Mt Sinai (Law) and Mt Zion (Grace)

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

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Abraham - God's Friend part 2

God had promised Abram that he would have an heir out of his own body at the time of the covenant (last blog), but as time went by, Sarai did not conceive. She told Abram that he should take her maid Hagar, who they had acquired in Egypt, and have a child by her that Sarai could claim. They had been in Canaan 10 years.

However, after Hagar became pregnant, she despised Sarai and she went to Abram and said she was wrong and blamed him. He told her to that she could do what she pleased, so she was hard on Hagar and she fled.
In the wilderness, the Angel of the Lord found her and asked her where she was going. She told the Angel that she fled from Sarai. The Angel told her to return and submit to Sarai, for she would have a son and call him Ishmael (God shall hear), and he would grow into a multitude. Yet he would be a wild man with his hand against every man and every man's hand against him, and he would dwell in the presence of his brethren.

The lands to the North and East of present day Israel are descendants of Ishmael, Syria, Lebanon,  Jordan, Iraq, & Iran.
Hagar returned to Sarai, and bore Abram a son when he was 86, Genesis 16.

Thirteen years passed and Abram was 99 years old. God appeared to him and confirmed the covenant that was made by blood many years before. Jehovah took a "hey" from his name and added it to Abram, which means exalted father,  making it Abraham, which means father of a multitude. The Lord also gave him the covenant mark which was circumcision. The blood covenant required a mark and now whether going to the bathroom or having sex, Abraham would always be reminded of the covenant with God. He would become a mighty nation and kings would come from him. This covenant was everlasting. All of the males in Abraham's clan were circumcised.

Sarai, which means hostile and dominion,  also had the "hey" from God's name added to hers and became Sarah, which means princess. Sarai, from which comes the word Sar (Russian authority), sir, and sire, had the dominion in the relationship with Abram...she had pushed the Hagar relationship. Now everyone called her princess and everyone called her husband, father of many nations. Words are strong and change things.

God promised that Sarah would have a son to be the promise of the covenant. Abraham laughed and said in his heart, shall Sarah have a son when she is 90? Then he said, "Oh, let Ishmael live before You!" God said, "No, Sarah you wife will bear a son and you will call his name Isaac, (laughter); I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant and with his descendants after him." Yet God said that he had heard Abraham and would bless Ishmael and he would be a great nation and 12 princes would come from him, but the covenant would be with Isaac, Genesis 17.

The Lord appeared to Abraham in the plains of Mamre as he was sitting near the tent door, 3 men approached.

Abraham knew the Lord from previous experience and ran to meet them and bowed before them, asked them to stay wash their feet and eat.

Abraham told Sarah to prepare bread and he went and got a calf from the herds and had it prepared for them. He set the food before them with butter and milk and they ate. The Lord said where is Sarah your wife? Abraham said in the tent. And the Lord said, "I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son." Sarah heard it from the tent and laughed within herself, saying, "After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?"
The Lord said why did Sarah laugh, is anything to hard for the Lord? I will return according to the time of life and Sarah will have a son. Sarah denied laughing...even to herself, but God knew and said, oh yes, you did their future child would be named laughter, or Isaac.

As the Lord was leaving He turned and said, "Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do: seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after  him and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgement; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken to him."
God then told Abraham that He was going to check out Sodom and Gomorrah for the cry of their sin had reached heaven and was very grievous.

Abraham knew his nephew, Lot, and family were there and asked if God would destroy the righteous with the wicked. He asked if there were 50 righteous people there, would God still destroy the cities? God said no. Abraham continued to intercede and kept asking God for fewer righteous people until he got to 10. God said if there were 10 righteous people there he would spare the cities, Genesis 18.

Briefly, I want to touch on the events of Sodom and Gomorrah as recorded in Genesis 19. This concerns Lot, Abraham's nephew and his family. When God left Abraham, the 2 angels went into Sodom where Lot was at the gate. Lot invited them to come to his house and rest and eat. While there the men from the city came and asked Lot where the men were, "bring them out that we may know them carnally." Lot said do not do this evil thing, take my 2 daughters and do with them as you wish, but leave these men alone. They would not listen. The angels blinded them all and took Lot, his wife, and two daughters by the hand and led them out of the city. Fire and brimstone came out of the heavens and burned up the cities. They were warned not to look back, but Lots wife did and was turned into a pillar of salt.

Lot and his daughters escaped to Zoar. There the two daughters felt that things were hopeless and all had been killed but them, for they had betrothed husbands who would not leave Sodom. They got their father drunk and slept with him. Both became pregnant with sons who became Moab and Ammon.

The destruction of the cities of the plain is not a myth, but evidence exists that confirms the destruction. You can find this yourself at

Ash ruins from Sodom & Gomorrah.

Brimstone (sulfur) found in large amounts at the ruin site West of the Dead Sea.

