID NOT LEARN FROM HIS PAST, BUT PASSED HIS MEISTIC HUMANISM ON TO HIS CHILDREN.

      This is all a picture of humanism. The city IS Cain’s city; the focus of Lamech IS his beautiful wives and his own perceived strength. But for all of Lamech’s boasting, neither he nor his descendants are ever heard of again in the Bible. He came to nothing.

      Verses 25-26 tells us Seth is born to Adam and Eve.

      “And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, “For God has appointed another seed for me instead of Abel, whom Cain killed.” And as for Seth, to him also a son was born; and he named him Enoch. Then men began to call on the name of the Lord.”

      Adam and Eve had many children who are not specifically named, but Seth IS WORTHY of mention because he “replaced” Abel and IS THE ONE WHOM THE PROMISE OF A DELIVERER from the seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15) would be passed.

      Even in those wicked days, the worship of God was not unknown. Some have called Genesis 4:26 “THE FIRST REVIVAL,” because it is the first indication of a spiritual resurgence after a clear decline.

      THERE ARE MANY FIRSTS IN GENESIS 4.

      IT IS THE FIRST FARM.
      IT IS THE FIRST RANCH,
      IT IS THE FIRST CHOSEN EVIL ATTACK.
      IT IS THE FIRST APPEARANCE OF EGO IN MANKIND.
      IT IS THE FIRST HUMAN BLOOD SHED BY MANKIND.
      IT IS THE FIRST PREMEDITATED MURDER BY MANKIND.
      IT IS THE FIRST CITY BUILT.
      IT IS THE FIRST SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT.
      IT IS THE FIRST MUSIC & FINE ARTS CREATION.
      IT IS THE FIRST BIGAMY BY MANKIND.
      IT IS THE FIRST MURDER FOR FUN/ARROGANCE.
      IT IS THE FIRST “ISM” IN HUMANISM.
      IT IS ALSO THE FIRST REVIVAL.
      AND IT IS THE FIRST PROCLAIMED BLOODLINE OF PROMISED AND HOPED FOR SALVATION AND REDEMPTION OF JESUS NAMED, THAT TOLD US 1000S OF YEARS IN ADVANCE….THAT THE MESSIAH WOULD COME THROUGH EVE’S SON…SETH.

      LONG BEFORE JESUS, OR THE PROPHETS, MUCH LESS THE GOSPELS….ALMIGHTY GOD TELLS US AND SHOWS US THAT HE KNOWS AND READS THE HEARTS AND MINDS OF MANKIND.

      THAT HE KNOWS THE DIFFERENCE AND JUDGES RIGHTEOUSLY AND FAIRLY THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CHRISTIAN WHO HAS A DAILY CHRISTIAN “DUTY” CHECK LIST AND FOLLOWS IT…INSTEAD OF THE HEART THAT SEEKS ALWAYS TO PLEASE, HONOR, PRAISE, AND BE THANKFUL.

      GENESIS 4 SHOWS US THAT SELFISHNESS, EGO, PRIDE, SELF-IMPORTANCE, AND SPOILED HEARTEDNESS…CAN AND DOES LEAD TO THE UNSPEAKABLE…THE CONSUMMATE EVIL OF CHOICES AND DECISIONS.

      BUT AS ALWAYS…ALMIGHTY GOD SHOWS UNDERSTANDING, GRACE, MERCY, PATIENCE, AND PROVIDES/OFFERS HOPE…EVEN IN THE WORST OF CIRCUMSTANCES FOR THE REPENTANT HEART….AND PUTS IN PLACE…LONG BEFORE IT IS NEEDED A WAY OF REDEMPTION…ESCAPE…SALVATION.

      OUR JESUS CHRIST IS OUR ONLY HOPE THEN…AND NOW.
      REACH OUT FOR JESUS AND HE WILL REACH OUT TO YOU.

      TRUST OUR JESUS!

      STAY BLESSED…

    • August 30, 2016 4:32 PM EDT
    • Amen Annabelle, all things are revealed in the Word of God.  Amen

    • August 28, 2016 4:03 PM EDT
    • Amen AnnaBell i love the Creation story to and have read it many times i just love hearing it over and over again how God created the world and every thining in it every were you look you can see the great love he has for us all we have a mighty and awesome God the savior of our soul thank you for sharing your testimony with us !

    • August 28, 2016 2:12 PM EDT
    • AMEN ANNABELLE AMEN...GENESIS IS AN AMAZING BOOK IN THE BIBLE...ALL THAT HAPPENS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, ALMIGHTY GOD IN HIS TRIUNENESS, SPOKE OF AND PROPHESIED IN GENESIS. OUR TRIUNE GOD, ALMIGHTY GOD THE FATHER, JESUS CHRIST THE SON, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT HAVE ALWAYS EXISTED, BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD BEGAN...OUR JESUS CHRIST IS THE WORD....OUR JESUS CHRIST IS THE LIGHT...AND WE ARE STUDYING THE GOSPEL OF JOHN RIGHT NOW...I ENCOURAGE ALL AND ESPECIALLY NEW BABY CHRISTIANS IN JESUS TO READ THE GOSPEL OF JOHN...JOHN THE BELOVED OF JESUS SHOWS US OUR JESUS IN THE MOST AMAZING DEAL....IT SHOWS US HIS HEART AND THE MIGHTY AND FEARLESS WARRIOR HE WAS.  THE PATIENT TEACHER...THE COMPASSIONTE HEALER...SO MANY WONDERFUL THINGS OF WHO OUR JESUS IS!!!

    • August 28, 2016 11:19 AM EDT
    • Amen I love that part of John and it makes so much clear and strait forward

    • August 28, 2016 9:00 AM EDT
    • I want to share my testimony and sharing on this chapter of Genesis. For so long (even since I was a sunday school kid), I always hear about the creation story. I even read it myself many times and even teach kids after I have grown up. Creation? yes I mastered the story. Then the topic on Trinity comes. All pastors will always quote the famous John chapter 1 to explain Trinity explaining Jesus was there during the creation then linking it with the very famous verse saying "Let US make man according to OUR image". I agree, yes definitely agree and I always share this too with friends during times of discussing about our Triune God.

      I don't know but there's something in Chapter 1 of John I keep on reading it that seems like there's more I need to know and I don't know what. I just keep on reading it. I prayed and meditate on it. I read it again. John 1: 1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning.…

      After reading it, I went to Genesis chapter 1.. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.. until I reach that part were the creation started... v.3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. Suddenly all the realisation comes to me. If Jesus was in the very beginning, then He is the Word that God spoke. If God said let there be light, He used a Word to speak. I actually don't need to reach that part that God said "Let US make man..." to prove that Jesus is there in the beginning because Jesus Christ was the Word of God and nothing was created if not through Him! Without that word that comes out from God's mouth nothing is created! I cried!!! I was amazed and perplexed. I just can't stop praising God!

      On teaching the kids: I'll ask them, what is it that God used to create light? then they will simply answer me "His Words" then I'll ask them to read John 1:1 and ask them back again "who is the WOrd that John is talking about?" they'll say to me "Jesus" and I can easily explain to them how Jesus was in the beginning and that Jesus is God. 

    • July 22, 2016 1:10 AM EDT
    • Amen Faithy amen 

    • June 21, 2016 7:32 PM EDT
    • Genesis 1 - THE TRIUNE GOD SPEAKS…
       
      WHAT DOES ALMIGHTY GOD TELL US ABOUT HIMSELF?
      WHAT DOES ALMIGHTY GOD SHOW US?
      WHAT DOES ALMIGHTY GOD TELL US ABOUT OUR BEGINNINGS…THE WORLD’S….MANKIND'S?
      WHAT DOES HE WANT US TO KNOW ABOUT IN THE BEGINNING….
       
      WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW/UNDERSTAND…WHEN WE STUDY GENESIS 1 IS THIS:
       
      THERE IS ONE GOD.
      ONE TRIUNE GOD…and no others.
       
      THE WORLD PRAYS TO AND BELIEVES IN 100s OF GODS.
      ALMIGHTY GOD SAYS THEY ARE AN ILLUSION.
      THEY DO NOT EXIST.
      THEY NEVER DID.
      ALMIGHTY GOD TELLS US STRAIGHT OUT….THERE IS ONE GOD….and no others.
       
      ALMIGHTY GOD does NOT DEFEND NOR OFFER ELABORATE ARGUMENTS FOR HIS EXISTENCE.
       
      However, GENESIS AS WELL THE HOLY BIBLE DOES TELL US HOW WE CAN KNOW ALMIGHTY GOD EXISTS.
       
      YOU HAVE EYES….LOOK AROUND YOU…we can know God exists because of what we see in creation.
       
      PSALM 19:1-4 reminds us too. “The heavens DECLARE (SPEAK TO US) the glory of God; and the firmament SHOWS (EYES THAT SEE) His handiwork. Day unto day UTTERS speech, and night unto night REVEALS knowledge. There is NO speech NOR language where THEIR (THE TRIUNE GOD) voice is not heard. THEIR LINE has gone out through all the earth, and THEIR WORDS to the end of the world.”
       
      ROMANS 1:20 confirms, “For since the creation of the world HIS INVISIBLE attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.”
       
      Though THROUGHOUT HISTORY….MANY seek to deny the effectiveness of the teleological argument for the existence of God (MEANING: the understanding that there must be a purposeful intelligence Who created this world), it still remains unanswered by the atheist or the agnostic.
       
      We come to the Bible BELIEVING it is the place where God HAS spoken to man, perfectly and comprehensively.
       
      We BELIEVE 2 Timothy 3:16-17, which reminds us… “ALL Scripture is GIVEN BY inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
       
      We CAN STUDY THE TRIUNE God, but we can’t put Him under a microscope. We can only confidently know about Him what He CHOOSES to reveal to us. What He DOES CHOOSE to tell us is profitable, IMPORTANT, ROCK SOLID, and useful for us.
       
      We BELIEVE THE BIBLE must be read, accepted, & understood literally, that is, as straightforward and true. The TRIUNE GOD DOES NOT SPEAK IN SECRET CODE, HE KEEPS IT SIMPLE…SO THAT EVEN A CHILD CAN HEAR AND UNDERSTAND. HE WANTS US TO KNOW HIM.
       
      The Bible is much more than a book; it is a library of books, and books written in different literary forms. Some portions of the Bible give a historical account, others are poetic, and some are prophetic.
       
      We must understand the Bible literally according to its literary context. For example, when David wrote in Psalm 6:6 “All night I make my bed swim; I drench my couch with my tears,” he used a POETIC LITERARY FORM. We understand David did NOT literally mean he cried so much that he flooded his room and set his bed afloat….but that he wept…and wept hard.
       
      But when the Bible speaks in a HISTORICAL NARRATIVE, we understand it as REAL HISTORY, NOT STORIES, PRETEND, ALLEGORY, NOR make-believe fables and myths meant only to tell a spiritual story. IT REALLY OCCURRED…EXACTLY AS IT IS TOLD.
       
      If we don’t approach the Bible this way, then how WILL WE approach it? Then it is all up to how anyone “FEELS” about the text. Though the teachings of Scripture may have infinite applications, they only have ONE TRUE interpretation that is PRECISE.
       
      Professor Morris says it best, “The only proper way to interpret Genesis 1 is not to ‘interpret’ it at all. That is, we accept the fact that it was meant to say exactly what it says.”
       
      My Native American grandmother told me, “Faith, there can be NO MIDDLE GROUND WITH THE HOLY BIBLE. YOU EITHER BELIEVE THE TRIUNE GOD’S WORD IS ABSOLUTE TRUTH, WHETHER YOU UNDERSTAND ALL THINGS OR NOT, OR IT IS ALL A LIE. YOU CAN NOT ACCEPT SOME PARTS OF THE BIBLE AND REJECT OTHERS.”
       
      We come to the Bible knowing the KJV HOLY BIBLE is the PUREST & CLOSEST possible to the ancient originals, which ALMIGHTY GOD HIMSELF perfectly inspired.
       
      We CAN KNOW IT IS TRUTH, BY SOCIETAL, GOVERNMENTAL, ARCHAEOLOGICAL FINDINGS, & JEWISH SCRIBES WRITINGS OF THE TIMES AND EVENTS DOWN THROUGH HISTORY…that what IS WRITTEN & DOCUMENTED IN THE OLD TESTAMENT IS PURE TRUTH.
      We can KNOW THAT THE OLD TESTAMENT SUPPORTS THE NEW TESTAMENT AND THAT THE NEW TESTAMENT, AND JESUS HIMSELF CONFIRMS/AFFIRMS THE OLD TESTAMENT PROPHETS, SCRIBES, MEN AND WOMEN OF THE TIME.
       
      We come to the Bible knowing the UNIQUE importance of the Book of Genesis.
       
      We KNOW The Bible would be incomplete and perhaps incomprehensible WITHOUT the Book of Genesis. GENESIS sets the stage for the entire drama of redemption, which unfolds in the rest of the book.
       
      Also ALL IMPORTANT doctrines and teachings have their foundation in the Book of Genesis: the doctrines of sin, redemption, justification, Jesus Christ, the personality and personhood of God, the kingdom of God, the fall, Israel, the promise of the Messiah, and more.
       
      Genesis SHOWS/TELLS US the origins of the universe, order and complexity, the solar system, the atmosphere and hydrosphere, the origin of life, man, marriage, evil, language, government, culture, nations, religion. It is precisely because people TODAY HAVE ABANDONED THE TRUTH/INTRO/TEACHINGS OF GENESIS that society is in such disarray.
       
      Genesis IS IMPORTANT to the New Testament. There are at least 165 passages in Genesis either directly quoted or clearly referred to in the New Testament; many of these are quoted more than once, so there are at least 200 quotations or allusions to Genesis in the New Testament.
       
      Jesus Christ himself DECLARED the importance of BELIEVING what Moses wrote in JOHN 5:46-47, which says, “For if you believed Moses, you would believe ME; for he wrote about ME. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe MY words?”
       
      We CAN’T SAY we believe in Jesus if we DON’T believe in the Book of Genesis.
       
      AND….according to LUKE 24:27 & LUKE 24:44 Moses wrote the Book of Genesis. We can surmise that he did this with help from actual written records from the past God had preserved. There are indicators of where these records begin and end. Note the phrasing of Genesis 2:4; 5:1, 6:9; 10:1; 11:10; 11:27; 25:12; 25:19; 36:1; 36:9; 37:2.
       
      The FIRST five days of creation.
       
      Tells us the philosophical importance of KNOWING God as creator.
       
      If everything around us, including ourselves, is the result of random, meaningless occurrences apart from the work of a creating God, then it says something about who WE ARE, and where WE ARE, and WHERE the whole universe, are going. Then we HUMAN BEINGS don’t have any more significance than an amoebae; then there is no greater law in the universe than survival of the fittest.
       
      SO THE ONLY REAL WAY TO FIND OUT WHO WE ARE is from God. The best place to find out? IN THE VERY BEGINNING…
       
      BEGINS in Genesis.
       
      There are many possible answers man gives to the question of HOW everything came into being. Some say, once there was absolutely nothing, and now there is something.
       
      BUT THE BIBLE says before there was anything created, there was THE TRIUNE GOD.
       
      GENESIS TELLS US A simple, EASY TO UNDERSTAND TRUTH regarding God work as creator.
       
      “In the beginning God CREATED the heavens and the earth.”
       
      GOD CREATED…this summary statement will be detailed in the following verses, but the Bible simply and straightforwardly declares the world DID NOT CREATE ITSELF or COME ABOUT BY CHANCE. It WAS CREATED by God, who, by definition, is eternal and has always been.
       
      GOD CREATED…IS USED 35 TIMES IN GENESIS 1 ALONE.
       
      OBVIOUSLY GOD KNEW THE ARGUMENTS AND DEBATES AND QUESTIONS WOULD COME…SO HE PATIENTLY REPEATS HIMSELF…like a patient parent teaching babies by rote.
       
      God created…God created…God created….
       
      So if you BELIEVE GENESIS 1:1, you really SHOULD HAVE NO TROUBLE BELIEVNG THE REST OF THE BIBLE.
       
      GOD IS THE ANCIENT HEBREW WORD…ELOHIM. IT IS THE ONLY HEBREW WORD FOR GOD THAT GOD USES IN THE PLURAL FORM (AS THE TRIUNE GOD=ALMIGHTY GOD, JESUS CHRIST, & THE HOLY SPIRIT) AND AS HIMSELF THE LORD GOD…(IS ONLY ALMIGHTY GOD).
       
       
      GOD CREATED THE HEAVENS…The simple fact of God’s creation is even more amazing when we consider the greatness of God’s universe.
       
      A typical galaxy contains BILLIONS of individual stars; our galaxy alone (the Milky Way) contains 200 BILLION stars. Our galaxy is shaped like a giant spiral, rotating in space, with arms reaching out like a pinwheel, and our sun is one star on one arm of the pinwheel. It would take 250 million years for the pinwheel to make one full rotation. But this is only OUR galaxy; there are many other galaxies with many other shapes, including spirals, spherical clusters, and flat pancakes. The average distance between one galaxy and another is about 20 MILLION TRILLION miles. Our closest galaxy is the Andromeda Galaxy, about 12 million trillion miles away.
       
      But God did all this HIMSELF…confirmed/affirmed in ISAIAH 48:13, “Indeed My hand has laid the foundation of the earth, and My right hand has stretched out the heavens; when I call to them, they stand up together.”
       
      But God is BIGGER AND GREATER than all His creation. ISAIAH 40:12, which confirms, “Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, measured heaven with a span and calculated the dust of the earth in a measure?”
       
      GOD CREATED the heavens and the earth: If God created the heavens and the earth, then we must FOREVER REJECT ANY MANKIND IDEAS that anything happens by chance.
       
      “CHANCE, LUCK, FATE, KISMET, OOPS” merely describes the statistical probability of something happening. Chance itself can “do” nothing.
       
      But assigning such power to “chance” is crazy. Chance has NO POWER. For example, when a coin is flipped, the chance it will land “heads” is 50%; however, “chance” does not make it land heads. Whether or not it lands heads or tails is due to the strength with which the coin is flipped, the strength of air currents and air pressure as it flies through the air, where it is caught, and if it is flipped over once it is caught. Chance doesn’t “do” anything but describe a PROBABILITY.
       
      Therefore, when someone says the universe or anything else came about BY CHANCE, they are extremely ignorant, superstitious, or just repeating a line they have heard before and have unthinkingly accepted.
       
      GOD CREATED: Inherent in the idea of God is that He is an INTELLIGENT DESIGNER. Only an intelligent designer could create a just-right universe, not “chance.” Our universe IS a just-right universe.
       
      The universe has a just-right gravitational force.
       
      IF it were larger, the stars would be too hot and would burn up too quickly and too unevenly to support life.
      IF it were smaller, the stars would remain so cool, nuclear fusion would never ignite, and there would be no heat and light.
       
      The universe has a just-right speed of light.
       
      IF it were larger, stars would send out too much light.
      IF it were smaller, stars would not send out enough light.
       
      The universe has a just-right average distance between the stars.
       
      IF it were larger, the heavy element density would be too thin for rocky planets to form, and there would only be gaseous planets.
      IF it were smaller, planetary orbits would become destabilized because of the gravitational pull from other stars.
       
      The universe has a just-right polarity of the water molecule.
       
      IF it were greater, the heat of fusion and vaporization would be too great for life to exist.
      IF it were smaller, the heat of fusion and vaporization would be too small for life’s existence, liquid water would become too inferior a solvent for life chemistry to proceed, ice would not float, leading to a runaway freeze-up.
       
      We SHOULD conclude that there is NO CHANCE that such a universe could create itself, apart from an Intelligent Designer.
       
      IN THE BEGINNING…God created the heavens and the earth: This tells us that God used NO PRE-EXISTING MATERIAL to create the earth. The ancient Hebrew word bara (created) is specific. It means to CREATE OUT OF NOTHING, showing that God created the world out of nothing, not out of Himself. God IS separate from His creation. Unlike Eastern and pantheistic perceptions of god, the Bible teaches the universe could perish yet He would remain.
       
      Men CAN NOT…WILL NOT EVER “create” in the sense the term is used in Genesis 1:1. MANKIND & SATAN HIMSELF can only “fashion” or “form” things out of EXISTING material. The closest we come to creating is in reproducing ourselves sexually. This is perhaps one reason why Satan wants to pervert and destroy God’s plan and standard for sexuality/marriage; it is deeply connected to our being made IN THE IMAGE of God.
       
      The Bible’s clear teaching of God’s creation and the uncertainty of modern science.
      Some scientists often act certain in their knowledge about the origin of the universe, but their constant “revolutionary discoveries” prove they are really just GROPING in the dark. They TREAT theories…ideas…as FACTS. When they are NOT. Honest scientists, those not puffed up with a proud arrogance, will admit this.
       
      Psalm 136 connects the Genesis account of creation with the rest of Israel’s history in a seamless fabric. The creation account is not put in a category of “historical fiction.”
       
      Jesus QUOTED Genesis as if it were a purely historical record in Matthew 19:4-6 and Matthew 23:35.
       
      It is true that Genesis was not written primarily as a scientific document. But if God gave us a truly scientific, detailed account of creation, written in scientific language, there would be no one who could understand it and no end to the length of such an account.
       
      THINK ABOUT IT….
      It has taken man almost 7000 years to get smart enough & technologically advanced enough to see, separate, and begin to discern THE ATOM & DNA…two ONLY TWO microscopic ingredients in GOD’S creation & energy OF ALL THINGS.
       
      ALMIGHTY GOD KEEPS IT SIMPLE…NOT BECAUSE HE IS, BUT BECAUSE WE CAN NOT FATHOM, MUCH LESS UNDERSTAND ALL THE HOWS OF CREATION.
       
      PROVERBS 25:2 tells us, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.”
       
      Scientific inquiry is the glory OF MAN; yet it must all be done with utmost humility, realizing God conceals these matters for man to search out.
      GOD WANTS US TO SEEK HIM…IF WE DO…HE PROMISES WE WILL FIND HIM…
       
      God did all this in the beginning, yet there was MUCH BEFORE the beginning.
       
      God Himself was BEFORE the beginning: “Your throne is established from of old; You are from everlasting.” in Psalm 93:2.
       
      Some are troubled by the questions, “Where did God come from?” and “Who created God?” The answer is found in the definition of God - that God is the uncreated Being, eternal, and without beginning or end.
       
      GOD ALWAYS WAS, IS, AND SHALL EVER BE.
       
      This is demonstrated in several passages of Scripture. Psalms 90:1-2 says, “Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.”
       
      The Bible is telling us this: THE TRIUNE GOD IS THE ONLY infinite, eternal, and unchangeable spirit, the perfect being in whom all things begin, and continue, and end.
       
      God WAS/IS in THREE PERSONS before the beginning, and the Persons shared a relationship of love and fellowship: “Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. . . for You loved Me BEFORE the foundation of the world.” (John 17:5; 17:24)
       
      EPHESIANS 3:11 says, “Before the beginning, there was an eternal purpose in the heart of God to gather together in one all things in Christ.” God’s PURPOSE was to “resolve” or “sum up” ALL things in Jesus, as if Jesus Himself were THE ANSWER to a great and complex problem God wrote out on the “blackboard” of the universe.
       
      Before the beginning, God had a specific plan to fulfill this eternal purpose, with many different aspects revealed to us:
       
      1 Peter 1:20 tells us, the mission of Jesus was foreordained before the foundation of the world. “He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.”
       
      TITUS 1:2 says, “Eternal life was promised before time began: in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began.”
       
      1 Corinthians 2:7 tells us the mystery of the gospel (the cross) was foreordained before the ages. “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory.”
       
      2 Timothy 1:9 tells us the grace given unto us was given before the world began. “Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.”
       
      Ephesians 1:4 tells us believers in Jesus Christ were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world. “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.”
       
      Job 38:7 tells us at some time before the beginning, “God created the angels, because they witnessed the creation of the heavens and the earth.”
       
      GENESIS TELLS US the state of the earth before God organized creation.
       
      “The earth was WITHOUT FORM, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”
       
      Some translate the idea in this verse as the earth became without form and void. Their thinking is the earth was originally created not without form and void, but it became without form and void through the destructive work of Satan. However, this is not the plain grammatical sense of the ancient Hebrew.
       
      Those who follow this idea look to Isaiah 45:18: “For thus says the Lord, Who created the heavens, Who is God, Who formed the earth and made it, Who has established it, Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited: “I am the Lord, and there is no other.”
       
      The idea is God here says He did not create the world in vain (the Hebrew word is the same as the word for void in Genesis 1:1).
       
      Based on these ideas, some have advanced what has been called the “Gap Theory.” It is the idea that there was a long and indefinite chronological gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. Most “Gap Theory” adherents use the theory to explain the fossil record, assigning old and extinct fossils to this indefinite gap.
       
      THE GAP THEORY FAILS to explain the extinction and fossilization of ancient animals. The Bible says plainly death came by Adam (Romans 5:12), and since fossils are the result of death, they could NOT have happened BEFORE Adam’s time.
      Darkness was on the face of the deep: This may describe a sense of resistance to the moving of the Holy Spirit on the earth. Some speculate this was because Satan was cast down to the earth (Isaiah 14:12; Ezekiel 28:16) and resisted God’s plan, though his resistance was futile.
       
      When God created the earth, He quite likely built an “old” earth, creating things in the midst of a time sequence, with age “built in.”
       
      WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
       
      For example, Adam was already OF MATURE AGE when he was created; there was age “built in.” Likewise, the trees in the Garden of Eden had rings in them, and there were undoubtedly canyons and sand beaches in Adam’s world.
       
      Verses 3-5 tells us the first day of creation: light is created and divided from the darkness.
       
      “Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.”
       
      Let there be light: The FIRST step from chaos to order is to BRING LIGHT. This is also the way God works in our life.
       
      2 Corinthians 4:3-6. Paul speaks about the light brought to us by the gospel. “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
      Then GOD SAID: God did not have to fashion light with His hands. It was enough for God to merely SPEAK THE WORDS, “Light be!” and there WAS light.
       
      Because God created things by SPEAKING THEM INTO EXISTENCE, some have said we can operate on the same principle, speaking things into existence BY FAITH.
       
      This is based on a wrong understanding of Hebrews 11:3 (by faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God), which is taken to say God Himself used faith in creating the world. Instead, it says it is by faith we understand God created the world.
       
      Also, some have a wrong understanding of Mark 11:22 which is taken to literally mean “have God’s faith” as if we are to have the same faith God has. But the words Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God” cannot mean this, because faith, as Hebrews 11:1 tells us, is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. What does God “hope” for? What does He not see? An omnipotent, omniscient Being certainly does not need faith. He IS the object of faith.
       
      There was light: Genesis tells us that light, day, and night each existed before the sun and the moon were created on the fourth day (Genesis 1:14-19). This shows us that light is more than a physical substance; it also has a SUPERNATURAL aspect. In the new heavens and the new earth, there won’t be ANY sun or moon. God Himself WILL BE the light (Revelation 22:5).
       
      The darkness God sent upon the Egyptians (Exodus 10:21) had a tangible quality to it, far beyond what we usually think of as being associated with darkness; it could BE FELT. This demonstrates a certain supernatural element, which can be related to light and darkness.
      So the evening and the morning were the FIRST DAY: Many wonder if this was a literal day (in the sense we think of a day) or if it was a geological age. Some say that God created the world in six days, and others say He created it in six vast geological ages. Though there is disagreement among Christians on this, the most plain and simple meaning of the text is that He created in six days as we think of days.
       
      WHY?
       
      BECAUSE HEAVEN IS ETERNAL…THERE IS NO NEED FOR DAY OR NIGHT NOR TIME… DAYS AND TIME WAS CREATED SOLELY FOR MANKIND & NATURE. GOD SAID DAYS…HE MEANT OUR UNDERSTANDING OF DAYS.
       
      WE SHOULD BELIEVE AND ACCEPT 6 DAYS meant just that 6 24 hour days as HE CREATED THEM FOR US.
       
      Verses 6-8 tells us the second day of creation: God makes an atmospheric division.
       
      “Then GOD SAID, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day.”
       
      Let there be a firmament: The idea of a firmament is that the waters of the land are separated from the water vapor in the sky.
       
      The waters which were above the firmament: Here, the Bible recognizes the existence of water vapor in the sky. “The waters above the firmament thus probably constituted a vast blanket of water vapor above the troposphere and possibly above the stratosphere as well, in the high temperature region now known as the ionosphere, and extending far into space.”
       
      WHY?
       
      It would serve as a global greenhouse, maintaining an essentially uniformly pleasant temperature ALL OVER THE ENTIRE WORLD.
       
      Without great temperature variations, there would be no significant winds, and the water-rain cycle could not form. There would be no rain as we know it today…and no need for it.
       
      There would be lush, tropical-like vegetation, all over the world, fed not by rain, but by a rich evaporation and condensation cycle, resulting in heavy dew or ground-fog.
       
      The vapor blanket would filter out ultraviolet radiation, cosmic rays, and other destructive energies bombarding the planet. These are known to be the cause of mutations, which decrease human longevity. Human and animal life spans would be greatly increased.
       
      AFTER THE GARDEN OF EDEN & BEFORE THE FLOOD…MANKIND & ANIMALS LIFE SPAN WAS NORMALLY 900 YEARS.
       
      AND THIS WATER VAPOR BLANKET…PROVIDED the necessary reservoir for a potential worldwide flood to come 1000 years later.
       
      Verses 9-13 tells us the third day of creation: the land is divided from the sea; plants and all types of vegetation are created.
       
      “Then GOD SAID, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth”; and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. So the evening and the morning were the third day.”
       
      The idea is that before this, the earth was covered with water. Now the waters are gathered together into one place, and dry land appears.
       
      WHY?
       
      ALMIGHTY GOD KNEW HIS CREATION. HE KNEW MAN COULD NOT LIVE IN WATER 24/7, PROCREATE, PROSPER, & REPLENISH THE EARTH IN WATER….MAN, NATURE, & MOST CREATURES NEEDED LAND, & DIRT TO REPLENISH THEMSELVES.
       
      Let the earth bring forth grass: All this happened BEFORE the creation of the Sun (the fourth day of creation, Genesis 1:14-19). This means the plants must have had SUFFICIENT nourishment because of the light God had created before the sun and the moon.
       
      Those who propose these days of creation were not literal days, but successive “ages” of slow, evolutionary development have a real problem here. It is hard to explain how plants and all vegetation could grow and thrive eons before the sun and the moon. No modern evolutionist would argue plant life is older than the sun or the moon, but this is what the Genesis record tells us.
       
      Many wonder how the sun, moon, and stars were created on the fourth day when light (including day and night) was created on the first day. Many have suggested the problem is solved by saying these heavenly bodies were created on the first day, but were not specifically visible, or not finally formed, until the fourth. But Revelation tells us of a coming day when we WON’T NEED the sun, moon, and stars any longer (Revelation 21:23). There’s no reason why God couldn’t have started creation in the same way He will end it.
       
      And it was so: This is the beginning of life on planet earth, directly INSTANTLY created by God, NOT slowly evolving over millions of years as mankind‘s “theories”…not PROOFS…just “theories” want us to believe. And NONE of which HAVE OR WILL BE EVER CONFIRMED OR PROVED.
       
      The fossil evidence also demonstrates life EXPLODED into existence on earth, instead of slowly evolving.
       
      SORRY…but we were NEVER APES, who slowly EVOLVED into KNUCKLE-DRAGGING, NEANDERTHAL HALF MAN/HALF APE man.
       
      NOR DID WE SLITHER LIKE TADPOLES FROM PRIMORDIAL OOZE SLIME PIT, & OVER MILLIONS OF YEARS EVOLVE INTO MAN.
       
      NOR DID MANKIND BEGIN IN THE BIG BANG…BASICALLY WE WERE EXPLODED ROCKS, THAT EVENTUALLY EVOLVED TO BECOME MAN, NATURE, AND THE WORLD.
       
      WITH A WORD…A SPOKEN WORD FROM ALMIGHTY GOD WE BECAME.
       
      The earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed . . . and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself: The plants were created not as seeds, but as FULL-GROWN plants each bearing seeds. They were thus created as mature plants, having the “appearance” of age.
       
      AND HERE IS THE ANSWER TO THE AGE OLD SCIENTIFIC QUESTION…WHAT CAME FIRST? THE CHICKEN OR THE EGG. ALMIGHTY GOD CREATED ALL THINGS MATURE, GROWN FIRST…SO…The chicken really did come before the egg.
       
      According to its kind: This phrase appears TEN times in Genesis chapter 1. It means God allows variation within a kind, but something of one kind will NEVER develop into something of another kind.
       
      WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
       
      IT MEANS YOU WILL NOT BREED SHEEP AND GET A HORSE.
      NOR WILL YOU RAISE CORN…AND GET AN OAK TREE.
       
      YOU MAY BREED A BLACK LAB WITH A BLOND STANDARD POODLE…AND GET A LABRADOODLE…THAT IS BLOND, BLACK, OR A MIXTURE OF COLOR AND SEXES…BUT IT WILL STILL BE A DOG….NOT A LIZARD.
       
      And God saw that it was good: God knows what is good. He is not some vague moral neutral. He knows what is good and organizes His creation to result in something good.
       
      NOTICE THIS TOO…God does NOT call the earth good until it has become HABITABLE, a place where man, beast, & nature CAN live and thrive.
       
      Verses 14-19 tells us the fourth day of creation: the sun, moon, and stars.
      “Then GOD SAID, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.”
       
      Let them be for signs and seasons: God made the sun and the moon - these lights in the firmament of the heavens to be for signs and seasons. Since the beginning, man has used God’s provision of the sun, moon, and stars to mark and measure time and direction.
       
      We know when to go to bed, when to get up, when to plant, when to harvest, which direction is north, south, east, and west….because of the sun & moon & stars.
       
      GOD SET THEM in the firmament of the heavens: God knew exactly how far to set the sun from the earth. A few million miles more or less and life as we know it would be IMPOSSIBLE.
       
      The intricate balance of our ecosystem argues strongly for the existence of a Creator. We live in a very complex world.
       
      KING DAVID ATTRIBUTES THE movement of the sun to the praise of God (as in Psalms 113:3; 50:1; and 148:3): “The progress of the sun in his circuit is an uninterrupted song of praise to God. And this song alone makes his motion possible. Therefore, when Joshua wanted to bid the sun stand still, he had to command him to be silent. His song of praise hushed, the sun stood still.”
       
      Let them be for signs and seasons: When God set the lights in the heavens to be for signs, it probably includes what we commonly call the zodiac, but was called by the ancient Hebrews the Mazzaroth (Job 38:31-32).
       
      Significantly, the sequence of the zodiac is THE SAME in every language and culture, even if the specific names of the constellations change. Also, we know the figures of the constellations suggested to us don’t look like those things at all, and, they NEVER did. Yet the names for the figures of the constellations are the same in all cultures. This points to a common, pre-Babel beginning for ALL these things, before the truth of the constellations was corrupted.
       
      WHERE IS THIS CONFIRMED IN THE BIBLE?
       
      Luke 1:70 and Acts 3:21 speak of holy prophets since the world began. These prophets may be the stars themselves. Psalm 147:4 and Isaiah 40:26 tell us God has the stars ALL numbered and God HAS a name for them all. Psalm 19:1-6 tells us the heavens contain a message from God.
       
      BUT ASTROLOGY IS A SATANIC CORRUPTION of God’s original “message in the stars,” a message outlining His plan of redemption. Because astrology is a corruption, it is to be avoided always by man as the prophet ISAIAH TELLS US in Isaiah 47:12-15.
       
      He made the stars also: With all the other stars in our universe, we often wonder if there is life on other planets.
       
      When you take into account all that is necessary for the sustenance of life as we know it, there are NO planets ABLE TO FULLY SUPPORT NOR SUSTAIN LIFE ON THEIR OWN, AS THEY ARE. Taking into account factors such as our galaxy type, star location, star age, star mass, star color, distance from star, axis tilt, rotation period, surface gravity, tidal force, magnetic field, oxygen quantity in atmosphere, atmospheric pressure, and 20 other important factors, the probability of all 33 occurrences happening on any one planet is one in 10 to the 42 power. The total number of possible planets in the universe is 10 to the 22 power.
       
      Talk about IMPOSSIBLE…
      10 to the 42nd power…would be 10 with 42 ZEROES after it.
       
      10 to the 22nd power would be 10 with 22 ZEROES after it.
       
      WORSE & SADDER….The U.S. government spends $100 million a year looking for extraterrestrial intelligence & other habitable planets. GENESIS TELLS US THERE IS NO OTHER LIFE BUT THAT WHICH HE MADE ON PLANET EARTH. THERE IS NO OTHER LIFE…OTHER THAN THAT WHICH HE CREATED ON PLANET EARTH.
       
      THERE ARE MANY BETTER THINGS TO SPEND 100 MILLION A YEAR ON…AMEN?
       
      Verses 20-23 tells us the FIFTH DAY of creation: birds and sea creatures are created.
       
      “Then GOD SAID, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.” So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.”
       
      LET THE WATERS ABOUND with an abundance of living creatures: We see the great variety of birds and sea creatures were created at the SAME INSTANT OF TIME, not evolving slowly over millions of years. Even though plant life was created before animal life, animal life was NOT created out of plant life.
       
      Among the diversity of animals, many share similar structures: birds, reptiles, mammals, and so forth. This argues at least as persuasively for a common Designer as it does for a common life source. All life did NOT come from the SAME primordial cell, but it DID ALL COME from the SAME Designer.
       
      According to their kind: Again, all animal life is created according to its kind. God deliberately structured plenty of variation within a kind, but one “kind” does not become another.
       
      For example, structure among dogs is diverse. The teacup poodle is very different from the Great Dane, but they are BOTH dogs. However, they WON’T, CAN’T & DON’T BECOME mice, no matter how much breeding/EXPERIMENTATION is done.
       
      Evolutionists often give convincing examples of micro-evolution, the variation of a kind within its kind, adapting to the environment. For example, the ratio of black to white peppered moths may increase when pollution makes it easier for dark moths to escape detection; or finches may develop different beaks in response to their distinctive environment. But the moths are still moths, and the finches are still finches. There has NEVER BEEN ANY CHANGE outside of the kind. Micro-evolution DOES NOT prove macro-evolution.
      BUT…what about the FOSSIL RECORD? Doesn’t the fossil record show these creatures SLOWLY evolved into existence, instead of suddenly appearing?
       
      Most people are unaware that Darwin’s strongest opponents were not clergymen, but fossil experts. Darwin admitted the state of the fossil evidence was “the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory,” and because of the fossil evidence, “all the most eminent paleontologists . . . and all our greatest geologists . . . have unanimously, often vehemently, maintained” that the species DO NOT change.
       
      The fossil record is marked by TWO great principles: FIRST, STATIS, which means most species are UNCHANGED in all their documented history. The way they look when they first appear in the fossil record is the way they look when last appearing in the fossil record. They have NOT changed. SECOND, SUDDEN APPEARANCE, which means in any local area, a species does not arise gradually, but appears all at once and “fully formed.”
       
      The Bighorn Basin in Wyoming contains a continuous record of fossil deposits for what geologists say is five million years. Because this record is so complete, paleontologists ASSUMED a positive trail of evolution COULD BE found. Instead, the fossil record does NOT convincingly document NOT ONE SINGLE transition from one species to another.
       
      The fossil record totally REJECTS the idea of millions of tiny changes; the QUICK LEAPS are a way of attributing miraculous power to “CHANCE” or “MOTHER NATURE” INSTEAD OF ALMIGHTY GOD. It FAR MORE RATIONAL to believe in a wise, creating, designing God.
       
      The SIXTH DAY of creation: the creation of man.
       
      Verses 24-25 tells us God makes land animals.
       
      “Then GOD SAID, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.”
       
      LET THE EARTH bring forth the living creature: On the fifth day of creation, God made birds and sea animals, but now God turns His creative attention towards LAND ANIMALS of various types.
       
      God made the beast of the earth according to its kind: When we look at the infinite variety of the animal kingdom (both living and extinct), we must be impressed with God’s creative power, as well as His sense of humor. Any Being who makes the giraffe, the platypus, and the peacock HAS TO BE A WONDROUS GOD OF JOY AND HUMOR, RIGHT?
       
      To a peahen, the most attractive peacocks are the ones with the biggest fans, but the big fan on the tail makes it difficult to escape a predator. Therefore, the peahen rewards the peacock with the least chance of survival. This is a great problem for those who BELIEVE IN THE IDEA of “survival of the fittest.”
       
      ACCORDING TO ITS KIND: Again, this important phrase is emphasized. God allows tremendous variation within a kind, but one “kind” will NEVER become another “kind.”
       
      Verse 26 tells us God plans to make man in HIS IMAGE.
       
      “Then God said, “LET US MAKE MAN IN OUR IMAGE, according to OUR likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
       
      DID YOU CATCH THAT?
      VERSE 26 ANSWERS THE AGE OLD QUESTION WAS ALMIGHTY GOD ALONE IN THE BEGINNING? DID JESUS CHRIST COME LATER? WHEN WAS THE HOLY SPIRIT CREATED?
       
      RIGHT HERE ALMIGHTY GOD ANSWERS THE QUESTION.
       
      LET US…IN OUR IMAGE.
       
      ALMIGHTY GOD, JESUS CHRIST, & THE HOLY SPIRIT ALWAYS WERE, ARE, AND EVER WILL BE.
       
      THEY WERE THERE IN THE BEGINNING…
       
       
      Let Us make man in Our image: The use of the plural (Let Us . . . in Our image, according to Our likeness) is consistent with the idea that there is One God in three Persons, what we know as the Trinity.
       
      RIGHT HERE….ALMIGHTY GOD TELLS US THAT HE, JESUS CHRIST, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT ALWAYS WERE, ARE AND EVER SHALL BE. IT TELLS US THAT ALMIGHTY GOD WAS NOT SINGULAR…THEN HE CREATED JESUS CHRIST…THEN CREATED THE HOLY SPIRIT. THE TRIUNE GOD ALWAYS WAS…IS AND SHALL EVER BE.
       
      IN OUR IMAGE: An understanding of who man IS begins with knowing we ARE MADE in the image of God. Man is different from every other order of created being because He has a created consistency WITH God.
       
      WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
       
      It means there is an unbridgeable gap between human life and animal life. Though we are biologically similar to certain animals, we are DISTINCT, SPECIAL, UNIQUE in our moral, intellectual, and spiritual capabilities.
       
      WE ALONE POSSESS IMMORTAL SOULS…OUR SOULS NEVER AGE…NEVER DIE…whereas all other created living things DO DIE. They have a spirit that reflects their natures and temperaments and personalities unique to them, but nothing but MANKIND….POSSESSES AN IMMORTAL SOUL.
       
      This means ALSO MEANS there is also an UNBRIDGEABLE gap between HUMAN LIFE and ANGELIC LIFE. NOWHERE in The Bible are we told the angels are made in the image of God. Angels cannot have the same kind of relationship of love and fellowship with God we can have. We ARE unique above ALL THINGS IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH to The Triune God.
       
      This means human life has intrinsic value, quite apart from the “quality of life” experienced by any individual, because human life is made in the image of God.
       
      IN OUR IMAGE: There are several SPECIFIC things in man that show him to be made in the image of God.
       
      Man ALONE has a natural countenance looking upward.
      Man ALONE has such a variety of facial expressions.
      Man ALONE has a sense of shame expressing itself in a blush.
      Man ALONE speaks.
      Man ALONE possesses personality, morality, and spirituality.
       
      IN OUR IMAGE: There are at least THREE ASPECTS to the idea that we are made in the image of God.
       
      It means humans possess personality: knowledge, feelings, and a will. This sets man APART from all animals and plants.
      It means humans possess morality: we are able to make moral judgments and have a conscience.
      It means humans possess spirituality: man is made for communion with God. It is on the level of spirit we communicate with God.
       
      IN OUR IMAGE: This does not mean that God has a physical or human body. God is a Spirit (John 4:24). Though God does not have a physical body, He designed man so man’s physical body could do many of the things God does: see, hear, smell, touch, speak, think, plan, and so forth.
       
      IN OUR IMAGE, ACCORDING TO OUR LIKENESS: The terms for image and likeness are slightly different. Image has more to do with appearance, and likeness has more to do with an abstract similarity, but they both essentially mean the same thing here in this context.
       
      LET THEM HAVE DOMINION: Before God ever created man He decreed man would have dominion over the earth. Man’s pre-eminence of the created order and his ability to affect his environment is no accident; it is part of God’s plan for man and the earth.
       
      In this sense, it is sin if man does not use this dominion responsibly, in the sense of a proper regard for stewardship on this earth.
       
      Verses 27-31 tells us God’s creation of man and initial commission to Adam.
       
      “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”
       
      So God created man in His own image: God created man according to His plan as described in Genesis 1:26. The concept of man being created in the image of God is repeated to give emphasis to the idea.
       
      We are plainly told God created man FULLY FORMED (GROWN), and created him in ONE DAY, not gradually over millions of years of progressive evolution. The idea that a slow, progressive evolution could produce a complex mechanism like the human body just doesn’t hold up.
      SCIENTISTS & DOCTORS say there would be at least 40 DIFFERENT STAGES OF EVOLUTION REQUIRED TO FORM ONE EYE.
       
      THE SIMPLE TRUTH ABOUT EVOLUTION IS THAT IT WAS, IS, AND ALWAYS WILL BE ONLY A MAN MADE THEORY..OR IDEA. THERE WASN’T, ISN’T, AND NEVER WILL BE FACTS NOR PROVES TO TURN DARWIN AND OTHERS THEORIES INTO FACT.
       
      THEORY IS NOT FACT.
      IDEAS ARE NOT FACT.
       
      WHY DO EVOLUTIONISTS INSIST IN BELIEVING FAIRY DUST THEORY OVER SOLID ROCK HARD FOUNDATIONAL PROOFS?
       
      BECAUSE THEY WOULD HAVE TO ADMIT…THAT THERE IS A GOD…AND THAT HE CREATED ALL THINGS…AND THAT THEY WILL ONE DAY FACE THEIR CREATOR…AND THAT THEY WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ARROGANT, LIES, AND THEORIES…WHEN THEY KNOW DEEP IN THEIR DEEPEST HEART…THAT THERE IS A CREATOR GOD.
       
      IF THEY THEN ACCEPT THAT THERE IS A CREATOR GOD, THEN THEY MUST ACCEPT THAT THERE IS A HEAVEN AND A HELL….THAT THERE IS AN ETERNITY….AND AN ETERNAL CHOICE…THAT MUST AND WILL BE MADE.
       
      THEY DO NOT WANT TO HAVE TO FACE THE MAN IN THE MIRROR…THEY DO NOT WANT TO HAVE TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY OR BELIEVE THAT THEY WILL ONE DAY ANSWER FOR THEIR LIVES…LIES.
       
      SO IN THEIR MINDS…IT IS BETTER TO REJECT ALMIGHTY GOD AND THE BIBLE AND GO ON WITH THEIR LIVES. WHAT THEY ARE DOING IS GAMBLING….HOPING….AND BELIEVING THEY CAN ESCAPE RESPONSIBILITY.
       
      AND SATAN AND THIS WORLD ARE HAPPY TO HELP THEM KEEP AND HOLD ON TO THEIR DELUSIONS…ALL THE WAY TO THE LAKE OF FIRE.
       
      Male and female He created them: This should not be construed to mean Adam was originally some type of androgynous being, being both male and female. This passage of Genesis gives us an overview of God’s creation of man, and Genesis 2 TELLS US exactly how God created male and female.
       
      TODAY, many say there is NO REAL difference between men and women. This makes sense if we are the result of mindless evolution, but not it is true that male and female He created them. To God, the differences between men and women are not accidents. Since He created them, the differences are good and meaningful.
       
      Men are not women, and women are not men. One of the saddest signs of our culture’s depravity is the amount and the degree of gender confusion ENCOURAGED today.
       
      It is vain to wonder if men or women are superior to the other. A man is absolutely superior at being a man. A woman is absolutely superior at being a woman. But when a man tries to be a woman or a woman tries to be a man, you have something inferior.
       
      Then God blessed them: the first thing God did for man was to bless him. Without the goodness of God’s blessing, human life would be not only unbearable, but also impossible.
       
      Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion: God also gives man A JOB to do: fulfill God’s intention of man’s exercise of dominion over the earth. Inherent in this command is that man should be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. Man cannot fulfill God’s plan for him on the earth unless he populates it.
       
      Additionally, God gave mankind a desire for sex, which would make the populating of the earth quick and likely.
       
      However, many have thought that being fruitful and multiplying was God’s only or main purpose for sex, but this isn’t the case. The primary reason God created sex was to contribute to the bonding, the love, the comfort, and UNITY of a one-flesh TRIUNE COVENANT relationship BETWEEN A MAN, A WOMAN, & ALMIGHTY GOD.
       
      Animals have sexual relations only for reproduction, but human sexual response is different from animal sexual response in many ways. Human ovulation has no outward sign; humans have sex in private; humans have secondary sexual characteristics (only in humans do females develop breasts before the first birth). Only humans demonstrate a constant availability for and interest in sex, as opposed to a “heat” season in animals. In humans, the duration of the sexual interlude is longer and the intensity of the pleasure of sex is stronger, and only humans continue to have intercourse after the end of fertility. None of these specifically human dimensions of sex are required for reproduction, but all of them are useful for sex as a tool of bonding & love & unity.
       
      To you it shall be for food: God gave man dominion over the whole earth, but only vegetation is specifically mentioned as being for food. Seemingly, before the flood, the human race was vegetarian, but after the flood, man was given permission to eat the flesh of animals (Genesis 9:3).
       
      God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good: God’s final analysis of His work of creation is that it was very good. God was pleased with His creation, and so are we!
       
      When God pronounced the creation good, He really meant it. At the time, it was entirely good; there was no death or decay on earth at all.
       
      KEN HOVIND, an amazing Bible scholar, with a wall full of other degrees, who gave symposiums about Creator God vs. Evolution told us once, he had one woman storm down the aisle, red-faced, shaking with rage, who told him he was a Bible Thumping blind fool to believe in a God, much less an INTELLIGENT DESIGNER GOD. She went on to say that she WAS A SCIENTIST, listed all her degrees, & she KNEW that evolution was FACT. She KNEW she descended first from primordial slime, who evolved into apes. Ken Hovind, who has a soft, pleasant voice simply said, “Madam, I do not know you nor your ancestry, so far be it for me to TRY and tell you…convince you of your TRUE ancestry. You MUST KNOW YOUR RELATIVES far better than I. So if you tell us all that your relatives are slime and apes, I will not argue with you…but mine are not.”
       
      ALMIGHTY GOD SPEAKS CLEARLY IN GENESIS 1.
      HE SETS THE RECORD STRAIGHT FOR US.
      WE CAN KNOW HIS HOLY WORD IS PURE TRUTH.
      GENESIS 1 TELLS US WE ARE WONDROUSLY AND FEARFULLY AND UNIQUELY MADE IN ALMIGHTY GOD’S IMAGE.
      YOU ARE NOT A MISTAKE.
      YOU ARE NOT AN OOPS.
      YOU ARE NOT JUNK…CHANCE…AN ABERRATION.
      YOU ARE CREATED WITH TIME, LOVE, PATIENCE, & CARE.
      YOU ARE UNIQUE…ONE OF A KIND.
      I KNOW YOU…I CREATED A GIRAFFE…TO MAKE YOU GRIN.
      I CREATED THE SUN TO KISS YOUR FACE EACH DAY.
      I CREATED THE WIND TO CARESS YOU EACH DAY.
      I CREATED THE RAIN TO COOL, CLEANSE, & FOR DANCING THE RAIN.
      I CREATED THE FLOWERS TO TOUCH OUR HEART.
      I CREATED THE SUNSETS AND SUNRISES TO REMIND YOU…I LOVE YOU.
      I CREATED THE MOUNTAIN PEAKS TO REMEMBER I AM BIGGER, STRONGER, & ALWAYS CONSTANT FOR YOU.
      THE MOON AND THE STARS TO KNOW…I AM WATCHING OVER & GUIDING YOU EVEN IN THE DARKEST NIGHT.
      I CREATED THE RIVERS AND THE OCEANS THAT WHISPER & ROAR MY NAME.
      YOU ARE FEARFULLY & WONDROUSLY MADE FROM MY HEART, HAND, & BREATH.
      YOU ARE PRECIOUS & PRICELESS TO ME.
      YOU ARE LOVED…BELOVED…YOU ARE LOVED.

    • August 7, 2016 9:16 PM EDT
    • I LOVE THE STUDY OF GENESIS TOO CINDY LOU!

    • July 31, 2016 5:24 PM EDT
    • Amen Faithy amen !

    • June 21, 2016 7:28 PM EDT
    • GENESIS 3:
       
      IN OUR YOUTH…WE LOOKED AROUND US AND BELIEVED NOTHING WOULD OR COULD CHANGE.
       
      WE ALL WERE ONCE INNOCENT OF THIS WORLD.
      WE WERE ALL ONCE NAÏVE.
      WE ALL AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER POSSESSED THE IMMORTALITY MINDSET.
       
      I WILL LIVE FOREVER.
      NOTHING BAD WILL HAPPEN TO ME.
       
      OR THE BELIEF THAT WHAT WAS HAPPENING AROUND US OUT IN THE BIG WIDE WORLD…EVEN WHAT COULD SNEAK…OR THREATEN….OR MIGHT COME INTO OUR LITTLE PIECE OF THE WORLD COULD NOT TOUCH US BECAUSE WE WERE EXCLUDED FROM HARM, EVIL, UGLINESS….WE WERE UNTOUCHABLE…PURE…AND WOULD REMAIN THE SAME.
       
      WE WERE NOT PREPARED FOR CHANGE…EVIL…DISRUPTION…OR THE REALITIES AND POSSIBILITIES IN THIS WORLD…ANY MORE THAN ADAM AND EVE WERE.
       
      BUT COME EVIL DID…AND DOES.
      BUT COME REALITIES & CONSEQUENCES DID…AND DO COME.
       
      AND THAT NAIVETE AND INNOCENCE WAS AND STILL TODAY IS INSTANTLY SHATTERED….BECAUSE LIKE ADAM WHO DID NOT PROTECT…AND EVE WHO WAS NAÏVE & BELIEVED HERSELF UNTOUCHABLE…PARADISE WAS LOST.
       
       
      TURN WITH ME NOW TO Genesis 3
       
      Man’s Temptation and Fall…And Paradise was lost!
       
      The temptation from the serpent. The serpent begins his temptation in Verse 1...
       
      “Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
       
      We KNOW WHO THE SERPENT IS…THE SERPENT IS SATAN HIMSELF…
       
      Ezekiel 28:13-19 TELLS US that Satan was in Eden. Many other passages associate a serpent or a snake-like creature with Satan (such as Job 26:13 and Isaiah 51:9). Revelation 12:9 and 20:2 speak of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan.
       
      THE TRIUNE GOD DOES NOT WANT US TO BE DECEIVED.
      HE WANTS US TO KNOW ALWAYS…WHO AND WHAT SATAN IS.
       
      The representation of Satan as a serpent makes the idea of Moses saving Israel by lifting up a bronze serpent all the more provocative (Numbers 21:8-9), especially when Jesus identifies Himself with that very serpent (John 3:14). This is because in this picture, the serpent (a personification of sin and rebellion) is made of bronze (a metal associated with judgment, since it is made with fire). The lifting of a bronze serpent is the lifting up of sin judged, in the form of a cross.
       
      AND Ezekiel 28 tells us Satan, before his fall, was an angel of the highest rank and prominence, even the “worship leader” in heaven. Isaiah 14 tells us Satan’s fall had to do with his desire to be equal to or greater than God, to set his will against God’s will.
       
      The serpent was more cunning than any beast: Satan’s effectiveness is often found in His cunning, crafty ways. We can’t outsmart Satan, but we can overcome him with the power of Jesus.
       
      PAUL CONFIRMS THIS DECEPTIVE, CUNNING, AND CRAFTINESS OF SATAN THAT MADE HIM SUCCESSFUL AGAINST EVE IN 2 CORINTHIANS 11:3, which says, “As the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness.”
       
      And he said to the woman…this tells us BEFORE the curse pronounced in Genesis 3:14-15, the serpent was different than what we know today as a serpent. This creature didn’t start as a slippery, slithering, hissing snake as we know it, it became one.
       
      Jesus WARNS us of who, what, and how deceptive, illusionary, and superficially Satan and his demons CAN be.
       
      RIGHT HERE IN GENESIS….JESUS IS SHOWING US that demonic spirits HAVE the ability, under certain circumstances, to indwell human or animal bodies, as it is CONFIRMED IN Luke 8:33).
       
      IN PARADISE….THIS TIME…Satan CHOSE to indwell the body of a pre-curse serpent.
       
      EVE WAS NOT AFRAID…WORRIED…OR CAUTIOUS AT ALL.
      BUT TODAY…EVEN THE BRAVEST OF HEARTS…KNOW INSTINCTIVELY TO BEWARE AND RUNNNNNNNN from snakes.
       
      REGARDLESS HOW SATAN APPEARED TO EVE… it is FAR more important WHAT HE SAID & HOW HE SAID IT.
       
      Satan CHOSE TO BRING his temptation against the woman because he perceived she was more vulnerable to attack.
      WHY?
       
      BECAUSE SATAN KNEW EVE HAD NOT RECEIVED the command to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil DIRECTLY from God but through Adam.
       
      THIS TELLS US THAT SATAN AND HIS DEMONS ARE EVER WATCHFUL…THEY KEEP RECORDS.
       
      Perhaps Satan knew by observation Adam didn’t do an effective job in communicating to Eve THE ABSOLUTE DO NOT the Lord told him. This failure on Adam’s part made Eve MORE vulnerable to temptation.
       
      BUT THIS ALSO SHOWS US THAT Satan will often attack a chain at its WEAKEST link, so he gets at Adam by tempting Eve. The stronger ones in a “chain” must expect attack against weaker links and support them against those attacks.
       
      ADAM FAILED TO BE ALERT…ADAM FOR ALL HIS BRILLIANCE…NEVER CONSIDERED EVE WOULD BE APPROACHED…ATTACKED. SORRY GUYS…BUT MALE ARROGANCE AND PRIDE IN SELF…was the weak link.
       
      But remember this always….THE TRIUNE GOD KNEW ALL THIS…AND HE HAD ALREADY PLANNED FOR THIS AND HE ALLOWED SATAN TO TEMPT EVE.
       
      WHY?
       
      BECAUSE IF Adam would have sinned FIRST, and if he had given the fruit to Eve, she WOULD HAVE HAD A VIABLE excuse..DEFENSE before God: “I was simply obeying the head of our home. When he gave me the fruit, I ate of it.”
       
      “Has God indeed said”…..Satan’s FIRST attack is leveled against the Word of God. If he can get Eve confused about what God said, or to doubt what God said, to doubt what ALMIGHTY GOD REALLY MEANT…then his battle is partially won.
       
      GENESIS 3 TELLS US AND SHOWS US…that from the VERY beginning, Satan has TRIED to undermine God’s people by undermining God’s Word. He can undermine just as effectively by getting us to NEGLECT God’s Word as by getting us to DOUBT & QUESTION it.
       
      “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” Satan took God’s positive command (Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat [ Genesis 2:16-17]) and rephrased it in a negative way: “God won’t let you eat of every tree????”
       
      Verses 2-3 tells us Eve’s reply to the serpent.
       
      “And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”
       
      We read this NOW….and our first thought is….goooooood grief Eve WHY would you even SPEAK TO….MUCH LESS CARRY on a discussion with the serpent????
       
      JUDE 1:9 confirms our thoughts with Jesus Words & teachings. We ARE called to SPEAK OUT to the devil, but NEVER to have a discussion with him. We simply and strongly tell him, “The Lord rebuke you!”
       
      We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: Eve’s knowledge of what she should not do is partially correct, but what she doesn’t seem to know makes her all the more vulnerable to deception.
       
      Eve does not seem to know the name of this tree; she only calls it the tree in the midst of the garden, instead of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17).
       
      THIS ONLY CONFIRMS THAT ADAM DID NOT POST SIGNS, STROBBING DANGER RED LIGHTS, around this tree…much less TELL EVE THE INHERENT CURSE AND DANGER OF IT EITHER.
       
      IN OTHER WORDS THE ARROGANCE SAYING….”WHAT THE LITTLE WOMAN…DOESN’T KNOW CAN’T HURT HER” …IS A LIE STRAIGHT FROM THE PIT OF HELL.
       
      Eve misquoted God’s command to Adam. Her words, “you shall not eat it” and “lest you die” are close enough, but she added to the command and put words in God’s mouth when she said, “nor shall you touch it.” Of course, it was a good idea to completely avoid the temptation; no good could come from massaging the fruit you’re not supposed to eat.
       
      But THEN AND NOW it is a dangerous thing to TEACH the doctrines of man as if they ARE commandments from Jesus Christ himself…as Matthew confirms and warns us in Matthew 15:9.
       
      THEN AND NOW…SOME OF THE MOST BRILLIANT MINDS TO BE FOUND…LACK ANY SHRED OF COMMON SENSE.
       
      We can almost picture Adam telling Eve, “See that tree in the middle of the garden? Don’t touch it or God says we’ll die!” While this is better than saying nothing, what Adam didn’t explain made a vulnerable place where Satan could attack.
       
      “Lest you die”….may seem like a small thing to hinge the destiny of the human race and all creation on. But the tree was nothing more than a RESTRAINT on Adam and Eve. It reminded them they were NOT God, that God had a legitimate claim on their obedience, and that they were responsible to Him.
       
      Verses 4-5 tells us Satan’s direct challenge to God’s Word.
       
      “Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
       
      RIGHT HERE….Satan effectively laid the groundwork. He drew Eve into a discussion with him and planted the seed of doubt about God’s Word, and he exposed Eve’s incomplete understanding of God’s Word. Now he moves in for the kill, with an outright contradiction of what God said.
       
      THIS SHOWS US THAT SATAN NEEDS A FOOTHOLD IN US…BEFORE HE CAN EFFECTIVELY HARM & TRIP US UP! No one falls like Adam and Eve will fall, “all of a sudden.” A foundation has been laid FIRST.
       
      THIS IS WHY PAUL REMINDS US IN EPHESIANS 4:27.…we are called to never give place to the devil. This shows how remarkable it is that Jesus could say in John 14:30, “Satan has nothing in Me.”
       
      Satan first NEEDED Eve to forget all about what God said about the CONSEQUENCES of sin.
       
      JUST AS HEBREWS 11:25 confirms, when we know and remember the consequences of sin, we are more likely to give up the passing pleasures of sin.
       
      ALSO Satan’s direct challenge, SERVES to get Eve to DOUBT the GOODNESS of God. If God lies to her, how can He be good?
       
      ALSO Satan TRIES to get Eve to doubt the BADNESS of sin. If this fruit is something good for her, why doesn’t God want her to have it?
       
      FROM THE BEGINNING….Satan SEEKS TO TWIST AND DISTORT…he wants us to see sin as something good, fine, no big deal…that a BAD, BOSSY, BUMMER God doesn’t want us to have. His main lie then and now is this…..“Sin is really NOT bad and God is really NOT good.”
       
      “In the day you eat of it your eyes WILL BE opened”… Satan’s temptation was all the MORE POWERFUL, SNEAKY, & CUNNING…BECAUSE THERE WAS A GRAIN OF TRUTH IN IT. It was true your eyes will be opened, and this was fulfilled (Genesis 3:7). But their eyes were instantly opened to their OWN sin, arrogance, and rebellion.
       
      HERE WE LEARN SOMETHING IMPORTANT…JESUS CHRIST IS PURE TRUTH…ALL TRUTH…a pinch of truth does NOT MAKE IT JESUS’ TRUTH.
       
      You will be like God, knowing good and evil: The final enticement is the most powerful, because it was how Satan himself fell, wanting to be EQUAL WITH GOD. Eve tried to become a god herself by her rebellion against God.
       
      The goal of becoming God is the center of so many non-Christian religions. But in our desire to be gods, we become like Satan (who said, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God . . . I will be like the Most High” written in Isaiah 14:13-14. INSTEAD of being like Jesus, who came as a servant in Matthew 20:28.
       
      The New Age movement and the desire to be “god” are just as strong as ever. According to a recent survey, as many as 20 million Americans can be considered active participants in the New Age movement, and another 30 million are avidly interested. If all these people were brought together in a church-like organization, it would be the third largest religious denomination in America. More than 90% of the subscribers to New Age Magazine are college graduates, compared to half the general population.
       
      In 1995, New Age influence made it all the way to the White House. New Age author Marianne Williamson (writer of A Course In Miracles), guru to many of Hollywood’s spiritual seekers, spent a night at the White House as the personal guest of Hillary Clinton. And Anthony Robbins, motivational guru and king of late-night infomercials, consulted with President Clinton at Camp David. Robbins is also recognized as a leader in the New Age movement.
       
      L. RON HUBBARD OF SCIENTOLOGY & other gurus today call themselves “spiritualists”…when what they REALLY ARE is people who believe themselves to BE GODS AND RULERS AND CONTROLLERS OF ALL THINGS.
       
       
      Verse 6 tells us the sin of Adam and Eve is their disobedience and their consequences…the fall of the human race.
       
      “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.”
       
      Eve surrendered to this temptation in exactly the way John describes in 1 John 2:16. First, she gave in to the lust of the flesh (saw that it was good for food), then she gave in to the lust of the eyes (pleasant to the eyes), then she gave in to the pride of life (desirable to make one wise).
       
      Jesus was tempted in the same three-fold way: an appeal to the physical appetites, an appeal to covetous and emotional desires, and an appeal to pride confirmed in Matthew 4:1-11.
       
      The woman saw that the tree was good for food: Eve’s perceptions were partially true and partially false. The tree was not really good for food, though Eve was deceived into thinking it was so. The fruit probably was pleasant to the eyes, though that shouldn’t mean much. And it was only true in Eve’s mind that the tree was desirable to make one wise.
       
      We can see the total truth of Paul’s statement in 1 Timothy 2:14, that Eve was DECEIVED INTO SINNING. In her mind, she thought she was doing something good for herself.
       
      She took of its fruit and ate: Satan could tempt Eve, but she didn’t have to take it. The taking was all her doing. Satan couldn’t cram the fruit down her throat. Eve was responsible. She couldn’t rightly say, “the devil made me do it.”
       
      FREEWILL….MEANS CHOICE.
      EVE HAD TO CHOOSE TO SIN.
       
      As with every temptation, God had made for Eve a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13). She could have simply run from Satan and the tree, but Eve didn’t take God’s way of escape.
       
      She also gave to her husband with her: Not only did Eve sin, but she became the agent of temptation for Adam. But when Adam ate, he was not deceived as Eve was. Adam sinned with his eyes wide open, in open rebellion against God.
       
      Therefore, it is Adam, not Eve, who bears the responsibility for the fall of the human race and for the introduction of death into the created order & that truth is confirmed in Romans 5:12 & 1 Corinthians 15:22. Eve was tricked into sinning; Adam knew exactly what he was doing we are reminded in 1 Timothy 2:14.
       
      Many have speculated that Adam sinned because he didn’t want Eve to be alone in the fall, and he ate of the fruit out of a romantic impulse. This may well be true, but it makes Adam’s sin not one bit less rebellious. Rebellion against God is not “better” when motivated by a romantic impulse.
       
      BUT THINK ABOUT THIS….AND REMEMBER IT….JESUS HAD MADE A PLAN….EVEN IN THE GARDEN ON EDEN. ONE SWEET DAY….THOUSANDS OF YEARS LATER….“Take and eat” will one day become verbs of salvation, but only after Jesus had lived in the world of Adam’s curse and surrendered to death.
       
      Verse 7 tells us The nakedness of Adam and Eve.
       
      “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.”
       
      Seemingly, it was only after the sin of Adam that they knew of their sinful state. They knew they were naked, in the sense of having their shame exposed to all creation.
       
      They KNEW that they were naked: Psalm 104:2 and Matthew 17:2 suggest that light can be a garment for the righteous. It may be that Adam and Eve were previously clothed in God’s glorious light, and the immediate loss of this covering of light left them feeling exposed and naked.
       
      The way they saw themselves changed, but also the way they saw the entire world was now different. After the fall, everything looked worse.
       
      Was it good or bad that Adam and Eve saw their nakedness and felt terrible about it? It was good, because it is good to feel guilty when you have done something wrong.
       
      Their own attempt to cover themselves with fig leaves took much ingenuity, but not much wisdom. Fig leaves are said to have a prickly quality, which would make for some pretty itchy coverings.
       
      THIS TEACHES US that every attempt to cover our own nakedness before God is just as foolish. We need to let Jesus cover us as He promises in Revelation 3:5; 3:18), and put on Jesus Himself as our covering garment as reminded to us in Galatians 3:27.
       
      The exhortation from Jesus himself tells us in Revelation 16:15, “ Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.”
       
      THEN AND NOW…they covered their genital areas. In virtually all cultures, adults cover their genital areas, even though other parts of the human body may be more or less exposed from culture to culture.
       
      This is not because there is something intrinsically “dirty” in our sexuality, but because we have both received our fallenness and pass it on genetically through sexual reproduction. Because of this, God has implanted it in the minds of men that more modesty is appropriate for these areas of our body.
       
      Verses 8-9 tells us Adam and Eve hide from God; God calls out to them.
       
      “And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”
       
      They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: Adam and Eve knew that when they heard the Lord coming, He would want to be with them. This was how the Lord had fellowship with Adam and Eve, in a very natural, close, intimate way.
       
      Who is the human physical form of the TRIUNE GOD? Yes, it was Jesus Christ himself who walked, talked, ate, fellowshipped, & talked with Adam and Eve.
       
      Adam and his wife hid themselves: This shows that Adam and Eve knew that their attempt to cover themselves failed. They didn’t proudly show off their fig-leaf outfits; they knew their own covering was completely inadequate, and they were embarrassed.
       
      “Where are you?”…is NOT the interrogation of an angry commanding officer, but the heartfelt cry of an anguished father. God obviously knew where they were but He also knew a gulf had been made between Himself and man, a gulf that He Himself would have to bridge.
       
      Verses 10-12 tells us Adam tries to explain his sin.
       
      “So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”
       
      Sin made Adam afraid of God’s presence and afraid of God’s voice. Ever since Adam, men run from God’s presence and don’t want to listen to His Word.
       
      Don’t we STILL TO THIS DAY…avoid, delay, facing and meeting people we have hurt? Grieved? Sinned against? Been unfair too?
       
      Who told you that you were naked? God knew the answer to this question. He asked it because He allowed Adam to make the best of a bad situation by repenting right then and there, but Adam didn’t come clean and repent before God.
       
      We learn right here…to keep short accounts with Jesus. When we sin, fail, falter…do not hide it, do not ignore it, do not blame others…claim it ourselves and repent….QUICKLY.
       
      Joshua 7:19-20 confirms this… “We all sin, but when we sin, we can still give glory to God by openly confessing without shifting the blame onto others.”
       
      There is often nothing you can do about yesterday’s sin (though in some cases you may be able to make restitution). Yet you can do what is right before God right now by confessing and repenting.
       
      Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat? God confronted Adam’s problem squarely. This wasn’t primarily a wardrobe problem or a fear problem or a self-esteem problem. This was a sin problem and Adam’s wardrobe, fear, or self-understanding could not be addressed until the sin problem was addressed.
       
      Then the man said: Notice that to this point, God has not addressed Eve at all. Adam, being the head, is the problem here.
       
      The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate: Adam’s attempt to blame Eve is completely consistent with human nature, isn‘t it.
       
      7000 years later mankind is STILL SEEKING TO CAST THE BLAME ON ANYONE AND EVERYONE ELSE…and not own up to their sin. Few of us are willing to simply say as David did in 2 Samuel 12:13, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
       
      Significantly, in the eyes of THE TRIUNE GOD, if there is any blame, it is on Adam, not Eve. Not only does Adam unjustly accuse Eve, but also he refuses to accept proper responsibility for his part in her sin.
       
      TALK ABOUT ARROGANCE…ADAM WAS FULL OF IT. By daring to say to our TRIUNE GOD…“You gave me the woman, and she is the problem.” Adam wasn’t content to blame Eve; he had to blame God also.
       
      Verse 13 tells us Eve’s reply to God.
       
      “And the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
       
      When confronted by God, Eve doesn’t necessarily shift the blame when she admits the serpent deceived her and then she ate. This much was true, she had been deceived, and she did eat.
       
      Deceived me…the REAL PROBLEM IS…when we fail to see that being deceived is sin in itself. Romans 1:25 confirms this, “It is sin to exchange the truth of God for the lie.”
       
       
      Verses 14-15 tells us The curse and its aftermath. God curses the SERPENT FIRST.
       
      “So the Lord God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.”
       
      DO YOU NOTICE WHEN God spoke to Adam and to Eve, He asked them each questions. God DOESN’T ASK Satan (the being animating the serpent) any questions, because there was nothing to teach him.
       
      You are cursed more than all cattle: The first part of the curse is directed at the animal that Satan used to bring the temptation. God commanded the serpent to slither on the ground instead of walking on legs like any other animal.
       
      Adam and Eve must have been terrified as this once-beautiful creature called a serpent was transformed into the creeping, slithering, hissing snake we know today.
       
      WHY?
       
      BECAUSE they must have thought, “It’s our turn next!”
       
      I will put enmity between you and the woman: In addition, there is a natural aversion between mankind and serpents, especially on the part of women. AND THAT CURSE REMAINS TODAY.
       
      You shall eat dust all the days of your life: This was true of the serpent as an animal, but it is also true of Satan. To eat dust has the idea of total defeat SPOKEN OF IN Isaiah 65:25 & Micah 7:17.
       
      God’s judgment on Satan is for him to always know defeat. He will always reach for victory, but always fall short of it.
       
      SATAN WAS PRONOUNCED DEFEATED BEFORE JESUS CHRIST EVER WALKED THE EARTH.
       
      Satan was, in his own thinking, majestic and triumphant over Jesus on the cross, but he failed. In attacking Jesus, Satan made his own doom certain.
       
      In Jesus, we share in the victory over Satan: And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly as promised us in Romans 16:20.
       
      Enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed: The second part of the curse is directed against Satan himself. God placed a natural animosity between Satan and mankind. Enmity has the idea of ill will, hatred, and a mutual antagonism. Satan’s hatred of Eve was nothing new; it was already present - but now man will, generally speaking, have antagonism towards Satan.
       
      The “friendship” Eve and the serpent seemed to enjoy earlier in the chapter is finished. There is now a natural fear of Satan in the heart of man.
       
      If we are born naturally rebellious against God, we are also born cautious and afraid of Satan. One must be hardened to willingly and knowingly serve Satan. Instinctively, we don’t serve God or Satan; we serve ourselves (which is fine with Satan).
       
      He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel: In this, God prophesies the doom of Satan, showing that the real battle is between Satan and the Seed of the Woman.
       
      There is no doubt this is a prophecy of Jesus’ ultimate defeat of Satan. God announced that Satan would wound the Messiah (you shall bruise His heel), but the Messiah would crush Satan with a mortal wound (He shall bruise your head).
       
      The heel is the part within the serpent’s reach. Jesus, in taking on humanity, brought Himself near to Satan’s domain so Satan could strike Him.
       
      DID YOU CATCH THIS?
      This prophecy also gives the FIRST hint of the virgin birth, declaring the Messiah - the Deliverer - would be the Seed of the Woman, but not of the man.
       
      That is why Genesis 3:15 has been called the protoevangelium, the first gospel of the coming of Jesus Christ.
       
      He shall bruise your head: For God to see the defeat of Satan at Satan’s first flush of victory shows God knew what He was doing all along. God’s plan wasn’t “set back” when Adam and Eve sinned, because God’s plan was to bring forth something greater than man in the innocence of Eden. God wanted more than innocent man; His plan is to bring forth redeemed man.
       
      Redeemed man - this being who is greater than innocent man - is only possible because man had something to be redeemed from.
       
      Verse 16 tell us God’s curse upon the woman.
       
      “To the woman He said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children; your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”
       
      God first cursed the woman with multiplied sorrow. Men and women have each known sorrow throughout history, yet the unique sorrow of women is well known.
       
      Under Jesus, some of the effects of the curse are relieved, and it WAS JESUS WHO BEGAN THE Christianizing of society that brought rights and dignity to women.
       
      Your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children: The first curse upon women is a broad one. It has the idea that women would experience pain in regard to their children in general, not just in the act of giving birth. God ordained that the pain with which women bring children into this world be an example of the pain they experience more generally in life.
       
      It has been observed that women bring forth children with more pain than just about any other creature.
       
      Your desire shall be for your husband: This is true of women in a way that it is not true for men. “This verse will be understood better when it is realized that the desire of man toward his wife alone is solely by God’s grace and not by nature.
       
      Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you: The idea is to contrast the woman’s desire and the husband’s rule over her. This speaks of an inherent challenge in embracing the husband’s role as leader of the home and family.
       
      This same word for desire is used in Genesis 4:7 of the desire of sin to master over Cain. Because of the curse, Eve would have to fight a desire to master her husband, a desire that works against God’s ordained order for the home.
       
      The principle of Adam’s headship as a husband was established before the fall (see Genesis 2:18 and 2:22). Now the curse on Eve makes it much harder for her to submit and flow with God’s institution of male headship in the home.
       
       
      Verses 17-19 tells us God’s curse upon the man.
       
      “Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.”
       
      Because you have heeded the voice of your wife: It wasn’t just as if Adam took Eve’s advice. He chose to be with Eve instead of obeying God. There is a sense in which idolatry of Eve was an aspect of Adam’s disobedience against God.
       
      Cursed is the ground: Because of Adam, there is a curse upon all creation. Before the curse on man, the ground only produced good. After the curse, it will still produce good, but thorns and thistles will come faster and easier than good fruit.
       
      In toil you shall eat of it: Adam worked before the curse, but it was all joy. Now work has a cursed element to it, with pain and weariness a part of work. Is there not a time of hard service for man on earth? Are not his days also like the days of a hired man? Like a servant who earnestly desires the shade, and like a hired man who eagerly looks for his wages as confirmed in Job 7:1-2.
       
      Dust you are, and to dust you shall return: The final curse upon man promised there would be an end of his toil and labor on the earth - but it was an end of death, not not an end of deliverance.
       
      The curse of death shows that the result of Adam’s sin extended to the entire human race. Because of Adam, sin entered the world (Romans 5:12), death came to all mankind (Romans 5:15 & 1 Corinthians 15:22), death reigned over man and creation (Romans 5:17), all men were condemned (Romans 5:18), and all men were made sinners (Romans 5:19).
       
      The principle of Galatians 3:13 is established as we consider that Jesus bore each aspect of the curse upon Adam and Eve in its totality: Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us.
       
      Sin brought pain to childbirth, and no one knew more pain than Jesus did when He, through His suffering, brought many sons to glory (Hebrews 2:10)
      Sin brought conflict, and Jesus endured great conflict to bring our salvation (Hebrews 12:3)
      Thorns came with sin and the fall, and Jesus endured a crown of thorns to bring our salvation (John 19:2)
      Sin brought sweat, and Jesus sweat, as it were, great drops of blood to win our salvation (Luke 22:44)
      Sin brought sorrow, and Jesus became a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief, to save us (Isaiah 53:3)
      Sin brought death, and Jesus tasted death for everyone that we might be saved (Hebrews 2:9)
       
      Verse 20 tells us the naming of Eve.
       
      “And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.”
       
      Adam called his wife’s name Eve: Up to Genesis 3:20, the woman has never been called Eve. We are so used to saying “Adam and Eve” that we assume she already had her name. But to this point, she was called a female (Genesis 1:27), a helper comparable (Genesis 2:18), a woman (Genesis 2:22-23, and a wife (Genesis 2:24-25; 3:8). This does not mean God did not have a name for Eve, but we are told what the name is in Genesis 5:2: He called them Mankind.
       
      The idea that the woman takes her name from the husband, and the idea that both genders are encompassed in terms like mankind, humanity, and chairman. Our use of these terms is not merely cultural, it is Biblical.
       
      A woman gains more of her identity from her husband than the man does from the wife. For this reason, women should take special care in which man they marry.
       
      Because she was the mother of all living: Adam named her Eve, even though she was not a mother at all at the time. She was not even pregnant yet. Adam named her IN FAITH, trusting God would bring forth a deliverer from the woman, because God said He would defeat Satan through the Seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15).
       
      Verse 21 tells us God clothes Adam and Eve in the skins of animals.
       
      “Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.”
       
      The Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them: God wanted Adam and Eve clothed, not naked.
       
      The world’s oldest profession is not prostitution, but the clothing business (Genesis 3:7).
       
      Tunics of skin: In order for Adam and Eve to be clothed, a SACRIFICE had to be made. An animal had to die. Without shedding of blood there is no remission reminded to us in Hebrews 9:22.
       
      SO NOW YOU KNOW HOW MANY RELIGIONS THERE WERE IN THE BEGINNING….There are only TWO.
       
      There is the religion of fig leaves and there is the religion of God’s perfect provision through Jesus.
       
      Covering ourselves with our good works is like Adam and Eve trying to cover themselves with fig leaves. Our good works are like monopoly money - great for monopoly, but not legal tender. Your good works are essential to what it takes to live out your life, but they are not legal tender before God.
       
      AND HERE IS ANOTHER REVELATION….Adam and Eve were clothed in a garment that was purchased with the life of another. We are clothed with a garment of righteousness that was purchased with the life of another, Jesus Christ.
       
      “And GOD clothed them“… This indicates that Adam and Eve were saved. Adam had faith in God’s promise of a Savior, and God provided a covering for them through a sacrifice. We will see Adam and Eve in heaven.
       
      Verses 22-24 tells us God sets cherubim to guard the Tree of Life.
       
      “Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”; therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.
       
      Behold, the man has become like one of us, to know good and evil: The idea behind this phrase is difficult to understand. Perhaps there is a note of sarcasm by God here (as Elijah used in 1 Kings 18:27), regarding Satan’s empty promise to become like gods. Or, perhaps the idea focuses on man’s greater knowledge (though in a bad sense) now that he has the experiential knowledge of evil.
       
      And take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever: In mercy, God protected Adam and Eve from the horrible fate of having to live forever as sinners by preventing them from eating from the tree of life.
       
      The Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden: We don’t know if Adam and Eve wanted to stay in the garden of Eden. Perhaps they felt if they left the garden, they might never see God again because it was the only place where they met Him.
       
      He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden: Cherubim are always associated with the presence and glory of God (Ezekiel 10, Isaiah 6, Revelation 4). When cherubim are represented on earth (such as in the tabernacle, Exodus 25:10-22), they mark a meeting place with God. Though Adam and Eve and their descendants were prevented from eating the fruit of the tree of life (by God’s mercy), they could still come there to meet God. This was their “holy of holies.” Therefore it was important to send a cherubim with a flaming sword to guard the way to the tree of life.
       
      This is the last historical mention of the garden of Eden in the Bible. We can speculate that God did not destroy it, but left it to the effects of the curse and suppose that it generally deteriorated from its original condition, blending into the surrounding geography.
       
      THE GARDEN OF EDEN….PARADISE WAS LOST…BUT IT WAS LOST WITH A PROMISE & A FUTURE HOPE TO YOU AND I.
       
      GOD KNOWS WE ARE GOING TO SIN…SO BE QUICK TO OWN IT…CONFESS IT…AND THEN RISE UP AGAIN.
       
      GOD PROMISED A VIRGIN BIRTH…IT HAPPENED.
      GOD PROMISED SATAN WOULD BRUISE JESUS…IT HAPPENED.
      GOD PROMISED SATAN WAS A DEFEATED FOE IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN….JESUS RESURRECTION PROVED IT.
       
      GOD SHOWED AND PROMISED GRACE AND MERCY TO THE HEART OF FAITH…THAT STILL REMAINED IN ADAM AND EVE’S HEART.
       
      GOD SACRIFICED BLOOD…AN INNOCENT TO CLOTHE ADAM AND EVE…ON A PROMISE OF FUTURE SALVATION.
       
      THOUSANDS OF YEARS LATER….JESUS CHRIST WOULD PAY THE PRICE FOR ADAM AND EVE….JUST AS HE PAID THE PRICE FOR YOU AND I, 2 THOUSAND YEARS BEFORE YOU AND I WOULD EVER NEED A SAVIOR.
       
      THE TRIUNE GOD…HAD/HAS A PLAN.
      THE TRIUNE GOD IS FAITHFUL.
      OUR TRIUNE GOD SPEAKS NOTHING BUT TRUTH.
      WHAT IS SAID IN THE REST OF THE BIBLE CAN BE TRUSTED…
       
      WE WERE LOVED BROTHERS AND SISTERS AND PROVIDED FOR…BEFORE MAN FELL…AND PARADISE WAS LOST.
       
      TRUST IN OUR JESUS.
      HE HAS A WONDROUS PLAN FOR YOU AND I.
       
      ADAM AND EVE WERE GIVEN A PROPHESY…A PROMISE…A FUTURE HOPE OF REDEMPTION AND SALVATION BECAUSE OF THEIR FAITH IN GOD AND HIS GOODNESS.
       
      WE HAVE THE PROMISE…BETTER YET THE PROMISE LIVES WITHIN EACH OF US AS FOLLOWERS AND BELIEVERS OF JESUS.
       
      TRUST IN OUR JESUS…OUR BLESSED HOPE.

       

    • June 21, 2016 7:21 PM EDT
    • GENESIS 7 & 8:
       
      GENESIS 7 & 8: THE FLOOD, THE LOST, THE SAVED, & THE WORLD IS FOREVER CHANGED….
       
       
      Genesis 7 opens with the FINAL INSTRUCTIONS AND PREPARATIONS OF GOD FOR NOAH, HIS FAMILY, & THE ANIMALS BEFORE THE FLOOD.
       
      God INVITES Noah into the ark.
       
      “Then the Lord said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation.”
       
      ALMIGHTY GOD INVITED NOAH & HIS FAMILY. THEN AS NOW, JESUS CHRIST INVITES US, BUT WE MUST CHOOSE TO ENTER. ALMIGHTY GOD DID NOT FORCE NOAH, BUT FREEWILL CHOICE INSURED THAT NOAH HAD A CHOICE. JUST AS WE DO TODAY.
       
      AND WE SEE that God ASSURES Noah THAT HE WILL BE WITH THEM ALL in the ark, so He called Noah to come into the ark with Him.
       
      Noah spent the 150 years before the flood in active obedience. He not only believed God would send the flood; he obeyed what God told him to do in preparation for it.
       
      Verses 2-9 Noah gathers all the animals and his family.
       
      “You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean, a male and his female; also seven each of birds of the air, male and female, to keep the species alive on the face of all the earth. For after seven more days I will cause it to rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and I will destroy from the face of the earth all living things that I have made.” And Noah did according to all that the Lord commanded him. Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters were on the earth. So Noah, with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives, went into the ark because of the waters of the flood. Of clean animals, of animals that are unclean, of birds, and of everything that creeps on the earth, two by two they went into the ark to Noah, male and female, as God had commanded Noah.”
       
      TAKE WITH YOU…
       
      MANY ASK OR WONDER HOW THE ANIMALS CAME TO NOAH AND/OR HOW NOAH “GOT” THEM INTO THE ARK.
       
      ABOVE ALMIGHTY GOD COMMANDING THE ANIMALS TO COME…Genesis 6:20 TELLS US God said the animals would come to Noah by migration. In some animals, God has created a migratory instinct (which can operate in an amazing manner). It is no difficulty for Him to miraculously place an urge to migrate to the ark in each pair of animals He planned to be preserved in the ark.
       
      TWO BY TWO….YOU NOTICE ALMIGHTY GOD HAD NO PROBLEM getting the animals to do what He wants. Only man is ABLE to CHOOSE TO BE more stupid, stubborn and resistant.
       
      ISAIAH SUMS IT UP WELL IN ISAIAH 1:3, which says, “The ox knows its owner and the donkey its master’s crib; but Israel does not know, My people do not consider.”
       
      Verses 10-12 tells us God BRINGS the waters upon the earth.
       
      “And it came to pass after seven days that the waters of the flood were on the earth. In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights.”
       
      Noah, the animals, and his family had to wait in the ark seven days for the rain to come. They had never seen rain up to this time. This was a real test of faith - to wait a week after more than 100 years of preparation.
       
      THE WINDOWS OF HEAVEN WERE OPENED….This is when the great waters which were above the firmament (Genesis 1:7) broke up. These waters formed the huge “blanket” of water in the upper part of the earth’s atmosphere since creation.
       
      AND THEY REMAINED THERE…CONSTANT…UNTIL ALMIGHTY GOD LOOSED THEM.
       
      THIS TELLS US THAT WATERS ALSO came up from UNDER the earth also, no doubt accompanied by great geological catastrophe.
       
      40 DAYS AND 40 NIGHTS…in the Bible the number 40 is always associated with TESTING & PURIFICATION, especially before coming into something NEW. This is PROVED IN:
       
      MOSES time on Mount Sinai in Exodus 24:18; Deuteronomy 9:25.
      The SPIES trip to Canaan in Numbers 13:25.
      ISRAEL’S time in the wilderness in Numbers 14:33; 32:13.
      ELIJAH’S miraculous journey to Sinai in 1 Kings 19:8.
      JESUS’ temptation in the wilderness in Mark 1:13.
       
       
      Verses 13-16 tells us ALL WILLINGLY enter the ark and the door is shut.
      “On the very same day Noah and Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark; they and every beast after its kind, all cattle after their kind, every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, every bird of every sort. And they went into the ark to Noah, two by two, of all flesh in which is the breath of life. So those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the Lord shut him in.”
       
