In message 42 of the Life-Study of Genesis, we come to Abraham’s experience of trials. Before this, Abraham had attained a high point in his experience of God at the place between Bethel and Ai (Gen. 12:8). Instead of remaining there, however, Abraham continued his journey southward. Therefore, when the famine came, Abraham moved into Egypt where he sinned by lying. This shows us that, while it may be easy to reach the high point in our experience with God, it is not easy to remain there. This is especially true when the Lord sends us trials in order for us to learn the lessons of God’s sovereignty. Even though Abraham failed, God came in and kept Abraham and Sarah. Through this Abraham learned that the God who called him will also take care of him and that everything was in His hand. As a result, in the next chapter, Abraham did not strive with Lot but rather trusted in God and gave Lot his choice. Subsequently, God appeared to Abraham and confirmed His promise concerning the good land and his seed. Moreover, Abraham reached the peak of his experience of God and moved to Hebron (13:18) where he dwelt for most of the remainder of his time in the fellowship with God (18:1).
In message 43 we come to the victory in Abraham’s experience with the backdrop of the fighting between a group of four kings and a group of five kings. Because Lot separated himself from Abraham and was living in Sodom, a sinful and wicked city, he was captured along with the rest of Sodom by the group of four kings. When Abraham got news of this, he did not blame Lot for separating himself from him. Rather, Abraham prayed, trusted in God, and made a strong decision to fight for Lot. As a result, Abraham gained the victory and rescued Lot. At this point Melchisedec, a type of Christ, came on the scene. The ministry or priesthood of Melchisedec, which preceded the Aaronic priesthood, is one that ministers the processed God, signified by the bread and wine, to His people as their nourishment. In addition, it must have been through Melchisedec’s intercession behind the scene that Abraham was able to gain the victory and rescue Lot. Finally, Abraham also overcame the temptation of earthly substance by refusing to take anything from the king of Sodom.
In message 44 we come to a turn in Abraham’s experience of God from the One who protected him and provided for his material needs to One who enabled him to fulfill God’s purpose, which is to have a people to express Him with His image and represent Him with His dominion (Gen. 1:26). To fulfill this purpose, God firstly needed Abraham to have a seed who will become God’s people. When Abraham heard this, he counted Eliezer as his seed, but this is not what God promised. Actually, the seed had to be something that God worked into Abraham so that he might bring it forth. In light of Galatians 3, we see that this seed is actually Christ Himself, which is something that God works into us so that we can bring Him forth. The second thing that was needed for the fulfillment of God’s purpose was the land. In the Old Testament, this land was the physical land promised to Abraham. In the New Testament, this land is firstly Christ in whom we are living and secondly the church as the enlargement of Christ. Praise the Lord for these promises of the seed and the land for the fulfillment of God’s purpose!
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