Bible study of Genesis 10-20
|Gen. 1 - 9||Gen. 10 and 11||Gen. 12||Gen. 13||Gen. 14||Gen. 15||Gen. 16||Gen. 17||Gen. 18||Gen. 19||Gen. 20||Genesis 21 - 30|
Genesis 10 Genealogy
Verses 1-32 Now follows a genealogy of the 3 sons of Noah. An impressive list of descendants.
According to studies, the earth can be divided into three parts: Europe, Asia and Africa. The Europeans would have been born from Japheth. From Shem the Asians and from Ham the Africans. Since Ham was cursed, I think this can be an explanation why Africa stays in such poverty and does not make progress. On the other hand, this is a very serious punishment for the sin which Ham has committed. However, let this be a lesson. All second-degree sins (sin directly related to the human body, such as adultery, homosexuality, pedophilia, murder, abortion, etc.) are severely punished by God. Man CANNOT mock and think lightly about it. The sin of Ham has very serious consequences for his offspring. For more information, see Dr. Well's Geography of the Old Testament, Chapter iii.
Some disputed the information given here by Moses and claim that Moses could not have this knowledge. However, recent discoveries in Egypt confirm that Moses could have this information, given the genealogies written on the discovered Egyptian columns.
Verse 8 Nimrod was the first mighty man on earth. Whether this means that he was the first to have power, or that he was the first to subdue others under his power, is not clear. The fact is that he did not respect God and subdued others under his power. Noah was still alive when Nimrod took power. Nimrod was more beastly than human. According to Calvin, the words "Before the Lord" means that he put himself above the people (and equal to God).
Verse 11 Nimrod is the builder of Nineveh, where later Jonah was sent to Sermon salvation. In Isaiah we read how the Chaldeans build Babylon on the ruins of Nineveh.
Verse 25 In his days the earth was divided. Whether this means that America was separated from Europe and moved where North and South America are today, is not clear.
The patriarch Abram was born from the descendants of Shem (see Genesis 11:10, 17 and 26).
Genesis 11: The Tower of Babel
Verse 1 How good it was on earth, all people spoke one language and could understand each other. Now we have big problems, have to learn each other's language to communicate and translate the Bible into many languages and dialects to bring God's Word to the people. If we assume that people who speak a dialect also know the language of the country, then we come today between 6000-7000 languages all over the world. Very sad. The entire Bible has been translated into only 450 languages and parts of the Bible in more than 2,000 languages.
Almost no website with Bible studies has more than one language. This is partly due to the enormous division of the churches, also within their own religious community. While a large website of a religious sect has been translated into more than 1000 languages and sign language. Where are our brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ who are willing to translate?
Verses 2-4 How evil is the human heart. With enormous effort of making bricks and using bitumen, man wants to build a high tower. Many people work on the construction and reject God by doing so.
Again the rebellion against God. No lesson learned that the flood was a punishment from God over man's sins. No, they wish to build a tower that reaches into the sky (= clouds) so that a deluge could not exterminate them again. What a pride and stubbornness. Had not God promised and made a covenant with the sign of the rainbow, that He would not destroy the earth again by means of a flood.
When did the construction of the tower begin? A correct date cannot be given. The name Peleg (verse 18) means "division, separation", possibly his parents gave this name after the division of tongues. Peleg was born about 101 years after the flood. That means Noah was still alive. The question is why Noah did not protest, or was Nimrod a very strong tyrant?
Lesson: As believers, do we let hear our voice and do we protest against the transgressions by the authorities of God's commandments? Let man use his brain, and not revolt against God. God intended good things for man. His command was to multiply and be fruitful, and populated the whole earth. During the construction of the tower of Babel, man revolted and rejected God. How many people today reject God and God's commandments? God punished with a division of tongues. Soon the Great Tribulation comes with the plagues and destruction. With ultimately God's judgment of every individual man. Are you ready for God's judgment on your life?
Verses 5-6 God looks at the earth. God is invisible to man. God does not allow man to see God and the angels (only a few see satan and demons). Despite all telescopes to discover other life. How ridiculous, because these telescopes do not even hear the conversation of the angels at earth.
From this verse, it is clear that God visits the earth from time to time and looks at what people on earth are doing. But also the prayers of the faithful clearly tell God what people are doing on earth. How much people and governments reject God's commandments. Even now it is the prayers of the believers who hold back the evil and God's wrath. But after the Rapture of the Church, who will still pray for the wickedness of man, keeping man from God's wrath. The Beast and the Anti-Christ will bring people even further into rebellion against God. Woe to man!
God knows the thoughts of man: They think that nothing will be impossible for them. How is the present person? With research to search for other life on planets. Experiments with placing of human brain into robots so that one lives "eternally". But it is unfortunate for science, to date the experiments fail. But it proves the rebellion against God.
Verses 7-8 Too bad for humans, God is more powerful. God easily sends the division of languages. People can no longer understand each other and the construction has to stop. God laughs at the foolishness of man and their own trust and wisdom. Man is arrogant. But with a simple speech confusion, God puts an end to their pride.
Let US go down. US being God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Man wanted to see the tower and stay together. God had commanded to inhabit the whole earth and is now forcing man to divide and spread over all the earth.
Verse 9 Babel is derived from the Hebrew word balal, "to confuse".
Verses 10-28 Specifically, the children born from Sem, are mentioned. A gender that did honour God. Noah and Shem lived to see this progeny and to teach and to recall about the reason of the flood. Possibly Abram was born while Noah was still alive or soon after his death.
According to Joshua 24: 2, Terah, the father of Abram, and the father of Nahor were unfaithful to God and served other gods.
Verse 27 Terah begets Abram, Nahor and Haran. Lot is born from Haran. Abram does not necessarily have to be the firstborn. Moses does not keep a correct order of birth.
Verses 29-32 Abram takes Sarai as wife and Nachor takes Milcah as wife. They left Ur of the Chaldees and lived in Haran.
Source: bibleatlas.orgThe most generally-accepted theory at the present time is that Ur is to be identified with the modern Mugheir (or Mughayyar, "the pitchy") in Southern Babylonia, called Urumma, or Urima, and later Uru in the inscriptions. This borders on the district which in the 1st millennium B.C. was called Chaldea (Kaldu).
This, some hold, accords with the view of Eupolemus, because Camarina may be from the Arabic name of the moon qamar, which refers perhaps to the fact that the ancient city was dedicated to the worship of the moon-god. Another argument which has been advanced for this identification is that Haran, the city to which Terah migrated, was also a centre of moon-god worship. This, however, is precarious, because Urumma or Urima in Abraham's day was a Sumerian center, and the seat of Nannar-worship, whereas Haran was Semitic, and was dedicated to Sin. Although these two deities in later centuries were identified with each other, still the argument seems to have little weight. As other deities were also prominently worshipped in those cities, particularly Haran, which fact reminds us also that the Talmud says Terah worshipped no less than 12 deities.
It should be stated that there are scholars who hold, with the Septuagint, that Ur means, not a city, but perhaps a land in which the patriarch pastured his flocks, as for instance, the land of Uri or Ura (Akkad). The designation "of the Chaldeans" was in this case intended to distinguish it from the land where they were not found. End source.
Genesis 12 - Abram in Canaan
Verses 1-2 How Abram received the message to leave his country, the Bible does not mention. Possibly by a direct voice or by means of a dream. It is clear that Abram KNOWS that God has spoken to him. It is a clear assignment:
- Go from your country. The country where the people worship and serve idols.
- Go from your kindred and your father's house. Leave your family, do not take them with you.
- To a country that I will show you. God requires Abram's faith and does not tell him yet which country.
- I will make you a great nation. This is a promise from God to Abram, and requires faith from Abram because his wife is barren. How can Abram become a great people while his wife is barren? That requires faith. So God also asks faith from the believer when He gives an order. The believer does not always know what will be the end of the assignment (a country that I will show you) and sometimes the assignment seems impossible (the infertility of Sarai). God requires faith.
- I will bless you. The mission and promise is accompanied by a blessing. That is, you do not need to fear evil. I will go with you and bless you. This also applies to the believer. With God's mission, the blessing goes with it. It is God Who is fighting against satan and demons, and our human enemies.
- I will make your name great. Abram is known to most people, the Israelites, the Christians, in Islam. The name of Abram, later Abraham, has become great. But not only his name, through faith (in Jesus Christ), a great nation of Christians came into existence.
- And you will be a blessing. The Jews and Israelites were born from Abram. But also the Christian. Anyone who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ as his or her Saviour and Lord will receive eternal life in Heaven. A huge blessing.
Verse 3 What a promise and power is given to Abram. I will bless those who bless you, and him who curses you, I will curse. Despite this promise, Abram's faith staggers and he is afraid of the Egyptians and Pharaoh (verses 12-14).
The same power of binding is first given to the disciples and then to the believers in Mt. 18:18.
By you all the families of the earth will be blessed. Man is cursed by sin, but by faith there is salvation and blessing. Man can be salved from sin through faith. Abram is known by his faith. Hebrews 11 gives a clear account that faith is the basis. By faith one receives God's blessing.
Verse 4 Abram fully trusts God. He was a rich man with a lot of possessions. Yet he considers this of no value and leaves his country. But Lot goes with him, who will become a burden to him later. Why did Lot go with him? That the Bible does not inform us. God had ordered Abram to leave his father's house. Did Abram ask Lot to come with him? Or was it a choice of Lot himself to go with Abram?
Lesson for the believer. Be careful when you have received an assignment from God. Rely on God and do not engage with others (unbeliever, family) unless God has commanded you.
Verse 5 Abram does not let go everything, he takes his wife, Lot and his family, and his property. That must have been an impressive procession travelling through many countries and slowed down his journey. Step by step, from place to place, until he reaches the unknown land determined by God, the land of Canaan. A distance of more than 540 miles. Abram had no camels, only donkeys (Gen. 22:3). Usually a nomad with donkeys could travel 20 miles a day. Abraham with his crowd was much slower, if we assume a 9 miles travel per day, then his journey 540/9 had lasted over 60 days. If he traveled without pauzing.
Verse 6 A oak is a tree with a dense canopy known for its wonderful, cool shade. Moreh means "teacher" and therefore has to deal with knowledge. God taught Abram under this tree Who He is.
The Promised Land is not unpopulated, the Canaanites lived there. A rough and wicked people. So also the believer. The believer lives in the world, full of sin and repulsion of God and God's commandments.
Verse 7 Here the Bible is clear: God appeared to Abram. But in what form? Because Moses could not see God, no man can see God without dying. Do we think in the form of an angel?
Again a promise from God follows: I shall give this land to your descendants. This land is further defined in 15:18-21. Despite this promise, Abram is afraid of his life in verse 12.
Abram is grateful to God and builds an altar. No doubt this was accompanied by sacrifices, compare 8:20. How is the attitude of the believer, do we daily offer thanksgiving for our food and drinks, God's protection over us and our family, the redemption through Jesus Christ and the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit?
Verses 8-9 Abram passes through the country. He builds altars and shows the Canaanites his faith in the God of Heaven. Likewise, the believer is called to show clearly to the people of the world, his faith in God and Jesus Christ in a world full of sin and unbelief.
