Genesis is indeed the book of origins, but much more. It defines Creation and the birth of the nation of Israel. This document may be the most hotly contested book on earth. Did God create the worlds? Did Noah build the Ark? Did God favor Israel over Ishmael? Were Jews in bondage in Egypt? Each answer is an unequivocal "Yes!" Genesis tells it like it was. Nobody can prove otherwise. Through faith we understand the worlds were framed by the Word of God.
Genesis 1:1 - "In the beginning God created the Heaven and the earth."
The First Day Of Creation
In God's infinite wisdom, He knew that light is a prerequisite to life on earth. Life on earth depends upon light. Light provides energy, warmth, sight, growth and much more. Einstein figured that light is the primary constant in the universe, so time itself is based upon the speed of light. No wonder then, that God created light on the first day. Will not this brilliant God of order also tend to your greatest needs first, too?
Genesis 1:3 - "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light."
The Second Day Of Creation
God created a 50-mile-high environment to support all His planned creatures. This "firmament," with water above and water below, is the magnificent atmosphere enveloping our globe. Without the nitrogen, oxygen, argon, hydrogen, helium, carbon dioxide, ozone and all the other elements in the earth's sky, life as we know it could not exist. No other planet in the Universe has an environment as lavish and luxurious as ours. That's not an accident. God wonderfully planned our support and survival.
Genesis 1:8 - "And God called the firmament Heaven."
The Third Day Of Creation
God called land out of water. Water is one of the greatest secrets to life on this planet. This biosphere of land, water and air is miraculously regulated by perpetual photosynthesis, respiration, and bacterial regeneration. It supports the life-cycles of everything living. God scattered dry seed everywhere, then raised up a mist to water it and begin endless germination cycles. Great God!
Genesis 1:11 - "God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself."
If I give you one kernel of corn, can you plant every kernel that may ever grow from it? One kernel produces one plant, but one plant produces many ears of corn with thousands of kernels. Here is infinite exponential potential - a world full of corn! Likewise, your godly, obedient act of faith has infinite future potential. Commit a godly act today!
Genesis 1:12 - "And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good."
The Fourth Day Of Creation
The light God made on the first day was supernatural - not emanating from a natural source. Without it, the universe was totally dark. The sun, moon, and stars were not created until this fourth day. 24-hour days only began AFTER the fourth day, when 100 billion galaxies with about 100 billion stars apiece were created. The first four days might have spanned aeons.
Genesis 1:16 - "God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also."
The Eye Of God
The Hubble telescope photographed a Nebula called the "Eye of God." It looks like a beautiful blue eye surrounded by great luminescence. Actually, it is a gaseous tunnel almost a trillion miles deep. Another photo captures one entire spiraling galaxy sitting angular to another spiraling galaxy just behind it - all within a pin-hole view of space. I will live my life any way the Bible requires for the chance to see the One who created that. I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Genesis 1:16 - "...he made the stars also."
The Fifth Day Of Creation
Yesterday was the last timeless Wednesday. The brand new Solar System gives earth its first 24-hour day. Thursday evening, God creates every fish, bird, and water mammal. Overnight, the entire earth begins seeing, hearing, tasting, touching and smelling. Totally, inexplicably awesome!
Genesis 1:20,22 - "God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven ...Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth."
The Sixth Day Of Creation
The second 24-hours. What a day! Jillions of land animals boil up from the ground in species, scattering everywhere. But God's Grande Finale that Friday was a single man in God's image! Adam, the only truly self-aware creature on earth, saw because He sees; heard because He hears; thought because He thinks; knew because He knows. First son; first friend of God!
Genesis 1:27-28 - "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."
Let Man Have Dominion Over All The Earth
God brought the animals to Adam for naming. He gave mankind dominion over the earth and all living creatures. God created the earth to benefit and sustain MAN. Man has divine authority and prerogative to use earth for his benefit, including domestication and cultivation. "Mother Earth" politics elevate animal rights and environmental issues above human rights and give "mother" nature illicit dominion over Father God. Controlling the balance of nature, including global climate, is FAR over our heads. Only God can comprehend and control sustainability.
Genesis 1:26 - "...let them have dominion ...over all the earth."
Blessed Without A Prayer
There is no mention of any kind of prayers in the Creation story of Genesis. Nothing is said about prayer until the days of Adam and Eve's grandchildren, when "men
began to call upon the name of the LORD," 4:26. But there is a reasonable explanation for the absence of prayer before that time. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve
were perfectly blessed. If mankind had never sinned, we would never have needed to pray.
Genesis 1:27 - "So God created man in his own image, ...male and female created he them. And God blessed them."
God's Natural Medicine
The old-timers were probably right. Drugs and witchcraft are first-cousins. Nobody can know for sure just what can happen when molecules are manufactured in a
laboratory. Harmful side-effects and reactions often result from pharmaceutical drugs. Illicit drugs regularly kill, addict, or sicken. Natural herbs contain God-made
molecules that mankind has been accustomed to since the beginning of time. That is God's natural medicine cabinet.
Genesis 1:30 - "I have given every green herb for meat." Ezekiel 47:12: "...the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine."
The Seventh Day Of Creation
A light-year is 5.8 TRILLION miles. Scientists estimate the universe is 28 billion light-years wide containing 100 billion galaxies, each one containing 100 billion stars. Meanwhile, one human has almost 100 trillion living cells working in perfect synchronization. God invented, created and meticulously oversees every speck. He sanctified a day of rest to view, contemplate and enjoy it all.
Genesis 2:2 - "...on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made."
A human corpse decomposes into elements just like ordinary dirt. Adam was not a clay sculpture. God used dust. Maybe He transformed dust particles into stem cells, then constituted an embryo, and in a matter of moments quickly advanced it through infancy, adolescence, puberty and adulthood! Who knows? From mere dirt to sophisticated and complex skeletal, muscular, nervous, cardiovascular, digestive and respiratory systems, we are fearfully and wonderfully made!
Genesis 2:7 - "...the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."
The Creation Of Man
1,400 years before Christ, Moses declared that God formed man from dust. Muslims believe that 2,000 years later, the angel Gabriel told Mohammed to recite that Allah created man out of "a mere clot of congealed blood," (Qur'an 96:2 Yusufali translation). So, is Moses a liar or is Mohammed? Judaism and Christianity say Moses was right. So do I.
Genesis 2:7 - "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."
You HAVE A Body, But You ARE A Soul
It was nothing more than a dirt sculpture until God breathed into it. Our bodies are nothing but lifeless elements without the soul that God gave us. The body is a shell that houses a real man. You HAVE a body, but you ARE a soul. Your earthly body is destined for the grave - ashes to ashes, dust to dust. But your SOUL will NEVER die. In the resurrection, God will give His saints a new, immortal body.
Genesis 2:7 - "And the LORD God ...breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."
The Garden Of Eden
Adam was created before the Garden of Eden was planted. God put Adam in it afterward. Ezekiel 28:13 depicts Lucifer in the garden, too - before he sinned! Satan did not arrive from a failed pre-Adamite society of evil angels. He came sinless. All the sins of men and angels began in the garden. Utopias do not prevent sin. Your health, success and prosperity could be your greatest temptation. Beware!
Genesis 2:8 - "...the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed."
God put Adam to sleep and performed surgery. He removed one of Adam's ribs and made a woman from it. From the bone marrow came Adam's DNA, making her the first clone - a female version of Adam. An identical twin. Same eyes, same hair, same size. "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them," Genesis 1:27. Two people. One image.
Genesis 2:22 - "And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman."
The Tree Of Knowledge
God did not want Adam and Eve to know evil in any way. He forbade Adam to partake of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God knows that bad lessons cannot be unlearned and evil knowledge is never an asset, but a liability. Whatever you learned from your mistakes would have been much better unlearned. Shun the very appearance of evil.
Genesis 2:17 - "...of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."
She must have been beautiful. I cannot imagine God creating less. From Adam's rib came his helpmate. Woman. Wo-Man (man with a womb). First wife. First mother. Satan deceived her. She transgressed, then handed a portion of the forbidden fruit to Adam. For that, God cursed womankind with pain in childbirth. Graciously however, the seed of the woman would one day conquer the foul Tempter: God's son, "...made of a woman."
Genesis 3:6 - "...she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat."
In the Garden of Eden, God pronounced a blessing on Adam and Eve, coupled with commands to fill the earth and rule over it. Before Eve was created, however, God spoke singularly to Adam and commanded him not to eat of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Therefore, the first virtue God required man to practice was obedience. Some things never change. Jesus said, "if you love me, keep my commandments." God STILL requires obedience.
Genesis 3:11 - "Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?"
The Tree Of The Knowledge Of Good And Evil
Adam and Eve really missed the point. The Tree of Life was standing near the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Presumably, if they had eaten of the Tree of Life first, they would have lived forever. God did not want them to taste of the knowledge of evil. They chose evil over life.
Genesis 2:17 - "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."
The Forbidden Fruit
People commonly call it an apple, but nobody knows what the forbidden fruit was. It doesn't matter. It might have been anything. Tragically, people always think they will be better off when they get it, but that is NEVER the case. Lucifer tells all kinds of lies to tempt people with anything he can find, but obedience to God is ALWAYS more rewarding.
Genesis 3:5 "And God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."
This is not your ordinary snake. He talks. He is subtle. He has a hidden, sinister, diabolical agenda. Lucifer violated that poor mindless creature. How was the first woman on earth supposed to know that snakes do not talk? More importantly, how can YOU or I know when Satan enters into someone to deceive us? Lies. Lucifer's trademark is lies. "Hath God said...?" "Ye shall not surely die." There's your sign. Satan is ruthless and plays by nobody's rules.
Genesis 3:1 - "...the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field."
The very first Bible prophecy was two-fold and awesome. Messiah would come, and Satan would be doomed! "The devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, ...and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever," Revelation 20:10. John clearly said the Serpent was the Devil (Satan) in Revelation 12:9.
God had told the serpent,
Genesis 3:14-15 - "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."
Thorns And Death
For Adam's sin, God cursed the ground to bring forth thorns and thistles. But there was more. Adam was sentenced to die and return to the dust from which he was created. Before he sinned, Adam might have lived forever. Now, life is hard, then you die. The great hope is beyond the grave. Are you ready?
Genesis 3:19 - "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."
The Man Is Become As One Of Us
God wanted Adam to always be pure, untainted, and innocent. God knew that was the best life. He warned Adam not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. But Lucifer taunted them saying, "Ye shall be as gods!" Adam and Eve both yielded. Till then, only God and Satan understood the sickening awfulness of sin. Nothing good comes out of it. Nothing is better than innocence. Flee temptation!
Genesis 3:22 - "And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil."
The Tree Of Life
Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, so God cast them out of the garden. In the heavenly paradise of God, the tree of life bears twelve fruits continually for the healing of the nations who keep His commandments and enter the gates of that city (Revelation 22:2).
Genesis 3:24 - "So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the
tree of life."
Cherub At The Gate
Apart from Lucifer, the first angels in the Bible were the Cherubims with the flaming sword that guarded the gate to Eden. Angels are said to be ministering spirits for those who shall be the heirs of salvation. Those Cherubs were preserving eternal life for those who will properly have it; for you and me.
Genesis 3:24 - "So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life."
Your Worship Must Be Doctrinally Correct
Adam and Eve's first son, Cain, voluntarily brought an offering to the LORD - fruit of the ground, a garden harvest. Their second son, Abel, also brought an offering to the LORD - the firstlings of his flock. The LORD respected Abel's blood offering but unexpectedly, He had no respect for Cain's. Cain was furious. God tried to correct him, but Cain would not be corrected. In rage, he murdered his brother. Cain failed to learn that you must worship God in Spirit and in Truth. Doctrinally incorrect worship was rejected.
Genesis 4:5 - "Unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect."
