Now the LORD said to Abram,"Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. Genesis 12:1
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and that the Lord will bless us in our study of His Word in 2013. There is nothing that we we can do that is more important than studying God's Word. In fact, I would say that the value that you place on your relationship with God is in correspondence with your study of the Word of God. No study or little study, no relationship, finding that the study of His Word is vital to you, a relationship.
You cant study the Word for long without realizing that many of our own pre-concept of God are incorrect and even dangerous, because they are not based on the God who reveals Himself in His Word. That pre-conceived idea of who we think God is if it is not based on the Word, it is believing in a false God, and a false God cannot save. Only the God of the Bible can truly save. So for 2013 we want to make sure that we are not building our own God, but will seek to worship and give glory to the God of the Bible, the only true and living God.
Returning to our study of Genesis we see that chapter ten tells us that the population of the whole world was from Noah's three sons and there wives. The last verse is chapter ten says: These are the clans of the sons of Noah, according to their genealogies, in their nations, and from these nations spread aboard on the earth after the flood. (v. 32) All people share a common ancestry, we are all of the blood - that is the biblical view. Satan and man has devised another. We have seen in our studies that there is always a counterfeit to the truth of God, but the true child of God has the Holy Spirit, and He leads to the truth not to error. In chapter eleven we read of the story of the tower of Babel, Gods intention was for the people to spread over the face of the earth and populate it and govern it under Him. We see that in chapter ten Nimrod is spoken of, he was the first on earth to be a mighty man, and it says that the beginning of his kingdom was Babel. So we see that as Adam and Eve sought knowledge that would make that like God, the people under Nimrod attempt out of their pride and arrogance, this kingdom is a continuation of man's quest for domination and autonomy over and against God. God stopped there plan by confusing their languages so that they could not understand each other, and the Bible says and from there the LORD dispersed them over the face of the earth. (v 11:9) God's will will be done - mans rebellion will not stop it. In verse ten of the eleventh chapter we read of the story of Shem - it is from Shem that Abram - who will be renamed Abraham by God comes. It is Abram that God chooses to carry out His purposes in the earth.We might ask why did God pick Abram? It is a good question to ask - was it because that Abram was wiser than others of his generation, was it because Abram was a worshiper of the true God? it was none of these. God does not pick because someone is already worthy - the Bible says we all have fallen short of the glory of God, and that includes everyone that God picks throughout the Bible to carry out His plan of redemption - none are worthy. It is because of God's sheer grace - He will carry out His will - from all that we can see Abram and his father were idol worshipers. We need to realize this point - because it is the same with God choosing each one of us for salvation. We were not worthy - we had nothing special about us - in fact - like Abram we were minding our own business - unwittingly running along conducting our lives uninterested in the things of the true God, on our way to hell, and with no concern about it. Until God intervenes in our life. It is His sheer grace that He chooses us. Our spiritual birth is just like our natural birth - we do not have anything to do with it. Think about it. We did not cause our natural birth - we had no say in it - we did not choose our race, our place of birth or time of birth, who did? God did. It is the same with our spiritual birth. Some people may object saying but I confessed Jesus Christ with my mouth and I am saved, that is absolutely true but that was not the time of your regeneration. The Holy Spirit had to have already been working in you, in order for you to see that you were in need of a Savior. We think that we do that work - that we make ourselves believe on our own, but that is a major error that has been going on for generations. Ephesians 2: 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. When the Holy Spirit works in us He leads us to Christ, by hearing the Word preached usually and we see that we are sinful and they we deserve hell and the Spirit points us to Jesus Christ, and with the faith that is a gift from God, we exercise our wills and believe what the Holy Spirit is giving us and we accept Christ. The problem we face in 2013 is that the gospel is not preached anymore, we don't hear the law of God preached in Church it has become against the law of the modern day Church to preach about hell and sin. This has been going on for generations but with this new year we need to continue and present this because most churches do not present that side of the gospel they preach prosperity, self-help. Also look at this: So faith comes from hearing and hearing through the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17) And are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. (Romans 3:24)
I am talking about this here because many talk about the faith of Abraham - and we need to understand that the faith is a gift from God, our salvation is a gift from God. Our God is sovereign.
God chooses Abram and will us him to carry out His purpose for mankind's redemption. In chapter 12 and 13 we see God work on behave of Abram, so that Abram becomes wealthy and so does his nephew Lot, so much so that they have to split up in order to take care of their flocks adequately.We see the intimacy of the relationship between God and Abram. We should seek that kind of relationship with God. It has been preached so much so that we need the faith of Abraham in order to gain the blessings of Abraham, with the focus on the material wealth of Abraham and have no regard for the spiritual walk; devotion, faithfulness, obedience of that relationship. That is an indication that something is wrong with that type of preaching. Abraham's wealth was necessary for him to carry on God's purposes. Not to amass luxury homes, cars and property. Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Where is the focus for living an obedient life. Where is the spiritual side of the life, it is lacking because the Spirit is not there.
It is my prayer that we get it right. That the Holy Spirit leads us and that we are protected from deception and the schemes of hell. We will continue looking at Abram in chapter 14 in our next study.