Verses 10-15 See here the disbelief of Abram. Abram leaves the Promised Land and leaves for Egypt. Followed by even more disbelief: the order of a half lie to his wife Sarai, say that you are my sister. Sarai was a beautiful woman of appearance. Abram was 75 when he left Haran, went from place to place in Canaan, so if we assume that Abram was 80 years old when he went to Egypt and his wife was 10 years younger, she was about 70 years old. A woman of 70 years who was very beautiful!
Sarai was the daughter of Terah and the half-sister of Abram. Gen. 20:12 The daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife. Sarai means "my queen or important wife". But later, when God appeared again to Abram and changed his name to Abraham ("father of a multitude"), Abraham had to give the name Sarah to his wife, Gen. 17:15. This name means "queen or have supremacy".
The Egyptians were a harsh people who had no problem to kill a man for his beautiful wife. Sarai was very beautiful in spite of her high age that this stands out in the Egyptians who even make this known to Pharaoh. No, not one of the princes of Pharaoh took her, they wanted to give her to Pharaoh himself.
Sarai is taken away from Abram and placed in the house of Pharaoh. See Esther 2:7-14, it took a certain time before the king had intercourse with the chosen woman.
Verses 16-17 Abram receives a lot of wealth because Sarai came into Pharaoh's house to become a (of many) wife of Pharaoh.
Pharaoh, though innocent and ignorant, is afflicted by God with great plagues. Lust of man is a gross sin. By this means, God lets Pharaoh know that there is a gross sin in his house. Sometimes God uses a serious injury, a deadly or serious illness to bring an unbeliever to faith. God gives a chance to Pharaoh (and to the unbeliever). God prevents Pharaoh from committing adultery.
Verse 18 Pharaoh is going to wonder why this calamity comes over his house? When did these plagues start? He does research. And then he finds out the truth: Sarai is the wife of Abram. His reaction is not to order the killing of Abram (as in adultery by King David, to kill the man of the woman). No, he knows that a higher POWER, a God, is behind these plagues. He fears and calls Abram to him.
How is the unbeliever (or believer)? Is he or she investigating the cause of a serious or fatal disease? Illness is a cause of sin, sometimes for the glorification of God (John 11 death and revival of Lazarus), sometimes because God wants to take the believer home (heaven). But at ALL TIMES the (un)believer has to investigate the cause!
Verse 19 Pharaoh calls Abram to account: Why? After hearing him, Pharaoh makes the right decision. Take your wife and go. Pharaoh removes sin out of his life, committed in ignorance.
The same way the (un)believer should remove sin from his/her life committed in ignorance. God gives the opportunity to man after warning him. People have a completely voluntary choice. This Pharaoh let himself be corrected. The Pharaoh of Moses persevered and found death. Man can come to faith and repentance and win his/her life. Or persevere in sin and earn eternal death.
Verse 20 Pharaoh ordered set him on the way, his wife and his property. Pharaoh banished sin and REMOVED. Pharaoh wants nothing more to do with this.
Lesson: It is a definite farewell to the known sin. After coming to faith, one must definitely say goodbye to the worldly life. No more lust for adultery, alcohol and drugs, the worldly life of wealth and deceit, of sin. But a holy life under the direction of the Holy Spirit.
Genesis 13 - Departure of Abram from Egypt
Verses 1-2 By order of the Pharaoh, Abram leaves Egypt and returns to the Promised Land, the South of Canaan. He takes all his possessions alongside the wealth donated by Pharaoh and his family. Some sources mention that Abram had 300 male servants and Lot possibly the same number. When we assume that these servants were married and had children, it was an impressive procession. Livestock must also have been considerable when 300 servants were needed for it.
God has richly blessed Abram with cattle, silver and gold. By this we see that wealth in itself is no objection to God. King Solomon also had a gigantic wealth, but was incapable to handle it. But how do we deal with this? Do we thank God for this? And do we devote this to the well-being of other (poor) people and to spreading of the gospel? Does not this wealth hinder our relationship with God?
In any case, it shows that absolute poverty is not necessary. Getting rid of everything and living in sheer poverty is not the way that leads to Heaven. God has given man a good sense. The rich may use his wealth for the honour and thanksgiving of God, and for God's work, gospel proclamation, mission and support of the poor. The rich person has to listen carefully to God, how God wants him or her to use the wealth.
Verses 3-4 Abram traverses the Promised Land from the South until he returns to Bethel, the place where he built an altar the first time (when he came from Ur). Again Abram calls on God, undoubtedly with a sacrifice.
Verses 5-7 The great wealth leads to problems between Abram and Lot. Lot, Abram's nephew, may have had a good relationship with his uncle Abram. However, their servants quarrel. In a church, the pastor can have a good relationship with the elders and deacons. But the church members can argue with each other. Then the pastor must intervene as leader. Strife among Christians often brings separation. The pastor, however, should be a leader and not be afraid of reprimands and discipline. If a member of the congregation or members does not wish to submit to the pastor and/or church council's decision, one should not be afraid to remove the person(s) from the church and to ask to find a church elsewhere, in which one does feel at home.
There has to be unity within a church. Every believer has his own views, but the church has laid down its proper statutes and believes in the church statutes. The neighbour love must be clearly visible in the church. Strife, quarrels and not showing themselves to obey to God's commandments lead to a bad name of a church and its testimony to the outside world. The wealth of a pastor or elders gives a bad testimony when they spent personally and the church does not use the tenth for evangelism, mission and support of the poor.
Verses 8-9 Abram being the uncle of Lot and therefore older than Lot, gives the choice to Lot to choose land. Yet in verse 11 we see that Lot chooses the best for himself and does not respect his older uncle. Abram trusts in God that God will take care of him and does not worry about Lot's choice.
Verses 10-11 Lot chooses the best for himself. He looks at the exterior, a region rich in water. Water necessary to provide his many cattle with drinking. He compares the region to the land of Egypt, full of wealth. But he does not look at the heavy sinful life of the inhabitants of this region. God preserves Abram for these inhabitants, protects him by the choice of Lot. It is God Who guides and directs. It is God Who protects the believer and fights against satan and demons, provided that the believer remains in God's way. Lot looks at the exterior, the believer who looks at what the world has to offer in terms of wealth (prostitution, drugs, parties, luxury cars and house, etc.). And forget the wealth that awaits him or her in Heaven, which lasts forever.
Lot will later pay a high price at the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and lose his possessions and wife. The believer who lives in the world can temporarily enjoy worldly life. However, after death one loses everything and receive poverty for eternally in Heaven, if one does not lose eternal life in Heaven.
Verses 12-13 Abram continues to live in Canaan. Lot goes to the area of Sodom and places his tents in the valleys of Sodom. In order to move later IN Sodom. First in front of and later IN. A believer can make the mistake by first looking at the lusts enjoyed by the world, carefully taking the first steps by setting aside God's commandments. Then to be swallowed up in the world and put God completely aside: no Bible study, no Bible reading, no prayer, no tithe and offering. Full private pleasure.
God is tolerant, the men in Sodom were wicked and sinful. Yet God does not immediately put an end to their existence. He gives them a chance for repentance. Their wickedness only increases to the limit and God decides to destroy. Equally today, the wickedness of people only increases. More and more people and governments are putting God's commandments aside (por example abortion, euthanasia, free sex, pedophilia, sex with animals, adultery). But soon the cup will be full and the Great Tribulation is near, then God's wrath will be poured out on the earth with all kinds of plagues and finally the end of this earth and the New Earth will come.
Verses 14-15 Abram does not need to repent that his cousin Lot has moved away from him. The promise given in Ur to Abram is repeated by God. God shows Abram the whole land, and promises to give it to his offspring. Abram must have faith, because his wife is barren, so trust that his wife will ever give birth. The believer should walk in God's promise, not looking what he/she sees, but going in faith.
It is a promise to him and his descendants for ever. The descendants are the Jews (two tribes) and the Israelites (ten tribes) who will live forever (15:18) in the land of the river from Egypt to the Euphrates. That is a much larger area than the current Israel. And covers the Sinai desert and Iran.
Verse 16 The posterity of Abram will become as great as the dust of the earth that no one can count. The Jews live in Israel, not the Israelites. Hence the Promised Land will reach from the river of Egypt to the Euphrates to make possible including the Israelites living in the Promised Land.
The fate of the ten tribes is a source of speculation. Probably many Israelites fled in 722 BC. for the Assyrians and assimilated there. Of the ten tribes, a large part was taken away and merged with the population of the Assyrian Empire, and part of it mixed with the inhabitants of Judah. The historian Flavius Josephus wrote about the ten tribes the following "... while the ten tribes remain past the Euphrates until now, and they are a very large crowd, the number of which can not be estimated." In 2005 the estimations differ from 13 to 15 million Jews, since one does not know who an Israelite is, it is impossible to estimate their number.
Verses 17-18 God gives Abram the assignment to cross the land and see how abundantly God's promise is. Afterwards Abram lived in Hebron and built an altar again in gratitude for the promised and visited land.
Genesis 14 - Abram's victories
Verses 1-12 This extends to a lesson for the faithful, for three reasons:
- Lot with a gentle reproof, exhorted the man of Sodom to repentance, they had, however, become unteachable, and perverse in wickedness. But Lot was beaten with these scourges, having allured and deceived by their richness and he had mixed himself with unholy and wicked men.
- Because God out of compassion to Lot, raised up Abram, as his avenger and liberator, to rescue him when captive, from the hand of the enemy. God showing His incredible goodness and benevolence to His own people. Is rendered conspicious since for the sake of one family, He preserves for a time, many who are utterly wicked.
- Because Abram was divinely honoured with a signal victory and blessed by Melchizedek, personally, the kingdom and priesthood of Christ was shadowed forth.
The valley of Siddim is thought to be located on the southern end of the Dead Sea where modern bitumen deposits have been found in respect to the tar pits (asphalt, slime pits). This indicates that the valley was filled with many of these pits that the armies of Sodom and Gomorrah fell into during their retreat from Mesopotamian forces. It is suggested that the destruction of the cities of the Jordan Plain by divine fire and brimstone may have caused Siddim to become a salt sea, what is now the Dead Sea.
The DEAD SEA is a salt lake bordered by Jordan. Its surface and shores are 430 metres (1400 ft) below the sea level. Earth's lowest elevation on earth. The dead sea is 300 metres (990 ft) deep, the deepest salt lake in the world.
Verse 13 One manages to escape from the battle and goes to Abram, to inform that his cousin Lot has been captured and has not escaped the battle. Let this be a lesson for the believer. If one wishes to continue living in the world with his wickedness, then this has consequences. One falls prey to the judgment of the unbelievers. One puts his or her life in Heaven at stake. God can grant mercy and give through the prayer of fellow believers, salvation and grace. But if there are no fellow believers who pray for the worldly believer, it may be that one stays behind the Rapture of Christ and one has to make a renewed choice during the Great Tribulation.
Verse 14 Undoubtedly Abram had consulted God what he had to do, because with a small army of only 318 men, Abram went in pursuit.