The Risks Of Wrath
Anyone might have congratulated Cain for the beautiful offering of the fruit of his harvest that he presented to the Lord that day. But who could predict that God would ignore it and select instead the sacrificial lamb presented by Cain's brother, Abel. God arrested Cain for getting angry and admonished him to try again. But anger got the best of Cain, and he killed his brother. God cursed him. Can you control your anger? If not, sin lies at the door.
Genesis 4:6 - "And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth?"
If Thou Doest Well, Shalt Thou Not Be Accepted?
Cain only had to look at Abel's sacrifice to quickly learn what was acceptable to God. But he was stubborn. He refused to change his form of worship to please God.
Today, multitudes of professing Christians stubbornly refuse to change, even though they are doctrinally incorrect. They intend instead to force God to accept their
worship from a heretical environment. God will refuse it and you will be lost. Change. Do what is right. Don't be hard-headed.
Genesis 4:7 - "If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door."
Cain And Abel
The firstborn human on earth became a murderer. How could it be? Cain gave a freewill offering to God; select produce from his crops. His brother, Abel, followed suit, sacrificing an animal from his flock. God loved Abel's blood sacrifice but not Cain's produce. Cain was furious. God said, "if you do well, you will be accepted." If
not, sin lies at the door. Cain paid no attention to God's warning admonition. People get crazy when they ignore God.
Genesis 4:8 - "...Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him."
The Voice Of Thy Brother's Blood Crieth Unto Me
Cain ignored God's warning and killed his brother. God interrogated Cain, "Where is Abel thy brother?" Cain retorted, "I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?" Abel was
already dead. "What hast thou done?" God pressed Cain for a confession, but Cain kept silent. Meanwhile, Abel's innocent blood was crying for vengeance. In Heaven, the
souls of martyrs pray to be avenged (Revelation 6:10). Obviously, God has given both the blood and souls of martyrs a miraculous ability to pray for vengeance upon
Genesis 4:10 - "The voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground."
A Murderer's Prayer
Cain killed his brother, Abel, in cold blood. For his murderous act, God pronounced lifetime curses on him. Cain felt overwhelmed and feared that men would want to slay him in recompense. He pleaded with God, so God put a mark on him and forbade anyone to harm him. God would have been well-served to destroy Cain for his murder, but instead chose to give him another chance at life. God will have mercy on you, too.
Genesis 4:13 - "Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear."
Acknowledge God's Judgments
Cain discovered too late that his sins had cost him far more than he ever anticipated. He told God, "Thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and
from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me." If you
are in sin, count the cost now, and repent before the price goes higher.
Genesis 4:16 - "Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod."
Adam and Eve had two sons: Cain and Abel. The bad one killed the good one. Nothing is said about Adam and Eve's grief. But God was good to give them another child to make up for the loss of Abel. God is sensitive to our losses. He may not always provide an identical replacement, but He will always compensate with some act of mercy.
Genesis 4:25 - "Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew."
When Men Began To Pray
Adam and Eve lost their second son, Abel, when Cain murdered him. God gave them another son, Seth. This is only the second generation of mankind, and here is where the Bible says men began to pray. Cain, the first murderer, uttered the first recorded prayer, "My punishment is greater than I can bear." God showed mercy. Take heart. Anybody can pray.
Genesis 4:26 - "...to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD."
The seventh man from Adam, Enoch, walked with God for three hundred years. He prophesied that the Lord would come with ten thousands of his saints to execute judgment and convince all the ungodly of their sins. Long before Noah's flood, Enoch saw Armageddon coming. Then "he was not, for God took him." Before he was translated, he had this testimony, that "he pleased God." Pleasing God is not rocket science. If Enoch could walk with God, so can we.
Genesis 5:24 - "...Enoch walked with God: and he was not, for God took him."
Enoch Walked With God
What does it mean, "Enoch walked with God..."? Presumably, Enoch lived in continual fellowship with God. Continual communication. Constant contact. Daily devotions.
You and I can walk with God, too. "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings," Philippians 3:10. Paul instructed us
to "Pray without ceasing," I Thessalonians 5:17. "For our conversation is in heaven," Philippians 3:20. Walk with Him. Talk with Him. Have sweet communion with Him
Genesis 5:22 - "And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years."
Enoch was the fellow who walked with God, and God suddenly took him without him ever tasting death. Enoch was only seven generations from Adam, but he saw the final battle of Armageddon coming. What a fantastic revelation to have been received over 5,000 years ago! In the spirit, Enoch foresaw Jesus conquering the world!
Jude 1:14-15 - "Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed."
Methuselah lived longer than anyone else in the Bible. His name meant, "when he dies," suggesting that God may have waited on him for the flood to begin, because the calculations indicate he died the same year as Noah's flood. After the flood, men's lifespans were shortened. Genesis 6:3 says, "And the Lord said, 'My spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.'"
Genesis 5:27 - "And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died."
Sons Of God And Daughters Of Men Bore Human Children
Too much conjecture has been added to this story. A simple statement, that "the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children..." has been
amplified to mean that ANGELS had intercourse with WOMEN. Jesus said that in Heaven there is neither marrying nor giving in marriage. Angels do not breed - EVER! An
angel cannot impregnate a human. There are no half-breed (half-angel, half-man) creatures on earth. We are all common humans.
Genesis 6:4 - "The sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them."
The Wickedness Of Man, Hearts Evil Continually
Who can guess the population of the earth in Noah's day? Hundreds of thousands? Millions? But God could only find one righteous man - Noah. What does that say about the rest of us? Our hearts are predisposed to evil. We are desperately wicked by nature. The "inherent goodness" of man is a delusion. Without God's word to guide and His grace to forgive, we are hopeless.
Genesis 6:5 - "And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."
God Will Not Overlook Your Righteous Ways
"God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Never forget that God
is a discerner of your thoughts and intentions. You do not have to verbalize the things that are in your heart. God already knows. But He also knows if you are
consecrated to do the right thing. God saw millions of wicked people, but He did not fail to discover the one remaining righteous man - Noah.
Genesis 6:8 - "But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD."
The Flood Foretold
The Bible does not say how long Noah spent building the ark. He was at least 500 before the commandment came and 600 when he entered the ark. Notwithstanding, anyone can guess that Noah needed many years to build an 800-foot wooden ship. Not coincidentally, the floods came as soon as he finished building. Noah gambled his life on God's word and won! Likewise, we should heed prophetic warnings for our time!
Genesis 6:13 - "God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; ...I will destroy them with the earth."
With Thee Will I Establish My Covenant
A man who walks and talks with God will have special favor. When God looked upon the earth, "all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth." He told Noah, "I will
destroy them with the earth. ...every thing that is in the earth shall die." But God had a different plan for Noah. "With thee will I establish my covenant; and thou
shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives." All this, for doing His will.
Genesis 6:22 - "Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he."
All the premises in this story are profound. The whole world was evil. God was grieved and angry. He swore to destroy them all. Noah was an isolated righteous man. God had mercy on Noah and made a plan for his salvation. God saved Noah's family along with some of each species of animals. The flood cleansed the earth. God replenished the earth through Noah. Jesus will also cleanse the earth when He comes.
Matthew 24:37 - "But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."
You Must Hear And Obey The Voice Of God
If you think it is important that GOD hears YOUR voice when you pray, how much more important is it that YOU hear GOD's voice? Some people do all the talking, but
rarely, if ever, hear God's voice. Noah would not have survived if he had not both heard AND obeyed the voice of God. "The LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy
house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation."
Genesis 7:5,16 - "And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him. ...and the LORD shut him in."
Noah's Ark is among the most controversial of all ancient stories. Today, top-secret government dossiers and political power-mongers deprive the public of evidence that almost certainly exists on Mt. Ararat. Noah's Ark landed there. Satellite photos show suspicious objects. Expeditions claim to have seen it. Why is it forbidden to visit? Who built it? Why did he build it? Who planned and designed it? How did it get on the mountain? It was God's doing!
Genesis 7:16 - "they went in... as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in."
Run Into The Ark: Repent Before The Rains Begin
Peter called Noah "a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly ...making them an ensample unto those that after should live
ungodly," 2 Peter 2:5-6. We do not know whether Noah compelled men to come into the Ark, but his message of righteousness condemned them. Will your Pastor's preaching
condemn you on Judgment Day, or will you run into the Ark? Run to Jesus and repent now, before He shuts the Ark.
Genesis 7:21,23 - "All flesh died that moved upon the earth, ...Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark."
God Remembered Noah
If Noah had lived an uneventful life, there would have been nothing for God to take note of. If Noah had ignored his Maker, lived selfishly, and wasted his substance
on riotous living as other men had, God would have sentenced him to the same judgment. But Noah was a preacher of righteousness. God remembered Noah's righteous words.
If you want to be remembered on Judgment Day, speak righteously.
Genesis 8:1-3,6 - "God remembered Noah ...and the rain from heaven was restrained ...the waters returned from off the earth ...at the end of forty days ...Noah opened
the window of the ark."
Noah Built An Altar, Gave Offerings, And God Blessed.
Noah sent out a dove, but it found no dry ground. Seven days later, the dove found an olive leaf. Seven days later, the dove found dry ground. God spoke to Noah and
told him and his family to leave the Ark. Noah built an altar and gave offerings to the LORD. When God delivers you, you should worship Him lavishly. Noah's offering drew a powerful response from God.
Genesis 8:21 - "The LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake."
Replenish The Earth
God told Noah's sons to replenish the earth. Shem's descendants soon migrated to what is now known as Iran, Syria, Iraq and Turkey - and became the Middle Eastern
nations. Ham's descendants are generally believed to have migrated to Africa. Japheth's descendants are principally European Caucasians; For example, Magog is in
Southern Russia. Meshech and Tubal were founded in the region of modern Georgia. Ultimately, all nations descend from these three sons of Noah.
Genesis 9:1 - "God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth."
Blessed For Preaching Righteousness
We do not know what Noah preached, only that he was a preacher of righteousness. One solitary man effectively became the savior of the world. In his proclivity to
declare righteousness, his words saved him, his family, and the future of humanity. For this, God blessed Noah and his sons. They inherited the entire earth. "By thy
words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned," Matthew 12:37. Learn from Noah. Preach righteousness.
Genesis 9:8-9 - "God spake unto Noah, and to his sons ...saying, ...I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you."
After the Great Flood, God made a Covenant with Noah and all his descendants forever that He would never again destroy the world by a flood. He gave the Rainbow as a token and a reminder for perpetual generations. There may be local floods, but never a massive flood as in Noah's day. It won't be water, but fire next time.
Genesis 9:15 - "And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to
destroy all flesh."
The first son of Noah, Shem, is a very significant character. Shem and Japheth intervened to save their father's modesty when Ham discovered him drunk. Noah blessed Shem and Japheth for that. Ham's descendants, the Canaanites, were cursed to serve the descendants of both Shem and Japheth. That is why Abraham was given the land of Canaan. Abraham descended from Eber (source of "Hebrew") who descended from Shem (source of "Semite"). Jesus Christ descended from Shem.
Genesis 9:26 - "Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant."
Noah Blessed And Cursed His Descendants
Noah had three sons. All of modern civilization descended from them. "Of them was the whole earth overspread," Genesis 9:19. Noah cursed Ham's son, Canaan. "A servant
of servants shall he be unto his brethren." Noah blessed the others through Shem and Japheth. One of Shem's descendants, Abraham, became the progenitor of the nation
of Israel and the spiritual father of all the faithful.
Genesis 9:26-27 - "He said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and
Canaan shall be his servant."
Nimrod was called "a mighty one in the earth," and "the mighty hunter before the LORD." His was the first kingdom mentioned in the Bible. It began with the Tower at Babel, then Erech, Accad, Calneh in the land of Shinar. Many outrageous myths exist about Nimrod, but nearly all references to him speak of rebellion. It is fair to say that Nimrod was one of the first to conduct military conquests and to be known as a tyrant dictator.
