• Ishmael's Inheritance - Because Of Abraham

    1 GIU 2024 · Blessings to all, Welcome again, I am Jerry, this portion of our study covers: Ishmael's Inheritance - Because Of Abraham God holds to the promise that He has made. As a sign of keeping this covenant, God had a new requirement for Abraham. He and every male of his household, born or bought, and every male in every generation to come, must be circumcised. This is the ritual removal of the foreskin. Those who were not circumcised would not be included in this covenant between God and Abraham's people. That's already a lot of change for one meeting, but God is not done yet. He truly surprises Abraham, telling him that Sarai's name must also be changed. She will now be known as Sarah, and she and Abraham would have a son after all. In reverence, or gratitude, or pure surprise, or perhaps all three, Abraham falls facedown and laughs. He's shocked at the mere suggestion of Sarah conceiving and bearing a child. Then Abraham has another thought: What about Ishmael?  God has already given a promise of blessing on Ishmael, spoken to his mother Hagar (Genesis 16:10–12). Here, though God will again promise to bless Ishmael abundantly, the covenant promises between God and Abraham will not pass through Ishmael. Instead, they will pass to Isaac, Abraham's yet-to-be conceived son with Sarah. That son will have been born by this time the following year. With that, God concludes His revelations and "leaves," at least symbolically giving Abraham an opportunity to make a decision.  Abraham's head must have been spinning, but he did not hesitate to begin to obey God. That very day, he went home and circumcised himself, Ishmael, and the hundreds of other males in his large company. Abraham's immediate obedience is further evidence that he was choosing to trust the Lord and to take Him at His word. It is time to open our hearts, minds, and souls to the Word Of GOD. Our scripture will be coming from: Genesis 17:20-27 KJV  [20] And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. [21] But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year. [22] And he left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham. [23] And Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all that were born in his house, and all that were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham's house; and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the selfsame day, as God had said unto him. [24] And Abraham was ninety years old and nine, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. [25] And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. [26] In the selfsame day was Abraham circumcised, and Ishmael his son. [27] And all the men of his house, born in the house, and bought with money of the stranger, were circumcised with him.
    36 min. 35 sec.
  • GOD's Covenant part-2

    2 MAG 2024 · Blessings to all, Welcome again, I am Jerry, this portion of our study covers: GOD’S COVENANT part 2 In the previous lesson we learned, as a sign of keeping this covenant, God had a new requirement for Abraham. He and every male of his household, born or bought, and every male in every generation to come, must be circumcised. This is the ritual removal of the foreskin.  Those who were not circumcised would not be included in this covenant between God and Abraham's people. That's already a lot of change for one meeting, but God is not done yet. He truly surprises Abraham, telling him that Sarai's name must also be changed. She will now be known as Sarah, and she and Abraham would have a son after all.  In reverence, or gratitude, or pure surprise, or perhaps all three, Abraham falls facedown and laughs. He's shocked at the mere suggestion of Sarah conceiving and bearing a child. Then Abraham has another thought: What about Ishmael? God has already given a promise of blessing on Ishmael, spoken to his mother Hagar (Genesis 16:10–12). Here, though God will again promise to bless Ishmael abundantly, the covenant promises between God and Abraham will not pass through Ishmael. Instead, they will pass to Isaac, Abraham's yet-to-be conceived son with Sarah.  That son will have been born by this time the following year. With that, God concludes His revelations and "leaves," at least symbolically giving Abraham an opportunity to make a decision. Abraham's head must have been spinning, but he did not hesitate to begin to obey God. That very day, he went home and circumcised himself, Ishmael, and the hundreds of other males in his large company. Abraham's immediate obedience is further evidence that he was choosing to trust the Lord and to take Him at His word. It is time to open our hearts, minds, and souls to the Word Of GOD. Our scripture will be coming from: Genesis 17:15-19 KJV  [15] And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. [16] And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her. [17] Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? [18] And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee! [19] And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.
    36 min. 21 sec.
  • GOD's Covenant part-1