Although Abram and his servants were under God's protection, these men were trained in battle. The battle against wild animals (lions, wolves) and thieves who wanted to rob Abram's enormous quantity of cattle.
The believer lives in the world, but is not part of the lust and sin, and should be armed with the spiritual armour of Ephesians 6. Without these weapons, no victory is possible!
Verse 15 Abram does an unexpected attack and attacks in the night. He divides his troops and attacks on all sides, and chases until the enemy is defeated. Lesson for the believer, attack satan and demons with the spiritual armour. Do not stay passive, give your tithes, support spiritual leaders and missionaries financially and especially in prayer. Form a front through prayer group, do it not alone! Abram was with a small number, but gained the victory. The prayer group may be small, but God has promised the victory.
Verse 16 Abram liberates his nephew and family, as well as the inhabitants of Sodom, with all their goods. The believer must liberate the fallen brother or sister, but also the unbeliever (with his/her wickedness = the inhabitants of Sodom) from the power of satan and demons.
Verse 17 Although the king of Sodom knew that Abram was going to liberate his nephew Lot, he sees that Abram also liberated the inhabitants of Sodom and all their possessions. That is why the king of Sodom approaches Abram out of gratitude. Abram defeated the Mesopotamian forces and the king of Sodom has nothing to fear from them in the future. Despite this lesson, the inhabitants of Sodom persist in wickedness and sin. The chance of repentance and to turn away from their sin, they do NOT grasp. Mankind has the chance to repent of sin. But by perseverance, the final judgment follows, the destruction (of Sodom with fire and brimstone, the Lake of Fire).
Verses 18-19 Melchizedek means "King of righteousness" and was the king of Salem and priest of El Elyon (often translated "God Most High").
Melchizedek brought Abram bread and wine. It was Jesus who gave bread and wine for the first time to his twelve disciples, the institution of the Lord's Supper.
He was now a priest of God, the Most High. Jesus Christ was and is the High Priest of God, the Father (Hebrews 7 - 8). Salem is believed to be Jerusalem.
Melchizedek blesses with the blessing of God, the Most High. The Creator of heaven and earth. It is not just a blessing, it is from the God who created heaven and earth. The God Who lives in Heaven (Most High).
Verse 20 It is not Abram who has won the victory, it is by the power of God that he has conquered. Likewise the believer, we cannot overcome satan and demons in our own strength, the believer cannot overcome sin in his own strength and win unbelievers for Jesus Christ. It is the power of God that enables the believer.
And Abram gave a tenth of everything to Melchizedek. Some claim that it was Melchizedek who gave tenth to Abram. This is incorrect, see Heb. 7: 9. It is Abram who gives tenth of the victory to Melchizedek. Note that this was already a custom, long before it was instituted by the law of Moses. The giving of tithing is a voluntary gift. Believers who claim that the tenth is not of the New Testament are wrong. We see here that it is a VOLUNTARY GIFT, not an obligation.
2 Cor. 9:7
When we look at the Old Testament law, which surpasses far the tenth. Tenth about the harvest, birth of the child, and much more. Some calculations come to 33%. God wants the believer to give from a grateful heart, that Jesus Christ has suffered and died at the cross and have given you eternal life in Heaven. That is such a great gift, which as a believer is impossible to express in giving of tithing (even though a few rich persons give up to 90%) and gifts.
The tenth is given to Melchizedek, the representative of God. It is not a personal gift to Melchizedek himself, but to God. The question is this is a tenth about the capture or from Abram's personal possession. That is not clear. Some say if it was out of the capture, it did not cost Abram NOTHING. Only if it came from the personal property of Abram himself. However you see it, remember that your income comes from the hand of God. It is already of God, so you only give back a part of what God already belongs!
Verses 21-22 The king of Sodom only wished his inhabitants back, their possessions may be kept by Abram. But it is logical that Abram holds the honour to himself, as a servant and representative of the God Most High. The king of Sodom adores the idols and is a great sinner. Abram testifies that he is a representative of the Only and True God. It is as if this king wants to say: "It is a great thing that you have liberated my people, I leave you everything, but give me only the inhabitants, and the rest to you as a reward". This, however, was not worthy of God, but human. Later we will see how ungrateful the inhabitants of Sodom were and they demanded from Lot to have sexual intercourse with the two men (angels of God).
Abram swears by God. Why, he knew that swearing with God was only allowed in the worst case. There are two reasons. First, the word of Abram was only human, the king was allowed to think that Abram as a man might came back on his words. Something that was not unusual. By swearing to God, the Most High, it was no longer a human oath, but a testimony of His God and a divine oath. Secondly, it could be explained that Abram not only saved his nephew and family, but also the inhabitants and their property to become better themselves. With the oath, Abram gives all honour to his God.
Verses 23-24 Abram is very on his guard: "lest you should say, 'I have made Abram rich'". Abram clearly rejects, and points out that it is His God Who makes him rich. However Abram keeps the credit to himself, he speaks for himself, but leaves the King the choice if he wishes to give to the servants of Abram. After all, they have fought and put their lives at stake.
Lesson for the believer. Be on your guard to receive gifts from unbeliever(s) to the service of the Lord. Many fall into the trap to accept donations from municipalities and governments, and are not on guard for future obligations or consequences. Only use the subsidies that apply to everyone by law.
Genesis 15 - God blesses Abram
Verse 1 God appears to Abram in a vision with the words "Do not fear". My explanation is that when a man sees God or an angel, he is afraid. We see this by the prophet Daniel, by the virgin Mary, by Joseph, by the priest Zacharias and by the apostle John in Revelation.
The theologian Calvin has another explanation. Abram had defeated the four kings in the previous chapter. Therefore Abram could fear that these nations would gather again together and this time would go directly to battle against Abram. Another danger would be that Abram lived among friendly peoples. After his victory and blessing by Melchizedek, these friendly peoples might fear the power of Abram and would go to war against his friends.
God appears in a vision, which could mean that Abram had a dream. God also appeared to the apostle in a vision, the apostle Paul writes that he was raised to the third heaven and he did not know if that was in vision. Sometimes God speaks to the believer through a dream, others have seen Jesus (in a vision?).
God blesses Abram: God gives two promises. First, I am your shield. That is, Abram you do not need to be afraid, I will protect you against your enemies. God gives His believer His protection, provided he or she walks in God's way and mission. However, the believer has been commissioned to put on God's armour in Ephesians 6 . God protects and no man can kill the soul of the faithful servant or maidservant. As in every war, people get wounded and be killed. But only with God's permission. No servant or maidservant dies earlier than at God's time. But the believer is only allowed to go there, where God sends him or her, in His commission. Outside there, the believer has a chance to be wounded or to die.
Second, your reward will be very great. Not big, but VERY GREAT! Abram's reward are descendants as much as the stars in the sky (verse 5). The believer also receives a very great reward for faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, namely a ETERNAL life in Heaven, where there is no death, suffering and sorrow, only pure health and joy.
Verse 2 Despite Abram hearing God, Abram contradicts. The priest Zacharias also contradicts the angel Gabriel. Their question is, how is this possible? But it is a reverent contradiction at Abram with the words Lord Jehovah (in the basic text Adonai Jehovah).
I am childless, how can my reward be very large? All my possessions go to the Eliezer of Damascus. My possessions which are a great wealth do not go to my son. My wife is barren, she cannot give me a son. Not only was his wife barren, but in view of their age, Sarai no longer menstruating and Abram could doubt whether his seed was still fertile. A logical question, isn't it?
Verse 3 But Abram continues with an accusation. You have given me no offspring. Abram addresses an accusation to God. You are guilty of having no children, now a slave of mine will inherit my wealth. I am astonished that this wealth passes to a slave and not to his nephew Lot. I have no explanation for this. How is the attitude of a believer in such a situation?
Verse 4 Here we see that God allows sometimes a man to make known to God, his or her doubts about God's promises. However, in the case of the priest Zacharias, it became a persevering disbelief, followed by punishment.
See how patient and understanding God is. God does not get angry about Abram's doubts. But understandably approach him with a clear answer. Your slave will NOT become the heir. I will give you your own son, who will be your heir. God leaves no misunderstanding about it, God clearly says what the future will be.
God leaves no misunderstanding about the fate of man. His or her choice is whether to believe and serve God, that is, to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour and to serve Him. Or to reject and to bear the penalty of sin and to remain separated from God after death, a go into the Lake of Fire. God's Word is abundantly clear, no ambiguity as to what will happen to man after his or her death, the choice is up to man. God is also clear about the future of the earth, and what will happen in the Great Tribulation.
Verse 5 God brings Abram out. Here ends the vision, or God sends in the vison with the command, go outside? God does not leave Abram in the darkness. God SHOWS to him. Look up to heaven, the firmament of the earth, and tell Me whether you can count the stars. From this it is clear that this vision took place in the evening or night. No one is able to count the stars. The descendants of Abram will be so infinitely great. That is God's promise.
The stars are only visible during the night, and invisible during the day. This vision starts at night. The descendants of Abram began with the people in Israel, the Jews and Israelites. Invisible during the day, invisible are the people that would arise through faith in Jesus, the Christians, the body of Christ.
When Jesus was on earth, He was clear in His words, explained His words on the basis of parables so that man could understand it easier, from the examples of daily life. His words were strengthened by the numerous healings and wonders. His work was clear.
Abram believes God. Abram believes in God's blessing. This posterity extends over the Jews and Israelites. But it extends to the offspring formed by faith: the believers in Jesus Christ. Man is not saved by human works, but by faith.
Verse 6 His faith is reckoned by God as righteousness. It is the faith that produces justice. It is an act of man, a reaction to God's Word and Promise. Unbelief brings iniquity. God cannot work without faith. But the act of faith is not a work by which man can boast himself and say that by doing so one enters into Heaven. But faith without works is dead faith (James 2:14-26).
Verse 7 God affirms to Abram that His words are true and faithful, for He has brought Abram out of Ur of the Chaldees with the promise to give him a great and fertile land. He alone is God.
Verse 8 Yet Abram still has his doubts. He and his wife are old. They see their age as their end approaching.
Verses 9-10 God remains patient with the doubts of Abram. There is no explanation for the sacrifice of a three-year-nor of the heifer, goat, ram, turtledove and young pigeon. However, it is a commission from God Himself, which Abram must obey. Even though the believer does not understand the commission of God, the believer will have to do what God commands. Only through obedience can the believer please God.
Abram divides the pieces into two and lays them opposite to each other, except the birds. God commands, it is not man who determines how things happen. Man cannot determine his way of salvation, he or she is NOT ABOVE God, man is submissive and dependent on God's laws and regulations.
Verse 11 The birds of prey attack the sacred offering to God. The believer can dedicate his/her life to God, but satan, demons, human's hatred, worldly riches and lusts, sin all attack the daily life of the believer who puts his life under the control of the Holy Spirit.
Verse 12 We see that Moses only gave a brief account of the conversation with God in the verses above. It started in the evening or night and continues until the sun goes down. This means that a whole day has passed, because the birds of prey fly during the day.
A frightening great darkness overtakes him. An image of the believer who lives in the frightening world of satan and demons. The darkness of death of man.