Genesis 10:8 - "And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one upon the earth."
A Mighty Hunter Before The Lord
Nimrod "began to be a mighty one in the earth, ...a mighty hunter before the LORD." Nimrod, presumed to be the driving force behind the Tower of Babel, and ultimately
the Babylonian Empire, is one of the most legendary characters in antiquity. Much superstition and mysticism surrounds his name, but Nimrod's real legacy is the
tyranny, rebellion and evil mysteries of Babylon. What is heroic in the eyes of men is often abominable in the eyes of God. What is your reputation "before the LORD"?
Genesis 10:9 - "Wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD."
Asshur was a person, a city (later called Nineveh), and the ancient Assyrian Empire. Its founders came from Babel and Nimrod, who grievously turned their backs on the
God of their forefather, Noah. They worshipped the goddess Ishtar. Assyria eventually became a vicious foe of Israel for centuries. Mosul, Iraq, is now the center of
that region, sandwiched between Damascus, Syria and Tehran, Iran. These modern Assyrians are prophetically doomed. In Isaiah 14:25, God swore to destroy the
Assyrian on His holy mount at Armageddon.
Genesis 10:11 - "Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh."
Peleg - The Earth Divided
Here is the lineage: Noah, Shem, Arphaxad, Salah, Eber, Peleg. Little is known of Peleg except that in his days the earth was divided. Some say that the continents of
earth moved to their present positions then, but that is unfounded speculation. Peleg's birth was near the days of Nimrod and the Tower of Babel. That is where the
earth was really divided. God divided their languages.
Genesis 10:25 - "...unto Eber were born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg; for in his days the earth was divided."
Let Us Make Brick, Build A City, Make A Name
The ambitions of the people who built the Tower of Babel sound amazingly similar to Satan's ambitions. In Isaiah 14, Satan said, "I will ascend into heaven, I will
exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most
High." Such proud, arrogant words are doomed from the start.
Genesis 11:3-4 - "Let us make brick, ...let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name."
The Fall Of Babel
Nimrod spearheaded the project at the Tower of Babel. Their purposes were ambitious: reach Heaven, make a name for themselves, prevent being scattered abroad. Sounds like the Devil's dream, too. But all the purposes of men will be disappointed. All man-made kingdoms will fall to the Kingdom of Jesus Christ at Armageddon.
Genesis 11:4 - "And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered
abroad upon the face of the whole earth."
God Spoils The Godless Ambitions Of Men
One of the most deceptive "religious" practices today is "positive affirmation." It revolves around this concept, "If the mind of man can conceive it and believe it, it can achieve it." There is no God in the midst of such thinking. That is humanistic at its core. It is spiritualistic, mind-over-matter arrogance. God will someday come down and destroy everything built on that premise.
Genesis 11:5,9 - "The LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. ...and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the
face of all the earth."
Confusion Of Tongues
One of the greatest ironies of all God's dealings with man is the contrast between the Tower of Babel and the day of Pentecost. At Babel, God confused their tongues and scattered the people so they could not continue to work together. But on the day of Pentecost, God caused 120 believers to speak in unknown tongues to empower and unify them. What is confusion to man is crystal clear to God.
Genesis 11:9 - "Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth."
Born two years after Noah's flood, Arphaxad was the father of Ura and Kesed who founded the ancient city of Ur of the Chaldees (according to an ancient extra-biblical source found among the Dead Sea Scrolls). In 1927, British archaeologist Leonard Woolley discovered the ancient ruins of Ur between Basra and Nasiriyah, Iraq, near Kuwait. Abraham came from there. Discoveries included vast riches of Sumerian artifacts and ruins from the days of Belshazzar and Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.
Genesis 11:10 - "Shem was an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood."
Abraham's father took his family from Ur of the Chaldees to Haran, Assyria (modern Turkey) - a prosperous community at that time at the crossroads between Damascus, Nineveh and Carchemish. People there worshipped the moon god Sin. God told Abraham to get out of there. Good advice.
Genesis 11:31 - "And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with
them from Ur of the Chaldees, ...and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there."
Abraham was an Iraqi. He migrated to Syria. God called him to Israel. At least that is how it would look on today's map. God called Abraham to raise up a nation that
would glorify Jehovah. He might have done it in Iraq or in Syria, but He didn't. God planted Jews in Israel. Abraham would roll over in his grave if he knew all the
hatred and warmongering among his grandchildren.
Genesis 12:1 - "...the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, ...unto a land that I will shew thee."
A Great Nation
Abraham and Sarai were in their seventies and still childless when God promised that Abraham would become a great nation. Four centuries later, over a million of his
descendants marched out of bondage in Egypt and made their way to the very land God promised Abraham. Within another 120 years, Kings David and Solomon would preside
over one of the most glorious kingdoms in the history of man.
Genesis 12:2 - "And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing."
God changed Abram ("Exalted Father") to Abraham ("Father of Many Nations"). He changed Sarai ("Princess") to Sarah ("Princess of All"). God changed Jacob
("Supplanter") to Israel ("Prince with God"). God caused the names of the twelve tribes to be engraved in precious stones on the high priest's garment. Simon ("Reed")
became Peter ("Rock"). Saul ("Prayed For") became Paul ("Humble"). In Heaven, God will give His saints a new name written in a White Stone. There the wicked will be
forgotten because THEIR NAMES will be BLOTTED OUT.
Genesis 12:2 - "I will bless thee, and make thy name great."
Over 4,000 years ago, God called Abram from Ur of the Chaldees (now in southern Iraq). For forsaking both homeland and family roots, God promised to make a great nation in which He would demonstrate divine blessing. The blessing traced through Isaac and Jacob (Israel). Today, everyone who harms Israel (including the United States) will be cursed for it. If you want God's blessing, bless Israel.
Genesis 12:3 - " I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."
God instructed Abraham to get "out of thy country, and from thy kindred." Why did his nephew, Lot, go with him? Lot's father, Haran, died in Ur. Perhaps Abraham felt responsible for him. But Lot's herdsmen strove with Abraham's. Abraham eventually had to separate. Their collective herds were too large for the land. Abraham had to go to war to protect Lot when Sodom was attacked. Then Lot's wife was destroyed. His daughters committed incest. Maybe Abraham should never have taken Lot with him.
Genesis 12:4 - "So Abram departed, ...and Lot went with him."
The first Canaanite city Abram visited was Shechem (Sichem) - now known as Nablus. Two mountains there, Gerizim and Ebal are the Mounts of Blessing and Cursing where Joshua read the Pentateuch out loud to the Israelites. Today, it is the headquarters of several Palestinian and Muslim terrorist organizations. God promised it to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Genesis 12:6-7 - "Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, ...and the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him."
The Promised Land
God instructed Abraham to "Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee." We now call it the "Promised
Land." Although many kings, nations, armies and terrorists want to steal this land from Israel, God is the original deed-holder, and every square inch will return
to Him when He returns. Those who stole it from Israel will be destroyed.
Genesis 12:7 - "And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land."
Abram Called Upon The Name Of The LORD
Noah was the first person mentioned who built an altar unto the LORD, and that happened AFTER God saved him from the Flood. Abram was the second person mentioned who
built an altar unto the LORD, and that happened AFTER Abram moved into the Promised Land. Before we even think to build an altar and pray, God has already worked
countless miracles in our lives.
Genesis 12:8 - "He removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, ...and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD."
Abram Practiced Deception
Famine plagued Canaan, so Abram went to Egypt for provisions. Sarai was a beautiful woman, and Abram feared the Egyptians would kill him to take her. "Say, I pray
thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live." Predictably, Pharaoh's princes reported her to Pharaoh, who called her to
his house. But God plagued Pharaoh's house until he discovered the deception and made her return to Abram. Do not lie. Lies breed trouble. Trust God in perilous
Genesis 12:20 - "Pharaoh commanded his men ...and they sent him away."
God called Abram to forsake all and follow Him. At Bethel, God made great promises that would eventually bring enormous blessings. Meanwhile, a famine drove Abraham down to Egypt temporarily. When he returned to Canaan, he sought out the place where God met him in the beginning. There, he called on the Lord, attempting to restore his original contact with God. Smart move! Always go back to God.
Genesis 13:4 - "Unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the LORD."
Lot Pitched His Tent Toward Sodom
There is a lot to be said for how you pitch your tent. Our predispositions forecast our destiny. Our attitudes presage our behavior. If we have an eye for the world, we will eventually follow it. If Abraham had kept his mind on his past, he might have gone back to Ur of the Chaldees. Lot was already in trouble by the time he pitched his tent toward Sodom. Be careful which way you face. Shun the very appearance of evil.
Genesis 13:12 - "...and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom."
Why Did Lot Not See The Perils Of Sodom?
I can think of nothing more tragic than spiritual blindness. Isaiah spoke of evil men whom God "hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand." Isaiah 44:18. Why could Lot not see that Sodom was a TERRIBLE place to move to? Why does this generation move closer and closer to Sodom, when all
of history testifies to its debauchery and damnation? Pray that God will never let you become spiritually blind. See the evil and flee from it!
Genesis 13:13 - "But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly."
Abraham lived almost 2000 years before Christ. The land was Canaan. Many various tribes dwelled there, but God gave it to Abraham. The earth is the Lord's. He can give it to anyone He wants. Although 4000 years later, God will soon take the entire land by force.
Genesis 13:14-15 - "And the LORD said unto Abram, ...Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and
westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever."
Hebron is 18 miles south of Jerusalem, second-most Jewish city on earth. The king of Hebron launched an offensive against Joshua but lost. Joshua gave Hebron to Caleb. Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob and Leah are buried there. David ruled there. Today, 166,000 Palestinians and 700 Jews live there. That Israel is giving it away is outrageous! Jesus will recapture it at Armageddon.
Genesis 13:17-18 - "Walk through the land, ...for I will give it unto thee. Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron."
Abram Worshipped At Hebron After God Promised Land
After Lot departed, the LORD told Abram, "Lift up now thine eyes, and look ...For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: ...Arise, walk through the land ...for I will give it unto thee." This was a sacred, historic event. Abram built an altar and worshipped God. Recognize the occasions when God is blessing and worship Him.
Genesis 13:18 - "Abram ...dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the LORD."
Eber The Hebrew
The world knows the Jews as Hebrews. The Hebrew language is the only spoken language ever to return from extinction (in the 19th century), after being eradicated during the Diaspora (dispersion) of Israel. Hebrew has continued to be a major written language since antiquity, largely because of the Old Testament. Today, it is the official language of the State of Israel. The word "Hebrew" derives from Eber, great-grandson of Shem (Noah's son), and grandfather of Abraham. Jesus spoke from Heaven to Saul in the Hebrew tongue.
Genesis 14:13 - "...Abram the Hebrew."
First War In The Bible
Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom. It was well-watered like the Garden of Eden, in the green plains of the Jordan River (Genesis 13:10-11). The local cities were under tribute twelve years to Persians (modern Iran) and Chaldeans (modern Iraq). The cities revolted against tribute, but the revolt failed. Sodom was ransacked. Lot was carried away captive. Abraham, with 318 warriors from his household, chased them to near Damascus.
Genesis 14:16 - "And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people."
Abraham warred against (Iraq) and (Iran) to avenge their siege on Lot and the city of Sodom. He recovered people and possessions. Melchizedek brought bread, wine and blessings for Abraham, who gave him tithes of everything recovered. This Melchizedek, "king of Salem, priest of the most high God," was not Christ, but a type. Both were king and priest of Jeru-Salem. Melchizedek's offering of bread and wine portended Jesus' offering body and blood at Calvary.
Psalms 110:4 - "The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek."
