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Patriarchal Era – Genesis 14

Genesis 14

Abram Rescues Lot

14:1 In the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim, these kings made war with Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar). And all these joined forces in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Salt Sea). Twelve years they had served Chedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled. In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him came and defeated the Rephaim in Ashteroth-karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emim in Shaveh-kiriathaim, and the Horites in their hill country of Seir as far as El-paran on the border of the wilderness. Then they turned back and came to En-mishpat (that is, Kadesh) and defeated all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites who were dwelling in Hazazon-tamar.

Then the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) went out, and they joined battle in the Valley of Siddim with Chedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goiim, Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar, four kings against five. 10 Now the Valley of Siddim was full of bitumen pits, and as the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some fell into them, and the rest fled to the hill country. 11 So the enemy took all the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and went their way. 12 They also took Lot, the son of Abram’s brother, who was dwelling in Sodom, and his possessions, and went their way.

13 Then one who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew, who was living by the oaks1 of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and of Aner. These were allies of Abram. 14 When Abram heard that his kinsman had been taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, 318 of them, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. 15 And he divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and defeated them and pursued them to Hobah, north of Damascus. 16 Then he brought back all the possessions, and also brought back his kinsman Lot with his possessions, and the women and the people.

Abram Blessed by Melchizedek

17 After his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). 18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.) 19 And he blessed him and said,


  “Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
    Possessor2 of heaven and earth;
20   and blessed be God Most High,
    who has delivered your enemies into your hand!”

And Abram gave him a tenth of everything. 21 And the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the persons, but take the goods for yourself.” 22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have lifted my hand3 to the LORD, God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth, 23 that I would not take a thread or a sandal strap or anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’ 24 I will take nothing but what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me. Let Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre take their share.”

Footnotes

[1] 14:13 Or terebinths

[2] 14:19 Or Creator; also verse 22

[3] 14:22 Or I have taken a solemn oath

(ESV)

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Patriarchal Era – Genesis 13

Genesis 13

Abram and Lot Separate

13:1 So Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the Negeb.

Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold. And he journeyed on from the Negeb as far as Bethel to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, to the place where he had made an altar at the first. And there Abram called upon the name of the LORD. And Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents, so that the land could not support both of them dwelling together; for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together, and there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock. At that time the Canaanites and the Perizzites were dwelling in the land.

Then Abram said to Lot, “Let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, for we are kinsmen.1 Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right, or if you take the right hand, then I will go to the left.” 10 And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw that the Jordan Valley was well watered everywhere like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, in the direction of Zoar. (This was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) 11 So Lot chose for himself all the Jordan Valley, and Lot journeyed east. Thus they separated from each other. 12 Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled among the cities of the valley and moved his tent as far as Sodom. 13 Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the LORD.

14 The LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward, 15 for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever. 16 I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted. 17 Arise, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you.” 18 So Abram moved his tent and came and settled by the oaks2 of Mamre, which are at Hebron, and there he built an altar to the LORD.

Footnotes

[1] 13:8 Hebrew we are men, brothers

[2] 13:18 Or terebinths

(ESV)

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Patriarchal Era – Genesis 12

Genesis 12

The Call of Abram

12:1 Now the LORD said1 to Abram, “Go from your country2 and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”3

So Abram went, as the LORD had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people that they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak4 of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him. From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the LORD and called upon the name of the LORD. And Abram journeyed on, still going toward the Negeb.

Abram and Sarai in Egypt

10 Now there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land. 11 When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, “I know that you are a woman beautiful in appearance, 12 and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me, but they will let you live. 13 Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared for your sake.” 14 When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. 15 And when the princes of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. 16 And for her sake he dealt well with Abram; and he had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels.

17 But the LORD afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. 18 So Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife; take her, and go.” 20 And Pharaoh gave men orders concerning him, and they sent him away with his wife and all that he had.

Footnotes

[1] 12:1 Or had said

[2] 12:1 Or land

[3] 12:3 Or by you all the families of the earth shall bless themselves

[4] 12:6 Or terebinth

(ESV)

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Creation Era – Genesis 11

Genesis 11

The Tower of Babel

11:1 Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. And the LORD said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the LORD dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused1 the language of all the earth. And from there the LORD dispersed them over the face of all the earth.

Shem’s Descendants

10 These are the generations of Shem. When Shem was 100 years old, he fathered Arpachshad two years after the flood. 11 And Shem lived after he fathered Arpachshad 500 years and had other sons and daughters.

12 When Arpachshad had lived 35 years, he fathered Shelah. 13 And Arpachshad lived after he fathered Shelah 403 years and had other sons and daughters.

14 When Shelah had lived 30 years, he fathered Eber. 15 And Shelah lived after he fathered Eber 403 years and had other sons and daughters.

16 When Eber had lived 34 years, he fathered Peleg. 17 And Eber lived after he fathered Peleg 430 years and had other sons and daughters.

