Eternity Daily Bible Study

The Life Of Abraham

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Number: 551

Verses: Genesis 13:14-18

Topic: Abram Is Promised The Land

Date: December 6th 2005

 

Genesis 13:14-18 HCSB After Lot had separated from him, the LORD said to Abram, "Look from the place where you are. Look north and south, east and west, (15) for I will give you and your offspring forever all the land that you see.  (16)  I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if one could count the dust of the earth, then your offspring could be counted.  (17)  Get up and walk from one end of the land to the other, for I will give it to you."  (18)  So Abram moved his tent and went to live beside the oaks of Mamre at Hebron, where he built an altar to the LORD.

 

First came the sacrifice (of giving the best land to Lot), then came the blessing (being given the entire land of Canaan forever). The blessing is always a hundred-fold greater than the sacrifice:

 

Matthew 19:27-30 HCSB Then Peter responded to Him, "Look, we have left everything and followed You. So what will there be for us?"  (28)  Jesus said to them, "I assure you: In the Messianic Age, when the Son of Man sits on His glorious throne, you who have followed Me will also sit on 12 thrones, judging the 12 tribes of Israel. (29)  And everyone who has left houses, brothers or sisters, father or mother, children, or fields because of My name will receive 100 times more and will inherit eternal life. (30)  But many who are first will be last, and the last first.

 

However sometimes the blessing is delayed far beyond the earthly life-span on the recipient. In fact, the vast bulk of the blessings Christians will receive will occur AFTER Christ returns! In the above verses the “houses and lands” are during the Millennium restoration of all things. Abram did not receive Canaan until hundreds of years after his physical death, though he certainly lived on with God. In fact, the heroes of faith look to the resurrection as their hope of full reward:

 

Hebrews 11:35-40 HCSB Women received their dead raised to life again. Some men were tortured, not accepting release, so that they might gain a better resurrection, (36) and others experienced mockings and scourgings, as well as bonds and imprisonment.  (37)  They were stoned, they were sawed in two, they died by the sword, they wandered about in sheepskins, in goatskins, destitute, afflicted, and mistreated.  (38)  The world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts, mountains, caves, and holes in the ground.  (39)  All these were approved through their faith, but they did not receive what was promised, (40) since God had provided something better for us, so that they would not be made perfect without us.

 

Faith relies on the fact that we will live forever and that future blessings will greatly outweigh present pain, even a whole lifetime of pain. Thus this life is NOT the measure of our faith or of our spiritual success.

Romans 8:16-18 HCSB The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God's children, (17) and if children, also heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ--seeing that we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.  (18)  For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us.

 

The Christian lives for that which is eternal and permanent and glorious and knows that this world and its so-called rewards and suffering - is passing away:

 

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 HCSB (16) Therefore we do not give up; even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day.  (17)  For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory.  (18)  So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen; for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

 

Now Abram is given the land but his only portion of it that he inherits in his lifetime turns out to be the (rather expensive) cave of Macpelah where he buries Sarah. Abram does not so much as own a square foot of permanent farming land during his whole life. Yet, by the promise of God, this is Abram's land forever. You see God sees us as we will be in five hundred years’ time. We are continuous beings in his sight. He can make a promise to us now and fulfill it hundreds of years hence – because we are still around and will still be in fellowship with Him then.

 

It takes great faith to truly believe this. We want “faith” to produce cars and houses and plasma TV sets in this life - and the sooner the better. Faith that will be rewarded in five hundred years’ time seems silly faith. Why would anyone believe God for a land they would only inherit generations later and after 430 years in Egypt? But Abram did! God is faithful to us and Abraham is alive and well and looking at his land today. In Matthew Jesus teaches that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were still alive in Moses day four hundred years later and in John Jesus says that Abraham saw Jesus' ministry and thus was alive in His time as well.

 

Matthew 22:31-32 HCSB  Now concerning the resurrection of the dead, haven't you read what was spoken to you by God: (32)  I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob? He is not the God of the dead, but of the living."

 

John 8:56 HCSB  Your father Abraham was overjoyed that he would see My day; he saw it and rejoiced."

 

Thus Abraham is still alive now and so are Isaac and Jacob, David and Peter and Paul and they are observing Christian ministries and the Church and the progress of the gospel which is why after the list of heroes in Hebrews 11 we find the author saying:

 

Hebrews 12:1-2 HCSB  Therefore since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and run with endurance the race that lies before us,  (2)  keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of God's throne.

 

God's promise to Abram was fulfilled as all His promises will be. Not one of them will fall short. God gave Abram and his descendants the land of Israel forever and that still applies today. In fact, most of the current occupants of Israel would consider themselves “children of Abraham” either through Isaac or Ishmael or through Jesus Christ. In the end the Jews will all be saved (Romans 9-11) and the land will belong to Messianic Jews who are BOTH descendants of Isaac and recipients of grace through Jesus Christ.

 

{For the biblical basis of the above see:  https://aibi.gospelcom.net/ebooks/Israel%20And%20The%20Church.htm }

 

First Abram had to believe the promise and then Abram had to do something to receive the promise: “Get up and walk from one end of the land to the other, for I will give it to you." Abram had to act as if he already owned it! He had to act walk around the land “as if” it was already true. Abram had to walk into the land and around the land to possess it.

This is the spiritual principle of believing that we have received!

Later Moses instructed the Israelites to press on into their promise:
Deuteronomy 11:24-25 HCSB  (24)  Every place the sole of your foot treads will be yours. Your territory will extend from the wilderness to Lebanon and from the Euphrates River to the Mediterranean Sea.  (25)  No one will be able to stand against you; the LORD your God will put fear and dread of you in all the land where you set foot, as He has promised you.

 

And Joshua was told to do a similar thing: Joshua 1:3 HCSB I have given you every place where the sole of your foot treads, just as I promised Moses.

 

Satan tries to bluff us into being apathetic about our victory or timid to occupy the land:
2 Kings 13:14-19 HCSB  When Elisha became sick with the illness that he died from, Jehoash king of Israel went down and wept over him and said, "My father, my father, the chariots and horsemen of Israel!"  (15)  Elisha responded, "Take a bow and arrows." So he got a bow and arrows.  (16)  Then Elisha said to the king of Israel, "Put your hand on the bow." So the king put his hand on it, and Elisha put his hands on the king's hands.  (17)  Elisha said, "Open the east window." So he opened it. Elisha said, "Shoot!" So he shot. Then Elisha said, "The LORD's arrow of victory, yes, the arrow of victory over Aram. You are to strike down the Arameans in Aphek until you have put an end to them."  (18)  Then Elisha said, "Take the arrows!" So he took them, and he said to the king of Israel, "Strike the ground!" So he struck the ground three times and stopped.  (19)  The man of God was angry with him and said, "You should have struck the ground five or six times. Then you would have struck down Aram until you had put an end to them, but now you will only strike down Aram three times."

 

So when God gives you a firm promise be faith-full, firm and strong and go and act on it!

God wants people of faith to truly believe they will receive, either in this life, or in the life to come:

Mark 11:22-24 HCSB Jesus replied to them, "Have faith in God. (23)  I assure you: If anyone says to this mountain, 'Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. (24)  Therefore, I tell you, all the things you pray and ask for--believe that you have received them, and you will have them.

 

1 John 5:14-15 HCSB Now this is the confidence we have before Him: whenever we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  (15)  And if we know that He hears whatever we ask, we know that we have what we have asked Him for.

Blessings,

 

John Edmiston (johned@aibi.ph)

 

 

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