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Category Archives: Abraham

The Unnamed Servant and the Bride

At first I didn’t want to admit the calling of the bride for Isaac was a type of calling out the Bride of Christ, the Church, from the world. I thought it might be a bit too spiritually minded, perhaps a little too religious to be practical, especially as the analogy applies to the Holy Spirit, but I am unable to deny the symbolism I see here in Genesis 24. All types, if carried too far, will fail, but this does not negate the fact that the type is real. For example, all animal sacrifices point to the sacrifice of Christ, yet none of the animal sacrifices or all of them considered together could take away anyone’s sinfulness, as the sacrifice of Christ has done. Therefore, the type is real even if it is not equal in every way. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2014 in Abraham, Walking with God

 

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Seeking God’s Will

Although certain aspects of God’s will seemed obvious to Abraham, the actual choice of a bride for Isaac wasn’t fully known. What was her name, and what would she be like? Such questions simply are not known as one steps out to do God’s will. One hardly ever knows the end from the beginning. God alone is aware of such knowledge. Mankind lives in the moment and is aware only of present circumstances. The future holds his hopes for the fulfillment of his present labor, but nothing is guaranteed, or is it? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2014 in Abraham, Walking with God

 

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Choosing a Bride for Isaac

After Sarah’s death, Abraham decided that he needed to choose a wife for Isaac, but how should this be done, and from where should the selection be made? It was decided that Isaac’s wife should be chosen from his own kindred and not from the Canaanites in whose land Isaac lived. No doubt Abraham had heard of the fate of his grandnieces’ prospective mates when God judged Sodom. Therefore, Isaac’s mate should not be among those whom God has placed under judgment. Neither should Isaac’s bride be among the Canaanites whose destiny it was to disinherit the land. From where then should Isaac’s mate be brought (Genesis 24:1-3)? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2014 in Abraham, Walking with God

 

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The Value of Principles to Our Faith

Our principles are not tested by how eloquently we speak of them or embrace them in the good times. Rather they are tested in evil times, when we are asked to choose between a principle and reputation, between a principle and honor or between a principle and comfort, peace or fair treatment. Abraham confessed that he was a pilgrim in the land of Canaan. In other words he didn’t identify himself with the Canaanites. However great or small their mutual respect went, Abraham had separated himself from them (cp. Genesis 17:10, 14), and this is the key to understanding Abraham’s desire to bury Sarah, his wife, in the land that was promised to him by God. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2014 in Abraham, Walking with God

 

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Death’s Testimony of Faith

Why does it take Moses twenty verses to say that Sarah died and was buried? This seems quite odd, but, as we prayerfully look deeper, we begin to see more of the things hidden from a cursory read as well as the secrets they hold for us. Sarah is the only woman whose age is recorded at her death, and only she, above all other women, is given as a model for the New Testament Church (1Peter 3:5-6).

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Posted by on September 21, 2014 in Abraham, Walking with God

 

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The Altars of Abraham

God called Abraham first out of the land of Ur (Acts 7:3) and then out of Haran to come into the land of Canaan (Genesis 12:1-4). I don’t believe Abraham made a firm decision to embrace the Lord until he reached Shechem, where he built his first altar. Later, Joshua would lead Israel here, to Shechem; it was a place of memorial where Israel made a firm commitment to receive the Lord as their God and consecrate themselves to him alone. Similarly, this was where Abraham consecrated himself to the Lord by putting away the gods he once served (cp. Joshua 24:1-2) and received the Lord as his God (Genesis 12:6-7). Moreover, after Jacob returned from Haran where he served his father-in-law, Laban, for 20 years, he came to this very place, where he caused his family to give him their foreign gods, and he buried them here, at Shechem (Genesis 35:4). The altar at Shechem stands as a memorial for Abraham’s repudiation of the gods he once served and his receiving, as his God, the Lord who took him out of the land of Ur. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2014 in Abraham, Walking with God

 

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The Role of Tests in Our Lives

Before we move beyond Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac, we need to see this as our own test, perhaps our deepest lesson to be learned. For Abraham, Isaac was not only a gift from God, but he represented the fulfillment of all God had promised him, but was Abraham’s hope grounded in God or in Isaac—God’s gift? What is our hope grounded in? Is our hope grounded in God’s promise of salvation in Christ, or is our hope grounded in Christ? Abraham’s life shows us that before Isaac, he looked to God alone, and after Isaac, Abraham looked to God alone. What a testimony to faith or more to the point that God is worthy of our trust! Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2014 in Abraham, Walking with God

 

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The Relationship of Abraham and Isaac

Never before and only a few times afterward does the Bible offer us a view of the relationship enjoyed by two individuals described therein. Notice how the text describes the relationship enjoyed by Abraham and Isaac in Genesis 22. In Genesis 22:2 it says: “…your son, your one and only Isaac whom you love.” In Genesis 22:3, 6 it is: “…his son.” In verse-7 the text continues with “…his father… my father… my son.” Again is verse-8 the text has: “my son… they went both of them together.” Finally, in verses 9 & 10 it concludes with: “Abraham… bound Isaac, his son and… took the knife to slay his son.” Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2014 in Abraham, Walking with God

 

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What Did Abraham Sacrifice to God?