Verses 13-14 God does not hide the future from Abram. His descendants will leave this country and be slaves for four hundred years. There they will be oppressed, but I will deliver them and bring them back to the land promised to you. This will not be a small people, but a numerous (one million?) people.
Verse 15 God continues to tell the future. Now no longer about his descendants, but about what will happen to him personally. He will die in peace (no fear of attacks by the four kings and friendly peoples) in old age. He can continue to live on without worry. His future is assured by GOD.
Verse 16 The reason for the four hundred years' stay (four generations of a hundred years) outside the Promised Land is given: the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full, that will take another four hundred years. Then God will exercise His punishment over them. The Amorites were the rightful owners of the Promised Land. However, God does not deprive them of the Promised Land to Abram until their measurement of sin has completed during this four hundred years, then God will exercise His punishment. God is slow to punishment and anger. The Amorite and man are given ample time to repentance.
From Jesus to the today, two thousand years have passed. Man has been given sufficient time to come to repentance. Today we see a tremendous increase in sin and transgressions of God's laws. The fullness of sin will reach its height in the Great Tribulation which is very near. Humanity is increasingly opting for satan and demons. When the fullness of sin is reached, God will take away human dominion over the earth. Then Jesus Christ comes back to earth to take dominion over the earth.
Verse 17 In the thick great darkness, God makes His light shine with a flaming torch the size of an smoking fire pot. Undoubtedly this has burnt the sacrifice. God's Word, the Bible is THE LIGHT in the world. The believer must let his or her light shine in this thick darkness of sinful world. It is the duty to proclaim the good news, the gospel, to the unbeliever. Still there is a chance for the unbeliever to the end.
This non-countable descendants, which has died and grown through the ages, needs a large country. The Promised Land to Abram does not cover the borders of present-day Israel. The Promised Land to Abram stretches from the river of Egypt (the Nile - So the desert of Sinai becomes the territory of Israel) to the river Euphrates, which is in present-day Iran. This is not an empty promise, it is determined by GOD. Fanatical Muslims can fight, but their battle is lost, because the God of Abram has determined otherwise.
Not only will the Amorite suffer God's punishment, including the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites,the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Canaanites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites.
Source map https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Promised_Land
Genesis 16 - Hagar flies for Sarai
Verse 1 Sarai was infertile and, in view of her age, no doubt she no longer menstruates and, humanly speaking, will not be able to give birth to a child. Now Sarai is going to respond humanly. God has given the promise that Abram will have a son, but a long time has passed. Faith and trust in God, is letting her down. Going by her own power, she seeks to fulfill the promise to Abram. And commits a serious sin, the break of marriage. God clearly established the one-to-one relationship, one man with one (his own) wife. No more women, no polygamy. When a man takes another woman, it is adultery and breaks (ends) his marriage. In spite of this, it happens at the URGE of his own wife and her consent. It is a serious sin. The heavier because God had already given the promise that they would have a son. Here are two sins: No trust in God and adultery. The violation of God's command in Genesis 2:24. The consequences, we see later in this chapter. However, today the consequences are very serious with the fanatical Muslims (the offspring from this adultery), who by force and murder is forcing people to convert to the Muslim faith.
The lesson for the believer is, God has given many promises in the Bible, perhaps even giving you a personal assignment, wait for God until He fulfills His promise. Do not try to fulfill God's promise in your own strength, that only causes misery and is destructive.
Verse 2 Sarai has a proposal for her husband Abram: Have union with our slave maid and make her pregnant. We can compare this with Eva who offered the forbidden fruit to her husband Adam. Adam did not resist the temptation, and he ate. Abram falls into the same trap, he does not resist the temptation and accepts the offer of his wife. Abram is the head of his family, he has to be the leader. Abram's mistake is very serious: HE ALSO DOES NOT RELY UPON GOD'S PROMISE.
He too commits the same two sins of his wife, not waiting for God's time and adultery.
A slave had no rights, everything of the slave was and became the property of the owner of the slave. So if a slave bore a child (even if she had her own husband), this child automatically became the property of her lord.
Abram responds to his wife's proposal. He listens to her, more than listening to God. God had clearly said in Genesis 2:24 that the man has his own wife. Not another woman besides his own wife, not multiple women. He commits the act of adultery, despite being a chosen man by God.
Verse 3 It is Sarai (her mistress), who takes her maid and gives her to husband Abram. Pay close attention to the words: she became Abram as a wife. Thus the marriage was broken and the adultery became a fact.
Verses 4-5 Sarai and Abram both receive the punishment for their serious sins: The maid despises the beloved wife of Abram. The maid hurts her owner. There is no gratitude from the maid that she has been given the honour of giving birth to a son for her lord Abram. No, she rises above her mistress daily. She despises her owner. And Abram sees how his beloved wife is despised daily.
Lesson for the believer: do not expect a blessing on work when you do it in your own strength and do not wait for God's time.
Sarai puts the blame on her husband for her offenses. She does not accept the consequences of her action, she has insisted and offered to her husband, to make her maid pregnant. Abram should have been strong and HAD TO REFUSE this offer.
Sarai makes a serious mistake by abusing God's name: May the LORD judge between you and me! She was the one who did not wait for God and did not trust God. She was the one who made the wrong offer and incited adultery and pregnancy with her maid. God had NO SINGLE PART in this matter, on the contrary it was COMPLETE against God's Will. LESSON: Be careful in your statements and actions.
Abram is seen as a man of faith and example of the Church of believers. Here we see how Abram failed and entered quarrelsome in his family. We also see conflict and disagreement within the current churches and among themselves. What sadness. And sorrow for our Lord God.
Verse 6 Abram is weak, he as the father of his future own child, says: See, your maid is in your power. The slave flees away. Abram the father does nothing, let the pregnant slave go away. The child that he and his wife expected to be the son of who God would build the posterity of Abram. Abram's hope goes into the fog, his fatherhood passes, the promise. What a serious punishment!
Sarai humiliates her maid. The maid had placed herself above her mistress. She receives her punishment. Instead of coming to repentance and obeying her place (Ephesians 6:5 Slaves, be obedient to those who are your earthly masters), she chooses to flee.
Verses 7-9 The maid Hagar was probably on her way to her own country Egypt. But before that she had to go through the desert Sur. The journey was heavy and the Angel of the Lord shows Himself in His greatness to her. And address her: Hagar, maid of Sarai. Where have you come from and where are you going? The angel points out to her that she is the property of Sarai. She has NO right to leave her place. Ephesians 6 is evident even though the believers are treated harshly and unfairly by the employer, nevertheless the believer must do his or her work as for the Lord Jesus Christ.
She replies with: I am on the run. The Angel of the Lord gives the order to return to her mistress and to be obedient to her in humility. She has to blame herself for her flying, she put herself above her mistress. It is her own fault. She knew that Abram and Sarai were chosen ones by God, yet she felt herself more than Sarai. No wonder the Angel of the Lord commands her to return and be obedient.
Verse 10 The Angel of the Lord gives a promise: Your descendants will be very numerous. Today we know that the Islamists cannot be numbered for multitude. Their number cannot be counted.
Verse 11 The Angel of the Lord gives the order to call her son by the name of Ishmael (The muslims call themselves Ishmaelite). Ishmael means "God will hear", for God had heard Hagar's supplications. Hagar probably had called to the God of Abram in the heat and cold of the desert, being pregnant. God allows much, the unbeliever can suffer from disease, hunger and thirst, incurable diseases. However, when they cry to God, God allows Himself to be found.
Verse 12 Unfortunately, it does not end here. The future is predicted. These descendants will be a wild ass, his hand will be against every man. Too well we see this with the fanatical Muslims, the wars in Afghanistan and Syria and the terrorist attacks by Muslims. Their murders and cruelty (a wild ass). He will live among all his brothers. Today the Ishmaelites live everywhere on earth. The predicted future has become truth.
Verses 13-14 The maid Hagar recognizes the God of Abram. She has seen the greatness of God in the Angel of the Lord. Who has given her assignments and has predicted the future concerning the descendants of her son.
The Angel of the Lord has met the slave at a well in the rocks or a well in the desert called Beer Lachai Roi which means "Source of the Living Who is looking after me".
Verses 15-16 Hagar is obedient to the Angel of the Lord and returns to Abram. Undoubtedly she will have told Abram and Sarai what happened in the desert of Sur and what the Angel of the Lord commanded and told her.
Undoubtedly, Abram no longer had any union with Hagar and limited to that one union to make the maid pregnant. Sin is forgiven by God, but the consequences of sin are present up to today. Let this be a serious lesson for the Christian.
Abram is 86 years old when Hagar bore the son Ishmael. Abram and Sarai had to wait another 13 years before Sarai herself would become pregnant.
Genesis 17 - God's covenant with Abram
Verse 1 The writer of Genesis, the Prophet Moses, does not tell anything about the life of Abram and Sarai after the birth of Ishmael. Probably nothing interesting. Verse 1 begins 13 years after the birth of Ishmael when God again appeared to Abram at the age of 99. It was a very long time of waiting for the fulfillment of God's promise to have a son of Sarai. Possibly Sarai and Abram resided in the son of the slave Hagar and Abram.
I am God Almighty (El Shaddai) gives the order to Abram to walk before His face and to be blameless. The same applies to the Christian, he or she has to walk blameless before God. God requires strict obedience of Abram and his descendants, including Christians, and HE does not wish any transgresses of His laws and commandments. I am El Shaddai indicates the Omnipotence, the power of the Holy Spirit to make the believer walk blamelessly. For no man without God's omnipotence is able to walk blamelessly before God.
Verse 2 God repeats His promise to Abram that He will give him a very huge offspring. It is God's covenant and initiative. Nothing that Abram can contribute to. It is God the Father, offering Salvation to the sinful man through His Son Jesus Christ. That is God's covenant and initiative. In this too, sinful man cannot contribute anything. Abram accepted God's Covenant in faith. Likewise, man has to accept God's Salvation in Jesus Christ in faith.
Verse 3 Abram throws himself on his face. This was an old custom to show reverence and worship. As today the believer kneels when he or she speaks with God in prayer and worship.
Verse 4 The translation "Behold" is unfortunate, a better translation would be "I am" the Name of God ("I am" was used when God appeared to Moses).
Abram will become the father of a multitude of nations. We can think of the two tribes, the Jews, and the ten tribes, the Israelites. But also the descendants of Ishmael. And the Christians who have been added to the descendants of Abram by faith.
Verse 5 God changes the name of Abram in Abraham. Abraham means in the Hebrew "the (divine) father is merciful". Here the name is declared as "father of a multitude of nations".
Verses 6-8 The kings David and Solomon came from the tribe of Judah. After the death of Solomon the division of the kingdoms of Judah (the two tribes) and the Israelites (the ten tribes) arose, see 1 Kings 12:1-24. Many different kings then reigned in Israel unto Babylonian exile.
It is a covenant made by God with the promise that it is an everlasting covenant. The descendants of Abraham were never exterminated, despite the many attempts with the climax of the murder of 6 million Jews in the Second World War. Today, the Jews (the two tribes) are returning to the Promised Land of Israel. The fulfilment of the prophecy in Ezekiel 36:7-9. God was and has remained the God of Abraham and to his descendants upto today.