      THEY WENT IN AS GOD COMMANDED…This summary statement describes how everything was fulfilled EXACTLY as the Lord had spoken. All things were READY for the flood God would bring upon the earth.
       
      Noah did NOT have to shut the door on anyone’s salvation; God did it. After the same pattern, it is never our job to disqualify people from salvation. WE CAN NOT SHUT THE DOOR….ONLY OUR TRIUNE GOD CAN SHUT THE DOOR.
       
      DID YOU NOTICE…God kept the door OPEN until the LAST POSSIBLE MINUTE?
       
      BUT there came a time when the door had to shut. When the door is open, it is open, but when it is shut, it is shut.
       
      REVELATION 3:7 REMINDS AND WARNS US TODAY OF THIS, WHICH SAYS, “Jesus is He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens.”
       
      The ark REPRESENTED SAFETY IN THE MIDST OF THE STORM AND SALVATION for Noah, but ITS CLOSED DOORS & THE FLOOD WATERS REPRESENTED GOD’S condemnation for the world. BEFORE JESUS CHRIST PAID IT ALL….THERE WERE NO SECOND CHANCES FOR THOSE WHO REJECTED AND WERE LEFT OUTSIDE THE ARK. FOR OVER 1OO YEARS NOAH HAD BEEN WARNING THEM, BESEECHING THEM TO REPENT, TO TURN TO ALMIGHTY GOD…THEY LAUGHED AT HIM, SNEERED AT HIM, MOCKED HIM, AND MADE FUN OF THE CRAZY OLD MAN, BUILDING A SHIP IN THE DESERT SAND…THAT HAD NEVER SEEN ENOUGH WATER TO EVEN LIFT THAT HUGE MONSTROCITY AN INCH.
       
      Verses 17-23 tells us that the flood is described in PRECISE DETAIL.
       
      “Now the flood was on the earth forty days. The waters increased and lifted up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. The waters prevailed and greatly increased on the earth, and the ark moved about on the surface of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth, and all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered. The waters prevailed fifteen cubits upward, and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved on the earth: birds and cattle and beasts and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man. All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, all that was on the dry land, died. So He destroyed all living things which were on the face of the ground: both man and cattle, creeping thing and bird of the air. They were destroyed from the earth. Only Noah and those who were with him in the ark remained alive.”
       
      The waters NOT ONLY PREVAILED BUT INCREASED ENORMOUSLY on the earth…THIS description of the flood in this passage is so complete and specific that it is impossible to reconcile it as JUST A LOCAL, IN THAT AREA ONLY FLOOD, as some TRY TO STATE IT.
       
      ALMIGHTY GOD DOES NOT LIE.
      HE WARNED AND PROMISED A FLOOD THAT WOULD COVER THE FACE OF THE ENTIRE WORLD…AND IT WAS A GLOBAL DELUGE.
       
      HOW CAN WE BE SURE? IF IT WERE NOT A GLOBAL FLOOD, THEN ALMIGHTY GOD, WHO TOLD NOAH OVER A 100 YEARS BEFORE IT CAME….COULD HAVE SIMPLY SAID GO HERE…GO THERE AND ESCAPE THE FLOOD WATERS.
       
      IF IT WERE NOT A GLOBAL FLOOD, THEN ALMIGHTY GOD WOULD NOT HAVE TOLD THE ANIMALS TO MIGRATE TO THE ARK….BUT SIMPLY TO MOVE TO HIGH LAND.
       
      THIS TELLS US SIMPLY AND EXACTLY…THERE WAS NO SAFE PLACE ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH FOR MAN NOR THE ANIMALS DURING THIS FLOOD…BECAUSE THE WORLD AS THEY KNEW IT WAS GOING TO DISAPPEAR FOREVER…
       
      AND IF THIS WERE JUST A LOCAL FLOODED DESERT AREA AND NOT THE ENTIRE WORLD, THEN GOD’S PROMISE to never again bring SUCH A FLOOD AGAIN TO THE FACE OF THE EARTH WAS A LIE.
       
      WE HAVE HAD FLOODED AREAS…BUT NOT ONCE SINCE THE TIME OF NOAH, HAS GOD EVER BROUGHT A GLOBAL FLOOD OVER THE FACE OF THE EARTH AGAIN.
       
      OUR TRIUNE GOD IS FAITHFUL.
      OUR TRIUNE GOD KEEPS HIS WORD.
      OUR TRIUNE GOD DOES NOT LIE…..EVER!
       
      AND THINK ABOUT THIS AS WELL…If this were ONLY A LOCAL FLOOD AS SOME IDIOTICALLY CLAIM, then The Bible is WRONG when it traces all of humanity back to Noah’s sons and other passages that speak of a universal flood found in Psalm 104:5-9 and 2 Peter 3:5-6.
       
      BUT WE KNOW OUR TRIUNE GOD CAN NOT LIE.
       
      ADDITIONALLY….AND INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH, 100s of peoples & nations groups RECORD their own accounts and legends of the flood. One of the most remarkable is the Babylonian account, which is similar to the Genesis account in many ways and is clearly drawn from it.
       
      JUST ANOTHER PROOF THAT THE BIBLE IS INERRANT AND ABSOLUTE TRUTH…since ALL mankind now on the face of the Earth came from Noah’s sons, ALL MANKIND remembers the flood.
       
      ANOTHER HISTORICAL BIBLE SCHOLAR…Boice in his studies of THE TIME OF THE FLOOD AND AFTER…specifically cites the legends of the Samo-Kubo tribe of New Guinea, the Athapascan Indians of America, the Papago Indians of Arizona, Brazilian tribes, Peruvian Indians, African Hottentots, natives of Greenland, native Hawaiian islanders, Hindus, Chinese, Egyptians, Greeks, Persians, Australian natives, the Welsh, Celts, Druids, Siberians, and Lithuanians.
       
      THERE ARE OVER 200 cultures that have their own account of the flood the following aspects of the story are common:
       
      88% describe a favored family
      70% attribute survival to a boat
      95% say the sole cause of the catastrophe is a flood
      66% say that the disaster is due to man’s wickedness
      67% record that animals are also saved
      57% describe that the survivors end up on a mountain
       
      AND MANY OF THE GLOBAL accounts also SPECIFICALLY mention birds being sent out, a rainbow, and eight persons being saved.
       
      FOLKS…THE HOLY BIBLE IS PURE TRUTH AND PINPOINT ACCURATE HISTORY OF MANKIND.
       
      EVEN ALL THE MOUNTAINS WERE COVERED….THINK ABOUT THAT….this took a lot of water, but there is plenty of water on the earth today to do this - but because of the topography of the earth, the water is COLLECTED AND RESTRAINED AND CONTAINED into oceans.
       
      CHRISTIAN SCIENTISTS TELL US IF the earth were a perfect sphere & FREED/LOOSED THEIR CONFINES…the oceans would cover the land to a depth of two-and-a-half to three miles. Before the cataclysmic flood, the earth may have been much nearer to a perfect sphere.
       
      “All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, all that was on the dry land, died:”….
       
      AS EVER SATAN SEEKS TO CONFUSE AND CAST DOUBT ON THE INERRANT WORD OF THE BIBLE….JUST AS HE DID WITH EVE.
       
      EVER HEARD OF OR STUDIED SCOPES MONKEY TRIAL IN SCHOOL?
       
      YEARS AGO, in the Scopes Monkey Trial, Clarence Darrow humiliated William Jennings Bryan by asking him if he believed every word in the Bible. When Bryan said he did, Darrow asked him how the fish drowned in the flood.
       
      Bryan DID NOT know the answer, BUT he got creative and guessed and gave a great, confused speech, and died the next day. If only BRYAN WOULD HAVE LOOKED AND SOUGHT OUT THE ANSWERS IN THE BIBLE, he would have known it says this about the breath of the spirit of life. The fish did NOT die in the flood; only animals with the breath of life in them died, the animals on dry land.
       
      BECAUSE OF HIS IGNORANCE...THE "OBSCENE THEORY" OF EVOLUTION WAS GIVEN MERIT & ENTERED OUR EDUCATION HALLS.
       
      AGAIN ALMIGHTY GOD DID JUST AS HE SAID HE WOULD.
       
      Virtually ALL of Noah’s contemporaries did NOT believe God would do just as He said. Though it took 120 years, God demonstrated that He KEEPS His promises and is totally faithful.
       
      Verse 24 tells us the flood lasted 150 days without receding.
       
      “And the waters prevailed on the earth one hundred and fifty days.”
       
      Some THINK God put some or many of these animals into a period of hibernation for this period, meaning that less food, space, and “damage control” was needed.
       
      God provides many animals today with an amazing instinct for hibernation. It would be no difficulty for Him to miraculously impart a unique instinct for these particular animals.
       
       
       
       
       
      GENESIS 8: God remembers Noah.
       
       
      Verse 1 tells us God focuses His attention on Noah again.
       
      “Then God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the animals that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters subsided.”
       
      WHAT THIS VERSE MEANS IS God never forgot Noah, but at this point God again turned His active attention towards Noah.
       
      God made a wind to pass over the earth….GOD KNEW HOW TO MAKE THE WATERS SUBSIDE. Even a big problem like this was NOT A PROBLEM OR CONCERN FOR OUR TRIUNE GOD.
       
       
      Verses 2-5 tells us the flood-waters recede, the ark rests on Mount Ararat.
       
      “The fountains of the deep and the windows of heaven were also stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained. And the waters receded continually from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters decreased. Then the ark rested in the seventh month, the seventeenth day of the month, on the mountains of Ararat. And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month. In the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains were seen.”
       
       
      In a HUMAN LOGISTICAL sense, Mount Ararat was not a very “smart” place to leave the ark. Leaving the ark at a high altitude and mountainous terrain meant a difficult departure for everyone and everything in the ark.
       
      Mountains of Ararat….in plural form, however, if God’s purpose was to put the ark in a place where it might be preserved for thousands of years, He chose an excellent place for it. Did he not?
       
       
      Verses 6-12 tells us birds are used to test the condition of the earth.
       
      “So it came to pass, at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made. Then he sent out a raven, which kept going to and fro until the waters had dried up from the earth. He also sent out from himself a dove, to see if the waters had receded from the face of the ground. But the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, and she returned into the ark to him, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took her, and drew her into the ark to himself. And he waited yet another seven days, and again he sent the dove out from the ark. Then the dove came to him in the evening, and behold, a freshly plucked olive leaf was in her mouth; and Noah knew that the waters had receded from the earth. So he waited yet another seven days and sent out the dove, which did not return again to him anymore.”
       
      Verses 13-19 tells us Noah, his family, and all the animals leave the ark.
       
      “And it came to pass in the six hundred and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, that the waters were dried up from the earth; and Noah removed the covering of the ark and looked, and indeed the surface of the ground was dry. And in the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dried. Then God spoke to Noah, saying, “Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you: birds and cattle and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him. Every animal, every creeping thing, every bird, and whatever creeps on the earth, according to their families, went out of the ark.”
       
      Verse 20 tells us God’s covenant with Noah & Noah builds an altar & offers a sacrifice.
       
      “Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.”
       
      Noah’s FIRST ACT after leaving the ark was to WORSHIP & THANK God through sacrifice. His gratitude and admiration of God’s greatness lead him to worship God.
       
      Took of every clean animal and every clean bird…. As is the nature with true sacrifice, this was a COSTLY OFFERING TO ALMIGHTY GOD. With only seven of each animal on the ark, Noah risked extinction by sacrificing some of these animals. But costly sacrifice WAS/IS pleasing to God.
       
      NOTHING COULD EVER BE MORE COSTLY TO OUR ALMIGHTY GOD THAN THE COSTLY SACRIFICE OF HIS PRECIOUS, TREASURE OF HEAVEN SACRIFICE OF HIS SON JESUS CHRIST, AMEN?
       
      The sacrifices we are called to offer to God should also cost us something.
       
      ROMANS 12:1 confirms this, “We should present our bodies as a living sacrifice to God.”
       
      PHILIPPIANS 4:18 says, “The giving of our resources is a sacrifice.”
       
      HEBREWS 13:15 says, “We should give the sacrifice of praise to God.”
       
      Costly sacrifice pleases God, not because God is greedy and wants to get as much from us as He can but because God Himself sacrificed at great cost HIS PRECIOUS SON recorded in Ephesians 5:2; Hebrews 9:26; 10:12.
       
      God WANTS costly sacrifice from us because it shows we are being conformed into the image of Jesus, who was the greatest display of costly sacrifice.
       
      As Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:2, we should be like Jesus in this regard: “And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.”
       
      And remember to THINK like David, who said in 2 Samuel 24:24, “He would never offer to God that which costs me nothing.”
       
      Verse 21-22 tells us God’s promise to Noah and to all mankind.
       
      “And the Lord smelled a soothing aroma. Then the Lord said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done. While the earth remains, Seed-time and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease.”
       
      The Lord smelled a soothing aroma tells us Noah’s costly sacrifice PLEASED God. I DO NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU, but my mouth starts watering when I smell meat roasting on an outdoor grill. It can be smelled all over the neighborhood here.
       
      So….now we know that God loves a barbecue too, and He then made this wonderful promise to Noah and to man.
       
      Of course, we KNOW it was more THE HEART OF NOAH AND HIS SACRIFICE THAT PLEASED GOD.
       
      Cold and heat, winter and summer: This speaks of the profound climatic and ecological changes in the earth since the “blanket” of water vapors covering the earth was “emptied.” Now there are seasonal and temperature variations.
       
      The result of this change is found in the rapidly decreasing life spans. There will never be 900-year-old men after the flood.
       
      GENESIS 7 & 8 SHOW US THAT OUR GOD ALWAYS HAS A PLAN….AND REGARDLESS WHAT STORMS, CATASTROPHIES MAY LOOM ON THE HORIZON….OR WHAT MAY BE FORECASTED BY MAN….WE CAN REST ASSURED THAT OUR TRIUNE GOD WILL AND HAS ALREADY MADE “SAFE” PROVISION AND PROTECTION FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM AND ARE SAVED AND REDEEMED THROUGH THE SACRIFICIAL BLOOD OF HIS PRECIOUS SON JESUS CHRIST…
       
      OUR JESUS CALLS US FRIEND…
      OUR JESUS CALLS US BELOVED…
      OUR JESUS PROMISED THAT NOTHING AND NO ONE CAN OR EVER WILL BE ABLE TO SNATCH US FROM HIS MIGHTY HAND…
       
      SO WE WHO LOVE JESUS CHRIST….SHOULD NOT FEAR.
      WE CAN TRUST OUR JESUS CHRIST…
      HE WILL NEVER FAIL US…

       

    • June 21, 2016 7:19 PM EDT
    • GENESIS 9: NOAH & THE NEW WORLD, & GOD'S NEW COVENANTS WITH NOAH.
       
      Verses 1-4 tells us God’s instructions for living in a new world.
       
      “So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs. But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.”
       
      Be fruitful and multiply: The world Noah entered from the ark was significantly different from the world he knew before. God gave Noah the SAME kind of mandate He gave Adam in the beginning of creation (Genesis 1:28), since Noah WAS essentially starting all over again.
       
      Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you: And, even as Adam received instructions for eating (Genesis 1:29-30; 2:15-17), so does Noah. Yet now, Noah RECEIVES SPECIFIC PERMISSION to eat animals, permission Adam was NOT recorded being given.
       
      WHY?
       
      Think about it, the perfect synch of nature/the world is FOREVER CHANGED….GONE. Almighty God WANTED mankind to not only SURVIVE BUT THRIVE, RIGHT? GOD KNEW the earth was less productive agriculturally after the flood, because of the ecological changes. Therefore God gave man permission to eat meat.
       
      The fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth: If man now ate animals, then God would help the animals. For their protection God put in them a FEARof mankind.
      DID YOU CATCH THAT?
      ANOTHER ANSWER…ABOUT MAN & ANIMALS PRE-FLOOD.
       
      BEFORE THE FLOOD, mankind STILL HAD A AMICABLE/FRIENDLY/FEARLESS relationship with the animals. God had NOT PUT FEAR INTO THEM PRE-FLOOD because man did NOT look to them as food.
       
      But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood: God also commands Noah that if animals are eaten, there must be a proper respect for the blood, which represents the life principle in the animal (Leviticus 17:11; 17:14, and Deuteronomy 12:23).
       
      The importance of the idea of blood in the Bible is shown by how often the word is used. It is used 424 times in 357 separate verses (in the New King James Version).
       
      WHY?
       
      Blood was the sign of mercy for Israel at the first Passover (Exodus 12:13)
      Blood sealed God’s covenant with Israel (Exodus 24:8)
      Blood sanctified the altar (Exodus 29:12)
      Blood set aside the priests (Exodus 29:20)
      Blood made atonement for God’s people (Exodus 30:10)
      Blood sealed the new covenant (Matthew 26:28)
      Blood justifies us (Romans 5:9)
      Blood brings redemption (Ephesians 1:7)
      Blood brings peace with God (Colossians 1:20)
      Blood cleanses us (Hebrews 9:14 and 1 John 1:7)
      Blood gives entrance to God’s holy place (Hebrews 10:19)
      Blood sanctifies us (Hebrews 13:12)
      Blood enables us to overcome Satan (Revelation 12:11)
       
      Verses 5-7 tells us God gives to man the right and responsibility of capital punishment.
       
      “Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God He made man. And as for you, be fruitful and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth and multiply in it.”
       
      Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning: According to God’s command, when a man’s blood is shed there must be an accounting for it, because in the image of God He made man. Because man is made in the image of God, his life is inherently precious and cannot be taken without giving account to God.
       
      By man his blood shall be shed means because life is valuable, when murder is committed the death penalty is in order.
       
      WHAT IS ALMIGHTY GOD REFERRING TO?
       
      Bible scholars tell us in its original languages the Bible makes a GREAT distinction between killing and murder.
       
      There are those who do NOT KNOW their Bibles that state that ANY AND ALL KILLING IS A SIN….IS MURDER. BUT THOSE OF US KNOW THAT ALMIGHTY GOD HAS COMMANDED MEN AND RULERS AND LEADERS THROUGH HISTORY TO KILL IN DEFENSE, IN SELF PROTECTION, & IN THE PROTECTION AND PRESERVATION OF THE INNOCENT AND HELPLESS.
       
      SO WE KNOW IN ALMIGHTY GOD’S EYES NOT ALL KILLING is murder, because there are cases where there is just cause for killing (self-defense, capital punishment with due process of law, killing in a just war). There are other instances where killing is accidental. This is killing, but not murder.
       
      IN THE EYES OF ALMIGHTY GOD CAIN MURDERED ABEL.
      MURDER IS KILLING FOR SELFISH, EVIL, AND YES, EVEN PERVERSE PLEASURABLE REASONS. MURDER IS SNEAKY, SLY, AND NOT RATIONAL NOR IS IT JUSTIFIED IN ALMIGHTY GOD’S EYES. MOST TIMES, MURDERS OCCUR OUT OF EVILNESS, DEADNESS OF HEART, GREED, ENVY, & PERVERSE PLEASURE…
       
      READING THOSE REASONS ALOUD…A CHRISTIAN KNOWS THAT MURDER COMES STRAIGHT FROM THE PURE EVIL BLACKNESS OF SATAN AND HIS DEMONS.
       
      ALSO…The Bible CONSISTENTLY teaches that the punishment of the guilty is the role of human government (Romans 13:1-4) so as to restrain man’s depravity. It also teaches that the guilt of unpunished murder defiles a land (Numbers 35:31-34).
       
      ALMIGHTY GOD ESTABLISHED HUMAN GOVERNMENT & GIVES THEM HIS AUTHORITY TO HOLD & PUNISH EVIL, WANTONNESS IN ORDER TO COUNTER/HOLD WICKEDNESS AND VIOLENCE IN CHECK…FOR WITHOUT IT…DEPRAVITY IS WITHOUT RESTRAINT OR LIMITS.
       
      From the hand of every beast I will require it: To see the strength of God’s command, He even requires a reckoning for the life of man from every beast. God does NOT condone unlawful killing of any kind.
       
      DID YOU CATCH THIS?
      EVEN ANIMALS ARE HELD ACCOUNTABLE TO ALMIGHTY GOD FOR TAKING A LIFE.
       
      Be fruitful and multiply: This point was repeated because it needed emphasis. AT THIS POINT, there were only EIGHT HUMAN BEINGS ON THE EARTH…SO WE KNOW the earth badly needed repopulating.
       
      Verses 8-11 tell us God makes a covenant with man and with all of creation.
       
      “Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying: “And as for Me, behold, I establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you: the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you, of all that go out of the ark, every beast of the earth. Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.”
       
      I establish My covenant: This covenant was made with mankind (you and your descendants after you), and even with the animals (every living creature that is with you). God promised He would never again destroy all with a flood or cover the earth with a flood.
       
      Never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth: God did not believe He did something wrong or too harsh in the flood. He made the promise because He did things in the post-flood world to guarantee that the exact evil conditions of the pre-flood world would never be precisely duplicated. These things included the imprisonment of the angels who sinned with human women (Jude 1:6) and shortening the life span of man.
       
      UNDERSTAND THIS….ALMIGHTY GOD DOES NOT LIE. HE WILL NEVER AGAIN DESTROY/FLOOD THE EARTH WITH WATER….HOWEVER, IN THE LAST DAYS, when things again become similar to the days of Noah (Matthew 24:37), God will destroy the earth - but by fire, not by flood. (2 Peter 3:1-7).
       
      Verses 12-17 tells us THE SIGN WE CAN SEE TO REMIND OF US GOD’S COVENANT.
       
      “And God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” And God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.”
       
      I set My rainbow in the cloud: Because the blanket of water vapors was broken up in the flood and the water cycle of the earth changed after the flood, this IS THE FIRST OCCURRENCE OF A RAINBOW. God CREATED THE RAINBOW as a sign to Noah and all generations AFTER NOAH that He would be faithful to His covenant.
       
      It shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth: Every time we see a rainbow, we should remember the faithfulness of God and every one of His promises. He even says His covenant of peace with us is just as sure as His covenant with Noah and all generations.
       
      ISAIAH 54:9-10 reminds us, “For this is like the waters of Noah to Me; for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you. For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed, says the Lord, who has mercy on you.”
       
      I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant: The other mentions of a rainbow in the Bible are set in the context of God’s enthroned glory (Ezekiel 1:28; Revelation 4:3 and 10:1). It is staggering to see God, in His glory, setting so close to Himself a reminder of His promise to man.
       
      REMEMBER Revelation 4:3, it says, “God’s throne is surrounded by a green-hued rainbow. The rainbow is a reminder (in the midst of such supreme sovereignty) of God’s commitment to His covenant with man.”
       
      AND EVERY TIME WE SEE THOSE WONDROUS RAINBOWS…IT SHOULD REMIND US….JESUS IS SAYING….LOOK UP…SEE THE BEAUTY OF THE RAINBOW! I AM STILL HERE. I AM HERE. I AM FAITHFUL. I STILL KEEP MY PROMISES.
       
       
      Verses 18-19 tell us about Noah and his sons.
       
      “Now the sons of Noah who went out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And Ham was the father of Canaan. These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated.”
       
      DID YOU CATCH THAT?
      The WHOLE EARTH’S HUMAN POPULATION WOULD COME FROM THE THREE SONS OF NOAH. From these three sons of Noah came the nations as we know them. The descendants of these three sons are listed in the “table of nations” provided in Genesis 10.
       
      Verses 20-23 tells us Satan’s demon angels MIGHT BE CHAINED IN HELL, Satan was still determined to kill, steal and destroy. And he tries to do so with Ham, Noah’s son.
       
      “And Noah began to be a farmer, and he planted a vineyard. Then he drank of the wine and was drunk, and became uncovered in his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and went backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father’s nakedness.
       
      He drank of the wine and was drunk: This is the FIRST MENTION OF DRUNKENESS in the Bible.
       
      Noah’s own sinful and shameful actions show the foolishness of drunkenness.
       
      Well Proverbs 20:1, 23:29-33 does NOT PULL ANY PUNCHES.
      “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise . . .. Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who linger long at the wine, those who go in search of mixed wine. Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it swirls around smoothly; at the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart will utter perverse things.”
       
      IMAGINE THAT….THE OLD TESTAMENT PERFECTLY DESCRIBES THE DRUNKS OF TODAY…AND THE BEHAVIORS OF THEM. I HAVE SAID IT BEFORE AND I WILL SAY IT AGAIN, “NO MATTER HOW TECHNOLOGY ADVANCES…BASIC HUMAN NATURE REMAINS UNCHANGED.
       
      THE PROVERBS AND GENESIS….ALSO CLEARLY SHOWS the foolishness of those who claim God’s desire is to make people “drunk in the spirit”.
       
      And became uncovered in his tent: It may be Noah was abused sexually or uncovered and mocked for amusement, which EITHER OR ALL is highly offensive to Almighty God.
       
      DRUNKENNESS & ABUSE GO HAND IN HAND. This is repulsive, but not terribly surprising. Many people who get drunk become victims of abuse, sexual and otherwise. 75% of the men and 55% of the women involved in date-rape situations were drinking or taking drugs just before the attack. The FBI says 50% of all rapes involve alcohol.
       
      There are MORE costs to drunkenness. In the United States 100,000 people die each year in alcohol-related deaths, while alcohol abuse costs the nation hundreds of billions of dollars each year.
       
      Saw the nakedness of his father: Others think Ham’s only sin here was in seeing Noah’s drunken, uncovered state, and that he made fun of him, mocking him as a father and as a man of God.
       
      LITERALLY SPEAKING...the ancient Hebrew says that Ham “told with delight” what he saw in his father’s tent. He determined to mock his father and undermine his authority as a man of God.
       
      Verses 24-27 tells us of Noah’s curse upon HAM & Canaan.
       
      “So Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done to him. Then he said: “Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants He shall be to his brethren.” And he said: “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem, and may Canaan be his servant. May God enlarge Japheth, and may he dwell in the tents of Shem; and may Canaan be his servant.”
       
      Knew what his younger son had done to him: This seems to indicate that whatever happened to Noah, it was more than one of his sons or grandsons seeing his nudity. This WOULD explain the strength of the curse.
       
      Cursed be Canaan: It seems strange that if Ham sinned against Noah, that Canaan (Ham’s son) is cursed. Perhaps Canaan was also involved in this sin against Noah in a way not mentioned in the text. Perhaps the strongest punishment against Ham was for Noah to reveal prophetically the destiny of his son Canaan.
       
      We can trust God is not punishing the son (Canaan) for the sin of the father (Ham). This WOULD CLEARLY go against the heart and justice of God (Ezekiel 18:2-3). However, through Noah’s prophecy, God tells Ham what will happen to his son Canaan.
       
      May Canaan be his servant: In earlier generations, people who did NOT KNOW THE BIBLE NOR THE TABLE OF NATIONS IN GENESIS 10 chose to regard the descendants of Canaan as black people from Africa, and they used the curse on Canaan to justify slavery. But black people did NOT come from Canaan. Canaan was the father of the near-eastern peoples, most of who were conquered by Joshua when Israel took the Promised Land.
       
      Verses 28-29 tells us the end of Noah’s days.
       
      “And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years. So all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years; and he died.”
       
      Noah was a remarkable man who served God in his own generation.
      In his earlier years, Noah walked with God, talked with God, fellowshipped with God… built the ark side by side with Almighty God directing, showing, and providing Noah with all he needed to accomplish God’s goal.
       
      So we KNOW THAT NOAH….WHO SAW THE HUMAN FORM OF ALMIGHTY GOD…WHO CAN ONLY BE OUR PRECIOUS JESUS CHRIST. NOAH WAS FACE TO FACE THROUGH OUT HIS LIFE WITH JESUS.
       
      WE ALSO SEE THAT THE REAL HEART-BREAKING TROUBLE, TRIALS, BETRAYALS IN NOAH’S LIFE…CAME WHERE HE LEAST EXPECTED IT….AND THAT WAS FROM WITHIN HIS OWN FAMILY.
       
      AND THAT HIS LAST YEARS ON EARTH BEFORE HIS DEATH, DO NOT SEEM WORTHY OF MENTION IN ALMIGHTY GOD’S EYES. HIS LAST YEARS DID NOT MATCH NOR WERE THEY A STEADY, STRONG CONTINUATION OF THE GLORY, WALK, & RIGHTEOUSNESS OF HIS EARLIER LIFE.
       
      WE NEED TO LEARN FROM NOAH, THAT AGE IS ONLY FOR OUR BODIES, OUR SOULS ARE IMMORTAL AND THEY NEVER AGE, NEVER GROW OLD, AND NEVER DIE….SO WE SHOULD STRIVE TO ALWAYS RUN THE RACE…WE SHOULD NOT AND CAN NOT RETIRE....WE MUST ALWAYS SEEK TO SHINE AND SHOW JESUS…WHILE WE MAY…UNTIL OUR JESUS COMES TO TAKE US HOME.
       
      BE BLESSED

       

    • June 21, 2016 7:17 PM EDT
    • GENESIS 10: THE TABLE OF NATIONS
       
      The tenth chapter of Genesis . . . stands absolutely alone in ancient literature, without a remote parallel, even among the Greeks, where we find the closest approach to a distribution of peoples in genealogical framework . . . The Table of Nations remains an astonishing accurate document.
       
      THIS CHAPTER IS THE ANSWER WE ALL ASK AT ONE TIME IN OUR LIVES.
       
      WHERE DO I COME FROM?
      JESUS KNEW WE WOULD ASK, AND AS PROMISED HE PROVIDED THE ANSWERS IN HIS WORD TO THE QUESTIONS...ALL QUESTIONS WE WOULD HAVE, ANSWERS WE WOULD SEEK.....LONGGGGGGGG BEFORE WE NEEDED THEM!
       
      TURN WITH ME NOW TO GENESIS 10...
       
       
      The three sons of Noah: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
      Verse 1...“Now this is the genealogy of the sons of Noah: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And sons were born to them after the flood.
       
      Verse 2...“The sons of Japheth: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras.”
       
      The sons of Japheth: He was the father of the Indo-European peoples, those stretching from India to the shores of Western Europe. They are each linked by linguistic similarities that often seem invisible to the layman but are much more obvious to the linguist.
       
      Gomer: From this son of Japheth came the Germanic peoples, from whom came most of the original peoples of Western Europe. These include the original French, Spanish, and Celtic settlers.
       
      Magog . . . Tubal, Meshech: These settled in the far north of Europe and became the Russian peoples.
       
      Madai: From this son of Japheth came the ancient Medes and they populated what are now Iran and Iraq. The peoples of India also came from this branch of Japheth’s family.
       
      Javan: From this son of Japheth came the ancient Greeks, whose sea-faring ways are described in Genesis 10:5.
       
      Verse 3...The sons of Gomer.
       
      “The sons of Gomer were Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah.”
       
      Ashkenaz: From this son of Gomer came the peoples who settled north of Judea into what we call the Fertile Crescent.
       
      Togarmah: From this son of Gomer came the Armenians.
       
      Verses 4-5... The sons of Javan (the ancient Greeks).
       
      “The sons of Javan were Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. From these the coastland peoples of the Gentiles were separated into their lands, everyone according to his language, according to their families, into their nations.”
       
      The sons of Javan were: Geographic names that spring from these names in this chapter abound. Linguists have no trouble seeing the connection between Kittim and Cyprus, Rodanim and Rhodes, Gomer and Germany, Meschech and Moscow, Tubal and Tobolsk.
       
      The descendants of Ham.
      Verse 6...The sons of Ham: Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan.
       
      The sons of Ham were Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan.
       
      Ham: The descendants of Ham are the peoples who populated Africa and the Far East.
       
      Cush: Apparently, this family divided into two branches early. Some founded Babylon (notably, Nimrod) and others founded Ethiopia.
       
      Mizraim: This is another way the Bible refers to Egypt. Put refers to Libya, the region of North Africa west of Egypt. Canaan refers to the peoples who originally settled the land we today think of as Israel and its surrounding regions.
       
      Verses 7-12...The sons of Cush.
       
      “The sons of Cush were Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabtechah; and the sons of Raamah were Sheba and Dedan. Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord.” And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. From that land he went to Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah (that is the principal city).”
       
      Cush begot Nimrod: One son of Cush worthy of note is Nimrod. He was a mighty one on the earth, but not in a good way. He ruled over Babel, which was the first organized rebellion of humans against God. The name Nimrod itself means, “let us rebel.”
       
      Like Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord: The context shows that this is not a compliment of Nimrod. The idea is that Nimrod was an offense before the face of God.
       
      “This is not talking about Nimrod’s ability to hunt wild game. He was not a hunter of animals. He was a hunter of men - a warrior. It was through his ability to fight and kill and rule ruthlessly that his kingdom of the Euphrates valley city states was consolidated.”
       
      “Hence it is likely that Nimrod, having acquired power, used it in tyranny and oppression; and by rapine and violence founded the domination which was the first distinguished by the name of a kingdom on the face of the earth. How many kingdoms have been founded in the same way, in various ages and nations from that time to the present! From the Nimrods of the earth, God deliver the world!”
       
      Verses 13-14...The sons of Mizraim.
       
      “Mizraim begot Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim, Pathrusim, and Casluhim (from whom came the Philistines and Caphtorim).”
       
      Verse 15-19...The sons of Canaan.
       
      “Canaan begot Sidon his firstborn, and Heth; the Jebusite, the Amorite, and the Girgashite; the Hivite, the Arkite, and the Sinite; the Arvadite, the Zemarite, and the Hamathite. Afterward the families of the Canaanites were dispersed. And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon as you go toward Gerar, as far as Gaza; then as you go toward Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha.”
       
      Canaan begot Sidon: The family of Sidon, the son of Canaan, went north and is related to the Hittites and Lebanese.
       
      And the Sinite: Many people believe the Oriental peoples descended from the Sinites.
       
      Verse 20...The spread of the descendants of Ham.
       
      “These were the sons of Ham, according to their families, according to their languages, in their lands and in their nations.”
       
      The descendants of Shem.
      Verses 21-22...The sons of Shem: Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud, and Aram.
       
      “And children were born also to Shem, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Japheth the elder. The sons of Shem were Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud, and Aram.”
       
      Children were born also to Shem: From Shem comes Elam, who was an ancestor to the Persian peoples; Asshur, who was the father of the Assyrians; Lud was father to the Lydians who lived for a time in Asia Minor; and Aram was father to the Arameans, who we also know as the Syrians. Arphaxad was the ancestor to Abram and the Hebrews.
       
      Verse 23...The sons of Aram.
       
      “The sons of Aram were Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash.”
       
      Uz: Later, a region in Arabia was named after this son of Aram.
       
      Job came from the land of Uz (Job 1:1).
       
      Verses 24-30...The sons and descendants of Arphaxad.
       
      “Arphaxad begot Salah, and Salah begot Eber. To Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan. Joktan begot Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, Obal, Abimael, Sheba, Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab. All these were the sons of Joktan. And their dwelling place was from Mesha as you go toward Sephar, the mountain of the east.”
       
      All these were the sons of Joktan: The names under the son of Joktan (son of Eber, son of Salah, son of Arphaxad) are all associated with various Arabic peoples.
       
      And Jobab: The one named Jobab may be the one we know as Job in the Old Testament.
       
      Verse 31...The spread of the descendants of Shem.
       
      “These were the sons of Shem, according to their families, according to their languages, in their lands, according to their nations.”
       
      Verse 32...Summary statement: the nations after the flood.
       
      “These were the families of the sons of Noah, according to their generations, in their nations; and from these the nations were divided on the earth after the flood.”
       
      “Hence one must consider this chapter of Genesis a mirror in which to discern that we human beings are, namely, creatures so marred by sin that we have no knowledge of our own origin, not even of God Himself, our Creator, unless the Word of God reveals these sparks of divine light to us from afar . . . This knowledge the Holy Scriptures reveal to us. Those who are without them live in error, uncertainty, and boundless ungodliness; for they have no knowledge about who they are and whence they came.”
       
      JESUS CHRIST KNEW WE WOULD ALL HAVE THE DESIRE TO SEEK AND TO KNOW OUR TRUE ROOTS…..GENESIS 10 IS THE TABLE OF NATIONS.
       
      HE TELLS US…WITH PINPOINT ACCURACY WHERE AND WITH WHOM TO TRACE OUR ROOTS.
       
      HE ASKS THE HEART QUESTIONS OF ALL MANKIND…WHERE DO I COME FROM?
       
      GENESIS 10.…TELLS US…WE FIRST AND FOREMOST COME FROM HIS HANDS…HIS HEART…AND HIS CREATIVE GENIUS….HE IS OUR ATTENTIVE, LOVING FATHER, THAT ONCE AGAIN….HAS THE ANSWERS READY FOR OUR QUESTIONS LONGGGGGGG BEFORE WE NEED THEM OR THINK TO ASK THEM…
       
      THAT IS OUR AMAZING GOD!
       
      STAY BLESSED!

    • June 21, 2016 7:15 PM EDT
    • GENESIS 11: The Tower of Babel
       
      There is a life long argument about THE TOWER OF BABEL.
      WAS IT REAL?
      DID IT REALLY EXIST?
      WHY WAS IT BUILT?
      DOES THE BIBLE TELL US?
       
      TURN WITH ME NOW TO GENESIS 11...
       
      MANKIND AFTER THE FLOOD…AND THEY BUILT A TOWER OF BABEL.
       
       
      Verses 1-4... A tower in the land of Shinar.
       
      “Now the whole earth had ONE language and ONE speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. Then they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”
       
      The LAND OF SHINAR was a term used also of Babylon, confirmed in Genesis 10:10, which tells us that NIMROD established the kingdom in SHINAR. The Bible says, “And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.”
       
      That this kingdom was established by NIMROD who was ANTI GOD…should have WARNED US WHAT WAS TO COME.
       
      This also TELLS US that multiplied descendants from THE ARK came together to build a great city and tower, in REBELLION against God’s command to spread out over the earth in Genesis 9:1.
       
      “Let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly” . . . they had asphalt for mortar:
       
      RIGHT HERE YOU SEE ASPHALT IS NOT A NEW MODERN INVENTION/DISCOVERY. THEY HAD ASPHALT (PITCH) IN THE ANCIENT WORLD.
       
      WHY USE ASPHALT THEN? ALMIGHTY GOD TOLD NOAH during the building of the ark, SO MANKIND KNEW IT WAS STRONG, DURABLE, AND BETTER YET WATERPROOF.
       
      And they used baked bricks and asphalt for mortar, men built a tower that was both strong and waterproof, even as Noah used the same material in waterproofing the ark as told us in Genesis 6:14, which says, “Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.”
       
      Interestingly enough….LATER Moses’ mother used the same material (PITCH/ASPHALT) in waterproofing Moses’ basket in Exodus 2:3, which says, “And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid [it] in the flags by the river's brink.”
       
      Archaeology has revealed that this type of kiln-fired brick and asphalt construction was COMMON in ancient Babylon.
       
      “Come, let us build ourselves a city”… The heart and the materials relevant to the tower of Babel show that it was NOT only disobedient to God’s command to fill the earth in Genesis 9:1, which says, “And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.”
       
      BUT THIS ALSO SADLY SHOWS US that man did NOT believe God’s promise to NEVER again flood the earth. A waterproof tower was made to “protect” man against a future deluge.
       
      SATAN DOES/HAS ALWAYS BEEN QUICK TO WHISPER FEAR AND DOUBT IN GOD‘S WORD & JESUS PROMISES TO YS…has he not?
       
      Even now, AFTER NOAH’S FAMILY has seen FIRST HAND NOT only what ALMIGHTY GOD CAN DO, BUT THAT HE KEEPS HIS PROMISES, AND HE PROTECTED THEM, EVEN WHEN THE WORLD WAS DESTROYED…yet EVEN AFTER THAT…they STILL WERE QUICK TO FORGET….AND TO BEGIN TO DOUBT WHAT THEY HAD BEEN PROMISED IN COVENANT FACE TO FACE WITH JESUS CHRIST…THEY BEGAN TO FORGET AND TO DOUBT WHAT THEY HAD SEEN…WHAT AMAZINGLY IMPOSSIBLE THINGS THAT HAD BEEN ACCOMPLISHED. THEY HAD TANGIBLE PROOF, FIRST HAND EYE WITNESS AND SIGNS GALORE FROM JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF…AND FROM THE HEAVENS….yet they DOUBTED ALMIGHTY GOD WITHOUT CAUSE…and CHOSE TO DEPEND ON AND TRUST THEMSELVES INSTEAD.
       
      How many of us have said or thought…IF JESUS WOULD JUST SEND A LIGHTNING BOLT, STOP THIS, START THIS, GIVE ME A SIGN. SEND AN ANGEL FACE TO FACE…THEN I WOULD KNOW THAT JESUS WORDS AND PROMISES IN THE BIBLE ARE TRUE AND THAT JESUS DOES HEAR AND JESUS DOES ANSWER…
       
      ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS THE BIBLE TEACHES US IS THIS…WE, MANKIND, FOR THE MOST PART, WILL STILL CHOOSE TO DOUBT…EVEN AFTER SEEING, HEARING, AND EXPERIENCING HIS PROMISES, HIS FAITHFULNESS, HIS HONOR.
       
      I HAVE SAID IT BEFORE, REGARDLESS HOW THE WORLD HAS CHANGED, KNOWLEDGE AND TECHNOLOGY AND TRAVEL HAS EXPLODED…HUMAN NATURE AND SATAN AND HIS LIES DO NOT AND HAVE NOT CHANGED.
       
      OKAY…SO THEY WANTED TO BUILD WHAT IS TODAY A SKY-SCRAPER BUILDING…AND SET ABOUT TO DO IT…
       
      SOOOOO….Why did the BUILDING OF THIS TOWER ANGER & INSULT GOD?
       
      This VERSE IS a strong statement of self AGAINST God. When they said let US build OURSELVES a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens, they meant RELY ON THEMSELVES TO BE WATCHTOWERS.
       
      THE TOWER WAS NOT BUILT AS AN HONOR TO ALMIGHTY GOD, PLACE OF PRAYER TO ALMIGHTY GOD, NOR A SACRED PLACE TO MEET WITH ALMIGHTY GOD.
       
      The top of the tower was INTENDED to be IN the heavens. It is doubtful they thought they could build a tower to heaven. It is more likely they built the tower as an observation point of the heavens; it was built “unto the heavens.”
       
      THEY WERE BASICALLY SAYING…YEAH YEAH YEAH…YOU SAVED NOAH AND US. WE DID NOT PERISH AS EVERYONE ELSE. YOU GAVE US PERMISSION TO EAT ALL LIVING THINGS NOW. YOU BROUGHT BACK TREES, FRUIT, AND VEGETATION AND YES, AMAZINGLY ENOUGH THE WATER WE DRANK WAS PURE NOT POLLUTED AFTER THE FLOOD…..BUT STILL….BUT YET….BUT NEVERTHELESS…WE DO NOT TRUST GOD TO CONTINUE TO KEEP HIS WORD, HIS BLESSINGS, HIS PROTECTIONS, AND PROMISES TO US…SO WE BETTER START DEPENDING ON OURSELVES TO PROTECT AND WARN AND ALERT OURSELVES.
       
      WE WILL BUILD A WATCHTOWER…SO BASICALLY WE WILL HAVE ALMIGHTY GOD’S VISION AND PERSPECTIVE OVER THE EARTH…AND WE WILL KNOW THROUGH OUR OWN WATCHING AND WISDOM AND VISION WHEN FUTURE CALAMITY IS COMING AND WE WILL BE PROTECTED FROM ANYTHING THAT COMES IN OUR FUTURE.
       
      TALK ABOUT ARROGANCE?
       
      THESE PEOPLE WHO WITNESSED THE FINGER-SNAP APPEARANCE OF RAIN, OF A FLOOD THAT COVERED THE EARTH, THEN OF A CLOUD (THE FIRST ANYONE HAD EVER SEEN, & THE INSTANTANEOUS APPEARANCE OF A RAINBOW IN THE SKY……STILL ACTUALLY BELIEVED THEY COULD PREPARE, THEY COULD KNOW, THEY COULD OUT THINK ALMIGHTY GOD, MUCH LESS NATURE, AND PROTECT AND DEFEND THEMSELVES BETTER THAN JESUS CHRIST…
       
      AND MANKIND HAS STILL NOT LEARNED…HOW MANY OF US TURN ON THE WEATHER CHANNEL EACH DAY TO DETERMINE WHAT THE DAY, THE REST OF THE WEEK HAS IN STORE FOR US? IN STEAD OF GOING OUTSIDE AND CHECKING THE SKY? USING OUR SENSES TO SMELL RAIN COMING, FEEL THE WIND RISING AGAINST OUR FACES, OR TO SEE THE GATHERING OF STORM CLOUDS? HOW MANY TRUST INSTEAD THE METEOROLOGISTS PREDICTIONS AND WARNINGS?
       
      Ha! HOW MANY OF US HAVE CARRIED UMBRELLAS BECAUSE OF PREDICTIONS…ONLY TO FACE A SUNNY CLEAR DAY? AND HA! GOTTEN DRENCHED BECAUSE THE WEATHERMAN SAID IT WOULD BE CLEAR AND SUNNY THAT DAY?
       
      ALMIGHTY GOD WANTS US TO BE SMART…TO BE PREPARED, BUT TO LOOK, SEE, AND CONSIDER THE NATURE’S SIGNS HE GIVES US EACH DAY AS WELL TO LIVE YOUR LIFE TRUSTING IN HIM, NOT MAN’S PREDICTIONS, WARNINGS, INSTEAD TO SEEK OUT, KNOW AND TRUST JESUS CHRIST PROMISES IN HIS WORD…BECAUSE BIBLICAL HISTORY HAS TAUGHT US OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN….ANYTHING LESS THAN TRUSTING IN JESUS AND HIS WORDS IS THE HEIGHT OF ARROGANCE & OPENS THE DOOR TO POTENTIAL FAILURE, IF NOT UTTER DESTRUCTION.
       
      PEOPLE WRONGLY SAY....THE BIBLE SAYS....GOD HELPS THOSE WHO HELP THEMSELVES....NO WHERE IS THAT FOUND IN THE BIBLE. ALMIGHTY GOD AND JESUS CHRIST ARE QUICK TO HEAR AND ANSWER THOSE WHO ARE HUMBLE...WHO KNOW THEY CAN DO NOTHING LASTING APART FROM HIM AND HIS GUIDANCE, GRACE, MERCY, AND SHIELDING, AMEN?
       
      AND THE BIBLE CLEARLY TELLS US AND TEACHES US THAT SELF PRIDE, SELF RELIANCE,AND SELF ARROGANCE COMES STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART OF SATAN HIMSELF.
       
      AND ALSO DID YOU KNOW THAT MOST OF OUR MODERN DAY astrological, pagan, the occult, & religious cults practices can and DO TRACE their origins BACK TO BABEL.
       
      I THINK THAT IS VERY TELLING!
      AND A WARNING TO ALL MANKIND...
       
      AS WELL ANOTHER INTERESTING FACT IS THAT SEVERAL CHRISTIAN GEOLOGISTS having studied Genesis 11, SHINAR=ANCIENT BABYLON…have said if they really wanted to build a tower to reach heaven, it is NOT INTELLIGENT TO BUILD on the plain of Shinar, which is about Sea Level.
       
      Common sense says they would start to build from a natural high point, on one of the a nearby mountains. But common sense had nothing to do with this determination SELF AND EGO RULED THESE PEOPLE.
       
      There are EVEN THOSE TODAY who DENY that the TOWER OF BABEL WAS REAL. And that the tower NEVER EXISTED as the Bible states.
       
      But we KNOW THE TOWER OF BABEL WAS REAL AND DID EXIST…we EVEN HAVE MANKIND’S WRITTEN HISTORY TO CONFIRM IT.
       
      WHERE?
       
      The ancient Greek historian Herodotus said the tower of Babel still stood in his day and he had seen it. Mankind will doubt ALMIGHTY GOD’S WORD but they ALL REVERE AND HONOR AND TRUST HERODOTUS…..UNBELIEVABLE, AMEN?
       
      Verses 5-9 tells us God scatters them over the whole earth.
       
      “But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. “Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.”
       
      DID YOU CATCH THAT?
       
      “The Lord came down to see the city and the tower…” The LORD CAME DOWN…HERE IS ANOTHER CAMEO APPEARANCE OF OUR JESUS CHRIST, THE TRIUNE GOD IN HUMAN FORM APPEARING ON THE EARTH LONGGGGGGGG BEFORE A MANGER IN BETHLEHEM.
       
      FURTHERMORE…WE SEE SOMETHING ELSE HERE…THAT IS ONLY ONE OF THE FEW TIMES IN THE BIBLE FROM GENESIS TO REVELATION…WHERE THE TRIUNE GOD, ALL THREE PERSONS APPEAR AT THE SAME TIME ON THE EARTH.
       
      “Let US go down”…. This is ALSO ANOTHER PROOF AND REMINDER AND REFERENCE TO THE TRIUNE GOD. THE TRIUNE GOD HAS ALWAYS BEEN.
       
      THERE ARE THOSE WHO WRONGLY TEACH THAT GOD WAS ALONE WHEN HE CREATED THE EARTH, THEN HE CREATED JESUS IN TIME TO APPEAR IN THE MANGER, AND THEN AFTER JESUS DEATH AND RESURRECTION, ALMIGHTY GOD THEN CREATED THE HOLY SPIRIT…TO COMPLETE THE TRINITY…THE TRIUNENESS OF ALMIGHTY GOD.
       
      SO ONCE AGAIN…HERE IS ANOTHER NUGGET OF GOLD, OF TRUTH, AND OF CONFIRMATION FOR US. ALMIGHTY GOD ALWAYS HAS BEEN TRIUNE.
       
      AND THE NEXT PART OF THIS VERSE, TELLS US AND GIVES PREDICTIONS FOR MANKIND’S FUTURE.
       
      “Nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them”… The potential EVIL, ARROGANCE, AND DESTRUCTIVENESS of fallen man is terrible and powerful. When we think of the horrific accomplishments for evil of men in the 20th century, the great ability of men and nations is a painful consideration.
       
      THINK HOW VERY MUCH WORSE….OVER THE HISTORY OF MAN SINCE NOAH…THIS WORLD WOULD HAVE BEEN IF WE HAD ALL BEEN ALLOWED TO CONTINUE TO SPEAK THE SAME LANGUAGE?
       
      AND OUR TRIUNE GOD WHO LOVES KNEW THIS…SO HE SLOWED THE ADVANCEMENTS, COMMUNICATIONS, AND KNOWLEDGE DOWN…TO SPARE MANKIND AND THE EARTH FROM UTTER DESTRUCTION.
       
      HOW DID HE DO THIS?
       
      SEVERAL WAYS…THE MOST IMPORTANT AND THE FASTEST ACTING WAS TO CHANGE THEIR LANGUAGES.
      UNTIL THIS POINT ALL MANKIND SPOKE ONE LANGUAGE.
      SO HE CHANGED THEIR LANGUAGES…SO THAT THEY COULD NOT UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER.
       
      THAT STOPPED PRODUCTION AND BUILDING IN ITS TRACKS.
       
      WE WHO HAVE TRAVELED OUTSIDE OUR BORDERS HAVE EXPERIENCED THIS FIRST HAND…AND THERE IS NOTHING MORE FRUSTRATING FOR US OR THE PEOPLE WE ARE ATTEMPTING TO SPEAK TO, GET ANSWERS FROM, WHEN WE DO NOT KNOW AND UNDERSTAND EACH OTHERS FOREIGN LANGUAGE, RIGHT?
       
      SO ALMIGHTY GOD KNOWS HIS CREATION…
       
      AND THEN ALMIGHTY GOD SEPARATED THEM BY GREAT DISTANCES… MANKIND DID NOT HAVE TELEPHONES, EMAILS, FED-EX, JETS, MAIL CARRIERS…THEY HAD ONLY THEIR FEET…AND THEY HAD “HERALDS OR FOOT MESSENGERS” BACK THEN WHO WALKED OR EITHER RODE DONKEYS OR HORSES BETWEEN THEIR TOWNS AND ACROSS THEIR COUNTRIES TO COMMUNICATE. THAT TOOK WEEKS, IN SOME INCIDENCES IT TOOK MONTHS FOR JUST ONE WAY COMMUNICATION.
       
      SO ALMIGHTY GOD SLOWED THEM DOWN…FOR THEIR OWN GOOD….AND THE FUTURE GENERATIONS AS WELL.
       
      “So the Lord scattered them abroad”… The forced separation of men from Babel was more God’s MERCY than His judgment. God, in dividing man both linguistically and geographically, put a CHECK…A SLOW DOWN…A DELAY…on the power of his fallen nature.
       
      YOU CAN NOT PLOT AND PLAN…IF YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT EACH OTHER IS SAYING, AMEN?
       
      YOU CAN NOT FORM ALLIANCES…WHEN YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE DIALOG, THE PLAN, THE REQUESTS…CAN YOU?
       
      “The Lord confused the language of all the earth”… The division of the languages is a fascinating subject when you really think about it as relates to ALL MANKIND…THEN AND NOW.
       
      EVEN NON-CHRISTIAN modern linguists KNOW man did NOT invent language, any more than man invented his own circulatory or nervous system.
       
      Most modern linguists believe language is SO UNIQUE that the only way they can explain it apart from ALMIGHTY GOD, is to say that it was part of a unique evolutionary process.
       
      BUT APART FROM ALMIGHTY GOD EVEN THEIR THEORIES ARE FLAWED…AND THEY DO NOT LINE UP…BUT SADLY THAT HAS NOT STOPPED MANKIND FROM TRYING TO BELIEVE AND FIND ANOTHER EXPLANATION FOR LANGUAGE….THAT IS PURE ARROGANCE AT WORK…AND WE ALL KNOW WHO THE AUTHOR/LEADER/CREATOR OF ARROGANCE IS….SATAN HIMSELF.
       
      YET…while LINGUISTS DO concede that language can NOT be the product of man putting together sounds all by HIMSELF & THEY CONCEDE THEN THAT ALL languages come from ONE original language, BUT MOST still refuse to ACCEPT THAT THAT ONE LANGUAGE COMES FROM A CREATOR GOD.
       
      What amazes me is that they would FAR prefer to teach and theorize that all we are….came from an explosive rock, a slimy soup, or a lizard, then found land and eventually became a knuckle-dragging ape…is beyond me.
       
      But what I say when told such imaginative creative fantasy…is that they may have come from a big bang explosion, a rock, slime, a lizard, or an ape…. I know I came from the very hand of Creator God, AMEN?
       
      “From there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth”…
       
      Think what it was like for a family to leave the area of Babel and go out on their own. They must look for a suitable place to live, and once they found it, they must exist by hunting and gathering, living in crude dwellings or caves until they could support themselves by agriculture and taking advantage of the natural resources. Families would multiply rapidly, develop their own culture, and their own distinctive biological and physical characteristics influenced by their environment. In the small population, genetic characteristics change very quickly, and as the population of the group grew bigger, the changes stabilized and became more or less permanent.
       
      SO HERE ALMIGHTY GOD ANSWERS ANOTHER QUESTION OF THE AGES…NOT ONLY CAN MANKIND TRACE HIS BEGINNINGS TO NOAH’S THREE SONS AS TOLD TO US IN DETAIL IN GENESIS 10 IN THE TABLE OF NATIONS, WE KNOW HOW AND WHY THE ENTIRE EARTH BECAME POPULATED AND WHERE THE DIFFERENT LANGUAGES BEGAN…AND WHY?
       
      SIN AND ARROGANCE AND DISOBEDIENCE…CAUSED IT ALL.
       
      YOU CAN NOW OPEN YOUR BIBLES TO GENESIS 11...AND SHOW PEOPLE WHO, HOW, AND WHY…THE WORLD BECAME SO DIVERSE.
       
      THE PEOPLE OF BABEL…AND THE TOWER OF BABEL TEACHES US SO MANY THINGS, AND IT TELLS US THAT ANTI-GOD, ARROGANCE, SATAN, AND DESTRUCTIVENESS WERE NOT DESTROYED IN THE FLOOD.
       
      THIS CHAPTER OF GENESIS ALSO IS OMINOUS…AND TELLS US WHAT HAPPENS TO A PEOPLE, A NATION, SUCH AS BABEL….WITH its anti-God dictator, its organized rebellion against God, its CULTS disguised and labeled RELIGION, and its direct distrust of God…
       
      ALL THIS SADLY SHOWS US THAT SPARED & BLESSED MANKIND listens QUICKER THEN AND NOW TO THE WHISPERS OF SATAN AND THEIR OWN PUFFED UP SELF ARROGANCE, than in JESUS’ WORD AND HIS AND ALMIGHTY GOD’S PROMISES….PROMISES THAT ALMIGHTY GOD HAS NEVER BROKEN…regardless that MANKIND HAS OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN broken covenant with HIM…has CHOSEN THE WORLD AND SATAN over Him all through out time.
       
      SADLY IT ALSO SHOWS US THAT man hasn’t gotten ANY better, NOT WISER, NOT HUMBLE, NOR THANKFUL since the flood.
       
      THE WORLD SAYS….STRUTS AND PREENS OVER ITS OWN ACCOMPLISHMENTS OVER TIME, IN THE PROGRESS OF TECHNOLOGY, SCIENCE, EDUCATIONAL WISDOM, COMMUNICATION, AND TRAVEL AND IN GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION…BUT WHILE WE ARE MORE COMFORTABLE, MORE PUSH BUTTON NOW….WE ARE NOT A BETTER PEOPLE.
       
      IDOLS, ICONS, THINGS, OWNING, POSSESSING, AND SEEMINGLY CONTROLLING OUR OWN LITTLE WORLDS HAS BECOME THE WORLD’S GOD…IN OURSELVES WE DO TRUST…INSTEAD OF HUMBLY ACKNOWLEDGING THAT WE DO NOT BREATHE BUT FOR THE GRACE, LOVE, MERCY AND PATIENCE OF ALMIGHTY GOD & THE BLOOD SACRIFICE OF JESUS CHRIST FOR US ON THE CROSS.
       
      BUT AS WITH EACH CHAPTER IN THE BIBLE…THERE IS HOPE.
       
      BECAUSE ALMIGHTY GOD HAS A PLAN…IT WILL BE FULFILLED, IT WILL BE CARRIED OUT…IN SPITE OF MANKIND, SATAN AND THE WORLD.
       
      WHAT IS GOD’S PLAN AFTER SUCH SADNESS OF MANKIND IN SHINAR, AT THE TOWER OF BABEL?
       
      God will begin to make man better, and He will start as He always starts….with ONE man who IS HUMBLE, WHO WILL DO His will, even if he does not do His will perfectly.
       
      HERE WE SEE SOMETHING WONDROUS…AND A TRUE REVELATION…ALMIGHTY GOD ONLY NEEDS ONE…ONE PERSON TO ACCOMPLISH MUCH…ONE ADAM…ONE NOAH…ONE ABRAM…ONE MOSES…ONE JOSEPH…AND ONE MAN, UNTIL THE ONE PERFECT MAN JESUS CHRIST CAME WHO DID COMPLETELY AND PERFECTLY ACCOMPLISH HIS PLAN…TO FULFILLMENT…COMPLETION.
       
      THIS CHAPTER TELLS US…THAT ALMIGHTY GOD NEEDS ONLY ONE PERSON…AND WITH HIM LEADING, GUIDING, PROTECTING, AND PROVIDING…YOU AND I CAN AND WILL DO THE IMPOSSIBLE…BECAUSE WE HAVE OUR PRECIOUS JESUS CHRIST LIVING WITHIN US.
       
      WHO IS THE NEXT ONE PERSON….ABRAM…IS PREPARING TO BE BORN…IS PREPARING TO WALK INTO THE PAGES OF BIBLICAL AND MANKIND’S HISTORY…AND WHAT A LIGHT ABRAM WILL BE.
       
      SO UNTIL NEXT WEEK…BE BLESSED…STAY BLESSED!

       

    • June 21, 2016 7:13 PM EDT
    • GENESIS 12: ABRAM--THE CORRUPTED IDOLATOR BECOMES A FRIEND OF GOD
       
      The end of GENESIS 11 gives us ABRAM’S genealogy/lineage. IT TELLS US THAT ABRAM CAME FROM SHEM’S LINE.
       
      GENESIS 11:26-28 SAYS,
      “Now Terah lived seventy years, and begot Abram, Nahor, and Haran. This is the genealogy of Terah: Terah begot Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Haran begot Lot. And Haran died before his father Terah in his native land, in Ur of the Chaldeans.”
       
      “Terah begot Abram”… Abram is unique in the way he is called the friend of God (James 2:23); Abraham, Your friend forever (2 Chronicles 20:7); Abraham, My friend (Isaiah 41:8).
       
      Genesis 11:26 is the FIRST mention of Abram. Abram (later changed to “Abraham”) is mentioned 312 times in 272 verses in the Bible. He is ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS men of the Old Testament, and ABSOLUTELY ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL in history.
       
      Verses 29-30 tells us of the family of Abram and his brother Nahor.
       
      “Then Abram and Nahor took wives: the name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran the father of Milcah and the father of Iscah. But Sarai was barren; she had no child.”
       
      Abram’s wife Sarai (her name means “contentious”) was barren, unable to bear children.
       
      Because the name “Abram” means “Father,” it must have constantly amazed those meeting Abram to discover he had NO children. But his present lack of children will play an important role in God’s plan of redemption.
       
      Verses 31-32 tells of the family of Terah and their travels from Ur of the Chaldeans to Haran.
       
      “And Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram’s wife, and they went out with them from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan; and they came to Haran and dwelt there. So the days of Terah were two hundred and five years, and Terah died in Haran.”
       
      So Abram’s story begins in Ur of the Chaldeans (Babylon). Joshua 24:2 describes Abram before the Lord called him. He was from a family of idol worshippers and was probably an idol worshipper himself.
       
      Abram came from a family of idol worshippers. Later, when Abram’s grandson Jacob went back to Abram’s relatives, they were STILL worshipping idols. The LIGHT DAWNS ON WHY GOD TOLD ABRAM TO LEAVE.
       
      AND WELL YOU ARE PROBABLY THINKING….WHAT WAS ALMIGHTY GOD THINKING TO EVEN THINK ABOUT CHOOSING ABRAM?
       
      THE ODDS ARE SATAN WAS SURELY CHORTLING WITH GLEE AND RUBBING HIS HANDS TOGETHER.
       
      WHY DO I SAY THIS?
      THINK ABOUT IT….
       
      ABRAM CAME FROM IDOL WORSHIPPERS ((SATAN‘S TERRITORY))….GREW UP UNDER IDOL WORSHIPPERS ((BETTER AND BETTER…HE GREW UP LOVING SATAN AND THE WORLD)). THEN ABRAM PICKED AND MARRIED A CONTENTIOUS AND BARREN WOMAN. ((SATAN KNEW HE LIKED NOTHING BETTER THAN A BITTER, CONTENTIOUS, AND BARREN PERSON TOO! LOTS TO WORK WITH THERE!))
       
      AND BETTER IN SATAN’S EYES…Acts 7:2-4 makes it clear the call of Genesis 12:1-3 came to Abram while he still lived in Ur of the Chaldeans. When ABRAM received this call from God he was only PARTIALLY obedient, because he took his father Terah with him to Haran even though THE LORD CALLED HIM TO GO FROM UR BY HIMSELF.
       
      UHHHHHHHHHHH-OHHHHHHHHHH….SATAN PROBABLY THREW A PARTY IN THE PITS OF HELL OVER THAT DECISION… ABRAM DISOBEYED “THE MAN” …“THE MAN UPSTAIRS” as Satan probably coined the phrase and used it to DISRESPECTFULLY refer to ALMIGHTY GOD AND JESUS CHRIST RIGHT FROM THE BEGINNING.
       
      HERE IS A CLUE FOR US….Did you know….The Book of Genesis covers more than 2,000 years and more than 20 generations. Yet, it spends almost ONE THIRD of its text on the life of ONE man - Abram.
       
      SO LET’S SEE WHY ABRAM…..
      AND WHAT ALMIGHTY GOD HAD IN FAITH AND KNEW…AND HAD STORE FOR THIS IDOL WORSHIPPER HE CALLED.
       
      TURN WITH ME TO GENESIS 12: ABRAM COVENANT WITH GOD
       
      God’s promise to Abram.
       
      1-3 tells us God’s previous covenant with Abram.
       
      “Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
       
      We know from Acts 7:2-4 that this promise was made to Abram BEFORE he left Ur of the Chaldeans. Now that his father was dead and he was compelled to a more complete obedience, God repeated the promise.
       
      You notice the PATIENCE OF ALMIGHTY GOD….Abram’s partial obedience did NOT take God’s promise away. Instead, it meant the promise was DELAYED until Abram was ready to do what the Lord said.
       
      Abram will certainly become a giant of faith, even being the father of the believing (Galatians 3:7); yet we ALREADY KNOW ABRAM DID NOT START there. Abram IS OUR EXAMPLE of growing in faith and obedience.
       
      After stating He wanted Abram to leave his country and his relatives, God promised Abram a land. Specifically, God promised the land of greater Israel.
       
      These ARE God’s promises.
       
      NOTICE HOW MANY TIMES God says “I WILL” in these verses.
      QUITE A CHANGE FROM Genesis 11 that is ALL ABOUT the “I WILL” plans of man.
      Genesis chapter 12 is DIFFERENT…IT IS ALL ABOUT THE “I WILL” plans of God.
       
      I WILL make you a great nation…God promised to make a nation from Abram. He WILL have enough children and grandchildren and further descendants to populate a nation.
       
      I WILL make your name great: God promised to bless Abram and to make [his] name great. There is probably no more honored name in history than the name of Abram, who is honored by Jews, Muslims, and Christians.
       
      I WILL bless those who bless you, and I WILL curse him who curses you: God also promised He would bless those who bless you and to curse him who curses you.
       
      READ THROUGH HISTORY…THIS PROMISE REMAINS TRUE TODAY and is a root reason for the decline and death of many empires.
       
      THINK ABOUT IT…
      When the Greeks overran Palestine and desecrated the altar in the Jewish temple, they were soon conquered by Rome.
       
      When Rome killed Paul and many others, and destroyed Jerusalem under Titus, Rome soon fell.
       
      Spain was reduced to a fifth-rate nation after the Inquisition against the Jews.
      Poland fell after the pogroms.
      Hitler’s Germany went down after its orgies of anti-Semitism. Britain lost her empire when she broke her faith with Israel.
       
      This is also one reason why the United States has been so blessed. The United States was one of the first modern nations to grant full citizenship and protection to Jewish people.
       
      FORGET NOT…this promise has ALSO affected the church.
       
      The times when the church took upon itself the persecution of the Jewish people were dark times not only for the Jews, but also for the church.
       
      In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed: Not only was Abram promised blessing, but God also promised to make him a blessing, even to the point where all the families of the earth would be blessed in Abram.
       
      RIGHT HERE…ALMIGHTY GOD IS TELLING US THAT THE GENTILES WILL ONE DAY BE BLESSED AND GRAFTED INTO THE VINE OF ABRAM…THROUGH OUR JESUS CHRIST.
       
      RIGHT HERE is the foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham, as affirmed and confirmed in Galatians 3:8-9.
       
      EVEN IN HEAVEN…we are told in Revelation 5:9...“And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation.”
       
      The work of Jesus will touch every people group on the earth.
       
       
      Verse 4 tells us Abram’s departs from Haran.
      “So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.”
       
      AGAIN ABRAM SHOWS ONLY PARTIAL OBEDIENCE… God commanded ABRAM to go out FROM his kindred, BUT he brought his nephew Lot.
       
      AND WE ALL KNOW Lot will NOT be a blessing to Abram. He will be nothing but trouble and inconvenience.
       
      Verses 5-6 tells us Abram’s arrival in Canaan.
       
      “Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So they came to the land of Canaan. Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, as far as the terebinth tree of Moreh. And the Canaanites were then in the land.
       
      Verses 7-9 tells us God APPEARS TO Abram in Canaan.
       
      Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” And there he built an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. And he moved from there to the mountain east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; there he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord. So Abram journeyed, going on still toward the South.
       
      Once Abram was WHERE GOD WANTED HIM, then God reminded him of His promise. The land Abram saw belonged to Abram and his descendants.
       
      Abram NEVER OWNED ANY of this land except his burial plot told to us later in Genesis 23:14-20. Yet God’s promise was enough evidence to assure Abram that he did indeed own the whole country.
       
      And there he built an altar to the Lord…Abram thought this was important to do.
       
      WHY?
       
      The altar was important to Abram because it was a place to meet with God, to offer sacrifice for sin, to show submission to God, and to worship God.
       
      HEBREWS 13:10 tells us that Christians have an altar also.
       
      EPHESIANS 5:2 tells Christians that we meet with God at our own place where we remember the sacrifice Jesus made for sin.
       
      ROMANS 12:1 tells Christians where we submit to God as living sacrifices.
       
      HEBREWS 13:15 tells Christians where we offer the sacrifice of praise.
       
      NOTICE ….even in the land God gave him, Abram NEVER lived in a house - he lived in a tent.
       
      WHY?
      In the Old Testament, Tents are the home of those who are just passing through and do not put down permanent roots.
       
      But in the 1 PETER 2:11, we too are to live like tent-dwellers, as pilgrims on this earth.
       
      Our mortal bodies are considered TENTS.
      We should live as people who have their permanent dwelling place in heaven, not on earth. Too many Christians want to build mansions on earth and think they would be happy with tents in heaven.
       
      A pilgrim is someone who leaves home and travels to a specific destination. A pilgrim isn’t a drifter; a pilgrim has a goal.
       
      Abram’s goal is ALSO OUR GOAL….God’s heavenly city as reminded to us in Hebrews 11:8-10, 14-16.
       
       
      Verse 10 tells us Abram’s faith is tested by famine in Egypt.
       
      “Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to dwell there, for the famine was severe in the land.”
       
      Abram was NOT wrong for being concerned about famine and feeding his family, but Abram WAS wrong in thinking God would NOT provide for his needs in the place where God called him to live. After all, God called Abram to Canaan, NOT to Egypt.
       
      Abram, like most of us, found it easier to trust God in the far-off promises than in the right-now needs.
       
      When we are tested in this way, we often believe our actions are all right because no harm can come. Though God blesssed and protected Abram even in Egypt, he came away with excess baggage and a rebuke from a pagan king.
       
      Harm came & it was a HARM AND THORN THAT WOULD FOLLOW ABRAM‘S people TO THIS VERY DAY.
       
      The harm especially shows up later when a slave girl named Hagar - whom Sari received when in Egypt - is a source of great trouble to this family.
       
      Verses 11-13 tells us sensing potential danger in Egypt, Abram persuades Sarai to LIE on his behalf.
       
      “And it came to pass, when he was close to entering Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, “Indeed I know that you are a woman of beautiful countenance. Therefore it will happen, when the Egyptians see you, that they will say, ‘This is his wife’; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. Please say you are my sister, that it may be well with me for your sake, and that I may live because of you.”
       
      We are first struck at Abram’s concern over his 60-year-old wife’s attractiveness to the Egyptians. This shows Sarai was not only a woman of particular beauty, but also that not every culture worships youthful appearance the way modern culture does.
       
      AND the long life span of Abram and Sarai also explains her beauty. Since Abram lived to be 175 and Sarai to be 127, this was only middle age for her, perhaps corresponding to what we think of today as a woman in her thirties.
       
      This was in fact a half-truth. Sarai was Abram’s half sister, as confirmed in Genesis 20:12. Yet a half-truth is a whole lie. Abram’s intent here was clearly to deceive, and he trusted in his deception to protect him instead of trusting in the Lord.
       
      DO YOU SEE SATAN HAVING HIS WAY HERE? THIS TELLS US THAT EVEN BACK THEN, If you wanted to do something wrong, you can find some good reasons to do it. If you can’t think of the reasons yourself, SATAN IS READY AND HAPPY to suggest them.
       
      Ideally Abram could reason (Satan whispering the reminder in his ear) God promised you children, and you don’t have them yet; therefore, you know you MUST BE indestructible until God’s promise is fulfilled, because God’s promises are always true.”
       
      Verses 14-15 tells us Sarai is taken into Pharaoh’s house.
       
      “So it was, when Abram came into Egypt, that the Egyptians saw the woman, that she was very beautiful. The princes of Pharaoh also saw her and commended her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken to Pharaoh’s house.”
       
      Understanding the place Abram and Sarai have in God’s redemptive plan NOW, we realize how serious this is. God did not want Sari’s womb to be defiled by a gentile king, because the Messiah will come from her line of descendants.
       
      Verses 16-20 tells us Abram leaves Egypt after being rebuked by a heathen king.
       
      “He treated Abram well for her sake. He had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male and female servants, female donkeys, and camels. But the Lord plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. And Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’? I might have taken her as my wife. Now therefore, here is your wife; take her and go your way.” So Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him; and they sent him away, with his wife and all that he had.”
       
      God blessed Abram even when he didn’t do what he should. God continued to protect Abram, even when Abram acted like a liar. God did not call back His promise to Abram.
       
      WHY?
       
      Because the promise FULFILMENT depended on God, not on Abram. RIGHT HERE…ALMIGHTY GOD IS REPEATING HIMSELF…AS HE AND JESUS DO DOWN THROUGH TIME.
      I AM A PROMISE KEEPER.
      WHAT I SAY, WHAT I PROMISE YOU, WHAT I TELL YOU, WHAT I GIVE YOU….IS UNSHAKEABLE.
      I DO NOT CHANGE MY MIND.
      I DO NOT TAKE BACK MY PROMISES.
      THE FULFILMENT OF MY PROMISES DEPEND ON ME AND JESUS CHRIST…NOT ON YOU.
       
      YOU SEE A RAINBOW EVEN NOW 1000s of years later. I keep my promises.
      YOU CAN DELAY…I WILL NOT.
      YOU CAN DISOBEY ME…I WILL NOT REJECT YOU.
      YOU CAN FAIL ME…I WILL NOT FAIL YOU.
      YOU CAN FALTER…I WILL NOT FALETER.
      YOU CAN WALK AWAY FROM ME…I WILL NEVER WALK AWAY FROM YOU.
       
      I AM PATIENT.
      I AM ETERNALLY FAITHFUL.
      MY LOVE…MY PROMISES…MY GIFTS ARE EVER-LASTING.
       
       
      Sadly, a pagan king had to rebuke Abram. The king shows Abram if he trusted in God and told the truth, everything would have been all right.
       
      But God is in the business of growing Abram into a man of great faith, and this requires circumstances where Abram MUST trust God.
       
      SO WHAT DOES JESUS WANT US TO UNDERSTAND AND SEE AND LEARN FROM GENESIS 12?
       
      OTHER THAN THE SHOCKERS…THAT ALMIGHTY GOD FORETELLS A FUTURE MESSIAH? OTHER THAN FORETELLING THAT ALL PEOPLE WILL BE GRAFTED INTO ABRAM’S VINE THROUGHT JESUS CHRIST?
      OTHER THAN TRUSTING GOD TO PROTECT, PROVIDE, LEAD, GUIDE US?
      OTHER THAN THE TRIUNE GOD’S PROMISES ARE ETERNAL?
       
      IF YOU ARE CORRUPTED…NO PROBLEM.
      IF YOU ARE DISOBEDIENT…NO PROBLEM.
      IF YOU ARE DOUBTING…NO PROBLEM.
      IF YOU SEE YOURSELF AS WORTHLESS…USELESS…NO GOOD…NO WORRIESSSSSSSSS.
       
      JESUS CAN TAKE RAW, USELESS, CORRUPTED…WHAT SATAN IS PROUD OF AND CONSIDERS HIS OWN AND CAN TURN THAT PERSON WITH PATIENCE, LOVE, DETERMINATION AND MOLD IT AND MAKE IT INTO THE MIGHTY FOR HIS KINGDOM.
       
      YOU HAVE ME…YOU NEED NO ONE ELSE.
       
      We all know the value of having friends in high places. Abram had a Friend in the highest place, AMEN!
       
      Men and women in the Bible are famous for many different things, but Abram is GREATEST FOR HIS FAITH IN GOD. Moses was the great lawgiver; Joshua a great general; David a great king, and Elijah a great prophet.
       
      Most of us BELIEVE we can never be great in those things, but we can ALWAYS BE GREAT PEOPLE OF FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST! WE CAN BE FRIENDS OF ALMIGHTY GOD!
       
      There are people who DESPAIR because they say they do NOT have Abram’s faith…BUT NO WORRIES. WHY?
       
      YOU DO KNOW & HAVE ABRAM’S GOD.
      JESUS CHRIST HAS PLENTY OF RAW MATERIAL TO WORK WITH. He can build in you the faith of Abram, because He built it in Abram himself.
       
      AND FOR THOSE WHO SAY….I DO NOT KNOW WHAT FAITH IS….I DO NOT THINK I HAVE ANY FAITH.
       
      MY ANSWER IS SUREEEEEEEEEEEEE YOU DO.
      YOU DO HAVE FAITH.
      IN JESUS’ EYES YOU HAVE AMAZING FAITH!
      HOW? WHERE?
       
      EVERY DAY PEOPLE buy a ticket to a sporting event and show up, having faith the ticket is good & the game will take place.
       
      EVERY DAY PEOPLE fly in an airplane because you have faith in the airline’s equipment, mechanics, AND pilots.
       
      EVERY DAY PEOPLE plan a weekend based on the weather report.
       
      EVERY DAY PEOPLE get in their car & drive believing they will NOT WRECK, GET A TICKET, OR THE CAR WILL FAIL.
       
      EVERY DAY PEOPLE get in a cab or a take a bus to get to work, the store, the doctor, the airport.
       
      And PEOPLE IN GENERAL, AND YOU AND I IN PARTICULAR DO THIS even though sometimes there are ticket scalpers, sometimes planes crash, sometimes cars breakdown, cabbies do not know where they are going, and buses do not arrive on time, and even though sometimes the weatherman is wrong; but you still have faith.
       
      So you DO have faith…WORSE YET…AND SADLY, IN JESUS EYES WE ALL FAITH IN manmade things EVEN THOUGH they are DESTINED TO FAIL, BE DELAYED, NOT ARRIVE, YOU GET CHEATED, BE WRECKED.
       
      YOU DO HAVE FAITH.
      FAULTY FAITH IN THE WORLD AND MAN MADE THINGS.
      BUT…NO WORRIES FOR OUR JESUS.
      JESUS CAN BUILD FROM THE FAITH YOU DO HAVE.
       
      NEXT WEEK…WE WILL SEE MORE OF ABRAM AND JESUS’ PATIENT FAITH BUILDING…
       
      HE HAS FAITH IN YOU…
      HAVE FAITH IN OUR PRECIOUS JESUS CHRIST!
       
      STAY BLESSED IN OUR JESUS.

    • June 21, 2016 7:06 PM EDT
    • Genesis 13 - God Promises Abram the Land Again
       
      Abram and Lot separate.
       
      Verses 1-4 tells us Abram returns to the land promised to him.
       
      “Then Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot with him, to the South. Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold. And he went on his journey from the South as far as Bethel, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, to the place of the altar which he had made there at first. And there Abram called on the name of the Lord.”
       
      Even though Abram came back from Egypt with great riches, he returned to the same place as before. He was right back where he started. Essentially, Abram’s time in Egypt was WASTED time. God could have and would have provided for his needs in Canaan.
       
      Abram should not have used the blessing God brought to him in Egypt as a justification for going there. Even though God is great enough to bring good even when we disobey, there is STILL a cost to pay.
       
      Abram’s unbelief took him from his place of worship; it led him into sin, and caused him to lead others into sin. It made him more confident in his ability to lie than in the protecting power of God. It even broke apart his family for a while. Finally, even an ungodly king rightly rebuked him.
       
      To the place of the altar which he had made there at first: Yet, Abram also did what he should. Instead of torturing himself about his past sin, he got busy doing what he needed to do: living with the tent as a pilgrim and the altar as a worshipper, and calling on the name of the Lord.
       
      LIKE ABRAM…THE CHURCH has always had the challenge of what to do with believers who slip into sin and want to come back into the church. For example, in the third century, the heroes of the faith were the martyrs and the confessors, but there were also many “lapsed” believers who buckled under the threat of persecution. Some churches were too lax, admitting them back as if nothing happened. Some were too harsh, saying they could never come back to the church and be used of God. Most churches did the right thing: they allowed the lapsed back, but basically as beginners again, not pretending as if nothing happened.
       
      Here, Abram came BACK into the Promised Land basically as a beginner. He came back to Bethel, back with the tent and the altar, back doing what he should.
       
      REVELATION 2:4-5.…JESUS TELLS THE CHURCH he wants us to walk in our first love and our first works.
       
      Verses 5-7 tells us CONTENTION BEGINS BETWEEN Abram’s and Lot’s hired workers.
       
      “Lot also, who went with Abram, had flocks and herds and tents. Now the land was not able to support them, that they might dwell together, for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together. And there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock. The Canaanites and the Perizzites then dwelt in the land.”
       
      NOW WE GET THE SECOND CLUE WHY GOD WANTED ABRAM TO LEAVE HIS FAMILY BEHIND IN UR. Lot also, who went with Abram: God commanded Abram to leave his family behind when he came to the land of Canaan in Genesis 12:1, but Abram brought HIS FATHER TERAH & his nephew Lot along with him. GOD WANTED TO SPARE ABRAM TROUBLE. PARTIAL OBEDIENCE BROUGHT Trouble like this was the result.
       
      ALSO…DO NOT FORGET SATAN JUMPS IN TOO…this conflict came now, when Abram DID the right thing. SO then and NOW…WE NEED TO REMEMBER when we DO get right with God, we can often expect attack from the devil.
       
      Something had to be done about this strife between the estates of Abram and Lot, because they could not continue a conflict like this before the unbelieving inhabitants of Canaan. AGAIN….GOD DOES NOT WANT HIS CHILDREN TO BE OPENLY CONTENTIOUS WITH EACH OTHER…it does NOT speak well of Christians in general & Almighty God in particular.
       
      When the Canaanites and the Perizzites then dwelt in the land, and saw the men of Abram and Lot fighting, they must have thought, “Oh, they’re just like us. They say they worship another God, a God they say is the true God, but I see they are really just like us.”
       
      OUR ACTIONS AND BEHAVIORS tell the lost and the world WHO WE REALLY ARE…SO WE MUST STRIVE ALWAYS IN WORD AND DEED TO BE GOOD CHRISTIAN EXAMPLES FOR THE WORLD.
       
      Their possessions were so great: This is the first mention of wealth in the Bible. There was a great difference between the riches of Abram and the riches of Lot. They both had great wealth, but Lot’s wealth possessed him. Abram had great possessions, but they did NOT possess him.
       
      Verses 8-9 tells us of Abram’s generous offer to Lot.
      “So Abram said to Lot, “Please let there be no strife between you and me, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are brethren. Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me. If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, then I will go to the left.”
       
      Since Abram was the eldest, and GOD gave all the land to Abram (not to Lot), it was pure generosity on Abram’s part that caused him to make this offer to Lot.
       
      If you take the left, then I will go to the right: Abram was able to fight when the occasion demanded it. He did not yield to Lot out of weakness, but out of love and trust in God. A few acres of grazing land didn’t seem worth fighting for to a man with an ETERNAL perspective.
       
      God WAS glorified when Paul, out of love, waived his right to be supported by the gospel in 1 Corinthians 9:14-18.
       
      God WAS glorified when Jesus, out of love, waived his right to an existence which knew no human suffering or trial by experience reminded to us in Philippians 2:5-11.
       
      DO YOU ALSO NOTICE…Abram fulfilled the New Testament principle of love told to us in PHILIPPIANS 2:4, which says, “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
       
      If you go to the right, then I will go to the left: Right or left, Abram knew he could trust God. He did it because he HAD FINALLY learned God would provide for his needs, and he did not have to worry about being too generous. Abram knew whatever Lot chose God would make sure Abram came out all right.
       
      In Egypt, Abram thought he had to take his fate into his OWN hands. He had to look out for “number one.” Now, he is wiser and is willing to let God look out for his interests. Right or left, it didn’t matter to Abram, because God would be there.
       
      AND…because he trusted in God, Abram did NOT have to be obsessed with his own “rights” and neither do we. The only right we truly have is the right to go to hell. Everything else is the free gift of God and has nothing to do with our “rights.”
       
      Verses 10-13 tells us Lot chooses his portion of land.
       
      “And Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere (before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah) like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt as you go toward Zoar. Then Lot chose for himself all the plain of Jordan, and Lot journeyed east. And they separated from each other. Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain and pitched his tent even as far as Sodom. But the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the Lord.”
       
      Like the garden of the Lord: Lot made his choice purely based on what he could SEE with his NATURAL eyes. LOT CARED only for the material abundance of the land, and cares nothing for and does NOT STOP TO THINK how it will impact him and his family spiritually.
       
      As much as anything, faith means we do not walk by what we see, but by what we know to be true in God. “For we walk by faith, not by sight” as promised us in 2 Corinthians 5:7.
       
      Abram was walking BY FAITH.
      Lot was walking ONLY BY SIGHT.
       
      Pitched his tent even as far as Sodom: It is only this far for now, but later Lot will become a LEADER of this sinful city. HE AND HIS FAMILY ONLY VALUING the things that can be seen will increase HIS WEALTH, HIS PROMINENCE, AND HIS STANDING temporarily, but in the END Lot will lose it all.
       
      Of course Lot thought, “I can serve God as well there as here. They probably need a witness.” But he was deceiving himself. Beware of our ability to deceive ourselves!
       
      JEREMIAH 17:9 WARNS US, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?”
       
      It wasn’t Lot’s choice that led his heart astray. His heart was already astray, and it was demonstrated by his choice.
       
       
      Verses 14-15 tells us God confirms HIS promises of the land to Abram and to his descendants forever.
       
      “And the Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: “Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are; northward, southward, eastward, and westward; for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever.”
       
      DID YOU CATCH THAT?
       
      ONLY AFTER Lot had separated from ABRAM & gone his own way, did ALMIGHTY GOD APPEAR TO ABRAM. God wanted to talk to Abram alone after Lot had left. ALMIGHTY GOD HAD MADE THIS PROMISE TO ABRAM…NOT HIS FATHER, NOT HIS NEPHEW….ABRAM AND HIS DESCENDANTS ALONE…and HE WANTED NONE BUT ABRAM TO CLAIM IT AND RECEIVE IT.
      This promise of the land had been made to Abram when he lived in Ur of the Chaldeans (Genesis 12:1-3, Acts 7:2-4). God is now repeating this promise.
       
      All the land which you see I give to you: God also wanted to remind Abram that even though Abram had been generous enough to “give” some of the land to Lot, God still said ALL the land belonged to Abram.
       
      Verse 16 tells us God reminds Abram of His promise to give Abram many descendants.
       
      “And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered.”
       
      I WILL MAKE make your descendants as the dust of the earth: This was quite a promise to make to a childless man in his 70’s or 80’s, but Abram knew to walk by faith and not by sight.
       
      YOUR descendants: Again, this promise of many descendants was made to Abram when he lived in Ur of the Chaldeans (Genesis 12:1-3, Acts 7:2-4). To assure Abram, to remind Abram…God repeats the promise.
       
      Verses 17-18 tells us Abram walks through the land God gave to him.
       
      “Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you.” Then Abram moved his tent, and went and dwelt by the terebinth trees of Mamre, which are in Hebron, and built an altar there to the Lord.”
       
      As a token of Abram’s reception of the land by faith, God wants Abram to explore the land of promise, to walk through it as if it were his, though he does not have “title deed” to it yet.
       
      In the same way, God wants us to explore our “land of promise,” His Word, where God has given to us exceedingly great and precious promises in 2 Peter 1:4, & where He has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness in 2 Peter 1:3. He wants us to walk through this “land,” possessing it by faith.
       
      Dwelt by the terbinth trees of Mamre, which are in Hebron: The name Mamre means, “vision.”; Hebron means “communion.” Abram is once again walking in the Lord’s vision for him and in communion with the Lord.
       
      And built an altar there to the Lord: Abram built another altar. He lived life in constant awareness of the need for a sacrificial atonement and covering.
       
      So what does JESUS WANT US TO SEE, TO LEARN, AND TO UNDERSTAND FROM GENESIS 13?
       
      ABRAM IS ALSO A PICTURE OF THE CHURCH…HIS BRIDE in that WE, LIKE ABRAM ARE TO BELIEVE AND TRUST IN WHAT JESUS PROMISES US IN HIS WORD…NOT WHAT OUR CIRCUMSTANCES OR PEOPLE TELL US.
       
      WE CAN NOT OUTGIVE JESUS. JESUS KNOWS THE FUTURE, HE HAS ALREADY MADE A WAY, AND PROVIDED FOR US IN THE FUTURE…NOTHING….NOTHING SURPRISES JESUS. JESUS IS ALREADY PREPARED….ALL WE NEED TO DO IS TRUST HIM…AND STEP OUT IN FAITH IN JESUS. JESUS WILL DO THE REST.
       
      LIKE THE FAMINE, IT WAS A TEST TO SEE IF ABRAM WOULD TRUST ALMIGHY GOD OR IN HIS OWN ABILITIES, AND/OR BELIEVE AND TRUST IN HIS CIRCUMSTANCES…WHAT HE COULD SEE.
       
      WE ARE TO WALK BY FAITH IN THOSE PROMISES, WITHOUT DOUBT, FEAR, AND WORRY…WHAT JESUS CHRIST HAS PROMISED….JESUS CHRIST GIVES, ACCOMPLSIHES, AND WHAT HE SAYS HE WILL DO, AND WHAT WILL HAPPEN WILL HAPPEN.
       
      GUARANTEED!
       
      WE ALSO LEARN THAT JESUS PROMISES IN HIS WORD ARE FOR ABRAM HIS CHILDREN…WE HIS CO-HEIRS ALONE…THOSE WHO TRUST IN AND BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST.
       
