“Aman” of Faith

March 2, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Posted in Genesis | 10 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Abram had brought his nephew along on the pilgrimage to which God had called him. Sodom being a Biblical picture of the “world,” events transpired in such a way that Abram ended up “putting a Lot into the world.” Now he was trying to “get a Lot out of the world.

And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus. And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.

Genesis 14:15-16

After the battle:

And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.

Genesis 14:18

The existence of Melchizedek, a Godly priest, who had continued to please God even before God called Abram out of Ur of the Chaldees, is one of the reasons why I believe there remained a Godly remnant (a continuation of the “sons of God” from the line of Seth referred to in Genesis 6). There has always been a Godly remnant opposed to the “daughters of men” who followed the “way of Cain” – even between the time of the flood of Noah and God’s covenant with Abraham.

And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.

Genesis 14:19-20

Note that Abram gave to Melchizedek in gratitude to God after the battle, not in order to bribe God before the battle.

And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself. And 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, That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich:

Genesis 14:21-23

Abram didn’t want to take even a shoelace from the “world” because that might “trip him up” in his “walk with God.

Genesis is the Book of “firsts.”

After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.

Genesis 15:1

This is the first “fear not” in the Bible, followed by the first specific mention of salvation by grace through faith.

And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

Genesis 15:6

This is the first time Abram “leaned his whole weight upon God.” The Hebrew word for Abram’s belief in God is aman. Understanding the intensity of Abram’s faith helps us understand how Abraham could later offer his son as a sacrifice to God.

Even so, in Genesis Chapter 16 Abram fails another test of faith.

Now Sarai Abram’s wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. And Sarai Abram’s wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife. And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes. And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and thee.

Genesis 16:1-5

Could anybody be surprised that Sarai treated Hagar badly after this?

Abram was 85 years old. He had been walking with the Lord for 10 years. Abram had not been perfect. He was still learning about faith, but he was in an unbreakable covenant with God.

What Is Lying at Your Door?

November 23, 2009 at 10:48 am | Posted in Genesis | 21 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

When I was a very young boy I had a dog named Trigger. Trigger was the best dog in the world. He was affectionate, friendly, brave, playful, easygoing, and, above all, loyal. He was an “outside dog,” and his tendency was to lie in wait near the door of my home. If I came bursting through the door, on my way to play in the woods, Trigger was right there, leaping to join me, as if he had been poised, anxiously expecting me at any moment. In a way, his desire was to please me, and I ruled over him.

Cain and Abel were brothers. Each brought an offering to the Lord. Abel’s offering was a slaughtered animal. Cain’s offering was some type of fruit grown from the ground. Abel’s offering pleased God. Cain’s did not. We do not know for sure if Abel’s offering pleased God because it was a blood offering, given as a sacrifice for sin. If so, then Cain’s offering, which was bloodless, could have been rectified. He could have made a second, proper, sacrifice. We do know that Cain had a bigger problem with his offering than the thing that was being offered. The bigger problem was the condition of Cain’s heart, evidenced by his attitude toward God.

Genesis 4:5 tells us that Cain was “wroth:” burning with a fierce anger. God addressed the condition of Cain’s heart with him in Verse 7: “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted..?”

God did not ask Cain the question in the first part of the Verse because He didn’t know the answer. God is (and always has been and always will be) omniscient. He may have asked Cain this question in order to give him a chance to repent, or to make a point. Then, in the rest of the Verse, God sets forth a warning: “…if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”

Some Bible scholars believe that God was referring to Abel, Cain’s younger brother, when He said, “unto thee shall be his desire,” meaning that Abel would continue to look up to, respect, and try to please his older brother if Cain did what was right.

Others believe that God was telling Cain that, if he did what was right, he should (shalt) be able to rule over sin by not giving in to it, even though his wrong-doing had brought sin to his door.

Or is it possible that God was telling Cain that the attitude of his heart had brought sin to lie at his door like a faithful hound? Sin would be lying there, waiting obediently, and its (sin’s) desire would be to do the bidding of Cain, and those who followed the “way of Cain” (Jude Verse 11). Just as Trigger was anxious to please me, and have me “rule” over him, so sin would be the servant of Cain and all those who opposed the righteousness of God, and who encouraged others to rebel against Him (Proverbs 10:16). It is true that unregenerate people are the servants of sin (Romans Chapter 6). But it is also true that sin serves them as they attempt to corrupt and influence Christians (Romans 16:17-18).


Entries and comments feeds.