Mt Sinai (Law) and Mt Zion (Grace)

Mt Sinai (Law) and  Mt Zion (Grace)
Mt Sinai (Law) and Mt Zion (Grace)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Abraham - God's Friend

After all the business with Adam and dealing with the sacrificial system, plus destroying the evil men of the earth with the Great Flood, God needed a covenant partner born on earth in order to fulfill His promise of the coming "seed of the woman" who would redeem man and destroy the works of the devil.

Although omnipotent and sovereign, God can not go against what He has said and proclaimed. He had given dominion to Adam and Adam had given it to Satan. Things have to be done legally, or according to God's Word.

The man God chose was Abram. He was the son of Terah and the ninth generation from Noah. God called him to go to the land of Canaan when he was 75 years old.


Now the Lord had said to Abram: "Get out of your country and from your family and from your father's house to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you; and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all families of the earth shall be blessed." Genesis 12:1-3

So Abram departed with his wife Sarai and nephew, Lot and all of their possessions. They left from Haran, where they had moved from Ur with Abram's father, Terah.

Terah had wanted to go to Canaan, but stopped in Haran for many years and died there. Abram had gotten lots of goods and servants in the many years at Haran.

When Abram arrived in Canaan, the Lord spoke to him and told him that He would give this land to Abram's seed. Genesis 12:7

There was famine in the land and Abram went down to Egypt. He was concerned that the Egyptians would kill him and take Sarai, his wife, for her beauty. God had blessed her with youth and beauty for she was about 65 years old at this time. Abram asked Sarai to claim she was his sister and not his wife.

This was a half truth as she was his half sister.

Sure enough, the Pharaoh found out about her beauty and took her to be part of his harem. He gave Abram many gifts: servants, gold, silver, and livestock for her sake.

The Lord caused many plagues to come upon Pharaoh's house over Sarai. When he put it together he called Abram and said, "Why have you done this to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife?" He told Abram to take her and go his way...with all his goods. Genesis 12.

When Abram left Egypt he was rich. The blessing of God was upon him. Lot, his nephew, was wealthy also just from being with Abram. So much so that their combined livestock was too much for the land to bear.
Abram told lot, "Is not the whole land is before you? Please separate yourself from me. If you take the left, I will go right; or if you go to the right, I will go to the left." Lot knew that they had to separate, so he looked out over the country and chose the area in the Jordan River valley near Sodom where the land was lush and rich. This was before God had destroyed Sodom and the cities of the plain for their wickedness.

After Lot separated the Lord came and told Abram to look all directions, for all the land you see I will give it to you and your descendants forever. I will make your descendants like the dust of the earth; so if you can number the dust of the earth, then shall your descendants be numbered. Walk through the land for I give it to you. Genesis 13

In time, the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah were forced into battle with Chedorlaomer, king of Elam and the kings that were confederate with him. 4 kings against 5 in the vale of Siddim near the present day Dead Sea.
The Bible says that the area was full of slimepits (surface oil). These were burned off when Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by the brimstone and fire from God. It makes you think that there is oil under that ground today.

Sodom and Gomorrah were defeated and looted. The 5 kings took all their stuff and young men and women. Lot was taken captive with the rest.

One of the men escaped and told Abram who was dwelling in the plain of Mamre the Amorite who with his clans were confederate with Abram. Abram armed his trained servants (318) and divided his force against the kings by night and was able to smote and subdue them. Abram brought back all the captives and all the goods.

No doubt Lot was pretty happy to see Abram coming to rescue him. We know that Lot had a wife and two daughters later in scripture, however they are not mentioned here in Genesis 14.

When Abram was returning from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer and the kings with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him. And Melchizedek the king of Salem brought bread and wine out to Abram.  This may have been the first Communion.

Melchizedek was the priest of the Most High God and he blessed Abram and said, "Blessed be Abram of the God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth: and blessed be God Most High which has delivered your enemies into your hand." Abram gave Melchizedek tithes of all he had.

This Melchizedek was very special, no lineage, no father or mother, and an everlasting life...he may have been Jesus the Messiah come to the earth before being born and still in His heavenly majesty. Hebrews 7
The king of Sodom wanted Abram to keep the goods, but Abram said, "I will not take a thread or a shoe lace or anything that is yours, lest you say that you have made me rich." He did see that his confederates got a share, but took nothing for himself. He affirmed that God was his provider. Genesis 14

You can see that Abram was a great man because of God's blessing. He fed close to 500 people every day in his clan, and had a large amount of wealth, goods, servants, and livestock.

After these things, the Word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision saying, "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward". Abram asked the Lord God what would He give him as he was childless and a servant in his own clan would be his heir. The Word of the Lord came again to Abram, "This one will not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir." The Lord took him outside and said, "Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them. So shall your descendants be." Genesis 15:1-5

Abram believed in the Lord and God counted it as righteousness to him. Today we have the Grace of Jesus and the gift of His righteousness. 2Corinthians 5:21

The Lord God affirmed that he brought him here to inherit the land. Abram asked, "How shall I know that I will inherit it?" God said to prepare a multiple sacrifice that had large and small animals.(Each animal represented attributes of the coming messiah and his sacrifice.) The large ones were to be cut in half and placed back to back with a space in between. 3 large animals, 3 years old. (double Trinity) 
This was how different clans made a permanent blood covenant with each other in these times. The elders of each clan would walk up and down the blood path between the animals and recite the terms of the covenant, which included the pledge of their life to one another. Then they would trade weapons and coats that symbolized their wealth and power. They would combine their names together so both clans became one. They would cut themselves usually on the wrist and join their wounds together. This is how we get "blood brother". This covenant would last for generations and was punishable by death if broken. There was then a great feast and the animals were eaten and God praised for the sacrifice and covenant. 

When the sun was going down, Abram fell into a deep sleep and the Lord prophesied to him of his descendants that would be slaves in Egypt for 400 years and would return to this land. Also that Abram would live a long life. After this a smoking furnace and burning lamp appeared and passed between the pieces. Genesis 15 

This was God Himself doing the blood walk of the covenant with Abram. The smoke and fire were how he appeared to the children of Israel in the future wilderness (previous blog).

The wonderful thing that happened at this covenant between God and Abram, is that God did not require anything from Abram...other than he would believe what God said. This was counted to him as righteousness. God did not have Abram walk between the pieces. God himself went through in 2 distinct persons symbolized in the; Smoking Furnace and Burning Lamp. The Lamp representing the Son that went through in Abrams stead. Abram had further requirements in his walk with God which we will cover in the next blog. The future of Abram and the Son was unfolding in God's plan.

The action of this covenant made God and Abram (changed later to Abraham) friends. In the Bible, Abraham is the only man who is called the friend of God. 2 Chronicles 20:7, James 2:23
The Bible says there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother..this is one who has joined with you in blood covenant. Proverbs 18:24

God in this action had sworn by Himself as their was no higher source. All men in covenant swore by God. this means that if God failed in His part, He would other words, the end of all things. Abram knew that God could not lie, and thus had faith that God would do as He said.

The action of God's covenant partner is a crucial point in God's plan to redeem mankind.

Remember, God's redemption is alive and available...His name is Jesus.

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