      THE LOST WORLD WILL EITHER BE DRAWN TO JESUS & WANT WHAT YOU HAVE IN JESUS BY OUR ACTIONS, REACTIONS IN SITUATIONS, OUR WORDS, AND DEEDS…OR THEY WILL BE REPELLED…AND WILL REJECT JESUS CHRIST BECAUSE OF THEY DO NOT WANT TO DO WHAT IT TAKES TO WALK IN FAITH.
       
      JESUS WANTS US TO SHINE…TO BE SET APART FROM THE LOST WORLD…SO THAT WE WILL SHINE SO MUCH BRIGHTER…AND BE A LIGHT…BE A BEACON…A MAGNET THAT DRAWS THE LOST TO JESUS…AND JESUS ALONE.
       
      JUST AS WITH ABRAM….THERE WILL BE THOSE IN OUR CHURCH, YOUR FAMILY, FRIENDS, JOBS, AND NEIGHBORHOOD WHO WILL RIDE OUR COAT TAILS FOR A TIME, BE BLESSED, RELISH AND ENJOY THE GRACE AND MERCY WAVES/BLESSINGS RESONATING OFF US AND THROUGH OUR LIVES…WHO WILL STILL CHOOSE TO LIVE AS THE WORLD LIVES AND REJECT, OVERLOOK, OR DISMISS THE OBEDIENCE WE FOLLOW AND SEEK TO LIVE GIVEN US IN JESUS WORDS. FOR THOSE, AS WITH LOT AND ABRAM…THERE WILL COME A TIME TO SHAKE THE DUST…SEPARATE FROM THEM…LET THEM GO…BECAUSE TO CONTINUE TO HAVE THEM IN OUR LIVES WILL BECOME SELF-DESTRUCTIVE AND A STUMBLING BLOCK FOR US.
       
      TERAH, ABRAM’S FATHER BROUGHT HIM TROUBLE.
      LOT, ABRAM’S NEPHEW BROUGHT STRIFE AND TROUBLE TO ABRAM AS WELL.
       
      LOT IS A PICTURE OF THE LOST WORLD THAT LOOK AT AND SEE THINGS AND BELIEVE THINGS AND ONLY HAVE TRUST IN THE THINGS THEY CAN SEE, FEEL, HEAR, SMELL AND TOUCH. AND THE LOST WORLD LIKE LOT, DO NOT SEE OR CONSIDER OR COUNT THE THINGS OF THE ETERNAL…ONLY THE NOW…THE FAULTY, TEMPORARY, PUSH BUTTON ANSWERS, PROVISIONS, AND SOLUTIONS.
       
      AND LOT, IS ALSO A PICTURE OF JUDAS, IN THAT LOT WALKED WITH ABRAM, AS JUDAS WALKED WITH JESUS…BOTH MEN SAW MANY WONDROUS THINGS, CAME THROUGH TRIALS WITHOUT A SCRATCH, SAW ALMIGHTY GOD MAKE A WAY FOR THEM, SAW THE WORD PROMISED FULFILLED…YET WHEN ALL WAS SAID AND DONE…BOTH LOT AND JUDAS CHOSE SELF, CHOSE THE LOST WORLD AND MANKIND AND WHAT LIMITED/TEMPORARY WEALTH, POSSESSIONS, AND THINGS IT OFFERED, AND THEY WALKED AWAY, THEY BETRAYED, AND THEY ENDED WITH LOSING ALL WITHIN THIS WORLD THAT THEY COVETED, WANTED, AND TREASURED ABOVE JESUS CHRIST AND ALMIGHTY GOD.
       
      AND GENESIS 13 SHOWS US THAT THE TRIUNE GOD IS A PATIENT TEACHER, & UNSHAKEABLE PROMISE KEEPER. HE HEARS, HE SPEAKS, AND HE MOVES SUDDENLYYYYYY ON THE BEHALF OF THOSE HE KNOWS WHO LOVE HIM AND ARE SEEKING TO TRUST HIM, OBEY HIM, AND WALK WITH AND IN AND THROUGH HIM.
       
      GENESIS 13 SHOWS US THAT WE CAN NOT OUTGIVE GOD. WHAT WE SHARE OF THAT WHICH THE TRIUNE GOD GIVES US….IT PLEASES HIM THAT WE ARE WILLING TO SHARE THE BEST OF WHAT WE HAVE, GIVE THE BEST OF WHAT WE HAVE…AND JESUS BLESSES US FOR CHOOSING THE ETERNAL OVER HOARDING, AND BEING STINGY, MISERLY WITH WHAT ALMIGHTY GOD GIVES US, BUTTTTTTT…JUST AS ABRAM GAVE LOT FIRST CHOICE OF ALL HE HAD THAT ALMIGHTY GOD HAD GIVEN HIM & PROMISED ABRAM, IN THE EYES OF ALMIGHTY GOD THAT GIFT OF LAND ABRAM GAVE TO LOT…STILL AND WOULD FOREVER REMAIN TITLED TO ABRAM AND HIS DESCENDANTS ALONE ON THE EARTH AND IN THE ETERNAL.
       
      IN GENESIS 13 ABRAM WAS JUST BEGINNING TO UNDERSTAND THE NEW TESTAMENT COMMAND THAT WE WHO LOVE JESUS CHRIST ARE TO STORE UP OUR TRUE RICHES IN HEAVEN, WHERE NOTHING COULD TAKE IT, HARM IT, OR DESTROY IT.
       
      JESUS IS SAYING TO US THROUGH ABRAM….YOU ARE BLESSED TO BE A BLESSING TO OTHERS. DO NOT WORRY ABOUT ACCOUNTING, KEEPING RECORD, I KEEP EXCELLENT RECORDS AND KNOW AND SEE THE HEART, AND WILL BLESS, REWARD, PROTECT AND PROVIDE FOR YOU IN THE PRESENT WHILE YOU ARE PILGRIMS MOVING THROUGH THIS LIFE…AND I WILL BLESS AND REWARD YOU IN THE ETERNAL FOR WHAT YOU DO FOR ME TOO.
       
      TRUST IN OUR JESUS ALONE…
       
      BE BLESSED…STAY BLESSED.

       

    • June 21, 2016 7:04 PM EDT
    • GENESIS 14
       
      TONIGHT’S BIBLE STUDY CONTINUES WITH ABRAM, MOST POPULARLY KNOWN TO US TODAY AS ABRAHAM. WE SEE ABRAM IS STILL LEARNING, STILL GROWING, AND STILL SEEKING TO DO WHAT ALMIGHTY GOD COMMANDS.
       
      AGAIN…WHILE STUDYING GENESIS 14 WE ALSO SEE JUST ANOTHER REASON WHY ALMIGHTY GOD TOLD ABRAM TO LEAVE HIS FAMILY BEHIND…
       
      ABRAM OBEYED IN THAT HE WENT…BUT HE TOOK FAMILY WITH HIM. AND EACH OF THE FAMILY MEMBERS ABRAM BROUGHT WITH HIM BROUGHT HIM NOTHING BUT TROUBLE.
       
      IF WE ARE HONEST, WE CAN ALL RELATE TO ABRAM. WE HAVE PARTIALLY AND BELATEDLY OBEYED JESUS AND OUR CHOICES, THOUGH THEY MAY HAVE BEEN GOOD INTENTIONED, BUT NEVERTHELESS WERE AGAINST JESUS’ COMMANDS AND TEACHING TO US….BRING US TRIALS, AGGREVATIONS, HURTS, SORROWS, AND SADNESS.
       
      HERE AGAIN….ABRAM’S GOOD INTENTIONS OF “SAVING LOT” FROM THE IDOL WORSHIPPERS IN HIS FAMILY, BY BRINGING THEM WITH HIM TO GOD’S PROMISED LAND…INSTEAD OF LEAVING HIM BEHIND…BRING HIM ANOTHER DANGER, ANOTHER TEST, ANOTHER TRIAL, AND ANOTHER HEARTACHE.
       
      EVER HAD DAYS, SEASONS, & PROBLEMS LIKE THIS?
       
      YOUR GOOD INTENTIONS TO “SAVE, HELP, LIFT UP SOMEONE”, KEEPS COMING BACK TO BITE YOU IN THE REAR END. THOSE YOU HAVE RESCUED, DO NOT LEARN, THEY DO NOT CHANGE, THEY DO NOT DO WHAT THEY KNOW THEY SHOULD DO…AND ULTIMATELY YOU END UP BEING PULLED BACK INTO A BAD SITUATION…TIME AND TIME AGAIN.
       
      LOT HAS DONE IT AGAIN…SO ABRAM IS PULLED BACK IN…AND SEEKS TO ONCE AGAIN RESCUE LOT.
       
       
      Genesis 14 - Abram Rescues Lot and Meets Melchizedek
       
      FIRST Abram rescues Lot from the confederacy of kings.
       
      Verses 1-10 tells us The FOUR kings of the cities in the region of Sodom and Gomorrah rebel against the confederation of FIVE kings of nations ruling over them.
       
      “And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations, that they made war with Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar). All these joined together in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Salt Sea). Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled. In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and the kings that were with him came and attacked the Rephaim in Ashteroth Karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emim in Shaveh Kiriathaim, and the Horites in their mountain of Seir, as far as El Paran, which is by the wilderness. Then they turned back and came to En Mishpat (that is, Kadesh), and attacked all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites who dwelt in Hazezon Tamar. And the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) went out and joined together in battle in the Valley of Siddim against Chedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of nations, Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar; four kings against five. Now the Valley of Siddim was full of asphalt pits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled; some fell there, and the remainder fled to the mountains.”
       
      Interestingly enough an archaeologist, named Nelson Glueck, documents the destruction left by these kings: “I found that every village in their path had been plundered and left in ruins, and the countryside was laid waste. The population had been wiped out or led away into captivity. For hundreds of years thereafter, the entire area was like an abandoned cemetery, hideously unkempt, with all its monuments shattered and strewn in pieces on the ground.”
       
       
      Verses 11-12 tells us in the course of their attack, the FIVE kings TAKE Lot and ALL his possessions.
       
      “Then they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and went their way. They also took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.”
       
      When they TOOK Lot…the confederacy of five kings has NOW INVOLVED AND PULLED IN Abram. Because Abram is a man of honor, he will fight for his nephew.
       
      Since Lot was living among the wicked people of Sodom, we are not surprised he is taken captive also. As Charles Spurgeon so aptly states…“Those believers who conform to the world must expect to suffer for it.”
       
      Verses 13-14 tells us Abram hears of Lot’s captivity and marshals an army.
      “Then one who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew, for he dwelt by the terebinth trees of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and brother of Aner; and they were allies with Abram. Now when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his three hundred and eighteen trained servants who were born in his own house, and went in pursuit as far as Dan.”
       
      Abram the Hebrew…this is the FIRST TIME USE OF THE WORD Hebrew in the Bible.
       
      We see the GREAT wealth of Abram; any man who can assemble 318 servants capable of fighting must be very rich.
       
      Abram was a man who walked in faith, yet he was also a prudent man. Abram kept his own personal army, and he apparently kept them trained and ready to defend his interests.
       
      Went in pursuit as far as Dan: Abram’s army pursues the confederacy of five kings for a long distance to the north. The city of Dan is all the way up at the northern border of Israel.
       
      Verses 15-17 tells us Abram leads his army to victory over the five kings.
       
      “He divided his forces against them by night, and he and his servants attacked them and pursued them as far as Hobah, which is north of Damascus. So he brought back all the goods, and also brought back his brother Lot and his goods, as well as the women and the people. And the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley), after his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him.”
       
      He divided his forces against them by night: Abram had military wisdom. Using the clever tactic of a night attack with his army split into two groups, he succeeds in rescuing Lot and recovering all the booty seized by the confederacy of the five kings.
       
      HERE WE GO AGAIN….Unfortunately, grateful as he must have been, Lot did NOT LEARN A THING. Lot will move right back to where he was in Sodom. He refuses this warning from God, and he will eventually lose everything when Sodom and Gomorrah are judged.
       
      Verses 18-20 tells us Abram meets Melchizedek.
       
      “Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said: “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he gave him a tithe of all.”
       
      INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH….THE BIBLE DOES NOT TELL US where Melchizedek came from, NOR HOW how he came to be in Canaan, NOR HOW he came to be a worshipper and priest of the true God, and how Abram came to know about him. We only know he was there.
       
      ADDITIONALLY The name Melchizedek means “king of righteousness.” He is the king of Salem, and Salem is the original Jerusalem, and Melchizedek is the priest of God Most High. He is a worshipper and priest of the true God, ruling over Jerusalem even in those ancient times.
       
      ANOTHER AMAZING THING IS Melchizedek is BOTH a king and a priest. History shows how dangerous it is to combine religious and civic authority. God forbade the kings of Israel to be priests and the priests to be kings (In 2 Chronicles 26:16-26, King Uzziah tried to do the work of priest, and God struck him with leprosy), but here is an exception.
       
      AND DID YOU CATCH THIS….Melchizedek is THE PRIEST OF THE GOD MOST HIGH. El Elyon means “Highest God,” like saying “Supreme Being.” We should never settle for a “higher power”; we should serve the Highest Power.
       
      THAT IS THE FIRST CLUE…THE PRIEST OF THE GOD MOST HIGH can ONLY BE JESUS CHRIST.
       
      Brought out bread and wine: Melchizedek served Abram bread and wine. DO YOU NOTICE HOW HE SERVED THEM? HERE IS A PRE-PASSOVER, PRE-JESUS SNEAK PEEK into what OUR redeeming sacrifice, as the bread and wine of Passover and the Lord’s table look at our redeeming sacrifice, Jesus Christ.
       
      HERE IS THE THIRD CLUE….Melchizedek, as priest, did two things. He blessed Abram and he blessed God. Melchizedek shows a priest must connect with both God and man and has a ministry to both God and man.
       
      DO YOU SENSE LIKE I DID…THE WINK FROM HEAVEN…THE ALMIGHTY GOD SAYING SEEK AND YOU SHALL FIND…THE GRIN OVER INTRODUCING A MYSTERY HIGH PRIEST AND KING OF THE MOST HIGH GOD….OUT OF NOWHEREEEEEEEEE.
       
      Though Melchizedek MAY seem like an obscure figure, he figures to be a very important Old Testament person. Psalm 110:4 says the priesthood of the Messiah is a priesthood according to the order of Melchizedek, as opposed to being of the order of Aaron. Hebrews chapters 5 through 7 makes a great deal of this idea.
       
      AND BETTER YET…HERE IS ANOTHER CLUE…Hebrews 7:3 describes Melchizedek as without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually. THIS PASSAGE ADDED TO GENESIS 14 TELLS US THAT Melchizedek is MOST PROBABLY ANOTHER pre-Bethlehem CAMEO appearance of Jesus Christ in The Old Testament.
       
      HOW COOL IS THAT?
       
      And here IS THE FIRST MENTION OF TITHE in The Bible. Abram gave unto the Lord, through Melchizedek, a tithe of all. This refers to one tenth of his assets, not his income.
       
      It is almost as if Abram and Melchizedek worked to see who could bless the other more. Melchizedek blessed Abram out of his resources, and Abram blessed Melchizedek out of his resources. This is a great attitude for us to have in the body of Christ too.
       
      Verses 21-24 tells us Abram refuses the booty from the battle.
       
      “Now the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the persons, and take the goods for yourself.” But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have raised my hand to the Lord, God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth, that I will take nothing, from a thread to a sandal strap, and that I will not take anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich’; except only what the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men who went with me: Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.”
       
      As seemed proper, the king of Sodom wanted to reward Abram for all he did in recovering what was taken by the confederation of five kings, and he offered Abram a tremendous amount of booty.
       
      Yet, Abram will not take it - because of a vow he has made to God Most High - a phrase he uses after hearing Melchizedek use this particular title for God (Genesis 14:19).
       
      WHY DID ABRAM REFUSE THE WEALTH?
      WHY DID ABRAM SAY THIS TO THE KING OF SODOM?
       
      Abram refused the spoil because he would let NO MAN say a man had made Abram rich. Abram DEMANDED all the credit go to God and God alone.
       
      ABRAM KNEW WHAT WE SHOULD ALL KNOW…we CAN pursue human measures of success in the flesh through worldly, fleshly methods, but when we DO SO, WE TEND TO FORGET THAT JESUS CHRIST GIVES ALL…AND IT IS BECAUSE OF HIM THAT WE GAIN WHAT WE SEEK IN THIS LIFE AND IN THIS WORLD.
       
      ABRAM WAS LEARNING…WHAT WE KNOW…YOU CAN NOT OUTGIVE JESUS CHRIST. SO IT IS FAR BETTER FOR US to allow JESUS TO RAISE US UP, BLESS US, AND PROVIDE HIS BEST FOR US.
       
      Why?
       
      BECAUSE JESUS CHRIST’S BEST IS BLEMISH FREE, DARKNESS FREE, AND IT LASTS…IT IS NOT TEMPORARY. AND WHEN WE DO SO, AND WHEN WE RIGHTLY GIVE JESUS CHRIST ALL THE GLORY AND THE HONOR FOR ALL NEEDS MET, ALL PRAYERS ANSWERED, AND ALL GLORY GIVEN TO US….WE REMIND OURSELVES AND THE LOST WORLD THAT WE KNOW WHO IT IS THAT IS REALLY BLESSING US….IT IS NOT US…IT IS ALL JESUS.
       
      AND THE LOST WORLD…WHO DESPERATELY IS ALWAYS SEEKING PEACE, PROVISION, DIRECTION, PROTECTION, AND HONOR WILL BE TOLD AND COME TO HEAR AND YES, AT TIMES KNOW AND UNDERSTAND THAT ALL WE HAVE….COMES STRAIGHT FROM OUR MIGHTY JESUS CHRIST LOVE, GRACE, AND MERCY, Amen?
       
      But one last thing ABRAM SHOWS US HERE…IN VERSE 13.
       
      ABRAM SAYS, “Let them take their portion.”
       
      EVEN THOUGH ABRAM IS THE HEAD, THE LEADER OF THE VICTORIOUS ARMY, AND OVER HIS ALLIES who fought with him, Abram does NOT impose his scruples, his beliefs, on his Amorite allies.
       
      Why?
       
      ABRAM KNOWS THAT THEY MUST CHOOSE JESUS CHRIST AND HIS TEACHING AND HIS COMMANDS OF THEIR OWN FREEWILL. SO THEY EACH MUST CHOOSE WHETHER THEY WILL ACCEPT THEIR entitled PORTION OF THE SPOILS AND RICHES.
       
      RIGHT HERE IN GENESIS 14, ALMIGHTY GOD THROUGH ABRAM IS LAYING THE GROUNDWORK FOR JESUS CHRIST TEACHINGS.
       
      CHOICE…THEN AND NOW….JESUS CHRIST AND ALMIGHTY GOD ARE ALL ABOUT CHOICE. THEY DO NOT WANT TO ACT AS PUPPETMASTERS WHO CONTROL MANKIND, WITHOUT MANKIND HAVING A CHOICE. IF THEY HAD DONE SO, WE, MANKIND WOULD BE NOTHING MORE THAN FLESH AND BLOOD COMPUTER PROGRAMMED ROBOTS…ALL THINGS IN US WOULD HAVE HAD TO BE PRE-PROGRAMMED IN US. THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN NO CHOICE.
       
      BUT ALMIGHTY GOD WANTED ABRAM TO CHOOSE HIM.
      CHOOSE TO LOVE HIM.
      CHOOSE TO OBEY AND FOLLOW HIM.
      ABRAM IS BEGINNING TO DO SO.
       
      ABRAM IS LEARNING THE HARD WAY, ALMIGHTY GOD DOES NOT SAY NO, OR ASK US TO DO ANYTHING PAINFUL OR NOT, UNDERSTOOD OR NOT, WITHOUT OUR BEST INTERESTS, OUR PROTECTIONS, OUR FAVORS, AND WITH THE INTENT OF SPARING US UNNECESSARY HURT AND PAIN AND SORROW IN THE FUTURE BEHIND IT.
       
      ABRAM OBEYED PARTIALLY…AND WAS BLESSED FOR HIS PARTIAL OBEDIENCE, BUT WAS HURT BECAUSE HE ALLOWED HIS FATHER AND LOT TO LEAVE THE CHALDEANS WITH HIM.
       
      TIME AND TIME AGAIN….ALMIGHTY GOD HAS PATIENTLY SHOWN ABRAM WHAT PARTIAL OBEDIENCE COSTS HIM.
      ABRAM IS LEARNING…
      ABRAM IS CHANGING…
      ABRAM IS BECOMING THE MAN ALMIGHTY GOD KNOWS HE CAN AND WILL BE.
       
      BUT…LOT HAS LEARNED NOTHING.
      LOT IS SO FOCUSED ON WHAT HE WANTS, AND BELIEVING THAT HIS BLOOD RELATION WITH ABRAM AND ABRAM’S WALK WITH ALMIGHTY GOD, AND FAVOR WITH ALMIGHTY GOD WILL TRANSFER TO HIM TOO.
       
      IN OTHER WORDS, HE CAN LOVE THE WORLD, LIVE IN THE WORLD, ENJOY ALL THE WORLD’S INTERESTS, PLEASURES, POSSESSIONS, AND DRINK DEEPLY OF THE LIFESTYLE WITH IMPUGNITY….BECAUSE ABRAM IS RIGHT WITH ALMIGHTY GOD.
       
      LOT WRONGLY BELIEVES HE HAS BLANKET PROTECTION BECAUSE OF ABRAM. LOT BELIEVES HE CAN SAY ONCE IN A WHILE, I SERVE THE GOD OF ABRAM, I BELIEVE IN ABRAM’S GOD, I CAN TELL PEOPLE ONCE IN A WHILE, WHEN I FEEL RELIGIOUS OR HOLY OR WHATEVER…AND BE RENEWED….FOREVER PROTECTED…AND CAN DO AS I WISH. ABRAM’S GOD IS MY GOD.
       
      YET, LOT GETS TAKEN CAPTIVE, ALL HIS WORLDLY POSSESSIONS, AND THEY ARE HUGE AND GREAT ARE STOLEN FROM HIM…YET WHEN HE IS RESCUED BY ABRAM, FREED, AND HIS POSSESSIONS RESTORED TO HIM, HE SEES IT AS ANOTHER PROOF…THAT HE IS PROTECTED, REGARDLESS, WHERE AND HOW HE LIVES.
       
      LOT LEARNS NOTHING…..
      LOT IS INTENTIONALLY AND WILLFULLY BLIND.
       
      AND WE KNOW SATAN AND HIS DEMONS WERE RIGHT THERE TO TELL LOT HE WAS SAFE TO RETURN TO THE FILTH, AND DEPRAVITY OF SODOM AND GOMORRAH. THAT BECAUSE OF ABRAM’S GOD….HE WAS IN FACT UNTOUCHABLE.
       
      WHEN WHAT LOT TRULY HAD, WAS THE AMAZING PATIENCE OF ALMIGHTY GOD ON HIS SIDE. ALMIGHTY GOD KEPT SHOWING LOT HE NEEDED TO MAKE A HEART AND LIFE CHANGE….HE NEEDED TO DEPEND ON ALMIGHTY GOD AND GIVE ALMIGHTY GOD THE CREDIT FOR SAVING AND SPARING HIS LIFE…
       
      BUT ONCE AGAIN….LOT CHOOSES TO SEE HIMSELF AS INVULERNABLE…UNTOUCHABLE…AND HE CAN LIVE AS HE CHOOSES…AND ABRAM AND HIS GOD WILL TAKE CARE OF HIM.
       
      WE SHOULD STRIVE TO BE LIKE ABRAM…SEEKING, TEACHABLE, CHANGEABLE, AND HUMBLE AND AVOID THE LOT LIVING WITHIN EACH OF US. THE LOT OF ME ME ME, I WANT I WANT I WANT….AND THE FLESHLY PART OF OUR NATURES THAT SAYS…WE ARE INVULNERABLE.
       
      STRIVE TO BE AN ABRAM…
       
      BE BLESSED BY READING HIS WORD...
       
      STAY BLESSED IN OUR JESUS CHRIST.

       

    • June 21, 2016 6:48 PM EDT
    • GENESIS 15: - God Confirms the Covenant with Abram

      ABRAM QUESTIONS ALMIGHTY GOD....

      Ever questioned Jesus?
      Ever wanted signs from Jesus?

      Okay LORD DID YOU MEAN YOU WANTED ME TO GO LEFT OR RIGHT?
      DO I TAKE THIS JOB OR NOT?
      DO I MARRY THIS PERSON OR NOT?
      DO YOUR PROMISES IN THE BIBLE GIVEN TO MOSES, ABRAM, DANIEL, ESTHER, JOSEPH,….DO THEY STILL APPLY TO ME?

      WILL YOU DO FOR ME WHAT YOU HAVE DONE FOR OTHERS IN THE BIBLE? OR IS THIS, AS THE WORLD SWEARS, A BRAVE NEW WORLD, WHERE WE AS CHRISTIANS ARE TO WING IT? ON OUR OWN?

      AND IT HAS BEEN A LONGGGGGGGGGG TIME SINCE ABRAM’S DAYS ARE YOU SURE YOU REMEMBER ALL THOSE PROMISES?

      HEY LORD JESUS….YOU SAY YOU CHANGE NOT… YOU SAY YOU CAN NOT LIE….BUT TIMES HAVE CHANGED….WHAT ABOUT? WHAT ABOUT? ARE YOU SURE? CAN YOU STILL DO THIS?

      I DO NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU…BUT EVEN IF I HAVE NOT VOICED THESE THINGS ALOUD….MOST OF THEM…I HAVE ASKED…WONDERED…AND ALSO STARTED TO LOOK SKYWARD…WAITING FOR A BOLT FROM THE BLUE FOR EVEN THINKING TO QUESTION JESUS CHRIST….

      BUT ABRAM FACED ALL THESE THINGS…WONDERED ALL ALL THESE THINGS TOO….


      IN GENESIS 15...WE READ & ARE SHOWN FIRST HAND THAT ALMIGHTY GOD ACTUALLY DOES KNOW AND READS OUR HEARTS…OUR MINDS. HE KNOWS OUR FEARS, OUR DOUBTS AND OUR WORRIES.

      HE SEES THEM IN ABRAM…AND ALMIGHTY GOD HEARS AND ANSWERS AND SPEAKS TO Abram’s fears and doubts with a PRECIOUS PROMISE.

      AN UNSHAKEABLE AND UNBREAKABLE PROMISE TO ABRAM. A PROMISE THAT STANDS THE TEST OF TIME. A PROMISE MADE THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF YEARS AGO….THAT HE HAS NOT TO THIS DAY BROKEN.


      Verse 1 tells us The word from The Lord comes to Abram in a vision.

      “After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”

      How does the word of the Lord come to us?

      THE BIBLE SHOWS US IT HAPPENS IN SEVEN DIFFERENT WAYS. REMEMBER 7 IS THE NUMBER OF COMPLETION….PERFECTION.


      1. By a personal appearance of ALMIGHTY GOD/JESUS CHRIST
      2. By an audible voice
      3. By visions or dreams
      4. By the ministry of angels
      5. By the working of the Holy Spirit upon the mind
      6. By the making alive of a passage of Scripture to our hearts
      7. By the ministry of a prophet or preacher.

      “Do not be afraid . . . I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward”…There was a good reason why God said this.

      WHY?
      Because Abram had just defeated an ENORMOUS army, from a confederation of FIVE KINGS told to us in GENESIS 14.

      AND WHEN WE THINK ABOUT THE ENORMITY OF THAT, we realize ABRAM HAD GOOD reason to be AFRAID FOR HIS SECURITY.

      WHY?

      ABRAM KNEW an attack of retribution was to be expected.

      “Your shield . . . your reward”… Abram KNEW HE NEEDED a shield because he was expecting to be attacked. He KNEW HE NEEDED reward because he had just FORFEITED A LION’S SHARE reward offered from the king of Sodom.

      SO WHAT IS ALMIGHTY GOD TELLING ABRAM?
      SO WHAT IS JESUS CHRIST TELLING US THEN AND NOW?

      God is telling Abram/ SHOWING US that though he/WE HAVE sacrificed for His sake, ABRAM NOR US WILL BE the loser for it.

      God WILL more than make up what Abram has given up for the Lord.

      JESUS CHRIST KNOWS PRECISELY HOW, WITH PINPOINT ACCURACY HOW, WHEN, AND WHERE HE WILL BECOME the answer to our need. When we NEED a shield or a reward, JESUS CHRIST BECOMES those things for us.

      “Do not be afraid”….So God told Abram this because HE KNEW ABRAM was afraid, and AFRAID FOR GOOD REASON. But God will give ABRAM AND US a REASON AND A PROOF to put away OUR fears. God NEVER TELLS US DO NOT BE AFRAID without giving us a reason to put away our fears.

      BUT ABRAM IS LIKE US IN MANY CASES.
      WHY?
      FIRST ANSWER ME THIS:

      HAS ANY ONE HERE EVER DOUBTED WHAT ALMIGHTY GOD AND JESUS CHRIST HAVE PROMISED US IN THEIR WORD?

      DOUBTED THAT JESUS LOVES AND PROTECTS AND PROVIDES EQUALLY TO THOSE WHO TRUST HIM?

      ANYONE SAID….WELL YEAH SURE I BELIEVE IT WHEN THE BIBLE TELLS US THAT ALMIGHTY GOD PARTED THE RED SEA, SHUT THE STARVING LIONS MOUTH SHUT, TURNED AN ORPHAN JEW GIRL INTO THE QUEEN OF PERSIA, INSURED ABRAM DEFEATED AN ENORMOUS ARMY, THAT WAS OUTNUMBERED 100 TO 1.

      BUT I AM NOT MOSES, NOT DANIEL, NOT ESTHER, AND NOT AN ABRAM.

      THESE WERE SPECIAL MEN AND WOMEN.

      I AM JUST…ME.
      I AM A…NOBODY.
      I AM NOT….SPECIAL, RIGHT?

      BUT WHAT WE FORGET IS TO THE EYES OF THE WORLD AND TO THE EYES OF SATAN AND HIS DEMONS…SO WERE MOSES, DANIEL, ESTHER, AND ABRAM….UNTIL….AND NEVERTHELESS….JESUS CHRIST ENTERED THEIR LIVES.

      SO ABRAM DID WHAT WE DO TO THIS DAY….HE DOUBTED.


      Verses 2-3 tells us Abram HONESTLY expresses his doubts.

      “But Abram said, “Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” Then Abram said, “Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!”

      Though certainly Abram appreciated the promise from God, at the same time, there was a sense in which it seemed to ring hollow in Abram’s ears.

      WHY?

      BECAUSE ABRAM WAS TELLING ALMIGHTY GOD….THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE REWARDS AND THE PROTECTIONS BUTTTTTTTTT…..UMMMMMM…What good is it that YOU ARE my shield and reward?

      The only thing I’ve ever wanted with any passion in my life is a son! Here I am trying to do what you WANT me to do…go where YOU WANT me to go, but UMMMM LORD…did you FORGET ABOUT THE DESCENDANTS YOU PROMISED ME PART?

      I AM NOW A HUNDRED YEARS OLD....AND SARAH...IS NOT FAR BEHIND ME.
      YOU DO UNDERSTAND...UMMMMM AT THIS STAGE PROCREATING A SON...IS IMPOSSIBLE, RIGHT?

      It is almost as if Abram meant, “Lord, You’ve given me lots of stuff, and you NOW promise to give me more, and to protect me. But what good is it if I don’t have a descendant to give it to? I want the son You promised me!”

      AND ALSO, YOU ARE PROBABLY ASKING YOURSELF WHO IS Eliezer of Damascus?

      ELIEZER was Abram’s chief assistant, his right-hand man. He was a good man, but NOT a son to Abram.

      “Look, You have given me no offspring!”

      Talk about cheeky….ABRAM IS SPEAKING TO THE GREAT I AM…I MEAN THE FIRST TIME I READ THIS YEARS AGO, I WAS THINKING…ABRAM IS TOAST…ABRAM IS A GONER.

      BUT WHAT WE SEE RIGHT HERE IN TRUTH IS THAT Abram’s BOLD HONESTY before the Lord DOES NOT EARN HIM A LIGHTNING BOLT FROM ABOVE…THAT TURNS ABRAM INTO DUST.

      ALMIGHTY GOD IS A PATIENT FATHER. ALMIGHTY GOD WANTS US TO EMULATE ABRAM…WHEN WE APPROACH ALMIGHTY GOD…WHEN WE TALK TO JESUS CHRIST.

      WHY?

      BECAUSE instead of bottling up his feelings, his confusion, his fears, worries, anger, and doubt….ABRAM RESPECTFULLY, YET BOLDLY lays them out before the Lord.

      “No offspring”…

      THAT IS PRETTY BLUNT.

      Did Abram’s question mean he doubted God? YES IT DID.

      But UNDERSTAND SOMETHING RIGHT HERE.

      There IS A MAJOR difference between A DOUBT THAT DENIES JESUS’ PROMISES TO US AND a doubt which DESIRES AND EXPECTS God’s promises.

      Abram WANTS TO BELIEVE and IS LOOKING FOR AND ASKING God to GIVE HIM A REASON TO STRENGTHEN HIS FAITH.

      SO WHAT DO YOU THINK ALMIGHTY GOD DID?

      ALMIGHTY GOD DID NOT SAY….LOOK LOWLY, PEA-BRAINED HUMAN BEING….WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE TALKING TO? DARE YOU TO QUESTION ME?!?!! DON’T YOU KNOW I AM THE GREAT I AM?!?!? ALMIGHTY GOD DID NOT SAY….ZIP YOUR LIPS…AND BE CONTENT.

      NO ALMIGHTY GOD DID NOT….

      Verses 4-5 tells us God speaks to Abram’s doubts with A PROMISE.

      “And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.” Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”

      God, patient father that He is, REMINDS Abram of the promise originally recorded in Genesis 12:2 and 13:15-16.

      AND JUST IN CASE ABRAM HAS DOUBTS, NEEDS A VISUAL CONFIRMATION TO JUST HOW GREAT THE PROMISE WILL BE….HE SAYS…LOOK UP AT THE STARS…YOU CAN NOT COUNT THEM BUT THAT IS HOW MANY DESCENDANTS I AM GOING TO GIVE YOU. AND DON’T YOU THINK, FROM THAT TIME FORWARD, EVERY TIME ABRAHAM LOOKED INTO THE STAR LADEN NIGHT DARK SKY…HE WAS REMINDED OF ALMIGHTY GOD’S PROMISE TO HIM.

      DID YOU CATCH THAT….THAT IS THREE TIMES God REMINDS ABRAM. THE TRIUNE GOD IS IN COMPLETE AGREEMENT AND COVENANT PROMISE HERE. ALMIGHTY GOD SAID IT, JESUS CHRIST SAID IT, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT SAID IT…. IT WAS UNANIMOUS CONFIRMATION.

      WHY DID ALMIGHTY GOD DO IT?

      Because OUR TRIUNE GOD KNOWS how much we need to be reminded & reassured in a world that is war filled, trial filled, trouble filled.

      “One who will come from your own body shall be your heir”… God often states a SOLID, ROCK SOLID PROMISE TO US IN HIS WORD ALSO…our mistake, as with ABRAM, is that we BELIEVE AND EXPECT it will be fulfilled right away, but the fulfillment of THIS PROMISE OF AN HEIR, AT THIS POINT, IS STILL 15 years away.

      BUT REMEMBER TO….EACH PASSING NIGHT OF THOSE 15 YEARS TO COME….ABRAM LOOKED UP INTO THE STAR FILLED NIGHT….AND REMEMBERED GOD’S PROMISE AND WAS COMFORTED, AMEN?

      No wonder WE ARE REMINDED IN HEBREWS 6:11-12, which says, “And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”

      AND BY THE “FROM YOUR OWN BODY”…ALMIGHTY GOD WANTED NO CONFUSION, SO HE EXPLAINED EXACTLY what He meant in His promise to Abram.

      ALMIGHTY GOD WAS telling ABRAM…that it WAS NOT a spiritual descendant who would inherit the promise (such as Eliezer), but an actual flesh-and-blood descendant. This was necessary, because we sometimes misunderstand God’s promises.

      OR SATAN IS QUICK TO TWIST AND CONFUSE AND BRING DOUBT INTO OUR HEARTS AND MINDS….JUST AS HE DID IN THE BEGINNING WITH EVE…WE SEE HERE THAT SATAN DOES NOT CHANGE…

      “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them”…God not only tells Abram the promise again, but He confirms it with an illustration: the stars in the sky show how vast the number of Abram’s descendants would be.

      We KNOW by education teaching experts…that a human LEARNS BY at least ONE OF THREE WAYS. THEY HEAR IT, THEY SEE IT, AND OR THEY TOUCH IT…WHICH MEANS THEY ARE GIVEN TANGIBLE ILLUSTRATIONS.

      ALMIGHTY GOD TELLS ABRAM & HE SHOWS ABRAM.

      AND BETTER YET…USING THE STARS TO SHOW ABRAM HAS ANOTHER PURPOSE…ANOTHER WINK FROM ALMIGHTY GOD, ANOTHER PROMISE, ANOTHER SNEAK PEEK, THAT IS CONFIRMED IN REVELATION 22:16, which tells us ONE OF THE DESCENDANTS OF ABRAM WOULD BE…….The Bright and Morning Star, who is JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF.

      Verse 6 tells us…Abram’s response of faith to God’s promise.

      “And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.”

      When Abram put his trust in God, specifically in God’s promise to him (descendants who would also produce the Messiah), God credited this belief to Abram’s account as righteousness.

      WHY?

      There are essentially TWO TYPES of righteousness:

      Righteousness we accomplish by OUR OWN efforts, and righteousness ACCOUNTED TO US by the work of God when we believe.

      Since NONE, NO NOT ONE of us can be good enough to accomplish PERFECT righteousness, we must have God’s righteousness accounted to us by doing just what Abram did: he believed in the Lord.

      God’s accounting is NOT pretending.
      God does NOT account to us a pretended righteousness, but a real PERFECT, PRECIOUS, AND PRICELESS RIGHTEOUSNESS THROUGH AND IN Jesus Christ.

      “And He accounted it to him for righteousness”….This is one of the CLEAREST EXPRESSIONS in the Bible of the truth of salvation by grace, through faith.

      This is the FIRST TIME “BELIEVE” is used in the Bible; this is the FIRST TIME “RIGHTEOUSNESS” is used in the Bible.

      HERE IS “THE GOSPEL” TAUGHT BY GOD AND SPOKEN BY ALMIGHTY GOD in the Old Testament, which is QUOTED 4 times in the New Testament.

      ROMANS 4:1-3 CONFIRMS THIS. “What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

      ROMANS 4:9-10 SAYS ALSO, “Does this blessedness then come upon the circumcised only, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness. How then was it accounted? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised.”

      ROMANS 4:19-24 SAYS, “And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead.”

      GALATIANS 3:5-7 CONFIRMS IT AGAIN, “Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?; just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham.”

      He accounted it to him for righteousness: Romans 4:9-10 makes much of the fact this righteousness was ACCOUNTED TO Abram BEFORE he was circumcised in Genesis 17.

      No one could say Abram was MADE RIGHTEOUS because of his obedience or fulfillment of religious law or ritual.

      It WAS FAITH AND FAITH ALONE that caused God to account Abram AS righteous in His eyes.

      The faith making Abram righteous wasn’t so much believing in God (as we usually speak of believing IN God), as it was believing God.

      Those ONLY believing IN GOD (in the sense of believing He DOES REALLY EXIST are merely qualified to be demons by what we are told in James 2:19.

      What do I it mean by that?

      There are people who say…Oh yeah yeah yeah yeah…Of COURSE, I believe there is a god…a supreme being out there….somewhere.

      That is not a sign of anything.

      Satan and his demons KNOW GOD EXISTS TOO. MORE BIZARRELY THEY HAVE SEEN THE TRIUNE GOD TOO. BUT THEY DO NOT BELIEVE, TRUST, LOVE, HONOR THE TRIUNE GOD.

      THAT IS WHAT JAMES MEANS.

      AND Satan must have REALLY BEEN OPPRESSING ABRAM, BECAUSE VERSES 7-8, TELLS US ABRAM DOUBTS AGAIN, SO GOD SPEAKS TO ABRAM’S DOUBT AGAIN WITH A COVENANT.

      “Then He said to him, “I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to inherit it.” And he said, “Lord GOD, how shall I know that I will inherit it?”

      Some have said…After God makes such a dramatic and solemn statement like I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to inherit it, how could Abram answer God by essentially saying, “prove it”?

      But ABRAM DID.

      Some have said…How could Abram ask “How shall I know that I will inherit it,” when God had just accounted him righteous?

      But ABRAM DID.

      WHY?

      Abram is experiencing what many of those who are accounted righteous experience. It is as if he says, “I believe when I hear God say it, but five minutes later, I’m not sure!”

      BUT REMEMBER TOO, Abram had no title deed to the land, nothing to make anyone else believe he actually owned the land. All he had was the promise of God. So you can BET Satan was RIGHT THERE TO REMIND ABRAM OF ALL THIS.

      WHY?

      TO CREATE DOUBT…FEAR…AND WORRY IN ABRAM’S HEART.

      BUT NEVERTHELESS…. IN VERSES 9-11 Abram STILL PRESSES IN, IN SPITE OF HIS DOUBTS, FEARS, AND WORRIES…AND prepares to make a covenant with God.

      “So He said to him, “Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, down the middle, and placed each piece opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. And when the vultures came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.”

      I DO NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU, BUT THE FIRST TIME I READ verse 9... It sounded MORE like some pagan ritual list for a witch doctor ceremony than something the Lord would ask for.

      So WHAT IS ALMIGHTY GOD DOING HERE…concocting some strange potion that will remove all doubt from Abram?

      NO…what Abram THEN KNEW, AND DID WAS cut them in two . . . and placed each piece opposite the other.

      WHY?

      Abram understood God was telling him to get a contract ready for signing.

      WAITAMINNIT HERE FAITH…WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?

      WHAT DID ABRAM INSTANTLY KNOW AND UNDERSTAND WITH THAT LIST OF ANIMALS?

      HERE IS THE WHY!

      In those days, contracts were made by the sacrificial cutting of animals, with the split carcasses of the animals lying on the ground. Then both parties to the covenant would walk through the animal parts together, repeating the terms of the covenant. The Lord made a covenant in Genesis 15:18 is literally, “the Lord cut a covenant.”

      AND THERE IS ANOTHER REFERENCE TO THIS IN Jeremiah 34:18-20 makes reference to this same practice of a covenant made by cutting animals and repeating the oath of the covenant as one walks through the animal parts.

      HA! I MEAN THIS IS SERIOUS BUSINESS…I WONDER HOW MANY BANKS, BUSINESSES, AND GOVERNMENT AGENCIES WOULD THINK LONGGGGG AND HARD BEFORE MAKING A COMMITMENT….SIGNING A PROMISSORY CONTRACT…IF THEY KNEW THEY HAD TO WALK THROUGH ANIMAL GUTS WHILE THEY REPEATED THE PROMISE…THE OATH?

      BET THEY WOULD BE MORE DETERMINED TO KEEP IT…OR NOT MAKE PROMISES THEY HAD NO INTENTION OF KEEPING….AMEN?

      BUT THE BIBLICAL SYMBOLISM IS VERY CLEAR….

      FIRST…this is a covenant so serious it is sealed WITH blood; SECOND…if I break this covenant, let this same bloodshed be poured out on my animals and me!

      There is no mistake about it: when Abram has his doubts, and wants assurance from the Lord, God says to him plainly, “let’s sign a contract and settle this once for all.”

      As Abram waits for the Lord to appear and walk through the carcasses with him (to sign the covenant), God doesn’t come right away, but the vultures do.

      Abram FULLY expects God to come down and walk through the animal parts with him IMMEDIATELY, because God had previously appeared to him IMMEDIATELY IN Genesis 12:7.

      God did not but the VULTURES DID. ISN’T THAT JUST LIKE SATAN AND THE WORLD TODAY…WE HAVE A PROMISE FROM JESUS…WE ARE EXPECTING AN INSTANT RESPONSE…BUT WHAT HAPPENS? SATAN AND THE WORLD SEEK TO INTRUDE, SEEK TO DESTROY THE PROMISE, SEEK TO STOP THE HOPED FOR PROMISES ANSWERS, AMEN?

      BUT YOU NOTICE ABRAM CHASED THE VULTURES AWAY. HE DID NOT LET THEM DESTROY HIS COVENANT CONTRACT.

      Verses 12-16 tells us prologue to the covenant.

      “Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him. Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”

      At the end of the day, God has still NOT appeared to walk through the animal parts with Abram. Instead, God causes a deep sleep to fall upon Abram. Apparently, at least part of what follows came to Abram in a dream while he was under this deep sleep.

      Know certainly….Abram wanted concrete proof from God, and God will sign the covenant; but Abram should also know he will have land and descendants, but all will not go well with them at all times. Now he knows some dreadful news for certain.

      I READ THIS…AND SHUDDERED…ABRAM WANTED TO KNOW…SO ALMIGHTY GOD TOLD HIM. IT BRINGS TO MIND MOMENTS IN MY LIFE WHEN I HAVE SAID JESUS YOU HAVE PROMISED ME THIS OR THAT IN YOUR WORD…NOW PROVE IT. TELL ME NOW WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN…GIVE ME A VISION…GIVE ME FORESIGHT SO I CAN PREPARE AND GUARD AGAINST IT.

      AND LOOKING BACK OVER MY LIFE…IF JESUS HAD TOLD ME WHAT I WOULD FACE IN ADVANCE…WHAT HURTS, TRIALS, AND TRIBULATIONS, AND DEEP SORROWS, AND LOSSES I WOULD FACE…ALONG WITH THE BLESSINGS AND GIFTS…I FEAR I WOULD HAVE RUN IN THE OTHER DIRECTION AS FAST AS I COULD. DURING THOSE TIMES OF INTROSPECTION WITH JESUS, I AM GLAD THAT HE DID NOT TELL ME.

      THINK ABOUT THE DISCIPLES, AS THEY WATCHED JESUS ASCEND IN THE CLOUDS BACK TO HEAVEN…THEY THOUGHT HE WOULD BE BACK IN A FEW WEEKS, A FEW YEARS AT MOST…SO THEY GOT BUSY SEEKING THE LOST, SHINING AND SHARING AND SHOWING JESUS TO ALL THEY MET…WHAT WOULD THEY HAVE DONE, IF THEY KNEW THAT THEIR JESUS WOULD NOT BE RETURNING FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS LATER?

      BUT HERE….ALMIGHTY GOD, WHO KNOWS ALL, KNEW THAT IN SPITE OF THE HORRIFICS HE GAVE ABRAM…HE KNEW ABRAM WOULD STAND…

      BECAUSE THINK ABOUT IT….After God told him some of the hardship that would befall his descendants, Abram might have said, “WELL LORD…If that is what is going to happen TO THEM IN THE FUTURE, JUST FORGET ABOUT KIDS OKAY! I HAVE CHANGED MY MIND…I don’t want any children!”

      And we who have studied THE BIBLE, KNOW God IS TELLING ABRAM IN ADVANCE of the slavery and hardship Israel will endure in Egypt in Exodus 1:1-14, yet they would, after four generations, come back into the Promised Land.

      And we KNOW THAT IS PRECISELY AND EXACTLY WHAT HAPPEN TO THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL.

      ALMIGHTY GOD DOES NOT LIE.
      AND WHAT HE SAYS HE WILL DO AND WHAT HE SAYS WILL HAPPEN………ALWAYSSSSSSSS DOES, AMEN?

      Verses 17-21 tells us the covenant is made.

      “And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces. On the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying: “To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates; the Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”

      As Abram is either asleep or perhaps still groggy from the deep sleep he had been under, he sees God do an amazing thing: pass through the animal parts all by Himself, while Abram watches on the sidelines.

      God represents Himself by two emblems: a smoking oven and a burning torch.

      WHY?

      The smoking oven reminds us of the pillar of cloud representing the presence of God in Exodus 13:21-22, & the smoke on Mount Sinai in Exodus 19:18, and the cloud of God’s Shekinah glory in 1 Kings 8:10-12.

      JUST AS the burning torch reminds us of the pillar of fire representing the presence of God in Exodus 13:21-22, of the burning bush displaying the presence of God before Moses in Exodus 3:4, and of the fire from heaven which sometimes consumed sacrifices God was well pleased with in 1 Kings 18:38; 1 Chronicles 21:26; 2 Chronicles 7:1.

      AND DID YOU CATCH THAT…God, represented by the smoking oven and the burning torch, passed through the animal parts by Himself; as Abram watched, God showed this was a unilateral covenant. Abram NEVER “signed” the covenant, because God “signed” it for BOTH of them.

      Therefore, the certainty of the covenant God makes with Abram is based on WHO God IS,……NOT on who Abram is or what Abram does.

      This covenant CANNOT fail, because God CANNOT fail.
      In a sense, the Father walked through the broken and bloody body of Jesus to establish His covenant with us, and God signed it for both of us. We merely enter into the covenant by faith; we don’t make the covenant with God.

      AND by entering into this contract, there is a sense in which God was saying, “If I don’t keep My word, let Me be put asunder.” God was putting His Deity on the line as a confirmation of His oath to Abram.

      This covenant God signed alone; Abram did not haggle with God over the terms. God established and Abram accepted. Abram cannot break a contract he has never signed!

      By quoting the specific lands Abram’s descendants will inherit, God makes it plain this is not a “pie in the sky” spiritual promise. It is real, and through it, Israel WILL inherit THROUGH HIM REAL land.

      AND WHAT IS AN INTERESTING BIBLE HISTORY FOOTNOTE….For a very brief time, under Solomon in 1 Kings 8:65 and possibly again under Jeroboam II in 2 Kings 14:25, the children of Israel RULED ALL THIS TERRITORY, as a token of the final and permanent possession they will have in the future after JESUS RETURNS TO SAVE ISRAEL FROM THE WORLD AND THE ANTI-CHRIST AND BEGINS HIS 1000 YEAR RULE AND REIGN OF THE EARTH FROM WITHIN JERUSALEM.


      SOOOOO WHAT DID WE LEARN FROM GENESIS 15?

      IN GENESIS 15, ALMIGHTY GOD HAS LAID THE GROUNDWORK FOR THE REDEEMING GRACE COVENANT THAT HIS SON JESUS CHRIST WILL COMPLETE AND FULFILL. HIS RIGHTEOUS BY OUR FAITH…AND OUR FAITH IN HIM ALONE.

      GENESIS 15 TEACHES US THAT ALMIGHTY GOD IS A PATIENT FATHER…WHO LOVES.

      A PATIENT FATHER THAT IS READY FOR, AND ACCEPTING OF THE WHY WHY WHY WHYS OF HIS CHILDREN.

      A LOVING TEACHING FATHER THAT IS NOT BOTHERED BY EARNEST, HONEST, RESPECTFUL ARE YOU SURE? ARE YOU SURE?

      AND A FATHER WHO KNOWS EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US AND GIVES US COVENANT VISUALS THAT WE CAN SEE, UNDERSTAND, AND REMEMBER…

      HE GIVES ABRAM THE STAR FILLED NIGHT TO REMIND HIM OF HIS PROMISE…HIS COVENANT.

      HE WILL GIVE NOAH THE RAINBOW TO REMIND HIM THAT HE IS A PROMISE KEEPER.

      GENESIS 15 TELLS US, SHOWS US, AND GIVES US VISUAL PROOFS THAT OUR JESUS CHRIST IS A PROMISE KEEPER.

      WHAT HE HAS PROMISED US IN HIS WORD IN THE OLD TESTAMENT…HE HAS PROMISED AND KEPT FOR US THROUGH THE NEW TESTAMENT AS WELL.

      TRUST OUR JESUS CHRIST…HE WILL NEVER FAIL US.

      BE BLESSED…STAY BLESSED IN OUR JESUS!

    • June 21, 2016 6:46 PM EDT
    • GENESIS 16: ABRAM & ISHMAEL…THE BIRTH OF THE ARAB NATIONS

      EVER HEARD THE EXPRESSION…IT IS AS FUTILE AS TRYING TO FIT A SQUARE PEG INTO A ROUND HOLE?

      EVER SEEN A CHILD TAKE A WOODEN TOY HAMMER AND GET THAT STUBBORN, DETERMINED LOOK ON HIS OR HER FACE AND POUND AWAY….IN AN EFFORT TO PROVE THAT THEY WILL BE THE FIRST TO GET THAT SQUARE PEG TO FIT INTO THE ROUND HOLE…?

      NOW THIS IS REGARDLESS THE FACT THAT THE PARENT, TEACHER, CAREGIVER…HAS PATIENTLY SHOWN THE CHILD WHICH PIECE ON THE BOARD FITS WHERE. AND IF THEY WAIT AND DO IT ONE BY ONE PROPERLY ALL THE PIECES WILL FIT INTO THE BOARD PERFECTLY…WITHOUT STRESS, STRAIN, HAMMERING AWAY, OR PITCHING A TEMPER TANTRUM…OR WITHOUT DIRE CONSEQUENCES…EITHER.

      ALL THEY NEED IS PATIENCE…

      IF I HAD A DOLLAR FOR EVERY TIME MY PARENTS, TEACHERS TOLD ME….FAITH…BE PATIENT…OR THE KAZILLION TIMES I TOLD MY CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN…CALM DOWN…BE PATIENT WITH YOURSELF…WITH YOUR SITUATION…. I KNOW WITHOUT A SHADOW OF DOUBT MY BANK ACCOUNT WOULD PROBABLY RIVAL BILL GATES!

      I DO NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU, BUT I HAVE BEEN KNOWN TO HAMMER AWAY…REGARDLESS THAT THE RULES OF MAN, AND PHYSICS SAY IT CAN NOT BE DONE, MUCH LESS THAT JESUS SAYS…ASK ME…LIFT THE PROBLEM, WANT, NEED, WORRY INTO MY HANDS…THEN BE PATIENT…JUST GO SIT DOWN, REST IN THE KNOWLEDGE THAT I HAVE GOT IT ALL UNDER CONTROL…I AM YOUR SUDDENLY. BE PATIENT….WAIT ON THE LORD….WAIT I SAY ON THE LORD.

      WELL GENESIS 16 IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE HAVE A PROMISE FROM JESUS. WHEN WE HAVE PRAYED IT UP, TALKED IT OUT, AND RECEIVED A NOD FROM HEAVEN, AND FOR A TIME, WE WALK IN THAT PROMISE…JESUS SAID IT…JESUS PROMISED IT…I BELIEVE IT…THAT SETTLES IT FOR ME…

      UNTILLLLLLLLLLL….TIME PASSES…AND IN THE NATURAL THE ANSWER DOES NOT ARRIVE….WE KEEP LOOKING, WE KEEP EXPECTING, WE KEEP REMINDING OURSELVES WHAT JESUS PROMISES…BUTTTTTTTTTTT….STILL NOTHING HAPPENS. THE ANSWER DOES NOT COME…

      WE LIVE IN A PUSH BUTTON WORLD NOW…POP A PILL..HEADACHE IS TOAST, GET HUNGRY? ZIP THROUGH A DRIVE THRU IN 3 MINUTES AND VOILA….NO LONGER HUNGRY. OOPS, NEED SOME CASH, IT IS THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT, AND THE BANKS ARE CLOSED….NOOOOOOOO PROBLEM….FIND YOURSELF AN ATM….AND SWOOSH….IT SPITS OUT A 20 DOLLAR BILL. WANT TO GET IN TOUCH WITH A FRIEND…NOOOOOOO PROBLEM….DO NOT HAVE THE TIME FOR A NICE CHAT OR A HAND WRITTEN LETTER OR A DRIVE…..JUST JUMP ONLINE…..POUND OUT AN EPISTLE IN 15 MINUTES…IT SEND AND DONEEEEEEEE.

      PUSH BUTTON….SO WHEN THE ‘SPIRITUAL AND HEAVENLY PUSH BUTTON’ DOES NOT WORK AND ALL THOSE AROUND US START IN WITH….

      WELLLLLLLLLLL, FAITH YOU TOLD US YOU HAD PRAYED IT UP, JESUS HAD ANSWERED WITH A PROMISE…BUT HERE YOU ARE…A WEEK, A MONTH, A YEAR LATER….AND YOU ARE STILL WAITING AND WHERE IS YOUR ANSWER.

      YOU HAVE NO ANSWER…NO DIRECTION…NO PROVISION.

      I REALLY HATE TO TELL YOU THIS…BUT UMMMMMMM FAITH I THINK YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG.
      YOU MISSED A STEP.
      YOU DID NOT PRAY ENOUGH.
      YOU MUST HAVE SOME FAULT, SIN, OR JESUS IS NOT AS HAPPY WITH YOU AS YOU BELIEVED…TRUSTED!

      THAT HAS TO BE IT….SINCE NOTHING HAS HAPPENED, YOU SHOULD NOT BE STANDING…SPEAKING OUT THE PROMISE…WAITING…YOU SHOULD BE DOING SOMETHING!

      OR THEY START IN WITH…GOD HELPS THOSE WHO HELP THEMSELVES…EVEN THOUGH NO WHERE IN THE BIBLE DOES IT SAY THIS…THEY SPOUT IT…

      AND AFTER A TIME, YOU GET WORN DOWN, WITH THE HAMMERING, THE COMPLAINING, THE NO TANGIBLE, NO VISIBLE ANSWERS…EVEN THOUGH YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN A PROMISE…AND EVENTUALLY THE ROSY GLOW AND FAITH BEEN TO FADEEEEEEEEEE……AND SATAN AND THE WORLD’S BEST WEAPON DOUBT & FEAR & IMPATIENCE CREEPS IN…AND YOU DECIDE OKAY….I WILL FIX THIS MYSELF.

      MAYBE EVERYONE IS RIGHT….JESUS IS WRONG, OR I JUST MISUNDERSTOOD HIM….MAYBE I AM SUPPOSED TO FIX THIS MYSELF…REGARDLESS JESUS TELLING ME TO WAIT…BE PATIENT…MAYBEEEEEEEE….EVERY ONE IS RIGHT!

      I NEED TO DOOOOOOOOOO SOMETHING!

      THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED TO ABRAM…IN GENESIS 15 ALMIGHTY GOD PATIENTLY AGAIN ANSWERED ABRAMS….UMMMMM JESUS ARE YOU SUREEEEEEE? UMMMMM JESUS YOU DID NOT FORGET ABOUT ME OR YOUR PROMISES TO ME RIGHT?

      ALMIGHTY GOD DID NOT SCREAM, DID NOT SHOOT A LIGHTNING BOLT FROM ABOVE INTO ABRAM’S REAR END…..NOOOOOOO HE NOT ONLY GAVE ABRAM A PROMISE, HE MADE A BLOOD COVENANT WITH ABRAM.
      I DO NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU, BUT WALKING THROUGH BLOODY ANIMAL GUTS WHICH IS A SACRED UNBREAKABLE OATH IN GOD’S EYES….WOULD HAVE BEEN EVER PRESENT IN MY MIND…RIGHT..?

      BUT ALMIGHTY GOD SAID ABRAM….FORGET HOW OLD YOU ARE, FORGET HOW OLD SARAI IS….I AM GOING TO REVIVE YOU BOTH SEXUALLY. I AM GOING TO DO THE IMPOSSIBLE. I AM GOING TO GIVE YOU AND SARAI AN HEIR OUT OF YOUR BODY. YOU WILL HAVE A SON……BUT ALMIGHTY GOD DID NOT TELL ABRAM…OOOOO BY THE WAY….YOU AND SARAI HAVE TO WAIT 10+ YEARS BEFORE SARAI WILL BECOME PREGNANT.

      GOD WANTED ABRAM AND SARAI TO TRUST HIM…NOT WHAT THEY SAW, NOT WHAT THEY FELT, NOT WHAT OTHERS SAID…TO IGNORE THE DOUBTING LOOKS, THE SHAKING HEADS….THE WHISPERS, THE GOSSIP, THE LAUGHING BEHIND THEIR HANDS….JUST STAND AND TRUST HIM.

      AND WHAT DOES ABRAM & SARAI’S IMPATIENCE EARN THEM… Hagar and the Birth of Ishmael & THE BIRTH OF THE ARAB NATIONS

      TURN WITH ME NOW TO GENESIS 16...

      Verses 1-2 tells us Sarai gives her servant girl Hagar to Abram & proposes a child for ABRAM THROUGH HAGAR.

      “Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. And she had an Egyptian maidservant whose name was Hagar. So Sarai said to Abram, “See now, the Lord has restrained me from bearing children. Please, go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram heeded the voice of Sarai.

      Hagar, the Egyptian maidservant was undoubtedly part of what Abram received during his time in Egypt (Genesis 12:16).

      Here is more hammering….Sarai encouraged Abram to take part in what was essentially a “surrogate mother” arrangement in that day.

      According to custom, the child would be considered to be the child of Abram and Sarai, not Abram and Hagar.

      Sarai did something that goes against the nature of wives - to give another woman to her husband. She probably did this because she knew the promise of God (that Abram would be the father of many nations), yet she thought SHE WAS THE PROBLEM with God’s promise being fulfilled. So in an effort to “help God out,” she allowed her husband make her servant pregnant.

      Jewish tradition says that childlessness WAS/IS a punishment from God. It has been 2 years, since ALMIGHTY GOD made the blood covenant with Abram, and STILL they still had no children. Since SARAI suggests it, no doubt Satan and all those women around her told Sarai it was SOMETHING WRONG WITH HER, IT WAS HER BODY THAT WAS NOT ONLY OLD BUT DEFECTIVE…NOT ABRAM…SO SHE WANTED TO GIVE HER HUSBAND WHAT HE WANTED ABOVE ALL ELSE.

      AND EVEN THOUGH this early form of “surrogate motherhood” was common and accepted in that day, it doesn’t mean it was right. God is clearly NOT leading Abram and Sarai.

      Verses 3-4 tells us Abram agrees with Sarai’s suggestion.

      “Then Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar her maid, the Egyptian, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan. So he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress became despised in her eyes.”

      The long waiting for the promise discouraged them and made them vulnerable to acting in the flesh. Yet, even after this, it would still be more than 13 years until the child of promise came.

      When we impatiently try to “help God out” in the flesh, it accomplishes nothing and may even prolong the time until the promise is fulfilled.

      Want EXAMPLES OF TRYING TO HELP ALMIGHTY GOD OUT?

      Jacob had to live as an exile for 25 years because he thought he had to “help God out” to get his father’s blessing.
      Moses had to tend sheep for 40 years in the desert after he tried to “help God out” by murdering an Egyptian.

      Abram was certainly in the flesh when he agreed to inseminate Hagar and not trusting in God’s ability to provide an heir through Sarai.

      But this WAS NOT A ROMANTIC TRYST. AND IT WAS FAR FAR AWAY FROM ANY SENSATIONALIZED sensual romance.

      According to the custom of the day, Hagar would actually sit on the lap of Sarai as Abram inseminated her, to show that the child would legally belong to Sarai, as Hagar was merely a substitute for Sarai.

      THERE ARE OTHER OCASSIONS OF A SURROGATE MOTHER IN THE BIBLE. Remember Rachel’s giving of Bilhah her servant to Jacob when Rachel was barren. In that context, Genesis 30:3 reads: So she said, “Here is my maid Bilhah; go in to her, and she will bear a child on my knees, that I also may have children by her.”

      The phrase “bear a child on my knees” refers to the ancient practice of surrogate-adoption. Some believe that the phrase refers only to a symbolic placement of the child on the knees of one who adopts it. Others believe that it refers to the surrogate sitting on the lap of the adoptive mother during both insemination and birth.

      Then the worst thing from Sarai’s perspective happened - Abram succeeded in inseminating Hagar. This proved beyond all doubt TO EVERYONE, INCLUDING SARAI, that the problem was in Sarai, not in Abram, and it also could make people think Hagar was “more of a woman” and more blessed than Sarai.

      Verses 5-6 tells us of Sarai’s anger towards Hagar.
      “Then Sarai said to Abram, “My wrong be upon you! I gave my maid into your embrace; and when she saw that she had conceived, I became despised in her eyes. The Lord judge between you and me.” So Abram said to Sarai, “Indeed your maid is in your hand; do to her as you please.”

      “I became despised in her eyes”…tells us Hagar’s contempt for Sarai started the problem. She couldn’t resist displaying an inappropriate haughtiness, thinking her pregnancy somehow showed her to be better to be ABOVE her mistress Sarai now.

      My wrong be upon you! Sarai blamed the whole situation on Abram, and for good cause. He should have acted as the spiritual leader and told his wife God was able to perform what He promised, and they didn’t need to try to “help God out” in the works of the flesh.

      Indeed your maid is in your hand; do to her as you please: Abram seemed to make a bad situation worse by turning the situation over to Sarai and not taking care of the child he is father to. Yet, in this, he also puts his relationship with Sarai first, and that is good.

      These terribly complicated and difficult situations often arise out of OUR IMPATIENCE…GIVING IN TO THE FLESH…TRYING TO HELP ALMIGHTY GOD. All in all, it is much easier to live life trusting in the Lord. God wants to spare us from these difficulties.

      Verses 6-9 tells us Hagar flees from Abram and Sarai & The Angel of the Lord appears to Hagar and instructs her.

      “And when Sarai dealt harshly with her, she fled from her presence. Now the Angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur. And He said, “Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where have you come from, and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.” The Angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hand.”

      As Hagar escaped this difficult situation that she had made for herself with her behavior and arrogance….it is stopped in its tracks when THE ANGEL OF THE LORD (here, the pre-incarnate presence of Jesus) met her by a spring of water in the wilderness.

      THE ANGEL OF THE LORD….CAN ONLY BE JESUS CHRIST making another CAMEO appearance in THE OLD TESTAMENT. THIS IS JUST ANOTHER REASON WHY I STICK WITH THE KJV HOLY BIBLE…THE VERY IMPORTANT A, AN, THE are NOT CHANGED OR OMITTED IN THE KJV…AND IT HELPS US TO KNOW…EVERY TIME…IF IT IS AN ANGEL OF GOD…WHICH COULD BE ANY OF THE LEGIONS OF ANGELS OF HEAVEN….OR THE ANGEL OF THE LORD…WHO CAN ONLY BE OUR PRECIOUS JESUS CHRIST.

      We believe this because of God the Father it says, No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him (John 1:18), and no man has ever seen God in the Person of the Father (1 Timothy 6:16).

      Therefore, WE KNOW if God appeared to someone in human appearance in the Old Testament it CAN ONLY BE the appearance is of the eternal Son, the Second Person of the Trinity, before His incarnation in Bethlehem.

      HOW COOL IS THAT?

      “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hand”… JESUS CHRIST tells Hagar to do something very difficult: go back to her terrible situation and to submit herself to Sarai. We can suppose that Hagar might get very different counseling from many counselors today, BUT the difference is JESUS CHRIST KNOWS ALL, NOTHING IS HIDDEN…SO HE KNOWS HAGAR CREATED THE STRIFE...AND SO SHE MUST FACE UP TO IT!
      BUT NOT TO WORRY…JESUS IS WITH HER…


      Verses 10-12 tells us The promise of THE ANGEL OF THE LORD to Hagar.

      “Then the Angel of the Lord said to her, “I will multiply your descendants exceedingly, so that they shall not be counted for multitude.” And the Angel of the Lord said to her: “Behold, you are with child, and you shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because the Lord has heard your affliction. He shall be a wild man; his hand shall be against every man, and every man’s hand against him. And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.”

      God has great plans for Hagar’s child. He will become a great nation. Indeed, Ishmael will become the father of all the Arabic peoples.

      Today’s battle between Jew and Arab is nothing new. Both Jews and Arabs are descended from Abram by two half-brothers: Ishmael and the son to come later from Abram and Sarai, to be named Isaac.

      ABRAM did what we CAN BE GUILTY OF…WE REMEMBER PIECEMEAL…INSTEAD OF THE FULL WORDS AND PROMISE. ABRAM FORGOT THAT ALMIGHTY GOD HAD ALREADY TOLD HIM THAT AN HEIR….A SON WOULD COME FROM SARAI’S WOMB…HIS BODY.

      IT CAN NOT BE ANY PLAINER THAN THAT.
      BUT ABRAM FORGOT THAT…AND SO DID SARAI.

      The entire conflict can be traced back to Abram’s decision to “help God out” in the flesh, both when he agreed to inseminate Hagar, and when he went to Egypt to begin with. The effects of our sin may reach far beyond what we ever imagined. ALMIGHTY GOD SAID IT AND IT HAPPENED EXACTLY AS HE SAID. THE ARAB NATIONS HAVE BEEN IN CONSTANT CONFLICT AND WAR WITH NOT ONLY THEIR HALF-BROTHERS THE NATION OF ISRAEL, BUT WITH ALL THOSE AROUND THEM SINCE THE OLD TESTAMENT DAYS.

      JESUS CHRIST EVEN WARNS AND TELLS HAGAR WHAT HER SON WILL BE LIKE…AND HE WAS!

      “He shall be a wild man; his hand shall be against every man, and every man’s hand against him: Her child’s life will not be easy, but God will still bless and sustain him.
      God’s dealing with Hagar gives us hope. God sees our suffering and desires to touch our life when we suffer…EVEN THOUGH WE MAY DESERVE TO SUFFER AND/OR BRING THE SUFFERING UPON OURSELVES.

      ALMIGHTY GOD IS A PATIENT, LOVING, AND FORGIVING FATHER…THEN AND NOW, AMEN?

      Verses 13-16 tells us God’s blessing and protection of Hagar and Ishmael.

      “Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, “Have I also here seen Him who sees me?” Therefore the well was called Beer Lahai Roi; observe, it is between Kadesh and Bered. So Hagar bore Abram a son; and Abram named his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael. Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.”

      “You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees”…tells us Hagar KNEW this was no mere angel who appeared to her. The Angel of the Lord was also the-God-Who-Sees, the same One watching over Hagar and Ishmael.

      And it is interesting to note…that Ishmael is the FIRST MAN in the Bible to receive his name BEFORE he was born.

      Apparently, Hagar did return with a submitted heart. She told the whole story to Abram and Sarai, and Abram named the child Ishmael, just as instructed in the meeting with the Angel of the Lord Hagar described.

      After meeting with El Roi, (You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees), Hagar knew that if God could be with her in the wilderness, He would be with her in having to submit to Sarai also.

      GENESIS 16 GIVES US MANY VISUALS…GIVES US MANY TANGIBLE EXAMPLES SO THAT WE CAN SEE….WE CAN UNDERSTAND….AND WE CAN FOLLOW.

      TIME WAS CREATED FOR MANKIND, THE EARTH, AND NATURE.
      TIME, IN AND OF ITSELF, HAS LITTLE BEARING ON JESUS CHRIST’S PLANS. JESUS CHRIST SAYS A 1000 YEARS IS AS A DAY….AND A DAY IS AS A 1OOO YEARS IN THE ETERNAL.

      SO WHAT DO WE LEARN FROM GENESIS 16?

      DO NOT BE IMPATIENT….WAIT ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.
      IF WE WAIT…IF WE STAND…WE SPARE OURSELF PRESENT AND FUTURE STRIFE.

      WE LEARN WHAT JESUS HAS PROMISED US THROUGHOUT THE BIBLE…HE DID THEN, HE CAN DO TODAY, AND WILL DO IN OUR TOMORROWS.
      HIS TIMING IS ALWAYS PERFECT.
      HIS ANSWERS ARE ALWAYS PERFECT.
      HIS PATIENCE IS UNENDING.

      JESUS CHRIST WANTS US TO PRAY IT UP, BELIEVE HIS PROMISES, TRUST HIM, AND REMEMBER THAT HE KNOWS ALL THINGS, NOTHING IS HIDDEN FROM HIM.
      SATAN CAN NOT SNEAK ATTACK JESUS.
      SATAN CAN NOT PLOT SECRETLY.
      MANKIND CAN NOT SNEAK UP ON OUR JESUS.
      MANKIND CAN NOT PLOT SECRETLY.
      JESUS KNOWS THE THOUGHTS AND THE PLANS AND HE HAS PROMISED US THAT HE HAS ALREADY GONE INTO OUR TOMORROWS…OUR FUTURE…TO MAKE A PROVISION, A PROTECTION, A BLESSING, FAVOR, A DIRECTION, AND/OR A WAY OF ESCAPE FOR US…LONG BEFORE WE EVER EVEN KNEW WE might HAVE A PROBLEM OR A NEED.

      SO STRIVE NOT TO HELP JESUS OUT.
      STRIVE NOT TO SECOND GUESS JESUS.
      STAND ON HIS WORD…HIS PROMISES.
      STAND…WAIT PATIENTLY…WHETHER YOU HAVE TO STAND A MINUTE, A DAY, A WEEK, OR 15 YEARS….THE ANSWERS, THE PROVISIONS, THE HEALINGS, THE BLESSINGS WHATEVER WE HAVE LIFTED INTO OUR JESUS HANDS AND ARE BELIEVING OUR JESUS CHRIST FOR….WILL HAPPEN…SUDDENLY…PERFECTLY….POWERFULLY…AND WHEN IT DOES….SATAN, THE LOST WORLD, AND MANKIND WILL KNOW WITHOUT A SHADOW OF DOUBT THAT IT WAS OUR JESUS….ALL JESUS…AND HE WILL RECEIVE THE GLORY AND THE HONOR FOR IT!

      JESUS SAYS STAND…WAIT…I AM FAITHFUL…EVER FAITHFUL…TRUST ME…NOT YOUR OWN MIND, NOT YOUR OWN THOUGHTS, NOT WHAT THE WORLD THREATENS, NOT THE GLOOM AND DOOM SAYERS, NOT THE WORDS OR YAMMERING AND OPINIONS OF OTHERS…TRUST JESUS CHRIST…..TRUST HIM ALONE.

      BE BLESSED AND STAY BLESSED IN OUR JESUS CHRIST!

    • June 21, 2016 6:43 PM EDT
    • GENESIS 17: God Reaffirms the Covenant…

      THIS CHAPTER TELLS US GOD GRINS AND SAYS I HEARD THAT!!!!
      AND THEN ALMIGHTY GOD SAYS GOTCHA....

      An appearance from God, a change of name for Abram.

      Verses 1-2 tells us God appears to Abram when he is 99 years old.

      “When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.”

      The Lord appeared to Abram: Undoubtedly, this is another appearance of God in the person of Jesus, who took on a temporary human appearance before His incarnation on earth.

      I am Almighty God: First, God told Abram who He is. By this name El Shaddai, He revealed His Person and character to Abram. My favorite translation is “Almighty,” the “One who CARES & has His hand on everything.”

      Walk before Me and be blameless: Then God told Abram what was expected of him. We can only do what God expects of us when we know who He is and know it in a full, personal, real way.

      The word blameless does NOT mean SINLESS & PURE. Abram was a flawed human, there has ONLY BEEN ONE PERSON TO EVER WALK THE FACE OF THE EARTH BLAMELESS AND SINLESS AND PURE….AND THAT IS JESUS CHRIST, AMEN!

      The word BLAMELESS HERE literally means “WHOLE.” God wanted ALL of Abram, wanting a TOTAL commitment.

      I will make My covenant between Me and you: God also reminded Abram He has NOT forgotten the covenant. Though it had been some 25 years since the promise was FIRST made, and though it maybe seemed to Abram God forgot, God is telling ABRAM…I DID NOT FORGET.

      The last time we are told the Lord communicated with Abram directly was more than 13 years before. Seemingly, Abram had 13 years of “normal” fellowship with God, waiting for the promise all the time. Surely, at times during those years, Abram felt God forgot.

      Abram was becoming a great man of faith, but you don’t make a great man of faith overnight. It takes years of God’s work in them, years of almost mundane trusting in God, interspersed with a few spectacular encounters with the Lord.

      AND FOR ABRAM…IT HAS TAKEN HIM ALMOST 30 YEARS. I DO NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU, BUT THAT IS PATIENCE SUPREME. ALMIGHTY GOD DOES NOT HAVE AN EGG TIMER IN HEAVEN…AND IF WE DO NOT LEARN EVERYTHING PERFECTLY AND PRECISELY BEFORE THAT EGG TIMER DINGS…HE TOSSES US AWAY. GIVES UP. WALKS AWAY. ALMIGHTY GOD IS SO KIND & PATIENT, WITH ABRAM THE MAN OF WHY WHY WHY?? ARE YOU SURE? ARE YOU SURE? DID YOU FORGET ABOUT ME? YOU DO REMEMBER YOUR PROMISE TO ME RIGHT?

      OUR TRIUNE GOD IS NOT ANGRY, NOR SURPRISED AT OUR FLAWS, OUR WEAKNESSES, OUR STRUGGLES…HE IS A PATIENT KIND AND COMPASSIONATE FATHER WHO KNOWS HIS CHILD…AND HE KNOWS & SEES THE END OF THE STORY…HE KNOWS WE WILL RISE BACK UP, REPENT, AND THEN TRY AGAIN. WE DRIVE OURSELVES NUTS WATCHING THE CLOCK…COUNTING THE DAYS…BUT NOT OUR TRIUNE GOD…HE IS SOOOOOOOOOO PATIENT!

      Verses 3-8 tells us God refers to SPECIFIC terms of the covenant He has NOT forgotten one word of it.

      “Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying: “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”

      To ENCOURAGE Abram’s faith in the promise of descendants, God changed Abram’s name from Abram (father of many) to Abraham (father of many nations).

      There was, no doubt, a sense in which Abram - “father of many” - was a HARD NAME to bear for a man who was the father of none, especially in a culture where inquiry about one’s personal life was a courteous practice. AND SATAN AND MANKIND (WHICH HAS NOT REALLY CHANGED AT ALL OVER TIME) HAS BEEN A NOISOME PESTILENCE IN ABRAHAM’S EAR….

      SOOOOO GOD SAYS YOU ARE GOING TO BE A FATHER TO MANY? AND NOW A FATHER OF MANY NATIONS??? UMMMMM, I DOUBT IT.

      SO God KNOWING ALL THESE THINGS…went a step further and made his name “father of many nations.” It is almost preposterous for a childless man to have such a name.

      I MEAN THINK ABOUT IT…IN 30 YEARS, ONE MAN & HIS WIFE COULD CONCEIVABLY PRODUCE 30 CHILDREN.

      SO IMAGINE, HOW EVERYONE FELT, WHAT THEY THOUGHT when Abraham comes back from the FACE TO RACE presence TALK WITH JESUS CHRIST AND ANNOUNCES ALMIGHTY GOD HAS CHANGED HIS NAME FROM FATHER OF MANY, TO FATHER OF MANY NATIONS!

      I IMAGINE THE LOOKS, THOUGHTS AND RESPONSES TO THAT ANNOUNCEMENT, CAN’T YOU?

      THEY LOOKED AT HIM, AT SARAI, AND SAW NOT EVEN ONE CHILD OF THEIR BODY…AND NOW ABRAM….OOPS NOW ABRAHAM TELLS THEM HE IS GOING TO BE THE FATHER OF NATIONS. I BET MORE THAN A FEW THOUGHT…WE NEED TO GET OLD MAN ABRAHAM OUT OF THE SUN AND GET HIM TO HAVE A NICE LIE DOWN IN HIS COOL TENT…BECAUSE THE OLD MAN IS LOSSSSSSSSSSSING IT.

      OTHERS MUST HAVE THOUGHT ABRAHAM wanted to escape the burden of his name. Instead by telling them what ALMIGHTY GOD HAD SAID AND DONE….ABRAHAM increased the burden.

      BASICALLY ABRAHAM TELLING EVERYONE…SAID GOD SAID THIS…NOW HE HAS TO PROVE IT TO ME AND TO MY PEOPLE.
      AND IN THE NATURAL…PEOPLE LOOKED AT 99 YEAR OLD, WHITE-HAIRED, WRINKLED, SLOW MOVING ABRAHAM & HIS EQUALLY WHITE-HAIRED, WRINKLED, SLOW MOVING SARAI…AND SAID TO THEMSELVES…IT WOULD BE NICE IF GOD GAVE THEM ONE…I WONDER IF ALMIGHTY GOD KNOWS AND UNDERSTANDS HOW OLD AND FEEBLE THEY ARE, RIGHT?

      I PUT MYSELF IN SARAI’S PLACE…AND TO HEAR MY HUSBAND ANNOUNCE THIS NEW REVELATION AFTER HAVING HEARD IT FOR 30 YEARS, WHEN I WAS YOUNGER, STRONGER, MORE YOUTHFUL…NOW IT WOULD BE MORE LIKELY I WOULD HAVE BEEN THINKING TO MYSELF….ARE YOU KIDDING ME? NOW? NOWWWWWWW HE WANTS TO GIVE ME A CHILD?????

      I, WHO HAVE WATCHED FRIENDS AND FAMILY GO THROUGH PREGNANCY, GO THROUGH LABOR, GIVING BIRTH, THEN CARING FOR AND CHASING AFTER THOSE BABIES??? NOW, WHEN I COULD NOT RUN IF MY LIFE DEPENDED ON IT, AND AM READY TO GO TO BED AT SUNDOWN, NOW YOU TELL ME I AM GOING TO BIRTH NATIONS????

      AND AS A CHILD NAMED FAITH, IN A TIME WHEN NO ONE…AND I MEAN NO ONE HAD EVER HEARD OF NAMING A FEMALE CHILD FAITH…I WAS 22 YEARS OLD, BEFORE I EVER MET, OR HEARD OF ANOTHER FEMALE BEING NAMED FAITH.

      I WAS BURDENED WITH THE NAME…OH SO YOUR NAME IS FAYE, FATE…NO MY NAME IS FAITH? YOU MEAN AS THE BIBLE FAITH HOPE AND CHARITY…THAT FAITH?

      IT WAS TOUGH AS A KID, GROWING UP WITH THE NAME FAITH. TEACHERS INSTANTLY CALLED ME FAY, OR FAYE, AND MANY TOLD ME OVER MY GROWING UP YEARS…BOY THEY GAVE YOU A HARD NAME TO LIVE UP TOO. WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOUR PARENTS NAME YOU FAITH? AND BOY, YOU THOUGHT MY NAME GAVE THEM PAUSE, WHEN I INNOCENTLY TOLD THEM THE TRUTH, JESUS TOLD MY PARENTS TO NAME ME FAITH. THEY REALLY TOOK A MENTAL STEP BACK…IF NOT A PHYSICAL ONE.

      MANY TOLD ME YOU ARE DOOMED BEFORE YOU EVER STARTED WITH THAT NAME. AND HA! I DID NOT HAVE ANYYYYY IDEA HOW DIFFICULT IT WOULD BE…TO WALK BY FAITH AND NOT BY SIGHT…

      BUT WHAT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR MAN, IS WHAT? POSSIBLE FOR OUR TRIUNE GOD. HE HAS GROWN ME UP…AND LET ME TELL YOU IT TOOK LOTTTTTTTTTTTTTTS OF PATIENCE. I WAS THE NIGHTMARE CHILD…I DID NOT ACCEPT ANYTHING AT FACE VALUE….IT WAS A KAZILLION QUESTIONS AND ALWAYS…WHY? WHY DO I HAVE TO? WHY SHOULD I? WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY! SO NOW 57 YEARS LATER, I AM FINALLY REALLY LEARNING WHAT IT MEANS TO WALK BY FAITH AND NOT BY SIGHT….

      SO I EMPATHIZE AND SYMPATHIZE WITH OUR BROTHER ABRAHAM…AND I HAD JESUS LOVING, BIBLE BELIEVING FAMILY ALL MY LIFE AS A BUFFER….ABRAM…NOW ABRAHAM HAD NO ONE IN HIS FAMILY TO TEACH HIM ABOUT JESUS…SHOW HIM HOW TO WALK IN FAITH…TO BE A MAN OF GOD…HE HAD NONE OF THAT….HE HAD IDOL WORSHIPPERS FOR HIS FAMILY.

      YOU HAVE AN IDOL WORSHIPER WHO LOVES AND BELIEVES IN A TRIUNE GOD AND ONE WHO IS BELIEVING IN HIS OLD AGE FOR A CHILD STILL….AND FOR HIM TO BE NOW NOT THE FATHER OF MANY, BUT THE FATHER OF NATIONS…

      SO WHAT WOULD WE CALL THAT?
      WHAT DID THEY CONSIDER THAT?
      HERE IT IS…HERE IS THE WORD.
      IT WAS IMPOSSIBLEEEEEEEEEEEEE.

      BUT THAT IS JUST HOW ALMIGHTY GOD WANTED IT. HE WANTED THEM TO KNOW THAT IT WAS BY HIM, THROUGH HIM, AND FROM HIM ALONE THAT ABRAHAM AND SARAI CONCEIVED.

      THIRTY YEARS EARLIER, THEY ((PEOPLE & FUTURE HISTORIANS)) COULD HAVE SAID OR LATER WRITTEN…WELL ABRAHAM AND SARAI SAID IT WAS ALMIGHTY GOD…BUT ((SNORT)), GET REAL, IT WAS NOT REALLY A GOD THING, IT WAS NATURAL, IT WAS NATURE…IT WAS JUST PROCREATION…AND ALMIGHTY GOD DID NOT HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT…

      ALMIGHTY GOD WANTED NO DOUBTS…THAT IT WAS HE AND HE ALONE WHO CAN DO THE IMPOSSIBLE, AMEN?

      AND there are many wonderful name changes in the Bible, such as when God changed Jacob’s name to Israel in Genesis 32:28, and when Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter in Mark 3:16. And better yet…did you all know, that when we get to Heaven God promises a wonderful new name to every overcomer in Him in Revelation 2:17. How cool is that?

      RIGHT NOW…ALL THROUGH THE BIBLE JESUS CHRIST GIVES US MANY NAMES IN FAITH…SUCH AS saint, righteous, chosen, royal priesthood, sons of God, My Beloved, My Bride…and so forth…
      WHY?

      BECAUSE OUR JESUS KNOWS He will accomplish the meaning of the name in us - even it if seems preposterous….and impossible!

      AND YOU NOTICE TO ENCOURAGE Abraham’s faith in the promise of the land, God repeated the promise again, reminding Abraham it is an EVERYLASTING PROMISE given by an EVERLASTING covenant.

      Verses 9-14 tells us God institutes a sign of the covenant for Abraham and his descendants.

      “And God said to Abraham: “As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised; and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you. He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised, every male child in your generations, he who is born in your house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not your descendant. He who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money must be circumcised, and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised male child, who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.”

      Every male child among you shall be circumcised: For the first time, God gave Abraham something to do in regard to the covenant. He told them to take upon themselves a SIGN of the covenant, showing they WILLINGLY RECEIVED the covenant by faith.

      You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins: The sign was circumcision, the cutting away of the male foreskin. God chose this sign for many important reasons.

      WHY?

      Circumcision was not unknown in the world at that time. It was a ritual practice among various peoples.

      There were/are undoubtedly hygienic reasons, especially making sense in the ancient world & more so with the proliferation of STDS & AIDS.

      Morris, a Bible scholar & historian says, “There is some medical evidence that this practice has indeed contributed to the long-lasting vigor of the Jewish race.”

      McMillen, another historian says, “None of these Diseases, from noted studies in 1949 and 1954 showing an incredibly low rate of cervical cancer for Jewish women, because they mostly have husbands who are circumcised.”

      But more importantly, circumcision is a cutting away of the flesh and an appropriate sign of the covenant for those who should put NO TRUST in the flesh.

      Also, because circumcision deals with the organ of procreation, it was a reminder of the special seed of Abraham, which would ultimately bring the Messiah.

      He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised: God probably commanded the circumcision of children to take place on the eighth day because this is the day when an infant’s immune system is at the optimum level for such a procedure.

      McMillen also notes ANOTHER WHY ON THE 8TH DAY, thanks to the advances in MEDICAL/SCIENTIFIC TECHNOLOGY, that newborn children have a peculiar susceptibility to bleeding between the second and fifth days of life. It seems an important blood-clotting agent, vitamin K, is NOT formed in the normal amount until the fifth to seventh day of life, unless that newborn child is breast fed within hours of its birth. Another blood clotting agent, prothrombin, is at its highest levels in infants on precisely the eighth day of life, making the eighth day the safest, earliest day to circumcise an infant.

      AND IT ONLY TOOK MANKIND…ALMOST 7 THOUSAND YEARS TO COME TO LEARN, GET SMART ENOUGH, AND TECHNOLOGICALLY ADVANCED ENOUGH TO UNDERSTAND…SOMETHING ALMIGHTY GOD HAS ALWAYS KNOWN.

      ALMIGHTY GOD ALWAYSSSSSSSSSSSSSS HAS A PERFECT AND GOOD REASON FOR THE THINGS HE ASKS OF US…COMMANDS US TO DO, EVEN IF WE OURSELVES DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE WHY OF IT.

      I MEAN THINK ABOUT IT….IF ABRAHAM HAD ASKED WHY SHOULD WE DO THIS? AND ALMIGHTY GOD SAID THE BLOD-CLOTTING FACTOR, VITAMIN K, & THE IMMUNE SYSTEM IS STRONGEST THEN IN CHILDREN….YOUR WIVES AND YOU YOURSELVES WILL BE SPARED CERVICAL CANCER, HAVE BETTER HYGIENE….ABRAHAM WOULD HAVE HAD NOOOOOOOOOOO CLUE WHAT HE WAS TALKING ABOUT, RIGHT?

      AND ALMIGHTY GOD GIVES A WARNING HERE AS WELL…the uncircumcised male child . . . he has broken My covenant:

      Those who rejected circumcision rejected the sign of the covenant. They were no friends of the covenant God made with Abraham. It wasn’t that circumcision made them a part of the covenant (faith did), but rejection of circumcision was a rejection of the covenant.
      AND IT WAS A PHYSICAL SIGN OF REJECTION OF GOD’S COMMAND…AND REJECTION OF THE FAITH COVENANT.

