Friday, January 4, 2013

Genesis 18 - 22

So it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow when he overthrew the cities in which Lot had lived. Genesis 19:29

In Genesis 18 God appears to Abraham again. He has two angels with Him and they come to tell Abraham that they were going to go down to Sodom and Gomorrah since the outcry against them is great and their sin is very grave, to see if things were as the outcry. One point we need to see here is one the Reformation Study Bible list and that Abraham had rescued those cities when they were at war with Chedorlaomer (Genesis 14) yet they had not repented of their sin, this is the outcry, for God see all sin - The Bible portrays the main sin in these cities as the sin of homosexuality. We can examine our culture today in light of what God has done in the pass concern homosexuality and how our governments are trying to make it normal. God destroyed these cities and all the people in them because of their sin. That should be enough testimony for all to see and to honestly consider. Another point to see here is that Abraham intercedes for Sodom and God saves Lot and his family from His judgment against sin, just as He had earlier saved Noah and his family from the judgment of the flood. These incident are for us to see the Mercy of God, that God does have Mercy and He exercises that Mercy according to His will. Another point to consider is that God has recorded the detail of His relationship with Abraham and with others so that we might see the intimacy, that we might see the reverence as I said last time. That's why reading the Bible is so very important, you read how God closely interacts with people, you sense the emotions involved, the love, the reverence, something you just cannot fully comprehend or take into your heart unless you read and reread and prayerfully seek the illumination of the Holy Spirit as you read, and let the Lord open His Word to us. This is a new year, 2013. The Word of God is still with us. God is still speaking to us, God is still available, a thousand years are as a day to the LORD.

The Bible does not paint the people who God calls and uses in a light that is only positive, but He shows the humanness of Abraham, David, Moses, everyone in the Bible that God uses is a sinner, just like I am a sinner and you are a sinner, God does not hide their sin, He does not strike out the things that they do. Abraham and Sarah trying to have the child promised by God through Hagar. Abraham lies to Abimelech the king of Gerar (Genesis 20) that Sarah was his sister and not his wife because he was afraid that people would kill him to get her because she was so beautiful. Abimelech does take Sarah but before he could do anything to her God told him in a dream that if he did not return her he would surely die, and all who are yours would die. God can and does intervene on the behalf of His people. We should be thankful and grateful when God does. The Bible is a great motivator for prayer, for it displays a God who can do the impossible, He can protect, He can heal, He can lead and guide us by His Spirit.

In Genesis 21 Isaac Abraham's son by Sarah is born. Sarah has Abraham to send Hagar and Ishmael away when she sees Ishmael laughing at her son Isaac, she sees in Ishmael a threat to the inheritance of Isaac, and although Abraham was displeases with this he did it after God told him that Sarah was correct for the through Isaac that the offspring was to come. In Genesis 22 we are told that God tested Abraham, God already had committed to Abraham, God tested his obedience. He asked Abraham to offer Isaac up as a sacrifice. Imagine what Abraham must have felt, God is asking him to kill his own son, the son God had promised to give him, the one whom God said the offspring was to come, the one through whom he would be a father of nation, God wanted him to sacrifice him. Abraham must have struggled with this, but he must have also recounted all that God had done for him before, he must have thought about the power of Almighty God, he took the king of Sodom when they returned from bringing Lot back, when the king of Sodom told Abraham to take the possessions he had recovered, Abraham said "I have lifted my hand to the LORD, God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth, that I would not take a thread or a sandal strap or anything that is yours, lest you should say, I have made Abram rich." (Genesis 14: 17-24) This man Abraham must have believed that God would raise Isaac up from the dead, he believed that God still fully intended to carry through His promises and purposes, and they were to come through Isaac, so he raised the knife to slay him. God stopped him however, Abraham passed the test. God just displayed His plan in more detail, the innocent ram that was slain instead of Isaac, was a type of Christ who as the innocent lamb of God would be offered up for the elect of God. Christ would be raised up for us and no one would tell the executioners to stop as the Lord told Abraham, even when Christ pleadingly requested that God do it another way in the garden of Gethsemane, God would not, God would fulfil His promises and His purposes, Christ must be offered up as a sacrifice. God wanted to save you and He wanted to save me, and there are many who He intends to save in 2013 are Christ would returned in 2012. We celebrate the start of a new year, and as such we should also see it as God's purposes and promises bearing fruit. Be thankful in 2013, enjoy your family, your friends, all the blessings that God has blessed you with, in whatever situation you are in give thanks, if things are not that good give thanks to the God who can comfort you in those bad times as well as bring you out. Be thankful that you have times to confession and repent from sin. Be thankful that you have the Holy Spirit to help you, that we can rely on Him - Please pray for us all - all God's people that we read His Word and live it more and more.

Honor the Lord God in 2013!!

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