    1 MAR 2024 · Blessings to all, Welcome again, I am Jerry, this portion of our study covers: GOD’S COVENANT part 1 Here was a man who was a father before he had any children. Abraham was Abraham, father of a multitude, by faith at that time. But four thousand years later, where you and I sit, we can say that God sure made this good.The name stuck, if you please, and he is still Abraham, the father of a multitude.  One of the most influential names in human history is that of Abraham—a man whom Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all claim as a patriarch. However, to this point in the Bible, that name has not been used. This important historical figure is still carrying his original name of Abram. Here, at last, God will change Abram's name to Abraham, while establishing a symbol of their covenant: circumcision. Genesis 17 describes God's appearance to Abram, who is now 99 years old. Twenty-three years have passed since God first promised to make Abram a great nation and to give to him and to his descendants the land of Canaan. During that time, Abram and his large company have lived in different parts of the region.  He has grown quite wealthy, and God has appeared to him several more times to restate and expand on the initial covenant promises. Still, Abram has only one son. Ishmael, born to him by his wife's servant Hagar, is now 13. Abram and his wife Sarai, who has been barren for their entire marriage, seem to have resisted attempting to have children through other women before the events of Genesis chapter 16. At this point, they likely assumed that God's promises and blessing to Abram would pass through Ishmael. After all, at 99 and 89 respectively, they were well past the window for conceiving or bearing children. That's when God appears to Abram again. This meeting is different than those earlier encounters, however.  This time, in addition to the familiar and seemingly impossible promises, God also has requirements for Abram. God commands Abram to walk with Him and to be blameless. Abram would, indeed, be the father of nations. Kings would come from him. To confirm that fact, God changed Abram's name to Abraham. While Abram means "exalted father," the name Abraham sounds like the Hebrew phrase for "father of a multitude." The land of Canaan would belong to Abraham and his descendants forever. As a sign of keeping this covenant, God had a new requirement for Abraham. He and every male of his household, born or bought, and every male in every generation to come, must be circumcised. This is the ritual removal of the foreskin. Those who were not circumcised would not be included in this covenant between God and Abraham's people. It is time to open our hearts, minds, and souls to the Word Of GOD. Our scripture will be coming from: Genesis 17:6-14 KJV  [6] And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. [7] And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. [8] And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. [9] And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. [10] This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. [11] And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. [12] And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. [13] He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. [14] And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.
    37 min. 46 sec.
  • GOD Gives Abraham A New Name

    1 GEN 2024 · GOD Gives Abraham A New Name A great many people feel that the seventeenth chapter is the most outstanding chapter of the Book of Genesis. Here God makes a covenant with Abram and confirms His promise to him about a son. He lets Abram know that Ishmael is not the one He promised to him. In one sense this chapter is the key to the Book of Genesis, and it may be a key to the entire Bible.  God’s covenant with Abram concerns two important items: a seed and a land. He reveals Himself to Abram by a new name—El Shaddai, the Almighty God—and He also gives Abram a new name. Up to this point his name was Abram; now it is changed to Abraham.  Abram means “high father,” and Abraham means “father of a multitude” That Ishmael was not the son God promised to Abraham is the thing this chapter makes very clear. Genesis 17 describes God's appearance to Abram, who is now 99 years old.  Twenty-three years have passed since God first promised to make Abram a great nation and to give to him and to his descendants the land of Canaan. During that time, Abram and his large company have lived in different parts of the region. He has grown quite wealthy, and God has appeared to him several more times to restate and expand on the initial covenant promises. Still, Abram has only one son. Ishmael, born to him by his wife's servant Hagar, is now 13. Abram and his wife Sarai, who has been barren for their entire marriage, seem to have resisted attempting to have children through other women before the events of Genesis chapter 16. At this point, they likely assumed that God's promises and blessing to Abram would pass through Ishmael. After all, at 99 and 89 respectively, they were well past the window for conceiving or bearing children. That's when God appears to Abram again. This meeting is different than those earlier encounters, however.  This time, in addition to the familiar and seemingly impossible promises, God also has requirements for Abram. God commands Abram to walk with Him and to be blameless.  Abram would, indeed, be the father of nations. Kings would come from him. To confirm that fact, God changed Abram's name to Abraham. While Abram means "exalted father," the name Abraham sounds like the Hebrew phrase for "father of a multitude." The land of Canaan would belong to Abraham and his descendants forever. It is time to open our hearts, minds, and souls to the Word Of GOD. Our scripture will be coming from: Genesis 17:1-5 KJV  [1] And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. [2] And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. [3] And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, [4] As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. [5] Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.
    32 min. 47 sec.
  • Hagar Flees - The Plight Of Hagar part-2