The Israelites will also return to the Promised Land (Genesis 15:18-20) which is a much larger area than the present Israel. That will be an ever-lasting (= eternal) possession. The descendants of Ishmael, the Islamites can fight and fight to get Israel in possession. It is a senseless struggle, for they are fighting against an Almighty God who has NOT promised this land to them, but to the descendants of Isaac (Abrahams promised son).
Verse 9 God commands to keep His covenant that is to walk blamelessly before God. Not only Abraham and his wife, but anyone who is born out of them. So all Jews and Israelites, but also every believer in Jesus Christ. Not for nothing, the apostle Paul calls in Galatians 5:22 the believer to live a holy life.
Verses 10-14 An oral covenant can be denied. Therefore, a covenant was confirmed in stones, hieroglyphs or papyrus roles. Here it is an ever-covenant which is confirmed from generation to generation through circumcision. A sacrament that cannot be blotted out, and is a constant confirmation of the Covenant that God has made with Abraham's descendants.
Source: http://www.christipedia.nl The circumcision consists of removing the foreskin of the male member. With Jewish boys, this is done when they are eight days old. Scripture knows NO circumcision of a girl or woman (female circumcision). Today circumcision is not an exclusive and specifically Jewish use. It also occurred in other peoples in ancient times, for example with the Egyptians, Midianites, Ammonites and Edomites (who, however, broke with this custom in the 2nd century BC). And further with the Moabites, the Phoenicians and the Arabs. The Arabs certainly have circumcision after the occurrence of Mohammed, founder of the Islam. As with the Jews, all Muslim boys are circumcised. Well-known is the time of circumcision among Muslim boys varies from about 7 to 8 years and often also the 13th year because Ishmael was circumcised at that age. In all such cases, circumcision takes place under anesthesia in the hospital. In Jewish communities, circumcision is carried out by a specially trained mohel or moheel, who performs the operation at no cost in public, surrounded by family and acquaintances of the baby. Proven is that the eighth day is medically very favourable for circumcision. Already from the eighties of the last century scientific research on the blood coagulation factor has discovered that eight days after a birth the blood in a baby quickly solidifies and the wound heals optimally. Before and after, there is not a single day left in someone's life where the same favorable conditions for the circumcision are present. Only that eighth day after birth. in this we see the wisdom of God, our Creator, who has created and arranged everything in this way. Because at the time of circumcision, it is all about healing and heals the wound as quickly as possible. That has to do with the blood clotting factor. The platelets trombocytes ensure that the blood solidifies and in particular pro thrombin, a protein that causes the clotting of blood when the blood is exposed to the air. A newborn baby does not yet have a pro-thrombin protein and vitamin K, than what remains of the mother body. The baby body has started with the production of those indispensable substances, but the first days that content is still minimal. However, by the eighth day, the level of pro-thrombin rises very rapidly to as much as 110% of the adult level, and then falls back again. Only then is the blood clotting factor regulated by the body and continues throughout life at the level of adults. End of source.
Note: That this use occurs with the Egyptians, Midianites, Ammonites and Edomites is not surprising, they have seen this use with Abraham. The people wanted to participate in the Covenant with God. Everyone in the household of Abraham including his servants (note ONLY the male gender) were circumcised.
In Colossians 2:12-14, Paul says that through faith in Jesus Christ an end has come to circumcision. The Covenant with Abraham was what is called the Old Covenant. The covenant of the law. Jesus Christ fulfilled the law and with that came an end to this Old Covenant. The New Covenant, the Salvation is through Jesus Christ who died for sin. This is a new eternal covenant. The question arises, but the Jews and Israelites are still circumcising. Yes, because they do not believe in Jesus Christ. Remember that Jesus Christ is the ONLY WAY to Heaven. Without faith in Jesus Christ there is no access to eternal life in Heaven, that applies to everyone, including the Jew and the Israelite. From the story of Lazarus and the rich, one could deduce that circumcised Jews can also go to hell if they do not respect the covenant of God of blameless walking. The rich man only thought of himself and resigned from God's Covenant, and thereby excluded himself from the promises of God. Whether this means that Jews and Israelites who maintain God's Covenant (and thus God's laws and commandments) will receive a new life in the Promised Land (Genesis 15:18-21), I do not dare to make a statement about that, because the Bible does not stated anything clear about it.
Verse 15 Sarai with the meaning of "my princess" the letter i (my) is taken away and changes into Sarah with the meaning of "princess of a crowd".
Verse 16 God promises to Abraham that Sarah herself will bear a son. A single end to her infertility. From this son, the numerous offspring of Abraham will be born.
Verse 17 Abraham throws himself again on the ground in worship before God. God has promised him a son from Sarah. Something too wonderful for a man of 100 years old with his wife of 90 years. Faith and human thinking contradict each other. The human mind makes Abraham laugh? God understands Abraham's thought and does not punished for his laughter.
Verse 18 Abraham manifests carnal thinking and he expresses his thought before God: O that Ishmael might live in thy sight.
Verses 19-20 God rebukes his human thinking: NO, NOT Ishmael, but the son that will be born out of your wife Sarah. Furthermore, God gives the name that this son to be born will receive: Isaac. This covenant that I have made with you will continue with Isaac and his descendants. And not through Ishmael and his descendants, but his family will be numerous. Genesis 25:15-18 These are the sons of Ishmael and these are their names, by their villages and by their encampments, twelve princes according to their tribes. They dwelt from Havilah to Shur, which is opposite Egypt in the direction of Assyria. These are the countries on the Arabian Gulf, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran and Syria. This descendants of Ishmael are the greatest enemies of Israel upto today.
Verse 21 God repeats and confirms that this covenant applies to his son Isaac. God also tells that the son will be born at this season next year. God is very explicitly and clear.
Verse 22 God told Abraham the future and His covenant closed with him and gave the instructions how this covenant is confirmed through circumcision. God has spoken and returns to His dwelling place, Heaven.
Verses 23-27 Abraham is obedient and circumcises himself, the son Ishmael from his maid Hagar, and everyone in his household. We know from the Bible that this is a very painful event. Medically painful, must be under anesthesia, and can be fatal. In my opinion, this was a commission from God and Abraham had no experience with circumcision and acted in complete obedience to God, these first circumcisions must have been without serious pain and danger.
Genesis 18 - Abraham's intercession for Sodom
Verses 1-2 We already found the home of Abraham in Gen. 13:18, Abraham went to dwell by the oaks of Mamre, near Hebron, where he built an altar to the Lord. The three men arrived in the heat of the day and therefore needed food and especially drinking. From his tent, Abraham sees the men coming and he goes out of his tent to meet them. Upon their arrival, he bows to the earth. Whether this was a normal greeting, or that there was something special about the looks of these men, we do not know. In any case, Abraham shows his respect and hospitality.
Verses 3-5 There must have been something special about the appearance of these men, because Abraham asks them do not pass by your servant.
It was the custom of that time to wash passer-by their feet because of the heat and the walking in the sand of the desert.
A bit of bread was quickly prepared and did not give too much work to the host. It was in the eyes of Abraham, God's guidance that they were sent to him to receive water and bread. He reacts with hospitality and to provide in their needs. Let the believer be aware when God brings someone, a brother or sister in faith or an unbeliever, on your way to meet his or her needs. This can be food, clothing or care (support in medical expenses or whatever).
Verses 6-8 See how well the household of Abraham is organized. He rushes back to his tent and gives orders to Sarah to prepare the bread. Sarah as a woman was not allowed to leave her tent to meet men. Abraham takes a calf. He gives the order to his servants to prepare it. Note the addition a calf tender and good. Not just a calf, but excellent in quality. Undoubtedly, Abraham would not have prepared this for every person who passed his tent. He would be left with cattle.
The three people eat. Some claim that angels cannot eat human food. First, we can ask ourselves, who were these three persons? God the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit? Or were they really sent angels? So why would not angels eat? Jesus Christ ate AFTER HIS RESURRECTION with His Heavenly Body, which has flesh and bones, and ate a baked fish (Luke 24:39-43). In my opinion, believers in Heaven will be able to eat with their new Heavenly body. Why should we not enjoy tasty food in Heaven?
Verses 9-10 Sara knows her place, did not leave the tent and did not appear to the men. The three men ask for Sarah. Abraham answers with: She is in the tent. The tent that was behind him: So the men had not entered into the tent, but stayed in front of the tent.
One of the three men spoke. God is a Trinity. But it was Jesus who came to earth as a man (human body). We often see Jesus as the ANGEL who appears to man in the Old Testament. He is the spokesman. Here one speaks of the three men. The earlier promise to Abraham (in which Sarah was NOT present) is repeated: Within a year, at this time Sarah will have a son. The speaker knows that Sarah is listening from the tent. The visit will be repeated in a year and at that time Sara will have her own son and become a mother.
Verses 11-14 Sarah no longer menstruated and that is why it was too strange for her to become pregnant herself. That is why it is not surprising that she laughed. Undoubtedly she and her husband still had sexual intercourse, but as usual after the menopause no pregnancy is possible in a normal way. Three months later, from the sexual intercourse, Sarah would conceive and give birth to her son nine months later. The woman who was barren. It is God's work because it remained with this one-time pregnancy.
The Lord observes the laughter of Sarah. We do not know whether she laughed aloud so that it sounded outside the tent. In any case, the Lord blames Sarah's laughter. The laughter of Abraham in 17:17 is, according to Calvin, a laugh of joy, while here by Sarah it is a laughter of disbelief. She sees her own impossibility and not the promise that God gives. She does NOT believe in the words that God speaks and His promise. She looks at her human situation and does not look at the Power of God.
The Lord asks Abraham as head of the family: Why does Sarah laugh and will I really give birth while I am old? Abraham is held responsible for the unbelief of his wife. The Lord says: Is anything too hard for the LORD? Or would My Force be too small to bring this about? Let this be a lesson for the believer. God here speaks a serious reproach to the address of Sarah. Sarah had never seen the Power of God except from Pharaoh's deliverance. The believer knows the many Forces of God from the Old and New Testaments. So the believer KNOWS that God is Almighty. Nevertheless, we see unbelief with the priest Zacharias (Luke 1: 8-24). Were the many disappointments the result of his unbelief? We do not know, in any case Zacharias was also punished.
Verse 15 Sarah hears the words of the Angel: Is anything too hard for the LORD? Probably Sarah came to realize that she denied the power of God. Instead of a confession and acknowledgment, she denies that she laughed, for fear of punishment by the Angel (for she was afraid). It is better to confess guilt than to commit a second sin of denial. The Angel answers with a simple: NO, but you did laugh. And fortunately for Sarah it remains thereby and there is no punishment like the priest Zacharias with a silence of nine months. Sarah will become the mother of a large number of people.
For the believer's lesson, be careful with your words. Your statements and attitude can be a natural reaction, but then correct your wrong reaction.
Verse 16 Abraham goes with them to set them on their way. Unknown is what this means. A walk with them over a certain distance?
Verse 17 God consults with Himself. Here we see that God is thinking about the things that He is going to do. And they are not ill-considered actions. God has given the joyful message to Abraham that he will have his own son in a year. Now God is thinking that He will tell the sad message to him that He is going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah with all its inhabitants. God decides He does not hide it from him.