The Blessing Of Melchizedek
Abraham acted as a savior and redeemer for Lot and his family when he and his men pursued Chedorlaomer. For his deeds, Melchizedek, King and Priest of Salem, "brought forth bread and wine: ...and blessed him." Melchizedek was NOT Christ, but a profound TYPE of Christ. Melchizedek was a mysterious person with no known lineage. In giving bread and wine, Melchizedek typologically gave Abraham the body and blood of Jesus Christ. A Savior for a savior.
Genesis 14:18 - "Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him."
I Have Lift Up My Hand To The Lord
You can live and die without acknowledging God if you so choose. You can do as you please and completely ignore God and His will. But Abraham lived and died before the Lord. From his earliest days, Abram made vows to God and lived by them. In a time when no man considered the Lord, that made Abraham the apple of God's eye.
Genesis 14:22 - "Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth, ...I will not take any thing that is thine."
Shield And Reward
After Abraham heroically retrieved the hostages and spoils from the war against Sodom, Melchizedek blessed him. More significantly, the LORD appeared to Abraham in a vision and gave him priceless assurances. God promised to be his Shield. Divine protection! What an amazing guarantee! Better than angelic guardians; GOD HIMSELF would deflect the attacks against Abraham! No wonder his posterity (both Israel and the Church) CANNOT BE ANNIHILATED, no matter how savage their enemies. And the reward? God Himself became his friend. Incomparable!
Genesis 15:1 - "Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward."
What Will You Give Me?
Sometimes a believer knows in his heart that God will provide, but cannot imagine how that provision will come. Abraham boldly put the question to God, and God
answered him very precisely. We should always have peace in our hearts, whether or not God reveals His future plan for our lives, but it is not necessarily wrong to
ask God to reveal it to us. Ask!
Genesis 15:2 - "And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?"
A Son For Abraham
Abraham and Sarai were old and barren, but God can work with anything. He resurrected many barren wombs in Bible days and still does. In choosing Abraham, God was
fulfilling a commitment made to the Devil in the garden - a Seed of the Woman would bruise Satan. God chose Abraham to be progenitor of that Righteous Seed. God's
high calling overcomes all obstacles.
Genesis 15:4 - "...the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir."
God told Abraham that his seed would be as countless as the stars. Without doubt, there have been millions of Jews born throughout the centuries since that prophecy.
But wait! All born-again believers in Jesus Christ; "...they which are of faith, the same are the CHILDREN OF ABRAHAM," Galatians 3:7. That adds many millions more!
God keeps His promises.
Genesis 15:5 - "And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall
thy seed be."
Abram Believed In The Lord, Was Counted Righteous
Abram lamented that he had no child and that his servant, Eliezer, would be his heir. But God said, "This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir." Paul observed that Abram, "staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, ...being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform, And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness," Romans 4:21-22
Genesis 15:6 - "He believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness."
Ur Of The Chaldees
Not all scholars agree, but the prevailing consensus is that Ur was in southern Mesopotamia - Iraq. Skeptics argue that the story of the Garden of Eden and Noah's
Flood evolved from ancient Sumerian mythology of that region. Those bizarre myths were concocted after the flood by Noah's godless descendants. Their polytheistic
pagan beliefs greatly offended God. That is why He called monotheistic Abram out and blessed him.
Genesis 15:7 - "I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it."
Whereby Shall I Know?
The terms of your relationship with God are very much up to you. If you want to stay aloof and presume upon His good graces with a never-may-care attitude about what He specifically wants to do in your life, that is your prerogative. But Abraham wanted to know exactly what God was going to do and how He would do it. When God made Covenant with him, Abraham wanted to know all the details. That is the heart of a real Patriarch.
Genesis 15:8 - "And he said, Lord GOD, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?"
Just Do As You Are Told
Abram asked God for a sign to confirm the Covenant. God called for a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old she-goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove and a young pigeon. Without questioning, Abram prepared all those animals for sacrifice. Most of us would have asked God a thousand questions about why we must do such an odd thing. Abram simply obeyed. God responded profoundly. After you have prayed, just do as you are told.
Genesis 15:12,17 - "A deep sleep fell upon Abram; ...behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces."
Egyptian Bondage Prophesied
Believer, learn the way God operates! From the first, God warned Abraham that his descendants would suffer. We should not count it strange concerning the fiery trials of our lives. God ALWAYS puts His people to the test!
Genesis 15:13-14 - "And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance."
Horror Of Great Darkness
Abraham spread a sacrificial offering before the Lord - a goat, lamb, turtledove and pigeon. At sundown, deep sleep and a horror of great darkness fell on him. God revealed a great plan foretelling Egyptian bondage and the birth of a nation.
Genesis 15:13-14 - "Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance."
God's Covenant With Abraham
Noah's descendants turned their hearts to other gods who were no gods. God Almighty called Abram away from them to worship and serve one true God. For his obedience,
God promised Abraham an impressive earthly inheritance - a VAST HOMELAND for his posterity. Modern enemies oppose it, but God will make it so when Jesus Christ returns.
Genesis 15:18 - "In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the
The Euphrates River flowed through the Garden of Eden. Abraham traversed it from Ur to Haran, Assyria. God promised Abraham's seed would possess everything from the
Nile River to the Euphrates, including Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. A World War will break out along the Euphrates - the Sixth Trumpet War of Revelation 9. 1/3 of mankind
will die. Kings from the East will cross a dry Euphrates to face Jesus at Armageddon.
Deuteronomy 11:24 - "...from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the uttermost sea shall your coast be."
The land promised to Abraham extends from the Egyptian Nile and Mediterranean Sea to the Euphrates River. The Euphrates flows through Turkey, Syria and Iraq, merging
with the Tigris down the Iranian border. Today, Ishmaelites are fighting viciously for it, but God promised it to Isaac (Genesis 26:3) and Israel (Genesis 28:13).
This Biblical clash of civilizations is apocalyptic. Jesus and His immortals will slaughter Israel's enemies in "shock and awe" at Armageddon.
Genesis 15:18 - "...the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land."
Hagar The Egyptian
Some people argue that Arabs are not Ishmael's descendants because they presume that is mother Hagar was a black Egyptian (given to Abraham by Pharaoh). But Ishmael's father Abraham was the first Jew. Mohammed corrupted the story of Ishmael, claiming that Ishmael and Abraham built the Kaaba in Mecca. Preposterous! For centuries, Kaaba was a pagan temple of idols. Abraham sent Hagar and Ishmael AWAY to Paran, a wilderness site where Moses and Israel later camped. Neither Abraham, Hagar nor Ishmael ever went to Mecca.
Genesis 16:1 - "...she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar."
Going Against God's Plan
God promised Abram on numerous occasions that He would give him and Sarai seed as the stars for number. But years passed and Sarai had no children. She sovereignly declared that Abram should bear a child by Hagar, her maid. "Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai." Just like Sarai, we open our mouths and contradict God, when we should remain silent and wait on God. We taint the miracle and bring future calamities upon ourselves.
Genesis 16:4 - "He went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes."
The Lord Judge Between Me And Thee
Sarai made a tragic mistake by giving Hagar to Abram. We have only to consider the Islamic threat to modern society to remind us how one person's mistake can produce horrific results. The Ishmaelites would never have existed except for Sarai's unbelief. But Sarai paid a painful price. From the day Hagar learned she was pregnant, she despised Sarai. Sarai tried to put the blame on Abram for going through with the scheme, but the damage was irreversible. Only God could judge the matter.
Genesis 16:5 - "Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: ...the LORD judge between me and thee."
Hagar Talked With The Angel Of The LORD
Because Hagar vehemently despised Sarai, Sarai sent her away. Hagar fled into the wilderness in desperate confusion. The Angel of the Lord visited her. She admitted to him, "I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai." God already knew that. Even in the most complicated situations, God is willing to help, if you will cooperate.
Genesis 16:9-11 - "The angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands. ...I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, ...[thou]shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction."
Prophecies To The Ishmaelites
Sarah made a huge mistake when she gave Hagar to Abraham for a surrogate wife. God fully intended to give Sarah a child but not by Hagar. Hagar and her child had to leave. The Angel of the LORD named him Ishmael and promised he would become an innumerable multitude. Today, the Ishmaelites comprise most of the Arab world, predominately Muslim.
Genesis 16:12 - "And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his
Hagar Talked To JEHOVAH
After the Angel of the LORD gave instructions to Hagar, "she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her." The name of the LORD in the 3400-year-old Hebrew manuscript is "JHWH," "Jehovah," which is commonly rendered "LORD" in the Authorized King James Version of the Bible. Hagar believed she had SEEN Him (an angelic theophany). Muslims, take NOTE! Hagar worshipped Jehovah, NOT ALLAH! It is written.
Genesis 16:13 - "She called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?"
Father Of Many Nations
God told Abraham that he would be the Father of Many Nations. Through his natural son, Isaac, came the Nation of Israel, which later divided into the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah. From his surrogate child, Ishmael, it is difficult to say exactly how many nations descended, since Ishmaelites comprise a large segment of the Arab world among the nations of the Middle East. Thirdly, the Gentile CHURCH is a Holy Nation descended from the faith of Abraham.
Genesis 17:4 - "...and thou shalt be a father of many nations."
Father Of Many Kings
Abram means "Exalted Father." God changed his name to Abraham, "Father of Multitudes." Four kings, Saul, Ishbosheth, David, and Solomon ruled a united monarchy. Nineteen kings ruled Israel. Twenty kings ruled Judah. When Jesus rules as King of Kings from Jerusalem, multitudes of saints will rule the world as
kings under Him - sons of Abraham!
Genesis 17:5-6 - "...thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and KINGS SHALL COME OUT OF THEE."
The significance of the land of Canaan dates back to Noah. Ham discovered Noah drunk then told his brothers. Noah blessed Shem and Japheth for protecting his modesty but cursed Ham and his son Canaan. Canaan would become Shem's servant. As Shem's descendant, Abraham would be Canaan's master. That is why God gave the land of Canaan to Abraham. It included Sidon, Jerusalem, Gaza, Sodom, Galilee, Damascus and much more.
Genesis 17:8 - "I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, ...all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession."
In Genesis 17:11, God told Abraham, "...ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you." For all the centuries to follow, Jewish males were circumcised in the foreskin of their flesh to confirm their Covenant relationship with God. The ultimate purpose of the circumcision was to validate that Messiah was descended from Abraham. Now that Messiah is identified, circumcision is unnecessary.
Romans 15:8 - "Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers."
Even though Abraham circumcised Ishmael when the boy was thirteen years old, Ishmael's descendants do not officially practice circumcision as a matter of their religious faith today. The Koran, which defines the religion of the Ishmaelites, does not teach circumcision. A small percentage of Muslims practice circumcision. This is one of many evidences that they are not the true heirs of the Abrahamic Covenant. Messiah Himself had to be circumcised to claim the Covenant.
Genesis 17:11 - "...ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you."
The story of Sarai vastly outweighs the story of Hagar, as the story of Isaac outweighs the story of Ishmael. This Biblical story is diabolically perverted by the Koran. All God's promises and dealings with Abraham hinged upon his having a child by Sarai, not Hagar! God's Covenant with Abraham would descend through his proper child, Isaac, not the surrogate, Ishmael.
Genesis 17:16 - "And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her."
Abraham Fell On His Face And Laughed At God
God changed Sarai's name to Sarah and told Abraham, "I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her." But Abraham fell on his face and laughed. He was 100! She was 90! Abraham, "Father of the Faithful," was overcome with doubt for the moment, even laughing in God's face. Our carnal minds cannot comprehend God's supernatural abilities. Mercifully, God gives us faith to believe.
Genesis 17:17-18 - "Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? ...O that Ishmael might live before thee!"