    1 NOV 2023 · Hagar Flees - The Plight Of Hagar part-2 The angel of the Lord, perhaps Yahweh Himself, finds Hagar resting at a spring along a road leading back to her homeland of Egypt. He gives to Hagar a command and a promise. First, the angel of the Lord tells Hagar to return and submit to Sarai.  Then He reveals that she will bare a son, Ishmael, and that his offspring will become so numerous as to be uncountable. However, he will be a "wild donkey" of a man and his life—and the lives of his descendants—will be marked by conflict with everyone.   In spite of this mixed news, Hagar is astonished and grateful that God has heard her. The name of her son, Ishmael, means "God hears."  She names the Lord who heard her cry and came to her the "God of seeing" and names the well Beer-lahai-roi, "well of the living One who sees." Hagar returns to Abram and Sarai, and Ishmael is born. While God has given a guarantee of blessing to Hagar and Ishamel, this boy is not the child of the promise. This was not how God planned to accomplish His will, and the son born from Abram's second wife is not the fulfillment of the Lord's vows to Abram. Another 13 years will pass before God will fully reveal His plan to Abram, giving he and Sarai their long-awaited son. It is time to open our hearts, minds, and souls to the Word Of GOD. Our scripture will be coming from: Genesis 16:11-16 KJV  [11] And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction. [12] And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren. [13] And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me? [14] Wherefore the well was called Beer–lahai–roi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered. [15] And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael. [16] And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.
    27 min. 32 sec.
  • Hagar Flees - The Plight Of Hagar part-1

    1 SET 2023 · Hagar Flees - The Plight Of Hagar part-1 The moral implications that you and I read into this are not quite here in the historical record. Abram and Sarai were brought up in Ur of the Chaldees where this was a common practice, and the moral angle is not the thing that for them was so wrong. The terrible thing was that they just did not believe God. The wrong that they committed by Abram taking Sarai’s maid Hagar was a sin, and God treated it as such. But today we reverse the emphasis and say that taking a concubine is a sin, but we do not pay too much attention to the unbelief.  Yet the unbelief was the major sin here; that is, it was lots blacker than the other. With Abram in his mid-80s, Sarai has apparently become tired of waiting. In her eyes, it is time to go to plan B: giving her Egyptian servant girl Hagar to Abram, in order to finally obtain a child. Apparently, if a wife was unable to bear children, it was considered appropriate for her to give a servant to her husband, as another wife, with the understanding that any children born to that servant would rightfully become the child of the original wife. In a disappointing moment of faithlessness, Abram agrees, and Hagar quickly becomes pregnant.  Then the plan unravels. Hagar, elevated from slave to wife and now birth mother, begins to treat her mistress Sarai with contempt. Perhaps Hagar wondered what she and Abram need Sarai for. Perhaps she resented the idea that her child would belong to Sarai.  In any case, the dynamic changes.  Sarai's feelings about her plan change, as well. She makes it clear to Abram that she holds him responsible for this conflict! And, she demands that he make clear that Sarai remains in authority over Hagar. Again, Abram agrees. With that approval, Sarai deals harshly with Hagar, so harshly that Hagar runs off into the wilderness alone, maybe fearful for her life. God, however, will not allow Hagar and her child to be discarded so easily. The angel of the Lord, perhaps Yahweh Himself, finds Hagar resting at a spring along a road leading back to her homeland of Egypt. He gives to Hagar a command and a promise. First, the angel of the Lord tells Hagar to return and submit to Sarai.  Then He reveals that she will bare a son, Ishmael, and that his offspring will become so numerous as to be uncountable. However, he will be a "wild donkey" of a man and his life—and the lives of his descendants—will be marked by conflict with everyone.  In spite of this mixed news, Hagar is astonished and grateful that God has heard her. The name of her son, Ishmael, means "God hears."  She names the Lord who heard her cry and came to her the "God of seeing" and names the well Beer-lahai-roi, "well of the living One who sees." Hagar returns to Abram and Sarai, and Ishmael is born. While God has given a guarantee of blessing to Hagar and Ishamel, this boy is not the child of the promise. This was not how God planned to accomplish His will, and the son born from Abram's second wife is not the fulfillment of the Lord's vows to Abram. Another 13 years will pass before God will fully reveal His plan to Abram, giving he and Sarai their long-awaited son. It is time to open our hearts, minds, and souls to the Word Of GOD. Our scripture will be coming from: Genesis 16:6-10 KJV  [6] But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face. [7] And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. [8] And he said, Hagar, Sarai's maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai. [9] And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands. [10] And the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.
    26 min. 52 sec.
  • Sarai's Suggestion - Unbelief Actions