Sometimes the believer or prophet receives happy messages, but also sad news about the future. God tests the believer's response. If God decides to punish a country because of their gross sin and violation of God's commandments. What is the reaction? Do the people persevere in their sin or does it go to repentance and prayer for forgiveness so that God the plan of evil can roll back? If a believer receives the prophecy that his or her illness is terminal, the believer will reside in it or the believer converts of the sinful course of life (if that is the case) and pray for forgiveness (James 5:14-16)?
Verse 18 God does not hide it from Abraham because he is going to become a great and mighty nation. The Church of Jesus Christ is going to be a great nation. God has clearly stated in the four Gospels that sinful man must repent of his or her sinful walk and accept the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour in order to enter Heaven. If not, then an eternal separation from God awaits in the lake of fire. In Revelation, it is clearly described the disasters and punishments God is going to pour out on earth in the Great Tribulation, which time will soon come. It is the duty of all believers to warn the disbelievers because of what they are awaiting. It is the job of each individual believer to pray against the powers of darkness (satan and demons), the evil and transgressions of God's laws and commandments by rural governments (marriages of equal sexes, allowing sex with children and animals, sex before marriage, abortion, euthanasia, etc.). We see very clearly that the time of Sodom and Gomorrah is repeating itself, and therefore the coming of the Great Tribulation is near. Still, believers have the time to pray against evil, as in Brazil to pray that the workers' party will not come to power, which make pacts with the Iran and Palestinians who do not shun violence. The prayer that Hilary did not come to power but Donald Trump was interrogated. He has moved the embassy to Jerusalem and acknowledges that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. That is the job of the Church of Christ!
Verse 19 God had given the instruction that Abraham's children (including his servants (who were circumcised and included in the Covenant with God) and maidservants) would keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice. For the believer to walk impeccably and without blemish and wrinkle. It was the task of Abraham to teach his children and household in the laws and commandments of God. It is the job of every Christian parent to teach the Bible to his/her children. It is the duty of every pastor to teach and explain the Bible. How miserably the most fail, and there is little knowledge available. Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. God clearly shows Abraham the consequences of negligence, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. The lesson of the five foolish virgins is clear, not all believers will go to Heaven at the Rapture of Christ.
Verse 21 The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah has come to Heaven (the outcry which has come to me). Should we interpret this that the angels of God brought the sins committed in these cities to God's throne? Here in verse 21 God says that "I will go down to see". God is righteous, He does not rely on the words of His servants, His angels. His decision is to destroy if those sins are true. But then on base that God has convinced Himself that the mentioned sins are true. God descends from Heaven to the earth: "I will know".
For the pastor and elders the lesson, one cannot accept evil talk as truth. They have to convince themselves whether the appointed sin (for example of adultery, gossip) is indeed true before proceeding to discipline and punishment.
Verse 22 The men have spoken so that Abraham can return home. Abraham takes boldly stand before God and prevents God from continuing His way to the cities.
Abraham had saved his nephew Lot and family (Genesis 14) and they had chosen to live in Sodom. Now would God put an end to their lives, that could not be possible? But no doubt he thought about the many who lived in these cities. Many who would finally find death. How is the believer moved with the fate of the billions that live on earth today? We see the enormous evil and open expressions of people completely in the power of satan and demons (Men who dress like women, women naked in protests, macumbe, tattoo, piercing, conscious or unconscious worship of demons). Do the believers intercede, do we openly speak against evil, do pastors dare openly call sin by name in the church? Do the believers dare to stand before God to reverse evil?
Verse 23 Abraham steps further and tries to make God change his mind with arguments: Will You destroy the righteous with the wicked? Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? It can not be that the righteous die with the wicked?
We see God's justice back in the Rapture of Christ. The believer who lives righteously under the control of the Holy Spirit will be taken away from the earth before the Great Tribulation begins. The believer who does NOT live righteously will experience the judgments of God with the wicked. Though he or she will have a second chance to accept the sign 666 and to choose satan, or to refuse the sign 666 and to choose God.
Verses 24-25 Abraham thinks of the very many inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, there must be at least 50 righteous people. So he makes an attempt to move God by if there are 50 righteous people, please save these cities. You are, after all, a righteous Judge. No earthly judge who can be deceived, be mistaken, who is bribed, is prejudiced, hates hate. You are the judge who will judge the whole of humanity.
Verses 26-32 Abraham shows boldness and firmness. I am only dust and ashes, forgive me for taking boldness to speak to You. Abraham may have heard from his nephew Lot how bad and sinful the inhabitants of Sodom are. He goes to doubt and to consult by himself, perhaps there are not forty-five, not forty, not thirty, not twenty, not ten. He speaks six times and appeals to God not to become angry with him. Six is the number of man. Some say that if he had asked seven times, the cities may have been spared. I doubt that, because the next number would be: five. Lot and his wife and both daughters were only four. And four is less than five, so the cities would not have been spared.
The believer can learn a lesson from this compassion and firmness before God. The believer must endure in prayer and show compassion until he or she has obtained what he or she asked for, and not immediately accepting a NO from God. God tolerated the questions of Abraham, God wished to see the firmness and compassion in him, but also in the believer.
Ezekiel 16:48-49 is another lesson. The Jewish people are banished and severely punished, they have committed heavier sins than Sodom. How does it come along by man? Here we find the answer. Satan is cunning, it starts with pride, surfeit of food, and prosperous ease. Without supporting aid to the poor and needy. This gave an opening to satan. It started with "small" violations of God's commandments, followed by selfishness. Once Satan had a foot at the door, the sin of free sex and with the same sex began. Today we see the same thing again. First the governments no longer respect God's commandments, and now the law permist marriage of the same sex and (are talking about) to allow sex with animals and children (pedophilia is no longer punishable). The churches must express their disgust and defend God's laws. God loves every man, but He has forbidden the sexual intercourse between persons of the same sex and the adultery of heterosexuals. In Canada and Sweden, the believer is no longer allowed to speak openly, not even in church, severe prison sentences are the result. The believer must pray that God the unbeliever, but also the believer, opens their eyes to evil and we seeing, are blind.
Verse 33 Abraham has pronounced his appeal on God. After God had patiently heard Abraham until he had finished speaking, God persecuted His way to the cities. And Abraham returns to his tent. Relying on God that He will act justly.
Genesis 19 - Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
Verses 1-2 Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom, possibly waiting for the return of his shepherds who took care of his flock. Again we see that Lot recognizes the particularity of these two persons, possibly through their outer beauty, and Lot sees them as two angels. But Lot knows what kind of uncleanness lives in his city and about the sexual intercourse with the same sex. Lot stands up and meets them, bows down and invites the two to spend the night in his house. But they answer: NO, we will spend the night in the street. Normally it was safe to stay overnight in the street, the gates were closed at night against wild animals and thieves. Their answer makes Lot think again about his choice of living in a city full of aversion to God, violations of God's laws. A city full of uncleanness. But it is the very deliberate choice of Lot to live under these conditions. Nothing forced him to do so.
Lesson: The believer has a complete free choice. The place where he lives. Example in Sweden parents are forced to have their children in school teaching no distinction between boys and girls (genero). That is why Christian parents leave this country and live in a country where God's laws are still respected. What does the believer watch at television? To programs full of uncleanness, two persons of the same sex kissing each other on the mouth, novels full of adultery, programs with unclean language, programs full of people who walk around half naked and clearly showing their bodies full of tattoos? Not surprisingly in that case, when you are no longer full of the Holy Spirit. In everything that a Christian does and goes, one has to ask, is this where I would invite God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ to accompany me? Would they look at these programs? God leaves you the free choice, but your choice has consequences for your relationship with God.
Verse 3 Lot strongly insists on them. He is very aware that it is impossible to sleep in the street. He KNOWS the wickedness of the inhabitants. He KNOWS what will happen (verse 5) if the two persons stay on the street. It is clear that the angels are in the form of two men and not in the form of two women (verse 5 men).
Lot is hospitable and prepared a meal and they ate. The angels ate like ordinary people. Remember that man is created in God's image, so when man is created in God's image, we can assume that God can eat food. We leave aside if this is a necessity.
Verses 4-5 All inhabitants from young to old have seen the beauty of these two men and moved in passion to the house of Lot. The badness of the old (parents give the example to their children) has passed on to their children. The young also want sexual intercourse with these two beautiful men. All conscience is completely disabled. The parents have completely abandoned God and their example has been transferred to their children.
As a Christian parent, it is not enough to teach Bibles, to have the children read the Bible, to send them to Sunday school. Your children should see the Christian life in your daily life. How you as a parent respect God's laws. Give your tithe. Respect your neighbour. Respect the traffic rules. In short, everything you do and go, your children recognize the Lord Jesus in you.
The inhabitants show an open rejection to have sexual intercourse with the two daughters, the intercourse with the other (female) gender. They wish sexual intercourse with the SAME sex. The inhabitants are very clear in their request, without any shame and openly: "Bring them out, THAT WE HAVE INTERCOURSE WITH THEM (may know them)." It is a sexual intercourse, is clear from verse 7. No wrong translation, the Bible is very clear. God loves the homosexual, but sexual intercourse with the same sex hates God, this is forbidden by HIM. And in this chapter, we clearly see God's punishment.
Let this be a clear lesson, this is a second degree sin that has directly to do with the human body. God can temporarily tolerate sin, as in the case of Sodom and Gomorrah, but ultimately if man does not repent of his or her sin, the punishment of God follows. Believers who think they can go their way, they deceive themselves. Adultery, pornography, pedophilia, tattoo, abortion, etc. are directly related to the human body, and such persons are denied the access to the Kingdom of God. Why? They have excluded themselves, they have cancelled out their faith in Jesus Christ through their sins. Be warned, those who practice these serious sins!
Verses 6-8 Lot has the courage and goes outside. And he is wise enough to close his door so that the inhabitants cannot enter his house (from behind him). He tries to bring the inhabitants to other thoughts. I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. Lot knows that these inhabitants go against the will of God. That having sexual intercourse with the same sex, is evil in God's eyes. He offers an alternative, deflower and have sexual intercourse with my two virgin daughters. How can you as a father? He knows how mere and violent these men are, nevertheless he has no trouble letting his own daughters experience this terrible violence and suffering. How far has he sunk with his free choice to continue living in this city? Exchange one evil with another evil.
For the believer the lesson, do you stay in the place of violence? In the drug district, where gang leaders demand your virgin daughter to deflower her? To commit drugs and theft, to carry drugs (also to other countries). Or do you trust in God that He helps you when you move to another place where people respect God's laws?
Verse 9 The inhabitants order him go away, who do you think you are. You who have come to live here as a stranger, do you wish to play judge? We give the orders, you have nothing to look for here. Do you want us to prescribe the law? This clearly shows that their conscience is completely dead, they have fully come into the power of satan and demons. Nothing can save them anymore. God has given them a time of repentance, but the size is full, nothing can bring them more to repentance, they leave God no choice but to destroy them.
How dangerous are governments working when they do not respect God's laws and yes approves laws which God has forbidden!