This story is enormously important today. One-fourth of the world's population (Muslims) believe God's Abrahamic Covenant was through Ishmael, not Isaac. But Ishmael was a surrogate child. His mother despised Sarai. Ishmael mocked Sarai. They both had bad attitudes. That is why they were cast away. God TOLD Abraham to put them away. God said Ishmael's descendants would be many, wild, and against every man. Abraham circumcised Ishmael at age 13, but today, the Qur'an does not teach circumcision.
Genesis 17:21 - "But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee."
God's Covenant With Isaac
Mohammed diabolically convinced his followers that Ishmael was the rightful heir to God's Covenant with Abraham. But Ishmael was surrogate-born of Sarah's servant. Isaac was legitimately born of Abraham's proper wife. God explicitly established the everlasting Covenant with Isaac and his descendants. Moses put it in writing 3,400 years ago, 2,000 years before Mohammed.
Genesis 17:19,21 - "And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him."
Restrict Your Prayers To The Will Of God
God reminded Abram that He still planned to give Sarai a child, but Abram was emotionally attached to Ishmael. He told the LORD, "O that Ishmael might live before thee!" God consented to bless and multiply Ishmael's seed. But 3000 years later, most of Ishmael's descendants are Arab Muslims who call the Bible story a lie. We often breed treacherous outcomes by clinging to people that God wants us to let go of. Let God choose your friends.
Genesis 17:20-21 - "As for Ishmael, ...I have blessed him, ...and I will make him a great nation. But my covenant will I establish with Isaac."
He Left Off Talking With Him
God permanently settled the matter with Abraham in two fundamental declarations. ONE, He would bless Ishmael and his descendants. TWO, the Abrahamic Covenant must be THROUGH ISAAC, Sarah's future son. If you have an issue with God, you may freely make your case as Abraham did in behalf of Ishmael. But after God answers, His verdict must stand. Put your arguments and excuses away. The conversation is over. Let God have His way. It is the only wise conclusion. God's ways are higher than yours.
Genesis 17:22 - "He left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham."
Turn Words Into Deeds
You can pray. You can negotiate with God. You can make your case and ask God to do whatever it is that you want or need. But after God answers and reveals to you the terms of His blessing, it is up to you to follow through and do the will of God. For Abraham, the Covenant blessing of God was predicated upon his circumcising every male in his household.
Genesis 17:23 - "Abraham took ...every male among the men of Abraham's house; and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the selfsame day, as God had said unto him."
Islam viciously contradicts many Biblical truths concretely established for 2000 years before Mohammed was ever born. The Bible says Ishmael still lived with Abraham and Sarah at THIRTEEN. The Koran says Angel Gabriel took Hagar and SUCKLING BABY Ishmael on a flying horse (Al-Buraq) to a well named ZamZam at Mecca, Saudi Arabia where they say ABRAHAM built the Kaaba (House of Allah) around a meteorite stone on a foundation built by ADAM and EVE! Loathsome lies.
Genesis 17:25 - "Ishmael his son was thirteen years old, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin."
Angels On Assignment
Three angels visited Abraham. One was the Angel of the LORD speaking as the oracle of the invisible God. He declared that Sarah would bear a son within a year. The other two went to judge sinful Sodom. God blessed His favored (Abraham) and cursed His despised (Sodom). God visits those who sacrifice their lives to His purpose.
Genesis 18:2,17 - "...three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground. ...and the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do?"
He Ran To Meet Them, Bowed Himself To The Ground
The angels of God came to visit Abraham. "When he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground." Our generation is almost devoid of such reverence. When is the last time you saw someone bowing on their face or on their knees to pray? Be extremely careful not to be crass or irreverent in the Presence of the Lord. Don't miss your opportunity to make intercession. Run. Bow.
Genesis 18:3 - "My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant."
Dinner With God
When the Angel of the LORD showed up with two other angels at Abraham's door, Abraham showed them extreme hospitality. When Jesus comes to your house, will you welcome Him lavishly? "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me," Revelation 3:20.
Genesis 18:8 - "He took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat."
The Time Of Life
Sarah was ninety years old when the LORD told Abraham she would conceive. They both laughed. But God had the last laugh. He ordered them to call the baby Isaac - "laughter." God works on a schedule, but we do not always know His schedule unless He chooses to tell us what it is. If God says, "nine months from now," get ready!
Genesis 18:14 - "Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a
Is Any Thing To Hard For The LORD?
You simply cannot afford to forget that God created all of this from NOTHING! His infinite, invisible, eternal Spirit pre-dates everything in the universe. Stars. Galaxies. Planets. Plants. Animals. Humans. Fish. Water. Light. Flowers. Sights and sounds, tastes and smells. Miracles beyond our ability to even catalogue. So the next time you have a need that seems difficult to impossible, cast your doubts away. Jesus said, "Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son," John 14:13.
Genesis 18:14 - "Is any thing too hard for the LORD?"
God Exposed Sarah's Unbelief
The LORD asked Abraham where Sarah was, although He certainly already knew. "In the tent," which was behind him. The angel said, "Sarah thy wife shall have a son." Sarah heard it and laughed within herself. "After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?" The LORD asked Abraham, "Wherefore did Sarah laugh?" God exposed her private doubts. It is better for God to expose your doubts than allow them to prevent a miracle.
Genesis 18:15 - "Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh."
Shall I Hide From Abraham That Thing Which I Do?
Abraham had great stature with God. That is a remarkable fact, especially when you consider that virtually no one else on earth had a relationship with God in those days. What does it take to rank so highly with God? Abraham had been responsive, obedient and exemplary in all his ways toward God. If you talk right, walk right, and do right, God is likely to open the lines of communication widely. Try it.
Genesis 18:17-18 - "The LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation?"
For I Know Him
God knew Abraham's heart, and what He knew obvioiusly influenced Him to choose him. You may not even know yourself, but God knows your heart. You may not know how you would respond in a given situation, but God does. If you are driven by wrong motives, God knows. If you have an honest, pure, God-fearing heart, He knows that, too. Be sure that God knows even your thoughts and intentions. Pretenses and phony shows do not fool God.
Genesis 18:19 - "For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him."
He Will Command His Children And His Household
God knew that when he claimed Abraham, He would get Abraham's children and household too. How did He know? Because Abraham understood and practiced spiritual authority. He taught his family and his household the ways of the Lord and commanded them to live by them. You and I should live like that. Hear what God speaks then speak and reiterate it.
Genesis 18:19 - "For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, ...that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him."
Abraham Stood Yet Before The LORD And Drew Near
Two angels went to Sodom to execute judgment. The third was the Angel of the LORD. He stayed with Abraham. As the other two left, Abraham approached the Angel of the LORD (He is called the LORD because He stood in the LORD's place. Remember, "no man hath seen God at any time," John 1:18). Abraham might have made personal requests, but instead he interceded for his kinfolks, Lot's family. Take advantage of God's presence to intercede.
Genesis 18:22-23 - "But Abraham stood yet before the LORD. And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?"
Don't Stop Praying Too Soon
God declared His intention to destroy the evil cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham began to make intercessory prayer for his relatives there. He asked God to save the city if He could find fifty righteous men. Then forty-five, forty, thirty, twenty. Finally, ten. Since there were not ten righteous men in Sodom, Abraham stopped praying. Abraham might have yet saved the city if he hadn't stopped praying.
Genesis 18:24 NAS - "...wilt thou not sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of fifty righteous that are in it?"
I Have Taken It Upon Me To Speak Unto The LORD
We must not allow feelings of unworthiness to prevent us from approaching the LORD. In 1868, Joseph Scriven penned these familiar words: "Oh what peace we often forfeit! Oh what needless pain we bear! All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer!" You may feel like dust and ashes, but God says, "Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me," Psalms 50:15.
Genesis 18:27 - "Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes."
Shall Not The Judge Of All The Earth Do Right?
Abraham pleaded with God to save Sodom if only "fifty righteous" could be found in the city. "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" Lot's family was the only righteous there. Abraham humbly renegotiated to save Sodom for only forty-five souls. Then forty. "Let not the LORD be angry." Thirty-five. Twenty. "Oh, let not the LORD be angry, and I will speak." Ten! God approved TEN! Apparently, Lot did not have even ten descendants, so why did Abraham stop praying? Ask God for what you need!
Genesis 18:33 - "And Abraham returned unto his place."
The Destruction of Sodom
The Contemporary English Bible renders Genesis 19:4-5 thus: "Before Lot and his guests could go to bed, every man in Sodom, young and old, came and stood outside his house and started shouting, "Where are your visitors? Send them out, so we can have sex with them!" God already knew their wicked hearts. That is why the angels came - to destroy it!
Genesis 19:13 - "For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it."
When God delivered Lot and his family from the destruction of Sodom, the angel instructed them not to look back. Tragically, Lot's wife looked back, and "she became a pillar of salt." Our generation would almost certainly fail that test. When God says, "Come out," He says, "touch not the unclean thing." God does not like to see us yearning for the things He delivered us from. Jesus said those who look back are not fit for the Kingdom. Be warned.
Genesis 19:17 - "Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, ...lest thou be consumed."
Sodom was destroyed. God told Lot to go to Zoar, but Lot disobeyed. He and his daughters went into a mountain cave. His daughters complained of their isolation. They made their father drunk, and both bore children by him. The older daughter bore Moab. The younger bore Benammi - father of the Ammonites. This pathetic incestuous scenario came about because of Lot's fears. Disobedience always comes at a high price.
Genesis 19:30 - "Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar."
God often speaks prophetically to people in dreams and visions. When Abimelech, King of Gerar, took Sarah from Abraham's household, he was not informed that she was Abraham's wife. But God set the record straight. Every woman in his household was barren as long as Sarah was there. When Abimelech obeyed the dream, the curse was lifted.
Genesis 20:3 - "But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man's wife."
Abimelech of Gerar
Abimelech took Sarah from Abraham. God shut the wombs of the women in his household. Then God told Abimelech he was a dead man if he touched Sarah - she was a man's wife. Abimelech asked Abraham why he had said she was his sister. "I thought they would slay me for my wife's sake." Abimelech returned Sarah unharmed, gave Abraham sheep, oxen, menservants, womenservants and a thousand pieces of silver, then said, "my land is before thee, dwell where it pleaseth thee." Divine intervention!
Genesis 20:7 - "...restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet."
Pray To Remove A Curse
King Abimelech took Sarah into his household, not knowing she was Abraham's wife. God caused all the women in his household to become barren, and warned him that he was a dead man if he touched Sarah. God ordered the king to have Abraham pray for him to cure the offense. God really does move to protect His chosen people. Even so, He directs us to pray for divine intervention. When Abraham prayed, the women's barrenness was cured.
Genesis 20:7 - "...and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live."
Since God had not given her children, Sarai offered her Egyptian maid to Abraham as a surrogate mother. Hagar despised Sarai after birthing Ishmael. Abraham instructed Sarai to handle Hagar. Sarai dealt harshly with Hagar, so she ran away. God commanded her to return and submit. She stayed thirteen years, until Sarai bore Isaac. The day Sarai weaned Isaac, Ishmael mocked her. After Hagar's despite and Ishmael's mocking, Sarai demanded they be cast out.
Genesis 21:12 - "God said... all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called."
Beersheba is a significant town in south-central Israel - in the Negev desert. It was an important landmark for Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. Abraham and Isaac dug water wells there, and made peace treaties with Abimelech of nearby Gerar. Hagar and Ishmael lived in the wilderness near Beersheba. Jacob left there to go to Joseph in Egypt. Today it is a great city of 185,000 people, mostly Jews. "From Dan to Beersheba" meant "all Israel, from north to south."
Genesis 21:33 - "...Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the LORD."
Thine Only Son Isaac
For twenty-five years Abraham waited on the prophecy to be fulfilled. Finally, at the age of 100, Isaac was born. The episode with Hagar and Ishmael was completely impertinent to the prophecy. God wrote them out of the story line. Abraham's posterity and blessing would only be in Isaac. Today, Ishmael's descendants are fighting viciously for Isaac's inheritance. Only God can and will see to its fulfillment.