18 When Peleg had lived 30 years, he fathered Reu. 19 And Peleg lived after he fathered Reu 209 years and had other sons and daughters.

20 When Reu had lived 32 years, he fathered Serug. 21 And Reu lived after he fathered Serug 207 years and had other sons and daughters.

22 When Serug had lived 30 years, he fathered Nahor. 23 And Serug lived after he fathered Nahor 200 years and had other sons and daughters.

24 When Nahor had lived 29 years, he fathered Terah. 25 And Nahor lived after he fathered Terah 119 years and had other sons and daughters.

26 When Terah had lived 70 years, he fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran.

Terah’s Descendants

27 Now these are the generations of Terah. Terah fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran fathered Lot. 28 Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his kindred, in Ur of the Chaldeans. 29 And Abram and Nahor took wives. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran the father of Milcah and Iscah. 30 Now Sarai was barren; she had no child.

31 Terah took Abram his son and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife, and they went forth together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go into the land of Canaan, but when they came to Haran, they settled there. 32 The days of Terah were 205 years, and Terah died in Haran.

Footnotes

[1] 11:9 Babel sounds like the Hebrew for confused

(ESV)

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Going Deeper

Genesis 6-10  (9-18-21)

Grab your Bibles, and let’s go deeper into the testimony of Noah and study Genesis 6-10.

In Genesis 6, we read about God’s declaration about the hearts of mankind after the fall, and then His righteous judgment to bring His wrath on the wickedness of man.

Genesis 6:5-8 The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.

Then in Genesis 6:9-22, we see that God saves Noah and his family alone. In obedience to God, Noah built a very large boat, and notice how the chapter ends: “Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.” Verse 9 tells us that Noah was a righteous man. Verse 22 gives us the evidence of this fact.

Here is a fun fact that people often get wrong: How many of each kind of animal did Noah take on the ark with him?

Read Genesis 7:1-5. 

Noah took seven pairs of the clean animals, one pair of the unclean animals, and seven pairs of the birds.

Isn’t it funny how we believe what we’ve heard over the years, and in the end, it is not actually biblically accurate? Most people believe Noah only took two of each kind of animal. This is a great reminder that much of what many people say or believe about God, His ways, or His word is simply not true. We must resist the temptation to read the Bible through our worldview or traditions. We need to form our worldview through the authority of the holy Bible.

Notice something that is becoming a pattern in verse 5. It reads, “And Noah did all that the Lord had commanded him.”  When we jump ahead to verse 16, we see the floods start, and on the same day, Noah takes himself and his family into the ark, and God shuts him in. Notice Noah did what he was commanded again, and God sealed him safely in the ark and away from the flood.

Read Genesis 7:21-24.

So, God saw the wickedness of man, and He set forward to pour out His wrath. He found favor in Noah and commanded him to build an ark and take in animals and his family. God followed through with His plan to flood the earth and cleanse it from its sin. God blotted out all the living creatures and mankind, except for those in the ark with Noah. The judgment of God is right and good. The wrath of God is right and good. Sometimes we are guilty of thinking that His love and mercy are more important than the attributes of His wrath or justice, but they are not. All of God’s attributes are good and perfect. We must see God’s worldwide extermination as righteous and good, not because the death of many is to be celebrated, but because God did it. William Perkins once wisely said, “We must not think that God does a thing because it’s good and right, but rather the thing is good and right because God does it.”  

In Genesis chapter 8,we read that God pulled back the waters and unveiled the land. And the storm was over. Noah built an altar and worshiped the Lord. The Lord’s response is the key I want us to see today.  

Genesis 8:21-22 And when the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, the Lord said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”

In the beginning of Chapter 9, God gives Noah instruction similar to one we’ve heard before. God blesses Noah and says, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” Sound familiar? God then tells Noah that the plants and animals are his to rule over and cultivate. Sound familiar? God is rebooting this creation with Noah and his family. Then God makes a covenant with Noah and all who will come after him.

Read Genesis 9:8-17. 

God commits to never flood the earth again, even though the intention of a man’s heart is evil from his youth. This is His promise of common grace. Common grace is the idea that God extends some of His grace over all men, even though they are wicked in sin and deserving immediate judgment and wrath for their rebellion against Him.  

Matthew 5:45 “… For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” 

Common grace is different than saving grace, in that common grace is for all mankind, but saving grace is just for God’s elect. The sobering reality is man is still wicked and deserving of God’s perfect and just wrath. Every man will be judged. We will stand before the great Judge and either be condemned for our wickedness because we stand on our own merit and pride, or we will be pardoned for our wickedness because Christ stands in our place. He is our perfect advocate and mediator who took on our sin, and as a result, takes on our wrath. He then gives us His righteousness, allowing us to be accepted by God and brought into His holy presence forever. 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NASB) says, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

Oh, how desperate we are for Jesus alone. 