They have signed their demise, the consequences we see (economic). Yet there is still hope, people have chosen for Donald Trump, the Americans have prayed and chosen. They want to repent, although in some states one perseveres in their evil. In Brazil people have repented and the Christians have prayed and called to turn around in mass. They have chosen a new president who openly honours God. Who is against abortion, who is for Israel and against the attacks of the Palestinians. God gives man and a country the opportunity to repent. If not, the consequences are for their account.
The residents of Sodom confirm their wickedness, they do not wish to have intercourse with his virgin daughters but with the men. God's last chance to repent is rejected, they want to have intercourse with the men. God gave a last chance to repentance, this is rejected here. How often does God not give the unbeliever (or believer) the chance to repent, the time in serious (deadly) illness or difficulties. The choice is yours.
Verses 10-11 The men, the angels, draw Lot in before he can be killed and the inhabitants break open his door. The angels use their power and strike the people at the door of Lot with blindness, so that they can no longer find the door of Lot's house.
How is that not applicable to current society. People persevere is their sins, abandon God's laws and God strikes them with blindness and delivers them to the power of satan and demons. In their blindness, gay marriage is possible, abortion is allowed, criminals are acquitted and there is no right for the victims. The UN is for the Palestinians, despite the terrorist attacks, the war in Syria, killing more people than in the wars they have fought with Israel. The UN condemns Israel, but not the attacks by the Palestinians. How blind is the world.
Verses 12-13 God leaves no ambiguity about it, the men tell Lot they are going to destroy the city. They ask Lot Have you any one else here? Sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or any one you have in the city? An unnecessary question because as angels they know the answer. But it determines the question with Lot. Strangely enough none of his servants and maidservants in the service of Lot are religious. That proves how Lot has mixed with evil.
The men tell clearly to Lot: The Lord has sent us to destruction of this place. Not they themselves have decided to this action, it is the COMMAND of the Lord God Himself.
We see that the angels of God have two tasks: the salvation of believers, the destruction of the place. Good and evil, both the execution of GOD'S WILL.Lot is offered an opportunity to save others: or any one you have in the city. It is the believer's job to Sermon the gospel and to give unbelievers the opportunity to be saved.
Verse 14 Lot goes and talks to his sons-in-law. For me it is unlikely that the sons-in-law lived with him in the house. So under the protection of the angels and blindness of the inhabitants Lot goes to the houses of his sons-in-law. The men who would marry his daughters. Possibly Lot still had hope because although the inhabitants did not respect God's laws, these two sons-in-law respected to have NO sexual intercourse before marriage. Let that be a lesson for the believers who now have sex before marriage!
How foolish were these sons-in-law, but so also the infidels today. They do not believe in the existence of a God, life after death. A God who judges and punishes, in the existence of a hell and lake of fire. Completely blind and in the power of satan and demons, even worse in adoration of demons and consciously doing evil. Kill someone just for a mobile phone. Kill someone cold-blooded even after the thief has received what he asked for. The thief has turned into a cold-blooded killer who even kills pregnant women and kills the mother in front of her children. The more the end of the world approaches and the judgment of God, the more abominable the actions of man. Satan and demons are trying with all their power to destroy mankind, knowing that their power is coming to an end.
How wrong was Lot in allowing courtship of his daughters with unbelieving men. Lot tells that God is going to destroy the city. It is a desperate attempt. Lot KNOWS that the sons-in-law did not believe in God, but he makes a final attempt. Is the believer also so persevering that he or she endeavours to the last to repel the unbeliever, or is given up? This lesson also applies to me, even after someone with incurable and deadly disease, persists not to come to faith, not to accept Jesus Christ as Saviour. Yes, they no longer wish to hear about the gospel. How do we deal with that?
The sons-in-law see Lot as a ridiculous person, a foolish person. How is the believer not a ridiculous and foolish person in the eyes of an unbeliever, even when the death of the unbeliever is announced. Nevertheless, the believer has the task of warning (Ezekiel 3:17-19). After death, the unbeliever would not be able to say: I have not known, I have not been warned. The task of warning rests on every individual believer.
Verses 15-17 A night passed. It is possible that Lot had a long conversation in every house of his son-in-law. It has become dawn. Lot is back in his own house. The angels urge Lot to take his wife and two daughters. When he did not want to listen to these words of the angels, they took them by the hand and set them outside the city. And ordered: flee to the hills for your life. God wants to spare the lives of these four people. But with a commandment: DO NOT LOOK BACK. Lot had looked at the wealth which the country offered him, now he had to leave everything behind, his house's belongings, flee naked for his life. Lot had looked at the wealth despite all the sins the residents did. Now he had to leave everything behind and flee to stay alive. How some believers do not look at the wealth which the world has to offer them. And live in the world and forget to live under the control of the Holy Spirit. Their fate is equal to that of the five foolish virgins or in the favour of 1 Corinthians 3:15 saved as through the fire. God DOES NOT ALLOW TO BE MOCKED WITH HIM.
Verses 18-20 Lot does not agree and asks for mercy. Possibly the distance to the hills was too great and Lot was afraid that they would not reach the hills in time. He makes the request to be able to flee to a city near. Or was it that Lot did not want to live in the hills but sought to live in a city, which offered more possibilities?
Verses 21-23 The angel grants his request, not because it pleases him, but only for the sake of Lot. In verse 30 we see that Lot realized his foolish request and went up out of the city of Soar. Then he goes to the hills, which the angels had commanded him.
The angel accepts the request, but with the command to hurry. Lot, his wife and two daughters left Sodom at dawn and arrived in Zoar when the sun had risen on the earth.
Since the angels not only had the command of God to destroy the place, but also to save Lot and his family, the angel informs that he can do nothing until Lot and his family are safe. Thereafter the destruction of the cities and valley will start. This is proof that God cannot do any harm before saving the sincere believers. This means that the believers who live under the control of the Holy Spirit and the Will of God are preserved before the Great Tribulation. Before the Rapture of Christ will take place and they will be saved.
Verses 24-25 The destruction by sulphur and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah is a judgment of God. Not by an accidental earthquake, it is God's punishment that happens. No man can survive sulphur. A mixture of sulphur, coal and tar is extremely flammable. Sulphur dioxide is highly toxic and we see the many die at a volcanic eruption with its sulphur. That is why Lot and his family had to flee to the hills in order not to be poisoned by the sulphur. This is not a volcanic eruption because there are no volcanoes present in this area. Clearly this is the work of God through these two angels. Nothing survives, no human, no animal, and no crop. It is a thoroughly destruction. What a picture of the lake of fire, where the unbelieving man lives forever under gnashing of teeth.
Verse 26 The rain of sulphur and fire must have made a huge noise. See the disobedience of Lot's wife. She is stubborn, not afraid of what the angel said in verse 17. She has been warned, yet she looks back. The writer Moses gives no reason why she looks back.
Verses 27-29 In the early morning, Abraham gets up and goes to where the angels announced the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. He may have wanted to know if 10 righteous people were present to stop the destruction. Now he sees with his own eyes the smoke that rises from the sulphur and fire, unfortunately there were insufficient justifications present. We cannot possibly imagine what was going through Abraham, but God did, in verse 29 God remembers Abraham.
Verse 30 Lot fled to the small town of Zoar, but probably the inhabitants practiced the same sins as those in Sodom, for fear Lot leaves this city and is now finally obedient and settles with his family in a cave. How much does Lot receive his punishment living the sinful Sodom and continue to dwell. He sought wealth in the world. Now everything has been taken away from him. His wealth, his servants and maidservants, his cattle, his house, even his wife has turned into a salt pillar. Lot left with nothing, only his two daughters. Whether Lot went to Abraham and asked for help and some cattle to survive, the Bible does not mention. But in the following verses, it becomes abundantly clear that Lot has NOT learned his lesson. Where the wine comes from, does the Bible not mention, was Lot able to plant a vineyard in the hills?
Verses 31-32 The eldest daughter, the firstborn, takes the initiative. Here we see, how strong desire is for the Hebrews to have children and to continue the name of the generation. They have seen God's punishment for sin through the destruction of Sodom. In spite of this, she does not shy away from committing incest and also encouraging her younger sister to do so. Her uncle Abraham has no children with whom they could marry. They were engaged? (Sons-in-law) with men from Sodom. Already very serious sins. They had learned the lesson, they were not looking for a man from the little city where they had previously stayed. They did not accept to die childless, and so they seized the only possibility: the seed of their father and commit incest.
The eldest daughter knows that her father loves wine. The great sin of Lot, no lesson learned from Sodom. Lot drank until drunkenness so that he lost all awareness of his actions. The eldest daughter will use this. Getting pregnant through sexual intercourse when her father when he is no longer aware of what he is doing.
Verses 33-35 How aware and knowledge these daughters of sexual life have. Conscious of the EXACT time to get pregnant. At that time, no tools were available to determine the day of conception. They had that knowledge. How synchronously the menstruation and time of fertility are between the two daughters. First the oldest daughter and the next day already the younger sister.
Lot loves wine and is richly served by his two daughters of wine until completely drunken and unaware. First, the eldest daughter has sexual intercourse with her father. Remember she was a virgin (19:8), so she deflowed herself and she had the knowledge to bring her drunken father to an ejaculation. The same thing happened the next day with the younger sister. A perfect planning, but also a very conscious sin. No respect for God, the desire for children is stronger than respect for God's commandments.
We see the horrible consequences in verses 37 and 38.
How is the Christian? Is the desire for an eagerness stronger than awe of God's commandments and does not shrink from a gross sin?
Verses 36-38 The sexual intercourse and their knowledge of the fertility day is successful. Both become pregnant. How their father and their uncle Abraham responded, is not mention in the Bible. Undoubtedly Abraham will have been very upset and sad after this knowledge.
How important is it that Christian parents teach their sons and daughters God's commandments. No sex before marriage. Or is there no problem when the unmarried daughter comes home with: "I am pregnant" or the unmarried son says: "I have made my girlfriend pregnant"? And worse if no marriage is concluded after that. Often these marriages end in divorce because of the lack of respect, selfishness, lust and lack of self-control. And the (unwanted) child is the victim and pays the price.
The eldest daughter gives birth to Moab, the father of the Moabites. The younger sister gives birth to Ben-ammi, the father of the Ammonites. These two progenies and the nations that came out of them will become the worst enemies of the Israelites. Servants of idols, who deceive the Israelites into idolatry, resulting in the punishment of God and expulsion from the Promised Land.
The consequence that Abraham did not leave his nephew Lot in Ur and took against God's command to the Promised Land, had serious consequences.
Conscious sinning has serious consequences, the consequences of which often cannot be overseen. Even after possible consciously committed sin is confessed, God does NOT take away the consequences. He forgives after confession, but the consequences remain for man. An example a girl has intercourse before marriage, but the engagement breaks. She marries another man, she and this man will have to accept that she does not marry as a virgin. Many are the stories of trauma and guilt after an abortion. These are just simple examples. Be aware before you commit a conscious sin and go against God's commandments and will. Consequences remain for you!