Genesis 22:2 - "And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah."
Himself A Lamb
When Abraham took Isaac to Mount Moriah to make sacrifice, Isaac wanted to know where the sacrifice was. "God will provide HIMSELF a lamb," his father told him. Surely enough, the angel intervened before Abraham could slay Isaac. A ram (male lamb) appeared nearby as a substitute. This was powerfully prophetic of Jesus Christ. At the Jordan River eighteen centuries later, John the Baptist saw Jesus and exclaimed, "Behold, the Lamb of God!" God Himself a Lamb.
Genesis 22:8 - "Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together."
"The Lord - Provider" is the name God revealed to Abraham on Mount Moriah. Testing his loyalty, God instructed Abraham to sacrifice his ONLY son, Isaac, on an altar. When God saw Abraham's obedience, His angel halted the sacrifice AND provided a ram caught in a bush to sacrifice in Isaac's place. The lamb foreshadowed God again providing salvation for His saints when Jesus returns to Mount Moriah.
Genesis 22:14 - "Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen."
Possessing the Enemies' Gates
One promise God gave Abraham was that his descendants would possess their enemies' gates. That pretty much solves the problems of enemies. He said He would curse those who cursed His people. It is best not to fight against God's people because that is a sure guarantee you will be conquered.
Genesis 22:17 - "That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies."
Ephron The Hittite - Offered To Donate Sarah's Grave
Sarah died at the age of 127. Isaac was about 36 when his mother died. It was a traumatic event for Abraham. He owned no land to bury Sarah in. "Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her." He told the local sons of Heth that he was a stranger among them and begged a place to bury his wife in the Cave of Machpelah.
Genesis 23:10-11 - "Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the audience of the children of Heth, ...the field give I thee, and the cave that is therein, I give it thee; ...bury thy dead."
Cave of Machpelah
Sarah died in Hebron about 3700 years ago. There Abraham bought the field and the Cave of Machpelah from the sons of Heth to bury her. Today, the cave sits under a 2000-year-old building. Around 700 years ago, Muslims turned the place into a Mosque. Israel retook the property in 1967, but Muslims still manage it. It also contains the graves of Abraham, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob and Leah.
Genesis 23:19-20 - "Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre: the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan."
A Bride for Isaac
Abraham sent his servant to Mesopotamia to find a wife for Isaac. Eliezar wondered what to do if he could not find one, but Abraham prophesied his success. God's angel delivered. Rebekah came eagerly.
Genesis 24:7 - "The LORD God of heaven, which took me from my father's house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence."
Abraham's servant was charged with finding a wife for Isaac, and he worried what the consequences would be if he could not find her. He asked God to prosper his mission, even specifying the terms. Amazingly, God did exactly as he asked. At the well, the perfect girl was waiting.
Genesis 24:42-44 - "I came this day unto the well, and said, O LORD God of my master Abraham, if now thou do prosper my way which I go: ...let the same be the woman whom the LORD hath appointed out for my master's son."
Abraham sent his eldest servant (presumably his steward, Eliezer) to find a wife for Isaac in the homeland of his grandfather Nahor in Mesopotamia. At one time, Eliezer had been the heir to Abraham's wealth, but after Isaac was born, that changed. Nevertheless, Eliezer was privileged to see God working miraculously for his master. I am thinking of the Prodigal Son who said, "How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare." Any place in God's service is good.
Genesis 15:2 - "...the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus."
Two Nations - Twins!
A major prophecy seemed in jeopardy of failing. Isaac's wife, Rebekah, was barren! But suddenly, God provided - TWINS! Even before they were born, God foretold their future. The elder would serve the younger. Hundreds of years later, under King David, Esau's Edomites were conquered by Jacob's Israel (2 Samuel 8:14).
Genesis 25:23 - "...the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be
stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger."
Sell Me Thy Birthright
Maybe this doesn't look like a prophecy, but think about it. Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of beans. Obviously, Esau did not comprehend the true value of his birthright. We are talking about divine posterity - something only Almighty God can assure. Let Esau's descendants rage! Jacob owns the blessing outright. A deal is a deal. Isaac laid his hand on Jacob and transferred it to him irrevocably.
Genesis 25:33 - "And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob."
The birth of Isaac's twins was ominous. Jacob came from the womb grabbing the heel of the firstborn, Esau. Jacob's name means "supplanter: one who usurps or takes the place of another." In time, Jacob did supplant Esau, buying his birthright for a bowl of beans, then tricking his father to lay hands on him for the family blessing. His strong desire for the birthright, which included God's Covenants with Abraham and Isaac, impressed God despite his unscrupulous methods.
Romans 9:13 - "As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated."
A Bowl Of Beans
Look at the modern State of Israel. Then contemplate its 3600-year history. Scores of large cities. Scores of great kings. Millions of people. The overall impact of Israel on the world stage is inestimable. Great scientists, inventors, financiers, artists, musicians, politicians, etc. Jews have played a major role in nearly every nation on earth. And Esau gave it all up for a bowl of beans.
Genesis 25:34 - "Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright."
Go Not Down To Egypt
Everybody knows about God's promises to Abraham to bless and multiply his seed and inherit the Promised Land. But God made important prerequisites to those prophecies. Isaac must obey His commandments, statutes and laws, AND he must NOT go down to Egypt. He must trust God during famine in the land. Likewise, WE must obey God and be in His chosen place before we can claim His promises.
Genesis 26:2 - "...the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of."
Isaac inherited Abraham's divine Covenant blessings. His mother was barren until the age of 90. God used that to prove the power of the Covenant. Isaac's life appears to be relatively non-eventful when compared to many other great characters in the Bible. But his significance cannot be overstated. Dismissing Ishmael, God called Isaac Abraham's "ONLY SON."
Genesis 26:3 - "I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father."
God Speaks to Isaac
Technically, God's promise would never have to be repeated to be valid. God keeps His word. But God chose to deliver the Abrahamic Covenant first-hand and personally to Isaac. God has no grandchildren. He is Father to every generation, including yours and mine. His Word speaks freshly to us today.
Genesis 26:24 - "And the LORD appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham's sake."
Isaac was old and blind, and his days were numbered. He called Esau to prepare a special meal, after which he would give his eldest son the family blessing. But Esau had already despised the Birthright, sold it to Jacob, and married a Hittite woman. Rebekah and Jacob carefully intercepted the blessing. They "pulled out all the stops" for Jacob. If you want the blessing, fight for it.
Genesis 27:4 - "And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die."
Isaac and Rebekah were grieved by Esau's marriage to a Hittite woman. Rebekah determined that the family inheritance should pass to Jacob. She plotted in Jacob's behalf to get the blessing from dying Isaac. It was a risky venture. What if Isaac discovered he was being deceived? She felt it was worth the risk, and was willing to take the blame if it failed. We need more mothers who will fight for righteousness. God loved it.
Genesis 27:13 - "...his mother said unto him, Upon me be thy curse, my son: only obey my voice."
Venison For A Prayer
Rebekah and Jacob committed a fraudulent deception against Isaac. She cooked goat meat to taste like Esau's venison. They put goat skins on Jacob's arms to simulate hairy Esau. Jacob blatantly lied to his blind father: "I am Esau..." Jacob wanted Isaac to pronounce the blessing on him. Esau despised it. How far will you go to secure the blessing of God? Isaac's prayer of blessing was the coveted prize.
Genesis 27:28 - "Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine."
Fleeing Esau - Fleeing Trouble
Esau threatened to kill Jacob for stealing the family blessing. Rebekah had pushed Jacob into the situation, then she had to urge Jacob to flee. Sometimes situations seem to deteriorate before they get better. Nevertheless, Jacob's flight took him to Laban where he met and married his wives and became the father of the "twelve tribes of Israel." It is not uncommon in the will of God for things to get worse before they get better.
Genesis 27:43 - "Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; and arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran."
As Isaac sent Jacob away, he blessed him with a prayer over him. Jacob was headed to Haran to find his mother's brother, Laban. His first encounter was while he was yet afar off. He met Rachel in a field as she was tending sheep. It was love at first sight. God had everything arranged for Jacob before he ever left home. Even so, our prayers of faith are preparing the way for those we love. Have faith in God.
Genesis 28:3 - "And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee."
Here is a written record, authored by Moses over 3,000 years ago, confirming that Isaac passed Abraham's blessing to JACOB, including the deed to the Promised Land. Islam hotly contests this claim, but it is at least 2,000 years older than Islam. Mohammed's counter-claims are illegitimate. God will confirm Israel's claim to the land originally given to Abraham.
Genesis 28:4 - "And give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham."
God Visits Jacob
The Lord appeared to Jacob in a dream. The Covenant with ABRAHAM suddenly became the Covenant with JACOB. Even if Abraham had never lived, Jacob now had a promise from God. In his lifetime, Jacob would see his descendants migrate to Egypt, but there was a promise they would be back to the land promised in the Covenant.
Genesis 28:13 - "And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed."
After the Lord appeared to Jacob at Bethel, making Covenant, Jacob reciprocated with a vow of his own. Jacob lived his life devoted to the God of his fathers. 3500 years later, a great nation still witnesses to that relationship.
Genesis 28:20-21 - "And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, So that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God."
I Will Not Leave Thee
When God spoke to Jacob in the dream at Bethel, He prophesied of Israel being scattered to the North, South, East and West. Then He said, "I will bring thee again into this land." That was a prophecy for 3,700 years later, fulfilled in 1948 when the modern State of Israel was born. The United Nations, with Resolution 181, fulfilled a divine mandate, opening the door for God's people to return to their homeland.
Genesis 28:15 - "...I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of."
Abraham's first stop in Canaan land was a place called Luz (looz), ten miles north of Jerusalem. Jacob saw the ladder into heaven there. Later, Jacob wrestled the angel there, who renamed him Israel. He renamed the place Bethel, which means "house of God" (beth=house, el=God). Samuel confirmed Saul as Israel's first king there. King Jeroboam worshipped a golden calf there, an unnamed prophet condemned his altar there, and centuries later, Josiah destroyed the altar and the bones of Jeroboam's
false prophets there.
Genesis 28:19 - "And he called the name of that place Bethel."
Jacob's encounter with Laban was a prophetic fulfillment. Although Jacob was forced to flee as a fugitive from Esau's jealous rage, God was working for his good. We must not panic when God forces us out of a comfortable situation into a foreign environment. It just might be our divine destiny. Jacob found his wives and the twelve tribes were born.
Genesis 29:13 - "And it came to pass, when Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his sister's son, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house."
The Deceiver Is Deceived
Jacob offered to serve Laban seven years for Rachel's hand in marriage. Seven years later, the old man pulled a fast one on Jacob. He woke up after the honeymoon to find the older daughter, Leah, instead of his desired Rachel. The beguiler had been beguiled. Years later, Laban continued the deceit and Jacob had to leave. What goes around, comes around. If you want truth, deal truthfully.
Genesis 29:25 - "...he said to Laban, What is this thou hast done unto me? did not I serve with thee for Rachel? wherefore then hast thou beguiled me?"
Laban made Jacob marry his oldest daughter, Leah, before he could take Rachel, the younger. Leah had four sons, but Rachel was barren. She verbalized her despair to God in prayer. After some time, she gave her handmaiden to Jacob, who then bore Dan. Dan, meaning "judge," became a tribe known for its judges, including Samson. Their homeland was the northern-most territory of Israel, above Galilee, against Lebanon.
Genesis 30:6 - "Rachel said, God hath judged me, and hath also heard my voice, and hath given me a son: therefore called she his name Dan."