      Unfortunately, through the centuries, history has shown us that the Jews began to trust more in the SIGN of the covenant (circumcision) than in the God of the covenant, their RABBIS began believing & teaching that circumcision by itself was sufficient and necessary to save them.

      THIS FALSE TEACHING WAS SO BAD that Paul refutes this idea extensively, especially in light of the finished work of Jesus in Galatians 5:1-15.

      The Jewish & yes Gentile rituals, rules, and laws do NOT insure anyone of an eternity in Heaven…ONLY JESUS CHRIST CAN SAVE…AND JESUS OFFERS SALVATION TO JEWS AND GENTILES ALIKE.

      FURTHERMORE, Paul assures us, Christians are free to either circumcise or not. One may do so for social or hygienic reasons but it doesn’t get us any closer to God: For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love does in Galatians 5:6.

      The closest Christian parallel we have to circumcision is baptism. WHY DO YOU SAY THAT FAITH?
      WHERE DO YOU COME BY THIS?

      FROM PAUL HIMSELF….Paul relates the two ideas together in Colossians 2:11-12.

      However, baptism is also a “sign” of the covenant; it does NOT save us, but is a sign of the covenant that does. Being baptized does not save us, but no Christian should refuse baptism. BAPTISM, JUST LIKE COMMUNION, IS A SIGN THAT WE LOVE JESUS…. JESUS HIMSELF COMMANDS US…DO THIS IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME…IT IS A PRIVATE SPIRIT TO SPIRIT HUG FOR JESUS…AS WELL A PUBLIC SHOUT OUT THAT SAYS I CHOOSE JESUS CHRIST…I LOVE JESUS CHRIST…I HONOR JESUS CHRIST. HERE I AM, UNASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN!


      Verses 15-16 tells us about God’s promise of a son to both Abraham and Sarah.

      The promise is CLEARLY STATED: a son will come through Sarah, whose name ALMIGHTY GOD changed from Sarai. Some teach that Almighty God cares and is only concerned with MAN…and woman is nothing more than chattel…a possession…who has NO PLACE, CARE, LOVE, RIGHTS, AND CONCERN DIRECTLY IN THE EYES OF ALMIGHTY GOD.

      RIGHT HERE…ALMIGHTY GOD DID NOT FORGET HIS SARAI…HE GAVE HER A NEW NAME TOO. HE MADE SURE TO INCLUDE HER….HOW PRECIOUS IS THAT…

      SO NOW YOU KNOW SOMETHING PRECIOUS AND IMPORTANT FOR WOMEN…BEFORE JESUS CHRIST CAME, BEFORE HE TOUCHED, SPOKE TO, INCLUDED WOMEN, AND GAVE THEM HONOR AND IMPORTANCE, AND RIGHTS IN A MAN’S WORLD THAT STUNNED MANKIND…ALMIGHTY GOD IN GENESIS SHOWS THAT HE SEES, KNOWS, LOVES, AND CARES FOR WOMEN…AND THEY ARE JUST AS IMPORTANT TO HIS PLAN, HIS HEART…AS MEN ARE!

      AND LISTEN TO THIS…JUST IN CASE ABRAHAM DID NOT UNDERSTAND…AND THE PEOPLE DID NOT UNDERSTAND…AND YES HAGAR AND ISHMAEL DID NOT WANT TO UNDERSTAND AND BELIEVE….ALMIGHTY GOD SPEAKS BLUNTLY AND LOUDLY ABOUT HIS SARAI...AND HE WAS AND IS SPEAKING LOUD AND CLEAR TO MANKIND TODAY…

      Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her.”

      There is only a subtle difference between Sarai and Sarah, but it is an important & precious difference.

      POOLE tells us why….“Sarai signifies my lady, or my princess, which confines her dominion to ONE family; but Sarah signifies either a lady or princess, simply and absolutely without restriction, or the princess of a MULTITUDE.”

      God who also hears and reads the thoughts….wanted to MAKE SURE ABRAHAM AND SARAH UNDERSTOOD…ONCE AND FOR ALL…HE MAKES IT VERY CLEAR that this son will not come about by another surrogate-mother situation (as with Hagar and Ishmael). Sarah herself will give birth, even though it is past her time in life to do so (Sarah was about 90 years old at this time).
      SIMPLY PUT ALMIGHTY GOD SAID….

      ABRAHAM DO NOT TRY TO HELP ME OUT…I DO NOT NEED HELP. WHAT I PROMISE WILL HAPPEN WILL HAPPEN.

      AND HE SAID TO SARAH…I KNOW ABRAHAM TALKS NON-STOP ABOUT A SON A SON A SON A SON…WHERE IS MY SON THAT GOD PROMISED ME. I KNOW HE HAS DRIVEN YOU NUTS…I KNOW THE PEOPLE HAVE LOOKED ON YOU WITH SMIRKS, AND PITY….I KNOW YOUR ARMS ARE EMPTY…BUT DO NOT TRY TO HELP ME OUT…I AM GOING TO GIVE YOU A SON OF YOUR BODY….FROM YOUR BODY SARAH…NO ONE ELSES….SO DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT HELPING ME OUT. I KNOW WHAT I AM DOING HERE!!!

      Verses 17-18 tells us Abraham’s response to the promise.

      “Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” And Abraham said to God, “Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!”

      THE FIRST TIME I READ THIS I THOUGHT…GOOOOOOOOD GRIEF ABRAHAM….DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE LAUGHING AT? UMMMMM…ABRAHAM…IT IS NOTTTTTT A VERY SMART THING TO LAUGH IN ALMIGHTY GOD’S FACE…UNLESS YOU HAVE LOST YOUR MIND…OR WANT A LIGHTNING BOLT IN THE REAR END…OR MAYBE WELL YOU DO NOT KNOW MIRIAM…BUT SHE GOT LEPROSY FOR HER CHALLENGING AND SNICKERING…UMMMM STOP LAUGHING ABRAHAM…RIGHT?

      BUT THE MORE I HAVE GROWN IN OUR JESUS, THE MORE HE HAS SHOWN ME, THE MORE IMPOSSIBLE MADE POSSIBLE HE HAS DONE IN MY LIFE….I NOW START GRINNING MYSELF…WHEN ANYONE TELLS ME…FAITH, SWEETIE PIE….YOU ARE BELIEVING FOR THE….WAIT FOR IT…THERE IS THAT WORD…THE IMPOSSIBLE. AND WHEN JESUS DOES THE IMPOSSIBLE..I TOO HAVE BURST OUT LAUGHING…IN STUNNED, SLACK JAWED PURE JOY TOO.

      SO ABRAHAM, I THINK, HAD GOTTEN TO THE POINT WHERE THE MORE IMPOSSIBLE THE SITUATION HE WAS IN THE MOREEEEEEEE POWERFUL AND ABSOLUTE THE PROMISED ANSWER WOULD COME.

      SO NOW WE KNOW when Abraham fell on his face and laughed: Abraham’s laugh didn’t seem to be one of cynical doubt, but of rejoicing in something he knew was impossible by all outward appearance, but that God could perform.

      Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? He knew both he and Sarah were well past the time people normally have children.

      I MEAN THINK ABOUT IT…ABRAHAM WAS ALREADY OLD WHEN ISHMAEL WAS CONCEIVED, RIGHT? AND WITHOUT GIVING TMI…SEXUAL INTIMACY BETWEEN A MAN AND HIS WIFE…IS NOT A SPECTATOR SPORT…THOUGH THIS WORLD WITH ITS MOVIES LOADED WITH UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL SEX SCENES MAKES ME FEEL LIKE A PERVERT…A PEEPING TOM…AND I INSTANTLY CHANGE CHANNELS IF A PROGRAM OR A MOVIE GETS INTIMATE, RIGHT?

      BUT THINK ABOUT ABRAHAM’S DAY…HE WAS EXPECTED TO NOT ONLY PERFORM, BUT PRODUCE A CHILD FROM A SEXUAL UNION WITH HAGAR, A MAID SERVANT, AS SHE SAT ON SARAH’S KNEES. ABRAM WOULD HAVE BEEN FACE TO FACE WITH SARAI…WITH HAGAR BETWEEN THEM. IN MY MINDS EYE, THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN IMPOSSIBLE TO ACCOMPLISH, RIGHT?

      YET HAGAR, A YOUNG HEALTHY, VIBRANT WOMAN DID CONCEIVE WITH AN OLDDDDDDDDDD MAN, EVEN OUTSIDE GOD’S INTENTION AND WITHOUT HIS COMMAND AND BLESSING.

      SO in the presence of Him whom he believed, ROMANS 4:17-21 SUMS IT UP BEST FOR US. “God, who GIVES life to the dead and calls those things which do NOT exist as though they did; who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.”

      BUT ABRAHAM IS A LOVING FATHER AND GET NOT FORGET ABOUT ISHMAEL EITHER.

      “Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!” When Abraham added this…we see that Abraham didn’t really understand God’s promise completely. He WANTED ISHMAEL TO BE A GOOD MAN IN GOD’S EYES…ALTHOUGH WE KNOW ISHMAEL WAS NOTHING BUT A NIGHTMARE CHILD, YOUNG MAN, AND AN ADULT. SO ABRAHAM perhaps thought God simply meant Ishmael would be Sarah’s “spiritual son.” Abraham - like all of us - found it hard to trust God for more than what he can conceive of.

      AND YOU CAN BET SATAN WAS RIGHT THERE TELLING ABRAHAM AND SARAH…MAYBE YOU MISUNDERSTOOD GOD…MAYBE HE MEANS THAT ISHMAEL IS TO BE YOUR CHOSEN….MAYBE ALMIGHTY GOD DID NOT MEAN THAT YOU WILL LITERALLY CREATE A SON WITH SARAH…BUT THAT MAYYYYYYYYYYYYBEEEEEEEE ISHMAEL WILL BE YOUR ADOPTED SON…AND YOU SHOULD FOCUS ON HIM. BLESS HIM…GIVE HIM BY YOUR SPOKEN WORD & RITUAL COVENANT EVERYTHING THAT GOD HAS PROMISED AND GIVEN YOU?

      BUT IN THE NEXT VERSE….WE SEE THAT ALMIGHTY GOD KNEW AND HEARD THE TWISTING, TWEAKING LIES AND POSSIBILITIES THAT SATAN WAS WHISPERING IN ABRAHAM AND SARAH’S HEART AND MIND…SO HE PATIENTLY REPEATS HIMSELF……..AGAINNNNNNNN AND TO INSURE THAT ABRAHAM AND SARAH ARE NOT DECEIVED NOR CONFUSED…ALMIGHTY GOD NAMES THE CHILD…THE SON THEY WILL HAVE BEFORE HE IS EVEN CONCEIVED!

      THIS NEXT VERSE IS ALMIGHTY GOD TELLING SATAN…HEY IDIOT…I HEARD THAT…YOU ARE EVER A LIAR AND JUST TO PROVE IT….HERE IS WHAT I AM GOING TO ADDITIONALLY TELL THEM…AND PROMISE THEM!

      Verses 19-22 tells us God repeats the promise and names the child who will come forth from Abraham and Sarah and NOW HE TELLS THEM WHEN!

      Then God said: “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year.” Then He finished talking with him, and God went up from Abraham.”

      HERE IS ANOTHER NUGGET…AFTER GOD, IN HUMAN FORM, OUR PRECIOUS JESUS CHRIST, FINISHED TALKING FACE TO FACE WITH ABRAHAM….ABRAHAM WATCHED HIM ASCEND AND RETURN TO HEAVEN.

      SO NOW YOU KNOW SOMETHING ELSE COOL AND UNIQUE…THE DISCIPLES WERE NOT THE FIRST TO WATCH JESUS ASCEND BACK INTO HEAVEN…..ABRAHAM WAS!

      Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac. WANT TO GUESS WHAT ISAAC MEANS? DOES ANYONE HERE KNOW WHAT ISAAC MEANS?

      ISAAC MEANS LAUGHTER…

      NOW TELL ME ALMIGHTY GOD DOES NOT HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR….AND PATIENT GOODWILL FOR HIS CREATION.

      HE HAS LISTENED TO ABRAHAM AND SARAH WHISPER TOGETHER…MUTTER TOGETHER…AND AS THE YEARS PASS…AND THEIR BODIES CEASED TO BE FRUITFUL…THEY BEGAN TO LAUGH A LOT….A LOT!

      I MEAN THINK ABOUT IT…I HAVE CARED FOR VERY ELDERLY FAMILY MEMBERS…WHO BECAME FRAIL, DEVELOP PART-TIMERS…AND WATCH THEM CALL OUT…WALK INTO THE ROOM…AND THEN STAND THERE…HAVING TOTALLY FORGOTTEN WHY THEY CAN INTO THE ROOM OR WHAT THEY WANTED TO ASK ME.

      AND ALMIGHTY GOD HAD TO HAVE WATCHED AND LISTENED AND HEARD…SARAH GIGGLING FROM UNDER THE BLANKETS AS SHE CALLED OUT…

      ABRAHAM…..I AM OVER HERE…THE BED IS OVER HERE…STEP RIGHT…NOW KEEP COMING STRAIGHT AHEAD AND YOUR KNEES WILL HIT THE BED….AND THEN AFTER ABRAHAM GETS INTO THE BED, SETTLED NEXT TO HIS SARAH…THEY BOTH START GIGGLING…AND ALMIGHTY GOD SAYS WE ARE GOING TO HAVE A CHILD…YOU ARE GOING TO BE A FATHER TO MANY….HEEE HEE HEE HEE…RIGHT?

      SO I IMAGINE, ALMIGHTY GOD IN HEAVEN, GRINNING HIMSELF AT THEIR SWEET ANTICS AND TONGUE IN CHEEK COMMENTS ABOUT BEING A FATHER TO MANY WHEN THAT FATHER CAN NOT EVEN SEE OR FIND HIS OWN BED.

      SO I TRULY BELIEVE WHEN ALMIGHTY GOD TOLD THEM THE SON’S NAME….HE WAS NOT ONLY PROMISING THEM JOY…BUT HE WAS ALSO SAYING….OOOOOOOO YEAHHHHHHH….I HEARD YOUR LAUGHTER, YOUR JOKES, AND YOUR SNICKERING ALL THAT WAY UP HERE IN HEAVEN.

      SO THE ANSWER TO THE QUESTION MANY OF YOU HAVE ASKED ME IN EMAIL? DOES THE TRIUNE GOD LAUGH? DOES HE GRIN? DOES HE HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR?

      YESSSSSSSSSSS HE DOES!!!

      The son will be named Isaac (“laughter”) because he will be such a joy to his parents, but also to always remind Abraham he laughed at God’s promise to give him a son through Sarah at this late age.

      AND YOU NOTICE…ALMIGHTY GOD STILL LOVES ISHMAEL, THOUGH HE HAS ALWAYS BEEN A WILD CHILD. A TRIAL TO HIS MOTHER AND ABRAHAM. AND SADLY ALWAYS WILL BE. BUT OUR ALMIGHTY GOD LOVES WHEN WE LOVE…EVEN WHEN IT IS DIFFICULT TO DO SO.

      SO HE TELLS ABRAHAM…I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him: Ishmael will be blessed (because Abraham prayed he would), but ALMIGHTY GOD WANTS NO SLIPS OR MISTAKES HERE…HE TELLS ABRAHAM BLUNTLY…the covenant and its promises will pass ONLY through the son to come, ISSAC, the son of promise.

      Verses 23-27 tells us Abraham carries out God’s command of circumcision.

      “So Abraham took Ishmael his son, all who were born in his house and all who were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham’s house, and circumcised the flesh of their foreskins that very same day, as God had said to him. Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. That very same day Abraham was circumcised, and his son Ishmael; and all the men of his house, born in the house or bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.”

      Abraham’s belief in the covenant was proved by his obedience to the command. What we really believe will show in our actions.

      Abraham’s “THAT VERY SAME DAY” obedience was complete (every male among the men of Abraham’s house), prompt (that very same day), and IT WAS, TO THE WORLD’S PERCEPTIONS daring & RISKY….TEMPTING THE FATES.

      WHY?

      BECAUSE TO CIRCUMSIZE ALL THE MALES 8 DAYS OLD TO 100 YEARS OLD ALL AT ONCE, WAS TO virtually incapacitate all his fighting men at the same time. TO LEAVE THEM DEFENSELESS…WITHOUT GUARDS…TO DARE THE WORLD TO ATTACK THEM WHEN THEY COULD NOT DEFEND THEMSELVES. CIRCUMSION FOR YOUNG MEN, MUCH LESS GROWN MEN…WAS MORE DEBILITATING FOR A TIME…THAN IT WAS FOR BABIES.

      YOU KNOW SATAN, HAD TO HAVE WHISPERED THAT VERY REAL POSSIBILITY INTO ABRAHAM’S EAR AND INTO THE EAR OF ALL THE FIGHTING MEN AND FAMILIES UNDER HIM….BUT ABRAHAM KNEW THAT ALMIGHTY GOD WOULD NOT HAVE ASKED IT OF HIM…IF ALMIGHTY GOD WAS NOT ABLE TO PROTECT THEM FOR ALL HARM AT THE SAME TIME.

      SO…Abraham didn’t need to pray about this.
      He DIDN’T NEED to THINK IT THROUGH.
      He DIDN’T SLEEP ON IT.
      OR SLOWLY OBEY…HAVING IT DONE IN STAGES.
      God said it, and he did it.
      This is a wonderful example of obedience from a great man of faith.

      SO WHAT DOES GENESIS 17 SHOW US. WHAT DOES IT TELL US. WHAT DOES ALMIGHTY GOD WANT US TO SEE AND LEARN FROM GENESIS 17.

      MORE THAN LEARNING ABOUT ABRAHAM AND SARAH AND THEIR LIVES…ALMIGHTY GOD SAYS…YOU WANT TO KNOW ME…HERE IS INTERVIEW FOR MANKIND.

      YES…I AM REAL.
      YES…I AM EVER PRESENT.
      YES…I AM PATIENT.
      YES…I DO LOVE YOU.
      YES…I DO UNDERSTAND YOU.
      YES…I SEE AND HEAR AND KNOW ALL THINGS.
      YES…I DO HAVE A TONGUE IN CHEEK SENSE OF HUMOR.
      YES…MY CREATION IS A SOURCE OF JOY AND AMUSEMENT TO ME.


      JUST AS WE PARENTS HAVE BAT HEARING, AND EYES IN THE BACK OF OUR HEADS WHERE OUR CHILDREN ARE CONCERNED…AND WE INSTANTLY PERK UP…PAY ATTENTION….TIPPY TOE DOWN THE HALL TO SNEAK A PEEK AND WATCH OUR CHILDREN WHEN THEY START WHISPERING AND GIGGLING….WHY? BECAUSE WE KNOW THEM. WE KNOW THEY ARE UP TO FUN MISCHIEF…AND MORE TIMES THAN NOT….THEY ARE GIGGLING ABOUT & OVER US…SOMETHING WE SAID OR DID…SOME CRAZY IMPOSSIBLE PROMISE WE MADE TO THEM…

      AND ALMIGHTY GOD IS SAYING…JUST AS YOU HAVE MY HUMOR…YES I DID GIVE YOU HUMOR…AND IT CAME STRAIGHT FROM ME…AND MY HEART THAT LAUGHS, AND SMILES AND ENJOYS YOUR FUN, INNNOCENT AND PRECOCIOUS MISCHIEF…YOU DO AS WELL…

      AND JUST LIKE ME….YOU PARENTS, FRIENDS, HUSBANDS AND WIVES…BIDE YOUR TIME…YOU HAVE SNEAKED UP ON THEM…YOU HAVE HEARD WHAT THEY SAID ABOUT YOU…LISTENED TO THEIR GIGGLING OVER YOU…AND THEIR DISBELIEF…AND THEIR SHE HAS LOST HER MIND, HIS MIND…THEY ARE SO GOOFY. THEY CAN NOT POSSIBLY DO WHAT THEY SAY…I MEAN LOOK AT THEM, THEY ARE OLD…THEY HAVE NO CLUE….THEY HAVE BEEN PROMISING US THIS FOR WHAT….THREE MONTHS, YEARS????

      AND YOU WAIT, JUST AS I DO FOR INNOCENT PAYBACK…FOR THAT MOMENT… WHEN YOU COME OUT OF NO WHERE AND SAY…SO YOU THINK I AM INSANE? YOU THINK I AM OLD? I AM FORGETFUL? YOU THINK I DID NOT HEAR YOU LAUGHING AT ME…GIGGLING UNDER THE COVERS AND WHISPERING ABOUT ME, YOUR FATHER…WELL GUESS WHAT…..GOTCHHHHHHHHHHHHA!

      AND AMID THE FUN AND THE GOTCHAS…WE LEARN TO THAT ALMIGHTY GOD IS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO PATIENT AND LONG SUFFERING. HE HAD EVERY RIGHT TO THROW LIGHTNING BOLTS FROM HEAVEN 24/7 OVER ABRAHAM’S CONSTANT WHY WHY WHY???? ARE YOU SURE??? ARE YOU SURE??? DID YOU FORGET??? WELL DID YOU???
      WHEN WHEN WHEN???? HOW HOW HOW?? BUT ALMIGHTY GOD LOVESSSSSSSSSSS….HE IS A WONDERFUL FATHER…

      AND WHEN HE SEES US STEP OUT…INTERCEDE IN PRAYER AND IN ACTION…AND ASK FOR BLESSINGS FOR OTHERS…EVEN WHEN THEY DO NOT DESERVE THE BLESSING….EVEN WHEN THEY ARE WILD, MEAN-SPIRITED, SELFISH, BULLIES….LIKE ISHMAEL IS….EVEN THEN…THOUGH ALMIGHTY GOD WILL PUT HIS CHOSEN FIRST, YOU AND I, THOSE WHO LOVE HIM AND CALL HIM FATHER, AND HIS SON, JESUS CHRIST…LORD SAVIOR MASTER AND FRIEND AND HIS CHOSEN WILL REMAIN FIRST…HE STILL BLESSES THE BULLIES, THE DIFFICULT PEOPLE IN OUR LIVES…NOT FOR THEIR SAKES… BUT FOR OURS.

      THIS CHAPTER IS JOY FILLED…AMUSING…AND TELLS AND SHOWS US OUR TRIUNE GOD’S HEART…SO TAKE THE TIME, AS I DID WHILE PUTTING THIS BIBLE STUDY TOGETHER, TO THINK OF THE GIGGLING UNDER THE COVER WHISPERS YOU HAVE MADE ABOUT JESUS. AND KNOW THAT JESUS IS GRINNING TOO….AND HE HAS A GOTCHA…COMING FOR YOU AND I!

      ALL THE IMPOSSIBLES IN OUR LIFE…THE IMPOSSIBLE PROMISES JESUS GIVES US IN HIS WORD…THE IMPOSSIBLE HOPES AND DREAMS AND HEARTS DESIRES WE HAVE…AND ALL THE PROMISES WE READ AND STUDY AND PRAY OVER…BUT IF TIME PASSES, OR IT SEEMS RIDICULOUS TO ASK OR EXPECT…AND WE ROLL OUR EYES, WE GRIN OVER THEM, MUTTER OVER THEM, SNORT OVER THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF THEM…

      KNOW THAT OUR JESUS IS SAYING…I HEARD THAT!!!!! BUT NO MATTER…REAL SOON….I AM GOING TO ANSWER YOU….AND THEN I WILL GET MY LAUGHTER GOING…WHEN I SAY TO YOU GOTCHAAAAAAAAAAA!

      BE BLESSED AND STAY BLESSED IN OUR JESUS!

    • June 21, 2016 6:40 PM EDT
    • GENESIS 18: The Promise of Isaac Confirmed to ABRAHAM AND SARAH & SODOM AND GOMORRAH JUDGED

      Abraham meets some very important visitors.

      Verses 1-5 tells us Abraham invites the Lord and two others to a meal.

      “Then the Lord appeared to him by the terebinth trees of Mamre, as he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day. So he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing by him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the ground, and said, “My Lord, if I have now found favor in Your sight, do not pass on by Your servant. Please let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. And I will bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh your hearts. After that you may pass by, inasmuch as you have come to your servant.” They said, “Do as you have said.”

      Apparently, this happened a short time later. In Genesis 17:21, God said Sarah would give birth one year later, and at this time, she is not yet pregnant. So this could NOT be more than three months after the events in Genesis 17 when Jesus met Abraham face to face and told him, at the age of 99 & 90, he and Sarah would have a son and they would name him Isaac, which we know means “laughter”.

      Here again, the Lord came to Abraham in HUMAN appearance & this time he had TWO angels with him. This is another presentation of Jesus in human form longgggggg before Bethlehem. Just another cameo appearance that tells us JESUS CHRIST WAS BUSY, HANDS ON, APPEARING TO MANKIND ALL THROUGH THE OLD TESTAMENT.


      We KNOW THIS TO BE TRUE, WE KNOW THIS CAN ONLY BE JESUS CHRIST because of God the Father it says, No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him (John 1:18), and no man has ever seen God in the Person of the Father (1 Timothy 6:16). Therefore, if God appeared to someone in human appearance in the Old Testament (and no one has seen God the Father) it CAN ONLY BE ANOTHER CAMEO APPEARANCE of the eternal Son, the Second Person of the Trinity, before His incarnation in Bethlehem.

      Behold, three men were standing by him: We don’t know if Abraham immediately recognized that the other two WERE angels of JESUS CHRIST, BUT WE DO KNOW THAT JESUS CHRIST HAD ALREADY APPEARED TO ABRAHAM TWICE BEFORE, IN Genesis 12:7; 17:1.

      He ran from the tent door to meet them, TELLS US that according to his godliness and the customs of that culture, Abraham offered the hospitality of his house to these travelers.

      Verses 6-8 tells us Sarah and Abraham prepare a meal for their visitors.

      “So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quickly, make ready three measures of fine meal; knead it and make cakes.” And Abraham ran to the herd, took a tender and good calf, gave it to a young man, and he hastened to prepare it. So he took butter and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree as they ate.”

      Abraham HURRIED into the tent....Again, some have said ABRAHAM WAS overdoing it, some have said this is where "brown-nosing" originated, but that is a LIE. Ancient biblical culture had an extremely STRONG sense of hospitality to visitors. And ADDED TO THAT, THE GOD MOST HIGH, IN HUMAN FORM, HAD COME TO VISIT ABRAHAM AGAIN…

      FACE TO FACE…I DO NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU, BUT IF JESUS CAME TO SEE ME, I WOULD BE OVERDOING IT AS WELL. I WOULD MAKE SURE TO GIVE JESUS THE VERY BEST OF ALL THAT I HAD TO OFFER HIM, AMEN.

      AND HERE IS ANOTHER REVELATION FOR ALL OF US. AS UNBELIEVABLE AS IT SOUNDS, THERE ARE THOSE WHO SAY, ALMIGHTY GOD IN HUMAN FORM, WHICH CAN ONLY BE JESUS CHRIST, NEVER REALLY APPEARED IN HUMAN FORM BEFORE BETHLEHEM. AND THERE ARE THOSE WHO TEACH THAT BEFORE JESUS CHRIST WAS BORN IN BETHLEHEM, THAT ALMIGHTY GOD CAN NOT EAT, DRINK, HAVE TOUCHABLE HUMAN FORM….NOR THAT THEY WERE TOUCHED.

      RIGHT HERE, FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER IN THE BIBLE, ALMIGHTY GOD SHOWS US, THAT THEY CAN AND DO EAT AND DRINK. THEY CAN WALK THE EARTH, AND THEIR HUMAN FEET AND HANDS WILL GET DUSTY.

      HERE ALSO PUTS TO REST THE ABSURD TEACHING THAT IF ALMIGHTY GOD DID EAT, HE ONLY ATE MANNA AND WATER. RIGHT HERE ALMIGHTY GOD IS TELLING US THAT HE LIKED, ENJOYED AND DID EAT MEAT.

      HOW COOL IS THAT?

      AND YOU NOTICE BEFORE ABRAHAM SERVED THEM A FINE FEAST OF HIS VERY BEST, HE HAD WARM WATER, AND CLOTHS BROUGHT SO THAT THEY ALL COULD WASH THEIR FACES AND FEET.

      RIGHT HERE WE ALSO SEE AND LEARN FOR THE FIRST TIME THAT OUR ALMIGHTY GOD IS TANGIBLE…TOUCHABLE. SO THE NEXT TIME SOMEONE TELLS YOU THAT ALMIGHTY GOD IN HUMAN FORM IS NOT VIEWABLE, TOUCHABLE…REAL…YOU HAVE GENESIS 18 TO POINT OUT THAT LONGGGGGGG BEFORE JESUS CHRIST WAS BORN IN BETHLEHEM OUR TRIUNE WAS VISIBLE, TOUCHABLE, REAL, HE COULD AND DID EAT AND DRINK AND SOCIALIZE.

      HOW COOL IS THAT?

      Verses 9-10 tells us God reconfirms His promise of a son.

      “Then they said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” So he said, “Here, in the tent.” And He said, “I will certainly return to you according to the time of life, and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son.” (Sarah was listening in the tent door which was behind him.)”

      We may wonder why God repeated the promise again, so close to the time when He said it previously. After all, it seems God was silent about the promise for more than 13 years. Now He came personally to repeat it twice in three months.

      ALMIGHTY GOD IS THE GOD WHO SEES, HE SAW, KNEW AND READ ABRAHAM AND SARAH’S HEARTS…HE KNEW THIS MAN OF WHY WHY WHY….WHEN LORD WHEN LORD…ARE YOU SURE…ARE YOU SURE LORD…NEEDED TO BE REMINDED…SO INSTEAD OF ANOTHER VISION, A STILL SMALL VOICE, ALMIGHTY GOD LOVES ENOUGH THAT HE MADE ANOTHER PERSONAL FACE TO FACE APPEARANCE.

      AND JUST LIKE ABRAHAM, SOMETIMES WE NEED TO hear God’s promises over and over again. It is a way God uses to encourage and develop our faith as we are REMINDED IN ROMANS 10:17, WHICH SAYS, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

      AND IN PRACTICAL TERMS, AT THEIR AGE, WHEN SEXUAL RELATIONS WERE A THING OF THE PAST, AND PROCREATION, HERE IS THAT WORD, ……IMPOSSIBLE …ALMIGHTY GOD WANTED THEM TO KNOW NOWWWWWWWW IS THE TIME, I WILL GIVE YOU A SON…BUT UMMMMMM ABRAHAM, YOU DO REALIZE THAT YOU AND SARAH HAVE TO COOPERATE, RIGHT? IN LESS THAN A YEAR, YOU WILL HAVE A SON, BUT YOU TWO NEED TO STEP OUT IN FAITH, AND YOU TWO NEED TO GET BUSY, YOU TWO NEED TO BEGIN TO HAVE SEXUAL RELATIONS AGAIN IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE IT TOO.

      ONE PART OF ME THOUGHT, WELL UMMMMM DUHHHHHHH ABRAHAM, JESUS CHRIST HAD TO COME BACK AND TELL YOU TWO TO START GETTING BUSY? HOW ELSE DID YOU THINK A CHILD WAS GOING TO BE CONCEIVED? ABRAHAM DID NOT KNOW ABOUT MARY, THE VIRGIN BIRTH, THE SHEKINAH GLORY COVERING MARY TO PRODUCE JESUS CHRIST.

      BUT THEN IT HIT ME…ABRAHAM WAS GROWING AND HE HAD NO DOUBT THAT ALMIGHTY GOD COULD BRING ABOUT A SON FOR HE AND SARAH WITHOUT ANY HELP. THAT IS WHAT ELSE THIS PASSAGE TELLS US…ABRAHAM WAS LEARNING TO WAIT FOR FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS. HE DID NOT WANT TO BE OUTSIDE THE WILL & BLESSING OF ALMIGHTY GOD. AND THAT PLEASED ALMIGHTY GOD SO MUCH THAT HE CAME TO TELL HIM PERSONALLY, FACE TO FACE…BASICALLY….ABRAHAM…GET BUSY, I AM WAITING ON YOU, AMEN?

      Verses 11-12 tells us Sarah’s reaction to God’s promise.

      “Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; and Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, “After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?”

      Sarah laughed within herself at this promise. She could not believe God would literally grant this child as the result of normal sexual relations. The giggling STARTS up AGAIN…It is as if Sarah was saying within her heart and mind…ARE YOU KIDDINGGGGGGG ME?? NOW? NOW? ABRAHAM CAN BARELY SEE TO FIND HIS BED AT NIGHT AND MY MENSES STOPPED AND MY WOMB DIED YEARSSSSSSSSSSSS AGO…AND YOU ARE TELLING ME THAT I AM GOING TO GET PREGNANT NOWWWWWWW???

      It may be, even after the dramatic promises of Genesis 17, Abraham and Sarah had a way of “spiritualizing” God’s promise, making it mean something other than what God intended. Here, God made it plain: Abraham and Sarah will have normal sexual relations and produce a baby.

      It is strangely characteristic of us to believe God’s promise for a long, long, time, and endure & wait through MUCH discouragement along the way, until the promise is almost there, and then we find out NOW ALMIGHTY GOD WANTS US TO DO SOMETHING. When in the NATURAL…IT APPEARS…HERE IS THAT WORD AGAIN….IMPOSSIBLE.

      THANK YOU JESUS, OUR GOD IS GREATER than our doubts, AMEN!
      ALMIGHTY GOD HAD TOLD ABRAHAM FROM THE FIRST….ALL WILL KNOW THAT EVERYTHING YOU HAVE, EVERYTHING YOU ARE, EVERYTHING YOU RECEIVE…THERE WILL BE NO DOUBT….NOT ONE THAT IS COULD ONLY BE POSSIBLE….IT COULD ONLY OCCUR FOR YOU BECAUSE OF MY BLESSING, MY FAVOR, AND MY PROVISION.

      AND IF WE COULD USE ONE WORD TO DESCRIBE THE LIFE AND WALK OF ABRAHAM IT WOULD BE FAITH. AND TO DESCRIBE IT IN THE NATURAL…THE ONE WORD WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE.

      SO EVERYONE WHO KNEW ABRAHAM AND SARAH AND THEIR LIFE…WOULD KNOW….ALMIGHTY GOD DID THE IMPOSSIBLE AGAIN. HE IS GOING TO REAWAKEN A DEAD WOMB, REAWAKENED AND ENLIVEN THE ABILITY AND THE SPERM WITHIN ABRAHAM AND GIVE THEM A SON.

      EVEN THOUGH Sarah had by ALL OUTWARD APPEARANCES AND PHYSICAL CIRCUMSTANCES AND LIFE CYCLES, NEVERTHELESS…THAT THERE WAS GOOD REASON FOR Sarah to “spiritualize” the promise and laugh at its literal meaning. She had passed the age of childbearing, which literally seems to mean, “the manner of women had ceased to be with Sarah.” She had stopped menstruating and had gone through menopause…BUT NEVERTHELESS…OUR TRIUNE GOD…THE GOD OF THE IMPOSSIBLE…WAS GOING TO ONCE AGAIN DOOOOOOO THE IMPOSSIBLE.

      AND EVEN KNOWING NOW for their long lives (Abraham lived to be 175 and Sarah 127), they were both well past middle age. It would take a miracle of God for them to have literal children through normal means.
      AND HERE THE GIGGLING BEGINS AGAIN…Therefore Sarah laughed within herself: Significantly, this is what Sarah (and Abraham) most wanted all their lives.

      Yet, they find it so hard to believe God’s promise when He says NOW HOW HE WILL GRANT IT TO THEM. IT IS ONE THING TO BELIEVE IN THE IMPOSSIBLE WHEN GOD IS DOING IT…IT IS ANOTHER WHEN GOD SAYS…OOOOOOOO BY THE WAY…YOU AND ABRAHAM ARE GOING TO GET PREGNANT. YOU ARE NOW GOING TO HAVE TO PARTICIPATE.

      Verses 13-15 tells us that THIS TIME God answers Sarah’s laugh.

      "And the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I surely bear a child, since I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.” But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. And He said, “No, but you did laugh!”

      HERE IT IS AGAIN…..ANOTHER GOTCHA!!!! ANOTHER I HEARD THAT!!!!! THIS TIME, SARAH IS NOT EVEN LAUGHING AND GIGGLING OUT LOUD, LIKE SHE AND ABRAHAM HAD BEEN UNDER THE COVERS IN GENESIS 17.…THIS TIME…ALMIGHTY GOD IS TELLING SARAH….AND YESSSSSSSSS….YOU AND I THAT HE HEARS US WHEN WE LAUGH, MUTTER, SNORT, EVENNNNNN IN OUR HEARTS AND MINDS….

      ANOTHER REMINDER…There was nothing hidden before the Lord. AND WE SHOULD LIVE AND THINK VERY DIFFERENTLY….REMEMBERING that God hears and knows EVERYTHING we think and say.

      At the APPOINTED TIME I WILL RETURN to you: We might think God would say, “I gave you this promise twice and twice you two HAVE laughed at it…AND doubted me EVERY TIME! GOD COULD HAVE SAID….I HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF YOU TWO. I AM DONE…THAT IS IT! I AM THROUGH WASTING MY TIME, MY PROMISES, AND MY BLESSINGS ON YOU TWO. I’ll take it to someone who will appreciate it.

      THINK ABOUT IT…HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU AND I THOUGHT, IF NOT DONE THE SAME THING????

      BUT NOT OUR PATIENT FATHER…Instead, God responded by dealing with her unbelief, but not by taking away the promise.

      THE TRIUNE GOD IS FAITHFUL.
      THE TRIUNE GOD IS NOT FICKLE.
      THE TRIUNE GOD IS A PROMISE MAKER & A PROMISE KEEPER.

      And remember what TIMOTHY REMINDS US IN, 2 Timothy 2:13, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.”

      Is there anything too hard for the Lord? Thankfully not, and God can also triumph even over our weak faith.

      Hard is the same word for wonderful in Isaiah 9:6, which says, “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given . . . And His name will be called Wonderful.” Jesus is our “wonderful” One, and He is NOT to hard or wonderful for God to give unto us.

      The Lord said TO Abraham: Significantly, God dealt with Abraham about this, NOT Sarah herself,.

      WHY?
      Because Abraham WAS the head of his home. ALMIGHTY GOD WAS TELLING ABRAHAM….AND YESSSSSSS US, IF YOUR WIFE DISBELIEVES, IF YOUR CHILDREN DISBELIEVE AND DOUBT…I HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE, MAN, HUSBAND, FATHER TO CORRECT YOURSELF AND CORRECT YOUR THOUGHTS AND YOUR ACTIONS SO THAT THEY WILL BELIEVE WHAT I SAY I MEAN.

      THIS STANCE…HAS NOT CHANGED FROM THEN TO NOW WITH OUR TRIUNE GOD….IF YOU ARE JESUS BELIEVING, FOLLOWING AND TRUSTING FAMILY…AND THE WIFE OR THE CHILDREN BEGIN TO DOUBT…LOOK TO YOURSELF FATHER, HUSBAND…THEY FOLLOW YOUR LEAD…IF YOU MUTTER AND SPEAK DOUBTS…OR YOUR ACTIONS SPEAK DOUBT IN ME…THEN YOUR FAMILY WILL MUTTER, WILL GIGGLE, WILL LAUGH…WILL DOUBT.

      THE WORLD MAY SAY IT IS LIVE AND LET LIVE….BE FREE SPIRITS…MAKE YOUR OWN DECISIONS…DO NOT TRUST OR BELIEVE IN YOUR PARENTS…YOUR FATHER’S TEACHING AND WALK…AND WHAT MY WORD SAYS…THIS IS A NEW AGE…A NEW WORLD…IT IS A SELF FOCUSED WORLD…WE ARE ALL ON OUR OWN NOW…THE BIBLE IS NOT RELEVANT ANY MORE.

      ALMIGHTY GOD THEN AND NOW SAYS….I CHANGE NOT!

      AND THEN GOD MOVES ON….HE TELLS ABRAHAM ABOUT THE CITIES OF Sodom and Gomorrah.

      Verses 16-19 tells us God decides to reveal to Abraham the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah.

      “Then the men rose from there and looked toward Sodom, and Abraham went with them to send them on the way. And the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing, since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice, that the Lord may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.”

      Abraham went with them to send them on the way…As would be customary for a hospitable host in that day, Abraham will accompany his guests on their journey for a while as they depart.

      Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing....Because of what God would bring from Abraham (a great and mighty nation), and because Abraham had to be a great leader (that he may command his children and his household after him), God will reveal to Abraham what He will do with Sodom and Gomorrah.

      We see something very VITAL HERE…

      There are those who have taught and said that God’s purpose in TELLING ABRAHAM…shows that GOD LIKES GOSSIP. THIS IS NOT THE TRUTH. ALMIGHTY GOD DECIDES TO TELL ABRAHAM not for “gossip” with Abraham about what He will do, nor is it to satisfy Abraham’s curiosity either! God wanted to do something in Abraham’s life through what He will reveal to him…and make a POINT TO ABRAHAM AND TO US…

      Verses 20-21 tells us God tells Abraham He will see if Sodom and Gomorrah are worthy of judgment.

      “And the Lord said, “Because the OUTCRY AGAINST Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave, I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know.”

      THIS TELLS US SOMETHING IMPORTANT…OUR TRIUNE GOD IS A HANDS ON FATHER…HE DOES NOT SIT IN HEAVEN REMOVED FROM OUR LIVES AND THE SITUATIONS HERE….AND EITHER SEND MANNA OR LIGHTNING BOLTS IN RESPONSE. HE WALKS AMONG US. HE CHECKS THE SITUATION OUT PERSONALLY!!!!


      Verses 22-26 tells us Abraham asks an important question: will God destroy the righteous with the wicked?

      “Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord. And Abraham came near and said, “Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it? Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” So the Lord said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.”

      The men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord: We NOW REALIZE THESE TWO MEAN ARE THE ACTUAL ANGELS WHO VISITED Sodom in Genesis 19. The third “man” in the party is actually the Lord Himself.

      And Abraham came near…Abraham came near to the Lord. Effective intercession is a matter of drawing near to God so we can pray with His heart. WHEN WE WANT TO INTERCEDE…WE SHOULD GET CLOSER….NOT STAND AT A DISTANCE…BUT BOLDLY GET CLOSE….THROUGH PRAYER….AND BOLDLY YET HUMBLY GO STRAIGHT TO THE THRONE OF GRACE BEFORE WE INTERCEDE…JUST AS ABRAHAM DOES. ABRAHAM IS LOOKING ALMIGHTY GOD IN THE FACE…AND ABRAHAM KNOWS IT IS ALMIGHTY GOD IN THE HUMAN FORM OF JESUS CHRIST…YET HE IS EVER APPROACHABLE…THERE IS NO FEAR…THERE IS ONLY TRUST AND BELIEF AND THE KNOWLEDGE THAT HE CAN TALK WITH, AND CONFIDE IN, AND HUMBLY AND EARNESTLY QUESTION ALMIGHTY GOD.

      AGAIN WE SEE THAT OUR JESUS CHRIST IS A PATIENT, LOVING AND APPROACHABLE FATHER…AMEN!

      Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked?…In discussing this question, Abraham “reminded” the Lord of His own nature and principles (shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?) Abraham thought that God, as a righteous Judge could not punish the innocent the same way as the guilty.

      Prayer is MOST effective because it prays knowing WHO ALMIGHTY GOD IS, and KNOWING HOW God works in a particular situation. Effective prayer does NOT see itself AS THE FOCUS OR THE IMPORTANT FOCAL POINT, NOR as a passive spectator in what God does, but acts as if it must “remind” God in prayer.

      THAT IS RELATIONSHIP…AND ALMIGHTY GOD LOVES IT WHEN WE REMIND HIM OF ALL HE SAYS IN HIS WORD TO US AND REMIND HIM OF HIS PROMISES AND REMIND HIM OF HOW HE SEES…THAT IS NOT ARROGANCE, THAT IS TELLING AND SHOWING JESUS CHRIST THAT WE ARE COMING TO KNOW HIM, WE ARE EVER SEEKING HIM, HIS PROMISES AND HIS WORD…AND THAT, BROTHERS AND SISTERS PLEASES JESUS CHRIST SOOOOOOOOO VERY MUCH.

      IT IS NOT ARROGANCE…IT IS LOVE….IT IS SAYING JESUS I LOVE YOU ENOUGH TO WANT TO UNDERSTAND YOU, TO WANT TO PLEASE YOU, TO WANT TO DO WHAT YOU EXPECT OF ME…AMEN!

      We might find it remarkable Abraham even cared about the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. He HAD DEALT WITH THE GREEDY SELF SERVING KINGS OF SODOM AND GOMORRAH. AND HEAVEN KNOWS LOT HAS BEEN NOTHING BUT A SORROW, TRIAL AND PAIN TO ABRAHAM, SINCE HE DISOBEYED GOD AND BROUGHT HIS FATHER AND LOT OUT OF UR OF THE CHALDEANS WHEN HE LEFT.

      SO ABRAHAM COULD HAVE JUST THROWN HIS HANDS UP, WASHED HIS HANDS OF THE ENTIRE FILTHY MESS AND SAID GOD…DO YOUR WORST. OR ABRAHAM COULD HAVE JUST SAID, Lord, get my nephew Lot out of there first,” but he did NOT. Abraham’s heart was full of sorrow and compassion, even for the wicked of Sodom and Gomorrah.

      If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes…THIS SHOWS ALMIGHTY GOD LOVES ABRAHAM‘S HEART OF COMPASSION…AND IS WILLING TO SPARE THESE CITIES IF 50 INNOCENT AND RIGHTEOUS CAN BE FOUND BETWEEN THE TWO CITIES. God said this because Abraham asked. When Abraham drew near to the Lord and prayed according to God’s revealed nature and will, God agreed. The Lord said that He would spare the city if there were 50 righteous there.

      BUT THEN ABRAHAM THINKS ABOUT HOW AWFUL THE CITIES ARE…HOW EVIL…HOW CORRUPT…AND SAYS TO THE LORD…

      WAIT A MINUTE….WAITAMINNIT…LETS RETHINK THIS LORD, OKAY….THERE MAY NOT BE EVEN 50 INNOCENT OR RIGHTEOUS LIVING IN THE TWO CITIES…SO HE BARGAINS AGAIN WITH ALMIGHTY GOD.

      Verses 27-33 tells us…ABRAHAM TRIES AGAIN!

      “Then Abraham answered and said, “Indeed now, I who am but dust and ashes have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord: Suppose there were five less than the fifty righteous; would You destroy all of the city for lack of five?” So He said, “If I find there forty-five, I will not destroy it.” And he spoke to Him yet again and said, “Suppose there should be forty found there?” So He said, “I will not do it for the sake of forty.” Then he said, “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Suppose thirty should be found there?” So He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.” And he said, “Indeed now, I have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord: Suppose twenty should be found there?” So He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of twenty.” Then he said, “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak but once more: Suppose ten should be found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of ten.” So the Lord went His way as soon as He had finished speaking with Abraham; and Abraham returned to his place."

      Suppose there were five less than the fifty righteous....Now the principle is established - God will not destroy the righteous with the wicked - now it is just a matter of numbers. How many righteous people will God spare the city for?

      Abraham’s intercession was effective because it was SPECIFIC. He talked about specific numbers with God, not in broad, general terms. Often our prayers are ineffective because we really don’t ask the Lord to do anything. Instead we often just toss wishes up to heaven.

      HERE WE SEE AND ARE TAUGHT THROUGH ABRAHAM AND LEARN TO NOT BE AFRAID TO BE SPECIFIC WITH GOD.

      Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Abraham continued his intercession with a “bold humility.” He was not proud or arrogant before the Lord, but he still continued to ask...TO STRIVE TO INTERCEDE

      Abraham’s humility was demonstrated in that nowhere in his prayer did he ask “Why?” or did he demand that God explain Himself and His actions.

      Suppose ten should be found there? Abraham was a skilled negotiator and he prevailed upon God to lower the number of righteous required to spare the city. First by units of five, then by units of ten, until the number settled at ten.

      DO YOU NOTICE THE PERSISTENCE OF ABRAHAM’S INTERCESSION? Why didn’t he give it up at 40 or 50 and say simply “it’s in the Lord’s hands” or “the Lord will do what the Lord will do”? Because we LEARN SOMETHING VERY IMPORTANT AND VALUABLE ABOUT OUR INTERCESSION….WE, LIKE ABRAHAM MUST FEEL, AND BELIEVE, at the moment of prayer, that the eternal destiny of men depends on OUR prayer.

      This is the kind of heart God WANTED TO CREATE AND DRAW OUT OF ABRAHAM - a heart that cared so much for people made in the image of God that he worked hard to intercede on behalf of a city that DESERVED judgment. This was the heart a great leader of a great and mighty nation needed to have.

      WE WHO HAVE READ THE BIBLE, KNOW THAT ABRAHAM’S BARGAINING, HOPE, AND INTERCESSION SEEMED HOPELESS, WORTHLESS, AND FRUITLESS…BECAUSE WE KNOW THAT ALMIGHTY GOD KNEW THERE WAS NOT EVEN 10 INNOCENT AND RIGHTEOUS PEOPLE OUT OF HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS BETWEEN THE TWO CITIES OF SODOM AND GOMORRAH.

      WHY?

      BECAUSE MOST WHO WERE INNOCENT AND RIGHTEOUS IN THE EYES OF ALMIGHTY GOD LEFT THOSE CITIES TO SPARE THEMSELVES AND THEIR FAMILIES FROM BEING INFECTED OR CORRUPTED.

      ALSO….we see this, in the future, knowing the past, that there is a sense in which all this negotiation was fruitless. We KNOW there were NOT EVEN TEN RIGHTEOUS people in the city, ONLY FOUR.

      SO THE CITIES WERE destroyed.

      Yet God specifically revealed the fate of these cities to Abraham to draw out of him an intercessor’s heart of love, so even before the time of Jesus Abraham could be conformed into the image of His Son as told to us in Romans 8:29 AND who is Himself an intercessor told to us in Hebrews 7:25.

      SO Abraham returned to his place…SOME DEBATE AND WONDER if Abraham should not have continued the negotiations because there were only four righteous in the city. Would God have spared the city for four if Abraham had asked? Perhaps Abraham felt Lot would surely have brought six people beyond his own family to God in his time in Sodom.

      BUT WE KNOW THAT ABRAHAM WAS A LEADER, A MILITARY AND SOCIAL LEADER OF MANY…so he KNEW that ALLOWING the VAST CORRUPTION, EVIL, DEMONICS, AND SELFISHNESS OF THESE PEOPLE IN SODOM AND GOMORRAH WOULD NOT CHANGE…THEY COULD NOT BE SAVED…THEY HAD NO DESIRE TO BE MORAL, HONORABLE, AND GODLY…AND ABRAHAM KNEW SINCE THEY REJECTED HIS ALMIGHTY GOD, IF THEY WERE ALLOWED TO CONTINUE…THAT THEY WOULD EVENTUALLY SPREAD AND BEGIN TO INFECT AND OPPRESS THE INNOCENT AND THE RIGHTEOUS OF HIS PEOPLE.

      GENESIS 18 IS A WONDERFUL CHAPTER…ONCE AGAIN WE SEE THE HUMOR OF OUR ALMIGHTY GOD. WE ALSO SEE AND LEARN THAT OUR TRIUNE IS A WONDERFUL, PATIENT AND HANDS ON FATHER. HE DOES NOT LEAD, GUIDE AND DIRECT FROM THE SAFE DISTANCE OF HIS HEAVENLY THRONE…BUT HE WALKS AMONG US…HE IS WILLING TO GET HIS HANDS AND FEET DUSTY IN ORDER TO BE A HANDS ON TEACHING, GUIDING, AND INVOLVED FATHER.

      WE LEARN THAT HE IS MERCIFUL…AND THAT HE LOVES FOR US TO HUMBLY YET BOLDLY INTERCEDE FOR OTHERS. HE IS NOT OUTRAGED OR INSULTED BY OUR QUESTIONS…THAT IS RELATIONSHIP.

      OUR TRIUNE GOD LOVESSSSSSSSSSS US TO SEEK HIM OUT, SEEK TO KNOW HIM, SEEK TO UNDERSTAND HIM, SEEK TO PLEASE HIM….SEEK TO OBEY HIM, AMEN?

      SPEND TIME WITH YOUR FATHER…HE MISSES YOU.

      BE BLESSED AND STAY BLESSED IN OUR JESUS!

    • June 21, 2016 6:33 PM EDT
    • Genesis 19 - The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah

      The two angels who met ABRAHAM WITH JESUS…come to Sodom.

      Verses 1-3 tells Lot convinces the angelic visitors to stay with him.

      “Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground. And he said, “Here now, my lords, please turn in to your servant’s house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.” And they said, “No, but we will spend the night in the open square.” But he insisted strongly; so they turned in to him and entered his house. Then he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.”

      Lot was sitting IN the gate of Sodom: There has been a steady progression of COMPROMISE in Lot’s life. He went from LOOKING TOWARD Sodom in Genesis 13:10, to PITCHING HIS TENT toward Sodom in Genesis 13:12, then to LIVING IN Sodom in Genesis 14:12 and losing everything. Now Lot sits in the gate of Sodom, indicating he IS a civic leader…a FAMED MAN in Sodom…but NOT a religious leader…NOT A PROPHET…NOT A MAN OF GOD.

      2 Peter 2:7-8 tells us that Lot himself was a righteous man who was grieved by the sin he saw around him in, but because of his COMPROMISE NONE OF HIS SONS IN LAWS OR EXTENDED FAMILY, BUT ONLY HE, HIMSELF, HIS WIFE, AND HIS TWO DAUGHTERS SAVED. NO OTHER FAMILY AND NO OTHER FRIENDS WERE SAVED. HIS COMPROMISE, WANTING TO BE LIKED AND LOVED AND REVERED BY THE WORLD MORE THAN HE WANTED TO SHINE AND SHOW JESUS CHRIST…HIS CHOICES destroyed his testimony. HE CHANGED NO ONE IN 20+ YEARS…NOT ONE PERSON WAS CHANGED, CONVICTED, OR SAVED…THROUGH LOT’S WALK, TALK, OR HIS LIFE.

      He insisted strongly; so they turned in to him and entered his house: The hospitality offered to the visitors was not unusual, but the urgency with which Lot offered it was.

      THIS TELLS US THAT SOMETHING WORSE, LOT KNEW FULL WELL WHAT WAS GOING ON IN THE TOWN, AND OF THE DEPRAVITY ALL THROUGH THE TOWN, BUT HE WAS CONTENT IN IT, HE DID NOT CONSIDER NOR EVEN THINK ABOUT LEAVING SUCH DEPRAVITY NOR SPEAKING OUT AGAINST IT…

      Verses 4-9 to the wickedness and depravity of the men of Sodom.

      “Now before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally.” So Lot went out to them through the doorway, shut the door behind him, and said, “Please, my brethren, do not do so wickedly! See now, I have two daughters who have not known a man; please, let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you wish; only do nothing to these men, since this is the reason they have come under the shadow of my roof.” And they said, “Stand back!” Then they said, “This one came in to stay here, and he keeps acting as a judge; now we will deal worse with you than with them.” So they pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near to break down the door.”

      Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us: These citizens of Sodom clearly came to homosexually abuse and rape these two visitors. That is a shocking demonstration of depravity, but we are just as shocked at the willingness of Lot to give up his INNOCENT VIRGIN daughters to the mob as we are at the sinful desire of the mob itself.

      I have two daughters who have not known a man; please, let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you wish: The offer is horrible and cannot be justified. We understand it a little more when we consider the low place of women in the pre-Christian world and the very high place of any guest in your home. It was understood a guest was to be protected more than your own family.

      THIS ALSO SHOWS US THAT LOT HAD NO REAL RELATIONSHIP NOR UNDERSTANDING OF ALMIGHTY GOD. HE SHOULD HAVE WARNED THOSE MOBS WHO HIS GOD WAS AND HOW DANGEROUS THEIR BEHAVIOR WAS. AND HE SHOULD HAVE STOOD AGAINST THEM, CALLED ON JESUS, AND STOOD TO PROTECT HIS FAMILY FROM ALL EVIL…BUT LOT WANTED TO STAY IN THEIR GOOD GRACES…

      That we may know them carnally: The sin of the men of Sodom is plainly connected to their homosexuality. There is no doubt the Bible declares homosexual conduct is sin IN Romans 1:26-28.

      The Bible condemns homosexuality in the same context as it condemns incest and bestiality IN Leviticus 18:22; 20:13. If we ignore the word of God at the point of homosexual conduct, then we have no standing to say any of the other three sins are sin.

      Homosexual advocates have an interest in saying homosexuals are exactly like everyone else, except they love people of their own sex. But when the conduct of homosexuals is observed, this is not the case.

      We can bring out statistics on the number of partners homosexuals have: 43% of homosexuals say they have had 500 or more sexual partners in their lifetime. Only 1% of homosexuals say they have had four or less sexual partners in their lifetime. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, 77% of homosexuals say they have met sexual partners in a city park, 62% in a homosexual bar, 61% in a theater, 31% in a public restroom. Only 28% of homosexuals said they had known their partners for at least a week before participating in homosexual sex.

      Undoubtedly, one of the reasons why males pursue and give in to homosexual desires is because they want to immerse themselves in a lifestyle of dangerous sex with no inhibitions or obstacles, and sense that sex with other men is an easier path to this. No wonder Paul connects “burning lust” and a debased mind with male homosexuality in Romans 1:27-28.

      Homosexuals also have an interest in saying that up to 10% of the population is homosexual. But the most reliable statistics show only 2.3% of men in their 20’s and 30’s report ever having had a homosexual experience. Only 1.1% reported being exclusively homosexual. These low figures agree with several other recent surveys and surveys done in Britain and France.

      Homosexuals also have an interest in saying they were “born that way.” All attempts thus far to prove this have been based more on wishful thinking than solid biological research, but if it is found to be POSSIBLE IN EVEN ONE CASE, so what? The Bible teaches we are ALL BORN with a predisposition to sin. It shouldn’t surprise us that some 2% of the population finds this predisposition expressed in homosexual desire.

      Homosexuals also have an interest in defining themselves as “gay,” a word that used to mean “happy” or “carefree,” but it is a poor description of a lifestyle that has THE HIGHEST GLOBAL RATE of death, disease, murder, and suicide.

      This one came in to sojourn, and he keeps acting like a judge: This shows Lot’s FEEBLE efforts at providing moral and spiritual leadership were rejected and mocked by the men of Sodom.

      Perhaps Lot THOUGHT….HOPED…that through compromise he might REACH these men, but GENESIS 19 CLEARLY AND PLAINLY PROVES THAT THE OPPOSITE happened. They have NO respect for him whatsoever, LOT IS A YES MAN, LOT IS WISHY WASHY. HE SAYS WHAT THAT PERSON OR PEOPLE WANT TO HEAR…INSTEAD OF WHAT THEY NEED TO HEAR. SO LOT’S ‘live and let live’, ‘buddy-buddy’ approach leads him to call such wicked men my brethren.

      Verses 10-11 Angelic protection at the door.

      “But the men reached out their hands and pulled Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. And they struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they became weary trying to find the door.”

      The men reached out their hands and pulled Lot into the house with them, and shut the door: It must have taken great, perhaps supernatural, strength to do what the angels did at the door. Obviously, the work of striking the men blind was supernatural. Now this mob had a physical blindness appropriate to their moral blindness.

      Verses 12-14 to The angels’ deliverance of Lot & The angels warn Lot & Lot warns his family.

      “Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Son-in-law, your sons, your daughters, and whomever you have in the city; take them out of this place! For we will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.” So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, “Get up, get out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city!” But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking.”

      To his sons-in-law: Lot’s daughters were unmarried and had not known a man told to us in Genesis 19:8. These men were sons-in-law by the ancient practice of binding betrothal, not by marriage yet.

      He seemed to be joking: The effect of Lot’s life of compromise is clearly seen. When he spoke with UTMOST, DIRE SERIOUSNESS to his sons-in-law about the judgment of God, they did NOT believe him…THEY DO NOT CARE. LOT IS A JOKE TO EVEN HIS FAMILY. THIS TELLS US SADLY THAT LOT DID NOTHING TO SHINE AND SHOW JESUS even in the privacy of his OWN HOME. SO NOT even they will be saved from the judgment to come.

      The life of Lot shows us that it is POSSIBLE TO HAVE A SAVED SOUL IN JESUS…BECAUSE OF WHO AND WHAT JESUS IS AND WHAT JESUS PROMISES & HAVE a saved soul AND A WASTED LIFE.

      THE BIBLE TELLS US THAT Lot will be saved, but his life will accomplish nothing, as in 1 Corinthians 3:15: “If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”

      Verses 15-16 tells us The angels try to hurry Lot and his family.

      “When the morning dawned, the angels urged Lot to hurry, saying, “Arise, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city.” And while he lingered, the men took hold of his hand, his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city.”

      While he lingered…THIS SHOWS YOU HIS TALK DID NOT MATCH HIS WALK. I MEAN THINK ABOUT IT, TWO ANGELS COME TO GET YOU…TELL YOU ALMIGHTY GOD IS GOING TO DESTROY THE CITY….AND INSTEAD OF RUNNING OUT THE DOOR THEN AND THERE….LOT AND HIS FAMILY DELAYED…LINGERED…WHICH SHOWS US TOO MUCH of Lot’s heart was in Sodom, so he was not anxious to leave the city. This lack of urgency to do the things of God is a common sign of compromise and a backslidden condition.

      They brought him out and set him outside the city….In Genesis 18 Abraham asked God to SPARE the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah if there were TEN righteous found there. Because there were not ten righteous people, God will NOT spare the city. But He will STILL answer THE HEART of Abraham’s prayer by BRINGING THE BACK-SLIDDEN Lot and his family out of Sodom, even if it is practically AGAINST Lot’s will.

      Lot was in the worst of all possible places. He had too much of the world to be happy in the Lord, and too much of the Lord to be happy in the world.

      Verses 17-22 tells of the escape from Sodom.

      “So it came to pass, when they had brought them outside, that he said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed.” Then Lot said to them, “Please, no, my lords! Indeed now, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have increased your mercy which you have shown me by saving my life; but I cannot escape to the mountains, lest some evil overtake me and I die. See now, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one; please let me escape there (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live.” And he said to him, “See, I have favored you concerning this thing also, in that I will not overthrow this city for which you have spoken. Hurry, escape there. For I cannot do anything until you arrive there.” Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.”

      Please, no, my lords! Lot seems PATHETIC & WHIMPERING WHINING in his prayer. Notice the sad contrast from LOT’S WHINING AGAINST THE BOLD intercession of Abraham.

      I cannot do anything until you arrive there…This answers the question, Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? As ABRAHAM ASKS GOD IN Genesis 18:25. God, bound by His own righteousness and honor, could NOT bring this judgment on Sodom until the righteous people were delivered.


      Verses 23-26 tells us God’s judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah & the cities ARE destroyed, & Lot’s wife turned to a pillar of salt.

      “The sun had risen upon the earth when Lot entered Zoar. Then the Lord rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the Lord out of the heavens. So He overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.”

      Then the Lord rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah…TODAY, many think these cities are buried under the Dead Sea, and their complete destruction is a testament to God’s judgment and grace in delivering His righteous people.

      Before this destruction the area of Sodom was unbelievably beautiful and productive, like the garden of the Lord told to us in Genesis 13:10. Yet, this great privilege and blessing did not turn their hearts toward God.

      As well, the people of Sodom and Gomorrah saw more of the power, grace, and mercy of God than any of the other people of the region. They had been delivered from ruin by God’s work through Abraham. They heard the testimony from Melchizedek and saw the example of Melchizedek and Abraham.

      But they learned…nothing. It changed…nothing. They basically said HEY THANKS FOR SAVING US, THANKS FOR RETURNING US TO OUR BELOVED SODOM AND GOMORRAH…BYE BYE NOW.

      But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt…Lot’s wife was turned to a pillar of salt because she looked back behind, after the angels had specifically said Do not look behind you in Genesis 19:17. Some think she lingered behind and was caught up in the cataclysm somehow, but it was probably a unique judgment of God on her for the state of her heart (a love for Sodom and regret for its destruction) shown by her action of looking back.

      In referring to the end times, Jesus uttered some almost cryptic words in Luke 17:32: “Remember Lot’s wife.” In other words, NO CHRISTIAN should have a heart like Lot’s wife as we see the end of the age, a heart that LOVES THE WORLD MORE THAN HIM, and will in some sense, REGRET the judgment God will bring on it.

      JESUS WANTS US TO LOOK FORWARD TO our deliverance, NOT LOOK BACK…MOAN, WHIMPER, LOOK BACK AND REGRET THAT THIS WORLD, THIS LOST WORLD AND MANKIND AS WE KNOW IT IS passing away and ripe for judgment.

      Verses 27-29 tells us Abraham learns of Sodom and Gomorrah’s destruction.

      “And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the Lord. Then he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain; and he saw, and behold, the smoke of the land which went up like the smoke of a furnace. And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot had dwelt.”

      When Abraham SAW the smoke of the these cities and their destruction burning as hotly, brightly and billowing smoke cloud like a furnace, he KNEW that his request was answered. God HAD delivered Lot before the destruction came.

      Verses 30-32 tells us Lot and his daughters live in a wilderness cave.

      “Then Lot went up out of Zoar and dwelt in the mountains, and his two daughters were with him; for he was afraid to dwell in Zoar. And he and his two daughters dwelt in a cave. Now the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man on the earth to come in to us as is the custom of all the earth. Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve the lineage of our father.”

      FIRST SIGN THAT LOT MAY HAVE A CLUE AND CARE AND UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT ALMIGHTY GOD EXPECTS AND DEMANDS…IS THAT HE GOES TO ZOAR…LOOKS AROUND…SEES THAT IT IS NOT MUCH BETTER THAN SODOM AND GOMORRAH AND FLEES TO THE MOUNTAINS AS THE ANGELS HAD TOLD HIM TO DO FROM THE FIRST. BUT NOT BEFORE LOADING UP WITH THE WORLDLY THINGS HE AND HIS DAUGHTERS ARE ACCUSTOMED TO AND WANT…

      Let us make our father drink wine: Lot and his family lost everything in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Even so, they quickly EITHER MADE SURE TO PACK AND TAKE THEIR ALCOHOL OR PURCHASED IT….SO MAKE SURE THAT WHATEVER ELSE THEY NEEDED OF THIS WORLD…NAMELY ALCOHOL….THEY HAD IT ON HAND.

      This shows the priorities of a compromising heart. THIS ALSO SHOWS US THAT REGARDLESS SEEING FIRE RAIN DOWN FROM HEAVEN, TURNING TWO TOWNS INTO DUST, THEY DID NOT HAVE THANKFUL AND REPENTANT HEARTS…THEY SIMPLY MOVED TO A SAFER LOCATION AND CONTINUED WITH THEIR SELFISH, SELF-CENTERED WORLDLY PREFERENCES… ALMIGHTY GOD SPARED THEM AND GOT THEM OUT OF SODOM AND GOMORRAH…BUT IT DID NOT GET THE FILTH AND FOUL OF SODOM AND GOMORRAH OUT OF THEM…THERE WAS NOT REPENTANCE IN THEM.

      I MEAN THINK ABOUT IT…ANGELS HAD TO COME GET YOU, DRAG YOU OUT OF TOWN, TELL YOU NOT TO LOOK BACK….AND YOU SEE YOUR MAMA OR YOUR SPOUSE TURNED TO A PILLAR OF SALT….I DO NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU BUT I WOULD BE SAYING THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU JESUS…AND I WOULD BE DOING SOME MAJOR OVERVIEW OF MY LIFE AND MY LIFESTYLE AND WHERE I HAD GONE WRONG…RIGHT? BUT THESE THREE SURVIVORS DID NOT…ALL THEY THOUGHT ABOUT WAS WHAT DO I NEED AND WANT…EVEN THEN.

      We will lie with him, that we may preserve the lineage of our father: This is a remarkable - and seemingly desperate sin from Lot’s daughters.

      Some PEOPLE…WHO HAVE NOT READ THE ENTIRE STORY WRONGLY SUGGEST….WELL POOR LOT’S DAUGHTERS THOUGHT THEY WERE ALONE IN THE WORLD…WITH ONLY THERE OLD FATHER…SO THEY WERE TRYING TO SAVE THEMSELVES AND KEEP MANKIND THRIVING, BY HAVING SEX WITH THE ONLY MAN LEFT ON EARTH!

      BUT RIGHT HERE…WE SEE AND ARE TOLD THE TRUTH…THE ENTIRE WORLD had NOT perished with Sodom and Gomorrah, and it was NOT LEFT TO THESE TWO WOMEN to “repopulate” the earth.

      WHY?

      BECAUSE THE BIBLE TELLS US THAT THEY WENT TO ZOAR, AND THEY KNEW THAT THERE WERE PEOPLE LEFT ON THE EARTH….THEY KNEW THAT ONLY SODOM AND GOMORRAH HAS BEEN DESTROYED.

      HERE ALSO SHOWS US LOT’S DAUGHTERS HEART…IT HAD NOT CHANGED…AT ALL. Evidently they decided it was the only thing to do under the circumstances, SINCE THEY REFUSED OR WORSE DID NOT EVEN CONSIDER IN TRUSTING IN THE GOD WHO HAD SAVED THEM AND SPARED THEM…

      THIS SHOWS US WHAT A LOUSY JOB AND A LOUSY CHRISTIAN EXAMPLE LOT WAS AS THE CHRISTIAN HEAD OF HIS FAMILY. NONE WAS AFFECTED BY LOT OR HIS EXAMPLE, BUT ALL OF THEM WERE WILLINGLY AND HAPPILY CONSUMED WITH CONTINUING THEIR SODOM AND GOMORRAH LIFESTYLE.

      Verses 33-38 tells us Moab and Ammon are born from this incestuous relationship.

      “So they made their father drink wine that night. And the firstborn went in and lay with her father, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. It happened on the next day that the firstborn said to the younger, “Indeed I lay with my father last night; let us make him drink wine tonight also, and you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve the lineage of our father.” Then they made their father drink wine that night also. And the younger arose and lay with him, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. Thus both the daughters of Lot were with child by their father. The firstborn bore a son and called his name Moab; he is the father of the Moabites to this day. And the younger, she also bore a son and called his name Ben-Ammi; he is the father of the people of Ammon to this day.”

      The firstborn went in and lay with her father: We may be uncomfortable with the idea that the Bible includes the record of such disgraceful sins. Yet, ALMIGHTY GOD DOES NOT SHY AWAY FROM SHINING A LIGHT ON SIN…AND WANTING HIS CHILDREN TO KNOW AND TO UNDERSTAND WHAT SIN AND WRONG IS FROM HIS OWN MOUTH…HIS OWN WORDS…HIS OWN TEACHINGS…WHY?

      BECAUSE HE IS A GOOD FATHER… HE DOES NOT WANT HIS CHILDREN TO ACCEPT THE TRUTHS/DECEPTIONS OR EVER-CHANGING FICKLED MINDSETS THE WORLD GIVES…BECAUSE THEY ARE SINFUL AND WRONG…HE WANTS HIS CHILDREN TO HEAR IT, SEE IT, AND UNDERSTAND IT FROM SOMEONE WHO LOVES THEM AND ONLY WANTS THE VERY BEST FOR THEM…

      JESUS KNOWS No one can escape knowledge of sin . . . BUT SIN AND WRONGS AND BAD CHOICES ARE NEVER SHOWN IN THE BIBLE NOR TOLD THE ENTIRE STORY IN THE BIBLE WITHOUT ALMIGHTY GOD GIVING US FAIR AND PATIENT WARNINGS that God hates sin and punishes it.

      JUST AS WE AS PARENTS, DO NOT WALK UP TO OUR CHILD, WHO IS DOING WRONG, AND SMACK THEIR REAR END, WITHOUT FIRST PATIENTLY TELLING THEM NO! DO NOT DO THIS! NO THIS IS NOT NICE! THAT IS WRONG! PATIENTLY…CONSISTENTLY…UNCHANGINGLY STATING AND RESTATING THE TRUTH…BEFORE THE SMACK ON THE REAR END WHEN THE CHILD CONTINUES TO DO WRONG.

      ALMIGHTY GOD IS THE SAME WAY.
      JESUS CHRIST IS THE SAME WAY.

      SO WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

      Moab; he is THE FATHER of the Moabites . . . Ben-Ammi; he is THE FATHER of the people of Ammon: Their descendants will be enemies and obstacles for Israel, just like the descendants of Ishmael. Lot’s life ended in ruin (past, present, and future), all because of his love for the world.

      SO WHAT DOES ALMIGHTY GOD AND JESUS CHRIST WANT US TO LEARN FROM GENESIS 19?

      TWO MOST IMPORTANT LIFE ALTERING AND CHRISTIAN WALK TRUTHS.

      AND THAT IS THAT THERE WILL BE CHRISTIANS LIKE LOT WHO WILL SPEND ETERNITY IN HEAVEN…EVEN THOUGH THEIR ONLY RIGHTFULLY CLAIM TO IT…IS THERE ONE MOMENT OF CHOOSING JESUS CHRIST. THEY WILL HAVE HAD AS FAR AS JESUS IS CONCERNED…AND ALMIGHTY GOD IS CONCERNED….A WASTED…WORTHLESS LIFE…BECAUSE THEY DID NOT SHINE AND SHOW JESUS AT ALL. BUT THEIR SALVATION, JUST AS LOT’S, DEPENDS ON WHO OUR JESUS CHRIST IS, WHAT JESUS CHRIST DID FOR US, AND THAT JESUS CHRIST KEEPS HIS PROMISES…EVEN WHEN WE DO NOT….EVEN WHEN WE ARE NOT FAITHFUL…EVEN WHEN WE HAVE NOTHING BUT A WASTED, FRUITLESS, WORTHLESS LIFE THAT HAS NOT SHINED AND SHOWED AND DRAWN ANYONE TO JESUS CHRIST.

      IN OTHER WORDS JESUS CHRIST PROMISES TO AND CAN & WILL SAVE US FROM THE LOST DEAD WORLD AND THE LAKE OF FIRE ETERNITY IF WE CALL UPON HIS NAME, IF WE REPENT AND INVITE JESUS TO BE OUR LORD AND SAVIOR, BUT WE MUST EACH CHOOSE TO WALK AWAY FROM THE PAST…THE WORLD AND LIFESTYLE AS WE KNOW IT…AND CHOSE TO SHINE AND SHOW JESUS AND WALK WITH JESUS.

      BECAUSE ONE SWEET DAY, WE WILL SEE, FACE TO FACE OUR JESUS, AND WILL THEN EITHER HAVE THE CHANGED LIFE, THE STRIVING TO SHINE AND SHOW TO GIVE TO OUR JESUS….OR WE WILL STAND BEFORE HIM WITH NOTHING TO SHOW AND NOTHING TO GIVE HIM AND NOTHING TO PROVE THAT WE WERE A LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS OF THE LOST WORLD…AND WHAT A BITTER, MOURNFUL DAY THAT WOULD BE…

      AND JESUS WANTS US TO KNOW…ALL THOSE YOU PRAY UP…LIFT TO JESUS…ASK JESUS TO SAVE…EVEN IF THEY ARE NOT WORTHY…ARE WASTED LIVES…OUR JESUS IS FAITHFUL…AND HE WILL SAVE THOSE WE ASK HIM TO SAVE….JUST AS ALMIGHTY GOD SAVED LOT AND HIS FAMILY….NOT BECAUSE OF LOT’S RIGHTEOUSNESS, BUT BECAUSE OF ABRAHAM’S LOVE, RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND ASKING IT OF HIS ABBA FATHER.

      JESUS WANTS US TO LEARN AND TO KNOW…THIS WORLD…THIS LOST DEAD AND BLIND WORLD IS PASSING AWAY….MORE AND MORE…QUICKER AND QUICKER DAY BY DAY…IN ALL AREAS OF THIS LIFE…AND WE ARE NOT TO WAIL, MOAN, REGRET, OR LOOK BACK…OR WISH IT OTHERWISE…WE ARE TO KEEP OUR EYES, HEARTS, AND MINDS FOCUSED ON OUR DESTINATION….OUR JESUS AND NOT REGRET…BUT REJOICE…THAT EACH DAY…MINUTE BY MINUTE WE ARE GETTING CLOSER TO THE TIME OF OUR JESUS COMING…BECAUSE OUR JESUS IS COMING SOON…

      SO LET’S GET BUSY…SHINING AND SHOWING AND THROUGH OUR WALK, OUR TALK, OUR LIVES THE LOST AND THE BLIND IN THIS WORLD WILL SEEK US OUT….WILL WANT TO KNOW WHY WE HAVE HOPE IN A HOPELESS WORLD….WANT TO HAVE JOY IN A JOYLESS, DESTRUCTIVE SELFISH WORLD…

      WE NEED TO GIVE THEM JESUS…SO SHINE ON FOR OUR JESUS…

      BE BLESSED AND STAY BLESSED IN OUR JESUS CHRIST!

    • June 21, 2016 6:31 PM EDT
    • GENESIS 20: Abraham Lies About Sarah Again & GOD rescues them AGAIN

      THIS TIME IN ABRAHAM’S LIFE PERSONIFIES THE ADAGE… “THOSE WHO DO NOT LEARN FROM HISTORY ARE DESTINED TO REPEAT IT.”

      BIBLICALLY SPEAKING… “THOSE WHO DO NOT REMEMBER THAT ALMIGHTY GOD DOES NOT CHANGE, ARE DESTINED TO WALK IN CIRCLES UNTIL THEY DO LEARN.”

      GENESIS 2O ASKS YOU AND I THIS QUESTION…
      WHO DO YOU SAY YOUR GOD IS?
      WHO IS YOUR ALMIGHTY GOD…IT IS PRECIOUS AND PRICELESS…THAT THOUSANDS OF YEARS LATER…JESUS CHRIST WILL ASK THE SAME THING OF HIS DISCIPLES…WHO DO THEY SAY I AM? BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY WHO DO YOU SAY I AM?

      EACH OF US NEEDS TO SIT DOWN AND PONDER THIS AND SEARCH OUR HEARTS AND MINDS…AND ANSWER THIS ONE QUESTION…ONCE WE DO…WE WILL KNOW WHERE WE NEED TO CHANGE…WHERE WE NEED TO GROW…AND WHERE WE NEED TO STRENGTHEN OUR WALK WITH JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.

      TURN WITH ME NOW TO GENESIS 20...

      Abraham’s lie, God’s protection.

      Verses 1-2 tells Abraham lies in a similar manner as before.

      “And Abraham journeyed from there to the South, and dwelt between Kadesh and Shur, and stayed in Gerar. Now Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah.”

      After the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham moved. Perhaps he did not want to live in the hills overlooking the destroyed region any longer, and be reminded of those people and the judgment visited upon them. But then WHO COULD BLAME HIM. I WOULD NOT WANT TO LOOK AT SCORCHED EARTH EITHER…BUT MOVING AWAY FROM THE REMINDER OF WHO OUR JESUS CHRIST IS…WILL PROVE DANGEROUS TO ABRAHAM.

      OUT OF SIGHT…OUT OF MIND…SADLY PROVES TRUE EVEN FOR ABRAHAM…THE VISUAL REMINDER…THE SCORCHED EARTH ONCE REMOVED FROM HIS SIGHT AND THEN HIS MIND…LEADS ABRAHAM TO TRUST IN HIMSELF INSTEAD OF CONTINUING TO TRUST IN HIS FAITHFUL, POWERFUL ALMIGHTY GOD….

      “She is my sister.” ABRAHAM WAS THE WEALTHIEST AND MOST GOD PROTECTED MAN ON THE PLANET…HIS PEOPLE KNEW IT, HIS ALLIES KNEW IT, AND HIS ENEMIES KNEW IT…TOO BAD ABRAHAM FORGOT IT…AGAIN!

      THIS IS ALSO A REPEATED LESSON FOR YOU AND I TOO. THE BIBLE SAYS BE SLOW TO SPEAK, QUICK TO LISTEN. IF ABRAHAM HAD TAKEN A BREATH, REMEMBERED JUST WHO HIS GOD WAS AND WHAT HIS GOD COULD DO…HE WOULD NOT HAVE KNEE-JERK LIED…AGAIN.

      ABRAHAM…WOULD HAVE PROBABLY BEEN MORE QUICK TO REMEMBER HIS GOD…IF HE HAD HAD THE SCORCHED EARTH PLAINS TO LOOK AT EACH DAY. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN A VISUAL REMINDER OF JUST WHO AND WHAT HIS GOD WAS…AND REMIND HIM THAT ALMIGHTY GOD IS THE GOD WHO SEES EVERYTHING…AND HE WOULD HAVE NOT FEARED OR NEEDED TO LIE…BECAUSE HE WOULD HAVE REMEMBERED THAT HIS GOD WAS ABLE…IN ALL THINGS…AT ALL TIMES…HIS GOD WAS ABLE TO PROTECT, PROVIDE, HEAL, LEAD, GUIDE AND DIRECT.

      BUT ONCE AGAIN THE FLESH, THE WORLD, AND THE DEVIL HIMSELF CAME CALLING…WHISPERING FEARS, WORRIES, AND DOUBTS IN ABRAHAM’S MIND…AND ABRAHAM REACTED TO WHAT HE SAW AND HEARD…INSTEAD OF WHAT HE KNEWWWWWWW ABOUT HIS GOD.

      AND THE CIRCUMSTANCES…THE WORLDLY CIRCUMSTANCES AROUND HIM WERE VALID…IN THE FLESH.

      WHAT DO I MEAN BY THAT?

      1. GOD WAS DOING, BEFORE HIS EYES, A MIRACLE WITH HIS WIFE SARAH…SHE WAS OUTWARDLY AND INWARDLY REJUVENATING. SHE WAS ALWAYS LOVELY, BUT NOW, SHE AT AGE 90, WAS BECOMING MORE YOUTHFUL…OUTSIDE AND MORE IMPORTANTLY WITHIN HERSELF…AND EVERYONE SAW THE BLOOMING TRANSFORMATION.

      2. ABRAHAM WAS the richest and most influential man of the region.

      3. In that day, a harem was more of a political statement than a romantic statement. THEY CONSIDERED THE SIZE AND NUMBER OF A MAN OR RULERS HAREM, AS A TESTAMENT TO HIS POWER AND HIS WEALTH.

      TODAY, AMBASSADORS MAKE CONCESSIONS, GIVE EXTRAVAGANT GIFTS, MAKE BACK ROOM DEALS USING THE “ONE THING” THAT PERSON WANTS OR DESIRES.

      AND MEN DATE, AND AMASS BEAUTIES TO BE SEEN WITH…THEIR ARM CANDY…BECAUSE TO OTHER MEN, A MAN CAN BE UGLY AS MUD, MUCH LESS HANDSOME. BUT WHEN THEY ARE SEEN WITH A BEVY OF BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY WOMEN, AROUND THEM ALWAYS…IT SPEAKS TO THE MAN’S PROWESS, SUCCESS, AND POWER.

      IT DOES NOT IMPRESS JESUS CHRIST…IT NEVER HAS, BUT NOW MAN, SATAN, AND THE WORLD AREEEEEEEEE IMPRESSED AND INTRIGUED BY IT.

      SO INSTEAD OF TRUSTING AND BELIEVING ALMIGHTY GOD, WHOM HE HAD SPOKEN TO TIME AND TIME AGAIN, WATCHED HIM ASCEND BACK INTO HEAVEN…INSTEAD OF TRUSTING ALMIGHTY TO PROTECT HIM AND HIS SARAH…ABRAHAM LIES AGAIN…She is my sister.

      This is the same lie Abraham told back in Genesis 12:10-13. He shows that it is all too easy, for EVEN THE HIGHLY FAVORED AND BLESSED BY JESUS CHRIST to slip back into sinful habits. Abraham stumbles in a place he stumbled before. Instead of trusting God to keep his family together AS GOD HAD DONE IN THE PAST, he devised his own plan to do it. His plan will fail completely.

      ABRAHAM TRUSTED IN HIMSELF…HE DID NOT NEED TO BOTHER GOD WITH THIS…HE WOULD HANDLE IT HIMSELF…ABRAHAM LISTENED TO THE WHISPERS OF SATAN…DO NOT BOTHER GOD…YOU CAN DO IT…HANDLE IT YOURSELF…SHOW GOD WHAT A GREAT MAN YOU HAVE BECOME IN HIM…AND ABRAHAM LISTENS….


      Verses 3-7 tells us God threatens judgment upon Abimelech for taking Sarah.

      “But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, “Indeed you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man’s wife.” But Abimelech had not come near her; and he said, “Lord, will You slay a righteous nation also? Did he not say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she, even she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and innocence of my hands I have done this.” And God said to him in a dream, “Yes, I know that you did this in the integrity of your heart. For I also withheld you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her. Now therefore, restore the man’s wife; for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you shall live. But if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours.”

      I MEAN THINK ABOUT IT…ALMIGHTY GOD’S FIRST INTRODUCTION TO THIS KING IS NOT A POLITE INTRODUCTION…IT IS…A BONE-CHILLING ABSOLUTE. “ “Indeed you are a dead man…ignore ME and you and your people are dead!”

      TALK ABOUT A FRIGHTENING THING TO HEAR FROM GOD…even in a dream. But the point had to be made to Abimelech, even though he could truly say he was acting in the integrity of my heart and innocence of my hands.

      SOME HAVE SAID OF THIS…GOD WAS WAYYYYY HARSH HERE…BUT WE NEED TO REMEMBER THAT ABIMELECH DID NOT KNOW ALMIGHTY GOD…HE WAS BLIND, LOST, AND THOUGHT, LIKE PEOPLE TODAY, I MAKE MY OWN DESTINY…GRAB ALL THE GUSTO YOU CAN, TAKE WHAT YOU WANT AND NEED…LIVE IT UP…BECAUSE DEATH IS THE END…AND THERE IS NOTHING AFTER IT.

      AND WE NEED TO REMEMBER THAT ALMIGHTY GOD COMES TO EACH PERSON DIFFERENTLY…HE READS AND KNOWS THE HEART FIRST AND FOREMOST.

      IF A WONDROUS VISION, BUT A KIND GENTLE VOICE AND TONE WOULD HAVE WORKED…ALMIGHTY GOD WOULD HAVE SPOKEN IT…JUST AS HE DID WITH LITTLE SAMUEL, WHILE UNDER ELI’S TUTELAGE…BUT THE FACT THAT ALMIGHTY GOD CAME WITH YOU ARE A DEAD MAN…TELLS US THAT ABIMELECH…WAS TIGHTLY IN SATAN AND THE WORLD’S CLUTCHES…A VISION, A FANTASTIC OR NOT…WOULD HAVE THIS MAN SAYING…

      BOYYYYYY…NO MORE GOAT BURGERS FOR ME, NO MORE OF THAT WINE…I HAD THE WEIRDEST DREAMS…AND HE WOULD HAVE DISMISSED IT AS ONLY THAT…INDIGESTION, DRUNKENNESS, OR FATIGUE…AMEN

      GOD KNEW THIS…SO ALMIGHTY GOD KNOWING THIS MAN FEARED DEATH/IMPOTENCY…TOLD HIM…YOU ARE A DEAD MAN!

      AND THERE IS ANOTHER REASON…THINK ABOUT ALMIGHTY GOD’S PLAN…HIS ETERNAL PLAN THAT HE HAD SPOKEN AND WAS TO ACCOMPLISH THROUGH ISAAC.

      ALMIGHTY GOD KNEW SATAN WAS TRYING ONCE AGAIN TO DESTROY AND DERAIL HIS PLANS…

      AND THINK ABOUT THIS…Suppose Abimelech had taken Sarah SEXUALLY and God had not intervened? Two seeds would have been at the door to Sarah’s womb, and to this day an element of DOUBT TO ISAAC’S TRUE BLOODLINE HERITAGE COULD HAVE BEEN DEBATED…AND IT WOULD HAVE PUT A BLOT IN THE TRUTH OF THE BLOODLINE OF JESUS CHRIST WHO WOULD COME FROM ISAAC’S BLOOD.

      ALMIGHTY GOD, EVEN THEN, SAW THE FUTURE, OUR FUTURE, AND THE DEBATES OVER ISRAEL’S GOD GIVEN RIGHT TO THE LAND….SO HE KNEW WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF DOUBT WERE ALLOWED TO ENTER IN…SO ALMIGHTY GOD MADE SURE THERE WOULD BE NONE, AMEN?

      ALMIGHTY GOD COULD HAVE TAKEN THE EASY WAY AND JUST ZAPPED ABIMELECH. BUT EVEN WITH THE LOST, THE BLIND, THE EVIL…ALMIGHTY GOD IS HONORABLE AND JUST. HE KNEW Abimelech’s heart was INNOCENT OF KNOWING HIM OR THE PURPOSE OF SARAH IN HIS PLAN, AND THAT SARAH WAS ALSO ABRAHAM’S WIFE. SO GOD KEPT him from worse sin. God’s protecting power can guide even a pagan king.

      AND WE SEE SOMETHING…ONCE AGAIN ABOUT OUR TRIUNE GOD…despite Abraham’s failure to really trust God in the situation, God was not going to abandon him. He would not let Abimelech touch Sarah. That womb was going to bring forth ISAAC, the son of promise, who would eventually bring forth God’s Messiah, JESUS CHRIST. God wasn’t leaving this matter up to man!

      “For he is a prophet, and he will pray for you…” Even though Abraham is in sin, he is still a prophet and man of powerful prayer. God’s mercy did not leave Abraham, even though Abraham didn’t trust God the way he should.

      AND ONCE AGAIN…A GENTILE, PAGAN KING REBUKES ABRAHAM.