Genesis 20 - Abram in Negeb
Verse 1 The Bible gives no reason why Abraham goes to Negeb, possibly because of the smell of sulphur spreading over the wide circumference of Sodom and Gomorrah. As is the case after a volcanic eruption, the environment becomes uninhabitable for a long time. Abraham and his wife, with his servants and maids, go to a new area Gerar, where he will live under a new king Abimelech. Now possibly a definitive separation between him and Lot, who went to live in the hills.
Verse 2 Just like in Egypt, the king's eye falls on the beauty of Sarah. It must have been extraordinary, because Sarah is already 90 years old. See how little trust and faith Abraham has. The angels have informed Abraham that in a year, Sarah will have given birth to their son. How is it possible that Abraham has no faith and lets his wife say: I am a sister of Abraham. Knowing that Abimelek's intention is to have sexual intercourse with his wife. A conscious allowance of adultery and absolutely no trust in His God. He has not learned the lesson from Egypt. Then God punished the king Pharaoh. What has inspired Abraham? To allow sexual intercourse with another man, while he was promised, that his own wife would become pregnant from him. A very gross and serious sin.
Sarah lived with Abimelech for a long time, for in verse 18 we read that Abimelech's house had become barren. Every mother's womb was closed.
Verses 3-4 Abimelech had become aware that the women in his house became no longer pregnant. Had he called to his gods for an explanation? God is righteous. God does not tolerate adultery. But beware, verse 4 says Abimelech has not had sexual intercourse with Sarah. Yet God says in a dream: You are a dead man, because his house had become infertile. Because you took the wife of your neighbour. Already the desiring things of your neighbour, is the breaking of the tenth commandment of the Ten Commandments, was enough for God's punishment. It is clear that God does not think frivolously about adultery.
Abimelech rejects the accusation. And appeals to God, will you punish an entire nation for my personal sin? Possibly he had heard about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. But he also appeals to his innocence in verse 5. God threatens with a declaration of you are a dead man. God gives a warning. God does not tolerate (sexual) lust and desire. Jesus is saying it clearly in Matthew 5:27-28 You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Wishing is already sufficient. The wish is already a sin for God. The wish can lead to action. The deed is then a conscious sin. So already with the wish, sin has to be confessed and asked to be taken away. As a believer, let us not think lightly about our thoughts and desires. In particular, desiring things of our neighbour. That also extends to jealousy of what the other has. Wealth, health, a nice car, have a good job.
Satan deceit Eve with a half truth. Here Abimelech is deceived by the half truths of Abraham and Sarah. As a believer, be mindful of these false truths, which are deceitful of satan.
Verse 5 Abimelech rejects the accusation. He relies on the fact that Abraham said: She is my sister. Abraham, as head of the family, lied. See how in verse 12 he tries to justify himself. But Sarah is not innocent either, she had confirmed her husband's lie. Abimelech rejects his debt on the basis of these two statements. Think what the Bible says: On the basis of two statements, the matter will be settled. So is God unrighteous in His accusation? No, the answer follows in verse 6. But the desire is already the basis.
Verse 6 Pay close attention to the words of God: Yes, I know. I know that you have acted in the integrity of your heart. He acted through deception of Abraham and Sarah. How cunning is not satan. Bibles in the waiting room of acupuncture, magnetizer, Pilate and yoga. How are believers not misled? But for the believer who lives under the control of the Holy Spirit, it is the Spirit who warns. It is up to the believer to listen to the voice of the Spirit. Then the choice is upto the believer.
God says in the dream: I have kept you from sinning. Abimelech had not sinned yet through intercourse with Sarah. I have prevented you from having sexual intercourse with her. Pay attention to the importance of these. This statement is important. It cannot be said that Sara would have become pregnant from Abimelech.
Although the answer of Abimelech is true, he does not go freely in the eyes of God. The world can acquit him. God points to his covetousness and in verse 14 the payment of the penalty.
Verse 7 God gives the command: Restore the woman to her husband, that you may stay alive. If not, surely you will die with all that are yours. Abraham will pray for you.
James 5:14-16 Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects.
Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God. Resist God's warning, persevere in sin, then death follows, as announced by Abimelech. No natural death, but a spiritual death. Whether this means that one then becomes one of the five foolish virgins, God knows. In that case, the believer stays behind on earth at the Rapture of Christ. One must take God's warnings seriously. God does not tolerate sin. Every unconfessed sin and especially the conscious sin in life has serious consequences. Unfortunately, I do not hear much about this in the church. It is to win souls. But how to live as a Christian, you do not hear much. Often a clear sermon about life under the control of the Holy Spirit is lacking. The sermon to live a holy life in the honour of God.
Verse 8 Abimelech takes God's warning seriously. Immediately after the dream in the night, he immediately goes into action in the morning. He does not delay, no waiting. But see the attitude of him. No action in secret. No sending of Sarah to Abraham. NO, he calls all his servants and brings everything to their knowledge. The result: the servants are very afraid. Possibly with the thoughts of Sodom and Gomorrah. God warns and threatens death. Nineveh was threatened with death by God. The inhabitants of Nineveh took the message seriously, and received salvation. The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah, the sin of man, are clear. It is up to man to take these warnings seriously and to repent. If one rejects God's warning, eternal death will follow in the lake of fire.
Abimelech did not keep the warning for himself. Also the believer and the church should not keep the warning of God for themselves. The believer can testify personally, proclaim the gospel. If one feels incompetent, one can contribute by handing out Bible tracts and Bibles. Financial support to gospel campaign and mission. Support through aid to evangelical children's homes and social projects.
Likewise, the churches and all believers have the duty to give a warning to their government when they no longer respect God's laws. It is their duty to let the voice of God be heard. This can be done by protesting marches. By proclamation on television and internet. And teaching of the churches to their church members.
Verse 9 Abimelech calls Abraham to account. What have you done to us? You have brought on me and my kingdom a GREAT sin. Abimelech does not shift guilt, but points to the actions of Abraham and the consequences of Abraham's actions.
After death, in Heaven EVERY man will be called to account for his or her actions on earth. 1 Cor. 3:11-17 The wages for the works of the believer. 2 Cor. 5:10 For we (believers) must appear ALL before the judgment seat of Christ. Revelation 20:11-15 And I saw the dead (unbelievers) standing before God's throne .... and if any one's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
God is not unclear. God warns. Most people in this world have access to internet and television. There is plenty to find on the internet, free Bibles and Bible commentaries. Although giving some false explanations, so be warned. Television with gospel proclamation. Man can no longer state "I did not know". The access to God's Word is free.
Verse 10 Abimelech asks Abraham: What were you thinking of when you told me half the truth. He gives Abraham a fair chance to defend himself.
Are we willing to listen to the defence of a brother or sister in the Lord? Or do we immediately go to condemnation and punishment? Be careful when you see someone sinning (in your eyes) and accusing him or her. Give a fair chance to hear the person what he or she has to say in defence.
Verses 11-12 Abraham defends himself with: Possibly there was no fear of God among your inhabitants. This proves that he had no knowledge of the place (Gerar) where he was going to live. He accuses, without knowledge, that possibly that the king and his inhabitants would kill him for his wife. What an accusation! What base he had?
But also testified that he did not trust his God. For His protection against a possible evil of the inhabitants. Yes, much worse, despite the promise of God that they would have their own child in a year. Let this be a serious lesson for the believer. The believer is called to proclaim God's laws and the gospel. Unfortunately, as in Canada, that can mean imprisonment, but also Sermones the gospel in prison. The believer SHOULD SPEAK THE TRUTH! Do not give in to fear, motivated by satan.
Abraham recalls himself, she is really my sister, that is to say his half-sister. But that does not justify. Abraham knew the intention of the king, the intercourse with his wife. He knew that this missing information would lead to adultery of the king. He KNEW that God would not tolerate this, given his experience in Egypt with Pharaoh. It is a sinful excuse. He sinned by consciously saying: she is my sister and thereby concealing she is my wife.
Verse 13 See here how conscious is the sin of Abraham. At the departure from Ur, Abraham as head of the family, already the conscious sin. Say in every place, He is my brother. The complete denial of his marriage. Is not the marriage at the town hall and in the church a PUBLIC proclamation, hands off, we are married. She is my wife, I am her husband. Absolutely no trust in his God, who led him from Ur to the Promised Land. No confidence in the protection of his God. Both in Egypt and here, God had to intervene personally to prevent the act of adultery. An act that would lead to the destruction of an entire nation through the conscious sin of Abraham. It is God Himself Who has to intervene to keep "innocent". Not completely innocent, because the kings was overthrow by lust.
What is the situation with the believer? Is his or her fear greater for any consequences than trust in God? The fear of the punishment of their government, fear of the violence of unbelievers, possibly death? Unbelievers can injure or kill the believer. But death leads to an immediate life in Paradise and at the Rapture of Christ to a life in Heaven. Some believers are heavily tested with persecutions in their country. But Jesus did not acquit and told us what might be waiting for us.
Abraham also gives another explanation: It is God Who lets me wander around. Departure from Ur, no permanent residence in the Promised Land, to Egypt, now with you. Time and again fear of what the residents might do to me, my wife, my servants and cattle. The believer also lives in the world of satan and demons. Does not live in Heaven yet. Pastors and missionaries are sent from place to place. But trust in God must be paramount. The Lord Jesus Christ has overcome satan and demons, He is more powerful.
Verses 14-15 Pharaoh had commanded Abraham to leave his land together with the wealth that Pharaoh gave him. Abimelech gives livestock, male and female slaves to Abraham. And he may dwell with these gifts in the land of the king. Although Abimelech was to blame for lust, but not for adultery, he still gives. He restored his wife to him. No sin of adultery is committed. Abimelech feels sorry for Abraham for his many wanderings and let him live in his country. Abimelech has heard the words of God in verse 7, he is a prophet. Pharaoh feared God and expelled Abraham from Egypt. Abimelech has heard the warning from God, no fear but gratitude for the warning. In gratitude he pays many gifts and lets Abraham live in his land.
Verse 16 This verse is difficult to explain. What was the reason that Abimeleek gave a thousand pieces of silver. A recognition and penance for his lust?
No explanation for what the writer Moses meant by "it is your vindication in the eyes of all". Why a gift to Abraham. It was Sarah who lived with Abimelech with fear of sexual intercourse with him? She was the one who had suffered, the rejection of her husband that she had married to him.
Verse 17 It is the job of Abraham to intercede for the house of Abimelech. Healing is given to his prayer.
We see this in the millions of prayers of the believers in America and Brazil. God answers with presidents who have respect for God. The embassy has been relocated to Jerusalem and thus proclaiming to the world: Israel is God's people. Israel is their state with Jerusalem as its capital. It is high time that believers openly confess the Lord Jesus Christ. The need for a defence of God's laws. The need for a life under the control of the Holy Spirit.
Verse 18 A final explanation is given: The LORD had closed all the wombs of the house (the kingdom?) of Abimelech. God warns about unconscious sins. God punishes conscious sins. A nation that consciously violates God's laws and adopts laws that God has forbidden, will experience the consequences. Nations that consciously reject the state of Israel will remain without God's blessing. Think of poverty, economic crises. But that can also relate to the personal life of the Christian.