Little Is Much When God Is In It
Jacob was far from home, fugitive from an angry brother, yet God was with him. His flocks multiplied miraculously. Sometimes our circumstances are mixed - hardship or tragedy on one hand; blessing on the other. Quit your pessimism. If God be for you, who can be against you? What is in thy hand? God will bless and multiply it! Little is much when God is in it.
Genesis 30:30 - "...it was little which thou hadst before I came, and it is now increased unto a multitude; and the LORD hath blessed thee since my coming."
Prayer is a two-way street. We pray today. God may speak tomorrow. After Jacob spent twenty years in Laban's household, things went sour. Laban became adversarial. God spoke to Jacob and instructed him to leave. It was a defining moment of Jacob's life. If we want to receive instructions of that kind, we need a heart that desires to hear His voice. We need God's point of view.
Genesis 31:3 - "And the LORD said unto Jacob, Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee."
God Has Been With Me
Jacob had many problems with Laban. After serving seven years to marry Rachel, Laban gave him Leah instead and made him serve seven more for Rachel. Then Jacob negotiated to take the "ring-straked and spotted" livestock and leave the rest to Laban. Laban was enraged when the herds multiplied in Jacob's favor. Troublemakers in our lives just cannot win when God is with us.
Genesis 31:5 - "...I see your father's countenance, that it is not toward me as before; but the God of my father hath been with me."
Here Am I
Laban was making life difficult for Jacob, so Jacob had to make a deal with him to allow him to have all the "ring-straked and spotted" livestock. As soon as the deal was made, God intervened. Nearly all the cattle began to be "ring-straked and spotted." This was no accident. God clearly spoke with Jacob about the matter, and Jacob affirmed that he and God had discussed it. Conversations with God are profitable.
Genesis 31:11 - "And the angel of God spake unto me in a dream, saying, Jacob: And I said, Here am I."
When Jacob began to leave Laban after twenty years of service, Laban would have forbid it and would have kept everything including his daughters. But when God pronounces certain destiny over a life such as Jacob's, nothing and nobody can stop it. Blessing and cursing are sovereign irresistible powers of God.
Genesis 31:42 - "Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely thou hadst sent me away now empty. God hath seen
mine affliction and the labour of my hands, and rebuked thee yesternight."
God Of Nahor
We have heard the phrase, "The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob," but how about the "GOD OF NAHOR"? Nahor was Abraham's grandfather. Nahor was 99 years old when
Abraham was born, and died when Abraham was 49. Nahor believed in the one true God, so certainly must have influenced Abraham's faith and calling. Eliezer found
Rebekah for Isaac in Nahor's hometown. This scarcely-known grandfather surely had far greater impact than we have realized. Never underestimate your impact on others!
Genesis 31:53 - "The God of Abraham, and the God of Nahor..."
Jacob was plainly terrified of seeing Esau again. Twenty years earlier, Esau had threatened to kill him. Jacob humbled himself and earnestly prayed to God, reminding Him of His promises to return him home safely. He begged God to help him. That night, Jacob met and wrestled with the angel that renamed him "Israel." Everything worked out excellently with Esau after that.
Genesis 32:11 - "Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children."
Owning Up to Our Flaws
Before the Angel of the LORD would pronounce the blessing upon him, Jacob had to tell the angel his own name. Jacob's name meant "supplanter." Announcing that to the angel was tantamount to confessing, "I am a crook!" Sooner or later, we all have to own up to our flaws. God requires that we confess our faults. There is no point in hiding our sins. God sees everything anyway. Admit it and get on with your divine destiny.
Genesis 32:27 - "And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob."
Jacob's Name Change
One of the most notable events in human history is Jacob's name change. Dreading confrontation with Esau after twenty years of exile, Jacob prayed desperately for God's help. That night, an angel wrestled fiercely with Jacob, permanently injuring his thigh joint. Jacob said, "I will not let thee go, except thou bless me." Today's headlines republish the name spoken by the angel - ISRAEL.
Genesis 32:28 - "And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed."
Lead On Softly
By the grace of God, Jacob and Esau reconciled beautifully. Jacob gave him generous gifts, and they blessed each other before parting ways. Jacob's anxiety was relieved. Peacefulness settled over him. From there on, he could relax and head for the Promised Land. They could travel at a leisurely pace for the cattle and children. God diffused the crisis. When we finally see God's hand working, we can relax and travel on.
Genesis 33:14 - "I will lead on softly, according as the cattle that goeth before me and the children be able to endure."
Jacob Buys Land At Shechem
God promised Shechem to Abraham and his descendants. Years later, Jacob bought land there for his family. Shechem became a highly significant city throughout Bible days. Joseph visited his brothers there before being sold into slavery. Later, he was buried there. Many Bible stories occurred there, but Palestinians now control it (modern Nablus). Jesus will reclaim it soon at the Battle of Armageddon.
Genesis 33:19 - "And he bought a parcel of a field, where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem's father, for an hundred pieces of money."
Jacob Takes Ownership
Laban and Esau were behind now, so Jacob could take his family and flocks home to the Promised Land. He stopped for a while at Succoth, east of Jordan, and built shelters for cattle. But shortly, he purchased land from Shechem and for the first time, owned part of the Promised Land. Shechem is nestled between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim - where Joshua pronounced blessing and cursing. Sooner or later, God's promises always come to pass.
Genesis 33:20 - "And he erected there an altar, and called it Elelohe-Israel [God - the God of Israel]."
You Made Me Stink
Jacob settled his family and flocks on Promised Land in Shechem. But daughter Dinah was raped by the son of the king of Shechem. Jacob's sons mindlessly murdered and plundered the entire city. Over-reacting to tragedy doubles the loss.
Genesis 34:30 - "And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house."
Clean Up Your Act
Calamity struck Jacob at Shechem. His daughter was raped by the king's son. His sons murderously retaliated against the Shechemites. They had to flee the region. God called Jacob back to Bethel for spiritual revival.
Genesis 35:2-5 - "Jacob said unto his household..., Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: ...And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; ...and the terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them."
An Altar And Offerings At Bethel
After being displaced from Shechem, Jacob returned to the "the house of God," Bethel. He built an altar and made offerings to the Lord. Shortly thereafter, his precious wife, Rachel, died giving birth to Benjamin, and soon his father, Isaac, died. Our inevitable tragedies are much easier to bear when we have already been to the altar beforehand. Why not consecrate today?
Genesis 35:14 - "And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he talked with him, even a pillar of stone: and he poured a drink offering thereon, and he poured oil thereon."
God's Covenant with Abraham passed to Isaac, then to Jacob and his seed. Numerous accounts in the book of Genesis reiterate this fact. This has to be one of the oldest real estate deeds on earth.
Genesis 35:11-12 - "And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land."
Leah And Rachel
Marriage laws did not exist prior to Moses' trip to Sinai. Polygamy was commonplace. Jacob married Leah and Rachel. Rachel was initially barren, so she gave her handmaiden, Bilhah to Jacob as a surrogate. Later, Leah "left off bearing," so gave Zilpah, her handmaiden to Jacob. The four wives bore twelve sons to Jacob - the twelve tribes of Israel.
Genesis 35:23-26 - "The sons of Leah; Reuben, ...Simeon, ...Levi, ...Judah, ...Issachar, and Zebulun: The sons of Rachel; Joseph, and Benjamin: And the sons of Bilhah, ...Dan, and Naphtali: And the sons of Zilpah, ...Gad, and Asher."
Esau Is Edom
God knew in advance that Esau was not going to work out. Esau went to strange nations to find wives. He settled east of Jordan in the region of Mount Seir. His descendants became known as Edom - the Edomites. When Moses brought the children of Israel from Egypt, the Edomites would not let them pass through their land. Esau's grandchildren, the Amalekites, were first to declare war on the children of Israel. Many of Esau's descendants were merciless enemies of Israel.
Genesis 36:9 - "And these are the generations of Esau the father of the Edomites in mount Seir."
Jacob's favorite son was Rachel's firstborn, Joseph. His brothers were jealous and hostile toward him because he had his father's favor. At seventeen years old, Joseph dreamed two dreams that would eventually catapult him into world recognition for all time. Think of it! A divinely-ordered, profoundly significant destiny was inaugurated in a seventeen year-old boy. It all began with his father's love. We should take extreme care to pronounce blessings on those we love!
Genesis 37:5 - "And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more."
Coat Of Many Colors
Men often resent others who receive special favors. His brothers hated Joseph because he had his father's favor. Korah hated Moses, and Saul hated David because of God's favor. God's favor on a man often provokes others' jealousy or hatred. People commit grievous acts against those who have divine favor. Lucifer killed Jesus in jealousy. That is why true saints have to suffer. "Hated for my name's sake."
Genesis 37:3 - "Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours."
"I Pray You..."
The ancient people often used the phrase, "I pray you..." or "I pray thee..." to solicit the kind consideration of their requests of others. It was as if they were either afraid of the other person or were, in effect, begging for merciful consideration. Unfortunately, making a prayerful request of ordinary men does not always elicit a favorable response. Joseph must have hoped his family would rejoice with him, but they did not. Make your prayers to God instead.
Genesis 37:6 - "And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed."
If Reuben had not argued in his defense, his brethren would have killed Joseph in rabid jealousy. Instead, they held him captive in a dry well before selling him into slavery. To cover their sins, they deceived Jacob into believing that his son had been killed by a wild animal. If you stand for God, your enemies may use outrageous, diabolical tactics to destroy you. They may deceive others, but they cannot fool God. God judges righteously.
Genesis 37:31 - "And they took Joseph's coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood."
Judah, fourth son of Jacob, opposed his brothers' scheme to kill Joseph. He suggested that they could sell him as a slave. Throughout history, Jewish rabbis have argued that Judah should have saved Joseph from his brothers and returned him to his father, Jacob. Instead, Judah is blamed for Joseph's plight. Many think the death of Judah's wife and two sons was divine retribution for Judah's behavior.
Genesis 37:26-27 - "And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood? Come, and let us sell him..."
Judah had three sons by a daughter of Shuah: Er, Onan and Shelah. Er married Tamar, but God slew him for being a wicked man. Tradition demanded that his brother take the widow and give her children for his brother's posterity. Onan laid with Tamar, but would not give her a child. God slew him for that.
Genesis 38:9 - "And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother."
Poor Tamar! Married Er. He died. Judah gave her Onan. He died, too! Judah promised to give his third son, Shelah. She waited childless for years. Judah never delivered. Tamar tricked Judah into lying with her by posing as a wayside harlot. Later, his servants reported that Tamar was pregnant from whoredom. Judah ordered her to be burned until she revealed that HE was the father of her twins - Pharez and Zarah! Pharez became grandfather to Boaz, David, and Messiah.
Genesis 38:26 - "Judah...said, She hath been more righteous than I; because that I gave her not to Shelah my son."
When a man is fulfilling his prophetic destiny, even the bad times are good. Although Joseph's brothers hated him and sold him to slave-traders, God's purpose could not be averted. "For we know that ALL things work together for the good..." Like Daniel in Babylon, God never loses track of a faithful man, even in the most evil places. God's blessing follows him.
Genesis 39:4 - "And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand."
Can't Keep A Good Man Down
They threw Joseph in a pit to die, but God pulled him out. Potiphar bought him as a common slave, but God exalted him. Potiphar's wife falsely charged him with attempted rape and he went to prison, but God raised him from prison to Egypt's throne. When prophetic destiny is working, nothing can stand in its way. Hell cannot prevail when God has already defined your future.
Genesis 39:21 - "But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison."
The Butler And The Baker
It is impossible for us to know ahead of time how wonderfully God will work in our lives. Joseph went to prison after being falsely accused of attempted rape. There he met Pharaoh's Butler and Baker and miraculously interpreted a dream for each. According to the dreams, one would live and one would die. But most importantly, God used that seemingly horrible occasion to exalt Joseph to the throne of Egypt.