      Verses 8-10 tells us Abraham (just like last time) suffers rebuke from a heathen king.

      “So Abimelech rose early in the morning, called all his servants, and told all these things in their hearing; and the men were very much afraid. And Abimelech called Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? How have I offended you, that you have brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? You have done deeds to me that ought not to be done.” Then Abimelech said to Abraham, “What did you have in view, that you have done this thing?”

      “You have done deeds to me that ought not to be done…” DO YOU HEAR THE WONDER, THE FEAR, AND THE CERTAINTY IN THIS PAGAN KING AS I DO? It is sad to see that Abimelech - the pagan king - is in the right, and Abraham - the man of God is in the wrong, and Abimelech tells Abraham so.

      What did you have in view, that you have done this thing? This is a logical question for Abimelech to ask Abraham. Abraham certainly did not have the Lord in view when he lied and failed to trust God.

      Verses 11-13 tells us Abraham’s excuse.

      “And Abraham said, “Because I thought, surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will kill me on account of my wife. But indeed she is truly my sister. She is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife. And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my father’s house, that I said to her, ‘This is your kindness that you should do for me: in every place, wherever we go, say of me, “He is my brother.”

      AGAIN…THIS HALF TRUTH GOT ABRAHAM IN TROUBLE.
      AND THIS TELLS US THAT A HALF-TRUTH MAY BE ACCEPTED AND EXCUSABLE AND UNDERSTANDABLE IN MAN’S EYES…BUT NOT IN ALMIGHTY GOD.

      AND ABRAHAM TRIED TO JUSTIFY THE LIE WHEN HE SAID BASICALLY, LOOK AROUND YOU, YOU ARE ALL HEATHENS, GODLESS, YOU DO NOT KNOW MY GOD, SO WHY SHOULD YOU FEAR ME AND MY GOD.

      BUT ONCE AGAIN…THE REAL PROBLEM WAS FEAR OF ALMIGHTY GOD WAS NOT IN ABRAHAM…WHOM ABRAHAM HAD SEEN, WALKED WITH, EATEN WITH, TALKED WITH…If ABRAHAM HAD REALLY UNDERSTOOD AND RESPECTED THE LORD, HIS COMMANDMENTS, HIS PROMISES, AND HIS PROTECTION, then Abraham would have NEVER LIED, NEVER TRUSTED IN HIS OWN ABILITIES AND HIS OWN FLESHLY POWERFUL REPUTATION, & THE MUTTERING OF SATAN….

      ABRAHAM WOULD HAVE TOLD THIS PAGAN/HEATHEN KING…SARAH IS MY WIFE, I SERVE THE MOST HIGH GOD, AND YOU ENDANGER YOUR LIFE AND ALL YOUR PEOPLE, IF YOU DARE TO TOUCH HER OR TRY TO TAKE HER FROM ME.

      AND TO MAKE MATTERS WORSE….WHEN ABRAHAM SAID….“When God called me to wander from my father’s house”…ABRAHAM IS INDIRECTLY BLAMING ALMIGHTY GOD FOR THE PROBLEM. Abraham claims that God sent him out on this dangerous journey upon which Abraham had to protect himself.

      There is a terrible meaning in this verb “WANDER” which Abraham uses. The Hebrew word occurs exactly 50 TIMES in THE BIBLE….AND IT IS NEVER GOOD. It is used of animals going astray, of a drunken man reeling, or staggering, of sinful seduction, of a prophet’s lies causing the people to err, of the path of a lying heart. Six OTHER words are translated wander, any one of which Abraham might have used, but he used the WORST WORD available.

      SO WHAT SHOULD HAVE ABRAHAM HAVE SAID?

      Abraham SHOULD BEEN REPENTANT AND HUMBLE AND SAID….Forgive me, Abimelech, for dishonoring both you and my God. My selfish cowardice overwhelmed me, and I denied my God by fearing that He who called me could not take care of me. He is not as your gods of wood and stone. He is the God of glory. He is the living God, the Creator, the most High God, possessor of heaven and earth. He told me He would be my shield and my exceeding great reward, and supplier of all my needs . . . In sinning against Him, I sinned against you. Forgive me, Abimelech.

      DO YOU NOTICE…ALMIGHTY GOD’S PATIENCE ONCE AGAIN HERE…HERE AGAIN…IS VISUAL PROOF OF OUR TRIUNE GOD’S PATIENT, LOVING TEACHING HEART.

      Verses 14-18 tells us Abimelech’s gift recompenses Sarah, and Abraham prays for him.

      “Then Abimelech took sheep, oxen, and male and female servants, and gave them to Abraham; and he restored Sarah his wife to him. And Abimelech said, “See, my land is before you; dwell where it pleases you.” Then to Sarah he said, “Behold, I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver; indeed this vindicates you before all who are with you and before everybody.” Thus she was reproved. So Abraham prayed to God; and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his female servants. Then they bore children; for the Lord had closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.”

      In showing such generosity to Abraham, Abimelech is essentially heaping coals of fire on Abraham’s head as we are reminded in Romans 12:20. Abraham SHOULD HAVE BEEN GIVING GIFTS TO ABIMELECH, because he was in the wrong.

      Also, it is interesting to see Abraham ACCEPTS THESE GIFTS, when he had refused gifts from a pagan king previously in Genesis 14:21-24, because he wanted no one to think a man had made him rich. Here, because of Abraham’s TOTAL COMPROMISE, he finds it hard to reclaim the same high moral ground.

      I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver…We can imagine ABIMELECH HAVING BROUGHT SARAH BEFORE HIM, LOOKING HER IN THE FACE, AND WITH POLITE REBUKE AND IRONY IN HIS VOICE, he refers to Abraham as Sarah’s brother.

      Thus she was reproved…The ancient Hebrew word for reproved is “yakach.” It has the idea of “set right,” so it is debatable as if Sarah was “set right” by Abimelech’s rebuke, or if she was “found to be right” because of her humble submission in this occasion. In a sense, both are true.

      AND REMEMBER WOMEN HAD TO RIGHTS IN THIS DAY AND TIME…THEY WERE EXPECTED TO BOW TO THEIR FATHER, THEN THEIR HUSBAND’S EVERY COMMAND AND STATEMENT…WHETHER IT WAS THE TRUTH OR NOT.

      AND WE SEE SOMETHING ELSE HERE, ALMIGHTY GOD, KNOWING THE HEARTS OF ALL, MADE SURE ABIMELECH AND THE MEN AND THE WOMEN OF HIS FAMILY/KINGDOM WERE STRUCK IMPOTENT. NOT ONE MAN IN HIS KINGDOM COULD FUNCTION SEXUALLY…AND ALL THE WOMEN’S WOMBS/BODIES WERE SUDDENLY AND INSTANTLY CLOSED AS WELL.

      WHY?

      IN THOSE DAYS, IT WAS NOT UNCOMMON, FOR A POWERFUL MAN OR A POWERFUL RULER TO SEND A EUNUCH OR HIS “BEST MAN” TO BREACH AND BREAK THE MAIDEN HEAD OF A VIRGIN MEMBER OF THE HAREM OR EVEN HIS VIRGIN BRIDE. SO THIS IMPORTANT AND POWERFUL MAN WOULD NOT HAVE TO BE BOTHERED BY THE TASK OR SUFFER THE SHOW OF BLOOD UPON HIMSELF THAT THE DUTY WOULD REQUIRE.

      MOST EUNUCHS COULD BECOME AROUSED AND RESPONSIVE TO STIMULI, BUT HAVING THEIR SCROTUM, THEIR SEED REMOVED, THEY COULD IN NO WAY ENDANGER THE BLOODLINE, BY IMPREGNATING ANY IN THE HAREM. THEY WERE SAFE PROXYS FOR THEIR MASTERS.

      SO ALMIGHTY GOD KNOWING THEIR PRACTICES AND KNOWING THE HEARTS, KNEW THAT IF ABIMELECH COULD NOT PERFORM, HE MIGHT VERY WELL DECIDE TO SEND HIS “BEST AND TRUSTED MAN” TO TAKE SARAH’S SUPPOSED VIRGINITY FROM HER…SO ALMIGHTY GOD MADE THE ENTIRE KINGDOM IMPOTENT…NOT ONLY TO REASSURE ABIMELECH THAT IT WAS NO DREAM, BUT THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH…YOU ARE A DEAD MAN…AND THIS ALSO TELLS US THAT ABIMELECH MAY HAVE BEEN FRIGHTENED BY THE DREAM…BUT IT DID NOT STOP HIS FLESH…HE STILL PLANNED TO TAKE SARAH…OR HAVE HIS PROXY DO SO…SO ALMIGHTY GOD STRUCK EVERY MAN AND EVERY WOMAN IN THE KINGDOM.

      WHY THE WOMEN TOO?

      ALMIGHTY GOD DID IT TO PROTECT THE WOMEN. IN THAT DAY AND AGE, A MAN’S MASCULINITY WAS TIED TO HIS ABILITY TO SEXUALLY PERFORM OFTEN…ON A WHIM…WITH ANY NUMBER OF WOMEN IN ONE DAY…AND IN THAT CULTURE, IF A WOMEN, ALL WHO WERE TRAINED IN THE ART OF SEDUCTION AND PLEASURE GIVING TO THEIR MASTERS, BE THEY HUSBAND OR KING, IF THAT MAN COULD NOT PERFORM, COULD NOT RESPOND, THE PROBLEM LAY WITH THE WOMAN, THEY REFUSED TO ACCEPT OR BELIEVE THAT THE PROBLEM COULD LIE WITH THE MAN, SO WIVES, IF THEY WERE OF HIGH RANK WERE BANISHED, AND SOME EVEN KILLED, BUT THE HAREM MEMBERS, MOST GAINED BY INTRIGUE OR AS A BARGAINING CHIP TO SETTLE DISPUTES, OR UNITE KINGDOMS, FAMILIES, BUSINESSES…THEY WOULD BE PUT IN A SACK, WEIGHED DOWN WITH ROCKS, AND TIED UP AND THROWN INTO THE SEA TO DROWN, OR THEY WERE STONED TOO DEATH.

      ALMIGHTY GOD DID NOT WANT THESE WOMEN TO SUFFER BECAUSE OF WHAT HE HAD DONE…SO HE STRUCK THEM ALL…AND THEY STAYED THAT WAY, UNTIL SARAH WAS FREED THE HAREM, RESTORED TO ABRAHAM, AND ONLY AFTER ABRAHAM PRAYED FOR THEM DID ALMIGHTY GOD RESTORE THEM TO FERTILITY AND PROWESS.

      SO WHAT DOES GENESIS 20 TEACH US…TELL US…

      ONCE AGAIN..THOSE THEN AND NOW WHO SAY, YEAHHHHHH YOUR BIBLE TELLS US AND SHOWS US YOUR GOD IS SO KIND AND FORGIVING AND LOVING HE DESTROYED A REGION BY FIRE, HE FLOODED THE EARTH.

      WHAT THEY CONVENIENTLY FORGET IS THAT ALMIGHTY GOD HAD BLESSED SODOM AND GOMORRAH AND WAS PATIENT WITH THEM FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS… OVER TIME, MANKIND PERSONALLY, ONE ON ONE SAW WHAT THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC, AND JACOB COULD DO. OVER TIME, ALMIGHTY GOD SENT PROPHET, SIGNS AND WONDERS AND WARNINGS TO MANKIND…REPENT, REPENT, REPENT….TURN TO ME….AND THEN JUST LIKE NOW…AS WITH MOST RECENTLY THE TINY BIT OF A METEOR THAT HIT RUSSIA AND THEN HOURS LATER, HIT SAN FRANCISCO…MANKIND AND THE EXPERTS ARE NOT BEING CALLED TO REPENTANCE, NOR ARE THEY SEEKING ALMIGHTY GOD….THE NEWSPAPERS IN RUSSIA AND THE UNITED STATES AND AROUND THE WORLD ARE CALLING IT….JUST A BLIP….JUST A COSMIC COINCIDENCE…ONE IN A MILLION TIME THING…NOT A WARNING…NOTHING TO FEAR AND WORRY OVER…RIGHT?

      SO MANKIND HAS NOT CHANGED…BUT ALMIGHTY GOD WHO WITH A THOUGHT, COULD HAVE ERASED THE EARTH FROM THE SOLAR SYSTEM, OR ERASED MANKIND AS A WHOLE FROM THE EARTH…DID NOT DO SO.

      INSTEAD HE IS PATIENT WITH ABRAHAM…A MAN WHO HAD SEEN AND WALKED AND TALKED AND SHARED MEALS WITH ALMIGHTY GOD…HAS SEEN ALMIGHTY GOD DO THE IMPOSSIBLE…OVER AND OVER AGAIN…ALMIGHTY GOD REMAINS FAITHFUL TO ABRAHAM EVEN WHEN ABRAHAM IS NOT FAITHFUL AND TRUSTING.

      THAT IS LOVE UNSPEAKABLE.
      THAT IS PATIENCE PERSONIFIED.
      AND IT ALSO TELLS US ONCE AGAIN…AND SHOWS US ONCE AGAIN…MANKIND THEN AND NOW…IS NOT MOVED BY SIGNS AND WONDERS AS A WHOLE…IT IS JUSTTTTTTT AN ABERRATION…AN BLIP…A ONCE IN A LIFETIME KIND OF THING.

      AND THE NEW TESTAMENT AND REVELATION TELL US THAT SIGNS AND WONDERS AND MIRACLES CAN NOT AND DO NOT ALWAYS CONVICT THE HEART, CHANGE A LIFE…ONLY JESUS CHRIST CAN DO SO, AMEN?

      IT SHOWS US THAT ALMIGHTY GOD DOES SEE AND DOES READ AND DOES KNOW THE VERY SECRET HEART AND THOUGHTS OF MAN…AND SO HE IS PINPOINT ACCURATE IN HIS ATTENTION GETTER.

      ALMIGHTY GOD GAVE THIS PAGAN A VISION THAT SHOULD HAVE GAINED HIS FULL ATTENTION…SENT ABIMELECH TO HIS KNEES IN REPENTANCE AND CRYING OUT TO THE GOD WHO SEES…BUT IT DID NOT.

      SO ALMIGHTY GOD THEN PATIENTLY GRABBED THE ENTIRE KINGDOM BY WHAT THEY REALLY VALUED MOST IN THEIR HEART OF HEARTS….AND THAT WAS THEIR MANHOOD, THEIR SEXUAL PROWESS…THEIR GOD…WHICH WAS SELF.

      BUT GENESIS 20 ALSO SHOWS GOD’S LOVE FOR WOMEN, HIS CARE FOR WOMEN, AND HIS DESIRE TO PROTECT WOMEN, EVEN LOST AND HEATHEN WOMEN FROM BEING PUNISHED FOR SOMETHING HE HIMSELF DID… HE WOULD NOT ALLOW THE MEN OF THE KINGDOM TO BLAME THE WOMEN, THEIR HAREMS…AND HE WOULD NOT ALLOW THEM TO PUNISH OR KILL THE WOMEN FOR SOMETHING HE HIMSELF HAD DONE.

      AND ALMIGHTY GOD REBUKED ABRAHAM AND SARAH BY LETTING A GODLESS MAN…A GODLESS HEATHEN REBUKE THEM AND TELL THEM WHAT THEY SHOULD HAVE KNOWN…AND SHOULD HAVE TRUSTED…AND SHOULD HAVE WARNED ABIMELECH AND HIS PEOPLE OF.

      GENESIS 20 ONCE AGAIN TELLS US ALL, THEN AND NOW….THAT ALMIGHTY GOD DOES WHAT HE PROMISES TO DO. HE IS A PROMISE KEEPER. THE IMPOSSIBLE IS NOT ONLY POSSIBLE FOR JESUS CHRIST, BUT IT IS EASYYYYYYYYYYYYYY TO DO.

      ALMIGHTY GOD IS FAIR AND JUST.
      HIS RESPONSE TO MANKIND DEPENDS ON MANKIND’S HEART.

      GENESIS 20 TELLS US AND REASSURES US THAT ALMIGHTY GOD READS THE SECRET HEARTS OF ALL THINGS. HE CONTROLS BOSSES, COURTS, COPS, JUDGES, DOCTORS, LAWYERS, GOVERNMENTS, BANKS…SATAN AND EVIL MANKIND.

      HE DOES KNOW HOW TO GET THEIR ATTENTION…AND HE CAN AND DOES LET THEM KNOW…YOU ARE DARING TO TOUCH MY ANOINTED…MY CHILDREN…YOU ARE IN PERIL….YOU ARE RISKING YOUR VERY LIFE…AND YOUR ETERNITY BY DARING TO DO SO.

      OUR TRIUNE GOD LOVES US…WARTS AND ALL.
      OUR TRIUNE GOD SEES US TO OUR VERY CORES.

      JESUS CHRIST SAYS…I KNOW YOU…I LOVE YOU…I AM FAITHFUL EVEN WHEN YOU ARE NOT…YOU CAN TRUST IN ME…IN ALL THINGS…UNDER ANY AND ALL CIRCUMSTANCES THAT ARISE IN YOUR LIFE…I RULE, I REIGN, AND I CONTROL….COME TO ME…LEAN ON ME…TRUST IN ME…AND ME ALONE…I WILL NEVER FAIL YOU!

      BE BLESSED AND STAY BLESSED IN OUR AMAZING JESUS

    • June 21, 2016 6:28 PM EDT
    • Genesis 21 - The Birth of Isaac

      GENESIS 21-22 ARE PROPHETIC PICTURES OR SNEAK PEEKS INTO WHO AND WHAT OUR JESUS WILL BE….ISAAC IS A PICTURE OF JESUS…AND ALMIGHTY GOD SHOWS US JESUS 1000s of YEARS IN ADVANCE OF BETHLEHEM.

      AND THIS BIBLE STUDY WILL SHOW YOU HOW AND WHY.


      Verse 1 tells God FULFILLS His promise to Abraham and Sarah.

      “And the Lord visited Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had spoken.”

      It took a long time (25 years) for this promise to come to pass, but God was FAITHFUL to His promise. God’s promises NEVER fail.

      AND ONCE AGAIN…WE NEED TO REMEMBER that the promise of a son was NOT fulfilled because Abraham was perfect in his obedience, but because God WAS FAITHFUL to His Word.

      Some promises of God ARE CONDITIONAL and depend on something we must do. But other promises of God ARE UNCONDITIONAL, and God will fulfill them not because of what we do, but because of WHO HE IS, AMEN!

      Verse 2-7 tell us the child is named Isaac.

      “For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him; whom Sarah bore to him; Isaac. Then Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. And Sarah said, “God has made me laugh, and all who hear will laugh with me.” She also said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? For I have borne him a son in his old age.”

      Originally, the name Isaac was meant as somewhat of a rebuke of the laughter of Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 17:17-19 and 18:12-15), but God had/has a humorous side too and turned a gentle rebuke into an occasion for joy.

      AND DID YOU KNOW THAT ISAAC becomes a wonderful type (picture) of Jesus:

      HOW?

      Both were the promised sons.
      Both were born after a period of delay.
      Both mothers were assured by God’s omnipotence (Genesis 18:13-14; Luke 1:34; 1:37).
      Both were given names rich with meaning before they were born.
      Both births occurred at God’s appointed time (Genesis 21:2; Galatians 4:4).
      Both births were miraculous.
      Both births were accompanied by joy (Genesis 21:6; Luke 1:46-47; 2:10-11).

      BUT THE JOY IS DIMMED BY CONFLICT BETWEEN ISHMAEL AND ISAAC. ISN’T IT JUST LIKE SATAN…TO STEP IN AND STRIVE TO DESTROY OUR HAPPIEST MOMENTS IN JESUS? AS I HAVE SAID BEFORE…SATAN JUST LIKE MANKIND, FOR ALL THE WORLD’S TECHNOLOGICAL AND SCIENTIFIC ADVANCES…MANKIND AND SATAN AND THE WORLD AT ITS CORE…HAS NOT CHANGED SINCE THE GARDEN OF EDEN, AMEN?
      Verses 8-11 tells us Sarah wants Abraham to cast out BOTH Hagar and Ishmael.

      “So the child grew and was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the same day that Isaac was weaned. And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking. Therefore she said to Abraham, “Cast out this bondwoman and her son; for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, namely with Isaac.” And the matter was very displeasing in Abraham’s sight because of his son.”

      Reliable Biblical & Historical research indicates BABIES WERE WEANED at the age of three.

      And Sarah saw the son of Hagar . . . Scoffing…This conflict between the two sons was almost inevitable, even though they are some 13+ years apart. Abraham found it hard to side with Sarah when he did not want to reject his son, Ishmael.

      BUT JUST AS JESUS TOLD HAGAR AT THE POOL, ISHMAEL WOULD BE A WILD MAN, FIGHTING WITH AND AGAINST EVERYONE, AND BE AN ENEMY TO EVERYONE, EVEN HIS BROTHERS THROUGHOUT TIME….AND TO THIS DAY, THAT IS TRUE OF THE ARABIC PEOPLE.

      SO WE NOTICE THE BIBLE TELLS US THE CONFLICT CAME FROM ISHMAEL UNTO ISAAC. I MEAN THINK ABOUT IT, ISHMAEL IS 16 + YEARS OLD, AND ISAAC HAS JUST TURNED 3 YEARS OLD. IT TAKES A REALLY MEAN-SPIRITED, INSECURE, BULLY TO BE JEALOUS OF AND JUMP A LITTLE CHILD, AMEN?

      Ishmael was the one scoffing at Isaac. Galatians 4:22-29 describes for us a spiritual application of this conflict between Isaac (the son born of the promise) and Ishmael (the son born of the flesh).

      In Galatians 4, the Jewish legalists who troubled the Galatians protested they were children of Abraham and thus blessed. Paul will admit they are children of Abraham, but they are like Ishmael, not Isaac!

      The legalists claimed Abraham as their father. Paul wants to know who was their mother, Hagar or Sarah? WHY?

      Ishmael was born of a slave, and born according to the flesh.
      Isaac was born of a freewoman, and born according to HIS promise.

      Even so, the legalists promote a relationship with God based in bondage and according to the flesh. The true gospel of grace offers liberty in Christ and is a promise received by faith, AMEN?!

      Even as Ishmael and his descendants have persecuted Isaac and his descendants, we should not be surprised that the modern-day people who follow God in the flesh persecute those who follow God in faith through the promise.

      Verses 12-14 tells us under God’s INSTRUCTION, Abraham puts out Hagar and Ishmael.

      “But God said to Abraham, “Do not let it be displeasing in your sight because of the lad or because of your bondwoman. Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed shall be called. Yet I will also make a nation of the son of the bondwoman, because he is your seed.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water; and putting it on her shoulder, he gave it and the boy to Hagar, and sent her away. Then she departed and wandered in the Wilderness of Beersheba.

      Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice…Perhaps Abraham did not want to give up Ishmael because he was sort of a “backup” plan. If something should happen to Isaac, there would always be Ishmael. But God wanted IT MADE CLEAR TO ABRAHAM THAT THERE WAS NO BACKUP PLAN for Abraham other than God Himself.

      Abraham might have been tempted to reject Sarah’s counsel just because it was Sarah & SHE A WOMAN & A PROTECTIVE MOTHER; but he sought the Lord in the matter, did what Sarah suggested, and without feeling he was “giving in” to Sarah.

      Sent her away…God’s solution was clear - get rid of the son of the flesh. There is to be NO reconciliation with the flesh, NO peaceful coexistence. The son of the flesh must simply be put away FOREVER.

      The solution is the same in our own battle between trusting in the flesh and trusting in the Holy Spirit: cast out this bondwoman and her son.

      LAW AND GRACE CAN NOT LIVE TOGETHER AS PRINCIPLES FOR OUR CHRISTIAN LIFE…, and there is NO question we belong to the free, not the bondwoman.

      RIGHT HERE…ALMIGHTY GOD SETTLES THE PROBLEM THAT PLAGUES SOME WHO CALL THEMSELVES CHRISTIANS TODAY…JESUS FULFILLED THE LAW….BEING THE PERFECT SACRIFICE FOR ALL LOST MANKIND (JEW AND GENTILE ALIKE).

      BY THE LAW, ALMIGHTY GOD NOR JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF LATER WAS NOT REFERRING TO THE 10 COMMANDMENTS…BUT ALL THE RULES AND RITUALS THAT WOULD COME TO AND FROM THE LEVITES…THE RABBINICAL LAW. WE NO LONGER NEED A HUMAN INTERCESSOR (PRIEST, RABBI, PREACHER…ETC. JESUS IS OUR HIGH PRIEST…WE CAN GO STRAIGHT TO HIM. WE ARE NOT BOUND BY OLD RITUALISTIC LAWS OF THE LEVITES…THAT SAID YOU COULD DO NOTHING ON THE SABBATH…NOT EVEN GIVE AID TO A BIRTHING MOTHER, OR PULL A WRECKED MULE/CART OUT OF THE DITCH, NOR COOK, NOR EAT, NOR WEAR CERTAIN THINGS ON THE SABBATH…THEREIN LIES THE DIFFERENCE. JESUS CHRIST IS OUR LAW IN AND THROUGH HIS GRACE AND SACRIFICE ON THE CROSS…AMEN?

      Then she departed and wandered in the Wilderness of Beersheba: It may have seemed ruthless of Abraham to do this, but it was exactly what God wanted, and exactly what needed to happen.

      WHY?

      Flesh and blood do NOT make the strongest bond God wants us to honor. There ARE circumstances where we can do nothing other than put away family for the glory of God. IN OTHER WORDS LEAVE THEM AT JESUS FEET…AND MOVE ON…IF JESUS CAN NOT TOUCH AND CHANGE THEM…NO ONE ELSE CAN OR WILL, AMEN?

      AND God wants us to be ruthless with the flesh in the same manner:

      GALATIANS 5:24...CONFIRMS THIS…“And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”

      Took bread and a skin of water…THIS AT FIRST GLANCE, SEEMS MEAN, CHEAP, AND MISERLY…ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU CONSIDER HOW WEALTHY Abraham was.

      WHEN I FIRST READ THIS, I WAS THINKING, GOOD GRIEF ABRAHAM could certainly spare more provisions, even giving them a donkey or several pack animals.

      BUT THEN I REALIZED TWO THINGS…

      HAGAR WAS PROUD AND ARROGANT AND DISRESPECTFUL TO HER MISTRESS SARAH ALL THIS TIME. AND THE BIBLE TELLS US THAT ISHMAEL WAS A SWAGGERING, ARROGANT, BULLY AND A CONSTANT TRIAL TO ABRAHAM AND DISRESPECTFUL TO HIS FATHER ABRAHAM, AND HIS ADOPTED MOTHER SARAH…AS WELL EVERYONE ELSE.

      AND HE ONLY GOT WORSE…FAR WORSE, WHEN ISAAC WHO WAS JUST A BABY WAS MISTREATED AND TORMENTED BY THE TEENAGE ISHMAEL…SO ABRAHAM HOPED IT WOULD MAKE HAGAR REPENTANT, HUMBLE, AND LEAN ON AND TRUST GOD…NOT ABRAHAM & HIS WEALTH AND PROMINENCE FOR HER EXISTENCE.

      AND HE HOPED IT WOULD GROW ISHMAEL UP TO BE THE MAN ABRAHAM STAYED ON HIS FACE PRAYING FOR, HOPING FOR AND BELIEVING FOR.

      AND MOST IMPORTANTLY Abraham realized that without God’s help, without them turning to and trusting GOD, no matter what he gave them, OR DID FOR THEM…it would not be enough. But with God, things would turn out all right, AMEN.


      Verses 15-21 tells us God preserves Ishmael and Hagar in the desert.

      “And the water in the skin was used up, and she placed the boy under one of the shrubs. Then she went and sat down across from him at a distance of about a bowshot; for she said to herself, “Let me not see the death of the boy.” So she sat opposite him, and lifted her voice and wept. And God heard the voice of the lad. Then the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said to her, “What ails you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise, lift up the lad and hold him with your hand, for I will make him a great nation.” Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water, and gave the lad a drink. So God was with the lad; and he grew and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer. He dwelt in the Wilderness of Paran; and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.”

      Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is…As God protects and preserves them out in the desert; He answers them by hearing the voice of the lad. God is showing special favor to Ishmael because he IS a descendant of Abraham.

      AND ALMIGHTY GOD KEPT HIS PROMISE…The descendents of Ishmael became the Arabic people.

      Verses 22-24 tells us Abraham makes a covenant with a Philistine king…a no-hostility treaty with Abimelech.

      “And it came to pass at that time that Abimelech and Phichol, the commander of his army, spoke to Abraham, saying, “God is with you in all that you do. Now therefore, swear to me by God that you will not deal falsely with me, with my offspring, or with my posterity; but that according to the kindness that I have done to you, you will do to me and to the land in which you have dwelt.” And Abraham said, “I will swear.”

      My first thought, when I saw Abimelech’s name, I thought, How could this be the same Abimelech of Genesis 20?
      Then I began researching Biblical history and discovered it is NOT the same person.

      WHY?

      Because Abimelech is THE TITLE of a ruler among the Canaanites, not a specific name.

      God is with you in all that you do…Abimelech noticed this because of Abraham’s integrity and because of the blessing evident in his life.

      THIS PROVES TO US, THEN AND NOW…THIS VERY DAY…THAT EVEN HEATHENS (IN OTHER WORDS THE LOST), IN THIS INCIDENT, A PAGAN RULER COULD SEE AND SENSE THE GRACE AND LOVE AND FAVOR AND YESSSSSSS…THE LIGHT A TRUE CHILD OF GOD HAS…NOT SO MUCH IN WHAT HE POSSESSES, BUT IN HOW HE BEHAVES…HIS WALK AND TALK…MATCH.

      Verses 25-31 tells us in return for the treaty, Abraham CLEARS UP A DISPUTE about an important well.

      “Then Abraham rebuked Abimelech because of a well of water which Abimelech’s servants had seized. And Abimelech said, “I do not know who has done this thing; you did not tell me, nor had I heard of it until today.” So Abraham took sheep and oxen and gave them to Abimelech, and the two of them made a covenant. And Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves. Then Abimelech asked Abraham, “What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs which you have set by themselves?” And he said, “You will take these seven ewe lambs from my hand, that they may be my witness that I have dug this well.” Therefore he called that place Beersheba, because the two of them swore an oath there.”

      Verses 32-34 tells us Abraham calls on the name of the Lord.

      “Thus they made a covenant at Beersheba. So Abimelech rose with Phichol, the commander of his army, and they returned to the land of the Philistines. Then Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there called on the name of the Lord, the Everlasting God. And Abraham stayed in the land of the Philistines many days.”

      Called on the name of the Lord, the Everlasting God…Even through this time of conflict in his family and among his neighbors, Abraham kept a real, live walk with God.

      SATAN AND THIS WORLD CAN AND DO USE CONFLICT TO DRIVE US AWAY FROM JESUS, BUT AS WITH ABRAHAM THEN, AND US NOW TODAY, CONFLICT, TRIALS, HURTS, ILLNESSES, WORRIES, & FEARS SHOULD SEND US RUNNING TO OUR JESUS CHRIST…MAKE US PRESS IN AND GET CLOSER AND CLOSER TO JESUS, AMEN?

      NOW LET’S TURN TO GENESIS 22...AND SEE THE REST OF THE FULL LIKENESS OF JESUS IN ISAAC THAT ALMIGHTY GOD WANTS US TO KNOW….

      Genesis 22 - Abraham Willing to Offer Isaac

      God’s command to Abraham and his response.

      Verses 1-2 tell us God TESTS THE FAITH of Abraham.

      “Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”

      This was not so much a test to PRODUCE faith, as it was a test to REVEAL faith. God built Abraham slowly, piece by piece, year by year, into a man of faith.

      THINK ABOUT IT….ALMIGHTY GOD IN A BLINK COULD HAVE POURED ALL HIS TRUTHES, HIS TESTING UPON ABRAHAM…ALL AT ONCE…BUT NO ONE…BUT FOR JESUS COULD/DID HANDLE IT & SURVIVE IT.

      AND IT IS MUCH LIKE WEIGHT TRAINING…YOU TAKE A YOUNG BOY…YOU START OUT WORKING OUT WITH 2 POUND WEIGHTS AND GRADUALLY INCREASE WEIGHT AS MUSCLES GROW, GET STRONGER, & CAN HANDLE WEIGHT. YOU WOULD NOT TAKE A YOUNG BOY, PUT HIM ON A WEIGHT BENCH AND EXPECT HIM TO LIFT 300 POUNDS…FIRST TIME OUT….AND NEITHER WOULD NOR DOES OUR JESUS CHRIST….HE IS A PATIENT, SPIRTUAL FAITH AND TRUST TRAINER, AMEN?

      Take now your son, your only son Isaac…DID YOU CATCH THAT? I MISSED IT AT FIRST.
      Significantly, God calls Isaac your ONLY son Isaac, when in fact Abraham had another son, Ishmael. But since Ishmael was put away from Abraham’s family, then as far as God was concerned, Abraham had only ONE SON.

      God tells Abraham to offer him as a burnt offering. This was not an offering that was burned alive, but one first sacrificed and then completely burnt before the Lord.

      How would we react if God told us to do such a thing with OUR ONLY CHILD? Jack Smith, a columnist for the L.A. Times, discussing this Biblical incident with his readers said, “I would have told God to mind his own business.” That’s what the world always says to God…UNTIL THEY NEED HIM.

      Would Jesus Christ tell someone to do this today?

      SADLY AND HORRIFICALLY 1993, a man named Andrew Cate was sentenced to 60 years in prison after being convicted of fatally shooting his 2-year-old daughter, then walking naked through his neighborhood carrying her body. Cate claimed he was acting out the biblical story of Abraham and Isaac, and God would do a miracle to win his brother to Christianity. Cate believed God would miraculously stop him at the last moment before killing his daughter. The man was obviously deranged.

      AND HE DID NOT KNOW HIS BIBLE…WHY?

      What Abraham was TOLD TO DO BY GOD AND WHAT HE DID was something completely unique in God’s redemptive history, given for a specific purpose ONCE FOR ALL fulfilled. There is NO WAY Jesus Christ would ever direct someone to do this same thing today.

      SO DO NOT BE DECEIVED BY SATAN AND THE WORLD..

      Offer him there as a burnt offering…This test was especially hard because it seemed to contradict the previous promise of God. Hadn’t God promised in Isaac your seed shall be called (Genesis 21:12)?

      If Isaac hadn’t had children to pass the promise on to yet, how could Abraham kill him? Wouldn’t he be killing the very promise God made to him?

      Abraham had to learn the difference between trusting THE PROMISE and trusting THE PROMISER, AMEN?

      We can put God’s promise before God Himself and feel it is our responsibility to bring the promise to pass, even if we have to disobey God to do it.

      BUT JESUS SAYS…THE BIBLE SAYS…AND ALMIGHTY GOD is telling us to…Trust the Promiser no matter what, and the promise will be taken care of!

      On one of the mountains of which I shall tell you: There was a SPECIFIC place God commanded Abraham to go, a PARTICULAR spot where this would happen. God is carefully directing EACH detail.

      Your only son Isaac, whom you love: This is the FIRST MENTION of love in the Bible, and it is the love between FATHER AND SON, and connected with the idea of the sacrificial offering of the son.

      Verse 3 tells us Abraham’s immediate response of faith.

      “So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.”

      NOTICE ABRAHAM’S FAITH GROWTH? There is not the slightest hint of hesitation on Abraham’s part. Abraham rose early in the morning to do this.

      Abraham is trusting God, even when he does not understand. Sometimes we say, “I’m not going to obey or believe until I understand it all,” but that is making myself equal with God.

      NOTICE…NO DEBATE THIS TIME…NO SEEKING COUNSEL FROM OTHERS…He knew what to do and employed no stalling tactics.

      Abraham IS trusting, even when he does NOT feel like it…even when he does NOT UNDERSTAND. There is NOT a line in this text about how Abraham felt, not because he didn’t feel, but because he was walking by faith, not feelings nor by sight.

      God had been training Abraham, bringing him to this place of great trust. In GENESIS 21, God asked Abraham to “give up” Ishmael in a less severe way. God used that, and everything else, to train up Abraham.

      Saddled his donkey: Abraham PERSONALLY saddles his donkey and split the wood. Though he had plenty of servants to do this for him, Abraham did it himself because even in his old age, is a bundle of nervous energy.

      Went to the place of which God had told him: In wonderful, trusting obedience, Abraham went right to the spot. Abraham does this even though it would have been if God asked Abraham to offer himself instead of Isaac.

      Verses 4-8 tells us Abraham journeys to the place of sacrifice with Isaac.
      “Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.” So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together.”

      NOTICE AND REMEMBER Abraham came to the place on the THIRD day. The region of Moriah is associated with Mount Moriah, which is modern-day Jerusalem confirmed in 2 Chronicles 3:1.

      I will go yonder and worship: This is the FIRST USE of the word worship in reference to God in the Bible. The Hebrew word “shachah” simply means, “to bow down.” While Abraham and Isaac did not go to the mount to have a time of joyful praise, they did go to bow down to the Lord.

      And we will come back to you…Abraham is full of faith when he speaks to the young men who are with him. He believes that we will come back.

      Does this mean Abraham somehow knew this was only a test and God would not really require this of him? Not at all. Instead, Abraham’s faith is in the knowledge that should he kill Isaac, God would raise him from the dead, because God HAD PROMISED Isaac would carry on the line of blessing and the covenant.

      ABRAHAM REMEMBERED GOD’S PROMISE IN GENESIS 21:21...“He knew in Isaac your seed shall be called”…, and Isaac had yet to have any children. God had to let him live at least long enough to have children.

      HEBREWS 11:17-19 reminds us ….“By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,” concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.

      ABRAHAM NOW KNEW ANYTHINGGGGGG WAS POSSIBLE, but it was impossible that God would break His promise. He knew God was not a liar. He had no precedent (no one in the Bible had yet been raised from the dead), but Abraham knew God was able. God could do it!

      Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son: We see Isaac CARRIED THE WOOD for his own sacrifice up the hill.

      He took the fire in his hand, and a knife: Abraham took the knife up the hill. He didn’t “forget” it.

      The two of them went together: This literally means “the two of them went in agreement.” Isaac is doing this KNOWINGLY AND WILLINGLY. The phrase is repeated twice.

      NOTICE at this time, Abraham DOES NOT HAVE A CLUE HOW God will provide. He is still trusting in the ability of God to raise Isaac from the dead, but he won’t stop trusting just because he doesn’t know how God will come through.

      My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering: Abraham knew God would provide a sacrifice, but where?
      WHERE WAS THE LAMB???? That question had been asked by all the faithful, from Isaac to Moses to David to Isaiah, all the way to the time of John the Baptist when he declares in JOHN 1:29, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

      Verse 9 tells us Isaac WILLINGLY LIES DOWN on the altar.

      “Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood.”
      At this time, Abraham was more than 100 years old, and Isaac would have been able to get away had he CHOSEN to. Yet he submits to his father perfectly. In remembering Abraham’s faith, we should never forget Isaac’s faith.

      AND MORE PARALLELING WITH JESUS…HEBREW scholars say ISAAC was in his EARLY 30’S WHEN HE WILLINGLY LAID HIMSELF UPON THE ALTAR. So was Jesus Christ. HOW PRECIOUS IS THAT?

      As an obedient son, Isaac laid down on the wood, ready to be sacrificed.

      Verses 10-14 tells us God’s merciful reprieve.

      “And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” So he said, “Here I am.” And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of The Lord it shall be provided.”

      Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son: We KNOW FROM THIS THAT Abraham was completely WILLING to plunge the knife into Isaac, because his faith was in God’s ability to raise Isaac from the dead, not in God’s desire to stop the sacrifice. Abraham didn’t think this was playacting.

      SOME BIBLE DEBATERS HAVE SAID…“It’s not fair or right. God told Abraham to do something and then told him not to. If God really wanted to test Abraham, He should have made him plunge the knife into his son’s chest.”

      THOSE WHO SAY THIS DO NOT KNOW OUR TRIUNE GOD OR HIS WORD, because God OFTEN takes the will for the deed with his people. When He finds them TRULY willing to make the sacrifice He demands, He often does NOT require it. This is how we can be FLESH martyrs without ever dying for Jesus. We live the life of a martyr right now..BY CHOOSING JESUS OVER THE WORLD AND ALL IT OFFERS.

      You have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me…Abraham displayed his heart towards God in that he was willing to give his only son. God displays His heart towards us in the same way, by giving His only begotten Son in John 3:16.

      When God asked Abraham for the ultimate demonstration of love and commitment, He asked for Abraham’s son. When the Father wanted to show us the ultimate demonstration of His love and commitment to us, He gave us His Son. We can say to the Lord, “Now I know that You love me, seeing You have not withheld Your Son, Your only Son from me.”

      All the while, God STILL required a sacrifice. God didn’t call off the sacrifice. Instead, He required that there be a substitute provided by God Himself.

      The naming of the place is significant. Abraham called it, The Lord Will Provide (Jehovah Jireh); In this mount, it shall be provided.

      Abraham DID NOT name the place in reference to what he WENT through. He didn’t name it “trial hill” or “agony hill” or “obedience hill.” Instead, he named the hill in reference to what God DID; he named it “provision hill.” He named it knowing God would provide the ultimate sacrifice for salvation on that VERY SAME HILL someday…and HE DID EXACTLY THAT!

      This event IS ALSO A PICTURE, A PROPHECY of Jesus’ rising from the dead on the third day, as 1 Corinthians 15:4 which says, “He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.”

      But where does it say in the Old Testament specifically the Messiah would rise again on the third day? It says so here, through the picture of Isaac. Isaac was “reckoned dead” by Abraham as soon as God gave the command, and Isaac was “made alive” (“risen”) three days later.

      Isaac’s picture of Jesus becomes even clearer:
      HOW?

      Both were loved by their father.
      Both offered themselves willingly.
      Both carried wood up the hill of their sacrifice.
      Both were sacrificed on the same hill.
      Both were delivered from death on the third day.

      Verses 15-19 tells us God reconfirms His promise to Abraham in light of his faith.

      Then THE ANGEL OF THE LORD called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, and said: “By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son; blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” So Abraham returned to his young men, and they rose and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba.”

      HERE IS ANOTHER CAMEO APPEARANCE…THE ANGEL OF THE LORD CAN ONLY BE JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF…

      AND WHAT IS AMAZING HERE…SCIENTIFIC CALCULATIONS ESTIMATE… “the number of stars in the sky and grains of sand on the seashore”… are the same: 10 to the 25th power.

      SO AGAIN…ALMIGHTY GOD SHOWS HIS PEOPLE THEN AND NOW….THAT HE ALREADY PLANNED JESUS CHRIST WALK, LIFE, SACRIFICE, AND WILLING DEATH ON EARTH FOR LOST MANKIND…JEW AND GENTILE ALIKE…RIGHT HERE IN GENESIS. AND GENESIS IS ALMIGHTY GOD SPEAKING, TEACHING, SHOWING, AND PROPHESYING ALL THINGS TO COME IN THE FUTURE….1000S OF YEARS BEFORE THEY OCCUR. AND ALL WE NEED TO DO IS SEEKKKKKKKKKK JESUS CHRIST AND WE WILLLLLL FIND HIM….EVEN IN THE OLD TESTAMENT.

      AND HAD MANKIND…THEN…ONLY CONSIDERED ISAAC, AS GOD INTENDED AS A BLUEPRINT…THEY WOULD HAVE KNOW JESUS CHRIST…WHEN HE WAS BORN IN BETHLEHEM…

      SO WE CAN KNOW FROM THIS…THAT WE DO NOT HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THE WHYS OF WHAT JESUS WALKS US THROUGH…OR WHAT WILDERNESSES OR TRIALS WE MAY FACE…WE CAN KNOW, WITHOUT A SHADOW OF DOUBT, JUST AS WITH ABRAHAM AND ISAAC….JESUS CHRIST HAS A PLAN….WHAT HE BRINGS US TO…HE WILL BRING US THROUGH BETTER…STRONGER…AND MORE BLESSED THAN WE CAN IMAGINE…

      TRUST JESUS CHRIST…HE WILL NEVER FAIL US.

      STAY BLESSED IN OUR AMAZING JESUS CHRIST

    • June 21, 2016 6:26 PM EDT
    • GENESIS 23 THE DEATH OF SARAH & GENESIS 24 THE MARRIAGE OF ISAAC & REBEKAH


      Genesis 23 - Sarah Dies and Is Buried

      DID YOU KNOW THAT SARAH IS THE ONLY WOMAN IN THE BIBLE WHOSE AGE AT DEATH IS RECORDED? THAT ALONE GIVES US SOME DEEP MEASURE OF UNDERSTANDING JUST HOW BELOVED AND GREAT A WOMAN SARAH WAS/IS IN THE BIBLE AND IN THE EYES OF THE TRIUNE GOD.

      AND THERE IS ANOTHER REVELATION, Nowhere in the Bible are we told to look to Mary as an example of a godly woman. BUT TWICE we are told to look to Sarah as such an example in Isaiah 51:1-2 and 1 Peter 3:3-6.

      I was shocked by this, but then, when you think about it, although Sarah did see and talk to and eat a meal with ALMIGHTY GOD in human form, which is JESUS CHRIST…on several occasions, she was NOT BLESSED AS MARY to have JESUS CHRIST WITH HER, DAY BY DAY FOR 33 YEARS…so SARAH’s LIFE IS MORE LIKE CHRISTIAN WOMEN TODAY….MEANING THAT SARAH, LIKE US, INDEED WALKED MORE BY FAITH AND NOT BY SIGHT UNLIKE JESUS PRECIOUS MOTHER MARY, AMEN!

      Verse 1 tell us of the death of Sarah.

      “Sarah lived one hundred and twenty-seven years; these were the years of the life of Sarah.”

      Verse 2 tells us Abraham’s mourning.

      “So Sarah died in Kirjath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her.”

      Abraham came to mourn for Sarah…Abraham wasn’t afraid to mourn, though he did NOT SORROW as those without hope confirmed for us in 1 Thessalonians 4:13.

      THERE IS A MAJOR DIFFERENCE IN JESUS EYES BETWEEN MOURNING AND SORROW. SORROW IS OVER THE SHORT TERM PHYSICAL LOSS OF SOMEONE WE LOVE. IT IS RESPECT. IT IS LOVE. IT IS SHORT TERM. MOURNING, LIKE GRIEVING IS LONG TERM…AND WHAT SATAN AND THE WORLD SEEK…

      WHY?

      LONG TERM GRIEVING WHICH SPIRALS INTO DEEP DARK DEPRESSION IS NOT ONLY NOT FROM JESUS CHRIST, BUT THAT IT SAYS THAT WE DO NOT BELIEVE JESUS PROMISES. WE DO NOT KNOW THE HOPE AND THE FUTURE AND THE ETERNITY IN HEAVEN WITH JESUS AND ALL THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.

      IT TELLS JESUS THAT WE DO NOT SEE EARTHLY PASSING AS A REWARD…BUT AS A PUNISHMENT…A JUDGMENT. AND FOR THOSE WHO GRIEVE DARKLY & FOR MONTHS OR WORSE YEARS, THEY SHOW THE WORLD THAT THEY BELIEVE EARTHLY DEATH IS GOOD BYE FOREVER, INSTEAD OF HOW JESUS WANTS US TO VIEW IT…AND THAT IS…SIMPLY SEE YOU LATER.

      Verses 3-16 tells us Abraham buys land for Sarah’s burial, by haggling with the Philistines for the land of Sarah’s tomb.

      “Then Abraham stood up from before his dead, and spoke to the sons of Heth, saying, “I am a foreigner and a visitor among you. Give me property for a burial place among you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight.” And the sons of Heth answered Abraham, saying to him, “Hear us, my lord: You are a mighty prince among us; bury your dead in the choicest of our burial places. None of us will withhold from you his burial place, that you may bury your dead.” Then Abraham stood up and bowed himself to the people of the land, the sons of Heth. And he spoke with them, saying, “If it is your wish that I bury my dead out of my sight, hear me, and meet with Ephron the son of Zohar for me, that he may give me the cave of Machpelah which he has, which is at the end of his field. Let him give it to me at the full price, as property for a burial place among you.” Now Ephron dwelt among the sons of Heth; and Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the presence of the sons of Heth, all who entered at the gate of his city, saying, “No, my lord, hear me: I give you the field and the cave that is in it; I give it to you in the presence of the sons of my people. I give it to you. Bury your dead!” Then Abraham bowed himself down before the people of the land; and he spoke to Ephron in the hearing of the people of the land, saying, “If you will give it, please hear me. I will give you money for the field; take it from me and I will bury my dead there.” And Ephron answered Abraham, saying to him, “My lord, listen to me; the land is worth four hundred shekels of silver. What is that between you and me? So bury your dead.” And Abraham listened to Ephron; and Abraham weighed out the silver for Ephron which he had named in the hearing of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, currency of the merchants.”

      I am a foreigner and a sojourner…Abraham did NOT feel this way because he came from Ur of the Chaldeans. It was because he RECOGNIZED HIS REAL HOME WAS HEAVEN. ABRAHAM IS JUST TRAVELING THROUGH THIS LIFE...THE WORLD ON HIS WAY HOME.

      Moses KNEW the same, and commanded Israel to know it in Leviticus 25:23.
      King David KNEW this truth in 1 Chronicles 29:14 and Psalm 39:12.
      The disciples KNEW this.
      Paul confirmed this for CHRISTIANS when he said, to be ABSENT FROM THE BODY IS TO BE IN THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD JESUS, AMEN?

      Give me property for a burial place among you…This way of negotiating the price is typical of ancient and modern practices in that culture. As a gesture of kindness, the selling party may offer to give the property in question to the buyer, until the buyer insists on paying a price.

      The Canaanite, Ephron, follows the cultural customs of bargaining. First, the seller offers to give the item. Then, when that is refused, the seller suggests a price, which he claims is modest but is really very high. This is understood to be the starting point, and from there the bargaining begins.

      Abraham stood up and bowed himself to the people of the land…RIGHT HERE Abraham SHOWS US HOW A CHRISTIAN SHOULD DO BUSINESS with the world: courteously, fairly, & prudently.

      Verses 17-20 tells us Abraham buys the field and buries Sarah.

      “So the field of Ephron which was in Machpelah, which was before Mamre, the field and the cave which was in it, and all the trees that were in the field, which were within all the surrounding borders, were deeded to Abraham as a possession in the presence of the sons of Heth, before all who went in at the gate of his city. And after this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah, before Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. So the field and the cave that is in it were deeded to Abraham by the sons of Heth as property for a burial place.”

      Were deeded to Abraham as a possession: THIS SCRIPTURE emphasizes this property WAS Abraham’s land BY DEED, not only by the promise of God. If this was the only piece of land Abraham ever owned in the land promised to him, it shows he was a real man of faith.

      Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah…
      THIS IS ALSO WHERE Isaac and Ishmael buried Abraham.
      Isaac and Rebekah were BOTH buried here.
      Jacob buried Leah HERE ALSO.
      Joseph buried Jacob HERE ALSO.
      And this was the place Joseph told his descendants to bury him, taking his bones with them when they came into the Promised Land AND THEY DID AS JOSEPH REQUESTED.






      Genesis 24 - Isaac and Rebekah marry

      Abraham’s commission to his servant FOR HIS SON ISAAC.

      Verses 1-4 tells us Abraham sends out a servant to seek out a bride for his son.

      “Now Abraham was old, well advanced in age; and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things. So Abraham said to the oldest servant of his house, who ruled over all that he had, “Please, put your hand under my thigh, and I will make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell; but you shall go to my country and to my family, and take a wife for my son Isaac.”

      The oldest servant of his house, who ruled over all that he had: This is the servant named Eliezer from Genesis 15:2, or at least he was some 60 years before this. If it was someone else, the Holy Spirit didn’t want us to know it.

      Put your hand under my thigh…According to ancient custom, this describes a VERY SERIOUS OATH. Abraham is extremely concerned that Isaac not be married to a Canaanite bride.

      Verses 5-9 tells us the commission clearly defined.

      “And the servant said to him, “Perhaps the woman will not be willing to follow me to this land. Must I take your son back to the land from which you came?” But Abraham said to him, “Beware that you do not take my son back there. The Lord God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my family, and who spoke to me and swore to me, saying, ‘To your descendants I give this land,’ He will send His angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there. And if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be released from this oath; only do not take my son back there.” So the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and swore to him concerning this matter.”

      Abraham said to him…Apparently, Abraham anticipated that he might die while his servant was gone, so the instructions were made perfectly clear to cover ANY POSSIBILITY. HE TRUSTED ALMIGHTY GOD TO TAKE CARE OF IT, BUT HE ALSO KNEW THAT HE HAD A DUTY TO SEE HIS SON MARRIED AS ALMIGHTY GOD COMMANDED…SO HE GOT HIS EARTHLY LIFE IN ORDER TOO.

      Beware that you do not take my son back there…AND THIS WAS OBEYED FOR Isaac, the son of promise, NEVER ONCE left the Promised Land.

      The servant’s mission fulfilled.

      Verses 10-14 tells us Eliezer’s prayer to God & his mission for ABRAHAM IS FULFILLED.

      “Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed, for all his master’s goods were in his hand. And he arose and went to Mesopotamia, to the city of Nahor. And he made his camels kneel down outside the city by a well of water at evening time, the time when women go out to draw water. Then he said, “O Lord God of my master Abraham, please give me success this day, and show kindness to my master Abraham. Behold, here I stand by the well of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. Now let it be that the young woman to whom I say, ‘Please let down your pitcher that I may drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink’; let her be the one You have appointed for Your servant Isaac. And by this I will know that You have shown kindness to my master.”

      Eliezer asks God to guide through providential circumstances, which is not always a bad way to discern God’s will.

      However, generally speaking, circumstances alone can be a dangerous way to discern God’s will…UNLESS WE FOLLOW WHAT ALMIGHTY GOD SHOWS US…sadly we HAVE A WAY OR A STRUGGLE…THAT FLESH PART OF EACH OF US THAT WANTS US TO IGNORE circumstances which speak AGAINST what we want (or attributing them to the devil), while focusing on the circumstances that speak for what WE WANT.

      But in this case, Eliezer establishes what he will look for BEFORE ANYTHING happens. He isn’t making up the rules as he goes along.

      Eliezer was WISE ENOUGH to ask for a sign that was REMARKABLE, NOT COMMON, NOT SOMETHING MOST PEOPLE WOULD DO, SAY, OR OFFER, UNLESS IT IS JESUS DIRECTED.

      MOST WOMEN WOULD BE QUICK TO OFFER A SIP OF WATER TO A MAN, A TRAVELER WHO ASKED IT OF THEM. THAT WAS NOT REMARKABLE AT ALL, SIMPLY COMMON COURTESY OF THE TIMES.

      ELIEZER DID NOT tempt God by asking for fire to fall from heaven AS A SIGN, NOR FOR AN EARTHQUAKE, OR TO STOP THE SUN OR TIME AROUND HIM. HE WANTED THE WOMAN TO SHOW HER JESUS HEART TO HIM…THAT WAY HE WOULD KNOW HER HEART…YOU NOTICE HE DID NOT ASK GOD FOR HER TO BE A PHYSICAL BEAUTY THAT WOULD STUN HIM SPEECHLESS…ELIEZER KNEW GOD WAS MORE INTERESTED IN HER HEART APPEARANCE, BUT THAT BEAUTY OF HEART, SPIRIT, AND LOVE FOR THE LORD WOULD NEVER FADE…AMEN!

      AND in praying this prayer, there is a sense in which Eliezer “stacked the deck” against finding someone. It would take a remarkable woman to volunteer for this tedious task.

      WHY?

      Considering that a camel may drink up to 20 gallons EACH, watering ten camels meant at least an hour of VERY HARD, TEDIOUS work. She would have to lower that heavy EARTHERN PITCHER down into the well by a rope, pull it up, carry it to the water troughs, empty it, and go back and start all over…that is FAR BEYOND common courtesy of the day.

      Eliezer cares nothing about what the woman will look like. He wants a woman of character, a woman whom God has chosen.

      Verse 15 tells God answers the servant’s prayer BEFORE it was finished.

      “And it happened, before he had finished speaking, that behold, Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, came out with her pitcher on her shoulder.”

      Isaiah 65:24 speaks of this kind of gracious answer to prayer, WHEN IT REMINDS US… “It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.”

      The servant did not yet know the prayer was answered, only time would prove it.

      Verses 16-21 tells us ELIEZER, though surprised, waits for complete confirmation of his prayer.

      “Now the young woman was very beautiful to behold, a virgin; no man had known her. And she went down to the well, filled her pitcher, and came up. And the servant ran to meet her and said, “Please let me drink a little water from your pitcher.” So she said, “Drink, my lord.” Then she quickly let her pitcher down to her hand, and gave him a drink. And when she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I will draw water for your camels also, until they have finished drinking.” Then she quickly emptied her pitcher into the trough, ran back to the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels. And the man, wondering at her, remained silent so as to know whether the Lord had made his journey prosperous or not.”

      The young woman was VERY beautiful to behold…We generally regard the Bible as being given to understatement. SO when we read Rebekah was VERY beautiful to behold, we should understand Rebekah was REALLY A VERY BEAUTIFUL WOMAN.

      ELIEZER did not think it was unspiritual to introduce himself to Rebekah; yet, he certainly did not do anything to suggest she provide water for the camels. Prayer is no substitute for action.

      And drew for ALL his camels…As Rebekah began the hard work of watering all the camels, the servant did not stop her nor help her.
      WHY?

      He wanted a woman who would not only SAY AND OFFER TO water the camels, but who would ACTUALLY DO WHAT SHE SAID.

      Perhaps Eliezer knew that for some, it is much easier to talk like a servant than to actually serve. HE HAD NOT ONLY DEALT WITH HAGAR…WHO SPOKE WELL, BUT DID NOT FOLLOW THROUGH AND DID NOT HAVE A HUMBLE, THANKFUL SERVANT’S HEART…SO HE WANTED TO MAKE SURE she had a servant’s heart, not only a servant’s talk.

      Verses 22-28 tells us ELIEZER, when HE KNEW GOD’S CHOICE & THE BRIDE HAS BEEN CHOSEN, gives her rich gifts even before the marriage to the father’s son.

      “So it was, when the camels had finished drinking, that the man took a golden nose ring weighing half a shekel, and two bracelets for her wrists weighing ten shekels of gold, and said, “Whose daughter are you? Tell me, please, is there room in your father’s house for us to lodge?” So she said to him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel, Milcah’s son, whom she bore to Nahor.” Moreover she said to him, “We have both straw and feed enough, and room to lodge.” Then the man bowed down his head and worshiped the Lord. And he said, “Blessed be the Lord God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken His mercy and His truth toward my master. As for me, being on the way, the Lord led me to the house of my master’s brethren.” So the young woman ran and told her mother’s household these things.”

      A golden nose ring…some think it gross that Rebekah would wear a nose ring, but there was certainly nothing strange, shocking, or rebellious about it in that culture & those nose rings slid onto the nose, they did NOT HAVE TO PIERCE THE SKIN.

      Being on the way, the Lord led me…It is hard to steer a parked car. If we want to be guided BY JESUS, we should be on our way. IN OTHER WORDS, ONCE THE PROMISE IS GIVEN, WE SHOULD WALK IN IT.

      Verses 29-33 tells us Laban entertains ELIEZER.
      “Now Rebekah had a brother whose name was Laban, and Laban ran out to the man by the well. So it came to pass, when he saw the nose ring, and the bracelets on his sister’s wrists, and when he heard the words of his sister Rebekah, saying, “Thus the man spoke to me,” that he went to the man. And there he stood by the camels at the well. And he said, “Come in, O blessed of the Lord! Why do you stand outside? For I have prepared the house, and a place for the camels.” Then the man came to the house. And he unloaded the camels, and provided straw and feed for the camels, and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him. Food was set before him to eat, but he said, “I will not eat until I have told about my errand.” And he said, “Speak on.”

      When he SAW the nose ring, and the bracelets on his sister’s wrists…Laban’s eyes are very much on the riches the servant brings & HE KNOWS QUALITY/CRAFTS ON SIGHT; yet, he also shows appropriate hospitality.

      Verses 34-49 tells us ELIEZER tells his story and what he is there for.

      “So he said, “I am Abraham’s servant. The Lord has blessed my master greatly, and he has become great; and He has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male and female servants, and camels and donkeys. And Sarah my master’s wife bore a son to my master when she was old; and to him he has given all that he has. Now my master made me swear, saying, ‘You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell; but you shall go to my father’s house and to my family, and take a wife for my son.’ And I said to my master, ‘Perhaps the woman will not follow me.’ But he said to me, ‘The Lord, before whom I walk, will send His angel with you and prosper your way; and you shall take a wife for my son from my family and from my father’s house. You will be clear from this oath when you arrive among my family; for if they will not give her to you, then you will be released from my oath.’ And this day I came to the well and said, ‘O Lord God of my master Abraham, if You will now prosper the way in which I go, behold, I stand by the well of water; and it shall come to pass that when the virgin comes out to draw water, and I say to her, “Please give me a little water from your pitcher to drink,” and she says to me, “Drink, and I will draw for your camels also,”; let her be the woman whom the Lord has appointed for my master’s son.’ But before I had finished speaking in my heart, there was Rebekah, coming out with her pitcher on her shoulder; and she went down to the well and drew water. And I said to her, ‘Please let me drink.’ And she made haste and let her pitcher down from her shoulder, and said, ‘Drink, and I will give your camels a drink also.’ So I drank, and she gave the camels a drink also. Then I asked her, and said, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ And she said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bore to him.’ So I put the nose ring on her nose and the bracelets on her wrists. And I bowed my head and worshiped the Lord, and blessed the Lord God of my master Abraham, who had led me in the way of truth to take the daughter of my master’s brother for his son. Now if you will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me. And if not, tell me, that I may turn to the right hand or to the left.”

      Verses 50-53 tell us the family agrees to give Rebekah to Isaac. The father’s servant gives MORE gifts.

      “Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, “The thing comes from the Lord; we cannot speak to you either bad or good. Here is Rebekah before you; take her and go, and let her be your master’s son’s wife, as the Lord has spoken.” And it came to pass, when Abraham’s servant heard their words, that he worshiped the Lord, bowing himself to the earth. Then the servant brought out jewelry of silver, jewelry of gold, and clothing, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave precious things to her brother and to her mother.”
      He ALSO GAVE precious things to her brother and to her mother: When an agreement of marriage had been made, it was customary for the bridegroom (or his representative) to give the family of the bride gifts as a dowry to demonstrate his financial ability to provide for the bride.

      Verses 54-60 tells us ELIEZER intends to depart quickly; Rebekah agrees.

      “And he and the men who were with him ate and drank and stayed all night. Then they arose in the morning, and he said, “Send me away to my master.” But her brother and her mother said, “Let the young woman stay with us a few days, at least ten; after that she may go.” And he said to them, “Do not hinder me, since the Lord has prospered my way; send me away so that I may go to my master.” So they said, “We will call the young woman and ask her personally.” Then they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” And she said, “I will go.” So they sent away Rebekah their sister and her nurse, and Abraham’s servant and his men. And they blessed Rebekah and said to her: “Our sister, may you become the mother of thousands of ten thousands; and may your descendants possess the gates of those who hate them.”

      I WILL GO…One of the most remarkable things about Rebekah is her TOTAL WILLINGNESS TO LEAVE ALL SHE KNOWS AND TRUSTS to be with a bridegroom she has NEVER seen. Her words “I will go” are worthy words of faith in ALMIGHTY GOD, AMEN.

      Do not hinder me & I will go…SHOWS US THEN AND NOW, NOT MUCH HAS CHANGED WITH THE WORLD, MANKIND, & SATAN…If NONE does NOT succeed in persuading the believer to abide in the world, it will seek to DELAY his exit . . . When you decide to go with the Lord, the world will applaud your devotion but will say, ‘Don’t rush. Abide a few days, at least ten, and then go.’
      Verses 61-67 tells us Rebekah is brought to Isaac & they marry.

      “Then Rebekah and her maids arose, and they rode on the camels and followed the man. So the servant took Rebekah and departed. Now Isaac came from the way of Beer Lahai Roi, for he dwelt in the South. And Isaac went out to meditate in the field in the evening; and he lifted his eyes and looked, and there, the camels were coming. Then Rebekah lifted her eyes, and when she saw Isaac she dismounted from her camel; for she had said to the servant, “Who is this man walking in the field to meet us?” The servant said, “It is my master.” So she took a veil and covered herself. And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent; and he took Rebekah and she became his wife, and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.”

      We can well imagine the conversations Rebekah and Eliezer would have on the journey. She would want to know all she could about Isaac, whom she loved without ever seeing, and he would be delighted to tell her.

      YOU NOTICE Rebekah NEVER CONSIDERED telling Eliezer the best way to get her to the home of her bridegroom, SHE FOLLOWED WITHOUT QUESTION the Holy Spirit’s guidance in HER NEW life & FUTURE.

      She took a veil and covered herself…
      WHY?
      The covering with a veil signified chastity, modesty, and submission. This is how Rebekah wants to meet her bridegroom.

      Isaac went out to meditate in the field in the evening: This is the first mention of Isaac since he was left on top of Mount Moriah in Genesis 22:19. We see NOTHING of Isaac from the time of his “resurrection” to the time he is united with his bride.
      In all this, we see the coming together of Isaac and Rebekah as a remarkable picture of the coming together of Jesus and the church.
      HOW?

      A father desires a bride for his son
      A son was just accounted as “dead” and “raised from the dead”. A nameless servant is sent forth to get a bride for the son
      The servant’s name is actually Eliezer, meaning “God of help” or “helper”
      The lovely bride is divinely met, chosen, and called, and then lavished with gifts
      She is entrusted to the care of the servant until she meets her bridegroom.

      The way Isaac and Rebekah CAME TO EACH OTHER is also instructive.
      Neither were “dating” or any such thing…NOR LOOKING.
      They were serving God and seeking Him (Isaac did meditate in the field), and God brought them together. They obviously were more concerned with THE WILL OF GOD ON THEIR LIVES than with modern notions of romantic love.

      HERE IS THE PRECIOUS COMPLETE PICTURE & PARALLEL OF Isaac, Rebekah, Jesus, and the Church.

      BOTH Rebekah and the church:

      1. BOTH CHOSEN for marriage before they knew it in Ephesians 1:3-4.
      2. BOTH NECESSARY for the accomplishment of God’s eternal purpose in Ephesians 3:10-11.
      3. BOTH destined TO SHARE in the glory of the son in John 17:22-23.
      4. BOTH LEARN of the son through his representative.
      5. BOTH MUST LEAVE all with joy to be with the son.
      6. BOTH ARE loved and cared for by the son.

      AND CONSIDERING BOTH Isaac and Jesus:

      1. BOTH were PROMISED before their coming.
      2. BOTH FINALLY appeared at the appointed time.
      3. BOTH WERE conceived and born miraculously.
      4. BOTH WERE given a special name before birth.
      5. BOTH WERE OFFERED UP in sacrifice by the father.
      6. BOTH BROUGHT BACK from the dead.
      7. BOTH HEAD of a great company to bless all people.
      8. BOTH PREPARED a place for their bride.
      9. BOTH had a ministry of prayer while the bride comes.


      ALMIGHTY GOD GIVES US A BLUEPRINT IN GENESIS 23 & 24...HOW HE SEES MEN AND WOMEN. HE LOVES US, MAN OR WOMAN, EQUALLY, SPECIALLY, THIS SHOWS US HOW HE WISHES US TO STRIVE TO BE.

      NEITHER ISAAC NOR REBEKAH WERE PERFECT. THEY WERE BOTH FLAWED, MORTAL, AND HUMAN…YET…
      NEVERTHELESS OUR ALMIGHTY GOD SO LOVED THEM AND WAS SO PROUD OF THEM…THAT HE WANTS US TO SEE HOW VERY MUCH HE LOVES US…PREPARES FOR EACH OF US…BLESSES US….BRINGS TO US…LONGGGGGGGG BEFORE WE WERE EVEN CONCEIVED.

      WHAT THEY HAD IN ABUNDANCE WAS LOVE FOR ALMIGHTY GOD…RESPECT FOR OUR TRIUNE GOD…BELIEF AND TRUST IN OUR ALMIGHTY GOD…THOUGH THEY DID NOT AND WILL NOT ALWAYS UNDERSTAND THE WHYS, HOWS, WHENS, AND WHERES OF ANY SITUATION IN THEIR PRESENT AND FUTURE LIVES…THEY LOVE AND THEY TRUST THEIR AMAZING ABBA FATHER…

      AGAIN ALMIGHTY GOD IS TELLING US…I SEE YOU. I KNOW YOU…YOU DEEPEST PARTS…AND I ADORE YOU…I WANT TO BLESS, LEAD, GUIDE, & PROTECT YOU.

      TRUST IN ME…NOT THE WORLD…NOT MAN…BUT TRUST ME…I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU…I WILL NEVER WALK AWAY FROM YOU…I AM EVER FAITHFUL.

    • June 21, 2016 6:24 PM EDT
    • GENESIS 25 -- Abraham’s Death; Jacob and Esau Born to Isaac

      Abraham’s latter life and death.

      Verses 1-4 tells us Abraham marries again and has many children by Keturah.

      “Abraham again took a wife, and her name was Keturah. And she bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. Jokshan begot Sheba and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, Letushim, and Leummim. And the sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abidah, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah.”

      AND WE SEE SOMETHING AMAZING HERE…ALMIGHTY GOD HAD PROMISED TO RESTORE HEALTH AND LIFE TO ABRAHAM’S BODY & HIS SEED IN ORDER TO PRODUCE ISAAC, THE SON OF PROMISE, BUT YOU NOTICE, IT WAS NOT TEMPORARY…EVEN VERY OLD, ALMIGHTY GOD SUSTAINED ABRAHAM’S VIGOR AND HIS SEED.

      Verses 5-6 tells us that Abraham is careful to SET ISAAC APART as the child of promise.

      “And Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac. But Abraham gave gifts to the sons of the concubines which Abraham had; and while he was still living he sent them eastward, away from Isaac his son, to the country of the east.”

      Abraham gave ALL…Abraham gave NOT ONLY HIS WEALTH to Isaac BUT he GAVE THE LAND GOD HAD PROMISED HIM TO ISAAC & ABRAHAM sent HIS OTHER CHILDREN eastward, AWAY FROM Isaac his son.

      Verses 7-11 tells us of Abraham’s death and burial.

      “This is the sum of the years of Abraham’s life which he lived: one hundred and seventy-five years. Then Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people. And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, the field which Abraham purchased from the sons of Heth. There Abraham was buried, and Sarah his wife. And it came to pass, after the death of Abraham, that God blessed his son Isaac. And Isaac dwelt at Beer Lahai Roi.”

      Abraham passes from the scene, being one of the most important men of the Bible. He is mentioned 70 times in the New Testament alone. ONLY Moses is mentioned more times, 80 times in the New Testament.

      BIBLE SCHOLAR CLARKE gives a good eulogy of Abraham. He says, “Above all as a man of God, he stands unrivaled; so that under the most exalted and perfect of all dispensations, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, he is proposed and recommended as the model and pattern according to which the faith, obedience, and perseverance of the followers of the Messiah are to be formed. Reader, while you admire the man, do not forget the God that made him so great, so good, and so useful. Even Abraham had nothing but what he had received; from the free unmerited mercy of God proceeded all his excellences; but he was a worker together with God, and therefore did not receive the grace of God in vain. Go thou, believe, love, obey, and persevere in like manner.”

      Verses 12-18 tell us of the life and descendants of ISHMAEL.

      “Now this is the genealogy of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s maidservant, bore to Abraham. And these were the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, according to their generations: The firstborn of Ishmael, Nebajoth; then Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadar, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. These were the sons of Ishmael and these were their names, by their towns and their settlements, twelve princes according to their nations. These were the years of the life of Ishmael: one hundred and thirty-seven years; and he breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his people. (They dwelt from Havilah as far as Shur, which is east of Egypt as you go toward Assyria.) He died in the presence of all his brethren.”


      Verses 19-26 tells us of the children of Isaac: Jacob and Esau.

      “This is the genealogy of Isaac, Abraham’s son. Abraham begot Isaac. Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah as wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padan Aram, the sister of Laban the Syrian. Now Isaac pleaded with the Lord for his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord granted his plea, and Rebekah his wife conceived. But the children struggled together within her; and she said, “If all is well, why am I like this?” So she went to inquire of the Lord. And the Lord said to her: “Two nations are in your womb, two peoples shall be separated from your body; one people shall be stronger than the other, and the older shall serve the younger.” So when her days were fulfilled for her to give birth, indeed there were twins in her womb. And the first came out red. He was like a hairy garment all over; so they called his name Esau. Afterward his brother came out, and his hand took hold of Esau’s heel; so his name was called Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.”

      Now Isaac pleaded with the Lord for his wife…you notice EVEN the son of promise does not come into the promise easily. It only comes through waiting and prayer. But the prayers of a husband for his wife have a special power.
      Even so, it was some 20 years until they had children (Genesis 25:20; 25:26), and these were the only TWO children born to Isaac and Rebekah.

      Rebekah did NOT GO TO A DOCTOR, SHE WENT TO THE MASTER PHYSICAN, she went to TALK TO the Lord…As Rebekah sought God, the Lord spoke to her regarding the sons within her womb.

      In connection with God’s eternal word (as is the case with Rebekah here), God gives a unique gift to perfectly listen, a gift given only in connection with the revealing of His written, eternal word.

      Two nations are in your womb…What God says is simple. She has twins within her. The twins will each father nations. One shall be greater than the other, and the younger will be greater than the older.

      The truth of the unseen promise is fulfilled by something that could be seen. God’s word was true. When the time came for them to be born, there were in fact twins in Rebekah’s womb.

      And the first came out red…Circumstances surrounding the birth of each child were responsible for their names. Esau refers to the hairiness of the first-born child. Jacob refers to the way the second born was holding on to the heel of his brother.

      INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH…Additionally, the idea of a “heel-catcher” meant something in that day. It had the idea of “trickster,” “con-man,” “scoundrel,” or “rascal.” It WAS NOT a compliment.

      And the older shall serve the younger…YOU NOTICE God chose to go against the NORMAL WAY of the younger serving the older. In Romans 9:10-13, Paul uses this choice of Jacob over Esau before their birth as an illustration of God’s sovereign choice.

      God’s CHOICE of Isaac instead of Ishmael seems more “logical” to us. Yet His choice between Jacob and Esau, regarding which one would be the heir of God’s covenant of salvation, is just as valid, though it “seems” to make less sense.

      AND Paul TELLS US God’s choice was not based on the performance of Jacob or Esau. The choice was made when they were not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil.

      God announced these intentions to Rebekah BEFORE the children were born (The older shall serve the younger), and repeated His verdict long after Jacob and Esau had both passed from the earth.

      WHERE?

      MALACHI 1:2-3 tells us, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.”

      Is it fair for God to love one and hate another, and to choose one and not choose another, before they are even born? We should regard the love and the hate God speaks of here as having to do with His purpose in choosing one to become THE HEIR OF THE COVENANT OF ABRAHAM. In that regard, God’s preference could rightly be regarded as a display of love towards Jacob and hate towards Esau.

      BUT NOT HATE AS WE DEFINE IT…The real thought here is much more like “accepted” and “rejected” more than it is like our understanding of the terms “loved” and “hated.”

      Our greatest error in considering the choices of God is to think God chooses for arbitrary reasons, as if He were sort of an “eeny-meeny-miny-moe” chooser.

      WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND SOMETHING HERE…We may NOT BE ABLE TO FATHOM, MUST LESS UNDERSTAND God’s reasons for choosing, and BUT WE CAN KNOW…they are reasons He alone knows and answers to, but God’s choices are NOT…capricious.

      Verses 27-28 tells us the DIFFERENT characters of Jacob and Esau.

      “So the boys grew. And Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field; but Jacob was a mild man, dwelling in tents. And Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.”

      Like so many siblings in a family, Jacob and Esau were VERY different from each other in their personality and tastes. And as is sometimes the case, WRONG THOUGH IT MAY BE, ISAAC & REBEKAH had a “favorite” child.

      Jacob was a MILD MAN: The Hebrew word for mild has the idea of “wholeness” instead of someone who is weak or effeminate. The Hebrew word tam (mild) is used of Job in Job 1:8: Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”

      Verses 29-34 tells us Esau SELLS his birthright to Jacob.

      “Now Jacob cooked a stew; and Esau came in from the field, and he was weary. And Esau said to Jacob, “Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary.” Therefore his name was called Edom. But Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright as of this day.” And Esau said, “Look, I am about to die; so what is this birthright to me?” Then Jacob said, “Swear to me as of this day.” So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.”

      Jacob cooked a stew; and Esau came in from the field: Here, each son acts consistently with his own natural inclination. Esau hunts and Jacob cooks.

      Jacob KNEW that the birthright from Isaac & from Almighty God WAS VERY valuable and he wanted it. Esau, though the eldest, did NOT VALUE nor REALLY CARE ABOUT IT.

      Passages like Deuteronomy 21:17 and 1 Chronicles 5:1-2 tell us the birthright involved BOTH a material and a spiritual dynamic.

      DID YOU KNOW…IN THAT DAY, The son of the birthright received a DOUBLE portion of the inheritance, and he also became THE HEAD of the family and THE SPIRITUAL LEADER upon the passing of the father.

      In the case of THIS FAMILY the birthright determined who would INHERIT THE COVENANT GOD MADE WITH ABRAHAM.

      THAT MEANS THE covenant of a land, a nation, and the Messiah.

      I am about to die…Esau’s thought isn’t that he is so hungry that he will die without food. Instead, the idea is “I will die one day anyway, so what good is this birthright to me PERSONALLY?”

      Was this unfair of Jacob?
      ABSOLUTELY…he is acting like a “heel-catcher.” He is being a trickster or a rascal in taking advantage of his brother.

      Jacob WAS guilty of scheming in the flesh to gain something God said was already his. Yet we should remember the far greater blame is placed on Esau, who DISMISSED & DESPISED, THAT MEANS DID NOT CARE OR VALUE his birthright.

      WHETHER EITHER KNEW OR REALIZED IT…this was NOT a valid transaction.

      WHY?

      Because Jacob was buying what was already his, and Esau was selling something that didn’t belong to him.

      What birthright might WE despise?

      Ephesians 1:3-14 shows us a treasury of riches ours by birthright in Jesus: every spiritual blessing, the blessing of being chosen in Jesus, adoption into God’s family, total acceptance by God in Jesus, redemption from our slavery to sin, true and total forgiveness, the riches of God’s grace, the revelation and knowledge of the mystery of God’s will, an eternal inheritance, the guarantee of the indwelling Holy Spirit right now.

      Thus Esau DESPISED his birthright.
      Esau’s character as a fornicator and profane person, confirmed to us in Hebrews 12:16, shows God was entirely CORRECT in choosing Jacob over Esau to carry on the birthright, even though Jacob was younger.

      THE GOD WHO SEES ALL…KNEW….AND though Esau’s character was NOT the basis for God’s choosing (He chose Jacob over Esau before they were born), Esau’s character showed the ultimate wisdom of God’s choice of JACOB.


      GENESIS 26-- Isaac Sins Like Abraham

      THIS CHAPTER CONFIRMS THE ADAGE…THOSE WHO DO NOT LEARN FROM HISTORY WILL REPEAT IT!

      ISAAC MAKES THE SAME MISTAKE AS Abraham.

      Verses 1-5 tells us God proclaims the covenant to Isaac.

      “There was a famine in the land, besides the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines, in Gerar. Then the Lord appeared to him and said: “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I shall tell you. Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father. And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.”

      I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father…In HUMAN theory, it was possible for the covenant “die” with the passing of Abraham, but God was TRUE & STEADFAST to His word. The covenant God made with Abraham was not only unto Abraham, but unto ALL OF HIS DESCENDANTS also, told to us in Genesis 17:7-8. This fulfills a specific promise made in Genesis 17:19.

      Because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge…God says that He kept the covenant because of Abraham’s obedience. Yet a close look at Abraham’s life shows that his obedience wasn’t ALWAYS complete or constant.

      SO HOW CAN GOD SAY THIS?

      God can say this of Abraham because Abraham was declared righteous BY FAITH in Genesis 15:6, and as far as God is concerned, ALL HE SEES IN Abraham is the righteousness of Jesus.

      HOW PRECIOUS IS THAT?

      Verses 6-9 tells us Abimelech takes Rebekah because Isaac says she is his sister.

      “So Isaac dwelt in Gerar. And the men of the place asked about his wife. And he said, “She is my sister”; for he was afraid to say, “She is my wife,” because he thought, “lest the men of the place kill me for Rebekah, because she is beautiful to behold.” Now it came to pass, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked through a window, and saw, and there was Isaac, showing endearment to Rebekah his wife. Then Abimelech called Isaac and said, “Quite obviously she is your wife; so how could you say, ‘She is my sister’?” And Isaac said to him, “Because I said, ‘Lest I die on account of her.’“

      Right here…Isaac went from such a high spiritual experience with a face to face with ALMIGHTY GOD, A PROMISE, & A COMMAND in Genesis 26:1-5...to such BLATENT SIN because of the weakness of his own flesh, and also because of the bad example of his father.

      Peter, with his confession and wrong counsel to Jesus, is a perfect example of how sin can follow upon an outpouring of God’s blessing. Well 1 Corinthians 10:12 DOES SAY AND DOES REMIND US: “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.”

      The Bible DOES NOT TEACH that we are bound by “GENERATIONAL CURSES,” but it is often the case that the SINS/FLAWS of the fathers ARE REPEATED in the children, because those sins of the flesh have been nurtured in that environment.

      There was Isaac, showing endearment to Rebekah his wife: When Abimelech saw this (the KJV has an interesting translation here, saying Isaac was sporting with Rebekah), he put two and two together and understood the true nature of their relationship.

      Verses 10-11 tells us Isaac is rebuked by a pagan king, even as his father was.

      “And Abimelech said, “What is this you have done to us? One of the people might soon have lain with your wife, and you would have brought guilt on us.” So Abimelech charged all his people, saying, “He who touches this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.”

      He who touches this man or his wife shall surely be put to death: DO YOU NOTICE….EVEN as God protected his father, even in the midst of sinful conduct, Isaac was protected too.

      THIS TELLS US AND SHOWS US….ALMIGHTY GOD DOES NOT CHANGE…EVEN THOUGH HIS CHOSEN…SLIP, FALTER, AND SIN…..ALMIGHTY GOD REMAINS FAITHFUL…REMAINS PROTECTIVE, AMEN?


      Verses 12-14 tells us Isaac becomes wealthy, as Abraham was before him.

      “Then Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundredfold; and the Lord blessed him. The man began to prosper, and continued prospering until he became very prosperous; for he had possessions of flocks and possessions of herds and a great number of servants. So the Philistines envied him.”

      Then Isaac sowed in that land: Prosperity came to Isaac as the blessing upon his HARD work. He probably received enough of an inheritance from his father that he did not have to work, but did nonetheless, and God blessed it.

      Verses 15-23 tells us Isaac handles disputes concerning wells with the natives, until he moves to Beersheba.

      “Now the Philistines had stopped up all the wells which his father’s servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father, and they had filled them with earth. And Abimelech said to Isaac, “Go away from us, for you are much mightier than we.” Then Isaac departed from there and pitched his tent in the Valley of Gerar, and dwelt there. And Isaac dug again the wells of water which they had dug in the days of Abraham his father, for the Philistines had stopped them up after the death of Abraham. He called them by the names which his father had called them. Also Isaac’s servants dug in the valley, and found a well of running water there. But the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, “The water is ours.” So he called the name of the well Esek, because they quarreled with him. Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over that one also. So he called its name Sitnah. And he moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it. So he called its name Rehoboth, because he said, “For now the Lord has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.” Then he went up from there to Beersheba.”

      He called the name of the well Esek: The FIRST well was named “contention,” because it made others jealous. The NEXT well was named “opposition” for similar reasons. But the THIRD well was named “roominess,” because it was far enough away to not be a problem.
      Then he went up from there to Beersheba…God USED the conflicts to LEAD Isaac BACK to Beersheba, where Abraham had been before. God doesn’t want us to live in contention and opposition, but they can be used by God to lead us to the place where He WANTS US to be.

      Of course, none of this lessens the responsibility those who unjustly opposed Isaac had to God. God used their sinful contention against Isaac, but it was still sin.

      Verses 24-25 tells us God again confirms His promise to Isaac for Abraham’s sake.

      “And the Lord appeared to him the same night and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham; do not fear, for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your descendants for My servant Abraham’s sake.” So he built an altar there and called on the name of the Lord, and he pitched his tent there; and there Isaac’s servants dug a well.

      For My servant Abraham’s sake…God keeps His covenant with us for Jesus’ sake too.

      Verses 26-31 tells us The natives make peace with Isaac because the Lord is with him, just as happened with Abraham.

      “Then Abimelech came to him from Gerar with Ahuzzath, one of his friends, and Phichol the commander of his army. And Isaac said to them, “Why have you come to me, since you hate me and have sent me away from you?” But they said, “We have certainly seen that the Lord is with you. So we said, ‘Let there now be an oath between us, between you and us; and let us make a covenant with you, that you will do us no harm, since we have not touched you, and since we have done nothing to you but good and have sent you away in peace. You are now the blessed of the Lord.’“ So he made them a feast, and they ate and drank. Then they arose early in the morning and swore an oath with one another; and Isaac sent them away, and they departed from him in peace.”

      Verses 32-33 tells us God’s blessing for Isaac in the form of a well.

      “It came to pass the same day that Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well which they had dug, and said to him, “We have found water.” So he called it Shebah. Therefore the name of the city is Beersheba to this day.”

      We have found water: Abraham was a man of altars, and Jacob would be a man of tents. But Isaac was a man of wells, and he knew God’s constant provision. He also knew God could provide in many different ways, NOT just one.

      Verses 34-35 tells us Esau marries and grieves his parents.

      “When Esau was forty years old, he took as wives Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite. And they were a grief of mind to Isaac and Rebekah.”

      They were a grief of mind to Isaac and Rebekah…Again, this shows Esau’s character as a fornicator and profane person as is confirmed to us in Hebrews 12:16.

      So many GREAT THINGS our TRIUNE GOD has to say and show us with ISAAC, THE SON OF PROMISE.

      ALMIGHTY GOD DOES NOT CHANGE.
      ALMIGHTY GOD'S PROMISES NEVER DIE, FADE, AND END.
      ALMIGHTY GOD LOVES HIS CHILDREN.
      ALMIGHTY GOD CALLED ABRAHAM, A RIGHTEOUS MAN WHO KEPT HIS COMMANDMENTS AND HIS ORDERS AND HIS DIRECTIONS...even though we KNOW ABRAHAM WAS HUMAN. HE WAS FLAWED, HE SLIPPED, FAILED, DISOBEYED, AND SINNED...BUT BECAUSE OF ABRAHAM'S BY FAITH COVENANT WITH HIM & THE PROMISED MESSIAH....ALMIGHTY GOD SAW ABRAHAM WAS PURE AND RIGHTEOUS.

      SO TOO ARE WE PURE AND RIGHTEOUS IN ALMIGHTY GOD'S EYES BECAUSE OF OUR FAITH, BELIEF, ACCEPTANCE AND TRUST IN HIS PRECIOUS SON JESUS CHRIST!

      STAY BLESSED IN OUR JESUS!

    • June 21, 2016 6:19 PM EDT
    • Genesis 29 - Jacob’s Marriages and Children

      Jacob meets Rachel.

      Verses 1-3 tells us Jacob comes to a covered well.

      “So Jacob went on his journey and came to the land of the people of the East. And he looked, and saw a well in the field; and behold, there were three flocks of sheep lying by it; for out of that well they watered the flocks. A large stone was on the well’s mouth. Now all the flocks would be gathered there; and they would roll the stone from the well’s mouth, water the sheep, and put the stone back in its place on the well’s mouth.”

      Because the Lord blessed his trip, Jacob returns to the land that his mother came from, being also the land of his grandfather Abraham.

      Verses 4-10 tell us Jacob meets Rachel at the well.

      “And Jacob said to them, “My brethren, where are you from?” And they said, “We are from Haran.” Then he said to them, “Do you know Laban the son of Nahor?” And they said, “We know him.” So he said to them, “Is he well?” And they said, “He is well. And look, his daughter Rachel is coming with the sheep.” Then he said, “Look, it is still high day; it is not time for the cattle to be gathered together. Water the sheep, and go and feed them.” But they said, “We cannot until all the flocks are gathered together, and they have rolled the stone from the well’s mouth; then we water the sheep.” Now while he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess. And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, that Jacob went near and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother.”

      In an age before clearly marked roads and signs, Jacob didn’t know where he was until he asked some of the locals, and he discovered he was at his destination.

      Water the sheep, and go and feed them: Jacob definitely seems like he is trying to get rid of the shepherd boys, probably so he can be alone with Rachel.

      Jacob went near and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth: Jacob also knew he had come to marry one of the daughters of Laban as Isaac commanded him to do in Genesis 28:2, so he is more than willing to show kindness (and perhaps his strength) to Laban’s daughter Rachel.

      Verses 11-14 tells us Rachel arranges for her father Laban to meet Jacob.

      “Then Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice and wept. And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s relative and that he was Rebekah’s son. So she ran and told her father. Then it came to pass, when Laban heard the report about Jacob his sister’s son, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him and kissed him, and brought him to his house. So he told Laban all these things. And Laban said to him, “Surely you are my bone and my flesh.” And he stayed with him for a month.”

      Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice and wept….WE CAN ALL IMAGINE…INITIALLY AT LEAST THAT Rachel must have been quite surprised when a man she never saw appears before weeping and greeting her with a kiss. Yet she heard of her relatives (Rebekah is her aunt) who lived in the Promised Land, and she understood Jacob is from this family.

      Verses 15-20 tell us Laban’s deal with Jacob, which is Jacob offers to work for seven years as a dowry to receive Rachel in marriage.

      “Then Laban said to Jacob, “Because you are my relative, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what should your wages be?” Now Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. Leah’s eyes were delicate, but Rachel was beautiful of form and appearance. Now Jacob loved Rachel; so he said, “I will serve you seven years for Rachel your younger daughter.” And Laban said, “It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to another man. Stay with me.” So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her.”

      What should your wages be…AT FIRST, this might sound like a nice offer, but really Laban let Jacob know if he wants to stay around, he must stay as a hired servant. Jacob was the son of a man of tremendous wealth. Certainly he was not lazy, but he wasn’t used to hard work. Servants did the hard work back home. But now Jacob IS the servant.

      Jacob’s reaction in this situation will reveal much of his character. This demonstrates the principle that you never know what kind of servant you are until others treat you LIKE a servant, AMEN!?

      Now Jacob loved Rachel…not only was Rachel beautiful of form and appearance, but she was also the first friendly face Jacob met in the area. It is understandable why he had a “love at first sight” attachment to Rachel.

      Biblical scholars DEBATE…what the phrase “Leah’s eyes were delicate” means. Some think it means her eyes were bad, and she couldn’t see well. Others think it means her eyes were “dull,” not beautiful and full of life like her sister Rachel’s eyes.
      I will serve you seven years for Rachel your younger daughter:

      The offer to work for seven years was essentially a dowry. Though Jacob came from a family with great wealth, he left home penniless. Before he could take a woman in marriage he had to provide a dowry to demonstrate he was fit to support a family and to compensate for the taking of the daughter.

      EVEN IN THAT DAY….Seven years was a VERY generous offer, far above a normal dowry. Jacob didn’t want to risk a refusal. When Laban saw how badly Jacob wanted Rachel, he knew he could take advantage of him….AND LABAN DID.

      They seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her: We notice the great love he had for her. The seven years of labor without pay (except for room and board) seemed to pass as quickly as a few days.

      AND WE NEED TO REMEMBER…In this ancient culture, Jacob was NOT allowed to spend as much time as he wanted with Rachel. There were STRICT social guidelines keeping unmarried men and women apart from each other.

      AND WHAT IS PRECIOUS…IS RIGHT HERE, IN GENESIS, GOD GAVE US…GIVES US AN IMPORTANT PRINCIPLE.
      AND WHAT IS THAT?

      TRUE LOVE WAITS…. Jacob was willing to wait seven years for Rachel.

      DID YOU KNOW, In 1990, it was reported that in response to the excesses of the sexual revolution, some 400 concerned single adults have joined the National Chastity Association. Member Elaine Marsh, a 35-year-old legal secretary from Orange County, described her commitment to celibacy before her marriage: “It comes from my religion, but it’s more than that,” she says. “I just feel it’s such a precious part of yourself, you don’t give it to someone when you haven’t made the commitment of marriage.” Founder Mary Meyer says the group isn’t against sex: “I love hand-holding, I love kissing, I love caressing, I love sex,” she says. “But even more than I would love to experience these things right now, I want to be able to have a relationship where I can experience them forever.”

      THIS IS THE KIND OF WISDOM AND HEART JACOB HAD.

      In the 1990s there was a successful campaign among teens titled “True Love Waits.” It persuaded them to take the following pledge: “Believing that true love waits, I make a commitment to God, myself, my family, those I date, my future mate and my future children to be sexually pure until the day I enter a covenant marriage relationship.” One 18-year-old named Rick said he used to be one of the guys who would come into school on Monday morning and brag about his sexual exploits. His views changed when he became a Christian two years ago, and now he is happy to take the pledge. “Sex is something God made to say, ‘I love you,’” he said. “If you have sex with everybody, you can’t say I’ve saved this one thing to say, ‘I love you.’ “

      VERSES 21-25 tells us Laban switches Leah for Rachel on the wedding night.

      “Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in to her.” And Laban gathered together all the men of the place and made a feast. Now it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter and brought her to Jacob; and he went in to her. And Laban gave his maid Zilpah to his daughter Leah as a maid. So it came to pass in the morning, that behold, it was Leah. And he said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Was it not for Rachel that I served you? Why then have you deceived me?”

      Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in to her: These words are clear enough. Even though Jacob waited and the time went quickly because of love, when the time was done he was done waiting.

      He took Leah his daughter and brought her to Jacob; and he went in to her:

      MANY HAVE ASKED…UMMMMM FAITH, HOW IS IT POSSIBLE for Jacob to be fooled?

      THE WEDDING CUSTOMS OF THE DAY AIDED LABAN’S TRICKERY.

      According to those customs the wife was veiled until she was finally alone with her husband in the “honeymoon suite.” If it was dark by the time Jacob and his new bride were alone together (something Laban would not have difficulty arranging), it helps explain how Jacob was fooled. Jacob could NOT CLEARLY SEE HIS BRIDE AT ALL.

      We assume that Leah was in agreement with this.
      WHY?
      She may have loved Jacob secretly.
      She may have considered this her one chance to get a husband.
      She may have thought this an unsought, and therefore justifiable, opportunity to steal a march on her BEAUTIFUL YOUNGER SISTER.
      BUT WE NEED TO REMEMBER, WHATEVER HER SECRET PERSONAL REASONS OR PREFERENCES…EVEN if she was not in agreement, she was under the absolute authority of her father.
      LEAH had NO CHOICE…and NEITHER DID RACHEL.

      SO THE ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY of the father in the home in that culture also explains why Rachel “agreed” to this.

      So it came to pass in the morning, that behold, it was Leah: We can Imagine how Jacob felt - and how Leah felt, and of course how poor Rachel felt. All this was because of Laban’s sin, his greed, & his trickery. Or, perhaps one should say it was because of Jacob’s sin - now the deceiver..the trickster is NOW HIMSELF deceived.

      Why then have you deceived me? Significantly, Laban’s deception towards Jacob is similar to the deception Jacob put upon his father Isaac and his brother Esau. This is an example of Jacob reaping what he had sown. Jacob exchanged the younger for the older; Laban exchanged the older for the younger.

      When Jacob deceived his father and cheated his brother, God did not change His plan to choose Jacob to receive the birthright. Instead, God took Jacob to the school of hard knocks to discipline him. This shows that our disobedience may not derail God’s plan for our life, but it will greatly affect how we end up experiencing it. You may spend 20 years working for someone like Laban while God teaches you a few things.

      Though we can see this is God’s correction upon Jacob, it in no way justifies Laban’s deception. The fact God does work all things together for good never excuses the evil acts God USES TO works for good.

      BOTTOM LINE…LABAN CHOOSE TO SIN AND DECEIVE…ALMIGHTY GOD DID NOT MAKE LABAN DO SO.

      Verses 26-30 tells us Laban agrees to give Rachel to Jacob in return for another seven years worth of work.

      And Laban said, “It must not be done so in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn. Fulfill her week, and we will give you this one also for the service which you will serve with me still another seven years.” Then Jacob did so and fulfilled her week. So he gave him his daughter Rachel as wife also. And Laban gave his maid Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as a maid. Then Jacob also went in to Rachel, and he also loved Rachel more than Leah. And he served with Laban still another seven years.”

      It must not be done so in our country….LABAN‘S EXCUSE basically says, “Well, didn’t we tell you? We don’t do it this way around here. Thought you knew.” The only reason Jacob submits to this clever trick of Laban’s is because he had no other option. But Laban’s “reason” was really nothing more than an excuse.

      Serve with me still another seven years: The second seven years made up Jacob’s post-graduate work in the school of hard knocks. Jacob’s “major” in the school of hard knocks was “You Reap What You Sow.”

      And he served with Laban still ANOTHER seven years: Laban is a perfect picture of a DECEPTIVE MANIPULATOR, ISN‘T HE?

      LABAN ends up getting EXACTLY what he wanted (both his daughters married). Yet, this will turn out badly for both himself and his daughters. Oftentimes, God judges manipulators by giving them what they in their sinful desires and methods WANT and allowing it to be loss for them.

      The problems in this family can be seen immediately. Not only has Jacob married two sisters, but he also lets everyone know one is favored and loved more than the other. Ultimately, all these problems stem from Laban’s manipulative deception, and the prior sin of Jacob that brought it upon himself.

      THE DEBATE STILL COMES UP WITH BIBLICAL/SECULAR SCHOLARS.
      THE QUESTION, AFTER THE FACT, OF COURSE, what should Jacob have done?
      Some say Jacob should have gone to Laban and told him to correct the whole mess, and simply be married to Rachel and let Leah be Laban’s problem.

      Others believe that according to the standards of the culture, he could not have put Leah aside, because she was unable to marry another after having been given to Jacob.

      Perhaps, he should have done the best he could in the situation, which would have been to love his two wives equally.

      WHAT THEY ALL AGREE UPON IS THIS…IT IS A MESS!!!

      He gave him his daughter Rachel as wife also: We don’t practice polygamy, but we do practice “serial marriage.” In our modern culture we multiply wives to ourselves; we just do it one at a time.

      AND WHILE IT IS TRUE, that we as CHRISTIANS CAN NOT DO anything about our marriages that have broken up in the past, but we can do all we can before God to make sure that from now on, it is ONE PARTNER for all time…AMEN?!

      VERSE 31 tells us Jacob’s first four sons born through Leah & of God’s gracious love for Leah.

      “When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, He opened her womb; but Rachel was barren.”
      God’s compassion on Leah is touching. She is truly the innocent party in all of this mess. God can minister to a wife and meet her needs even when the husband acts in an ungodly manner.

      LUTHER COMMENTS ON THIS…“Wretched Leah sits sadly in her tent with her maid and spends her time spinning and weeping. For the rest of the household, and especially Rachel, despises her because she has been scorned by her husband, who prefers Rachel and is desperately in love with Rachel alone. She is not beautiful, not pleasing. No, she is odious and hated . There the poor girl sits; no one pays any attention to her. Rachel gives herself airs before; she does not deign to look at her. ‘I am the lady of the house,’ she thinks, ‘Leah is a slave.’ These are truly carnal things in the saintly fathers and mothers, like the things that usually happen in our houses.”

      When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, He opened her womb: Isaiah 54:5 speaks to this, and reminds us, “For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is His name. God can meet the needs a hurting wife has, needs that are neglected by the husband.”

      Verse 32 tells us of the birth of Reuben.

      “So Leah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben; for she said, “The Lord has surely looked on my affliction. Now therefore, my husband will love me.”

      The FIRST child born to Jacob, through Leah, is named Reuben by Leah, meaning “behold, a son.” This is her statement to Jacob and all others that the Lord had looked upon my affliction.

      Reuben is the firstborn son of Jacob; he is the logical one to inherit the promise God had made to Abraham and passed on to Isaac and then to Jacob.

      Jacob, even though he did not love Leah, still would have sex with her. Unfortunately, men are much more able to detach sex from love than women are. Worse yet, Leah was painfully aware of the fact Jacob did not love her, even though he was obviously having sex with her. That is a heart breaker for a woman…and Jesus SAW AND FELT LEAH’S SADNESS AND PAIN.

      VERSE 33 tells us of the birth of Simeon.

      “Then she conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Because the Lord has heard that I am unloved, He has therefore given me this son also.” And she called his name Simeon.”

      The second child born to Jacob, through Leah again, is named by Leah Simeon, meaning “hearing.” Leah hopes all will notice the Lord has heard her & favored HER.

      Apparently, the birth of Reuben did NOT turn the heart of Jacob towards Leah. She is still aware he does not love her, though he is still having sex with her.

      Of course, Jacob and Leah WERE married, so there was nothing sinful in sexual relationship. But this plainly shows that Jacob, like most any man in the flesh, was able and willing to have sex with someone he did NOT love.

      AND HERE IN THE BEGINNING…IN GENESIS…ALMIGHTY GOD SHOWS WOMEN A SIMPLE TRUTH. A SIMPLE TRUTH THAT LEAH, & SOME TO THIS DAY REFUSE TO SEE AND BELIEVE…A MAN CAN HAVE SEX WITHOUT LOVE.

      Women should never think a man loves them just because they have sex. A 1993 Los Angeles Times article interviewed young men to find out their views on sex. One man named Christian (17 years old) explained how things work between men and women: “We’re just not sentimental. That’s why we’re men . . .. We like girls, we don’t love them . . . You see a girl and you just think, yeah, she’s really pretty and the first thing that comes to mind is you want to have sex.” He then explained how he seduced a girl: “You start kissing her and hugging her and little by little you start touching her.” After sex, he explained many boys dump the girls. “Girls get mad, but they don’t take it hard. They get over it.”

      ALMIGHTY GOD TELLS US IN GENESIS…WITHOUT JESUS INTERVENTION, HIS LOVE…WOMEN DO TAKE IT HARD AND THEY DO NOT GET OVER IT, AMEN?!

      This is the kind of man a woman might have sex with in the misguided effort to keep him as her boyfriend, because he has deceived her into thinking he loves her, RIGHT?

      AND THE WORLD SHRUGS AND SAYS THAT’S THE WAY THINGS ARE. SO REALLY, HOW DANGEROUS CAN THIS BE?

      Consider the words of a woman who caught AIDS from a Ventura man who knew he was infected but never told her: “All I wanted is someone to love me, and now I’m going to die for that. I don’t think I should have to die for that.”

      NEITHER DOES ALMIGHTY GOD…THAT IS WHY RIGHT HERE, HE COUNSELS WOMEN AND MEN….TRUE LOVE WAITS, AMEN?

      A RECENT survey asked the following question: “Have you ever had sex with a woman you have actively disliked?”

      58% of men answered “yes.”

      I HAVE SAID IT BEFORE AND AM SAYING IT AGAIN, NO MATTER HOW ADVANCED MANKIND HAS BECOME MENTALLY & TECHNOLOGICALLY…WE REMAIN THE SAME…WE HAVE NOT REALLY CHANGED SINCE THE DAYS OF JACOB.

      VERSE 34 tells us of the birth of Levi.

      “She conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Now this time my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” Therefore his name was called Levi.”

      The THIRD child born to Jacob, again through Leah, is named Levi, meaning “attachment.” Leah still lives in the HOPE her husband Jacob will love her and become attached to her through the birth of these sons.

      THREE SONS LATER…LEAH IS STILL UNLOVED AND REJECTED AND SHE STILL HOPES EVEN THOUGH SHE SHOULD HAVE LEARNED A LESSON BY NOW…AMEN?!

      The pain in the heart of Leah is as evident as the hardness of Jacob’s heart, and as evident as his fleshly attitude towards his wife Leah.

      VERSE 35 tell us the birth of Judah.

      “And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Now I will praise the Lord.” Therefore she called his name Judah. Then she stopped bearing.”

      The FOURTH son born to Jacob, again through Leah, is named Judah meaning, “praise.” Apparently, Leah has stopped naming her children to reflect the pain and longing in her heart. Now she focuses on God and can praise Him, AMEN?!
      To some extent, and for some period of time, Leah has allowed the Lord to meet her need, and she can now praise God! Leah knew the Lord better, driven to Him by the neglect of her husband.

      Leah, though she was neglected by Jacob and despised by Rachel, had a GREAT AND WONDROUS purpose in God’s plan.

      AND WHAT IS THAT?

      The TWO greatest tribes came from Leah, not Rachel: Levi (the priestly tribe) and Judah (the royal tribe). And MOST IMPORTANTLY, the Messiah came FROM LEAH, the uglier sister, who was neglected and despised, but learned to look to the Lord and praise Him.

      SO WHAT DOES ALMIGHTY GOD TELL US, SHOW US, & WANT TO TEACH US THROUGH GENESIS 29?

      ALMIGHTY GOD TELLS US, YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN, THAT TRUE LOVE WAITS…IT IS PATIENT…WILLING TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT, HONORABLE, LOVING, AND RESPECTING ABOVE THE CARNAL AND FLESHLY DRIVES OF THE BODY.

      ALMIGHTY GOD TELLS/SHOWS US VIVIDLY HERE THAT THE ADAGE, WHAT YOU SOW INTO THIS LIFE, YOU SHALL ALSO REAP IS ABSOLUTELY TRUE.

      ALMIGHTY GOD TELLS THAT HE IS NOT SUPERFICIAL. A PRETTY FACE DOES NOT TURN HIS HEAD. JUST AS HE TOLD THE PROPHET SAMUEL, WHICH HE KEPT CHOOSING THE WRONG SON TO BE ALMIGHTY GOD’S CHOICE FOR KING, BECAUSE SAMUEL DISMISSED YOUNG DAVID OVER THE STRONG, MUSCULAR, VIRILE, POPULAR (SUPERFICIALLY MORE PLEASING TO THE EYE) BROTHERS, ALMIGHTY GOD LOOKS INSTEAD TO THE HEART…HE READS THE HEART…WHERE THE TRUE BEAUTY, STRENGTH, VIRILITY, AND LOVELINESS IS SEEN AND SHOWN.

      THIS CHAPTER ALSO TELLS US THAT ALMIGHTY GOD, JUST AS JESUS CHRIST IS THE HUSBAND TO THE NEGLECTED, UNLOVED, AND ABUSED SPOUSES AND CHILDREN, EVEN AS HE IS THE SPOUSE TO THE WIDOW.

      ALMIGHTY GOD ALSO GIVES MANKIND, AND ESPECIALLY WOMANHOOD THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH OF CARNAL HUMAN NATURE…THEN AND NOW…A MAN DOES NOT HAVE TO LIKE, HE CAN DESPISE A WOMAN IN FACT, AND STILL ENJOY AND HAVE SEX WITH HER.

      BUT MOST OF ALL, ALMIGHTY GOD LOVES…HE LOVES WHAT THE WORLD SAYS IS UGLY & UNLOVEABLE, AND HE RICHLY COMFORTS AND BLESSES THE PRECIOUS LOVING HEARTS, THAT ARE HIDDEN FROM MAN BENEATH A PLAIN SURFACE!

      KNOW THAT YOU ARE SPECIAL, UNIQUE, AND BELOVED IN JESUS EYES ALWAYS!!!

    • June 21, 2016 6:19 PM EDT
    • Genesis 29 - Jacob’s Marriages and Children

      Jacob meets Rachel.

      Verses 1-3 tells us Jacob comes to a covered well.

      “So Jacob went on his journey and came to the land of the people of the East. And he looked, and saw a well in the field; and behold, there were three flocks of sheep lying by it; for out of that well they watered the flocks. A large stone was on the well’s mouth. Now all the flocks would be gathered there; and they would roll the stone from the well’s mouth, water the sheep, and put the stone back in its place on the well’s mouth.”

      Because the Lord blessed his trip, Jacob returns to the land that his mother came from, being also the land of his grandfather Abraham.

      Verses 4-10 tell us Jacob meets Rachel at the well.

      “And Jacob said to them, “My brethren, where are you from?” And they said, “We are from Haran.” Then he said to them, “Do you know Laban the son of Nahor?” And they said, “We know him.” So he said to them, “Is he well?” And they said, “He is well. And look, his daughter Rachel is coming with the sheep.” Then he said, “Look, it is still high day; it is not time for the cattle to be gathered together. Water the sheep, and go and feed them.” But they said, “We cannot until all the flocks are gathered together, and they have rolled the stone from the well’s mouth; then we water the sheep.” Now while he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess. And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, that Jacob went near and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother.”

      In an age before clearly marked roads and signs, Jacob didn’t know where he was until he asked some of the locals, and he discovered he was at his destination.

      Water the sheep, and go and feed them: Jacob definitely seems like he is trying to get rid of the shepherd boys, probably so he can be alone with Rachel.

      Jacob went near and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth: Jacob also knew he had come to marry one of the daughters of Laban as Isaac commanded him to do in Genesis 28:2, so he is more than willing to show kindness (and perhaps his strength) to Laban’s daughter Rachel.

      Verses 11-14 tells us Rachel arranges for her father Laban to meet Jacob.

      “Then Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice and wept. And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s relative and that he was Rebekah’s son. So she ran and told her father. Then it came to pass, when Laban heard the report about Jacob his sister’s son, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him and kissed him, and brought him to his house. So he told Laban all these things. And Laban said to him, “Surely you are my bone and my flesh.” And he stayed with him for a month.”

      Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice and wept….WE CAN ALL IMAGINE…INITIALLY AT LEAST THAT Rachel must have been quite surprised when a man she never saw appears before weeping and greeting her with a kiss. Yet she heard of her relatives (Rebekah is her aunt) who lived in the Promised Land, and she understood Jacob is from this family.

      Verses 15-20 tell us Laban’s deal with Jacob, which is Jacob offers to work for seven years as a dowry to receive Rachel in marriage.

      “Then Laban said to Jacob, “Because you are my relative, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what should your wages be?” Now Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. Leah’s eyes were delicate, but Rachel was beautiful of form and appearance. Now Jacob loved Rachel; so he said, “I will serve you seven years for Rachel your younger daughter.” And Laban said, “It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to another man. Stay with me.” So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her.”

      What should your wages be…AT FIRST, this might sound like a nice offer, but really Laban let Jacob know if he wants to stay around, he must stay as a hired servant. Jacob was the son of a man of tremendous wealth. Certainly he was not lazy, but he wasn’t used to hard work. Servants did the hard work back home. But now Jacob IS the servant.

      Jacob’s reaction in this situation will reveal much of his character. This demonstrates the principle that you never know what kind of servant you are until others treat you LIKE a servant, AMEN!?

      Now Jacob loved Rachel…not only was Rachel beautiful of form and appearance, but she was also the first friendly face Jacob met in the area. It is understandable why he had a “love at first sight” attachment to Rachel.

      Biblical scholars DEBATE…what the phrase “Leah’s eyes were delicate” means. Some think it means her eyes were bad, and she couldn’t see well. Others think it means her eyes were “dull,” not beautiful and full of life like her sister Rachel’s eyes.
      I will serve you seven years for Rachel your younger daughter:

      The offer to work for seven years was essentially a dowry. Though Jacob came from a family with great wealth, he left home penniless. Before he could take a woman in marriage he had to provide a dowry to demonstrate he was fit to support a family and to compensate for the taking of the daughter.

      EVEN IN THAT DAY….Seven years was a VERY generous offer, far above a normal dowry. Jacob didn’t want to risk a refusal. When Laban saw how badly Jacob wanted Rachel, he knew he could take advantage of him….AND LABAN DID.

      They seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her: We notice the great love he had for her. The seven years of labor without pay (except for room and board) seemed to pass as quickly as a few days.

      AND WE NEED TO REMEMBER…In this ancient culture, Jacob was NOT allowed to spend as much time as he wanted with Rachel. There were STRICT social guidelines keeping unmarried men and women apart from each other.

      AND WHAT IS PRECIOUS…IS RIGHT HERE, IN GENESIS, GOD GAVE US…GIVES US AN IMPORTANT PRINCIPLE.
      AND WHAT IS THAT?

      TRUE LOVE WAITS…. Jacob was willing to wait seven years for Rachel.

      DID YOU KNOW, In 1990, it was reported that in response to the excesses of the sexual revolution, some 400 concerned single adults have joined the National Chastity Association. Member Elaine Marsh, a 35-year-old legal secretary from Orange County, described her commitment to celibacy before her marriage: “It comes from my religion, but it’s more than that,” she says. “I just feel it’s such a precious part of yourself, you don’t give it to someone when you haven’t made the commitment of marriage.” Founder Mary Meyer says the group isn’t against sex: “I love hand-holding, I love kissing, I love caressing, I love sex,” she says. “But even more than I would love to experience these things right now, I want to be able to have a relationship where I can experience them forever.”

      THIS IS THE KIND OF WISDOM AND HEART JACOB HAD.

      In the 1990s there was a successful campaign among teens titled “True Love Waits.” It persuaded them to take the following pledge: “Believing that true love waits, I make a commitment to God, myself, my family, those I date, my future mate and my future children to be sexually pure until the day I enter a covenant marriage relationship.” One 18-year-old named Rick said he used to be one of the guys who would come into school on Monday morning and brag about his sexual exploits. His views changed when he became a Christian two years ago, and now he is happy to take the pledge. “Sex is something God made to say, ‘I love you,’” he said. “If you have sex with everybody, you can’t say I’ve saved this one thing to say, ‘I love you.’ “

      VERSES 21-25 tells us Laban switches Leah for Rachel on the wedding night.

      “Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in to her.” And Laban gathered together all the men of the place and made a feast. Now it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter and brought her to Jacob; and he went in to her. And Laban gave his maid Zilpah to his daughter Leah as a maid. So it came to pass in the morning, that behold, it was Leah. And he said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Was it not for Rachel that I served you? Why then have you deceived me?”

      Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in to her: These words are clear enough. Even though Jacob waited and the time went quickly because of love, when the time was done he was done waiting.

      He took Leah his daughter and brought her to Jacob; and he went in to her:

      MANY HAVE ASKED…UMMMMM FAITH, HOW IS IT POSSIBLE for Jacob to be fooled?

      THE WEDDING CUSTOMS OF THE DAY AIDED LABAN’S TRICKERY.

      According to those customs the wife was veiled until she was finally alone with her husband in the “honeymoon suite.” If it was dark by the time Jacob and his new bride were alone together (something Laban would not have difficulty arranging), it helps explain how Jacob was fooled. Jacob could NOT CLEARLY SEE HIS BRIDE AT ALL.

      We assume that Leah was in agreement with this.
      WHY?
      She may have loved Jacob secretly.
      She may have considered this her one chance to get a husband.
      She may have thought this an unsought, and therefore justifiable, opportunity to steal a march on her BEAUTIFUL YOUNGER SISTER.
      BUT WE NEED TO REMEMBER, WHATEVER HER SECRET PERSONAL REASONS OR PREFERENCES…EVEN if she was not in agreement, she was under the absolute authority of her father.
      LEAH had NO CHOICE…and NEITHER DID RACHEL.

      SO THE ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY of the father in the home in that culture also explains why Rachel “agreed” to this.

      So it came to pass in the morning, that behold, it was Leah: We can Imagine how Jacob felt - and how Leah felt, and of course how poor Rachel felt. All this was because of Laban’s sin, his greed, & his trickery. Or, perhaps one should say it was because of Jacob’s sin - now the deceiver..the trickster is NOW HIMSELF deceived.

      Why then have you deceived me? Significantly, Laban’s deception towards Jacob is similar to the deception Jacob put upon his father Isaac and his brother Esau. This is an example of Jacob reaping what he had sown. Jacob exchanged the younger for the older; Laban exchanged the older for the younger.

      When Jacob deceived his father and cheated his brother, God did not change His plan to choose Jacob to receive the birthright. Instead, God took Jacob to the school of hard knocks to discipline him. This shows that our disobedience may not derail God’s plan for our life, but it will greatly affect how we end up experiencing it. You may spend 20 years working for someone like Laban while God teaches you a few things.

      Though we can see this is God’s correction upon Jacob, it in no way justifies Laban’s deception. The fact God does work all things together for good never excuses the evil acts God USES TO works for good.

      BOTTOM LINE…LABAN CHOOSE TO SIN AND DECEIVE…ALMIGHTY GOD DID NOT MAKE LABAN DO SO.

      Verses 26-30 tells us Laban agrees to give Rachel to Jacob in return for another seven years worth of work.

      And Laban said, “It must not be done so in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn. Fulfill her week, and we will give you this one also for the service which you will serve with me still another seven years.” Then Jacob did so and fulfilled her week. So he gave him his daughter Rachel as wife also. And Laban gave his maid Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as a maid. Then Jacob also went in to Rachel, and he also loved Rachel more than Leah. And he served with Laban still another seven years.”

      It must not be done so in our country….LABAN‘S EXCUSE basically says, “Well, didn’t we tell you? We don’t do it this way around here. Thought you knew.” The only reason Jacob submits to this clever trick of Laban’s is because he had no other option. But Laban’s “reason” was really nothing more than an excuse.

      Serve with me still another seven years: The second seven years made up Jacob’s post-graduate work in the school of hard knocks. Jacob’s “major” in the school of hard knocks was “You Reap What You Sow.”

      And he served with Laban still ANOTHER seven years: Laban is a perfect picture of a DECEPTIVE MANIPULATOR, ISN‘T HE?

      LABAN ends up getting EXACTLY what he wanted (both his daughters married). Yet, this will turn out badly for both himself and his daughters. Oftentimes, God judges manipulators by giving them what they in their sinful desires and methods WANT and allowing it to be loss for them.

      The problems in this family can be seen immediately. Not only has Jacob married two sisters, but he also lets everyone know one is favored and loved more than the other. Ultimately, all these problems stem from Laban’s manipulative deception, and the prior sin of Jacob that brought it upon himself.

      THE DEBATE STILL COMES UP WITH BIBLICAL/SECULAR SCHOLARS.
      THE QUESTION, AFTER THE FACT, OF COURSE, what should Jacob have done?
      Some say Jacob should have gone to Laban and told him to correct the whole mess, and simply be married to Rachel and let Leah be Laban’s problem.

      Others believe that according to the standards of the culture, he could not have put Leah aside, because she was unable to marry another after having been given to Jacob.

      Perhaps, he should have done the best he could in the situation, which would have been to love his two wives equally.

      WHAT THEY ALL AGREE UPON IS THIS…IT IS A MESS!!!

      He gave him his daughter Rachel as wife also: We don’t practice polygamy, but we do practice “serial marriage.” In our modern culture we multiply wives to ourselves; we just do it one at a time.

      AND WHILE IT IS TRUE, that we as CHRISTIANS CAN NOT DO anything about our marriages that have broken up in the past, but we can do all we can before God to make sure that from now on, it is ONE PARTNER for all time…AMEN?!

      VERSE 31 tells us Jacob’s first four sons born through Leah & of God’s gracious love for Leah.

      “When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, He opened her womb; but Rachel was barren.”
      God’s compassion on Leah is touching. She is truly the innocent party in all of this mess. God can minister to a wife and meet her needs even when the husband acts in an ungodly manner.

      LUTHER COMMENTS ON THIS…“Wretched Leah sits sadly in her tent with her maid and spends her time spinning and weeping. For the rest of the household, and especially Rachel, despises her because she has been scorned by her husband, who prefers Rachel and is desperately in love with Rachel alone. She is not beautiful, not pleasing. No, she is odious and hated . There the poor girl sits; no one pays any attention to her. Rachel gives herself airs before; she does not deign to look at her. ‘I am the lady of the house,’ she thinks, ‘Leah is a slave.’ These are truly carnal things in the saintly fathers and mothers, like the things that usually happen in our houses.”

      When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, He opened her womb: Isaiah 54:5 speaks to this, and reminds us, “For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is His name. God can meet the needs a hurting wife has, needs that are neglected by the husband.”

      Verse 32 tells us of the birth of Reuben.

      “So Leah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben; for she said, “The Lord has surely looked on my affliction. Now therefore, my husband will love me.”

      The FIRST child born to Jacob, through Leah, is named Reuben by Leah, meaning “behold, a son.” This is her statement to Jacob and all others that the Lord had looked upon my affliction.

      Reuben is the firstborn son of Jacob; he is the logical one to inherit the promise God had made to Abraham and passed on to Isaac and then to Jacob.

      Jacob, even though he did not love Leah, still would have sex with her. Unfortunately, men are much more able to detach sex from love than women are. Worse yet, Leah was painfully aware of the fact Jacob did not love her, even though he was obviously having sex with her. That is a heart breaker for a woman…and Jesus SAW AND FELT LEAH’S SADNESS AND PAIN.

      VERSE 33 tells us of the birth of Simeon.

      “Then she conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Because the Lord has heard that I am unloved, He has therefore given me this son also.” And she called his name Simeon.”

      The second child born to Jacob, through Leah again, is named by Leah Simeon, meaning “hearing.” Leah hopes all will notice the Lord has heard her & favored HER.

      Apparently, the birth of Reuben did NOT turn the heart of Jacob towards Leah. She is still aware he does not love her, though he is still having sex with her.

      Of course, Jacob and Leah WERE married, so there was nothing sinful in sexual relationship. But this plainly shows that Jacob, like most any man in the flesh, was able and willing to have sex with someone he did NOT love.

      AND HERE IN THE BEGINNING…IN GENESIS…ALMIGHTY GOD SHOWS WOMEN A SIMPLE TRUTH. A SIMPLE TRUTH THAT LEAH, & SOME TO THIS DAY REFUSE TO SEE AND BELIEVE…A MAN CAN HAVE SEX WITHOUT LOVE.

      Women should never think a man loves them just because they have sex. A 1993 Los Angeles Times article interviewed young men to find out their views on sex. One man named Christian (17 years old) explained how things work between men and women: “We’re just not sentimental. That’s why we’re men . . .. We like girls, we don’t love them . . . You see a girl and you just think, yeah, she’s really pretty and the first thing that comes to mind is you want to have sex.” He then explained how he seduced a girl: “You start kissing her and hugging her and little by little you start touching her.” After sex, he explained many boys dump the girls. “Girls get mad, but they don’t take it hard. They get over it.”

      ALMIGHTY GOD TELLS US IN GENESIS…WITHOUT JESUS INTERVENTION, HIS LOVE…WOMEN DO TAKE IT HARD AND THEY DO NOT GET OVER IT, AMEN?!

      This is the kind of man a woman might have sex with in the misguided effort to keep him as her boyfriend, because he has deceived her into thinking he loves her, RIGHT?

      AND THE WORLD SHRUGS AND SAYS THAT’S THE WAY THINGS ARE. SO REALLY, HOW DANGEROUS CAN THIS BE?

      Consider the words of a woman who caught AIDS from a Ventura man who knew he was infected but never told her: “All I wanted is someone to love me, and now I’m going to die for that. I don’t think I should have to die for that.”

      NEITHER DOES ALMIGHTY GOD…THAT IS WHY RIGHT HERE, HE COUNSELS WOMEN AND MEN….TRUE LOVE WAITS, AMEN?

      A RECENT survey asked the following question: “Have you ever had sex with a woman you have actively disliked?”

      58% of men answered “yes.”

      I HAVE SAID IT BEFORE AND AM SAYING IT AGAIN, NO MATTER HOW ADVANCED MANKIND HAS BECOME MENTALLY & TECHNOLOGICALLY…WE REMAIN THE SAME…WE HAVE NOT REALLY CHANGED SINCE THE DAYS OF JACOB.

      VERSE 34 tells us of the birth of Levi.

      “She conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Now this time my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” Therefore his name was called Levi.”

      The THIRD child born to Jacob, again through Leah, is named Levi, meaning “attachment.” Leah still lives in the HOPE her husband Jacob will love her and become attached to her through the birth of these sons.

      THREE SONS LATER…LEAH IS STILL UNLOVED AND REJECTED AND SHE STILL HOPES EVEN THOUGH SHE SHOULD HAVE LEARNED A LESSON BY NOW…AMEN?!

      The pain in the heart of Leah is as evident as the hardness of Jacob’s heart, and as evident as his fleshly attitude towards his wife Leah.

      VERSE 35 tell us the birth of Judah.

      “And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Now I will praise the Lord.” Therefore she called his name Judah. Then she stopped bearing.”

      The FOURTH son born to Jacob, again through Leah, is named Judah meaning, “praise.” Apparently, Leah has stopped naming her children to reflect the pain and longing in her heart. Now she focuses on God and can praise Him, AMEN?!
      To some extent, and for some period of time, Leah has allowed the Lord to meet her need, and she can now praise God! Leah knew the Lord better, driven to Him by the neglect of her husband.

      Leah, though she was neglected by Jacob and despised by Rachel, had a GREAT AND WONDROUS purpose in God’s plan.

      AND WHAT IS THAT?

      The TWO greatest tribes came from Leah, not Rachel: Levi (the priestly tribe) and Judah (the royal tribe). And MOST IMPORTANTLY, the Messiah came FROM LEAH, the uglier sister, who was neglected and despised, but learned to look to the Lord and praise Him.

      SO WHAT DOES ALMIGHTY GOD TELL US, SHOW US, & WANT TO TEACH US THROUGH GENESIS 29?

      ALMIGHTY GOD TELLS US, YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN, THAT TRUE LOVE WAITS…IT IS PATIENT…WILLING TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT, HONORABLE, LOVING, AND RESPECTING ABOVE THE CARNAL AND FLESHLY DRIVES OF THE BODY.

      ALMIGHTY GOD TELLS/SHOWS US VIVIDLY HERE THAT THE ADAGE, WHAT YOU SOW INTO THIS LIFE, YOU SHALL ALSO REAP IS ABSOLUTELY TRUE.

      ALMIGHTY GOD TELLS THAT HE IS NOT SUPERFICIAL. A PRETTY FACE DOES NOT TURN HIS HEAD. JUST AS HE TOLD THE PROPHET SAMUEL, WHICH HE KEPT CHOOSING THE WRONG SON TO BE ALMIGHTY GOD’S CHOICE FOR KING, BECAUSE SAMUEL DISMISSED YOUNG DAVID OVER THE STRONG, MUSCULAR, VIRILE, POPULAR (SUPERFICIALLY MORE PLEASING TO THE EYE) BROTHERS, ALMIGHTY GOD LOOKS INSTEAD TO THE HEART…HE READS THE HEART…WHERE THE TRUE BEAUTY, STRENGTH, VIRILITY, AND LOVELINESS IS SEEN AND SHOWN.

      THIS CHAPTER ALSO TELLS US THAT ALMIGHTY GOD, JUST AS JESUS CHRIST IS THE HUSBAND TO THE NEGLECTED, UNLOVED, AND ABUSED SPOUSES AND CHILDREN, EVEN AS HE IS THE SPOUSE TO THE WIDOW.

      ALMIGHTY GOD ALSO GIVES MANKIND, AND ESPECIALLY WOMANHOOD THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH OF CARNAL HUMAN NATURE…THEN AND NOW…A MAN DOES NOT HAVE TO LIKE, HE CAN DESPISE A WOMAN IN FACT, AND STILL ENJOY AND HAVE SEX WITH HER.

      BUT MOST OF ALL, ALMIGHTY GOD LOVES…HE LOVES WHAT THE WORLD SAYS IS UGLY & UNLOVEABLE, AND HE RICHLY COMFORTS AND BLESSES THE PRECIOUS LOVING HEARTS, THAT ARE HIDDEN FROM MAN BENEATH A PLAIN SURFACE!

      KNOW THAT YOU ARE SPECIAL, UNIQUE, AND BELOVED IN JESUS EYES ALWAYS!!!

    • June 21, 2016 6:17 PM EDT
    • Genesis 30 - The Children Born to Jacob

      The adage, those who do not learn from their parents or history, may doom themselves to repeat the SAME mistakes…applies here with Jacob & Rachel. Genesis 29 told us that Jacob married BOTH sisters, Leah the elder and Rachel the youngest daughter of Laban. And we know that Jacob loved Rachel, but not Leah, right?

      Regardless, Jacob visits Leah enough, to produce 4 sons. 4 sons that he is NOT in attendance when they are born, and does not even bother to name them, which is his duty and right…Leah names them all.

      All we know from Genesis 29 is that Rachel does not conceive at all during this time…she remains barren.

      So that brings us to Genesis 30. Rachel is tired of TRYING to conceive on her own, so she, like Sarah wife of Abraham, decides to take things into her own hands…INSTEAD of hitting her knees and ASKING Almighty God for a child. Rachel gives her maid, Bilhah to Jacob in a “surrogate mother” arrangement & two sons are born to Bilhah & Jacob.

      Verses 1-4 tells us Rachel, out of frustration with herself AND Jacob, gives her maid Bilhah to Jacob.

      “Now when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister, and said to Jacob, “Give me children, or else I die!” And Jacob’s anger was aroused against Rachel, and he said, “Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?” So she said, “Here is my maid Bilhah; go in to her, and she will bear a child on my knees, that I also may have children by her.” Then she gave him Bilhah her maid as wife, and Jacob went in to her.”

      Give me children, or else I die! Despite Rachel’s great beauty, she also was near despair. And instead of seeking Almighty God, she blames Jacob, let’s face it, Jacob’s seed is fertile, he is creating children left and right, Amen? But Jacob turns around and points the finger at and probably puts the blames God & Rachel for her barren womb.

      Conversely, we know that Leah often said, “If I ONLY HAD my sister’s beauty and the love of my husband as she does.” And, no doubt, Rachel often said, “If I ONLY HAD sons like my sister.”

      ALMIGHTY GOD IS TELLING US ALL SOMETHING RIGHT HERE…ANOTHER SIMPLE TRUTH ABOUT HUMANS AND HUMAN NATURE.

      Beautiful or plain, rich or poor, well loved or lonely, we ALL have our problems & our insecurities. Stop looking to how God deals with others and set your eyes on Him & seek JESUS INSTEAD FOR YOUR HEART CRIES AND YOUR ANSWERS!

      Rachel envied her sister . . . Give me children, or else I die . . . Jacob’s anger was aroused against Rachel: The tension in this family is apparent. At least Jacob WAS RIGHT WHEN HE SAW the hand of God in the matter, even though he BLAMED GOD & stated it to Rachel cruelly.

      Can you imagine how vain Rachel was, knowing Jacob worked 14 years with no pay out of love for her, and knowing Jacob would not have worked one day for Leah?

      Here is my maid Bilhah; go in to her, and she will bear a child on my knees, that I also may have children by her: Much like Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham in a surrogate-mother type arrangement in Genesis 16, Rachel gives her maid Bilhah to Jacob.

      On my knees refers to the custom where the husband impregnated the surrogate while the surrogate, IN THIS CASE, BILHAH reclined on the lap of RACHEL during sexual intimacy, and how BILHAH would have then reclined on the LAP OF RACHEL as she gave birth. The custom & symbolism clearly showed the child was legally the child of RACHEL, not the surrogate BILHAH, who merely “stood in” for the wife both in conception and birth.

      She gave him Bilhah her maid as wife:This does not mean that Jacob actually married Bilhah. It means Jacob did with Bilhah what a man should only do with his wife. He had sex with her AFTER being given the “NOD” from Rachel.

      And I do not know about you married women out there, but me personally, I do NOT share. Thankfully, there is invitro now, and legal adoption…and even THEN, it all DEPENDS on Jesus plan and grace for us, Amen?

      And thank you Jesus, I did not live during this age & thank you Jesus blessed us with children, but had He chosen NOT TO, there is no way, I would bring another woman into my home, have her lay against me, while I was face to face with MY husband while he WAS SEXUALLY INTIMATE with her and then be forced to have her lie in my lap during the birth? If this were the practice here now, my husband would be dealing with MUCH more than tears and anger, Amen?

      Verses 5-6 tells us of the birth of Dan.

      “And Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son. Then Rachel said, “God has judged my case; and He has also heard my voice and given me a son.” Therefore she called his name Dan.”
      She called his name Dan: Jacob’s fifth son, born to him through Bilhah, the maid of Rachel, is named by Rachel Dan meaning, “judgment.” Because of her own envy, she viewed this child born of the flesh as a victory and a vindication for her.

      Did you catch this…even with Rachel…Jacob does NOT do his duty and name his fifth son either…Rachel did.

      God has judged my case; and He has also heard my voice and given me a son. Rachel IS WRONG IN THIS THOUGHT AND SHE IS DECEIVED into believing that GOD vindicated her. Almighty God ALLOWED Bilbah to CONCEIVE WITH JACOB, but Jesus did NOT bless it nor condone it. And those of you who KNOW your Bible, know what the FUTURE TRIBE OF DAN will do.

      Verses 7-8 tell us of the birth of Naphtali.

      “And Rachel’s maid Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. Then Rachel said, “With great wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister, and indeed I have prevailed.” So she called his name Naphtali.”

      She called his name Naphtali: Jacob’s sixth son, born to him through Bilhah, the maid of Rachel, is named Naphtali by Rachel, meaning “wrestle.” Relationships in this home have broken down to the point where Rachel will openly acknowledge this “baby competition” between her and her sister by naming the new baby wrestle.

      DO you SEE how Satan PLAYS on the insecurities of BOTH WOMEN…PLAIN LEAH WANTS ONLY TO BE ACKNOWLEDGED AND CARED FOR, IF NOT LOVED BY JACOB & THE PEOPLE SURROUNDING THEM.

      BEAUTIFUL RACHEL ONLY WANTS TO WIN AND OUT SHINE HER SISTER…WHATEVER THE COST.

      AND JACOB, WELL HE IS JUMPING FROM BED TO BED, ENJOYING HIMSELF, AND TRYING TO KEEP THE “WOMEN” SATISFIED OR OFF HIS BACK.

      THE PROBLEM IN THIS FAMILY…ONLY LEAH, TO THIS POINT, HAD FINALLY TURNED AND SOUGHT OUT AND DECIDED TO FOCUS ON JESUS…FOR HER WANTS, NEEDS, JOY, PEACE, AND HAPPINESS.

      With great wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister, and indeed I have prevailed: This seems strange. How do two sons prevail over four? Perhaps she meant it in the sense that now Leah seemed to have stopped having children.

      BUT IN THE NEXT VERSES, WE SEE THAT LEAH IS A BIT COMPETITIVE HERSELF, AND USES HER OWN MAID ZILPAH, TO BE SURROGATE FOR HER WITH JACOB, SINCE SHE (LEAH) HAS STOPPED BEARING CHILDREN.

      Two sons born to Zilpah, the maid of Leah.

      I can almost hear, the old soap opera drama musicial intro sounding out here…And these are the DAYS OF OUR LIVES….Can’t you?

      Verses 9-11...tells us of the birth of Gad.

      “When Leah saw that she had stopped bearing, she took Zilpah her maid and gave her to Jacob as wife. And Leah’s maid Zilpah bore Jacob a son. Then Leah said, “A troop comes!” So she called his name Gad.”

      She took Zilpah her maid and gave her to Jacob as wife: Leah, who has stopped bearing children, figured she could use the same “surrogate mother” method to increase “her” number of children, so she gave her maid Zilpah to Jacob as Rachel gave her maid Bilhah to Jacob.

      She called his name Gad…Jacob’s seventh son, born to him through Zilpah, the maid of Leah, is named Gad, meaning “troop” or “good fortune”; the wives of Jacob are still using their children as pawns in a power struggle within the home, Amen!

      And with all the DRAMA stirring WITHIN the family & with all the people around them…we see that Satan has been VERY BUSY, AND Leah HAS apparently LOST the peace she had when her fourth son was born; she no longer has the peace “praise” brings & she is NO LONGER focusing on Jesus NOR going to Him with her hurts and cares, is she?

      Verses 12-13 tells us of the birth of Asher.

      “And Leah’s maid Zilpah bore Jacob a second son. Then Leah said, “I am happy, for the daughters will call me blessed.” So she called his name Asher.”

      So she called his name Asher…Jacob’s eighth son, born to him through Zilpah, the maid of Leah, is named Asher, meaning “happy”; Leah is more concerned about the status the child will bring her (all the daughters will call me blessed) than about the child himself.

      This whole drama, women in competition & using their children as pawns, reminds me of seeing mothers in this day and time dress their kids up like live mannequins…to parade them around before everyone else…these LIVE mannequins are ALWAYS NEAT AS pins, they ALWAYS WEAR THE NEWEST, THE BEST, & THE LATEST FADS…and they are at times, PAWNS, SALVES TO PERSONAL INSECURITIES, and the kids SUFFER.

      They are NOT REALLY CHILDREN to their parents…but POSSESSIONS. You NEVER see them playing like other kids, who come in dirty, sweaty, laughing, and excited about playing in the rain or a mud puddle, or romping with their dogs for sheer joy. NO, these children, much like LEAH AND RACHELS children for a time, most probably were MODEL children. They did not get dirty, no creases in their clothes, no scuffs on their sandals…they were trotted out to be SEEN AND NEVER HEARD…then sent away to their own caregivers until THE NEXT PARADE.

      I do not know about you…but I HURT for these children. I enjoyed, and most times joined in with waterhose and water balloon fights, I played in the rain, jumped in mud puddles, raked leaves, played chase…with my children and now my grandchildren…and we all came in exhausted, laughing, and in dire need of baths…Amen?

      My point, children ARE a blessing and to be TREASURED AND ENJOYED…children/grandchildren alike, if we ALLOW it, help keep us in contact with our inner child, and they may wear us out, but they KEEP us young too, & seeking the simple fun and beauty in this life…Amen?

      And here we gooooooo again…
      You know Satan was having a LARGE time with Leah, Rachel, Jacob, Bilhah, & Zilpah. Leah herself bears two more sons and a daughter.

      Verses 14-18 tells us of the birth of Issachar.

      “Now Reuben went in the days of wheat harvest and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them to his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.” But she said to her, “Is it a small matter that you have taken away my husband? Would you take away my son’s mandrakes also?” And Rachel said, “Therefore he will lie with you tonight for your son’s mandrakes.” When Jacob came out of the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, “You must come in to me, for I have surely hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” And he lay with her that night. And God listened to Leah, and she conceived and bore Jacob a fifth son. Leah said, “God has given me my wages, because I have given my maid to my husband.” So she called his name Issachar.

      Reuben found mandrakes in the field.

      What is the importance or value of mandrakes?

      The mandrake is a root, called “love-apples” in Hebrew. They were thought (and still are among some peoples) to increase fertility in women. Because Leah had the mandrakes, she knew Jacob would have relations with her, believing there was a greater likelihood she would become pregnant.

      TO THIS DAY, we don’t know if the effect of the mandrakes was something biological, or if it functioned more as a placebo. But under the guiding hand of God, the mandrakes seemed to “work” in the case of Leah and Jacob. Whatever strange agencies God may allow to be used (such as mandrakes), the real factor is His sovereign will (God listened to Leah).

      You have taken away my husband.

      WOW…TALK ABOUT OPEN WARFARE AND HOSTILITY. The hostility between Leah and Rachel is as obvious as it is painful, IS IT NOT?
      It must have been terrible living in a home where one wife believed the other had stolen her husband from her.

      BUT RIGHT HERE…WE SEE THE WISDOM OF GOD’S ORIGINAL PLAN FOR MANKIND. God’s original plan, as expressed in Genesis 2:24 tells us… “ONE man to be joined to ONE woman in a ONE-flesh relationship.”

      AND WE SEE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN IT IS NOT FOLLOWED.
      I fought a headache and a heartache while PREPARING this Bible study…

      AND THIS IS ALL LAYING THE FOUNDATION…AND GIVING US THE INSIGHT AND THE REASONS BEHIND…THE WHY?

      WHY this family has & will have a history of strife and bloodshed. The SIMPLE ANSWER…AND WARNING IS THIS…Children REFLECT the atmosphere of the home & their upbringing when they are grown.

      AND INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH…later in Leviticus 18:18, it becomes FORBIDDEN FOR the marrying of sisters, and this shows why, Amen?

      So she called his name Issachar…Jacob’s ninth son, born to Leah, is named Issachar, meaning “reward”; Leah WRONGLY SAW THIS son as a reward from God because she was “generous” enough to offer her maid to Jacob.

      Verses 19-20 tells us of the birth of Zebulun.

      “Then Leah conceived again and bore Jacob a sixth son. And Leah said, “God has endowed me with a good endowment; now my husband will dwell with me, because I have borne him six sons.” So she called his name Zebulun.”

      So she called his name Zebulun…Jacob’s tenth son, born to Leah, is named Zebulun, meaning “dwelling.” In the pain of her heart, LEAH STILL waits for her husband to truly love her and live with her, and she hopes the sheer quantity of sons will win his heart to her.

      We see Satan still having a wonderful time tormenting everyone, and STILL LEAH has forgotten her FIRST LOVE and her TRUE PROVIDER…she and Rachel are STILL living in the flesh, just as SATAN wants it…NEITHER IS TURNING TO ALMIGHTY GOD THE TRUE AND ONLY ABSOLUTE AND UNSHAKEABLE SOURCE FOR THEIR FOR PEACE, COMFORT, LOVE, AND REASSURANCE, Amen?

      Verse 21 tells us of the birth of Dinah.

      “Afterward she bore a daughter, and called her name Dinah.”

      Afterward she bore a daughter…FINALLY, after ten MALE children, Jacob becomes father to a daughter through Leah, who is named Dinah. Apparently, there was nothing symbolically significant in her name or the Bible would have told us.

      The ungodly competition has, in one sense, ended. Leah and the two maids will have no more children.

      But the wives fought each other as in a poker game… a game of CONSTANT ONEUPMANSHIP…WITH NEITHER BEING THE WINNER…AND UNFORTUNATELY the children being NOT only the pawns, but emotional, unintended casualties of this war, Amen?

      Verse 22 tell us Rachel herself bears a son to Jacob & this SHOWS US God’s sovereignty over the womb.

      “Then God remembered Rachel, and God listened to her and opened her womb.”

      And opened her womb…The idea of God’s sovereignty over the womb is a persistent theme in the Bible.

      WHERE?
      God granted twins to Rebekah (Genesis 25:21).
      God opens the womb of Leah (Genesis 29:31).
      God closes the womb of Hannah (1 Samuel 1:5).

      The purposes of God in opening one and closing the other may be completely unknowable, but what we DO KNOW & CAN ALWAYS TRUST WITHOUT A DOUBT…IS THAT OUR JESUS has His purpose, AMEN?

      Verses 23-24 tells us of the birth of Joseph.

      “And she conceived and bore a son, and said, “God has taken away my reproach.” So she called his name Joseph, and said, “The Lord shall add to me another son.”

      So she called his name Joseph…The eleventh son born to Jacob, through Rachel, is named Joseph, meaning “may he add”; Rachel feels she has been “vindicated” by the birth of one son, but longs for more children to continue the competition with her sister Leah.

      DO YOU NOTICE…TWO THINGS…NOT MUCH IS SAID OR HEARD FROM BY JACOB VERBALLY IN THIS CHAPTER SO FAR…and sadly, NEITHER WOMAN IS THANKFUL FOR THEIR CHILDREN, NEITHER THANKS ALMIGHTY GOD FOR HIS BLESSING OF THESE CHILDREN…IT IS STILL IN LEAH AND RACHEL’S MIND…A COMPETITION…ONE UPMANSHIP HERE.

      AND THINK ABOUT IT, at this point, none would think this eleventh son would end up being THE KEY son used to further God’s redemptive purpose through this family.

      BUT JOSEPH IS….

      Yet Isaiah 55:8-9 tell us…“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

      NOW REENTERS JACOB INTO THIS DRAMA…AND WE REALIZE SOMETHING ELSE HERE…JACOB NOT ONLY HAS TO CONTEND WITH HIS WIVES, JACOB IS STILL DEALING WITH THE GREEDY, SELF-CENTERED, MANIPULATIVE LABAN AS WELL.

      Verses 25-27 tells us Jacob KNOWS it is time to go back to Canaan & OF his agreement with Laban.

      “And it came to pass, when Rachel had borne Joseph, that Jacob said to Laban, “Send me away, that I may go to my own place and to my country. Give me my wives and my children for whom I have served you, and let me go; for you know my service which I have done for you.” And Laban said to him, “Please stay, if I have found favor in your eyes, for I have learned by experience that the Lord has blessed me for your sake.”

      Send me away, that I may go to my own place and to my country… Though Jacob was in Haran with Laban and his daughters for more than 14 years at this point, & he is NOT ALL THAT HE WILL BE WITH GOD YET, JACOB knew that he belonged in the land promised to him by God, through the covenant made with his grandfather Abraham and his father Isaac. After 14 years, Jacob still called the Promised Land MY country...NOT HARAN.

      Please stay, if I have found favor in your eyes, for I have learned by experience that the Lord has blessed me for your sake: Laban IS STILL THINKING ABOUT HIS POCKETBOOK AND HIS SOCIAL CACHE HERE….LABAN HAS NOT CHANGED.

      LABAN KNOWS Jacob has been an invaluable worker for him. Laban says this knowledge was learned by experience. Literally this means, “learned by divination.” THIS TELLS US THAT GOD WAS RIGHT TO REMOVE ABRAM FROM HARAN, THAT LAND OF UR OF THE CHALDEANS…AND THAT EVEN HUNDREDS OF YEARS LATER, ABRAHAM’S RELATIVES/FAMILY STILL PRACTICE THE OCCULT & WORSHIP OTHER GODS. Laban practiced occult divination and by this he knew the source of blessing. THIS TELLS US OCCULT OR NOT, SATAN KNOWS WHO IS THE POWER AND THE RULER OF ALL THINGS…WHETHER HE WANTS TO ACCEPT IT OR NOT.

      Verses 28-34 Jacob negotiates a deal with Laban to start building a flock of sheep and goats for himself.

      “Then he said, “Name me your wages, and I will give it.” So Jacob said to him, “You know how I have served you and how your livestock has been with me. For what you had before I came was little, and it has increased to a great amount; the Lord has blessed you since my coming. And now, when shall I also provide for my own house?” So he said, “What shall I give you?” And Jacob said, “You shall not give me anything. If you will do this thing for me, I will again feed and keep your flocks: Let me pass through all your flock today, removing from there all the speckled and spotted sheep, and all the brown ones among the lambs, and the spotted and speckled among the goats; and these shall be my wages. So my righteousness will answer for me in time to come, when the subject of my wages comes before you: every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats, and brown among the lambs, will be considered stolen, if it is with me.” And Laban said, “Oh, that it were according to your word!”

      The spotted and speckled among the goats; and these shall be my wages. Jacob will take the speckled and spotted offspring, but will separate the currently speckled or spotted animals from the rest of the flock, so the odds are set against him.

      WHY?
      Allowing the speckled and spotted sheep and goats to remain in the flock would increase the likelihood of more speckled and spotted offspring coming from the flock at large.

      Laban said, “Oh, that it were according to your word!” This is an agreeable deal to both parties. First, it was a foolproof way to distinguish between the flocks of Laban and Jacob. As well, Laban liked the deal because the odds were stacked in his favor. Jacob may have proposed the deal because he was FINALLY willing to BEGIN TO trust in God. And he is BEGINNING TO REALIZE THAT STACKED DECK OR NOT….ALMIGHTY GOD RULES AND REIGNS AND CONTROLS ALL DECKS, AMEN?

      Verses 35-36 tells us the agreement is made, and the flocks are separated.

      “So he removed that day the male goats that were speckled and spotted, all the female goats that were speckled and spotted, every one that had some white in it, and all the brown ones among the lambs, and gave them into the hand of his sons. Then he put three days’ journey between himself and Jacob, and Jacob fed the rest of Laban’s flocks.”

      Jacob fed the rest of Laban’s flocks…Jacob now will care for the large flock of his father-in-law Laban, made up of solid-colored animals, and Jacob will receive any speckled or spotted offspring of this flock. Obviously, if there was a way Jacob could encourage these solid-colored sheep to bring forth spotted and speckled offspring, it would greatly increase his personal wealth.

      He put three days’ journey between himself and Jacob…KNOWING LABAN CHEATS….So there would be no mixing of the flocks, Laban’s sons took care of all the existing speckled and spotted sheep and goats, keeping them a three-day journey from the main flock. Jacob himself would take care of the solid-colored flock of Laban, as well as their speckled and spotted offspring, which belonged to him.

      Verses 37-43 tells us God blesses Jacob’s method of breeding, and he greatly increases in wealth.

      “Now Jacob took for himself rods of green poplar and of the almond and chestnut trees, peeled white strips in them, and exposed the white which was in the rods. And the rods which he had peeled, he set before the flocks in the gutters, in the watering troughs where the flocks came to drink, so that they should conceive when they came to drink. So the flocks conceived before the rods, and the flocks brought forth streaked, speckled, and spotted. Then Jacob separated the lambs, and made the flocks face toward the streaked and all the brown in the flock of Laban; but he put his own flocks by themselves and did not put them with Laban’s flock. And it came to pass, whenever the stronger livestock conceived, that Jacob placed the rods before the eyes of the livestock in the gutters, that they might conceive among the rods. But when the flocks were feeble, he did not put them in; so the feebler were Laban’s and the stronger Jacob’s. Thus the man became exceedingly prosperous, and had large flocks, female and male servants, and camels and donkeys.”

      Jacob took for himself rods of green poplar and of the almond and chestnut trees…When Jacob put these branches in the drinking troughs of the flocks it apparently increased the number of speckled and spotted offspring from the solid-colored flock Jacob managed on Laban’s behalf.

      So the feebler were Laban’s and the stronger Jacob’s…Jacob also used selective breeding to increase the strength and vitality of his flock.

      Christian breeding experts in animal husbandry…do not TO THIS DAY KNOW WHY OR HOW this method OF GREEN POPLAR, ALMOND, & CHESTNUT TREES IN THE WATER worked IN THE NATURAL. It is possible Jacob knew more about animal husbandry than we do today; but it is MORE LIKELY Jacob did the best he knew, and God blessed it, AMEN?

      Thus the man became exceedingly prosperous…The ancient Hebrew says, “the man burst out exceedingly exceedingly.” God blessed Jacob, but it was not because Jacob was especially good. It was because of the promises God made to Jacob in Genesis 28:13-15 and the covenant made to Abraham.

      We may fail and falter…miss the mark, but ALMIGHTY GOD IS A PROMISE MAKER AND KEEPER. ALMIGHTY GOD DOES NOT BREAK HIS WORD.

      In the same way, blessing comes from the Lord to us, not because we are great or good, but because of the covenant God has made with us through Jesus, and promises He has given us in His word, Amen?
      ABOVE AND BEYOND THE IN-FIGHTING WITHIN JACOB’S FAMILY…AND SATAN’S EVIL PLOTTING AND TORMENT, ALMIGHTY GOD GIVES US FOUR UNIQUE BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES FOR PERSONAL AND LIFETIME PROSPERITY HERE.

      1. Don’t make wealth your goal told to us in Genesis 30:25-26.
      2. Don’t be afraid to work for others & try to increase their wealth before or as you work to increase your own wealth told to us in Genesis 30:27.
      3. Work hard, dedicating yourself to your employer’s success told to us in Genesis 30:26, 31:38-42.
      4. Trust God told to us in Genesis 30:31-33.

      And GENESIS 30 ALSO, ONCE AGAIN, SHOWS US THE PATIENCE OF OUR ABBA FATHER IN HIS DEALINGS WITH SWABBLING/IN THE FLESH/DOUBTING CHILDREN.

      THEN AND NOW ALMIGHTY GOD WANTS THEM TO SEEK HIM, LEAN ON HIM, ASK FOR ALL THINGS FROM HIM…NOT THE WORLD, NOT SPOUSES, FAMILY OR FRIENDS…BUT HE ALSO WANTS US TO CHOOSE HIM OF OUR OWN FREE WILL…HE DID NOT CREATE US IN HIS IMAGE TO BE ROBOTS, THAT OBEY WITHOUT WILL OR THOUGHT.

      ALMIGHTY GOD, JUST LIKE US, WANTS TO BE CHOSEN. WANTS TO BE WILLINGLY AND FREELY LOVED BY US.

      AND AS A PATIENT FATHER, HE WILL AT TIMES ALLOW US TO CHOOSE WRONGLY, AND LET US SEE THROUGH OUR OWN WILLFULNESS…OUR OWN ACTIONS…THAT APART FROM HIM, HIS WILL AND HIS DIRECTION FOR OUR LIVES…WE, MORE TIMES THAN NOT, BRING HEARTACHE AND AN EMOTIONAL TRAIN WRECK INTO OUR LIVES.

      BUT EVEN THEN, ALMIGHTY GOD HAS A PLAN. ALMIGHTY GOD IS FAITHFUL. ALMIGHTY GOD’S PLAN AND PURPOSE FOR OUR LIVES WILL NOT BE STOPPED BY SATAN, THE WORLD, OR EVEN WE OURSELVES. HIS PLAN WILL BE COMPLETED. WHAT A BLESSING AND A RELIEF THAT IS.
      OUR JESUS DOES NOT GIVE UP ON US, AMEN?

      THE MAIN POINT HERE….TRUST OUR TRIUNE GOD, WHO LOVES US, HIS PLAN IS PERFECT AND HIS PLAN NEVER FAILS!

    • June 21, 2016 6:15 PM EDT
    • Genesis 31 - Jacob Flees From Laban to Canaan

      Verses 1-2 tells us contention with Laban’s sons causes Laban to look differently at Jacob.

      “Now Jacob heard the words of Laban’s sons, saying, “Jacob has taken away all that was our father’s, and from what was our father’s he has acquired all this wealth.” And Jacob saw the countenance of Laban, and indeed it was not favorable toward him as before.”

      Jacob has taken away all that was our father’s: It wasn’t that Jacob had taken ANYTHING belonging to Laban. Rather, it was that JACOB’S WEALTH was increasing in proportion to Laban’s wealth.

      SO WHAT WAS THE PROBLEM?
      THE GREEN-EYED MONSTER…CALLED ENVY had reared its head.
      The problem wasn’t that Jacob stole, it was that Laban’s sons were filled with envy.

      Envy will distort the truth. Jacob had not taken anything of Laban’s, but envy will lie.

      And consider this truth, for 20+ years JACOB had basically worked for Laban for FREE. And Laban’s sons could sit back and reap the blessings of Jacob’s due diligence. Laban and his sons were getting wealthier and wealthier…without doing much of anything…now for the past 6+ years, Jacob’s sheep & goats & camels are reproducing…we could say at a MIRACULOUS rate…and Jacob’s flocks are pure, perfect, stronger, and healthier than Laban’s.

      WHY?

      First and foremost, Jacob had THE FAVOR OF ALMIGHTY GOD, AND secondly, ALMIGHTY GOD’S PROMISE TO BLESS AND INCREASE THE WORK OF HIS HANDS AND HIS FLOCKS.

      SO NOW…it is VERY APPARENT TO LABAN’S SONS, THE PEOPLE AROUND THEM, JACOB AND HIS FAMILY, AND TO LABAN HIMSELF…that the tables have been turned, AMEN?

      Laban’s flocks are not dying, or decreasing, but they are NOT MULTIPLYING ANY WHERE NEAR AS FAST AS JACOB’S.

      SO SILENTLY PROVES TO LABAN’S SONS and to LABAN himself…that he and his sons HAVE BEEN VERY LAZY & HAVE NOT BEEN WORKING HARD…SO INSTEAD OF ADMITTING THEIR LAZINESS AND LACK OF HARD WORK AND DUE DILIGENCE OVER THEIR FATHER LABAN’S FLOCKS…they decide to TRY AND CAST THE BLAME for their puny flocks on Jacob stealing/switching THEIR FLOCKS, AND PUTTING his weak and puny sheep and goats in their flocks, and TAKING THEIR STRONGER SHEEP AND GOATS.

      WHEN WE CONSIDER THAT JACOB moved HIS FLOCKS three days AWAY from LABAN’S FLOCKS…and HIS FLOCKS were only producing what he TOLD LABAN they would…it makes this ACCUSATION all the more ridiculous.

      The countenance of Laban . . . was not favorable toward him: The envy of Laban’s sons poisoned Laban’s heart against Jacob. Before, he was entirely pleased with the agreement. Laban WAS PLEASED when HE AND HE ALONE was profiting from Jacob’s labor and reaping ALL THE benefits…but now that JACOB’S HARD WORK IS PAYING OFF…miraculously…LABAN is NO LONGER HAPPY.

      Envy is bad not only on its own, but also for the company it keeps: for you are still carnal.

      1 Corinthians 3:3 reminds us… “For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?”

      James 3:16 warns us, “For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.”

      1 Corinthians 13:4 counsels us…“Instead, Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy.”

      Titus 3:3 tells us God wants to deliver us from envy. “For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.”

      SOME HAVE ASKED…Is envy a small sin?

      Matthew 27:18 tells us THAT ENVY put Jesus on the cross. “For he knew that they had handed Him over because of envy.”

      SO ENVY IS A VERY DANGEROUS SIN, AMEN?

      Verse 3 tells us God tells Jacob to go back home.

      “Then the Lord said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers and to your family, and I will be with you.”

      Even if Jacob never knew it, God prepared him for this time. First, God gave him the desire to go back home in Genesis 30:25. Then his present circumstances became unbearable. Finally, the Lord gave personal direction to Jacob. God often leads us in the same pattern.

      And I will be with you…This confirmed the direction of God in Jacob’s life.

      Verses 4-13 tells us Jacob explains the situation and his plan to his wives.

      “So Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field, to his flock, and said to them, “I see your father’s countenance, that it is not favorable toward me as before; but the God of my father has been with me. And you know that with all my might I have served your father. Yet your father has deceived me and changed my wages ten times, but God did not allow him to hurt me. If he said thus: ‘The speckled shall be your wages,’ then all the flocks bore speckled. And if he said thus: ‘The streaked shall be your wages,’ then all the flocks bore streaked. So God has taken away the livestock of your father and given them to me. And it happened, at the time when the flocks conceived, that I lifted my eyes and saw in a dream, and behold, the rams which leaped upon the flocks were streaked, speckled, and gray-spotted. Then the Angel of God spoke to me in a dream, saying, ‘Jacob.’ And I said, ‘Here I am.’ And He said, ‘Lift your eyes now and see, all the rams which leap on the flocks are streaked, speckled, and gray-spotted; for I have seen all that Laban is doing to you. I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed the pillar and where you made a vow to Me. Now arise, get out of this land, and return to the land of your family.’ “

      Even though Laban TRIED to cheat Jacob, God protected him all the time. We don’t have to fear what man can do to us when God is on our side, AMEN?

      Psalm 118:6 reminds us of this as well, when David says, “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”

      You know that with all my might I have served your father….This shows Jacob knew his wives were aware of his righteous conduct and Laban’s unfair treatment of him.

      I am the God of Bethel…God told Jacob to go back to Bethel, back to the place where he first encountered the Lord in a personal way.

      This is a way of RETURNING to one’s first love and first works as Jesus encouraged and warned HIS CHURCHES in Revelation 2:4-5.

      I am the God of Bethel…it is good for us to remember times and places where the Lord did great works for us, and met us in wonderful ways. As we remember them, God reminds us He is still the same God Who met our needs then and wants to meet our needs now, AMEN?

      DID YOU CATCH THAT?

      THE ANGEL OF GOD spoke to me in a dream: Significantly, there is much more to what the Lord said to Jacob than what was reported in Genesis 31:3. Genesis 31:3 is completely true, but there was more to it than this simple bare word from the Lord.
      Not A ANGEL, OR ANGELS, BUT THE ANGEL OF GOD, CAN ONLY BE JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF.

      Verses 14-16 tells us Leah and Rachel support Jacob in his desire to move back to Canaan.

      “Then Rachel and Leah answered and said to him, “Is there still any portion or inheritance for us in our father’s house? Are we not considered strangers by him? For he has sold us, and also completely consumed our money. For all these riches which God has taken from our father are really ours and our children’s; now then, whatever God has said to you, do it.”

      Is there still any portion or inheritance for us in our father’s house?

      LEAH AND RACHEL’S UNITED SUPPORT IS THE FIRST KNOWN TIME THEY BOTH AGREE AND SUPPORT…ANYTHING.

      AND JACOB NEEDED THEIR SUPPORT…because this is a huge undertaking, moving such a massive family so far. If not for the support of his wives, Jacob perhaps would not have done what the Lord had told him to do.

      Whatever God has said to you, do it: This may be the first time in quite a while when the sisters Leah and Rachel agreed on anything, BUT THEY CAN AGREE IN UNITING AGAINST A COMMON LONG TIME FOE…their father Laban.

      Verses 17-21 tells us Jacob leaves without saying goodbye.

      “Then Jacob rose and set his sons and his wives on camels. And he carried away all his livestock and all his possessions which he had gained, his acquired livestock which he had gained in Padan Aram, to go to his father Isaac in the land of Canaan. Now Laban had gone to shear his sheep, and Rachel had stolen the household idols that were her father’s. And Jacob stole away, unknown to Laban the Syrian, in that he did not tell him that he intended to flee. So he fled with all that he had. He arose and crossed the river, and headed toward the mountains of Gilead.”

      STOLE AWAY…means JACOB SNEAKED AWAY FROM LABAN.

      God has already TOLD JACOB to go and PROMISED him safe passage. Jacob is clearly acting in the flesh, because has no need to be afraid of Laban or to sneak away, AMEN?

      FEAR AND LACK OF FAITH IN JUST WHO ALMIGHTY GOD IS AND WHAT ALMIGHTY GOD CAN DO…made it impossible for JACOB TO LEARN AND REAP the full measure of blessing ALMIGHTY GOD WANTED FOR HIM…SO JACOB sneaked away instead of departing OPENLY TRUSTING AND BELIEVING THAT ALMIGHTY GOD WOULD BE WITH HIM AND WOULD PROTECT HIM.

      Rachel had stolen the household idols that were her father’s:

      Rachel took her father’s household idols (teraphim). She may have wanted them because perhaps she worshipped these idols and did not want to be without them. Perhaps she did not want her father to inquire of them, using them as tools of divination to catch them (as he may have previously done, Genesis 30:27). Or perhaps it was because such idols were often used as deeds to property and she thought this she was taking her “inheritance.”

      TERAPHIM were human carvings in form and cut off at the waist as were sculpted figures, yet these were used as protections, blessings, and said to commune with “gods” to show them the future and to make decisions. Much like those cults who use a scryching mirror or a crystal ball to SEE what their SPIRIT GUIDES show and tell them.

      Perhaps Rachel stole the teraphim simply to get back at her father, whom she felt had mistreated her, her husband, and her whole family. Jewish traditions say Rachel took the teraphim because she wanted to keep her father Laban from idolatry.

      WHATEVER THE REASON…Rachel did not TRUST AND REALLY KNOW ALMIGHTY GOD yet either…Amen?

      It was nearly 300 miles from Haran to the mountains of Gilead, but the journey was longer and tougher psychologically for Jacob than anything else. He is leaving the place of safety, where he has lived in a comfortable servitude, to go to a place where God has called him, but dangerous enemies abound (like his brother Esau, who swore to kill him).

      Verses 22-24 tells us Laban pursues and catches Jacob.

      “And Laban was told on the third day that Jacob had fled. Then he took his brethren with him and pursued him for seven days’ journey, and he overtook him in the mountains of Gilead. But God had come to Laban the Syrian in a dream by night, and said to him, “Be careful that you speak to Jacob neither good nor bad.”

      God had come to Laban the Syrian in a dream by night: God’s speaking to Laban in a dream shows he had evil intention towards Jacob. God is protecting Jacob. And this ALSO tells us something else here, the lost, the disbelieving, and the rejecting STILL KNOW WITHOUT DOUBT…WHEN ALMIGHTY GOD VISITS THEM AND SPEAKS TO THEM, AMEN?

      Verses 25-29 tells us Laban meets and confronts Jacob.

      “So Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the mountains, and Laban with his brethren pitched in the mountains of Gilead. And Laban said to Jacob: “What have you done, that you have stolen away unknown to me, and carried away my daughters like captives taken with the sword? Why did you flee away secretly, and steal away from me, and not tell me; for I might have sent you away with joy and songs, with timbrel and harp? And you did not allow me to kiss my sons and my daughters. Now you have done foolishly in so doing. It is in my power to do you harm, but the God of your father spoke to me last night, saying, ‘Be careful that you speak to Jacob neither good nor bad.”
      Why did you flee away secretly?

      FIRST Laban TRIES to shame Jacob with kindness (“We wanted to throw you a party!”). When that didn’t work (we can only imagine the stony faces answering him), he did what most bullies do - he boasted of his ability to harm Jacob.

      DO YOU SEE SATAN HAVING A LARGE TIME TWISTING LABAN AND HIS SONS AND USING THEM TO TRY TO HURT AND SHAME JACOB’S HEART, IF NOT DESTROY HIS NAME AND REPUTATION WITHIN HIS OWN PEOPLE?

      Verses 30-35 Laban accuses Jacob of stealing his teraphim and searches for them.

      “And now you have surely gone because you greatly long for your father’s house, but why did you steal my gods?” Then Jacob answered and said to Laban, “Because I was afraid, for I said, ‘Perhaps you would take your daughters from me by force.’ With whomever you find your gods, do not let him live. In the presence of our brethren, identify what I have of yours and take it with you.” For Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them. And Laban went into Jacob’s tent, into Leah’s tent, and into the two maids’ tents, but he did not find them. Then he went out of Leah’s tent and entered Rachel’s tent. Now Rachel had taken the household idols, put them in the camel’s saddle, and sat on them. And Laban searched all about the tent but did not find them. And she said to her father, “Let it not displease my lord that I cannot rise before you, for the manner of women is with me.” And he searched but did not find the household idols.”

      Why did you steal my gods? Jacob, not knowing his beloved wife Rachel stole the household idols, proclaimed his innocence and pronounced a harsh curse on the thief, not knowing actually put a curse on his own wife.

      And you notice, as I did, that LABAN TOO FAVORED RACHEL OVER LEAH…He was quick to toss LEAH AND HER MAIDS AND HER CHILDREN’S TENTS FIRST…and only after HIS IDOLS were NOT FOUND ANYWHERE…that LABAN half-heartedly searched RACHEL’S THINGS.

      Rachel had taken the household idols, put them in the camel’s saddle, and sat on them: Rachel learned the ways of deception well from her father. She succeeded in deceiving her father about the idols.

      AND RACHEL SAYING… “THE MANNER OF WOMEN IS WITH ME”…insured that LABAN would not touch her or go near her…WHY?

      In that day, women were considered UNCLEAN & EVIL CONTAGIOUS during their menstrual cycle…and WERE MOST TIMES RELEGATED TO A SEPARATE “RED TENT” SET APART FROM EVERYONE ELSE…AND SET ASIDE FOR WOMEN DURING THEIR MONTHLY CYCLE, AS WELL RIGHT AFTER GIVING BIRTH.

      KNOWING THIS, Rachel used HER FATHER AND HER PEOPLE’S SUPERSTITION AGAINST THEM TO INSURE THAT THEY DID NOT MAKE HER GET DOWN FROM HER CAMEL TO BOW BEFORE HER FATHER, NOR DID LABAN, HIS SONS, NOR ANY OF HIS MEN GO NEAR HER.

      Verses 36-42 tells us Jacob rebukes his father-in-law Laban.

      “Then Jacob was angry and rebuked Laban, and Jacob answered and said to Laban: “What is my trespass? What is my sin, that you have so hotly pursued me? Although you have searched all my things, what part of your household things have you found? Set it here before my brethren and your brethren, that they may judge between us both! These twenty years I have been with you; your ewes and your female goats have not miscarried their young, and I have not eaten the rams of your flock. That which was torn by beasts I did not bring to you; I bore the loss of it. You required it from my hand, whether stolen by day or stolen by night. There I was! In the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night, and my sleep departed from my eyes. Thus I have been in your house twenty years; I served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flock, and you have changed my wages ten times. Unless the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. God has seen my affliction and the labor of my hands, and rebuked you last night.”

      Then Jacob was angry and rebuked Laban:

      IN OTHER WORDS, JACOB GAVE LABAN AND HIS SONS A LONG HELD BACK SPEW-FEST OVER ALL THAT HE HAD DEALT WITH.

      It isn’t hard to see these words building up in Jacob for 20 years. He has practiced this speech over and over again in his mind.

      HOW MANY OF US HAVE EVER SAID, IF NOT THOUGHT, MAN OHHHHHH MANNNNNNN, ONE OF THESE DAYS I AM GOING TO TELL MY BOSS, NEIGHBOR, FAMILY MEMBER, OR FRIEND…EXACTLY WHAT I REALLLLLLLLLY THINK ABOUT THEM?

      What is my trespass?

      INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH….IN THAT DAY, IT WAS THE CUSTOM that a shepherd could bring the torn carcass of a sheep to his owner, as evidence that he was brave enough to not let the wolf devour it or take it away, and thus the shepherd would be excused. But Jacob says he didn’t even do this, and every animal that was attacked, he made good out of his own flock.

      Unless the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had been with me.

      THE GOOD NEWS….Jacob RIGHTLY saw God’s place & CONTROL in all this.

      THE BAD NEWS…YOU NOTICE NO WHERE AND AT NO TIME DOES JACOB CALL ALMIGHTY GOD….MY GOD.


      Verses 43-50 tells us Jacob and Laban make a covenant.

      “And Laban answered and said to Jacob, “These daughters are my daughters, and these children are my children, and this flock is my flock; all that you see is mine. But what can I do this day to these my daughters or to their children whom they have borne? Now therefore, come, let us make a covenant, you and I, and let it be a witness between you and me.” So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a pillar. Then Jacob said to his brethren, “Gather stones.” And they took stones and made a heap, and they ate there on the heap. Laban called it Jegar Sahadutha, but Jacob called it Galeed. And Laban said, “This heap is a witness between you and me this day.” Therefore its name was called Galeed, also Mizpah, because he said, “May the Lord watch between you and me when we are absent one from another. If you afflict my daughters, or if you take other wives besides my daughters, although no man is with us; see, God is witness between you and me!”

      All that you see is mine: Laban ARROGANTLY STILL TRIES TO LAY CLAIM to all this that is already out of his hand. He says, “It is mine, but Jacob, out of the generosity of my heart, I’ll let you have it.”

      May the Lord watch between you and me when we are absent one from another:

      IN THIS WORLDLY MAN-MADE COVENANT…NOT AN ALMIGHTY GOD MADE AND APPROVED COVENANT… Laban expresses how suspicious he is of Jacob. The idea of Mizpah (“watch” OR “look out” ) is “If you do wrong, God will see it and may He punish!”

      In effect, the pillar of Mizpah meant, ‘If you come over on my side of this line, the pact is void and I will kill you.’ The covenant breaker would need God (this depends on who and which god that person trusted and believed in and worshipped of course) to take care of him, because the other would shoot to kill.”

      Down through the ages, Mizpah was NEVER meant to be a nice sentiment - despite what THE PAST AND PRESENT “Mizpah coin” and the “MIZPAH BLESSING” might say….or now CLAIM IT AS A TOKEN OF REMEMBRANCE, BLESSING AND FAVOR.

      ALMIGHTY GOD IS TELLING US RIGHT HERE…A MIZPAH IS BASICALLY A THREAT AND A CURSE.

      Verses 51-55 tells us a pillar of separation and a parting of their ways.

      Then Laban said to Jacob, “Here is this heap and here is this pillar, which I have placed between you and me. This heap is a witness, and this pillar is a witness, that I will not pass beyond this heap to you, and you will not pass beyond this heap and this pillar to me, for harm. The God of Abraham, the God of Nahor, and the God of their father judge between us.” And Jacob swore by the Fear of his father Isaac. Then Jacob offered a sacrifice on the mountain, and called his brethren to eat bread. And they ate bread and stayed all night on the mountain. And early in the morning Laban arose, and kissed his sons and daughters and blessed them. Then Laban departed and returned to his place.”

      I will not pass beyond this heap to you: The best solution for Jacob’s in-law problems is for him to separate from Laban. In fact, they erect a pillar to be a barrier between them.

      Right here what LABAN intended as a curse, a slam, a shaming, and a threat….Almighty God USED to KEEP LABAN, who was basically swearing an oath and a promise of threat upon his occult idols….upon JACOB…to insure that LABAN STAYED AWAY FROM JACOB for the rest of his life….AND LABAN DID.

      There is wisdom in having some separation from in-laws. The Bible does say, AND REMIND US in Genesis 2:24, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife.”

      Though the separation in Jacob’s case is indeed extreme!

      Then Laban departed and returned to his place: After a proper good-bye, Laban sees his daughters and grandchildren for the last time.

      AND THE BIBLE TELLS US THAT THIS IS THE LAST TIME WE HEAR OF Laban in the Bible, and it is good that this is the end of him. Laban is of the world, and Jacob needed to be freed from this world in order to live wholeheartedly for the God of his fathers.
      LABAN’S ENTIRE LIFE is a WARNING TO THOSE who ARE MORE WORLDLY, SELFISH AND SELF-SERVING, THAN LEANING IN ON, TRUSTING, AND BELIEVING IN OUR TRIUNE GOD FOR ALL THINGS…such resentment and envy of Jacob’s Triune God and the BLESSINGS he received, rather than seeking out HIS TRUE GOD AND FOLLOWING IN ALMIGHTY GOD’S COMMANDS…will only in the end…destroy.

      AND THE BIBLE TELL US THAT Rachel and Leah were wrong to look to their father Laban for their portion or inheritance once they were married to Jacob. He now was their portion and inheritance.









      Genesis 32 - Jacob Prepares to Meet Esau

      Verses 1-2 tells us Jacob hears of Esau’s approach & meets the angels of God at Mahanaim. He realizes God is with him and he has angelic protection.

      “So Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. When Jacob saw them, he said, “This is God’s camp.” And he called the name of that place Mahanaim.”

      This is God’s camp: Literally, Jacob observed he was in a double camp. He was not alone; God had a camp of angels with him at Mahanaim.

      AND WE NEED TO REMEMBER SOMETHING PRECIOUS AND SPECIAL HERE…It was not as if God’s angels just SUDDENLY SHOWED UP AND JOINED Jacob. They were with him the ENTIRE time. BUT ALMIGHTY GOD ALLOWED JACOB TO SEEEEEEE THEM NOW…SO THAT Jacob WOULD KNOW God’s angels WERE with him and it provided great encouragement.

      Hebrews 1:14 tells us of Angels, “Though “higher” beings than us, are ordained by God to be our servants.”

      Matthew 4:11 tells us, “They minister to us even as they ministered to Jesus.”

      In 2 Kings 6:15-17 tells us Elisha’s servant had his eyes opened to see the tremendous angelic host surrounding them.

      But you say…SURE OLD TESTAMENT, EARLY TESTAMENT, BUT FAITH THAT WAS THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF YEARS AGO…it does NOT happen today, right?

      Well BILLY GRAHAM RELATES THE TESTIMONY OF John Paton, a missionary to the New Hebrides Islands, told of how one night hostile natives surrounded his missions headquarters, intent on burning the Patons out and killing them. He and his wife prayed through the entire night, and when daylight finally came, their attackers all left. A year later, the chief of the tribe became a Christian, and Paton asked the man about that night. The chief replied, “Who were all those men you had with you there?” The missionary explained only he and his wife were there. The chief insisted he had seen hundreds of big men with shining garments and swords circling the mission headquarters, so the natives were afraid to attack. That night in the New Hebrides Islands, there certainly was a “double camp”!

      The angels of God met him: This wonderful revelation of God’s presence and care came after Jacob finally separated from Laban, the worldly man. Separation from the world brings greater insight to the believer.

      AND YOU NOTICE THE WORDING HERE….“THE ANGELS OF GOD” …THAT MEANS MANY, THAT MEANS UNNAMED, HEAVENLY SOLDIERS/MESSENGERS OF ALMIGHTY GOD..NOT THE ANGEL OF GOD…WHICH COULD ONLY BE JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF…AMEN?

      Verses 3-6 tells us Jacob’s message to Esau.

      “Then Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother in the land of Seir, the country of Edom. And he commanded them, saying, “Speak thus to my lord Esau, ‘Thus your servant Jacob says: “I have dwelt with Laban and stayed there until now. I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, and male and female servants; and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find favor in your sight.” ‘ “ Then the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother Esau, and he also is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.”

      Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother: Jacob, seeking to reconcile with his brother (who 20 years before swore to kill him), first began by humbling himself and sending the message, “your servant Jacob.”

      I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, and male and female servants: Jacob isn’t bragging. He wants Esau TO KNOW that he is a man of wealth and that he HAS NOT come to take anything from Esau. We see Jacob trying to get inside Esau’s head and answer Esau’s concerns BEFORE he sees him face to face.

      He also is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him: When the messengers return, Jacob heard news that made his blood run cold. Esau was coming to meet him with 400 men. Because Jacob could not bring himself to think the best of Esau (for understandable reasons), he was convinced the 400 men are an army intending to destroy him and his family.

      Verses 7-8 tells us Jacob’s fear and carnal preparation.

      “So Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed; and he divided the people that were with him, and the flocks and herds and camels, into two companies. And he said, “If Esau comes to the one company and attacks it, then the other company which is left will escape.”

      THIS IS ANOTHER….GUESS WHO HAS COMING CALL…AND THE ANSWER IS HELLOOOOOOOOO SATAN AND HIS WHISPERING LYING, DECEIVING, AND FEAR BRINGING HORDE.

      HOW MANY OF US HAVE HAD THIS HAPPEN…WE ARE GOING HOME…GOING TO A CLASS REUNION…AN ALUM CELEBRATION…WE ARE AT FIRST EXCITED AND NERVOUS, WANTING TO MAKE THE BEST IMPRESSION AND LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING FAMILY AND FRIENDS….THEN SUDDENLY OUT OF NO WHERE….THAT NASTY-TWISTED VOICE WHISPERS THROUGH OUR HEART AND MIND….REMINDING US OF LONG-FORGOTTEN SLIGHTS, HURTS, FIGHTS, CHALLENGES, AND UNSETTLED ISSUES…OR WHAT WE THINK ARE UNSETTLED PAST MISTAKES AND ISSUES…THEN THE JOY IS GONE…AND IT IS REPLACED BY FEAR, WORRY, AND DOUBT!

      THIS SHOWS US THAT NO MATTER THE CHANGES IN THIS WORLD…MAN AND YET BET SATAN AND HIS SCHEMES AND TECHNIQUES HAVE NOT CHANGED ONE BIT!

      SO JACOB IS GREATLY afraid and distressed…When Laban confronted Jacob with a hostile militia Jacob boldly stood up to him and spoke his mind Genesis 31:36-42.

      But NOW with Esau, Jacob was afraid to meet him.

      WHY?

      Jacob KNEW he was in the RIGHT with Laban, but JACOB KNEW he was in the WRONG with Esau.


      In THE SAME WAY TODAY, MANY CHRISTIANS, AS WELL THE LOST, ALLOW THEMSELVES TO BE CRIPPLED, COWARDLY, & AFRAID OVER THEIR PASTS.