Back to Abraham; he had seen the smoke from the destruction of the cities of the plain. It is not clear if he knew that God had saved the only righteous people there, which was Lot and family. We see that Abraham went South after this. There in Gerar he again said that Sarah was his sister and the king Abimelech took Sarah. It must be understood that the covenant had renewed the youth of Sarah and Abraham, for she was very desirable and was 90 years old.

Before Abimelech had touched Sarah, God came to him in a dream and told him she was a great prophets wife and that he would die if he did not release her, that if he asked, Abraham would pray for him and he would not die. The king begged God to be merciful, as he did not know. He reproved Abraham, but gave him many gifts and wealth to send him on his way to live where he would. God had sealed the wombs of all the women in Abimelech's house. Abraham prayed for him and all were healed, Genesis 20. There are definite advantages to being God's friend.

Sarah became pregnant as the Lord had said and had Isaac when she was 90 years old. Abraham was 100. this is 25 years after the calling of God and promise of Abram becoming a great nation; 1 year after the name change of Abraham and Sarah. Ishmael is 14 years old.

Isaac grew and was weaned. On the day he was weaned, Abraham held a feast. Isaac was probably 4-5 years old. Sarah saw Ishmael mocking Isaac, a 19 year old vs a 5 year old. She told Abraham to cast out this bond woman and her son for he will not be heir with my son, Isaac. This grieved Abraham, for Ishmael had been his only son for 14 years before Isaac was born and no doubt they had grown very close as father and son. God comforted Abraham and told him to obey Sarah for in Isaac shall your seed be called. So, Abraham put provisions together and sent Hagar and Ishmael away.

When they had ran out of water in the wilderness, she left Ishmael under a shrub and went further and wept and said let me not see the death of the lad. God heard the voice of Ishmael and sent an angel to comfort Hagar.

 She looked and there was a well and she got water for them. This well was in Beer-sheba and Abraham made a covenant with king Abimelech concerning the well,  and stayed there many days. I am sure he made sure that Ishmael and Hagar would be alright. God was with Ishmael and he became an archer in the wilderness. Hagar got him a wife out of Egypt, Genesis 21.

Time passed and Isaac grew and learned from is dad, Abraham.

When Isaac was well into his teens, God tested and proved Abraham. He called to him and Abraham said here I am. God said, "Take now thy son, thine only son, Isaac, whom thou lovest and get thee into the land of Moriah, and offer him there for a burnt offering ....
This is the first mention of love in the Bible. God's plan is unfolding for his covenant friend has now been asked to offer his only son to God. Many think that the actions of Abraham were of anger and possible disobedience. But, we must not read things that are not there. Hebrews 11 says that Abraham offered Isaac by faith, for God had said that through this man would come all of his descendants. Abraham believed God, and saw in his mind Isaac raised from the dead from the ashes.... he must have thought this would be the Messiah...close, for through Isaac, Jesus would be born. 

Abraham saddled a donkey and took wood and his son as well as 2 servants and left early morning and saw the mountain after 3 days of travel. He told the servants to stay while he and the boy would go worship and come back. Mt. Moriah is none other than Mt. Zion.

Isaac said to his father, here is the wood and fire, where is the lamb for the burnt offering? Abraham said, "God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering." How true this statement is.
They ascended the mount and built an altar. Isaac could have probably easily have overcome Abraham who was about 117 years old, but he knew that his father did God's bidding and he submitted to be bound on the altar.

But as Abraham raised his knife to slay the lad, God called him out of heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!"
Abraham answered, here am I. God spoke, "Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not witheld thy son, thine only son from Me."

Abraham looked and a ram was caught in a bush to be used for the burnt offering.

The Angel of the Lord called again to Abraham, "By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not witheld thy son, thine only son; that is blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the starts of the heaven and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed My voice." Genesis 22.

This was the pivotal point in God's plan. His covenant partner on the earth had offered his only son for God, so now God, could legally offer His only son for man, also on Mt. Moriah. All of the covenant would be complete then for God Himself would bear the covenant scars on his hands, feet, head, back, and side. Once again man could have the dominion over the "god of this world", Satan, through the salvation that was bought for by the blood of Jesus Christ, God in the flesh. All things that man needs were met at the altar of the cross;redemption, forgiveness, salvation, provision, healing, peace, and life eternal.

Jesus gave Himself for us. He said he laid down His life and would take it up again, John 10:18. He rose from the dead after 3 days and lives and reigns forever as part of the triune God... Hallelujah!

End note: Sarah lived to be 127 years old. After she died, Abraham took himself another wife, Keturah. His children from Keturah populated Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the Arab Emirates. Abraham lived to be 175 years old. His sons Ishmael and Isaac buried him in the cave at Mamre with Sarah, Genesis 25. Isaac, the son of promise,  had Jacob which became Israel and had 12 sons that became the 12 tribes of Israel. Jesus the Messiah,  was descended from the tribe of Judah. For the most part, Abraham is the father of the people in the middle East. Galatians 3:29 says, "If you be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise." So by faith, Christians are also heirs of Abraham and his blessing which includes the world, Romans 4:13.

All Bible quotes are from either KJV or NKJV. All art and pictures were found on the Internet.

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