Genesis 40:1 - "It came to pass after these things, that the butler of the king of Egypt and his baker had offended their lord the king of Egypt."
Prayer Not Needed?
It seems conspicuous that many significant Bible stories make no direct mention of a component of prayer. For example, there are no specific references to particular prayers in the story of Joseph. That does not mean that Joseph did not pray or need to pray, just that God works sovereignly from His Throne and is not hostage to our prayers or our prayerlessness. Anyone who prays and seeks God's will daily will see God lead on, as Joseph did.
Genesis 41:14 - "Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon."
From his childhood, God spoke to Joseph in dreams and supernatural revelations. God revealed that he would be exalted above his own family. Years later, God interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh's butler and baker to Joseph, and eventually, the dreams of Pharaoh himself. Joseph denied that it was a human ability. Joseph's insights came from his personal and intimate communion with God. We, too, may discover amazing insights in prayerful, contemplative times with Him.
Genesis 41:16 - "And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace."
God showed Joseph the meaning of Pharaoh's dreams. Seven lean cows devoured seven fat cows. Seven withered ears of corn devoured seven full ears of corn. It meant that Egypt would have seven years of bounty followed by seven years of famine. God showed Pharaoh and Joseph things to come, and God used Joseph to save multitudes in those days, both Egyptians and children of Israel.
Genesis 41:32 - "And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass."
Pharaoh was almost always antagonistic to the Hebrews. But in the story of Joseph, he was a protagonist. When a man's ways please the Lord, God causes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
Genesis 41:39-41 - "Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art: Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou. ...I have set thee over all the land of Egypt."
Corn In Egypt
The famine in Canaan was no accident. God was orchestrating an epic story. God had warned Abraham many years earlier that his descendants would become strangers in a land that was not theirs. Now it was about to begin, but they had not a clue. Israel would be forced to Egypt to survive, but miraculously, Joseph was already there with their salvation. So was God.
Genesis 42:2 - "And he said, Behold, I have heard that there is corn in Egypt: get you down thither, and buy for us from thence; that we may live, and not die."
When Joseph's brothers showed up on Egypt's doorsteps, it must have been an awesome sight for Joseph. A million thoughts must have crossed his mind. They did not recognize him. He could have easily avenged himself of all their past cruelties, but he only toyed with them. He knew that God was in the whole matter. By God's will, he would be their wealthy benefactor.
Genesis 42:9 - "And Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed of them, and said unto them, Ye are spies; to see the nakedness of the land ye are come."
Jacob's sons hated Joseph because of his dreams. The dreams said they would bow to him. They determined that it would never happen. They would kill him if necessary to prevent it. But Judah pressed them only to sell him to slavery. They thought they were done with Joseph. But God was not through with them. It was all for a purpose. It does not pay to resist God's plan for your life. Sooner or later, reckoning day will come.
Genesis 43:18 - "And the men were afraid, because they were brought into Joseph's house."
Joseph's dear mother Rachel was dead, and he had not seen his little brother Benjamin for more than twenty years. He yearned to see him. When the older brothers came to Egypt for corn, Joseph threatened them not to come back without Benjamin, or they would be convicted as spies. Someday, Benjamin would be a very great tribe, but first, Joseph would be his savior.
Genesis 43:29-30 - "And he lifted up his eyes, and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother's son, ...he sought where to weep; and he entered into his chamber, and wept there."
If we could always see how God is working in our lives, we would never doubt Him. Joseph's brothers marveled that they had been seated at Joseph's banquet table in perfectly chronological order, oldest to the youngest. That was a subtle clue that somebody knew them intimately. They did not yet realize that their host was their long-lost brother, or that God was working magnificently - mercifully - in their behalf.
Genesis 43:33 - "They sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his youth: and the men marveled one at another."
God Hath Found Out The Iniquity Of Thy Servants
Joseph ordered his brothers' money to be secretly placed into the bags of grain AND his silver cup to be hidden in Benjamin's sack. He ordered his servants to pursue them as they returned to Canaan. His purpose was to test his brothers' loyalty to their baby brother, Benjamin. It was time for them to have a heart-cleansing. The whole ordeal forced them to confess that God had found them out. Don't make God chase you down to get a confession.
Genesis 44:16 - "Judah said, ...how shall we clear ourselves? God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants."
Thou Art Even As Pharaoh
Way back yonder in Joseph's dream, he saw his brethren bowing down to him. "We were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf." Genesis 37:7. Many years later in Egypt, Joseph had the mastery over his brothers and could easily have had them destroyed. As humiliated aliens before Pharaoh, they begged for mercy. Prophecy fulfilled.
Genesis 44:18 - "Judah came near unto him, and said, Oh my lord, ...let not thine anger burn against thy servant: for thou art even as Pharaoh."
They Abused Joseph, But Had To Defend Benjamin
Joseph played some serious mind-games with his brothers. He framed them for crimes they did not commit, although he had no intention of prosecuting them. He only wanted to teach them a long-overdue lesson. They had hated and betrayed him, so Joseph forced them to defend Benjamin.
Genesis 44:20-23 - "We have a father, an old man, and a child of his old age, a little one; and his brother is dead, ...if he should leave his father, his father would die. ...I pray thee, let thy servant abide instead of the lad ...and let the lad go up with his brethren."
Enslaved To Save Lives
Joseph sent his brothers away with the money they paid him hidden in their grain sacks. Joseph's silver cup was in Benjamin's sack. Then his servants arrested them and charged them with theft. But Joseph dropped the charges. "I am Joseph," he weepingly confessed. Their old sins against Joseph turned out for everyone's good. Same for us. God has a glorious outcome for all our sufferings.
Genesis 45:5 - "Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life."
Joseph knew God had put him through his trials in Egypt to preserve the posterity of Israel. "...it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt." Joseph gave them the fertile land of Goshen.
Genesis 45:10 - "And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near unto me, thou, and thy children, and thy children's children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast."
God Pays Moving Expenses
If and when God wants you to move, He will make a way. Do not fret the details. God will provide.
Genesis 45:19-21 - "Now thou art commanded, this do ye; take you wagons out of the land of Egypt for your little ones, and for your wives, and bring your father, and come. Also regard not your stuff; for the good of all the land of Egypt is yours. And the children of Israel did so: and Joseph gave them wagons, according to the commandment of Pharaoh, and gave them provision for the way."
Fainting From Unbelief
Unbelief is a killer, and it can kill otherwise great men. Double-minded men are unstable in all their ways. Either God is everything He says He is, or He is a liar. It is up to you to get a hold on the truth of the matter. Nobody else can do it for you. Tell Jacob that Joseph is still alive. Don't doubt it. Rejoice!
Genesis 45:26 - "And told him, saying, Joseph is yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt. And Jacob's heart fainted, for he believed them not."
Seventy souls entered Egypt - Jacob's immediate family. 430 years later, they left Egypt as a great nation. 600,000 military-aged men were accounted at Sinai, suggesting a total population of around two million who followed Moses across the Red Sea. Chances are, Israel would never have multiplied intact had they remained nomads in Canaan. God sent them to Egypt to prepare them for the Promised Land. Do you feel your circumstances do not make sense? Trust God!
Genesis 46:27 - "...all the souls of the house of Jacob, which came into Egypt, were threescore and ten."
Cattlemen, Shepherds, Herdsmen In Egypt
Joseph told his brothers to move into Goshen. When they arrived, he instructed them to tell Pharaoh that they were herdsmen (46:34). Commentator Adam Clarke suggested that Joseph knew how Egyptians despised cattlemen and shepherds, so Pharaoh would be happy to keep them far away. That was better for them than living under Pharaoh's scrutinous eye. The strategy worked. Pharaoh homesteaded them in Goshen.
Genesis 47:6 - "The land of Egypt is before thee; in the best of the land make thy father and brethren to dwell; in the land of Goshen let them dwell: ...make them rulers over my cattle."
Jacob Blessed Pharaoh (Israel Blessed Egypt)
The premise of this claim seems contradictory to the facts. The facts said that Jacob and his family were out of food, out of pasture, and in need of Pharaoh's help. Still, the Bible said, "Jacob blessed Pharaoh." How could a poverty-stricken Jew bless the wealthy King of Egypt? By divine graces, of course. But there is more to the matter than first meets the eye. If it had not been for Jacob's son, Joseph, Egypt would have perished during seven years of famine. The blessing was already at work. Israel blessed Egypt.
Genesis 47:10 - "And Jacob blessed Pharaoh."
While The World Suffers, God Provides For His Chosen
Judah led the family of seventy, "and they came into the land of Goshen," 46:28. Joseph took his royal chariot to meet Israel his father. They hugged and wept together "a good while." Then Joseph took them to meet Pharaoh, who welcomed them to remain in Goshen. Joseph was the governor of Egypt and had authority over all Egypt's wealth. While Egypt suffered epic famine, God's people were well provided for, receiving amazing, royal favor.
Genesis 47:12 - "And Joseph nourished his father, and his brethren, and all his father's household, with bread, according to their families."
Into Egypt, There I Will Make Of Thee A Great Nation
God spoke to Israel (Jacob) in a night vision. "Go down into Egypt; for there I will make of thee a great nation. I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again," 46:3-4. Jacob obeyed the LORD and took his entire family. "All the souls were threescore and six." God made a great nation from seventy poor souls. That is the power of His prophetic Word.
Genesis 47:27 - "Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the country of Goshen; and they had possessions therein, and grew, and multiplied exceedingly."
Ephraim And Manasseh
Joseph's children were born into Egypt's royal household; Manasseh, "causing to forget," and Ephraim, "double fruit." When grandfather Jacob came to Egypt and met his two new grandsons, he adopted them both. Afterward, Joseph's tribe was listed as two tribes - Ephraim and Manasseh. The priestly tribe, Levi, had no land inheritance, therefore there were still twelve tribes listed.
Genesis 48:5 - "And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine."
Jacob Blesses Joseph And Sons
You can pronounce a blessing on others with special prayer. When Joseph presented his two sons to Jacob, the old man should have put his right hand on Manasseh the older, but instead he switched them. He gave the first blessing to the younger son, just like his own father had done.
Genesis 48:16 - "The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth."
Jacob Prophesies To Joseph
Although God forewarned Abraham that his descendants would suffer bondage for hundreds of years, He never planned for the children of Israel to stay in Egypt permanently. God raised up a holy nation in the midst of the hostile political climate of Pharaoh, greatest king in the world at that time. Here is the lesson: This world is not our home. God has a better land for all His children.
Genesis 48:21 - "And Israel said unto Joseph, Behold, I die: but God shall be with you, and bring you again unto the land of your fathers."
One Portion Above Thy Brethren
Bible scholars suppose that Jacob left Shechem specifically to Joseph. He is, in fact, now buried there. Jacob bought the land when first returning from Laban, but apparently the Amorites took it from him, and he had to retake it by the sword. Today, it is Nablus, a power-center for Muslim extremists in the Middle East. Jesus will retake it following Armageddon.
Genesis 48:22 - "Moreover I have given to thee one portion above thy brethren, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow."
Jacob The Prophet
Jacob was a true prophet - a seer. He knew God's working in his own life, but he could also see what God was doing in his twelve sons. The forty-ninth chapter of Genesis records Jacob's prophetic pronouncements on each of the twelve tribes. Reuben will not excel. Simeon and Levi will divide and scatter. In Judah, sceptres, lawgivers, "Shiloh" (Messiah). Everyone received a prophetic word that day.
Genesis 49:1 - "And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days."
God Meant It Unto Good
Jacob was dead. The family took him to Hebron and buried him in the Cave at Machpelah. The brothers were afraid that Joseph would now avenge himself of their former sins. They appealed to him for mercy. Joseph assured them that he knew God was working for all their good in that horrific experience. We should remember that in our trials.
Genesis 50:20 - "But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive."
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