      PAST SINS HAUNT US and WE HAVE difficulty believing that Jesus REALLY settled it all and that He wants us to move on and trust in Him, AMEN.

      AND WE REMEMBER TOO….before Jacob left home, after his brother swore to kill him, Rebekah told Jacob until your brother’s anger turns away from you, and he forgets what you have done to him; then I will send and bring you from there in Genesis 27:45.

      We KNOW Rebekah NEVER SENT FOR Jacob and therefore he had every reason to believe 20+ years had not diminished his brother’s anger.

      But Jacob also had every reason to believe God would protect him.

      I MEAN, THINK ABOUT IT, JACOB HAS SEEN THESE MIGHTY WARRIOR ANGELS OF GOD SURROUNDING HIS CAMP. HE SHOULD KNOW THAT NOTHING AND NO ONE CAN TOUCH HIM OR HARM HE OR HIS FAMILY.

      I WOULD HOPE, HAD I BEEN IN THE SAME SITUATION, HAVING ALREADY SPOKEN FACE TO FACE WITH ALMIGHTY GOD AT BETHEL, HAVING HAD A DREAM WHERE JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF TOLD ME WHAT TO DO, NOT TO FEAR, AND THAT HE WAS WITH ME,…AND NOW HAVING SEEN MIGHTY WARRIOR ANGELS SURROUNDING MY CAMP TOO….I WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN WORRIED OR AFRAID.

      BUT JACOB, LIKE PETER, WHO GOT OUT OF THE BOAT, WAS WALKING ON THE WATER TO JESUS, AND AS LONG AS HE KEPT HIS EYES ON JESUS…HE DID THE IMPOSSIBLE…BUT THE INSTANT HE LOOKED AT THE HURRICANE WINDS SWIRLING, AND THE LEAPING HIGH WAVES ROLLING, AND TOOK HIS EYES OFF OF JESUS…HE BEGAN TO SINK…AND FEARED DROWING, RIGHT?
      AND WHAT DID JESUS SAY TO PETER THEN,…WHY DID YOU DOUBT?

      SO JACOB TOOK HIS EYES OFF THE WARRIOR ANGELS, OFF THE PROMISES AND ASSURANCES OF ALMIGHTY GOD AND LOOKED AT HIS PAST…HIS CIRCUMSTANCES…AND THE INSTANT HE DID….SATAN AND HIS DEMONS SWOOPED IN WHISPERING ALL MANNER OF DARKNESS AND DOOM INTO HIS HEART AND MIND, AMEN?

      WE NEED TO REMEMBER….JESUS TELLS US 365 TIMES IN THE BIBLE….FEAR NOT! FEAR NOT! FEAR NOT! I AM WITH YOU, I WILL KEEP YOU….I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU…AMEN?

      SO WHAT SHOULD JACOB AND WE OURSELVES DO IN SITUATIONS LIKE THIS?

      PRAY IT UP…FACE IT…AND THEN MOVE ON…STEP OUT.

      Jacob should have said, “I don’t know if Esau is coming to me in peace or in war. I hope for peace, but if it is war, I trust God will protect me.”

      He divided the people that were with him, and the flocks and herds and camels, into two companies…In splitting his company, Jacob used MAN’S BEST ODDS TACTICAL WISDOM to prepare for Esau’s coming. He should have trusted God could protect all he had. Jacob forgot about God’s “two camps” and tried to make his own “two camps.”

      Verses 9-12 tells us Jacob’s prayer.

      “Then Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, the Lord who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your family, and I will deal well with you’: I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth which You have shown Your servant; for I crossed over this Jordan with my staff, and now I have become two companies. Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; for I fear him, lest he come and attack me and the mother with the children. For You said, ‘I will surely treat you well, and make your descendants as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.’ “

      After FIRST reacting in fear and unbelief, Jacob did the right thing. He went to the Lord and prayed a good prayer, full of faith, thanksgiving, and God’s Word.

      The Lord who said to me, “Return to your country and to your kindred, and I will deal well with you”: Jacob’s prayer had God’s word (what God said in Genesis 31:3). He also quoted God’s promise “I will surely treat you well . . . “ (remembering what God said in Genesis 28:13-15).

      THIS IS HOW WE SHOULD PRAY OVER WORRISOME AND FEARFUL CIRCUMSTANCES…instead MANY of our prayers fall short because there is none of God’s Word within them. Often there is none of God’s Word in them because there is little of God’s Word in us. Jacob remembered what the Lord had said to him.

      I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies…His prayer had thanksgiving. Jacob understood he was not worthy of what God did for him or what he was asking God to do, but he relied on what God promised and not upon his own worthiness.

      Deliver me, I pray…His prayer had faith. He boldly asked God to do something, and gave humble grounds for why the Lord should fulfill His word.

      George Mueller, a great man of faith and prayer, was once asked what was the MOST IMPORTANT part of prayer. He replied: “The 15 minutes after I have said, ‘Amen.’ “

      No matter how great Jacob’s prayer was, his faith will be seen in what he does after his prayer.

      Verses 13-21 tells us Jacob sends many gifts to Esau.

      “So he lodged there that same night, and took what came to his hand as a present for Esau his brother: two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, thirty milk camels with their colts, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten foals. Then he delivered them to the hand of his servants, every drove by itself, and said to his servants, “Pass over before me, and put some distance between successive droves.” And he commanded the first one, saying, “When Esau my brother meets you and asks you, saying, ‘To whom do you belong, and where are you going? Whose are these in front of you?’ then you shall say, ‘They are your servant Jacob’s. It is a present sent to my lord Esau; and behold, he also is behind us.’ “ So he commanded the second, the third, and all who followed the droves, saying, “In this manner you shall speak to Esau when you find him; and also say, ‘Behold, your servant Jacob is behind us.’ “ For he said, “I will appease him with the present that goes before me, and afterward I will see his face; perhaps he will accept me.” So the present went on over before him, but he himself lodged that night in the camp.”

      Jacob sent such an impressive gift because he wanted to make it completely clear to Esau that he did not need or want anything from him. It also could have been a carnal attempt to buy his brother’s good favor as well.

      In all likelihood, Jacob is a perfect example of the principle “when all else fails, pray.” But unfortunately….minutes AFTER PRAYING SUCH A PRECIOUS & POWERFUL PRAYER…Jacob went back to doing things his OWN WAY.

      WHY DO YOU SAY THIS….THINK ABOUT IT, IF Jacob really trusted God, he would be at the head of the procession to meet Esau, not the tail.

      Jacob hoped, “perhaps he will accept me,” but in Jacob’s mind, perhaps not. Jacob also thought, “Perhaps he will kill me just like he said he would.”

      JACOB DID NOT THINK ABOUT HIS FACE TO FACE AND HIS WORDS STRAIGHT FROM ALMIGHTY GOD’S LIPS, DID HE?

      So the present went on over BEFORE him…This gift is a good example of the way we trust in OUR OWN ability/limited mental strategies to do things and make things happen apart from trusting God. We like to sing the song:

      All to Jesus, I surrender, all to Him I freely give;

      All to Thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all.

      JACOB’S VERSION OF THAT SONG WOULD BE….

      “I surrender all the goats. If that isn’t enough, I surrender all the sheep. If that isn’t enough, I surrender all the camels . . .”

      GOD DID NOT WANT JACOB’S GOATS, SHEEP, OR HIS FAMILY….ALMIGHTY GOD IS PATIENTLY TELLING, SHOWING, AND TEACHING JACOB….I WANT YOU. I WANT YOU TO SURRENDER YOURSELF TO ME.

      JACOB DOES NOT WANT TO DO THAT YET…

      Verses 22-23 tells Jacob sends all his possessions over the river & then spends a night wrestling with God.

      “And he arose that night and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven sons, and crossed over the ford of Jabbok. He took them, sent them over the brook, and sent over what he had.”

      He took them, sent them over the brook: This is a demonstration of his faith, because Jacob left himself no retreat. If Esau wanted to attack his group, they would quickly be backed up against the river.

      Sent over what he had: Jacob spends the night alone. This is his last night on the EAST SIDE of the Jordan, and he probably spent the night in prayer.

      TO WHAT PURPOSE….God NEEDED AND HAD TO GET Jacob alone before He dealt with him. While all the hustle and bustle of the huge entourage was with Jacob, he could busy himself with a thousand different tasks. But once he was alone, God could command his attention...WITHOUT DISTRACTIONS.

      Think of all Jacob had to pray about: thanking God, remembering all the Lord did for him, wondering how God would fulfill His work in him. This was a significant turning point in Jacob’s life and he knew it.

      Verses 24-25 tells us A MAN wrestles with Jacob.

      “Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him.”

      A Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day:

      DID YOU CATCH THAT?

      Jacob didn’t JUMP AND WRESTLE with the Man.

      Instead, a Man wrestled WITH JACOB.

      Jacob didn’t start out wanting anything from God.

      God WANTED something FROM JACOB.

      God WANTED ALL of Jacob’s proud self-reliance and fleshly scheming and came to take it, by force if necessary.

      A Man wrestled with him: As the following verses show, this was no mere man. This is another “special appearance” of Jesus in the Old Testament before His incarnation in Bethlehem. This was God in human form.

      JACOB WAS WRESTLING WITH JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF.

      Until the breaking of the day: We can only imagine what this scene looked like. Perhaps sometimes it looked like a barroom brawl, and perhaps at other times it looked like an intense wrestling match.

      Many have ASKED….HOW IS IT POSSIBLE that JACOB a mere man COULD HAVE LASTED TWO SECONDS MUCH LESS AN ENTIRE NIGHT AGAINST JESUS CHRIST?

      THE BIBLE DOES NOT TELL US, BUT WHAT WE DO KNOW, IS JACOB WAS DETERMINED TO HANG IN THERE, WIN OUT OVER GOD…EVEN THOUGH YOU AND I KNOW WE CAN NEVER WIN OUT AGAINST JESUS CHRIST AMEN?

      He saw that He did not prevail against him: As the fight progressed, it seemed Jacob was pretty evenly matched againt the Man. But the match was only even in appearance. The Man could have won easily at any time, using JUST A BLINK OF HIS TRUE POWER.

      SOMETIMES WE DECEIVE OURSELVES INTO BELIEVING eel man really can contend with God.

      SOMETIMES IT “SEEMS” FOR A TIME….that men or women in rebellion against JESUS CHRIST might seem to do pretty well. The “match” is even in appearance only. God can turn the tide at any moment, and allows the “match” to go own for His own purposes.

      It isn’t hard to imagine Jacob working so hard and feeling he is getting the best of his “opponent,” until finally the Man turns the tide in an instant. Jacob must have felt very defeated.

      Verse 26 tells us Jacob’s plea to the Man.

      “And He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.” But he (JACOB) said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!”

      Let Me go, for the day breaks…Why did Jesus say this, and what did Jesus mean by this?

      Our TRIUNE GOD let Jacob know this won’t go on forever. Even though Jacob clung to him desperately, Jacob has lost. A better, greater Man defeated Jacob.

      This is an invaluable place for everyone to come to: where God conquers us. There is something to be said for every man doing his “wrestling” with God, and then acknowledging God’s greatness after having been defeated. We must know we serve a God who is greater than us, and we cannot conquer much of anything until He conquers us, AMEN?

      I will not let You go unless You bless me…This wasn’t Jacob dictating terms to God as he did on previous occasions. God did overcome Jacob here, and we know from Hosea 12:3-5 makes it clear:
      “He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and in his strength he struggled with God. Yes, he struggled with the Angel and prevailed; he wept, and sought favor from Him. He found Him in Bethel, and there He spoke to us; that is, the Lord God of hosts. The Lord is His memorable name. Jacob sought this blessing with weeping. He knew he was defeated, yet desperately wanted a blessing from this Greater One.”

      Unless You bless me…According to his past, Jacob was always clever and sneaky enough so he never felt the need to trust in God alone. Now he can only rely on the blessing of God.

      Jacob has been reduced to the place where all he can do is hold on to the Lord with everything he has. Jacob can’t fight anymore, but he can hold on. Not a bad place to be, AMEN?

      Even when we do NOT UNDERSTAND ANYTHING GOING ON AROUND US, EVEN WHEN we do NOT APPRECIATE THE WILDERNESS, THE TRIALS, THE TRIBULATIONS THAT JUMP US…WE NEED TO REMEMBER…WE DO NOT NEED TO UNDERSTAND THE HOW, WHY, WHEN, OR WHERE…BECAUSE OUR JESUS, THE GOD WHO SEES ALL, KNOWS ALL, CONTROLS US….DOES, AMEN?

      AND RIGHT HERE, God is answering Jacob’s prayer in Genesis 32:9-12. But before Jacob could be delivered from the hand of his brother, he had to be delivered from his own self-will and self-reliance.

      Jacob THOUGHT the real enemy was outside of him, namely being LABAN AND NOW ESAU. ALMIGHTY GOD WANTED JACOB TO KNOW WHO HIS REAL ENEMY WAS….AND THAT WAS his own carnal, fleshly nature, which had not been conquered by God.

      Verses 27-29 tells Jacob’s name is changed, and he is a blessed man.

      “So He said to him, “What is your name?” He said, “Jacob.” And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked, saying, “Tell me Your name, I pray.” And He said, “Why is it that you ask about My name?” And He blessed him there.”

      What is your name? Jacob must have felt a sense of shame, admitting his name was “Jacob,” meaning “con-man, sneaky, cheater.” Yet, this was who he was, and Jacob had to admit to it.
      And he did.

      We all want to name ourselves favorably. God wouldn’t allow Jacob to cover up his name. And Jacob CONFESSED JUST WHO AND WHAT HE WAS. HIS BALD HONESTY…PLEASED JESUS.

      Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel…DID YOU KNOW….The name Israel is a compound of two words: sarah (meaning, “fight,” “struggle,” or “rule”) and el (meaning, “God”).

      Some WRONGLY take the name Israel to mean, “He who struggles with God” or “He who rules with God.” But in Hebrew names, sometimes God is not the object of the verb but the subject.

      A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF THIS IS THE NAME Daniel which means “God judges” not “he judges God.” So this principle shows us Israel means, “God rules.” HOW COOL IS THAT?

      From this point on, he will be called Jacob twice as often as he is called Israel. Apparently, there was still plenty of the “old man” left in Jacob.

      For you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed…

      WHAT DID JESUS MEAN BY THIS?
      Jacob prevailed in the sense that he endured through his struggle until God thoroughly conquered him. When you battle with God, you only win by losing and by not giving up until you know you have lost. This is how Jacob prevailed.

      Why is it that you ask about My name?…JESUS WAS AND STILL IS A POLITE GENTLEMAN, AMEN?

      I MEAN, JACOB IS STANDING THERE FACE TO FACE WITH ALMIGHTY GOD, JESUS CHRIST IN HUMAN FORM, AND JESUS DOES NOT SAY….WELL DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUHHH JACOB…HE SIMPLY refused to tell Jacob His name because He figured Jacob should already know it, and it turned out that Jacob did know exactly who this was.

      And He blessed him there….Surely, this was the blessing of being defeated by God. It was the blessing of the passing of the old (Jacob) life, and the coming of a new (Israel) life. It may also have had to do with the great idea of the blessing of Abraham, and meeting Jacob’s immediate needs for security in the midst of fear. Whatever Jacob needed, God’s blessing provided at the moment.

      Verses 30-32 tells us the memorials of this event.

      “And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” Just as he crossed over Penuel the sun rose on him, and he limped on his hip. Therefore to this day the children of Israel do not eat the muscle that shrank, which is on the hip socket, because He touched the socket of Jacob’s hip in the muscle that shrank.”

      Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: The first memorial is a name. Jacob named the place Peniel (“Face of God”), because he did know the name of the Man who wrestled with him. He was the same One who wrestled with Jacob all his life…JESUS CHRIST…

      Jacob also understood it was only by God’s grace and mercy he escaped from this episode with his life. No man should be allowed to wrestle with God and live, but once again, we see ALMIGHTY GOD AS PATIENT, LONG-SUFFERING FATHER…WHO DOES NOT GIVE US WHAT WE DESERVE…BUT LOVES AND IS GRACIOUS.

      He limped on his hip…The second memorial was a perpetual limp. Jacob would remember his being conquered by God with every step he took for the REST OF HIS LIFE. This was a small price to pay for such a great gift.


      GENESIS 31 & 32 GIVE US INSIGHT INTO OUR TRIUNE GOD'S THOUGHTS...HIS WAYS...HIS DESIRES...AND HIS EXPECTATIONS FOR AND FROM US.

      HE WANTS US TO TRUST HIM...AND HIM ALONE.
      HE WANTS US TO BELIEVE THAT HE EVEN KNOWS, SEES, & RULES THE SATANIC AND THE EVIL AMONG US.
      HE WANTS US TO REMEMBER THAT HE CAN AND WILL TURN THE EVIL INTENTS OF MAN AND SATAN AND THE WORLD INTO GOOD FOR US.

      HE WANTS US TO KNOW THAT HE WANTS US BADLY ENOUGH, DILIGENTLY ENOUGH TO COME AFTER US, GET US ALONE, WRESTLE US UNTIL WE BECOME HIS AND HIS ALONE.

      AND AS ALWAYS...ALMIGHTY GOD IS A PATIENT, YET DETERMINED FATHER...WHO DOES NOT GIVE UP ON US...

    • June 21, 2016 6:11 PM EDT
    • Genesis 33 - The Meeting of Jacob and Esau

      Verses 1-2 tell us…Jacob’s CAREFUL preparations & Esau’s WARM welcome.

      “Now Jacob lifted his eyes and looked, and there, Esau was coming, and with him were four hundred men. So he divided the children among Leah, Rachel, and the two maidservants. And he put the maidservants and their children in front, Leah and her children behind, and Rachel and Joseph last.”

      He DIVIDED the children among Leah, Rachel, and the two maidservants: These preparations were not necessarily carnal. Often the Lord leads us to do very practical things when we follow Him. But the placement of the family shows Jacob was NOT shy about showing his FAVORITISM to Rachel and Joseph.

      He put the maidservants and their children in front: At least Leah got more protection than the two maidservants Bilhah and Zilpah did & their children did.

      Verse 3 tells us…Jacob demonstrates his submission.

      “Then he crossed over before them and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.”

      He crossed over BEFORE them…The BEST thing about Jacob is now, after being conquered by God, he LEADS the procession coming to meet Esau.

      Bowed himself to the ground…Jacob already sent over gifts and showed he didn’t want to take anything materially from Esau. But by bowing down, he showed he is submitted to his brother and wanted NO social power over him.
      Of course, if Jacob didn’t take things into his own hands more than 20 years ago this would NOT be necessary. Isaac’s promise to Jacob, Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you. Be master over your brethren (Genesis 27:29) would HAVE BEEN MORE immediately fulfilled.

      THIS IS ANOTHER PERFECT EXAMPLE OF HOW WE OFTEN SIMPLY MESS THINGS UP…when we try to “help God out” in the flesh. God never needs us to sin to help Him further His plan in our life.

      Verses 4-7 tells us Esau warmly greets Jacob and his family.

      “But Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept. And he lifted his eyes and saw the women and children, and said, “Who are these with you?” So he said, “The children whom God has graciously given your servant.” Then the maidservants came near, they and their children, and bowed down. And Leah also came near with her children, and they bowed down. Afterward Joseph and Rachel came near, and they bowed down.”

      Esau ran to meet him: This probably terrified Jacob. Surely, he thought his life would soon end. Instead, God was working in Esau, and he only wanted to bless Jacob.

      Fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept: Esau and Jacob did NOT feel a need to “work out” the past.

      The world and its MENTAL HEALTH EXPERTS & Heaven knows the REALITY MEDIA PROGRAMS…counsel and URGE people to constantly DREDGE UP THE DEAD AND BURIED PAST…REHASH IT OVER AND OVER, DON’T THEY?

      BUT RIGHT HERE, ALMIGHTY GOD IS SHOWING US AND TELLING UP IF WE WILL GIVE IT ALL TO HIM, PRAY IT UP, TRUST HIM, AND LEAVE IT IN HIS ALL KNOWING ALL SEEING HANDS…God will work it out…..just as HE worked in both Esau and Jacob’s hearts and there was no need to dredge it all up again. What was past was past, Amen?

      Verses 8-11 tells us Esau receives Jacob’s gifts: and he took it.

      “Then Esau said, “What do you mean by all this company which I met?” And he said, “These are to find favor in the sight of my lord.” But Esau said, “I have enough, my brother; keep what you have for yourself.” And Jacob said, “No, please, if I have now found favor in your sight, then receive my present from my hand, inasmuch as I have seen your face as though I had seen the face of God, and you were pleased with me. Please, take my blessing that is brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough.” So he urged him, and he took it.”

      So he urged him, and he took it: This was AS IMPORTANT to the reconciliation as Jacob’s giving the gifts. When Jacob gave such generous gifts, it was his way of saying to Esau he was sorry and when Esau accepted the gifts, it was his way of accepting Jacob and saying he was forgiven.

      AND DID YOU KNOW….THAT IN THAT CULTURE OF THE TIME, you NEVER accepted a gift from an enemy, only from a friend. To accept the gift was to accept the friendship.

      I have enough . . . I have enough: Both Esau and Jacob have a blessed testimony: I have enough. Godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Timothy 6:6).


      Verses 12-17 tells us Jacob and Esau part their ways; Jacob goes to Succoth, in the Promised Land..

      “Then Esau said, “Let us take our journey; let us go, and I will go before you.” But Jacob said to him, “My lord knows that the children are weak, and the flocks and herds which are nursing are with me. And if the men should drive them hard one day, all the flock will die. Please let my lord go on ahead before his servant. I will lead on slowly at a pace which the livestock that go before me, and the children, are able to endure, until I come to my lord in Seir.” And Esau said, “Now let me leave with you some of the people who are with me.” But he said, “What need is there? Let me find favor in the sight of my lord.” So Esau returned that day on his way to Seir. And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, built himself a house, and made booths for his livestock. Therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.”

      Please let my lord go on ahead before his servant…Jacob was glad to be reconciled with his brother, but didn’t want to be TOO close to him, which tells us JACOB IS STILL AFRAID OF ESAU.

      Jacob journeyed to Succoth…Unfortunately, YOU NOTICE Jacob still acts like “Jacob,” because he said he will go far to the south with Esau to the area of Mount Seir. Instead, he allowed Esau to go a few days beyond him and then headed towards the north to Succoth.

      Verses 18-20 tell us…Jacob comes to Shechem.

      “Then Jacob came safely to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padan Aram; and he pitched his tent before the city. And he bought the parcel of land, where he had pitched his tent, from the children of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for one hundred pieces of money. Then he erected an altar there and called it El Elohe Israel.”

      And he pitched his tent before the city…It is good Jacob came to the Promised Land, and he settled there. But he falls short.

      WHY?
      Because it seems God directed him to return to Bethel in Genesis 31:13.

      Then he erected an altar there and called it El Elohe Israel…Though he made an altar, it was obedience God wanted FIRST, not sacrifice. Jacob will bear bad fruit and waste time because he is in a place he shouldn’t be.





















      Genesis 34 - Simeon and Levi Massacre Shechem

      This chapter contains one of the MOST shameful incidents in Israel’s history.

      BUT HEREIN LIES A GREAT ARGUMENT & A TRUTH FOR THE BIBLE BEING WRITTEN AND TOLD BY ALMIGHTY GOD HIMSELF.

      WHY?

      When The Bible shows ALSO its leaders and heroes in such terrible, stark truth, we can know for sure that it is a book from God. Men don’t write about themselves and their ancestors like this.

      AMEN? I know most of us have KNOWN a LIFE-LONG MEAN PERSON, WHOM WHILE HE OR SHE WAS LIVING, NO ONE, FAMILY INCLUDED EVER HAD A POSITIVE OR COMPLIMENTARY THING TO SAY ABOUT THEM…BUT YOU ATTEND THEIR FUNERAL OR READ THE OBITUARY, AND THOSE HEADING THE FUNERAL ALWAYS HAVE ONLY NICE THINGS TO SAY ABOUT THAT PERSON…

      WELL ALMIGHTY GOD DOES NOT LIE THROUGH HIS TEETH, OR GLOSS OVER THE BAD….THE BIBLE TELLS IT STRAIGHT…TRUE….GOOD OR BAD…AMEN?

      SO WHAT HAPPENS?

      Verses 1-4 tells us a local prince RAPES Dinah and then wants to marry her.

      “Now Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne to Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land. And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her and lay with her, and violated her. His soul was strongly attracted to Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the young woman and spoke kindly to the young woman. So Shechem spoke to his father Hamor, saying, “Get me this young woman as a wife.”

      DINAH…the daughter of Leah…went out to see the daughters of the land…Remember, Jacob brought his family to a place God DID NOT want them to be. It seems God directed him to return to Bethel in Genesis 31:13), and his time spent in the city of Shechem did brought MUCH SORROW, PAIN, AND HARM to his family.

      WHY DID JACOB?

      Jacob chose a place to live for all the wrong reasons.
      He wanted to be close to the city (Genesis 33:18), though the city was ungodly.
      God called him to return to Bethel.
      Jacob’s poor choice of a place to live left his family open to ungodly influence.

      Dinah’s desire to do this understandable but unwise. She wanted to make FEMALE FRIENDS…REMEMBER SHE IS THE ONLY GIRL, WITH 11 BROTHERS IN HER FAMILY.

      BUT…it is obvious Jacob did NOT make sure she was properly supervised. To allow her to socialize unsupervised in a pagan town was a real failure on the part of BOTH Jacob and Leah.

      WE SEE THIS MORE AND MORE PREVALENT TODAY. I REMEMBER THE NEW REPORTS OF LITTLE GIRLS MISSING FROM A TRAILER PARK…ONE BY ONE…AND YET, THESE PARENTS, THEIR CARE-GIVERS, AND OTHERS SPOKEN TO DURING INTERVIEWS…KNEW LITTLE GIRLS WERE GOING MISSING, THEY WERE URGED NOT TO LET THE CHILDREN PLAY OR ROAM THE PARK UNATTENDED, BUT TIME AND AGAIN, THE PEOPLE IN THE PARK, ALLOWED THEIR LITTLE GIRLS TO ROAM FREE ALL AFTERNOON AND WAY AFTER DARK…BEFORE THEY BECAME CONCERNED OR EVEN BEGAN TO SEARCH FOR THEM.

      SO FAR, JACOB HAS ONLY SHOWN A SLIGHT INTEREST IN JOSEPH…AND IS PROTECTIVE OF RACHEL AND JOSEPH, BUT ALL THE OTHERS, THE BIBLE DOES NOT SPEAK HIGHLY OF HIM AS A FATHER.

      And we NEED to remember, in the eyes of mankind, a lone little child, male or female, but ESPECIALLY a lone female, whether she is a child or a young adult…had NO RIGHTS and FEW IF ANY VALUE. Worse, in that culture and time, young women were considered fair game in cities of the time, in which promiscuity was not only common but, in fact, a part of the very religious system itself. Alone and/or unsupervised/protected MEANT FAIR GAME TO ANY AND ALL MEN.

      AND THIS OCCURRENCE serves to illustrate the LOW, if not TOTAL LACK OF ANY standard of morals prevalent among the Canaanites. Any unattended female could be raped, and in the transactions that ensue neither father nor son feel the need of apologizing for or excusing what had been committed.

      AND INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH, AT THIS TIME, DINAH WAS A TEENAGER. But try telling this to a teenager like Dinah! Teenagers often want it all, and they want it now. It is almost impossible for them to see the benefits of BEING SUPERVISED, OR FOR waiting for certain things until they are more mature...they TEND TO FIND A WAY TO DO WHAT THEY WANT, AND THEN ARE SHATTERED WHEN THEY FACE THE CONSEQUENCES OF THEIR WILLFULNESS AND IGNORING THE GUIDELINES SET BEFORE THEM FROM THEIR PARENTS.

      THERE WAS AN INTERESTING STUDY DONE AT STANFORD IN THE 1960’s, called the MARSHMALLOW TEST.

      A researcher gives this choice to a four-year-old: “I am leaving for a few minutes to run an errand, and you can have this marshmallow while I am gone, but IF YOU WAIT until I return, you can have two marshmallows.”

      AND FOLLOWING THESE “TEST CHILDREN”, 12 YEARS LATER FOUND THAT THE kids who grabbed the single marshmallow tended to be more troubled as adolescents. The one-marshmallow kids also scored an average of 210 points less on SAT tests.

      THEIR RESULTS PROVED CONCLUSIVE… Learning to delay gratification is important & makes for a STRONGER, MORE STABLE, & MENTALLY ACUTE YOUNG ADULT!

      Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her and lay with her…Jacob’s lack of attention and protection was partially at fault in this tragedy. His own compromise made him less able to stand up to his own children and guide them as he should.

      Jacob’s children KNEW AND HEARD HIM tell his brother Esau he would go south with him, but Jacob went north instead. They picked up on this and other areas of compromise and used them to justify their own compromise.

      As for the young man named Shechem, his soul was strongly attracted to Dinah and he even spoke kindly to her. Yet we cannot say he loved her, because you DO NOT DISRESPECT & VIOLATE WHAT YOU LOVE.

      It was a soulish love Shechem had for Dinah, not a spiritual or godly love. He loved her for what she could be and give to him, not for what he could be and give to her. His heart is shown in the words get me this young woman as a wife. It was a soulish “get me” kind of love.

      It is possible for a man to be attracted to a woman and to show kindness to her for reasons having nothing or little to do with love. In their desire to connect romantically with a man, women often forget this...then and now!

      Verses 5-7 tells us Jacob’s lack of outrage; the anger of Simeon and Levi.

      “And Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter. Now his sons were with his livestock in the field; so Jacob held his peace until they came. Then Hamor the father of Shechem went out to Jacob to speak with him. And the sons of Jacob came in from the field when they heard it; and the men were grieved and very angry, because he had done a disgraceful thing in Israel by lying with Jacob’s daughter, a thing which ought not to be done.”

      Jacob held his peace until they came…Jacob shows a distinct LACK OF FATHERLY outrage here. He seemed to take the defilement of his only daughter EASILY. His refusal to do what is right in regard to his family will encourage two of his sons to do something, something ungodly in response.

      When God-appointed heads do not take appropriate leadership, it creates a void, which is often filled sinfully.
      The sons of Jacob . . . and the men were grieved and very angry: In this culture, the brothers had a greater responsibility to protect their sister than the father. They will “protect” Dinah’s honor in unwise and sinful ways.

      Verses 8-12 tells us Hamor and Shechem seek to ARRANGE the marriage of Dinah.

      “But Hamor spoke with them, saying, “The soul of my son Shechem longs for your daughter. Please give her to him as a wife. And make marriages with us; give your daughters to us, and take our daughters to yourselves. So you shall dwell with us, and the land shall be before you. Dwell and trade in it, and acquire possessions for yourselves in it.” Then Shechem said to her father and her brothers, “Let me find favor in your eyes, and whatever you say to me I will give. Ask me ever so much dowry and gift, and I will give according to what you say to me; but give me the young woman as a wife.”

      I am reminded of MY SON’S OUTRAGE, AS OLDER PROTECTIVE BROTHER, WHEN AN OLDER TEENAGER, SNUCK UP BEHIND MY BABY DAUGHTER AND PINCHED HER ON THE REAR END, BEFORE SHE COULD WHIP AROUND AND CONFRONT THIS YOUNG HELLION, MY SON, GRABBED HIM, SHOVED HIM AGAINST THE NEAREST WALL, HIS HAND FISTED IN HIS SHIRT AT HIS THROAT, WHILE HIS FEET DANGLED OFF THE FLOOR…AND MY SON HELD HIM THERE GASPING AS HE TOLD HIM HE HAD BETTER NEVER TOUCH HIS SISTER LIKE THAT AGAIN, AND HE BETTER APOLOGIZE AND MEAN IT. THE KID APOLOGIZED AND NEVER CAME NEAR MY DAUGHTER AGAIN.

      JACOB SHOULD HAVE TAKEN FATHER AND SON BEHIND THE NEAREST BUILDING OR TENT AND TAUGHT THEM A LESSON…HIS LACK OF FATHERLY PROTECTION AND DEFENSE…NON-ACTION…ONCE AGAIN SHOWED HIS OTHER CHILDREN THAT HE DID NOT VALUE THEM.

      Make marriages with us. This was ANOTHER dangerous challenge to Jacob and his family. GOD HAD TOLD ABRAHAM DO NOT LET ISAAC MARRY A CANANNITE. JACOB WAS WARNED BY ISAAC AND TOLD THE SAME THING. HE KNEW THE DANGERS. Irresponsible intermarriage with the Canaanites could prove especially harmful for this family with such a destiny in God’s redemptive plan.

      Whatever you say to me I will give…Hamor and Shechem SOUND LIKE IN THEIR OWN EARS IT WAS NO BIG DEAL THAT HIS SON RAPED A YOUNG TEENAGER & MADE WORSE TO OUR EYES THAT HAMOR SEES HIMSELF AS HONORING DINAH AND GENEROUS TO JACOB.

      BUT IN THE EYES OF ALMIGHTY GOD AND TO DINAH’S BROTHERS AS WELL…their manner of negotiating the arrangement of the marriage insulted Dinah and her family even more with a “just name your price” attitude. They acted as if money and marriage could make her disgrace go away.

      Verses 13-17 tells us the counteroffer of Simeon and Levi: all the men of the city of Shechem should be circumcised.

      But the sons of Jacob answered Shechem and Hamor his father, and spoke deceitfully, because he had defiled Dinah their sister. And they said to them, “We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one who is uncircumcised, for that would be a reproach to us. But on this condition we will consent to you: If you will become as we are, if every male of you is circumcised, then we will give our daughters to you, and we will take your daughters to us; and we will dwell with you, and we will become one people. But if you will not heed us and be circumcised, then we will take our daughter and be gone.”

      If every male of you is circumcised…Hamor and Shechem agreed to such an extreme demand because circumcision was not only practiced among the Israelites - other ancient peoples also had the practice. Therefore they knew of the practice from the rituals of other nations.

      For that would be a reproach to us: Simeon and Levi have evil intention in this plan. Yet they cover it up with spiritual words, and used Dinah as a cover for their intended evil.

      They felt justified because the men of Shechem treated their sister as a prostitute, but they made MATTERS FAR WORSE by prostituting the sign of God’s covenant with ABRAHAM & HIS DESCENDANTS (CIRCUMCISION) for their own murderous purpose.

      Verses 18-24 tells us Hamor and Shechem convince the men of the city to go along with the plan.

      “And their words pleased Hamor and Shechem, Hamor’s son. So the young man did not delay to do the thing, because he delighted in Jacob’s daughter. He was more honorable than all the household of his father. And Hamor and Shechem his son came to the gate of their city, and spoke with the men of their city, saying: “These men are at peace with us. Therefore let them dwell in the land and trade in it. For indeed the land is large enough for them. Let us take their daughters to us as wives, and let us give them our daughters. Only on this condition will the men consent to dwell with us, to be one people: if every male among us is circumcised as they are circumcised. Will not their livestock, their property, and every animal of theirs be ours? Only let us consent to them, and they will dwell with us.” And all who went out of the gate of his city heeded Hamor and Shechem his son; every male was circumcised, all who went out of the gate of his city.”

      Their words pleased Hamor and Shechem: Despite the obvious sacrifice involved, Hamor and Shechem were pleased with this plan. Beyond the obviously deep attraction Shechem has for Dinah, they were also undoubtedly pleased to begin to marry into a family so large, wealthy, and influential.

      Will not their livestock, their property, and every animal of theirs be ours? It is amazing what men will do for both women and wealth. A whole city of men submits to circumcision so they can take their daughters to us as wives and take their livestock, property, and every animal of theirs.

      Verse 25 tells us Simeon and Levi destroy the city of Shechem & massacre of the men of the city of Shechem.

      “Now it came to pass on the third day, when they were in pain, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, each took his sword and came boldly upon the city and killed all the males.”

      When they were in pain . . . each took his sword and came boldly upon the city and killed all the males…This was not only a brutal, deceptive act, but it also disgraced God’s covenant of circumcision. Surely, with this clever act of violent deception, Simeon and Levi showed themselves to be the children of Jacob from a bitter, competitive home environment.

      Came boldly…shows us the hardness of their hearts.

      Verses 26-29 tell us they rescue Dinah and plunder the city.

      “And they killed Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah from Shechem’s house, and went out. The sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and plundered the city, because their sister had been defiled. They took their sheep, their oxen, and their donkeys, what was in the city and what was in the field, and all their wealth. All their little ones and their wives they took captive; and they plundered even all that was in the houses.”

      They killed Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword…they justified this murder and theft by saying they and their sister had been disgraced, but the punishment clearly does not fit the crime.

      They plundered even all that was in the houses…Simeon and Levi probably thought God blessed their murderous plans with great success.

      Verses 30-31 tells us Jacob’s reaction.

      “Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have troubled me by making me obnoxious among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites; and since I am few in number, they will gather themselves together against me and kill me. I shall be destroyed, my household and I.” But they said, “Should he treat our sister like a harlot?”

      You have troubled me by making me obnoxious…Sadly, Jacob is only concerned with HIMSELF. There is no concern for God’s righteousness or the death and plunder of innocents. This is Jacob, NOT Israel in action.

      Should he treat our sister like a harlot?…Simeon and Levi were correct that Dinah had been treated like a harlot. Yet, their reaction was certainly ungodly.

      FAR LATER IN GENESIS 49:5-7.…When Jacob was about to die, he prophesied over each of his 12 sons. This is what he said about Simeon and Levi: Simeon and Levi are brothers; instruments of cruelty are in their dwelling place. Let not my soul enter their council; let not my honor be united to their assembly; for in their anger they slew a man, and in their self-will they hamstrung an ox. Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce; and their wrath, for it is cruel! I will divide them in Jacob and scatter them in Israel. He saw Simeon and Levi for who they were, but he rebuked them far too late & his lack of leading, loving, guiding direction when they were born, and as they grew up…influenced the men they became.

      AND THE PROPHETIC WORD OF GOD through Jacob proved true. God did in fact both divide the tribes of Simeon and Levi, and scatter them among Israel.

      HOW AND WHEN?

      The way it happened for each tribe was different. The tribe of Simeon, because of their lack of faithfulness, was effectively dissolved as a tribe, and the tribe of Simeon was absorbed into the tribal area of Judah. The tribe of Levi was also scattered, but because of the faithfulness of this tribe during the rebellion of the golden calf in Exodus 32:26-28, the tribe was scattered as a blessing throughout the whole nation of Israel. Both were scattered, but one as a blessing and the other as curse.

    • June 21, 2016 6:07 PM EDT
    • Genesis 35 - Revival in Jacob’s Life...The birth of BENJAMIN...the deaths of ISAAC & RACHEL.


      Verse 1 tells us God speaks to Jacob, calling him back to Bethel.

      “Then God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there; and make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from the face of Esau your brother.”

      The whole Shechem incident was because Jacob went to Shechem INSTEAD of Bethel, where he was supposed to be. We often end up in much difficulty and bring much difficulty to those around us, because we do not go where God tells us to go.

      DO YOU NOTICE WHAT I DID….Genesis 34 does NOT mention God once, and is one of the most sordid chapters in Israel’s history.

      YET HERE IN Genesis 35...God IS MENTIONED over and over again, more than ten times, plus 11 more times in names such as Bethel and Israel.

      Make an altar there to God…This turning back to the Lord will especially have a good effect on the children of Jacob. This reminds us the BEST THINGS WE AS PARENTS AND GRANDPARENTS CAN DO for OUR children is to be in God’s will themselves, Amen?

      As Jacob looked back on his walk with God, the first meeting with God at Bethel must have seemed like a high point. But to his credit, Jacob refused to think the best years of his life with God were behind him. He returned to his first love - he returned to Bethel, and God blessed it.

      Verses 2-4 tells us of the cleansing of Jacob’s family.

      “And Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves, and change your garments. Then let us arise and go up to Bethel; and I will make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me in the way which I have gone.” So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods which were in their hands, and the earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the terebinth tree which was by Shechem.”

      Purify yourselves…Jacob’s family only got right with God AFTER Jacob himself did. This again shows us the tremendous leadership role MEN HAVE within the family. A man resisting God will see the same effect in his children. A man who gets right with God will see the effect in his family also.

      AND THIS ALSO TELLS US THAT Jacob’s children KEPT foreign gods because their mother did. Rachel clung to the household idols of her father in Genesis 31:19. No matter how hard we try to teach our children godly conduct they will still do what we do.

      Change your garments…This was IMPORTANT because “Throughout the Bible, garments symbolize character. The inward life of the unregenerate is compared to a polluted garment.

      AND Jude 1:23 gives the idea… “But others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.”

      Ephesians 4:22-24 gives more advice…“That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”

      And the earrings which were in their ears: Apparently, the earrings also had a pagan connection too!

      THEN AND NOW…WE LEARN A LESSON HERE…IN THE EYES OF ALMIGHTY GOD it IS IMPORTANT for everyone to take stock of what they may have in their home that is ungodly or occultic, and promptly get rid of those things, Amen!

      Verses 5-7 tells us God’s protection of Jacob; he comes to Bethel.

      “And they journeyed, and the terror of God was upon the cities that were all around them, and they did not pursue the sons of Jacob. So Jacob came to Luz (that is, Bethel), which is in the land of Canaan, he and all the people who were with him. And he built an altar there and called the place El Bethel, because there God appeared to him when he fled from the face of his brother.”

      The terror of God was upon the cities that were all around them, and they did not pursue the sons of Jacob.

      MANKIND RIGHTLY DECIDED THE PROTECTION & FAVOR OF ALMIGHTY GOD WAS WITH JACOB & HIS FAMILY.

      THE CITIES WRONGLY CONCLUDED THAT ALMIGHTY GOD HIMSELF HAD ORDERED & HAD SEEN TO THE SLAYING OF THE PEOPLE OF SHECHEM.

      WE KNOW IT WOULD HAVE BEEN FAIR HAD ALMIGHTY GOD LEFT Jacob & his family to FACE the consequences of his sinful lack of leadership in the family, AMEN?

      YET WHAT WE SEE HERE ONCE AGAIN IS THAT ALMIGHTY GOD LOVES…HE IS A PATIENT FATHER & HIS GRACE (grace means unearned and unmerited favor) covered Jacob even when his sin had made he and his family vulnerable.

      He built an altar there and called the place El Bethel…Though Jacob had sinned, he now did what was right before God, despite the danger, trusting God’s protection. He might have justified a lack of obedience because of fear, but he CHOSE THIS TIME TO trust God instead.

      BIBLICAL/SECULAR HISTORIANS OF THE TIME AGREE IN PART, WHEN THEY SAY IT WAS VERY VERY DANGEROUS for Jacob to set out to Bethel…BUT BIBLICAL SCHOLARS AGREE IT WAS FAR FAR MORE DANGEROUS FOR JACOB TO HAVE DISOBEYED ALMIGHTY GOD AGAIN.

      THERE IS A LIFE LONG WORD AND MESSAGE AND TEACHING FOR US HERE WITH JACOB….AND THAT IS THIS:

      The ONLY THING to save JACOB & HIS FAMILY was a radical obedience to the Lord. FORGET WHAT WE THINK, SEE, OR WHAT WE THINK WE KNOW….No matter what the circumstances look like, the safest place is do the will of JESUS, AMEN?

      Verse 8 tells us of the death of Deborah, Rebekah’s beloved nurse.

      “Now Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died, and she was buried below Bethel under the terebinth tree. So the name of it was called Allon Bachuth.”

      We know NOTHING OF DEBORAH before this account; seemingly, she came with Rebekah as a companion when she came from Haran to marry Isaac. Obviously, she was a beloved member of the family, because they named the place where she was buried Allon Bachuth, which means “Oak of Weeping.”

      Verses 9-15 tells us God speaks to Jacob again at Bethel.

      “Then God appeared to Jacob again, when he came from Padan Aram, and blessed him. And God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; your name shall not be called Jacob anymore, but Israel shall be your name.” So He called his name Israel. Also God said to him: “I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall proceed from you, and kings shall come from your body. The land which I gave Abraham and Isaac I give to you; and to your descendants after you I give this land.” Then God went up from him in the place where He talked with him. So Jacob set up a pillar in the place where He talked with him, a pillar of stone; and he poured a drink offering on it, and he poured oil on it. And Jacob called the name of the place where God spoke with him, Bethel.”

      DID YOU NOTICE…when Jacob finally arrived at the place God told him to go, Jacob immediately found great blessing. God appeared to him, God blessed him, and God called him by his new name (Israel).

      The reminder of the new name WAS important, because Jacob had been acting like Jacob instead of Israel. Yet, God wants to set his mind on what God made him. JESUS does the same with us, reminding us who we are in OUR JESUS…OUR TRIUNE GOD. JESUS WANTS US TO KNOW AND REMEMBER JUST WHO HE IS AND HE ALSO WANTS US TO REMEMBER AND LIVE IN THE GREAT NAME HE HAS GIVEN THOSE WHO LOVE HIM…WE ARE CALLED FRIEND…JOINT-HEIRS…HIS BRIDE…HIS BELOVED, AMEN?

      God appeared to Jacob again TELLS US their relationship is restored. This is an excellent example of what it means to return to your first love, as in Revelation 2:4-5: Jacob remembers to go back to Bethel. He repents by getting rid of all the idols, and he does the first works by building an altar and worshiping God as before.

      The land which I gave Abraham and Isaac I give to you; and to your descendants after you I give this land: God granted Jacob a precious reminder of his place in God’s great covenant, begun with his grandfather Abraham. In this, Jacob did not need to hear anything new from God. He just needed to be REMINDED of what was true, and encouraged to cling to it all.

      Then God went up from him in the place where He talked with him: ONCE AGAIN, ALMIGHTY GOD IN HUMAN FORM, WHICH CAN ONLY BE JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF appears to Jacob. God blessed Jacob remarkably after his return to his first love. Much blessing waits for us until we do what God tells us to do.

      He poured a drink offering on it, and he poured oil on it: Appropriately, Jacob performed sacrificial acts of worship to the God who has blessed him so much.

      WAITAAAAAAAAMINNNNNNIT HERE…WHAT IS THIS ABOUT POURED A DRINK OFFERING?

      IT SURE IS FOUND OFTEN IN THE BIBLE!

      WHERE?

      Exodus 29:40-41; Leviticus 23:13, and Numbers 15:5-7 show the drink offering was made with wine poured out in sacrifice before the Lord at His altar. Paul considered the pouring out of his life before God to be like the pouring out of a drink offering at God’s altar in Philippians 2:17 & 2 Timothy 4:6.

      Jacob’s heart of worship shows gratitude towards God. When we look back on life, we should never have the attitude that says, “I was robbed.”

      Instead our heart should say, “God has blessed.” This will probably determine if we will be perfectly miserable or perfectly delightful as we get older.

      Verse 16-17 tells us of the birth of Benjamin, the 12th son and the death of Rachel.

      “Then they journeyed from Bethel. And when there was but a little distance to go to Ephrath, Rachel labored in childbirth, and she had hard labor. Now it came to pass, when she was in hard labor, that the midwife said to her, “Do not fear; you will have this son also.”

      There seems to be none of the contentiousness and competitiveness surrounding the birth of this last son, possibly because they are all older at this time, but more so because they are now in the Promised Land and it just is NOT as important anymore.

      We don’t know how long Jacob stayed at Bethel, but it is possible this last child was conceived at this place where Jacob came back to his first love for the Lord.

      Verse 18 tells us the naming of the last son.

      “And so it was, as her soul was departing (for she died), that she called his name Ben-Oni; but his father called him Benjamin.”

      She called his name Ben-Oni: Rachel named this last child - who before would have been seen as a cause for rejoicing and victory in the competition with her sister - she named this child Ben-Oni, meaning “son of my sorrow.”

      Ultimately, this shows the futility of Rachel’s competition with her sister Leah. Now at the time of her final “victory,” all she found was sorrow.
      But his father called him Benjamin: Jacob wisely names the child Benjamin, which means “son of my right hand.”

      JACOB NAMED THIS CHILD…JACOB DID NOT DO THE HEAD OF FAMILY DUTY TO NAME AND ACCEPT EACH CHILD BORN, ESPECIALLY THE SONS, BUT HE DID RIGHT BY GOD THIS TIME, AND perhaps he rightly sensed the special place God had for this child, or perhaps he simply prized Benjamin so greatly because he was the final link between him and the woman he loved most.

      Benjamin: The right side was associated with greater strength and honor, because most people are right handed. Benjamin (son of my right hand) therefore has the idea of “son of my strength” or “son of my honor.”

      NOW YOU KNOW MY RIGHT HAND MAN…SON…FRIEND…was coined FIRST RIGHT HERE IN GENESIS. AND THIS IDEA IS EXPRESSED AND REPEATED IN PASSAGES LIKE:

      Exodus 15:6: “Your right hand, O Lord, has become glorious in power; Your right hand, O Lord, has dashed the enemy in pieces.”

      Psalm 16:8...David says he Lord is our strength and honor, when he says, “I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.”

      Psalm 63:8 tells us God’s strength and honor are for us, when David says, “My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me.”

      Psalm 138:7 which tells us. “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand will save me.”

      AND COLOSSIANS 3:1 tells us, “Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father, the position of strength and honor, and we sit there with Him! If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.”

      Now you now KNOW ANOTHER NAME JESUS HAS FOR US…HIS RIGHT HAND!

      Verse 19-20 tells us of the death and burial of Rachel.

      “So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). And Jacob set a pillar on her grave, which is the pillar of Rachel’s grave to this day.”

      Rachel’s death was in tragic fulfillment of the curse Jacob himself pronounced on the one who stole the idols of Laban in Genesis 31:32.

      REMEMBER IN Genesis 30:1, Rachel pleaded with Jacob, “Give me children, or else I die!” As it happened, both became true. She had children and died as a result.

      Jacob set a pillar on her grave…This also shows that even when we get right with God and return to our first love it DOES NOT mean life becomes a bed of roses. There are constant challenges for us to trust God.

      Verses 21-22a tells us Reuben’s sin with his father’s concubine.

      “Then Israel journeyed and pitched his tent beyond the tower of Eder. And it happened, when Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine; and Israel heard about it.”

      Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine…Reuben was the firstborn. We might expect the highest conduct from him, and might expect him to most seriously receive the covenant of his fathers. Yet, here he sinned in a most offensive way against his father and entire family.

      However, we don’t have to wonder about where this sinful conduct was bred. In this home so filled with strife, contention, competition, and the pursuit of the flesh, it was almost to be expected.

      Did you CATCH THIS? THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THAT JACOB CONVERSATIONALLY, AS IT WERE, BY ALMIGHTY GOD IS CALLED ISRAEL AND NOT JACOB.

      Israel heard about it: WE NOW KNOW THAT THROUGH THEIR OWN SIN, Reuben, Simeon, and Levi “disqualified” themselves from the high calling of Abraham’s blessing. It will be up to the fourth son, Judah, to bring forth the Messiah.

      Verses 22b-26 tells us Jacob’s 12 sons.

      “Now the sons of Jacob were twelve: the sons of Leah were Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn, and Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun; the sons of Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin; the sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s maidservant, were Dan and Naphtali; and the sons of Zilpah, Leah’s maidservant, were Gad and Asher. These were the sons of Jacob who were born to him in Padan Aram.”

      These were the sons of Jacob…It is actually a pretty messed-up family. God will use this family, but not because they are such great candidates, but because He has chosen them by His grace alone.



      Verse 27 tells us Jacob visits his father Isaac one last time.

      “Then Jacob came to his father Isaac at Mamre, or Kirjath Arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had dwelt.”

      Jacob came to his father Isaac: More than 20 years ago, Jacob left his home thinking his father’s death was at hand. Now, quite unexpectedly, he has the opportunity to see his father one last time before his death.

      We should remember our times are in God’s hands. We may expect a long or short life for others or ourselves and be quite wrong. Only God knows.

      His father Isaac…There seemed to be nothing dramatic between Isaac and Jacob at this meeting. It was possible Isaac was incapacitated by old age.

      Verses 28-29 tells us Jacob and Esau bury their father together.

      “Now the days of Isaac were one hundred and eighty years. So Isaac breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his people, being old and full of days. And his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.”

      The sons had already been brought together by God’s hand. Now they work together again, united by the death of their father.



      Genesis 36 - The Family of Esau & his separation from Jacob.

      Verses 1-5 tells us the wives, sons, and daughters of Esau.

      “Now this is the genealogy of Esau, who is Edom. Esau took his wives from the daughters of Canaan: Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite; Aholibamah the daughter of Anah, the daughter of Zibeon the Hivite; and Basemath, Ishmael’s daughter, sister of Nebajoth. Now Adah bore Eliphaz to Esau, and Basemath bore Reuel. And Aholibamah bore Jeush, Jaalam, and Korah. These were the sons of Esau who were born to him in the land of Canaan.”

      Verses 6-8 tells us of the separation of Jacob and Esau.

      “Then Esau took his wives, his sons, his daughters, and all the persons of his household, his cattle and all his animals, and all his goods which he had gained in the land of Canaan, and went to a country away from the presence of his brother Jacob. For their possessions were too great for them to dwell together, and the land where they were strangers could not support them because of their livestock. So Esau dwelt in Mount Seir. Esau is Edom.”

      Their possessions were too great for them to dwell together: Esau’s cry to Isaac. “Have you only one blessing, my father?” in Genesis 27:38 proved unfounded. Because he was a descendant of Abraham God blessed Esau, and blessed him in the only way Esau REALLY cared about: materially.


      Verse 9 tells us The Edomites descend from Esau.

      “And this is the genealogy of Esau the father of the Edomites in Mount Seir.”

      Esau the father of the Edomites: Edom and the Edomites are mentioned some 130 times in the Bible. They were an important group of “neighbors” to Israel.

      HOW & WHERE?

      1. When the Israelites came through the wilderness to the Promised Land in the time of Moses, the Edomites refused them passage through their land in Numbers 20:21.

      2. This was a source of great discouragement for the nation of Israel in Numbers 21:4.

      3. Even so, God commanded special regard for the Edomites among Israel: You shall not abhor an Edomite, for he is your brother in Deuteronomy 23:7.

      4. In the days of Saul, Edom was made subject to Israel in 1 Samuel 14:47.

      5. David established garrisons there in 2 Samuel 8:14.

      6. But later, in the days of Joram, the son of Ahab, the Edomites became independent of Israel in 2 Kings 8:16-22.

      7. Several of the prophets spoke about and against Edom, including Jeremiah in Jeremiah 49:17-18 and Ezekiel in Ezekiel 25:12-14.

      8. Herod the Great - the one who tried to kill the young child Jesus - was an Edomite.

      9. From the time Islam conquered the Middle East, the region has been virtually unoccupied, except for a few Bedouins and military outposts. It has been brought to NOTHING, as Obadiah had prophesied (the entire book of Obadiah records an extended prophecy against Edom).

      10. The Edomites in Mount Seir…also held the rock city of Petra, which can only be reached through narrow, winding gorge. Petra was so defensible that it was said that a dozen men could protect Petra against a whole army.


      Verses 10-43 tells us of the descendants of Edom and the chiefs of the Edomites.

      “These were the names of Esau’s sons: Eliphaz the son of Adah the wife of Esau, and Reuel the son of Basemath the wife of Esau. And the sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam, and Kenaz. Now Timna was the concubine of Eliphaz, Esau’s son, and she bore Amalek to Eliphaz. These were the sons of Adah, Esau’s wife. These were the sons of Reuel: Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah. These were the sons of Basemath, Esau’s wife. These were the sons of Aholibamah, Esau’s wife, the daughter of Anah, the daughter of Zibeon. And she bore to Esau: Jeush, Jaalam, and Korah. These were the chiefs of the sons of Esau. The sons of Eliphaz, the firstborn son of Esau, were Chief Teman, Chief Omar, Chief Zepho, Chief Kenaz, Chief Korah, Chief Gatam, and Chief Amalek. These were the chiefs of Eliphaz in the land of Edom. They were the sons of Adah. These were the sons of Reuel, Esau’s son: Chief Nahath, Chief Zerah, Chief Shammah, and Chief Mizzah. These were the chiefs of Reuel in the land of Edom. These were the sons of Basemath, Esau’s wife. And these were the sons of Aholibamah, Esau’s wife: Chief Jeush, Chief Jaalam, and Chief Korah. These were the chiefs who descended from Aholibamah, Esau’s wife, the daughter of Anah. These were the sons of Esau, who is Edom, and these were their chiefs. These were the sons of Seir the Horite who inhabited the land: Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan. These were the chiefs of the Horites, the sons of Seir, in the land of Edom. And the sons of Lotan were Hori and Hemam. Lotan’s sister was Timna. These were the sons of Shobal: Alvan, Manahath, Ebal, Shepho, and Onam. These were the sons of Zibeon: both Ajah and Anah. This was the Anah who found the water in the wilderness as he pastured the donkeys of his father Zibeon. These were the children of Anah: Dishon and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah. These were the sons of Dishon: Hemdan, Eshban, Ithran, and Cheran. These were the sons of Ezer: Bilhan, Zaavan, and Akan. These were the sons of Dishan: Uz and Aran. These were the chiefs of the Horites: Chief Lotan, Chief Shobal, Chief Zibeon, Chief Anah, Chief Dishon, Chief Ezer, and Chief Dishan. These were the chiefs of the Horites, according to their chiefs in the land of Seir. Now these were the kings who reigned in the land of Edom before any king reigned over the children of Israel: Bela the son of Beor reigned in Edom, and the name of his city was Dinhabah. And when Bela died, Jobab the son of Zerah of Bozrah reigned in his place. When Jobab died, Husham of the land of the Temanites reigned in his place. And when Husham died, Hadad the son of Bedad, who attacked Midian in the field of Moab, reigned in his place. And the name of his city was Avith. When Hadad died, Samlah of Masrekah reigned in his place. And when Samlah died, Saul of Rehoboth-by-the-River reigned in his place. When Saul died, Baal-Hanan the son of Achbor reigned in his place. And when Baal-Hanan the son of Achbor died, Hadar reigned in his place; and the name of his city was Pau. His wife’s name was Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred, the daughter of Mezahab. And these were the names of the chiefs of Esau, according to their families and their places, by their names: Chief Timnah, Chief Alvah, Chief Jetheth, Chief Aholibamah, Chief Elah, Chief Pinon, Chief Kenaz, Chief Teman, Chief Mibzar, Chief Magdiel, and Chief Iram. These were the chiefs of Edom, according to their dwelling places in the land of their possession. Esau was the father of the Edomites.”

      These were THE CHIEFS OF THE SONS of Esau: When we see the kings and chiefs among the descendants of Esau, we see more clearly what God meant when He said, Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated in Malachi 1:2-3 and Romans 9:13.

      Esau was obviously a blessed man but he was hated and rejected in regard to being chosen for a critical role in God’s plan of redemption.

      And the STAND OUT in this roll call….“She bore Amalek to Eliphaz”….Notable among this list is AMALEK.

      From him came the Amalekites, notable enemies of Israel in Exodus 17:8-16; Deuteronomy 25:17-19; & 1 Samuel 15:1-8.

      In addition, the names of the descendants of Esau DO NOT REFLECT a godly heart.

      Dishon (Genesis 36:21) means “gazelle”
      Alvan (Genesis 36:23) means “wicked”
      Ithran (Genesis 36:26) means “advantage”
      Aran (Genesis 36:28) means “mountain goat”
      Baal-Hanan (Genesis 36:38) - his name embraces the false god Baal.

      WHAT DOES THE TRIUNE GOD SHOW US, TELL US, & CAUTION US ABOUT IN GENESIS 35 & 36?

      THERE ARE MANY THINGS WE LEARN HERE…MOST IMPORTANTLY WE, AS PARENTS AND GRANDPARENTS SEE THAT HOW WE LIVE, WHAT WE SAY VERSUS WHAT WE DO CAN, WILL, AND DOES CREATE A FIRM FOUNDATION OR A FAULTY ONE IN THOSE IN OUR LIFE.

      IN THIS DAY AND AGE, WHEN MORE AND MORE PEOPLE ARE GIVING OVER THE CARE, THE REARING, THE DISCIPLINE, THE TEACHING, THE HEALTH, AND THE PROTECTIONS OF OUR CHILDREN TO OTHERS…BE IT SCHOOLS, DAYCARE, PSYCHIATRISTS, DOCTORS, GOVERNMENT SERVICES, FACILITATORS, COPS, TO NAME A FEW…WE ARE RISKING THE VERY PRECIOUS GIFTS JESUS CHRIST IN TRUSTED US WITH TO THE LOST WORLD, SATAN, AND MANKIND…AND IT NEVER HAS A GOOD OUTCOME.

      AS WITH JACOBS CHILDREN, WIVES, AND MAIDSERVANTS, HE DID WORK HARD TO PROVIDE FOR THEM, BUT FOR THE MOST PART WAS UN-INVOLVED EVEN IN THEIR BIRTHS, THEIR NAMING, THEIR REARING, AND HE IGNORED THEM, AND GAVE THEM OVER TO OTHERS TO TEACH AND RAISE…TO HIS AND THE FUTURE OF THE ISRAELITES AS WELL TO THE NATION OF ISRAEL TO COME DETRIMENT DOWN THROUGH HISTORY.

      ABRAHAM AND SARAH TRIED TO HELP GOD OUT….BRING A CHILD INTO THE WORLD ON THEIR OWN, AND THAT IMPATIENCE, STUBBORN SELF-WILL & DISOBEDIENCE BROUGHT THEM HAGAR AND FROM HER, ISHMAEL, WHOSE DESCENDANTS HAVE PLAGUED ISAACS DESCENDANTS ALWAYS.

      WITH ISAAC AND REBEKAH, WHO SHOWED FAVORITISM FOR THE TWINS, ESAU AND JACOB, AND THEREFORE EMNITY BETWEEN THE TWINS FROM BIRTH, IT BROUGHT FORTH ESAU’S DESCENDANTS WHO WERE NOT ONLY UNGODLY, BUT ESAU’S LOVE OF THE WORLD, TEMPORAL THINGS, UNGODLY MARRIAGE, IMMORALITY, AND IDOLATRY, BROUGHT SATANIC WORSHIP TO THE ISRAELITES, AND SUCH SATANIC IDOL WORSHIP AND LOVE OF THE LOST WORLD AND MANKIND HAS DOWN THROUGH HISTORY BROUGHT FORTH SHAME, PAIN, WARS, EVIL AND SUFFERINGS TO ALL DESCENDANTS OF ABRAHAM.

      AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, READING THROUGH THE LIFE AND TIMES OF ESAU AND JACOB, WE NOW UNDERSTAND, WHY GOD CHOSE THE YOUNGER JACOB OVER ESAU. WE NOW UNDERSTAND WHY THE TRIUNE GOD FAVORED JACOB OVER ESAU.

      AND THOUGH ABRAHAM COULD NOT SEE NOR UNDERSTAND, AND ISAAC COULD NOT SEE NOR UNDERSTAND, MUCH LESS APPRECIATE THE WAITING, THE DELAYS, AND THE DIRECTIVES, NOR COMMANDS OF ALMIGHTY GOD…WE KNOW THAT OUR JESUS CHRIST COULD NOT HAVE BEEN BORN IF HE ONLY HAD THE TAINTED ISHMAEL’S BLOODLINE, NOR THE BLOODLINE OF ESAU TO COME THROUGH.

      AND LOOKING DOWN THROUGH HISTORY, WE REALIZE A STARK TRUTH, AN UNSHAKEABLE TRUTH, AND A BITTER REALITY…ABOUT WHAT OUR IMPATIENCE, STUBBORNNESS, SELF-WILL, AND DISOBEDIENCE CAN CAUSE US NOT ONLY IN OUR LIVES, BUT IN THE LIVES OF OUR DESCENDANTS.

      WHAT DO I MEAN BY THIS?

      IF ABRAHAM AND SARAH HAD OBEYED, TRUSTED, AND THEN WAITED ON ALMIGHTY GOD & HIS TIMING, THEN ISHMAEL WOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN BORN…THEN THE ARAB NATION WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN BIRTHED, AND THE WORLD AND ESPECIALLY THE NATION OF ISRAEL WOULD NOT BE PLAGUED TO THIS DAY BY THE ARAB NATIONS.

      IF ISAAC AND REBEKAH HAD NOT SHOWN FAVORITISM TOWARDS THE TWINS, AND HAD NOT TRIED TO PUSH THEIR OWN FAVORITE CHILD AND IGNORE THE OTHER, AND HAD RAISED THEM UP IN THE FEAR, RESPECT, AND ADMONITION OF ALMIGHTY GOD, THEN ESAU WOULD NOT HAVE DISOBEYED HIS PARENTS AND GONE HIS OWN WAY, AND MARRIED INTO THE WORLD, A PAGAN PEOPLE, A SATANIC FOUNDATIONAL PEOPLE, AND ESAU’S DESCENDANTS WOULD NOT HAVE BROUGHT SATANISM AND OCCULT WORSHIP, AND AMALEK, THE HIGH PRIEST OF SATAN HIMSELF WOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN BORN AND THE NATION OF ISRAEL & THE WORLD WOULD NOT HAVE SUCH SHAME, MURDER, DEATH, EVIL, AND GRIEVOUS IMMORTALITY PASSED DOWN THROUGH THE AGES, AND AS A CONSTANT TORMENT TO THEM AND BROUGHT DOWN THE JUDGMENT OF ALMIGHTY GOD UPON THEM TIME AND TIME AGAIN.

      THAT BEING SAID…HERE IS THE PRECIOUS, PRICELESS, REASSURING NEWS…OUR TRIUNE GOD…THE GOD WHO SEES ALL…ALREADY HAD A PLAN…AND HIS PROMISES AND HIS PLANS FOR THE NATION OF ISRAEL AND THE BIRTH OF THE MESSIAH WOULD COME TO PASS…NO ONE AND NOTHING…MANKIND, THE WORLD, NOR SATAN AND ALL OF HIS SLIMY PIT DWELLERS WOULD STOP GOD’S PLANS FOR ISRAEL…AS WELL THE GENTILE PEOPLE.

      ALMIGHTY GOD IS A PROMISE MAKER.
      JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF IS A PROMISE MAKER.
      ALMIGHTY GOD DOES NOT LIE.
      JESUS CHRIST DOES NOT LIE.
      ALMIGHTY GOD IS A PROMISE KEEPER,
      JESUS CHRIST IS A PROMISE KEEPER.

      WE CAN ALWAYS AND SHOULD ALWAYS TRUST OUR JESUS TO MAKE A WAY…REGARDLESS IF THE WORLD, MANKIND, THE EARTH, AND ALL OF HELL RISES UP AGAINST US.

      WE WHO KNOW, LOVE, AND HAVE CHOSEN AND ACCEPTED JESUS CHRIST AS OUR LORD, SAVIOR, AND FRIEND…DO NOT NEED ANYTHING NOR ANYONE ELSE TO OVERCOME…TO SUCCEED.

      TRUST OUR JESUS CHRIST…HE LOVES ALL OF MANKIND. THE ISHMAELS AND THE ESAUS AND THE GENTILE NATIONS OF THIS WORLD TOO...HE DIED TO INSURE THAT ALL THREE COULD BE OFFERED, COULD ACCEPT, THE FREE GIFT OF SALVATION THAT HE PAID FOR WITH HIS VERY LIFE TO INSURE IT…NOT ONLY FOR THOSE WHO LOVED HIM, BUT ALSO FOR THOSE WHO HATED HIM.

      JESUS CHRIST HAS A WONDROUS PLAN FOR ALL THOSE WHO LOVE AND TRUST HIM…

      TRUST JESUS CHRIST…HIS LOVE WILL NEVER FAIL US.

    • June 21, 2016 6:05 PM EDT
    • Genesis 37 - Joseph Is Sold Into Slavery

      Joseph’s dreams.

      Verses 1-4 tells us Jacob favors Joseph.

      “Now Jacob dwelt in the land where his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan. This is the history of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brothers. And the lad was with the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives; and Joseph brought a bad report of them to his father. Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. Also he made him a tunic of many colors. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him.”

      Joseph at the young age of 17, begins one the remarkable life stories of the Bible and all literature. “He was loved and hated, favored and abused, tempted and trusted, exalted and abased. Yet at no point in the one-hundred-and-ten-year life of Joseph did he ever seem to get his eyes off God or cease to trust him. Adversity did not harden his character. Prosperity did not ruin him. He was the same in private as in public. He was a truly great man.”

      Enoch shows the walk of faith.
      Noah shows the perseverance of faith.
      Abraham shows the obedience of faith.
      Isaac shows the power of faith.
      Jacob shows the discipline of faith.
      Joseph shows the triumph of faith. Joseph never complained and he never compromised.

      That is why Joseph is also a remarkably powerful picture of Jesus.

      Now Israel (JACOB) loved Joseph more than all his children: These chapters stand out for the insight they give us into an obviously troubled family.

      From the beginning, we get the impression Joseph is sort of a pampered favorite of Jacob, who doesn’t mind tattling on his older brothers at all.

      Also he made him a tunic of many colors: Jacob’s favoritism of Joseph was plain to all, including Joseph and his brothers. As an outward display of this, he gave Joseph a tunic of many colors. This signified a position of favor, princely standing, and birthright. It was a dramatic way of saying he was the son to receive the birthright.

      The real idea behind the ancient Hebrew phrase for “tunic of many colors” is that it was a tunic extending all the way down to the wrists and ankles, as opposed to a shorter one. This was not what a working man wore. It was a garment of privilege and status.

      They hated him and could not speak peaceably to him: Jacob’s favoritism of Joseph was an obvious source of conflict in the family. The brothers naturally hated him because the father favored him OVER THEM IN ALL THINGS AND IN ALL WAYS.

      Verses 5-8 tells us Joseph’s first dream.

      “Now Joseph had a dream, and he told it to his brothers; and they hated him even more. So he said to them, “Please hear this dream which I have dreamed: There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and indeed your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf.” And his brothers said to him, “Shall you indeed reign over us? Or shall you indeed have dominion over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.”

      Joseph had a dream, and he told it to his brothers; and they hated him even more: At best, Joseph showed a great lack of tact. Being pampered & highly favored seems to have BLINDED JOSEPH TO WHAT HIS WORDS/DREAMS would mean TO HIS BROTHERS!‘
      Surely he knew how much his brothers hated to hear this dream, which set him above his brothers.

      Shall you indeed reign over us?…WE SEE THAT THE BROTHERS UNDERSTAND understand perfectly the meaning of the dream: one day Joseph would reign over them and have dominion over them.

      Also relevant to this dream is the fact that it involves SHEAVES OF WHEAT. Joseph’s ultimate position of status over his brethren will have MUCH to do with food.

      Verses 9-11 tells us Joseph’s second dream.

      “Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, “Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me.” So he told it to his father and his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?” And his brothers envied him, but his father kept the matter in mind.”

      Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers: If Joseph was unwise in telling the first dream (knowing how irritating it was to his brothers) he was even more wrong sharing this second dream, especially because it set him not only above his brothers, but also set him above his father and mother.

      Joseph seems to be afflicted with the sort of pride often apparent among the favored and blessed. He is so focused on how great his dreams are for him, he doesn’t begin to consider how the dreams will sound in the ears of others.

      At this point, Joseph is a contrast to Jesus. Jesus wants us to be as He was on this earth: an “others-centered” person. Joseph seems to fall short in this area, do he not?

      Though Joseph WAS wrong to tell these dreams, they certainly did come true. One may receive a wonderful message from God that He does not intend them to publish to others. Joseph showed a proud lack of wisdom here…BUT WE NEED TO REMEMBER HE WAS A TEENAGER…AND TEENS, THEN AND NOW, ARE PRONE TO SPEAK BEFOREEEEE THEY THINK…AMEN?

      Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you? This portion of Genesis possibly isn’t in strict chronological order. Back in Genesis 35:16-20, Joseph’s mother Rachel died. This portion of Genesis seems to backtrack somewhat OR either ISRAEL (JACOB) referred to his 1st wife LEAH, as his mother now.

      OR this is another transition point as is in Genesis 37:2: This is the genealogy of Jacob. This likely ends the record preserved by Jacob himself (who recounted the death of Rachel), and the next line begins the record preserved by Joseph himself. These same kinds of transitions are found in Genesis 5:1; 6:9, and 25:19.

      The sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me: The idea of the stars, moon, and sun representing the family of Israel is repeated in Revelation 12:1. That passage speaks of Jesus coming from the nation of Israel TOO!

      Verses 12-17 tells us Joseph’s brothers sell him into slavery.

      “Then his brothers went to feed their father’s flock in Shechem. And Israel said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers feeding the flock in Shechem? Come, I will send you to them.” So he said to him, “Here I am.” Then he said to him, “Please go and see if it is well with your brothers and well with the flocks, and bring back word to me.” So he sent him out of the Valley of Hebron, and he went to Shechem. Now a certain man found him, and there he was, wandering in the field. And the man asked him, saying, “What are you seeking?” So he said, “I am seeking my brothers. Please tell me where they are feeding their flocks.” And the man said, “They have departed from here, for I heard them say, ‘Let us go to Dothan.’ “ So Joseph went after his brothers and found them in Dothan.”

      To feed their father’s flock in Shechem: There seems nothing strange about this errand, except Joseph’s brothers are in Shechem, a place where this family was influenced and harmed by worldly influences.

      Verses 18-22 tells us Joseph’s brothers plot to kill him.

      “Now when they saw him afar off, even before he came near them, they conspired against him to kill him. Then they said to one another, “Look, this dreamer is coming! Come therefore, let us now kill him and cast him into some pit; and we shall say, ‘Some wild beast has devoured him.’ We shall see what will become of his dreams!” But Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands, and said, “Let us not kill him.” And Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit which is in the wilderness, and do not lay a hand on him”; that he might deliver him out of their hands, and bring him back to his father.”

      It isn’t hard to see how unwise it was for Joseph to tell his dreams in the way he did. It only made his brothers hate him. They derisively call him “this dreamer.”

      We shall see what will become of his dreams! They decide to DEFEAT Joseph’s offending dreams by attacking him. Without intending to, they put Joseph’s dreams to the ultimate test. If the dreams really WERE from God, they cannot be defeated by the hatred of the brothers.

      Reuben - who at another time committed incest with his father’s concubine - took a small measure of leadership as the eldest, figuring he could save Joseph from death and rescue him later.

      Reuben could have simply rose up and said, “This is wrong! We can’t do this!” He didn’t because he wanted to do right by Joseph WITHOUT alienating his brothers. His desire to be nice to EVERYONE will fail to prevent a great evil. The good Reuben wanted to do (bring him back to his father) will NOT happen.

      Verses 23-28 tells us Joseph is cast into an empty cistern and sold into slavery.

      “So it came to pass, when Joseph had come to his brothers, that they stripped Joseph of his tunic, the tunic of many colors that was on him. Then they took him and cast him into a pit. And the pit was empty; there was no water in it. And they sat down to eat a meal. Then they lifted their eyes and looked, and there was a company of Ishmaelites, coming from Gilead with their camels, bearing spices, balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry them down to Egypt. So Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is there if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother and our flesh.” And his brothers listened. Then Midianite traders passed by; so the brothers pulled Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt.”

      They stripped Joseph of his tunic, because THE TUNIC was the sign of the father’s SPECIAL favor. The brothers must have had a perverse pleasure as they ripped it off Joseph, and it must have been particularly painful for Joseph to have it torn off him.

      Each believer in Jesus Christ is given special assurance of the Father’s favor. Certainly, many spiritual enemies want to rip from the believer the assurance of the Father’s favor, AMEN?

      And they sat down to eat a meal…The HEARTLESS character of these brothers is clear - they could eat a meal with Joseph nearby in the pit & LISTENED TO HIM PLEAD WITH THEM. They could sit down and enjoy food while their hearts were bent on murdering their brother.

      Later, Genesis 42:21 describes the conviction of sin they ignored at that moment. In that passage the brothers said: We are truly guilty concerning our brother, for we saw the anguish of his soul when he pleaded with us, and we would not hear; therefore this distress has come upon us. When Joseph was cast into the pit, he plead with his brothers, and they IGNORED his cries as they ate their meal.

      This is a shocking demonstration of the DEPRAVITY of the human heart - but it isn’t the last demonstration.

      For example, in 1995 Susan Smith deliberately drowned her own children and lied to the country about the children being kidnapped. We usually think someone who committed such an act would be overwhelmed by remorse, but her ability to put on a false face about such a horrific crime shows how deceitful our hearts are. AND SINCE 1995 the horrific, the depraved, the dead-hearted worldwide have GROWN TO ALMOST MONTHLY HORRIFICS.

      The brothers pulled Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver: The account is so shocking as to be numbing. We don’t know if we should think more highly of Joseph’s brothers because they decided to spare his life or less highly of them because they figured they could get rid of him and make a few bucks at the same time. Apparently they considered that their brother was only worth twenty shekels of silver.

      It was Judah who said, “After all, he’s our brother, so let’s only sell him into slavery instead of killing him.” And this was the son of Jacob who would become the ANCESTOR of the Messiah.

      VERSES 29-35 tell us…the brothers COVER their sin and lie to Jacob concerning Joseph’s fate.

      “Then Reuben returned to the pit, and indeed Joseph was not in the pit; and he tore his clothes. And he returned to his brothers and said, “The lad is no more; and I, where shall I go?” So they took Joseph’s tunic, killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the tunic in the blood. Then they sent the tunic of many colors, and they brought it to their father and said, “We have found this. Do you know whether it is your son’s tunic or not?” And he recognized it and said, “It is my son’s tunic. A wild beast has devoured him. Without doubt Joseph is torn to pieces.” Then Jacob tore his clothes, put sackcloth on his waist, and mourned for his son many days. And all his sons and all his daughters arose to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted, and he said, “For I shall go down into the grave to my son in mourning.” Thus his father wept for him.

      Then Reuben returned to the pit, and indeed Joseph was NOT in the pit; and he tore his clothes: Reuben tore his clothes as an expression of utter horror and mourning because his weak stand for righteousness accomplished nothing. Joseph may as well be dead, because his father who loved him so would never see him again.

      We have found this. Do you know whether it is your son’s tunic or not? This shows THE HEARTLESS CRUELTY of the sons of Israel was not directed only towards the favored son, but also towards the father who favored him. This was both a heartless way to bring the news and an unconscionable lie.

      Jacob tore his clothes: This was an expression of utter horror and mourning because his loved son is gone. His grief is understandable, but his failure to see the truth of eternal life is not.

      This is also a powerful illustration of the principle that if we believe something to be so, it may as well be. Joseph was not dead, but as long as Jacob BELIEVED he was, as far as Jacob was concerned, Joseph was dead.

      In the same way, the Christian has in truth been set free from sin, but if Satan can persuade us we are UNDER the tyranny of sin, AND NOT REALLY SAVED…we may as well be.

      Verse 36 tells us Joseph ends up in the court of a high Egyptian official.

      “Now the Midianites had sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and captain of the guard.”

      Egypt was a large and thriving kingdom for at least a thousand years before Joseph came. The Egyptians were wealthy and had massive natural resources. They were educated and had no real enemies at the time. When Joseph came to Egypt, some of the pyramids already looked old and the Sphinx was already carved. But in God’s eyes, the most impressive thing about Egypt was that Joseph was now there.

      Do you notice that EVEN IN THE MIDST OF THIS HORROR, God did NOT depart from Joseph. In some ways the story will get worse - and when it does, God will STILL BE WITH Joseph. God is working not only for Joseph himself, but also for the LARGER purposes of God’s redemptive plan.

      We can thank God for His great plan.
      AND WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SHOW US NOW OF GOD’S GREAT PLAN?

      THINK ABOUT THIS…

      If Joseph’s brothers never sell him to the Midianites, then Joseph never goes to Egypt.
      If Joseph never goes to Egypt, he never is sold to Potiphar.
      If he is never sold to Potiphar, Potiphar’s wife never falsely accuses him of rape.
      If Potiphar’s wife never falsely accuses him of rape, then he is never put in prison.
      If he is never put in prison, he never meets the baker and butler of Pharaoh.
      If he never meets the baker and butler of Pharaoh, he never interprets their dreams.
      If he never interprets their dreams, he never gets to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams.
      If he never gets to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams, he never is made prime minister.
      If he is never made prime minister, he never wisely administrates for the severe famine coming upon the region.
      If he never wisely administrates for the severe famine coming upon the region, then his family back in Canaan perishes from the famine.
      If his family back in Canaan perishes from the famine, the Messiah can’t come forth from a dead family.
      If the Messiah can’t come forth, then Jesus never came.
      If Jesus never came, you are dead in your sins and without hope in this world.

      GENESIS 37 SHOWS US THAT ALMIGHTY GOD HAS A PLAN…THEN AND NOW…

      A PERFECT PRESENT DAY ILLUSTRATION OF THIS…FOR GFB IS THIS…GFB NATIONAL BIBLE STUDY BEGAN STUDYING GENESIS LONG BEFORE, THE GFB INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDY BEGAN STUDYING REVELATION…RIGHT…

      BUT THOSE WHO ATTENDED REVELATION 12...SEE THAT THIS STORY OF JOSEPH…AND ITS RELEVANCE AND IMPORTANCE TO END TIMES PROPHECY WERE REACHED AND PARALLELED EACH OTHER IN AT THE EXACT, PRECISE, AND IN PERFECT SYNCHRONICITY…AND THAT CAN ONLYYYYYY BE A JESUS THING…

      SO WHEN THE UNFAIR, THE UNJUST, TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS RISE UP IN OUR LIVES…

      REMEMBER JOSEPH.

      JESUS HAD A WONDROUS PLAN.
      JESUS PROMISED THEN AND NOW TO TURN THE EVIL INTENTS OF MAN AND SATAN INTO OUR GOOD, AMEN?

      JESUS PROMISED TO MAKE A WAY.
      HE PROMISED TO BLESS.
      HE PROMISED TO PROTECT.
      HE PROMISED TO PRESERVE JOSEPH.
      …AND OUR AMAZING TRIUNE GOD DID.

      STAY CLOSE TO OUR JESUS…AND TRUST HIM….HE LOVES YOU AND HE HAS A WONDROUS PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE AS WELL!

    • June 21, 2016 6:03 PM EDT
    • Genesis 38 - Tamar and the Sin of Judah

      THIS CHAPTER OPENS WITH Tamar’s widowhood and Judah’s unfairness.

      Verses 1-5 tells us of Judah and his three sons.

      “It came to pass at that time that Judah departed from his brothers, and visited a certain Adullamite whose name was Hirah. And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was Shua, and he married her and went in to her. So she conceived and bore a son, and he called his name Er. She conceived again and bore a son, and she called his name Onan. And she conceived yet again and bore a son, and called his name Shelah. He was at Chezib when she bore him.”

      Judah departed from his brothers . . . And through an UNGODLY and UNWISE marriage to a Canaanite woman Judah fathered three sons: Er, Onan, and Shelah.

      ONCE AGAIN….GOD SHOWS US THAT HIS COVENANT COMMAND NOT TO MARRY CANNANITES HAD/HAS GOOD REASONS BEHIND IT…AMEN?

      The sons of Israel (JACOB) are RAPIDLY being corrupted by their Canaanite neighbors, and what the future will bring if they continued in that land. God had a plan to bring them out.

      Judah, the fourth-born son of Jacob through Leah (Reuben, Simeon, and Levi were before him) had NOT yet distinguished himself as someone great among his brothers. IN FACT, JUDAH was the one who suggested they sell Joseph into slavery told to us in Genesis 37:26.

      Verses 6-7 tells us of Er’s marriage to Tamar and his death.

      “Then Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, and her name was Tamar. But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord killed him.”

      We are NEVER told what Er’s wickedness was, but obviously it was UNSPEAKABLE ENOUGH AND DEPRAVED enough that God brought immediate judgment upon him. Growing up with a father from such a messed-up family and with a mother who was a Canaanite did not lead Er in a godly life.

      Verses 8-10 tells us Onan’s refusal to raise up offspring for Tamar.

      “And Judah said to Onan, “Go in to your brother’s wife and marry her, and raise up an heir to your brother.” But Onan knew that the heir would not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in to his brother’s wife, that he emitted on the ground, lest he should give an heir to his brother. And the thing which he did displeased the Lord; therefore He killed him also.”

      INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH…IN THAT DAY…According to the custom of LEVIRATE MARRIAGE (which was later codified into law in Deuteronomy 25:5-10), if a man died BEFORE providing sons to his wife, it was the DUTY of his brothers to marry her and to give her sons. The child was considered the son of the brother who died (Onan knew that the heir would not be his) because the living brother was only acting in his place.
      WHY?

      This was done so the dead brother’s name would be carried on. But also it was so the widow would have children to support her. Apart from this, she would likely live the rest of her life as a destitute widow.

      When he went in to his brother’s wife, that he emitted on the ground, lest he should give an heir to his brother: Onan refused to take this responsibility seriously. He was more than happy to use Tamar for his sexual gratification, but he did NOT want to give Tamar a son he had to support but would be considered to be the son of Er.

      Onan pursued sex as ONLY a pleasurable experience. If he really didn’t want to father a child by Tamar, he should NEVER had sex with her at all. He refused to fulfill his obligation to his dead brother and Tamar. And ALMIGHTY GOD did NOT TOLERATE THE poor sexual usage of the widow TAMAR.

      INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH….Many Christians have used THIS passage as a proof-text against masturbation. Indeed, masturbation has been called “onanism.” However, this does not seem to be the case here. Whatever Onan did, he was NOT masturbating. This was not a sin of masturbation, but a sin of refusing to care for his brother’s widow by giving her offspring, and of a selfish, SELF-INDULGENT MISUSE use of sex.

      Verse 11tells us of Judah’s unfair dealing with Tamar.

      “Then Judah said to Tamar his daughter-in-law, “Remain a widow in your father’s house till my son Shelah is grown.” For he said, “Lest he also die like his brothers.” And Tamar went and dwelt in her father’s house.”

      CONSIDERING WHAT HAPPENED TO TWO OF HIS SONS, we can understand Judah’s hesitancy to give his last son as a husband to Tamar. God already judged two of her previous husbands. Judah essentially vowed he would not give Shelah as husband to Tamar as custom and righteousness commanded, but he would simply put her off on the issue.

      Tamar went and dwelt in her father’s house: This was no place for a young, childless widow to be, when there were additional brothers in her husband’s family who could fulfill the obligation they owed to their late brother. NONE of this was the fault of Tamar. All the blame belonged to the sons of Judah.

      Verses 12-14 tells us Judah’s wife dies, and Tamar realizes Judah will never give his last son to fulfill the obligation to her & so Tamar bears a child by Judah.

      “Now in the process of time the daughter of Shua, Judah’s wife, died; and Judah was comforted, and went up to his sheepshearers at Timnah, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite. And it was told Tamar, saying, “Look, your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep.” So she took off her widow’s garments, covered herself with a veil and wrapped herself, and sat in an open place which was on the way to Timnah; for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given to him as a wife.”

      She saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given to him as a wife: Tamar did not want to face what would be a very difficult existence in that culture or in any culture: life without any husband or children.

      She was not given to him as a wife…WHAT WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND IN THAT DAY AND CULTURE, Tamar didn’t have THE OPTION of just finding another man to marry. She was UNDER the headship of her father-in-law Judah, and he HAD TO GIVE her a husband. He determined whom and when she could marry.

      Verses 15-18 tells us Tamar sets a trap for Judah, and he has sex with her.

      “When Judah saw her, he thought she was a harlot, because she had covered her face. Then he turned to her by the way, and said, “Please let me come in to you”; for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law. So she said, “What will you give me, that you may come in to me?” And he said, “I will send a young goat from the flock.” So she said, “Will you give me a pledge till you send it?” Then he said, “What pledge shall I give you?” So she said, “Your signet and cord, and your staff that is in your hand.” Then he gave them to her, and went in to her, and she conceived by him.”

      When Judah saw her, he thought she was a harlot, because she had covered her face: After negotiating the price, Tamar demanded a pledge of the future payment of the agreed-upon price (a young goat).

      Then he gave them to her, and went in to her, and she conceived by him: When Tamar conceived, it certainly was NOT intended by Judah, but WE KNOW IT WAS DEFINITELY planned by both Tamar and God, AMEN?

      Verses 19-23 tells us Tamar disappears.

      “So she arose and went away, and laid aside her veil and put on the garments of her widowhood. And Judah sent the young goat by the hand of his friend the Adullamite, to receive his pledge from the woman’s hand, but he did not find her. Then he asked the men of that place, saying, “Where is the harlot who was openly by the roadside?” And they said, “There was no harlot in this place.” So he returned to Judah and said, “I cannot find her. Also, the men of the place said there was no harlot in this place.” Then Judah said, “Let her take them for herself, lest we be shamed; for I sent this young goat and you have not found her.”

      Judah sends a friend to pay Tamar, and to retrieve the pledge he left with her. Because Tamar has disappeared, he gives up the pledge, leaving it in her hands.

      Verses 24-26 tells us Tamar is vindicated and Judah is reproved.

      “And it came to pass, about three months after, that Judah was told, saying, “Tamar your daughter-in-law has played the harlot; furthermore she is with child by harlotry.” So Judah said, “Bring her out and let her be burned!” When she was brought out, she sent to her father-in-law, saying, “By the man to whom these belong, I am with child.” And she said, “Please determine whose these are; the signet and cord, and staff.” So Judah acknowledged them and said, “She has been more righteous than I, because I did not give her to Shelah my son.” And he never knew her again.”

      Please determine whose these are: Tamar, acted shrewdly and vindicated herself against the charge of harlotry. She makes the logical appeal of noting that the one who hired her is just as guilty as she.

      She has been more righteous than I: however, even Judah could see through to the real issue. He WAS at fault for NOT providing for Tamar a son through his last son Shelah.