The fact that Abraham was willing to sacrifice Isaac upon the altar to God was praiseworthy according to Genesis 22:16-18, but why was it so? Sometimes we here of folks today who kill their children, saying either that God told them to do it, or they wanted to be assured their child would get to heaven, believing his or her present innocence was a guarantee for paradise. We know not only that such a thing is wrong, but that the people who do these terrible acts are deluded, because sacrificing the innocent is not a righteous thing to do. Moreover, God doesn’t require such a thing. He later calls the sacrificing of the innocent an abomination. What, then, did Abraham do that was so pleasing to God? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2014 in Abraham, Walking with God

 

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Abraham’s Ultimate Test

Occasionally, we’ll read in the newspaper or hear on the evening news that a certain deluded person murdered someone and claimed: “God told me to do it!” We may even recall at such times that the Bible records God telling Abraham to slay his son, Isaac, as a sacrifice to him. Some biblical scholars claim that Abraham failed the test by being willing to sacrifice his son; others wonder how this act could serve as a test for godliness,[1] implying that such a cruel deed could only be sought by a malevolent being. So, we are left with the question: should Abraham be admired or despised for what he did? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2014 in Abraham, Walking with God

 

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The Value of God’s Tests

Does God have a right to test us as he does? Did he have the right to ask Abraham to offer up Isaac, his only son, to him—God—as a burnt sacrifice? Some have expressed their own astonishment at such a thing and regard God as an evil entity, if he exists at all, if the account in Genesis 22 is correct. Such folks wonder how Christians and Jews could love and / or worship a God who is expressed in this way. Bestselling author and agnostic, Bart Ehrman comments on the “binding” of Isaac: “The idea that suffering comes as a test from God, simply to see if his followers will obey,” is illustrated perhaps “more clearly and more horribly” in the offering of Isaac.[1] What can we say of such things? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2014 in Abraham, Walking with God

 

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Covenants Made and Kept

The Lord tells us that he will look upon only one kind of man, and that is the man who humbles himself and in a wounded spirit still reveres the word of God (cp. Isaiah 62:2). Why would God look to this man? I think it is because there is reason to believe that this is how God is. He is revealed as God who suffers with us, as we see in John 3:16 and in the life of Jesus himself (cp. John 1:18). God gave his word to Abraham that all nations would be blessed in him (i.e. in Abraham; cp. Genesis 18:18). In Genesis 17:16 God promised Abraham that Sarah would have a son although her womb was dead. Once the Lord has given his word, it won’t return to him void, but his word will accomplish all that God intended to do (Isaiah 55:11). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2014 in Abraham, Walking with God

 

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The Banishment of Hagar

We are told in Genesis 21:14 that Abraham rose up early in the morning and taking some food and a goatskin of water, he gave them to Hagar for her journey. Then the text adds: he gave her Ishmael, her son. According to the universal law at that time, Abraham didn’t have to give Ishmael to Hagar, but to keep him would have implied Hagar’s presence in Abraham’s household through her son, and that was not desirable. She brought him up to have the same characteristics so evident in herself (Genesis 21:9; cp. 16:3-4). Another point to consider is that after Sarah had died and Abraham took a concubine, Keturah, and had children by her, he later gave them their freedom and sent them away with gifts (Genesis 25:1-6). This was not done in the case of Hagar. She was given her freedom, provisions for her journey and her son, concerning whom she thought to overthrow Sarah’s position in Abraham’s household. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2014 in Abraham, Walking with God

 

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The Schemes of Hagar

The Bible doesn’t mention anything about what Hagar may have done to hurt Abraham or Sarah, except to say that Sarah was despised in her eyes once Hagar became pregnant. If one were to be satisfied with a simple reading of the text, it could lead to the understanding that Hagar was grossly mistreated by her masters. After all, what did she really do but bear Abraham’s child, which is what Sarah wanted in the first place. If there developed a little rivalry between the women, is Hagar to blame for it all, or might some of the rivalry be due to Sarah’s jealousy over Hagar bearing Abraham’s child rather than her? With the understanding that I am deriving something out of the text that offers only meager hints of what may have been, let’s consider what could have occurred. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2014 in Abraham, Walking with God

 

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The Blessing of Endurance

Jesus tells us in the Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted (Matthew 5:4 – KJV).” I like the way the Message puts it:

“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.” (Matthew 5:4 MSG)

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Posted by on July 13, 2014 in Abraham, Walking with God

 

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