Here is the thing: We truly are a wicked people when we take God’s promised symbol (the rainbow) that He has graciously given us as a promise of His common grace to not send His swift judgment on our sin, and we then, in the very sin for which this grace is promised, use His symbol to represent homosexuality, which He has made clear in His word is sin. Here is the truth: God will righteously judge, and those who rebel against Him will be condemned.

Let me show you an interesting passage in 2 Peter that brings light to God’s judgment:

2 Peter 3:5-7 For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

“For they deliberately overlook this fact.” In other words, “They shut their eyes to the facts.” The old King James version says, “They are willingly ignorant of …” This is speaking of the false teachers who are not of God’s people and are deserving judgment and wrath. Heretics and false teachers choose to ignore the truth to form lies that suit their needs. It might be right in front of them, but they don’t want to see the truth!

Why do they do this? They love their evil. They love their sin. They love their lust. They don’t desire truth. They don’t want a judgment, and they don’t want Christ to return, so they develop a system that says He won’t.

Peter speaks of two great, historic, game-changing events here:

The first is creation! He says they willingly shut their eyes to the fact that by the word of God, the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and by water. Peter is saying creation was a cataclysmic act of God.

The false teachers who don’t want a God, who don’t want a God who is going to judge their sin, they teach a big bang theory and a system of evolution that is absent of the need for God. Peter says they forget willingly. Now look at this detail he adds in 2 Peter 3:5: “For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God.”

You might we saying, “That sounds off.”  So, to jog your memory, let’s read Genesis 1:1-2: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”

In God’s original creative action, the earth was without form. The darkness was over something God has made. What was it? “The face of the deep.What is “the deep?”

Look next: The Spirit of God was hovering over what? “The face of the waters”! Ahhhhh…

So, it wasn’t nothing and then light. The darkness hung above a watery, formless mass that God made first.

In Proverbs 8:27, God says He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep.

Read Genesis 1:3-10. 

Then God made light, then separation between waters below and waters above, and then separation of the water below to determine ground from rivers or oceans.

And you know what He said about it? God said about it, in verse 10, “It’s gooooood.”

But it isn’t very long before man sins and multiplies, and the multiplication of that sin equals mass judgment. God looks at the world and Genesis 6:5 says, “The Lord saw that wickedness of man was great on the earth and every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually,” and He was sorry that He made the whole thing. And He said, ‘I’m going to destroy it.’”   

How’s He going to destroy it? With water!

Now, go back to 2 Peter 3:

2 Peter 3:5-6 For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.

Now, let’s go back to Genesis 7:11-12:

In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. And rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights.

Read Genesis 7:19-24 again.

So, you can’t say, “All things continue as they have from the very beginning.” No, they haven’t.

There was devastating, total judgment on the whole world, and there will be in the future.

Look at 2 Peter 3:7: “But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist …”

This means the world was different after the flood. No one lived 900 years after the flood. Things were different. A new kind of judgment was at work in the post-flood earth. God’s symbol of promise (the rainbow) was given as a symbol that He will never destroy the world again by water.

But we know worldwide judgment is coming again. Why? Because God’s word tells us so! But it won’t be by water, because God promised not to flood the earth again. So, what will the judgment be by if not water? Fire!

2 Peter 3:7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. (NIV)

God is the Creator, and He is the Destroyer. Only the next time He brings global judgment, He’ll do it by fire. It is reserved for fire. The word “reserved” in the Greek is where we get the word “treasury.” It means “to store up.”

Isaiah 13:19 says when the final Babylon is destroyed it will be destroyed as were Sodom and Gomorrah.    

How were they destroyed? By fire and brimstone.

The promise of God’s judgment coming in fire is all over the word of God: Malachi 4:1—fire; Micah 1:4—fire; Daniel 7:9 and 10—fire; and in Matthew 3:11 and 12, John the Baptist said He’s coming, and He’s coming with fire.  2 Thessalonians 1:7-8 (NASB) is so graphic. It says when Jesus comes, He’ll “… be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire …”

2 Peter 3:12 says: “waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!

Wow … this is a sobering reality. Jesus is coming! And God will judge and execute His wrath. And the Bible tells us that this is good and right for God to do.

Romans 2:5 … because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.

This is why we take full advantage of the common grace that God has given to those who are unrepentant and wicked and deserving death. God has sent us into a sea of darkness to testify of the only One who can save condemned guilty people from the fire of God’s wrath: JESUS! This is why we live, why we testify, and why we serve in Jesus’ name! 

Come, Lord Jesus, and in the meantime, help us be bold in our testimony of Your saving grace in this season of patience that You show for all those under Your common grace. 

By His grace and for His glory,

-Shepherd

Soldiers for Jesus MC

Chaplain Council