      Verses 27-30 tells us Tamar gives birth to twins, Perez and Zerah.

      “Now it came to pass, at the time for giving birth, that behold, twins were in her womb. And so it was, when she was giving birth, that the one put out his hand; and the midwife took a scarlet thread and bound it on his hand, saying, “This one came out first.” Then it happened, as he drew back his hand, that his brother came out unexpectedly; and she said, “How did you break through? This breach be upon you!” Therefore his name was called Perez. Afterward his brother came out who had the scarlet thread on his hand. And his name was called Zerah.

      Therefore his name was called Perez . . . his name was called Zerah: Matthew 1:3 and Luke 3:33 each list Perez as AN ancestor of Jesus the Messiah. God took the son of this ungodly situation and put him in the family line of the Messiah, despite the fact that neither Judah or Tamar were GOOD examples of godliness.

      This is JUST ANOTHER glorious example of grace. God chose them DESPITE their works, not only to be in the line of the Messiah, but also to have A ROLE in God’s plan of redemption.

      THIS ALSO REMINDS US…these sons of Israel were by NO means an “SHINING STAR.” They were IN AND OF THEMSELVES a VERY corrupt and problem-filled family…BUT OUR TRIUNE GOD HAD A PLAN, AMEN?




      Genesis 39 - JUMPS BACK TO JOSEPH IN Potiphar’s House

      Verse 1 tell us about Potiphar, an Egyptian official, buys Joseph.

      “Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. And Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him down there.”

      The name Potiphar means “devoted to the sun.” It was a name connected with the Egyptian religious system.

      An officer of Pharaoh: The ancient Hebrew word officer may be translated “eunuch.” It was a common practice in ancient times to make those HIGHEST in the royal courts eunuchs, to ENSURE they would be WHOLLY devoted to their king. Because this practice was common, the term came to be used for ALL who served in important positions in a king’s court, whether they were eunuchs or not. So we really don’t know if Potiphar was a eunuch.

      Captain of the guard…means “chief of police,” or probably more precisely, Potiphar was head of Pharaoh’s “Secret Service,” his personal security force. He was a HIGHLY trusted official in the government of Egypt.

      Verses 2-3 tells us and reminds us God IS with Joseph.

      “The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand.”

      Joseph’s trial was probably worse than any of us have gone through. Yet God did not abandon him even in the smallest way. If God allowed Joseph to be a slave, then he would be a successful man even as a slave.

      We often complain to God that He put us in a terrible or difficult place. Yet God’s will is that we trust Him to bless us and make us successful (as He measures success) WHEREVER we are.

      He WAS a successful man; and he WAS in the house of his master the Egyptian: Even at this EARLY point when it seemed Joseph had NO control over circumstances - and indeed, he had NONE IN AND OF HIMSELF- God OVERRULED the evil or capricious choices of man to accomplish His eternal purpose.

      And his master SAW that the Lord was with him: By his trust in God, diligent work, and blessing from God, Joseph SHOWED Potiphar that God WAS real. Our bosses should SEE the difference Jesus makes in our lives by the way we work too, AMEN?

      Verses 4-6 tells us God blesses Potiphar for Joseph’s sake.

      “So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority. So it was, from the time that he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had in the house and in the field. Thus he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand, and he did not know what he had except for the bread which he ate. Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance.”

      Because of God’s blessing and Joseph’s faithfulness, God MADE SURE Joseph was advanced in his position, EVEN AS WHAT THE WORD TERMED A HELPLESS, POWERLESS slave.

      It would have been easy for Joseph to do what we so often do: “write off” his present position because it seemed so bad (he was a slave, after all). But Joseph believed God could bless him right where he was, so he didn’t wait for a better situation to be blessed by God.

      The Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake: After the same principle, blessing can be brought upon our workplace because of OUR presence of godliness.

      Clearly, Joseph ROSE TO THE TOP, but it took a while to happen.

      Joseph WAS ONLY 17 years old when he was sold into slavery told to us in Genesis 37:2.
      Joseph WAS 30 when Pharaoh promoted him in Genesis 41:46.
      Joseph HAD BEEN in prison for TWO years BEFORE that in Genesis 41:1.

      So, JOSEPH was in Potiphar’s house for 11 years. It took 11 years for the FULL measure of God’s blessing to be accomplished in Joseph’s life.

      11 years seems like a long time. Many think if advancement is from God, it must come quickly. Sometimes this is the case, but not normally. Normally, God allows good things to develop slowly.

      DID YOU KNOW THAT HUMAN CHILDREN have the longest development time both in the womb and in childhood compared to animals. It takes many years for an acorn to become an oak; a squash grows overnight.

      WHAT THIS TELLS US IS THAT JESUS CAN WORK THINGS OUT VERY QUICKLY OR HE CAN WORK THEM OUT OVER A PERIOD OF TIME…

      WE CAN IMAGINE Joseph WAS a hard worker. When he came to Egypt, he was at a great disadvantage. He knew NOTHING of the language, culture, customs, or ways of doing business. He had to get up early and stay up late to both do his job and to learn Egyptian ways.

      Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance: Joseph’s appearance is of SPECIAL note. The Bible only calls TWO other men beautiful: David (1 Samuel 16:12) and Absalom (2 Samuel 14:25).

      Verses 7-10 tells us of Joseph’s resistance to the invitation of Potiphar’s wife to temptation and its aftermath.

      “And it came to pass after these things that his master’s wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, “Lie with me.” But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” So it was, as she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he did not heed her, to lie with her or to be with her.”

      Potiphar’s wife was undeniably forward towards Joseph. If Potiphar was indeed a eunuch, it shows that his wife looked for sexual activity elsewhere.

      Perhaps Potiphar WAS a eunuch, and the marriage was purely a ceremonial arrangement, so she felt free to seek sexual relationships outside the marital bond.

      Of course, Joseph was an attractive man, and this had something to do with it. That he seemed “out of reach” to Potiphar’s wife surely was a factor. She would not be the first or last woman who desired to seduce a man out of a sense of challenge, AMEN?

      AND INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH, in the ancient world, the code of morality for women in Egypt (even married women) was loose. Egyptian women had a reputation for immorality in the ancient world.
      Lie with me…This WAS bold and strong temptation to Joseph. It reminds us that when we face strong temptations, others HAVE faced the same. Satan wants you to think your temptation is terribly unique; that no one you know could understand what you are going through.

      But 1 Corinthians 10:13 REMINDS US… “But there is no temptation that has overtaken us except what is common among men.”

      She spoke to Joseph day by day, that he did not heed her, to lie with her or to be with her…tells us that SHE THREW HERSELF AT JOSEPH DAILY, TEMPTED JOSEPH DAILY…BUT THAT Joseph showed remarkable faithfulness towards God, Potiphar, and himself by resisting this temptation for so long - perhaps up to 11 years.

      Joseph let his faith BE KNOWN. Potiphar (and others, presumably) KNEW Joseph was blessed because of his relationship with God in Genesis 39:3. Joseph HAD TO HAVE SAID SOMETHING about his relationship with God for this to be the case.

      ANOTHER WAY JOSEPH RESISTED TEMPTATION….Joseph kept busy. You don’t advance the way he did unless you are a BUSY worker.

      An old Turkish proverb says, “Men are usually tempted by the devil, but an idle man positively tempts the devil.”

      AND WE NOTICE SOMETHING ELSE…Joseph was careful to NEVER be alone with his temptation. Joseph wisely even avoided being alone around Potiphar’s wife (or to be with her).

      AND JOSEPH TOLD HER AND CALLED THE ACT SHE DEMANDED OF HIM, TEMPTED HIM WITH…WHAT IT WAS IN THE EYES OF GOD… Joseph called the act what it was: sin.

      He referred to this sin set before him as this great wickedness and sin against God. We want to call sin by another name, make it less convicting…less harsh…more POLITICALLY AND SOCIALLY CORRECT, RIGHT?

      SOCIETY CALLS Hostility and temper are “self-expression.”
      Pride is “self-esteem.”
      Gluttony is “the good life.”
      Covetousness is “trying to get ahead.”
      Perversion is “an alternative lifestyle.”
      Adultery is “a cry for help in a bad marriage.”

      BUT Joseph KNEW how greatly his sin would affect others.

      Often times we want to DENY the harmful effects our sin will have. When we look at a charred mountainside, and all there is left is ashes and ruin, we despise the careless person who started the fire. Sin is NO LESS destructive.

      Joseph NEVER gave in to the illusion that he could do this and never be discovered, or somehow it wouldn’t matter.

      Joseph KNEW that his sin was a sin against God.
      One might justify sinning against another person who has done us wrong, but how can we sin against God?

      KING DAVID…reflects this same heart in his prayer of repentance in PSALM 51:4, which says, “Against You and You only have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight.”

      Of course, David had also sinned against Uriah, against Bathsheba, against their child, against his family, and against his people; but those were of far less consequence than his sin against God.

      Joseph just said “NO!”
      He refused.
      Sometimes it just comes down to that.
      We have to refuse and say “no” to sin, even when we feel like saying “yes.”
      Knowing the fleshly inclination of men - their ability to detach sex from romance and love, and be promiscuous - this is wonderful obedience on the part of Joseph.

      How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?

      Obedience is MUCH easier when we know who God is.

      CHARLES SPURGEON, A GREAT HUMBLE MAN OF JESUS SAYS, “When I regarded God as a tyrant, I thought sin a trifle; but when I knew him to be my father, then I mourned that I could ever have kicked against him. When I thought that God was hard, I found it easy to sin; but when I found God so kind, so good, so overflowing with compassion, I smote upon my breast to think that I could ever have rebelled against one who loved me so, and sought my good.”

      Verses 11-12 tells us Joseph resists her brazen attempt at seduction.

      “But it happened about this time, when Joseph went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the house was inside, that she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside.”

      Potiphar’s wife KNEW Joseph was avoiding her, so she made a deliberate plan to ENTRAP him. Surely, it was she who made certain none of the men of the house was inside.

      FLEE FROM THE VERY TEMPTATION OF SIN….AND THAT IS JUST WHAT JOSEPH DID….he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside: Joseph resisted this tremendous moment of temptation when he ran outside. Joseph did what we are all supposed to do when faced with this kind of situation: he fled and ran.

      2 Timothy 2:22 makes it VERY clear: “Flee also youthful lusts.”

      If we are not actually running towards sin, we have a tendency to at least LINGER OR DELAY in its presence. But we are commanded to do the ONLY SAFE THING: run away from these lusts of the flesh, and run as fast as we can.

      Joseph got him out. No one else was going to get him out. God provides a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13), but WE HAVE TO BE READY AND WILLING TO take the way out, AMEN?

      He left his garment…The idea is not that he ran away naked, but that his outer garment was stripped off. Essentially, he left in his underwear.

      Joseph had to know this stand for purity would cost him dearly, but he considered it worth it.

      Verses 13-18 tells us Potiphar’s wife falsely accuses Joseph before Potiphar.

      “And so it was, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and fled outside, that she called to the men of her house and spoke to them, saying, “See, he has brought in to us a Hebrew to mock us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice. And it happened, when he heard that I lifted my voice and cried out, that he left his garment with me, and fled and went outside.” So she kept his garment with her until his master came home. Then she spoke to him with words like these, saying, “The Hebrew servant whom you brought to us came in to me to mock me; so it happened, as I lifted my voice and cried out, that he left his garment with me and fled outside.”

      It must have offended and grieved Joseph to be accused under such an outrageous lie. Yet he did not seem to defend himself against this false accusation, even as Jesus was silent before His accusers told to us in Isaiah 53:7 and Matthew 27:13-14.

      IN THIS CASE…SILENCE…NO DEFENSE…PROVED THE BEST DEFENSE, AMEN?

      Verses 19-20 tells us Joseph is sent to prison.

      “So it was, when his master heard the words which his wife spoke to him, saying, “Your servant did to me after this manner,” that his anger was aroused. Then Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were confined. And he was there in the prison.”

      It seems that Joseph was given a sentence of life imprisonment. This was a hard penalty, but the normal punishment for such a crime (attempted rape) by a slave upon a high official’s wife would likely BE DEATH, SO Joseph was given a merciful sentence.

      Potiphar went easy on Joseph because he suspected his wife’s role in the matter. The anger aroused may have not been directed towards Joseph, but against the wife for manipulating him into a situation where, to save face, he had to dismiss the man who made the whole household run well & profited him so well too.
      Verses 21-23 tells us Joseph prospers, EVEN in prison.

      “But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing. The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph’s authority, because the Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper.”

      If God blessed Joseph in the pit, if He blessed Joseph the slave, we are not to be SURPRISED NOR AMAZED to see Him bless Joseph in prison.

      THE TRIUNE GOD IS SHOWING US THROUGH JOSEPH’S LIFE…THAT NOTHING AND NO ONE, NOTTTTTTTTT MAN OR SATAN HIMSELF, AND ALL THEIR TERRIBLE PLOTS AND PLANS AND CIRCUMSTANCES WILL EVER STOP OR DERAIL GOD’S PLAN IN OURS OR JOSEPH’S LIFE.

      THE TRIUNE GOD IS TELLING…Joseph succeeded because of the blessing of God:

      The Lord was WITH Joseph, and he was A SUCCESSFUL man…IN Genesis 39:2.

      His master saw that the Lord was WITH him and that the Lord made all he did to PROSPER in his hand…IN Genesis 39:3.

      The Lord BLESSED the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was ON ALL that he had…IN Genesis 39:5.

      Even after Joseph is falsely accused and thrown into prison, God still BLESSES:
      But the Lord was WITH Joseph… IN Genesis 39:21.
      The Lord was WITH him…IN Genesis 39:23.

      The keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing: As it was in the house of Potiphar, Joseph ROSE to the top, becoming the chief administrator of the prison. Through his experience in both places, God sharpened the administrative skills Joseph needed to ONE DAY SAVE HIS FAMILY BACK IN CANAAN AS WELL THE ENTIRE WORLD.

      I DO NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU…BUT WITHIN MY LIFE AND THOSE OF MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS THAT ARE AT PRESENT BEING ATTACKED, CHALLENGED, AND TEMPTED ON ALL SIDES…ONCE AGAIN…WITH PERFECT TIMING…AT A CRUCIAL LIFE ALTERING, CHANGING, OR DEFINING MOMENT….JESUS HAS BROUGHT TO ME THE STORY OF JOSEPH….

      THAT STILL SMALL VOICE IS ONCE AGAIN SAYING TO ME…LOOK AT JOSEPH…I WAS WITH HIM, I PROTECTED HIM, I WATCHED OVER HIM, I BLESSED HIM REGARDLESS WHAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES LOOKED, SEEMED, OR EVEN FELT LIKE….TRUST IN ME FAITH…NOT THE WORLD, NOT IN PEOPLE…JUST TRUST ME…I LOVE YOU…I WILL NEVER FAIL YOU…

      IS JESUS WHISPERING THE SAME TO YOU….IF SO, BELIEVE IT AND TRUST JESUS.
      JESUS NEVERRRRRRRR FAILS!

    • June 21, 2016 5:50 PM EDT
    •  

      Genesis 40 - Joseph Interprets Dreams in Prison
      A. Joseph meets the butler and the baker in prison & interprets their dreams.

      Verses 1-4 tell us The Egyptian royal butler and baker are put into prison.

      “It came to pass after these things that the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt offended their lord, the king of Egypt. And Pharaoh was angry with his two officers, the chief butler and the chief baker. So he put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the prison, the place where Joseph was confined. And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them; so they were in custody for a while.”

      The butler in that day and time was in charge of Pharaoh’s wine. The baker was in charge of Pharaoh’s food. They were also taste-testers. They first drank the wine & tasted all the food before the Pharaoh did. They were imprisoned because they offended their lord, the king of Egypt. It is difficult to tell if it was in a minor or a major way. Considering how the account will develop, it is probable there was a plot to murder the Pharaoh (perhaps by poisoning).

      But we MUST NEVER lose sight of the over-arching reason: whatever EXTERNAL reason they were sent to prison, they were really there to MEET Joseph.

      This FAVORABLE treatment of Joseph by the captain of the guard shows that Potiphar did NOT REALLY BELIEVE the accusations his wife made against Joseph. We know this because Potiphar himself WAS THE CAPTAIN OF THE GUARD told to us in Genesis 39:1.

      AND YOU NOTICE….THOUGH IN A FAVORABLE POSITION EVEN IN PRISON…JOSEPH REMAINED HUMBLE…HE SERVED THESE MEN. EVEN IN HIS HIGH POSITION OF AUTHORITY IN PRISON, he did not use it to make other serve him. He used his high position to serve others.

      Verses 5-7 tells us Joseph shows concern for the butler and baker.

      “Then the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison, had a dream, both of them, each man’s dream in one night and each man’s dream with its own interpretation. And Joseph came in to them in the morning and looked at them, and saw that they were sad. So he asked Pharaoh’s officers who were with him in the custody of his lord’s house, saying, “Why do you look so sad today?”

      Joseph came in to them in the morning and looked at them, and saw that they were sad: THESE VERSES RIGHT HERE…GIVE US A VIEW…A WINDOWN INTO THE HEART OF JOSEPH. PEOPLE WHO ARE consumed with anger and bitterness do NOT NOTICE, CARE, OR HAVE ANY concern for the personal problems of others like this.

      Why do you look so sad today? It would be easy - perhaps technically true - for Joseph to think that because of all the wrong done against him, everything should revolve around his own feelings and hurts. Instead, he cared that the butler and the baker looked so sad one day.

      This is ONE OF THE BRIGHTEST KEYS to living like Jesus: being an OTHERS-centered person. Joseph could have justified certain self-centeredness in his life (“I have to take care of myself right now”), but he did not.

      Verse 8 tells us Joseph invites them to tell him their disturbing dreams.

      “And they said to him, “We each have had a dream, and there is no interpreter of it.” So Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell them to me, please.”

      Tell them to me, please: This was NOT A CASE of mere discussion of dreams for the sake of curiosity or a form of fortune telling. Joseph SAW these men were clearly DISTURBED by their dreams, and approached the dreams from a desire to meet their needs.

      Do not interpretations belong to God? Joseph has experience with dreams. His two dreams about his future greatness antagonized his family remember in Genesis 37:5-11, and JOSEPH WAS MOCKED as the dreamer by his brothers, remember in Genesis 37:19-20.

      BUT JOSEPH KNEW HIS GOD. Joseph was confident that God knew what the dream was about. He was like the one boy who told another, “My father and I know everything.” When the other boy asked a hard question, the boy just said, “That’s one for my dad.” Joseph KNEW TOGETHER he and his Father knew EVERYTHING, AMEN?

      SO WHO DO YOU RUN TOO? WHO DO YOU SEEK OUT WHEN YOU HAVE A NEED, WORRY, DECISION, OR PROBLEM THAT YOU CAN NOT ANSWER & SOLVE?

      WE HAVE ALL BEEN THERE…THE WORLD IS FULL OF EXPERTS, SPECIALISTS…BUT THERE IS NONEEEEE NO NOT ONE WHO KNOWS ALL, SEES ALL PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE…BUT OUR JESUS, AMEN?

      AND JOSEPH REMINDS US OF SOMETHING IMPORTANT HERE…WHEN HE STATES WITH COMPLETE FAITH AND TRUST…Do not interpretations belong to God? God may certainly speak through dreams and many passages of Scripture show this such as in Genesis 20:3; 28:12; 31:11; 31:24; Numbers 12:6; 1 Samuel 28:6; Joel 2:28; Matthew 1:20; 2:13; 2:22. However, we as CHRISTIANS NEED TO REMEMBER THAT NOT EVERY DREAM, VISION, OR SEEMING REVELATION COMES FROM JESUS. WE MUST ALWAYS TEST THE SPIRITS. PRAY IT UP, WAIT ON JESUS, AND ASK HIM TO REVEL HIMSELF TO US AND IF IT IS OF OUR JESUS…THE AFFIRMATIONS AND CONFIRMATIONS WILL COME.

      BUT WE NEED TO REMEMBER ALWAYS THAT not every dream is a revelation from God. We must be careful about putting too much weight on dreams IN AND OF THEMSELVES.

      Dreams can come just because our minds are busy: A dream comes through much activity . . . THE BIBLE CONFIRMS THIS: “For in the multitude of dreams and many words there is also vanity.” Ecclesiastes 5:3; 5:7.

      The Bible WARNS of false prophets using dreams to give weight to their message told to us in Deuteronomy 13:1-5, Jeremiah 23:25-28.


      Verses 9-11 tells us The butler explains his dream & Joseph interprets it.

      “Then the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, “Behold, in my dream a vine was before me, and in the vine were three branches; it was as though it budded, its blossoms shot forth, and its clusters brought forth ripe grapes. Then Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand; and I took the grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand.”

      Though this dream WAS FROM GOD, God used figures and pictures that made sense to the butler (a vine, grapes, and serving the Pharaoh wine).

      Verses 12-15 tells us Joseph interprets the butler’s dream and asks a favor.

      “And Joseph said to him, “This is the interpretation of it: The three branches are three days. Now within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your place, and you will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand according to the former manner, when you were his butler. But remember me when it is well with you, and please show kindness to me; make mention of me to Pharaoh, and get me out of this house. For indeed I was stolen away from the land of the Hebrews; and also I have done nothing here that they should put me into the dungeon.”

      There are aspects to this dream that COULD NOT have been guessed, such as the three branches representing three days. Joseph’s interpretation of this dream came from God, not his own wisdom.

      Joseph was bold enough to give an interpretation that could be proved right or wrong within three days. In only three days, everyone will know if Joseph was correct or not.

      Remember me when it is well with you: Joseph asked the butler to work for his release. Though Joseph showed godly character in the Egyptian prison by not becoming angry and bitter in his heart, he WASN’T STUPID EITHER. He wanted to get out, and used appropriate means to do so.

      Joseph could have had “fatalistic faith,” saying, “Well, if the Lord wants me out of prison, He will do it, and I won’t have to do anything.” It is true that Joseph will not get out of prison until the Lord wants it. But none of that precludes Joseph taking wise and good steps to accomplish what he thinks to be God’s will. The butler won’t remember until God wants him to anyway.

      Verses 16-19 tells us the baker tells his dream and Joseph interprets it.

      “When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said to Joseph, “I also was in my dream, and there were three white baskets on my head. In the uppermost basket were all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, and the birds ate them out of the basket on my head.” So Joseph answered and said, “This is the interpretation of it: The three baskets are three days. Within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head from you and hang you on a tree; and the birds will eat your flesh from you.”

      YOU NOTICE THE BAKER WAS ENCOURAGED that his companion had a good interpretation of his dream, but he found out his dream did not tell of good to come.

      Joseph was just as faithful to deliver the BAD message as he was to deliver the GOOD message. This is the mark of a godly preacher, who does not fail to bring the whole counsel of God.

      The birds will eat your flesh from you…IN THAT DAY AND TIME…This is a disgraceful death, but Joseph must have understood that the fate of the butler and the baker was each according to JUSTICE. Whatever crime they were suspected of, the butler was innocent but the baker was guilty.

      Verses 20-23 tells us the dreams COME TO PASS EXACTLY according to Joseph’s interpretations.

      “Now it came to pass on the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, that he made a feast for all his servants; and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants. Then he restored the chief butler to his butlership again, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand. But he hanged the chief baker, as Joseph had interpreted to them. Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.”

      The three days until Joseph was proved right must have been agonizing for the butler and the baker (though more so for the baker), yet Joseph was found to be a TRUE MESSENGER of God.

      Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph, but forgot him: Here Joseph is wronged AGAIN. He thought that butler’s kindness might mean his release from prison, but it was not to be. God had another purpose.

      All PEOPLE God uses greatly, He FIRST prepares greatly. SADLY FEW ARE WILLING to endure the greatness of God’s preparation. God orders both our steps and stops.




      Genesis 41 - Joseph Interprets Pharaoh’s Dream and Rises to Power

      Verses 1-7 tells us Pharaoh’s disturbing dreams.

      “Then it came to pass, at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh had a dream; and behold, he stood by the river. Suddenly there came up out of the river seven cows, fine looking and fat; and they fed in the meadow. Then behold, seven other cows came up after them out of the river, ugly and gaunt, and stood by the other cows on the bank of the river. And the ugly and gaunt cows ate up the seven fine looking and fat cows. So Pharaoh awoke. He slept and dreamed a second time; and suddenly seven heads of grain came up on one stalk, plump and good. Then behold, seven thin heads, blighted by the east wind, sprang up after them. And the seven thin heads devoured the seven plump and full heads. So Pharaoh awoke, and indeed, it was a dream.”

      TWO LONG YEARS LATER…JOSEPH IS STILL IN PRISON… forgotten by the royal butler. But God had a purpose in the delay, and now the purpose is explained. After all, if God wanted it, the butler could have remembered Joseph a year or more earlier. But God moved in HIS PERFECT TIMING.

      In Pharaoh’s dream, seven fat cows came out of the waters of the Nile and were consumed by seven gaunt cows. Then in a second dream, seven thin heads devoured seven fat heads of wheat.

      Verses 8-14 tells us Joseph is called in to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams.

      “Now it came to pass in the morning that his spirit was troubled, and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt and all its wise men. And Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was no one who could interpret them for Pharaoh. Then the chief butler spoke to Pharaoh, saying: “I remember my faults this day. When Pharaoh was angry with his servants, and put me in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, both me and the chief baker, we each had a dream in one night, he and I. Each of us dreamed according to the interpretation of his own dream. Now there was a young Hebrew man with us there, a servant of the captain of the guard. And we told him, and he interpreted our dreams for us; to each man he interpreted according to his own dream. And it came to pass, just as he interpreted for us, so it happened. He restored me to my office, and he hanged him.” Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him quickly out of the dungeon; and he shaved, changed his clothing, and came to Pharaoh.”

      Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was NO ONE who could interpret them: Egypt’s magicians were impressive, yet they could not interpret the dreams. Pharaoh knew they were significant, yet no one could give a suitable explanation of their meaning.

      I remember my faults this day: The butler finally remembered Joseph and confessed the wrong he did against him. He recommended Joseph to Pharaoh as a man who interprets dreams.

      THEY BROUGHT HIM QUICKLY OUT OF THE DUNGEON… When it was in the timing of God to get Joseph out of prison, it all happened quickly. Often, we feel there are long periods of time when God doesn’t do anything, but when His timing is right everything can come together IN AN INSTANT.

      During the times WE THINK God isn’t doing anything, He is doing the work most important to Him: developing our character and transforming us into the image of Jesus Christ.

      Verses 15-16 tells us Joseph comes before Pharaoh.

      “And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that you can understand a dream, to interpret it.” So Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace.”

      IT IS NOT IN ME…DO YOU NOTICE…Pharaoh gave Joseph a golden opportunity to glorify himself, but Joseph will have none of it. He did not use this as an opportunity to glorify himself before Pharaoh, but only to glorify God.

      God will give Pharaoh and answer of peace: Joseph seems much wiser and perhaps more humble than he did before, considering the way he told his brothers his previous dreams in a self-glorying way.

      DO YOU NOTICE GOD’S PATIENCE HERE? HE DID NOT SLAM DUNK OR SEND A LIGHTNING BOLT FROM HEAVEN TO ZAP THE YOUNG SELF-GLORYING JOSEPH. God’s work of character building was PATIENTLY GROWING & being accomplished in Joseph even when JOSEPH PERHAPS THOUGHT NOTHING WAS HAPPENING…OR THAT GOD HAD FORGOTTEN HIM. JOSEPH EVEN IN THE DUNGEON…GAVE JESUS GLORY, PRAISE, TRUST, FAITH, AND HONOR.

      HOW ARE WE IN OUR WALK WITH JESUS?

      Verses 17-24 tells us Pharaoh tells Joseph his dream.

      “Then Pharaoh said to Joseph: “Behold, in my dream I stood on the bank of the river. Suddenly seven cows came up out of the river, fine looking and fat; and they fed in the meadow. Then behold, seven other cows came up after them, poor and very ugly and gaunt, such ugliness as I have never seen in all the land of Egypt. And the gaunt and ugly cows ate up the first seven, the fat cows. When they had eaten them up, no one would have known that they had eaten them, for they were just as ugly as at the beginning. So I awoke. Also I saw in my dream, and suddenly seven heads came up on one stalk, full and good. Then behold, seven heads, withered, thin, and blighted by the east wind, sprang up after them. And the thin heads devoured the seven good heads. So I told this to the magicians, but there was no one who could explain it to me.”

      They were just as ugly as at the beginning: More details of the dream come out on the second telling. When the skinny cows ate the fat cows, they themselves did not become fat.


      Verses 25-32 tells us Joseph interprets the dream.

      “Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one; God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do: The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good heads are seven years; the dreams are one. And the seven thin and ugly cows which came up after them are seven years, and the seven empty heads blighted by the east wind are seven years of famine. This is the thing which I have spoken to Pharaoh. God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do. Indeed seven years of great plenty will come throughout all the land of Egypt; but after them seven years of famine will arise, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine will deplete the land. So the plenty will not be known in the land because of the famine following, for it will be very severe. And the dream was repeated to Pharaoh twice because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.”

      God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do: The seven cows and seven heads of grain each represent seven years. There will be seven years of plenty and abundance, then seven years of want and famine. The years of famine will be so bad that the good years will be forgotten.

      The dream was repeated to Pharaoh twice because the thing is established by God: Joseph saw the confirming hand of God in the repetition of the dream. He knew the principle of by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established told to us in Deuteronomy 19:15, even if he didn’t have it written in Scripture yet. The repetition also gave Joseph a sense of urgency: God will shortly bring it to pass.

      God will: Joseph knew the matter was entirely in the hands of God. God had a purpose for the dream, a purpose for the timing, a purpose for the famine, a purpose for Joseph being in jail, and a purpose for everything.

      Verses 33-36 tells us Joseph gives his advice to Pharaoh.

      “Now therefore, let Pharaoh select a discerning and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt. Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, to collect one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven plentiful years. And let them gather all the food of those good years that are coming, and store up grain under the authority of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. Then that food shall be as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which shall be in the land of Egypt, that the land may not perish during the famine.”

      Let him appoint officers over the land, to collect one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven plentiful years: Joseph shows both his boldness and his gift of administration. No responsible administrator would present such news without also suggesting a plan to meet the coming crisis.

      That the land may not perish during the famine: Joseph sensed there was a reason why God gave this word to Pharaoh. It was so he could prepare for the coming crisis. This wasn’t just gossip from heaven to earth. It was an urgent call to action.

      Select a discerning and wise man: God picks a man when He has something to accomplish. He uses people to further His plan on this earth.

      Verses 37-45 tells us Joseph’s promotion to a position of great authority.

      “So the advice was good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of all his servants. And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you.” And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” Then Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand; and he clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. And he had him ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried out before him, “Bow the knee!” So he set him over all the land of Egypt. Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no man may lift his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.” And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphnath-Paaneah. And he gave him as a wife Asenath, the daughter of Poti-Pherah priest of On. So Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.”

      In whom is the Spirit of God:

      THIS WAS A WOW MOMENT FOR ME…DID YOU CATCH IT? RIGHT HERE IS THE FIRST MENTION IN THE BIBLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT COMING UPON A MAN.
      Pharoah, A PAGAN, A HEATHEN EVEN SAW that Joseph WAS FILLED with the Spirit of God.

      Joseph has now gone from the pit to the pinnacle, but it took some 13 years to happen. From the outside, Joseph looked like an “overnight success,” but it was more than 13 years in the making.

      Joseph is a good example of a man who seemed to have all the gifts and talents for leadership, but God developed his character and talents over many years. Gifts and talents may be impressive and immediate, BUT CHARACTER is what God looks for and always takes time to develop.

      And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphnath-Paaneah: Joseph’s Egyptian name, each letter means something. Linking them all together, the name is “Seer - redeemer - prophet - supporter - interpreter of dreams - clever - discreet - wise.”

      More likely the name means, God Speaks and He Lives, referring to God’s word coming through Joseph, his own preservation, and the way he has preserved the country.


      Verses 46-49 tells us of JOSEPH’S LIFE AS PRIME MINISTER & The seven years of plenty came to pass.

      “Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt. Now in the seven plentiful years the ground brought forth abundantly. So he gathered up all the food of the seven years which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities; he laid up in every city the food of the fields which surrounded them. Joseph gathered very much grain, as the sand of the sea, until he stopped counting, for it was immeasurable.”

      Joseph did what was right. He actually stored up the grain during the seven years of plenty.

      Joseph gathered very much grain: HISTORICAL RECORDS TELL US THAT IT WAS customary for Pharaoh to take 10% of the grain in Egypt as a tax. Essentially, Joseph doubled the taxes over the next seven years, just as is mentioned in Genesis 41:34 mentions one-fifth, that is, 20%).

      Verses 50-52 tells us Joseph’s two sons and his state of heart.

      “And to Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, whom Asenath, the daughter of Poti-Pherah priest of On, bore to him. Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: “For God has made me forget all my toil and all my father’s house.” And the name of the second he called Ephraim: “For God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.”

      Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: From his Egyptian wife, Joseph fathered Manasseh, whose name means “forgetfulness.” This was because God made Joseph to forget all the previous pain and trial in his life. His second son is Ephraim, which means “fruitfulness,” because God made Joseph fruitful in Egypt.

      We can’t be doubly fruitful until we are also forgetting.

      INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH, In his book, The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis described hell as a place where no one forgets anything, remembering every slight, every cruel exchange of words, every wrong ever done to them, and everybody is utterly unforgiving. But in heaven all these things are put away because all things have become new.

      Joseph did NOT FORGET the faith of his fathers even though he rose to great glory in Egypt and had an Egyptian wife. As a sign of this his children were given Hebrew names not Egyptian names.

      Verses 53-57 tell us the seven years of famine begin.

      “Then the seven years of plenty which were in the land of Egypt ended, and the seven years of famine began to come, as Joseph had said. The famine was in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. So when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread. Then Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph; whatever he says to you, do.” The famine was over all the face of the earth, and Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold to the Egyptians. And the famine became severe in the land of Egypt. So all countries came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain, because the famine was severe in all lands.”

      The famine was in ALL LANDS, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread: Because of Joseph’s wise preparation, Egypt became a supply source for the whole region, which experiences this severe famine.

      So ALL countries came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain: The people in Canaan - including Joseph’s family - also suffered from this famine. But God made wise (though unexpected provision) for them by sending Joseph ahead of the family.

      ROMANS 8:28 REMINDS US, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

      Joseph did not have Romans 8:28 on paper, but he had it in his heart. A Christian today may very well have it on paper, but not on the heart.

      SO WHAT DOES GENESIS 4O-41 TELL US, SHOW US, TEACH US?
      Joseph is a remarkable picture of Jesus Christ.

      Was a shepherd.
      Loved by his father.
      Sent unto his brethren.
      Hated by his brothers.
      Prophesied his coming glory.
      Rejected by his brothers.
      Endured unjust punishment from his brothers.
      Sentenced to the pit.
      Delivered to the pit, though a leader knew he should go free.
      Sold for pieces of silver.
      Handed over to the Gentiles.
      Regarded as dead, but raised out of the pit.
      Went to Egypt.
      Made a servant.
      Tempted severely, but did not sin.
      Falsely accused.
      Made no defense.
      Cast into prison, and numbered with sinners and criminals.
      Endured unjust punishment from Gentiles.
      Associated with two other criminals; one is pardoned and one is not.
      Some associate the butler, with his wine, and the baker with the elements of communion. Along the same lines, some associate the three-day period before their case is resolved with the three days before the resurrection of Jesus.
      Showed compassion.
      Brought a message of deliverance in prison.
      Wanted to be remembered.
      Shown to have divine wisdom.
      Recognized as having the Spirit of God.
      Betrayed by friends.
      Glorified after his humility.
      Honored among Gentiles while still despised or forgotten by his brethren.
      Given a Gentile bride.
      Was 30 years old when he began his life’s work.
      Blessed the world with bread.
      Became the only source of bread for the world.
      The world was instructed to go to him and do whatever he said to do.
      Was given the name “God Speaks and He Lives.”

       

       

    • June 21, 2016 5:48 PM EDT
    • Genesis 42 - Joseph Meets His Brothers in Egypt

      Verses 1-4 tells us Jacob sends his sons to Egypt to buy grain.

      “When Jacob saw that there was grain in Egypt, Jacob said to his sons, “Why do you look at one another?” And he said, “Indeed I have heard that there is grain in Egypt; go down to that place and buy for us there, that we may live and not die.” So Joseph’s ten brothers went down to buy grain in Egypt. But Jacob did not send Joseph’s brother Benjamin with his brothers, for he said, “Lest some calamity befall him.”

      Why do you look at one another? Jacob noticed a strange expression among the brothers when Egypt was mentioned, because the brothers knew it was likely Joseph was sold as a slave there. Their conscience made them feel terrible ANY TIME Egypt was mentioned.

      Joseph’s brothers had lived with a TERRIBLE secret these 20 years. They NEVER talked about it but it NEVER left them. Any mention of Joseph or Egypt would dredge up the guilt. They needed to be set free from the power of this terrible secret.

      Lest some calamity befall him…The impression we have of Jacob (ISRAEL) from this chapter is of a man who is BITTER & PESSIMISTIC about everything. Because of this calamity, he believes another disaster is on the way.

      IT DOESN’T TAKE ROCKET SCIENCE TO KNOW WHO HAS BEEN MUTTERING IN JACOB/ISRAEL EAR FOR 20 YEARS, AMEN?

      Jacob did NOT send Joseph’s brother Benjamin: In keeping with this attitude, he demanded Benjamin be left behind. Though he had 11 sons ONLY ONE was a son of his beloved wife Rachel, and Jacob felt he must protect him & KEEP HIM CLOSE LEST HE LOSE HIM TOO.

      I THINK IT IS SAFE TO SAY THAT JACOB WAS AN OVER-PROTECTIVE FATHER…AT THE END OF HIS LIFE…AND ESPECIALLY WITH THE LAST SON OF HIS BELOVED RACHEL.

      Yet, if Jacob only knew! If he could ONLY trust the hand of God which he could not see! In fact, the only reason there is grain in Egypt to provide for their needs is because God sent Joseph on ahead. God KNEW what He was doing, AMEN!

      Famine is NEVER A GOOD thing, but God USED IT FOR GOOD. God can and does use material need and lack in our life to get us to do things we normally would never do. Normally, the brothers would NEVER go NEAR Egypt. But need drove them to Egypt.

      Verses 5-6 tells us the sons of Jacob bow down before Joseph.

      “And the sons of Israel went to buy grain among those who journeyed, for the famine was in the land of Canaan. Now Joseph was governor over the land; and it was he who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph’s brothers came and bowed down before him with their faces to the earth.”

      BOWED DOWN before him with their faces to the earth: They KNEW that in this time of famine, their lives literally DEPENDED on this Egyptian official. Therefore they paid him GREAT respect by bowing.

      Obviously, this reminded Joseph of the dream he had some 20 years before, that his brothers WOULD bow down to him in Genesis 37:5-8.

      HOW IRONIC…ISN’T IT…When Joseph’s brothers plotted murder against him and sold him into slavery they did it specifically attempting to DEFEAT his dreams told to us in Genesis 37:19-20. Instead, by sending Joseph to Egypt, they provided the way the dreams WOULD BE fulfilled.

      The AMAZING AND STEADFAST AND ABSOLUTE truth of God’s providence is He CAN and DOES use the evil actions of man towards us to further His good plan. This never excuses man’s evil, but it means God’s wisdom and goodness ARE GREATER than man’s evil.

      REMEMBER PSALM 76:10 which confirms this…“Surely the wrath of man shall praise You.”

      Verses 7-17 tells us Joseph interrogates his brothers and puts them into prison.

      “Joseph saw his brothers and recognized them, but he acted as a stranger to them and spoke roughly to them. Then he said to them, “Where do you come from?” And they said, “From the land of Canaan to buy food.” So Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him. Then Joseph remembered the dreams which he had dreamed about them, and said to them, “You are spies! You have come to see the nakedness of the land!” And they said to him, “No, my lord, but your servants have come to buy food. “We are all one man’s sons; we are honest men; your servants are not spies.” But he said to them, “No, but you have come to see the nakedness of the land.” And they said, “Your servants are twelve brothers, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and in fact, the youngest is with our father today, and one is no more.” But Joseph said to them, “It is as I spoke to you, saying, ‘You are spies!’ In this manner you shall be tested: By the life of Pharaoh, you shall not leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here. Send one of you, and let him bring your brother; and you shall be kept in prison, that your words may be tested to see whether there is any truth in you; or else, by the life of Pharaoh, surely you are spies!” So he put them all together in prison three days.”

      REMEMBER…Joseph, speaking through an interpreter (he did not yet want to reveal that he speaks Hebrew), did not reveal his identity to his brothers, but instead treated them roughly.

      Joseph was NOT playing games with his bothers. Some commentators believe that if it were up to Joseph, he would have revealed himself to his brothers right then and there. But God RECALLED THE DREAMS TO HIS MIND and guided him to be an instrument for NOT ONLY THEIR CORRECTION BUT THEIR RESTORATION TOO.

      God can, and must, sometimes use ways we think are harsh to call us to where He wants us to be. We must never resent it, because it was the hardness of our hearts that demanded it.

      JUST AS KING DAVID REMINDS us in Psalm 119:67, “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word.”

      One is no more…THIS WAS A BALD-FACED LIE, and the brothers knew it. They had every reason to believe Joseph was not dead, but living a horrible life of slavery. Perhaps they had repeated the lie to themselves so often they came to believe it.
      Verses 18-20 tells us Joseph gives the terms for their release from prison.

      “Then Joseph said to them the third day, “Do this and live, for I fear God: If you are honest men, let one of your brothers be confined to your prison house; but you, go and carry grain for the famine of your houses. And bring your youngest brother to me; so your words will be verified, and you shall not die.” And they did so.”

      After ONLY THREE MEASLY DAYS in an Egyptian prison, (remember Joseph was in that prison FOR YEARS), but nevertheless, the brothers ready to agree to whatever Joseph wanted them to do. This was good, because Joseph was clearly in control.

      I fear God…Joseph didn’t want his brothers to fear him as much as he wanted his brothers to trust him. If the brothers were wise enough to consider what this really meant, it would be a great comfort to them.

      IF you are honest men: Joseph’s demand was clear. They had to PROVE they were not spies by proving they were honest and that they told the truth about the brother back home. The brothers agreed to this (And they did so) but only reluctantly, because they knew their father would NEVER want to part with Benjamin…HIS ONLY REMAINING BELOVED SON.

      Verses 21-24 tells us the guilty conscience of Joseph’s brothers at work.

      “Then they said to one another, “We are truly guilty concerning our brother, for we saw the anguish of his soul when he pleaded with us, and we would not hear; therefore this distress has come upon us.” And Reuben answered them, saying, “Did I not speak to you, saying, ‘Do not sin against the boy’; and you would not listen? Therefore behold, his blood is now required of us.” But they did not know that Joseph understood them, for he spoke to them through an interpreter. And he turned himself away from them and wept. Then he returned to them again, and talked with them. And he took Simeon from them and bound him before their eyes.”

      They thought this mess was before them BECAUSE OF THE WAY they treated Joseph before, and their conscience was pricked. This was a good sign. The quickness with which they associated these events with their sin against Joseph probably meant they OFTEN REMEMBERED their sin against him.

      LOGICALLY THINKING…THERE WAS NO CONNECTION between their current situation and their previous treatment of Joseph. BUT WE ALL KNOW FROM EXPERIENCE, DON’T WE THAT A GUILTY CONSCIENCE sees every trouble as sin’s penalty, AMEN?

      AN INTERESTING FACTOID, DID YOU KNOW The United States government has something called the Federal Conscience Fund, which collects money people send in because they know they cheated the government in some way. People have sent in money because they took army blankets for souvenirs, for cheating on postage, or on income tax. But our consciences are notoriously weak or corrupt. One man wrote the IRS and said, “I cheated on my taxes and can’t sleep at night. Here is a check for $100. If I still can’t sleep, I’ll send the rest I owe.”

      In these words we HEAR the conscience of the brothers at work. Some describe the conscience as the “sundial of the soul.” It tells time well enough when there is light, but in darkness it is of no use. At night, you can shine a flashlight on a sundial and make it read any time you want it to. When the light of God’s word shines on our conscience, it is reliable and trustworthy.
      He turned himself away from them and wept: Joseph was overcome with emotion as he saw and understood this work of God in the conscience of his brothers. God had to do a profound work in the hearts of these brothers for the relationship to be reconciled.

      There could be no quick and easy “We are sorry, Joseph!” in this situation. God will guide events so the brothers see their SIN CLEARLY and REPENT COMPLETELY before Joseph is revealed and relationship is restored.

      BUT DO YOU NOTICE, EVEN ON THE DAY OF RECKONING, EVEN BEFORE THE BROTHERS RESTORATION, WE SEE JOSEPH’S HEART…DO WE NOT?

      Joseph will NOT ALLOW himself to be bound by bitterness and hatred. He STILL LOVES his brothers and wants to be with them (he returned to them again, and talked with them).

      Joseph retained Simeon as a prisoner to guarantee the return of the brothers. Simeon was NOT mentioned as having a prominent role in the selling of Joseph, as both Reuben and Judah were, remember in Genesis 37:21-28, so we don’t know exactly WHY Simeon was chosen. Perhaps he EVEN volunteered.

      Jacob’s sons return home to Canaan.

      Verses 25-28 tells us the brothers return to Canaan & find their money returned.

      “Then Joseph gave a command to fill their sacks with grain, to restore every man’s money to his sack, and to give them provisions for the journey. Thus he did for them. So they loaded their donkeys with the grain and departed from there. But as one of them opened his sack to give his donkey feed at the encampment, he saw his money; and there it was, in the mouth of his sack. So he said to his brothers, “My money has been restored, and there it is, in my sack!” Then their hearts failed them and they were afraid, saying to one another, “What is this that God has done to us?”

      WHY DID THEY SAY THIS?
      THINK ABOUT IT….THEY THOUGHT THEY WERE SCARED BEFORE…ALREADY BEING ACCUSED OF BEING SPIES…NOWWWWW they are TERRIFIED that they will be accused of being THIEVES TOO. EITHER OR BOTH ARE PUNISHABLE BY INSTANT DEATH IN EGYPTIAN LAWS.

      What is this that God has done to us? The guilty consciences of the brothers are hard at work, bringing every adversity back to God. NOWWWWW…THEY ARE THINKING ABOUT GOD AND BLAMING GOD…WHEN THEY SHOULD HAVE DONE SO 20+ YEARS AGO, AMEN?

      Verses 29-35 tells us they return to Jacob and tell him the story.

      “Then they went to Jacob their father in the land of Canaan and told him all that had happened to them, saying: “The man who is lord of the land spoke roughly to us, and took us for spies of the country. But we said to him, ‘We are honest men; we are not spies. We are twelve brothers, sons of our father; one is no more, and the youngest is with our father this day in the land of Canaan.’ Then the man, the lord of the country, said to us, ‘By this I will know that you are honest men: Leave one of your brothers here with me, take food for the famine of your households, and be gone. And bring your youngest brother to me; so I shall know that you are not spies, but that you are honest men. I will grant your brother to you, and you may trade in the land.’ “ Then it happened as they emptied their sacks, that surprisingly each man’s bundle of money was in his sack; and when they and their father saw the bundles of money, they were afraid.”

      The same brothers lied to their father some twenty years before, saying that Joseph was killed by a wild animal when they sold him to slave-traders.

      The brothers REPEAT the lie again, and will be proven dramatically wrong.

      Verse 36 tells us Jacob’s reaction: All these things are against me.

      “And Jacob their father said to them, “You have bereaved me: Joseph is no more, Simeon is no more, and you want to take Benjamin. All these things are against me.”

      Jacob HAS OBVIOUSLY LOST ALL TRUST in the ability of God to do more than he can see or understand. Jacob could not rest in faith, trusting God to take care of the things which he did not know.

      IT IS AS IF Jacob’s heart sang this song: “No one loves me, this I know. My misfortunes tell me so.”

      There was a sobering contrast between Jacob and Joseph. Joseph had far worse circumstances, but he never took the attitude all these things are against me, AMEN?

      The motto of too many Christians is all these things are against me.

      Instead, JESUS WANTS US TO HAVE HIS MOTTO…REMEMBER HIS PROMISE TO US IN Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

      Verses 37-38 tells us Jacob refuses to let Benjamin go back to Egypt with them.

      “Then Reuben spoke to his father, saying, “Kill my two sons if I do not bring him back to you; put him in my hands, and I will bring him back to you.” But he said, “My son shall not go down with you, for his brother is dead, and he is left alone. If any calamity should befall him along the way in which you go, then you would bring down my gray hair with sorrow to the grave.”

      Reuben did the best he could, making the dramatic gesture to allow Jacob to take Reuben’s own two sons as surety, but Jacob would have none of it. He would not allow Benjamin to go to Egypt.

      MY SON shall not go down with you…Apparently, Jacob didn’t think too much of Simeon, did he? It didn’t matter to him that Simeon spent the rest of his life in an Egyptian jail.



      Genesis 43 - Joseph Meets His Brothers a Second Time


      Verses 1-2 tells us Jacob decides to let the brothers return to Egypt with Benjamin & Jacob gives the order to get more food.

      “Now the famine was severe in the land. And it came to pass, when they had eaten up the grain which they had brought from Egypt, that their father said to them, “Go back, buy us a little food.”

      Perhaps Jacob originally thought they had enough to tide them over, so that they would never need to go back with Benjamin, and never need to go back and get Simeon. But OUR JESUS, THE GOD WHO SEES KNEW JACOB’S THOUGHTS & WOULD HAVE NONE OF IT…SO THE FOOD DID NOT LAST. JESUS MADE SURE THEY HAD TO GO BACK TO EGYPT, AMEN?

      THE PATIENT DETERMINED FATHER…REMEMBER JONAH?
      JONAH…GO TO NINEVAH.
      NO…
      OKAY…AFTER 3 DAYS IN THE BELLY OF A WHALE, JONAH SAID.
      UMMMMM GOD…I’LL GO TO NINEVAH, AMEN?

      NECESSITY DROVEEEEEEEEEE Jacob to do something he would normally never do. We might imagine Jacob prayed so hard for the famine to break, and asked God to send relief. We might imagine Jacob became angry and bitter against God for not answering those prayers. But God knew what He was doing and had something SO MUCH BETTER for Jacob than he could ever imagine.

      Verses 3-10 tells us Judah convinces his father to let them go to Egypt with Benjamin.

      “But Judah spoke to him, saying, “The man solemnly warned us, saying, ‘You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.’ If you send our brother with us, we will go down and buy you food. But if you will not send him, we will not go down; for the man said to us, ‘You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.’“ And Israel said, “Why did you deal so wrongfully with me as to tell the man whether you had still another brother?” But they said, “The man asked us pointedly about ourselves and our family, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Have you another brother?’ And we told him according to these words. Could we possibly have known that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down’?” Then Judah said to Israel his father, “Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go, that we may live and not die, both we and you and also our little ones. I myself will be surety for him; from my hand you shall require him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, then let me bear the blame forever. For if we had not lingered, surely by now we would have returned this second time.”

      Why did you deal so wrongfully with me as to tell the man whether you had still another brother? Jacob clearly was grasping at straws. They must have discussed this question a hundred times before.

      Judah put his own life ON THE LINE as a surety for Benjamin. This is the first good thing we see Judah doing. Previously, he was the one who had proposed the sale of Joseph. He was the one who wronged his daughter-in-law Tamar and had sex with her as a harlot.

      Previously, Satan may have directed his attack against Joseph because he believed he was the one who would ultimately bring the Messiah. To this point, God had not revealed which of the 12 it would be.

      Satan not only hated the children of Jacob for what they were, but also for what God would make of them. He directs the same kind of hatred against believers today, as Satan considers the destiny God has for His people.

      BUT EVEN SATAN CAN NOTTTTTTTTT WIN OUT OVER OUR AMAZING GOD TO SEES AND KNOWS ALL, AMEN?

      Verses 11-14 tells us Jacob sends them with money and gifts for the Egyptian leader.

      “And their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: Take some of the best fruits of the land in your vessels and carry down a present for the man; a little balm and a little honey, spices and myrrh, pistachio nuts and almonds. Take double money in your hand, and take back in your hand the money that was returned in the mouth of your sacks; perhaps it was an oversight. Take your brother also, and arise, go back to the man. And may God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may release your other brother and Benjamin. If I am bereaved, I am bereaved!”

      Take some of the BEST…Perhaps Jacob remembers how well it seemed to work when he showered Esau with gifts in Genesis 33:10-11.

      They took DOUBLE money with them to Egypt to buy grain and the Egyptian leader’s favor. Since ten brothers went to Egypt and they took double money, there were 20 units of money.

      AND DO YOU REMEMBER…This answers exactly to the 20 pieces of silver they SOLD Joseph for in Genesis 37:28. The words for silver and money are the same.

      Verses 15-18 tells us they face Joseph again & he invites the brothers to dinner.

      “So the men took that present and Benjamin, and they took double money in their hand, and arose and went down to Egypt; and they stood before Joseph. When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, “Take these men to my home, and slaughter an animal and make ready; for these men will dine with me at noon.” Then the man did as Joseph ordered, and the man brought the men into Joseph’s house. Now the men were afraid because they were brought into Joseph’s house; and they said, “It is because of the money, which was returned in our sacks the first time, that we are brought in, so that he may make a case against us and fall upon us, to take us as slaves with our donkeys.”
      Perhaps they figured that the kindness from the Egyptian leader was just the prelude to an execution.

      Verses 19-23 tells us the brothers explain about the money, and are treated well in Joseph’s house.

      “When they drew near to the steward of Joseph’s house, they talked with him at the door of the house, and said, “O sir, we indeed came down the first time to buy food; but it happened, when we came to the encampment, that we opened our sacks, and there, each man’s money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight; so we have brought it back in our hand. And we have brought down other money in our hands to buy food. We do not know who put our money in our sacks.” But he said, “Peace be with you, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has given you treasure in your sacks; I had your money.” Then he brought Simeon out to them.”

      Your God and the God of your father has given you treasure in your sacks; I had your money: This was not a lie, because he really did have it, and he gave it back. It really was because of God’s goodness (if they only knew) that they had the money back.

      Verses 24-30 tells us an emotionally charged meeting with Joseph and his brothers.

      “So the man brought the men into Joseph’s house and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their donkeys feed. Then they made the present ready for Joseph’s coming at noon, for they heard that they would eat bread there. And when Joseph came home, they brought him the present which was in their hand into the house, and bowed down before him to the earth. Then he asked them about their well-being, and said, “Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?” And they answered, “Your servant our father is in good health; he is still alive.” And they bowed their heads down and prostrated themselves. Then he lifted his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, and said, “Is this your younger brother of whom you spoke to me?” And he said, “God be gracious to you, my son.” Now his heart yearned for his brother; so Joseph made haste and sought somewhere to weep. And he went into his chamber and wept there.”

      The brothers STILL EXPECTED to be taken as slaves and have everything stolen…YET ONCE AGAIN, WE SEE JOSEPH’S HEART…HE TREATED THEM WITH KINDNESS. This love and goodness from Joseph will win them over.

      The brothers RECEIVED the blessings of love and kindness from Joseph WITHOUT knowing who he was. In the same way, JESUS CHRIST showers love and blessing upon man even when man doesn’t know whom the blessing comes from, AMEN?

      Joseph was especially affected at meeting his only full brother, Benjamin, whom he last saw as only a small child.

      Verses 31-32 tells us the dinner tables are segregated.

      “Then he washed his face and came out; and he restrained himself, and said, “Serve the bread.” So they set him a place by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves; because the Egyptians could not eat food with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians.”

      They set him a place by himself: Joseph did NOT eat with his brothers because at the time, Egypt was one of the MOST racist societies on earth. The believed that Egyptians came from the gods, and all other peoples came from lesser origins. There was absolutely NO social mixing with foreigners in the Egypt of Joseph’s day.
      The Egyptians would NOT even eat with Joseph, much less these strangers from Canaan. Even with all his status and power, Joseph could still not eat with “REAL” Egyptians.

      Herodotus, the historian wrote that Egyptians so abhorred things foreign, that priests, at least, ate and drank nothing that was imported, nor would they use utensils for eating that had been used by Greeks.

      HERE WE SEE THE WISDOM AND PURPOSE OF ALMIGHTY GOD.
      God WILL BRING the entire family of Jacob into Egypt, where they will be isolated from the surrounding people for some 400 years.

      In that time, they WILL multiply greatly, increasing to the millions.

      WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT?

      If God had allowed them to remain in Canaan, they would have simply assimilated into the corrupt and godless peoples of Canaan.

      REMEMBER HOW BAD IT HAD BECOME?

      The rape of Dinah and its aftermath in Genesis 34.
      The sin of Judah’s sons and Judah with Tamar (Genesis 38) revealed this danger.

      God not only had to take the family of Israel OUT OF THE CORRUPT environment of Canaan, but He had to put them among a racist people who would not intermarry or even mingle with them.
      God simply sent Joseph on ahead to make the arrangements.

      Verses 33-34 tells us Joseph arranges them by order of birth and he favors Benjamin.
      “And they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth; and the men looked in astonishment at one another. Then he took servings to them from before him, but Benjamin’s serving was five times as much as any of theirs. So they drank and were merry with him.”

      No wonder the brothers were filled with astonishment. The arrangement of the brothers was so amazing because they sensed it couldn’t happen by chance. Statistically, the odds of placing 11 brothers in their PRECISE ORDER OF BIRTH are something like 1 in 40 million.

      NOW WE UNDERSTAND THEIR SHOCK AND AWE!

      Benjamin’s serving was five times as much as any of theirs…Joseph wanted to see HOW the brothers REACTED when the younger brother (in this case, Benjamin) was FAVORED, because they resented it so much when Joseph was favored by his father.

      Joseph wanted to see if there was a change in the hearts of his brothers, or if they were the same men who threw him into a pit and were deaf to his cries for help.

      This may be his whole motivation in asking for Benjamin. He wondered if they would take care of Benjamin on such a journey, as they failed to do with Joseph.

      We should expect if we fail in a test somewhere, God will make arrangements for us to “TAKE THE TEST” again another time. This is a sobering reason to take the test “WELL” the first time.


      ALMIGHTY GOD AND OUR JESUS CHRIST WANT US TO SEE, UNDERSTAND, TRUST AND KNOW ROMANS 8:28 THROUGH THE LIFE OF JOSEPH!

    • June 21, 2016 5:46 PM EDT
    • Genesis 44 - Joseph Tests His Brothers

      Verses 1-5 tells us Joseph puts money in his brothers’ bags again.

      “And he commanded the steward of his house, saying, “Fill the men’s sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put each man’s money in the mouth of his sack. Also put my cup, the silver cup, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest, and his grain money.” So he did according to the word that Joseph had spoken. As soon as the morning dawned, the men were sent away, they and their donkeys. When they had gone out of the city, and were not yet far off, Joseph said to his steward, “Get up, follow the men; and when you overtake them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid evil for good? Is not this the one from which my lord drinks, and with which he indeed practices divination? You have done evil in so doing.’ “

      As soon as the morning dawned, Joseph’s brothers left Egypt in high spirits. They were treated well, had their sacks full of grain, and Simeon was out of prison & they were bringing BENJAMIN back to their father UNHARMED. Their father’s fear of something horrible happening would not be fulfilled.

      As before, the grain sacks of the brothers are topped off by the money they paid for the grain, but this time, Joseph has his special silver cup put in the sack of Benjamin.

      Why is Joseph doing this?
      Some might think he is simply using his position of power to TORMENT his brothers in revenge for their cruelty towards him; but WE NOW KNOW the character of Joseph, & KNOW this isn’t the case. He IS BEING GUIDED by the hand of God, testing the hearts of his brothers, and bringing them to complete repentance.

      He indeed practices divination: did Joseph use the cup for divination? We know from other sources that ANCIENTS DID USE sacred cups as divination devices. Some say it WAS JOSEPH, but The Bible RIGHT HERE TELLS US THAT JOSEPH’S SERVANT SAID SO, so we SEE EVEN BEING IN JOSEPH’S PRESENCE DAY AFTER DAY, THE SERVANT STILL WRONGLY ASSUMED Joseph’s spiritual insight and wisdom were more due to this cup than to his relationship with the living God.

      BUT WE KNOW JOSEPH WAS LED BY ALMIGHTY GOD & NOT SOME PAGAN PRACTICE…AMEN?

      Verses 6-10 tells us The brothers claim they are innocent of theft.

      “So he overtook them, and he spoke to them these same words. And they said to him, “Why does my lord say these words? Far be it from us that your servants should do such a thing. Look, we brought back to you from the land of Canaan the money which we found in the mouth of our sacks. How then could we steal silver or gold from your lord’s house? With whomever of your servants it is found, let him die, and we also will be my lord’s slaves.” And he said, “Now also let it be according to your words; he with whom it is found shall be my slave, and you shall be blameless.”

      Far be it from us….we see the brothers CONFIDENTLY stated they did NOT have the cup. This SHOWS they had a healthy TRUST IN EACH OTHER. If they did not trust each other they would have immediately wondered which brother stole the cup.

      With whomever of your servants it is found, let him die, and we also will be my lord’s slaves: They were so confident they did not have the cup (and trusted each other so much), they declared the thief should be killed and all the others taken as slaves.

      Now also let it be according to your words; he with whom it is found shall be my slave: Joseph did not repeat their offer of a death sentence because he wanted NO BLOODSHED. But he had a plan for taking the brothers up on the suggestion of guilty parties being taken as slaves.

      Verses 11-13 tells us the cup is found in Benjamin’s sack.

      “Then each man speedily let down his sack to the ground, and each opened his sack. So he searched. He began with the oldest and left off with the youngest; and the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. Then they tore their clothes, and each man loaded his donkey and returned to the city.”

      The reaction of the brothers shows that this was the WORST thing imaginable. Not only that the cup was found among them, but that it was in Benjamin’s sack - their father’s REMAINING FAVORITE son, the one JACOB NOW LOVED AND WORRIED about the MOST. Now Benjamin was sentenced to a life of slavery in Egypt - if not death.

      Each man loaded his donkey and returned…When Joseph was taken as a slave the brothers ALLOWED HIM TO GO, BE TAKEN, & THOUGHT NOTHING OF IT. Now they are willing to STAND WITH BENJAMIN as he faces slavery or death. This demonstrates a significant change in the heart and attitude of Joseph’s brothers.

      THIS IS WHAT GOD WAS LOOKING FOR…A CONTRITE AND CHANGED HEART, AMEN?

      Verses 14-17 tells us Judah commits himself and all the brothers to stick with Benjamin, even as slaves in Egypt.

      “So Judah and his brothers came to Joseph’s house, and he was still there; and they fell before him on the ground. And Joseph said to them, “What deed is this you have done? Did you not know that such a man as I can certainly practice divination?” Then Judah said, “What shall we say to my lord? What shall we speak? Or how shall we clear ourselves? God has found out the iniquity of your servants; here we are, my lord’s slaves, both we and he also with whom the cup was found.” But he said, “Far be it from me that I should do so; the man in whose hand the cup was found, he shall be my slave. And as for you, go up in peace to your father.”

      They fell before him on the ground…This demonstrates that the brothers were DESPERATE to gain favor with the Egyptian official to obtain the release of Benjamin. They knew it was a REAL DISASTER to lose Benjamin and bereave their father.

      God has found out the iniquity of you servants…With these words, Judah revealed God’s work among the brothers. In Judah’s mind, the bothers are now destined to live the rest of their lives as slaves in Egypt because they sold Joseph as a slave some 20 years before.

      The brothers were innocent of the sin of stealing the cup but were guilty of far greater sins. In the same way, we can pride ourselves because we are innocent of some sin or another, yet we are guilty of far greater. You can’t hide from your sin. Time does not erase the guilt of your sin. Only the blood of Jesus can, AMEN?

      This resignation to slavery in Egypt is all the more significant.
      WHY?
      THINK ABOUT IT, they were middle-aged men who came from lives of privilege and status and wealth…with many servants to tend to things for them.

      Here we are, my lord’s slaves, both we and he also with whom the cup was found: With these words Judah insisted that the brothers WILL STICK BY Benjamin, though he was the favored and more greatly blessed son. If they quickly abandoned Benjamin it would show little change of heart from 20 years ago, when they abandoned Joseph.

      There IS A GREATER PURPOSE for this even in Benjamin. Benjamin was most innocent of all, yet he still needed to be purged of all self-confidence and brought low.


      Verses 18-32 tells us Judah intercedes for Benjamin & confesses to Joseph the whole story from the beginning.

      “Then Judah came near to him and said: “O my lord, please let your servant speak a word in my lord’s hearing, and do not let your anger burn against your servant; for you are even like Pharaoh. My lord asked his servants, saying, ‘Have you a father or a brother?’ And we said to my lord, ‘We have a father, an old man, and a child of his old age, who is young; his brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother’s children, and his father loves him.’ Then you said to your servants, ‘Bring him down to me, that I may set my eyes on him.’ And we said to my lord, ‘The lad cannot leave his father, for if he should leave his father, his father would die.’ But you said to your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you shall see my face no more.’ So it was, when we went up to your servant my father, that we told him the words of my lord. And our father said, ‘Go back and buy us a little food.’ But we said, ‘We cannot go down; if our youngest brother is with us, then we will go down; for we may not see the man’s face unless our youngest brother is with us.’ Then your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife bore me two sons; and the one went out from me, and I said, “Surely he is torn to pieces”; and I have not seen him since. But if you take this one also from me, and calamity befalls him, you shall bring down my gray hair with sorrow to the grave.’ Now therefore, when I come to your servant my father, and the lad is not with us, since his life is bound up in the lad’s life, it will happen, when he sees that the lad is not with us, that he will die. So your servants will bring down the gray hair of your servant our father with sorrow to the grave. For your servant became surety for the lad to my father, saying, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, then I shall bear the blame before my father forever.’“

      Surely he is torn to pieces . . . I have not seen him since: With these carefully chosen words, Judah does not say that Benjamin’s brother is dead - only that Jacob said, “Surely he is torn to pieces” and that Judah had not seen him since.

      When he sees that the lad is not with us, that he will die: 20 years before, Joseph’s brothers showed a callous disregard of their father when reporting Joseph’s “death” (Genesis 37:31-33). Judah shows they were now greatly concerned for the feelings and welfare of their father. This is MORE evidence of a change of heart.

      Verses 33-34 tells us Judah lays down his life for Benjamin and his father.

      “Now therefore, please let your servant remain instead of the lad as a slave to my lord, and let the lad go up with his brothers. For how shall I go up to my father if the lad is not with me, lest perhaps I see the evil that would come upon my father?”

      Judah dramatically offers TO LAY DOWN HIS LIFE for the sake of Benjamin. This is a dramatic change from 20 years before when the brothers did not care about Joseph, Benjamin, or even their father Jacob.

      Judah shines forth as one willing to be a substitutionary sacrifice, out of love for his father and for his brethren. AND RIGHT HERE WE SEE WHY ALMIGHTY GOD CHOSE THE LINE OF JUDAH, FOR THE MESSIAH OUR PRECIOUS JESUS TO COME FROM.

      How shall I go up to my father if the lad is not with me: Judah was the one who suggested selling Joseph 20 years earlier. (Genesis 37:26-27) Here he sensitively offers to lay down his life for the favored brother. This display of sacrificial love is another example of transformation in the brothers.

      JUDAH IS THE FIRST MAN IN THE BIBLE WHO WILLINGLY OFFERED TO LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR ANOTHER.

      AND LATER IN THE BIBLE, WE REMEMBER….

      Moses was willing to offer himself for the salvation of Israel (Exodus 32:31-32).

      SO was Paul (Romans 9:1-4).

      Sacrificial love IS evidence of our transformation reminded to us in John 13:34, AMEN?

      IT IS ONE THING TO SAYYYYYY WE ARE CHRISTIANS, WHO LOVE JESUS, STRIVE TO OBEY HIM, AND FOLLOW IN HIS FOOTSTEPS DAY BY DAY WHILE WE WALK THROUGH THE LOST, BLIND, UNSAVED WORLD THAT CHALLENGES US, DARES US, TEMPTS US, AND SEEKS TO KILL STEAL AND DESTROY OUR WITNESS AND OUR WALK.

      BUT DO OUR LIVES GIVE EVIDENCE TO THE TRANSFORMATION JESUS HAS BROUGHT TO US? DOES OUR DAY TO DAY WALK THROUGH THIS LIFE TESTIFY FORRRRRRR US OR AGAINST US BEFORE MANKIND?

      GENESIS 44 SHOWS US REMARKABLE EVIDENCE OF THE CHANGED HEARTS OF JOSEPH’S BROTHERS.

      They did not resent it when Benjamin was given the favored portion (Genesis 43:34)
      They trusted each other, not accusing each other of wrong when accused of stealing the cup (Genesis 44:9)
      They stuck together when the silver cup was found. They did not abandon the favored son and allow him to be carried back to Egypt alone (Genesis 44:13)
      They completely humbled themselves for the sake of the favored son (Genesis 44:14)
      They knew their predicament was the result of their sin against Joseph (Genesis 44:16)
      They offered themselves as slaves to Egypt, not abandoning Benjamin, the favored son, their brother (Genesis 44:16)
      They showed due concern for how this might affect their father (Genesis 44:29-31)
      Judah was willing to be a substitutionary sacrifice for his brother out of love for his father and his brethren (Genesis 44:33)



      Genesis 45 - Joseph is Reunited With His Brothers

      Verses 1-3 tells us Joseph reveals himself to his brothers.

      “Then Joseph could not restrain himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried out, “Make everyone go out from me!” So no one stood with him while Joseph made himself known to his brothers. And he wept aloud, and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard it. Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph; does my father still live?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed in his presence.”

      EMOTIONAL DISPLAYS WERE UNHEARD OF BY PHARAOH AND EGYPTIAN OFFICIALS…SO Joseph could not restrain himself before all those who stood by him: Joseph ordered all the Egyptians out of the room and was then alone with his brothers. His great emotion showed Joseph did not cruelly manipulate his brothers. He was directed by God to make these arrangements and it hurt him to do it.

      Joseph made himself known to his brothers…This probably means that Joseph said he was Joseph and showed his brothers that he was circumcised. Since the Bible tells us that they did NOT RECOGNIZE JOSEPH, they would NEVER have believed this high Egyptian official was Joseph unless he showed he was circumcised as God‘s covenant with ABRAHAM commanded.

      And history tells us that NONE IN EGYPT society PRACTICED CIRCUMCISION IN THAT DAY.

      But his brothers could not answer him…Because of the punishment they EXPECTED, the great emotion of Joseph, his manner of revelation, and the total shock of learning Joseph was not only alive but right in front of them, the brothers were dismayed. The ancient Hebrew word for dismayed (bahal) actually means, “amazed” or “frightened” or even “terrified.”

      Come near to me in Genesis 45:4 implies the brothers cringed back in terror.

      Their dismay is a shadow, JUST A SNEAK PEEK of what will happen when the Jews, THE NATION OF ISRAEL FINALLY SEES Jesus for WHO HE WAS AND IS again:

      REMEMBER WHAT ZECHARIAH 12:10 SAYS OF THAT DAY, “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.”

      Verses 4-8 tells us Joseph’s testimony.

      “And Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come near to me.” So they came near. Then he said: “I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. For these two years the famine has been in the land, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.”

      God SENT ME BEFORE YOU… Joseph did not diminish what the brothers did (whom you sold into Egypt). Yet he saw that God’s purpose in it all was GREATER GOOD than the evil of the brothers & no doubt of Satan himself, AMEN?

      When we are sinned against we are tempted to fail in one or both of these areas. We are tempted to play “let’s pretend you never did it,” or we are tempted to fail to see the over-arching hand of God in every circumstance, AMEN?

      BUT RIGHT HERE…NEW TESTAMENT ROMANS 8:28...WHAT MAN AND SATAN INTENDED FOR EVIL…GOD USED FOR OUR GOOD!

      It is fair to ask, “Why was Joseph in Egypt? Was it because of the sin of his brothers or because of the good plan of God?” The answer is that both options are true.

      God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance: All Joseph’s sorrows were for a purpose. God used them to preserve his family and provide the conditions for it to become a nation. Joseph was a victim of men, but God turned it around for His glory. None of it was for a loss.

      If this family does not go into Egypt, then they assimilate among the pagan tribes of the Promised Land and cease to become a distinctive people. God had to put them in a place where they could grow, yet stay a distinctive nation.

      So now it was not you who sent me here, BUT GOD: Joseph realized God ruled his life, not good men, evil men, circumstances, or fate. God was IN CONTROL ALWAYSSSSSSSSS, and because God was in control all things worked together for good, AMEN?.

      Verses 9-15 tells us Joseph tells his brothers to go home and to bring their father and find protection from the famine.

      “Hurry and go up to my father, and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph: “God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not tarry. You shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near to me, you and your children, your children’s children, your flocks and your herds, and all that you have. There I will provide for you, lest you and your household, and all that you have, come to poverty; for there are still five years of famine.”‘ And behold, your eyes and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see that it is my mouth that speaks to you. So you shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that you have seen; and you shall hurry and bring my father down here.” Then he fell on his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, and Benjamin wept on his neck. Moreover he kissed all his brothers and wept over them, and after that his brothers talked with him.”

      Thus says your son Joseph…When Jacob heard this it was one of the greatest days of his life. He had the joy of learning that the favored son, who will save his brethren, who was given up for dead, is now alive.

      He kissed ALL his brothers and wept over them: Joseph did not exclude those who had been especially cruel to him. His heart was OPEN, LOVE-FILLED & FORGIVING to his brothers both as a group and as individuals.

      After that his brothers talked with him: This was a wonderful conversation. There was a lot to catch up on.

      Verses 16-24 tells us Pharaoh and Joseph send the brothers home with many gifts.

      “Now the report of it was heard in Pharaoh’s house, saying, “Joseph’s brothers have come.” So it pleased Pharaoh and his servants well. And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Say to your brothers, ‘Do this: Load your animals and depart; go to the land of Canaan. Bring your father and your households and come to me; I will give you the best of the land of Egypt, and you will eat the fat of the land. Now you are commanded; do this: Take carts out of the land of Egypt for your little ones and your wives; bring your father and come. Also do not be concerned about your goods, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours.’“ Then the sons of Israel did so; and Joseph gave them carts, according to the command of Pharaoh, and he gave them provisions for the journey. He gave to all of them, to each man, changes of garments; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and five changes of garments. And he sent to his father these things: ten donkeys loaded with the good things of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain, bread, and food for his father for the journey. So he sent his brothers away, and they departed; and he said to them, “See that you do not become troubled along the way.”

      Joseph gave them carts, according to the command of Pharaoh, and he gave them provisions for the journey: The sons of Israel received transportation, provision, garments, and riches because of who their favored brother was. Pharaoh blessed the sons of Jacob for Joseph’s sake.

      WE TOO ARE PROTECTED, BLESSED AND FAVORED BECAUSE OF WHO WE ARE….WE ARE CHILDREN OF THE ONE TRUE KING…WE WHO LOVE JESUS ARE CO-HEIRS WITH JESUS…BECAUSE OF WHO OUR JESUS IS…NOT WHO WE IN AND OF OURSELVES ARE, AMEN?

      TO BETTER UNDERSTAND THE UNIMAGINABLENESS OF THIS COMMAND AND PROVISION FROM PHARAOH AND JOSEPH, BOICE EXPLAINS IT THIS WAY, “To return to Canaan with ‘carts from Egypt’ was the cultural equivalent of landing a RICHES LOADED jumbo jet among a tribe of isolated savages. It would be the stuff legends are made of.”

      See that you do not become troubled along the way: The idea behind the words “become troubled” is literally become angry or quarrel. Joseph knew as soon as these men left his presence they would be tempted to act in selfish, unspiritual ways. They had to anticipate and guard against this.

      Verses 25-28 tells us Jacob hears the good news - that Joseph lives.

      “Then they went up out of Egypt, and came to the land of Canaan to Jacob their father. And they told him, saying, “Joseph is still alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt.” And Jacob’s heart stood still, because he did not believe them. But when they told him all the words which Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the carts which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived. Then Israel said, “It is enough. Joseph my son is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.”

      JACOB DID NOT BELIEVE THEM…Jacob was told Joseph was dead and believed it. Then he was told Joseph was alive, and he did not believe it until his sons told him the words of Joseph and showed him the blessings that came to them through Joseph. Then he believed Joseph was alive, though he had not yet seen him.

      DO YOU SEE THE COMPARISON HERE…THE IMPLICATION FOR WE WHO LOVE JESUS CHRIST, WHO KNOWWWWW HE IS ALIVE, WELL, MIGHTY AND RULING OVER ALL?

      OUR FAITH BELIEVES JESUS WORDS AND HIS PROMISES…EVENNNNNNNN WHEN WE DOOOOOOO NOTTTTTT SEE THEM YET, AMEN?

      The only way people will know Jesus is alive is if we TELL THEM HIS WORDS and SHOW THEM HIS BLESSINGS in our lives, AMEN?

      IT IS ENOUGH…Joseph my son is still alive: Knowing that the favored son was alive - back from the dead, as it were - changed Israel’s testimony from all these things are against me (Genesis 42:36) to it is enough.

      This testimony OF FAITH comes from Israel, not Jacob. When Jacob (HIS FLESH) was in charge, we saw a whining, self-pitying, complaining, unbelieving type of man. But Israel, the man God conquered, had a testimony of faith…IT IS ENOUGH.

      GENESIS 45 SHOWS US….AND REMINDS US…WHEN ALL THINGS LOOK THEIR DARKEST, MOST DOOMED, MOST DEFEATED…STAND, HAVE FAITH, WATCH & WAIT….BECAUSE OUR GOD OF THE IMPOSSIBLE HAS A WONDROUS PLAN FOR US…A BETTER PLAN, WAY, PROVISION, PROTECTION…FOR US THAT ANY WE CAN CREATE, BRING TO PASS, WITH OUR MINDS, HANDS, AND HEARTS….

      FAITH IN OUR JESUS…IS ALL WE NEED TO REMEMBER IS JESUS PROMISES IN HIS WORD…SPEAK THEM OUT, STAND IN FAITH BELIEVING AND KNOWING WE ARE A CHILD OF THE ONE TRUE KING, JESUS CHRIST AND HE WILL NEVER FAIL US!!!

    • June 21, 2016 5:44 PM EDT
    • Genesis 46 - The Family of Jacob Comes to Egypt

      Verses 1-4 tells us God speaks to Jacob on the way to Egypt.

      “So Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. Then God spoke to Israel in the visions of the night, and said, “Jacob, Jacob!” And he said, “Here I am.” So He said, “I am God, the God of your father; do not fear to go down to Egypt, for I will make of you a great nation there. I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again; and Joseph will put his hand on your eyes.”

      Beersheba was the the southernmost outpost of the Promised Land on the way to Egypt. He stopped there to honor God with sacrifices.

      AND REMEMBER Both Abraham (Genesis 22:19) and Isaac (Genesis 26:23) lived for a time at Beersheba.

      Israel’s (JACOB) grandfather Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba many years before and had called on the name of the Lord there (Genesis 21:33).

      AND Isaac received a SPECIAL promise from God and built an altar for sacrifice there, calling on the name of the Lord (Genesis 26:24-25). It was probably at this very place Israel sacrificed.

      God SPOKE TO Israel in the visions of the night: More than 40 years before, when Jacob was about to leave the Promised Land, God spoke to him in a dream (Genesis 28:12-17). Now, when he is about to leave the land again, God brings REASSURANCE through a dream again.

      Do NOT FEAR to go down to Egypt: This indicates that Israel was AFRAID to go to Egypt. Jacob may have remembered Abraham had gone to Egypt in a time of famine once before, and it was a manifestation of his unbelief, and MUCH EVIL eventually came from it (Genesis 12:10-20).

      He also MAY ALSO HAVE REMEMBERED God told his father Isaac NOT to go down to Egypt (Genesis 26:2).

      Also, Jacob (ISRAEL) KNEW God told Abraham that his descendants would be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will AFFLICT them four hundred years (Genesis 15:13).

      SO AS JACOB/ISRAEL LED his family into this foreign land, he did NOT know what the future held. At the same time, he knew the future WAS in God’s hands.

      I WILL MAKE OF YOU A GREAT NATION…God told Israel what His purpose was in bringing this large family or clan down to Egypt. Because of the exclusive, segregated nature of Egyptian life, Israel’s descendants could grow as a LARGE, distinct nation there. Egypt will become a “mother’s womb” to Israel as a nation.

      Verses 5-27 tells us the LISTING of Jacob’s family who came with him to Egypt.

      Then Jacob arose from Beersheba; and the sons of Israel carried their father Jacob, their little ones, and their wives, in the carts which Pharaoh had sent to carry him. So they took their livestock and their goods, which they had acquired in the land of Canaan, and went to Egypt, Jacob and all his descendants with him. His sons and his sons’ sons, his daughters and his sons’ daughters, and all his descendants he brought with him to Egypt. Now these were the names of the children of Israel, Jacob and his sons, who went to Egypt: Reuben was Jacob’s firstborn. The sons of Reuben were Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi. The sons of Simeon were Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul, the son of a Canaanite woman. The sons of Levi were Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. The sons of Judah were Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez, and Zerah (but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan). The sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul. The sons of Issachar were Tola, Puvah, JOB, and Shimron. The sons of Zebulun were Sered, Elon, and Jahleel. These were the sons of Leah, whom she bore to Jacob in Padan Aram, with his daughter Dinah. All the persons, his sons and his daughters, were thirty-three. The sons of Gad were Ziphion, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi, and Areli. The sons of Asher were Jimnah, Ishuah, Isui, Beriah, and Serah, their sister. And the sons of Beriah were Heber and Malchiel. These were the sons of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to Leah his daughter; and these she bore to Jacob: sixteen persons. The sons of Rachel, Jacob’s wife, were Joseph and Benjamin. And to Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, whom Asenath, the daughter of Poti-Pherah priest of On, bore to him. The sons of Benjamin were Belah, Becher, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim, and Ard. These were the sons of Rachel, who were born to Jacob: fourteen persons in all. The son of Dan was Hushim. The sons of Naphtali were Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem. These were the sons of Bilhah, whom Laban gave to Rachel his daughter, and she bore these to Jacob: seven persons in all. All the persons who went with Jacob to Egypt, who came from his body, besides Jacob’s sons’ wives, were sixty-six persons in all. And the sons of Joseph who were born to him in Egypt were two persons. All the persons of the house of Jacob who went to Egypt were seventy.

      ALL HIS DESCENDANTS…he brought with him to Egypt: This shows the great faith Israel had. He brought the ENTIRE family down to Egypt. NO ONE WAS LEFT BEHIND to continue a presence in Canaan.
      WHY?

      BECAUSE Jacob/ISRAEL HAD GOD’S PROMISE AND HE KNEW THEY WOULD BE BACK ONE DAY, AMEN?

      The sons of Judah are of SPECIAL NOTE?
      WHY?
      BECAUSE THIS IS THE MESSIANIC LINEAGE OF JESUS CHRIST. The line of descent so far goes like this: Abraham - Isaac - Jacob - Judah - Perez - Hezron (confirmed to us in Luke 3:33-34).

      ALL PERSONS OF THE HOUSE OF JACOB WHO WENT TO EGYPT WERE 70. The total number of males of this clan was 70 - 66, plus Jacob himself, Joseph, and his two sons, which MAKE 70. This large family will become a nation of more than TWO MILLION over the next 400 years.

      Like many great works of God, Israel had a slow beginning.

      From the time God called Abraham, it took at least 25 years to add ONE son - Isaac
      It took Isaac 60 years to add another son of Israel - Jacob
      It took 50 or 60 years for Jacob to add 12 sons and one daughter
      But in 430 years, Israel will leave Egypt with 600,000 men
      It took this family 215 years to grow from one to 70, but in another 430 years they grew to TWO million.

      SOME WHO STUDY THE BIBLE ARE CONFUSED AND BRING UP Acts 7:14 where Stephen says that there were 75 who went into Egypt. This is because Stephen QUOTED from the Septuagint version of the Old Testament, which says 75. The number in the Septuagint is NOT wrong, just arrived at in a different way, specifically ADDING five more sons (or grandsons) of Joseph who WERE born in Egypt, WHICH MAKES THE DIFFERENCE.
      Verses 28-30 tells us…The family settles in the land of Goshen & of the emotional meeting between Joseph and his father.

      “Then he sent Judah before him to Joseph, to point out before him the way to Goshen. And they came to the land of Goshen. So Joseph made ready his chariot and went up to Goshen to meet his father Israel; and he presented himself to him, and fell on his neck and wept on his neck a good while. And Israel said to Joseph, “Now let me die, since I have seen your face, because you are still alive.”

      Then HE SENT JUDAH TO JOSEPH…It was fitting for Judah, of the Messianic line, to escort Israel into Goshen, the land of abundance.

      Now let me die, since I have seen your face, because you are still alive: This reunion of Israel with Joseph is more than he ever dreamed before. This is a dramatic change IN JACOB/ISRAEL WHO HAD STATED…all things are against me (Genesis 42:36).

      Verses 31-34 tells us Joseph tells his family of the plan to ask for the area of Goshen.

      “Then Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s household, “I will go up and tell Pharaoh, and say to him, ‘My brothers and those of my father’s house, who were in the land of Canaan, have come to me. And the men are shepherds, for their occupation has been to feed livestock; and they have brought their flocks, their herds, and all that they have.’ So it shall be, when Pharaoh calls you and says, ‘What is your occupation?’ that you shall say, ‘Your servants’ occupation has been with livestock from our youth even till now, both we and also our fathers,’ that you may dwell in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians.”
      EVERY SHEPHERD IS AN ABOMINATION TO THE EGYPT.
      WHY?
      The Egyptians were agricultural in the sense of farming crops. They considered sheep unclean, and therefore detested shepherds.




      Genesis 47 - Jacob Meets Pharaoh; the Family Settles In Egypt

      Verses 1-4 tells us the brothers ask for the land of Goshen.

      “Then Joseph went and told Pharaoh, and said, “My father and my brothers, their flocks and their herds and all that they possess, have come from the land of Canaan; and indeed they are in the land of Goshen.” And he took five men from among his brothers and presented them to Pharaoh. Then Pharaoh said to his brothers, “What is your occupation?” And they said to Pharaoh, “Your servants are shepherds, both we and also our fathers.” And they said to Pharaoh, “We have come to dwell in the land, because your servants have no pasture for their flocks, for the famine is severe in the land of Canaan. Now therefore, please let your servants dwell in the land of Goshen.”

      Verses 5-6 tells us Pharaoh GIVES THEM THE BEST of the land.

      “Then Pharaoh spoke to Joseph, saying, “Your father and your brothers have come to you. The land of Egypt is before you. Have your father and brothers dwell in the best of the land; let them dwell in the land of Goshen. And if you know any competent men among them, then make them chief herdsmen over my livestock.”

      Dwell in the BEST of the land: This blessing is all because of Joseph. He SAVED Egypt - and MOST OF THE WORLD - from terrible famine, and now the whole family of Israel is blessed and received an inheritance because of Joseph.

      AND DID YOU NOTICE…NOT ONLY ARE THESE SHEPHERDS, WHO ARE CONSIDERED ABOMINATIONS AND UNCLEAN TO THE EGYPTIANS IS GIVEN EGYPT’S BEST LAND, BUT PHARAOH WANTS TO BLESS THEM FURTHER AND OFFER THEM TO OVERSEE ALLLLLLL OF HIS PERSONAL LIVESTOCK.

      OUR JESUS, THE GOD OF THE IMPOSSIBLE, PERFORMED ANOTHER MIRACLE AND AN IMPOSSIBLE BLESSING FOR THE SONS OF JACOB/ISRAEL ONCE AGAIN…

      Verses 7-10 tells us Jacob blesses Pharaoh.

      “Then Joseph brought in his father Jacob and set him before Pharaoh; and Jacob blessed Pharaoh. Pharaoh said to Jacob, “How old are you?” And Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The days of the years of my pilgrimage are one hundred and thirty years; few and evil have been the days of the years of my life, and they have not attained to the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage.” So Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went out from before Pharaoh.

      THE DAYS OF MY PILGRIMAGE…DID YOU CATCH THAT? Jacob BOLDLY CONFESSES he was on a pilgrimage.
      WHY?

      BECAUSE JACOB KNEW…JUST AS WE WHO LOVE JESUS KNOW…THAT WE ARE PILGRIMS…JUST PASSING THROUGH THIS LIFE…ON THE WAY TO OUR TRUE REAL HOME…Heaven, AMEN?

      FEW AND EVIL HAVE BEEN THE DAYS OF MY LIFE…This was NOT a cynical statement by Jacob, as some teach and believe. This is the HUMBLE ISRAEL…who readily admits publicly the general character of his life (lived in the flesh) and the length of his life did NOT compare both to eternity and to the lives of his ancestors.

      So Jacob blessed Pharaoh: ANOTHER MIRACLE IS THAT Pharaoh ACKNOWLEDGED JACOB as a man of God by ACCEPTING his blessing.

      THIS IS ANOTHER WOW MOMENT….
      WHY?
      WE NEED TO REMEMBER, in the Egyptian religion, Pharaoh himself was thought TO BE A GOD HIMSELF. They considered Pharaoh the HUMAN embodiment of Ra, the sun god. This means that it was remarkable that he allowed Israel to bestow a blessing on him.

      Verses 11-12 tells us Israel takes the best of the land.

      “And Joseph situated his father and his brothers, and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded. Then Joseph provided his father, his brothers, and all his father’s household with bread, according to the number in their families.”

      Joseph situated his father and his brothers: The family of Israel looked to Joseph, and Joseph only, as their so