    1 LUG 2023 · Blessings to all, Welcome again, I am Jerry, this portion of our study covers: Sarai’s Suggestion - Unbelief Actions After Abram rose to the heights in chapter 15, you would say that he certainly is treading on high places—but he is not perfect. In chapter 16 we see the lapse of this man’s faith relative to Sarai and Hagar, the Egyptian maid. We have here the unbelief of both Sarai and Abram, and the birth of Ishmael. This is certainly a letdown after the wonder of the previous chapter. Genesis 16 continues to follow the life of one of Israel's greatest patriarchs: Abram, who will soon be renamed Abraham. To this point, Abram and his wife Sarai are still childless, despite Abram being well over seventy-five years old (Genesis 12:4). In fact, at this point in the narrative, Abram is pushing ninety (Genesis 16:16)! In the prior chapter, Abram has voiced his concerns to God about the situation, and God has responded with a dramatic demonstration of His intentions. For all these many years, Abram has resisted following the normal practices of his day. Abram and Sarai were wealthy. They had many servants.  Abram could have taken many wives. He chose, instead, to wait for God to fulfill the promise of children through his barren wife Sarai. Until now. With Abram in his mid-80s, Sarai has apparently become tired of waiting. In her eyes, it is time to go to plan B: giving her Egyptian servant girl Hagar to Abram, in order to finally obtain a child. Apparently, if a wife was unable to bear children, it was considered appropriate for her to give a servant to her husband, as another wife, with the understanding that any children born to that servant would rightfully become the child of the original wife. In a disappointing moment of faithlessness, Abram agrees, and Hagar quickly becomes pregnant. It is time to open our hearts, minds, and souls to the Word Of GOD. Our scripture will be coming from: Genesis 16:1-5 KJV  [1] Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. [2] 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. [3] 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. [4] And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes. [5] 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.
    32 min. 29 sec.
  • GOD's Covenant With Abraham - Prepare A Sacrifice part-2 Discussion

    12 LUG 2022 · Our Scripture Of The Week Is: 2 Peter 3:8 KJVS  [8] But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. In verse 5, Peter indicated that these false teachers deliberately omit the truth about God in order to make their false case that Christ will not return, that there will be no judgment day. Now Peter urges his readers—his dear friends—not to forget something essential about the nature of their God.  He is eternal. He is not limited as humans are by the perception of years passing.  More specifically, Peter references Psalm 90:4: "For a thousand years in [God's] sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night." If we took Peter's statement absolutely literally, as modern people, then in God's eyes it's been a mere two days since Jesus promised to return! That, of course, is not the way Peter intends his statement.  His point is that God is not bound by counting days from a human perspective. Time does not hold Him. He does not wait or rush in the same sense that mere humans do, locked as we are into minutes and hours and months. What seems like poor timing to us, as limited people, has a plan and purpose known only to God. As Peter will reveal in the following verses, God will keep all of His promises in His perfect time and motivated by His perfect love. Our topic today is: GOD’S Covenant With Abraham – Prepare A Sacrifice part-2 Discussion The Lord will soon complete a covenant ritual between Himself and Abram, a ritual that will specify, in part, the boundaries of future Israel to be occupied and possessed by Abram's descendants. First, however, God will reveal to Abram a prophecy about the difficult future his descendants will face before they occupy the Promised Land. Abram's offspring, God says, will be strangers, sojourners, serving others in a land that is not their own. They will be afflicted or mistreated for 400 years.  God is referring to Israel's slavery in Egypt, after the death of Joseph (Genesis 50:26) and before the story of Moses and the Exodus (Exodus 1:1–8). As is common in all forms of literature, the reference to time here is a generic, round number. It is perhaps meant to refer to four generations that will come and go during that time.  Exodus 12:40 and Galatians 3:17 specify the length of that captivity as 430 years. God is making clear to Abram that, though the promise of the land will be kept, it will be kept in God's own time, centuries in the future. Here, God continues to deliver His prophecy about Abram's future family. Here, He continues by saying there will be an end to their captivity, and the nation that mistreated them will be judged.  In fact, Abram's future family, then a nation, will leave that country with great possessions. Soon after this passage, Abram will be renamed Abraham, and his grandson Jacob will be renamed Israel: the father of the promised nation. God never mentions that the nation bound to enslave Abram's people is Egypt. More than likely, though, Abram did not miss the similarities between these future events and what happened when he and his company left Egypt with great possessions of their own. In fact, Israel's captivity will begin in a very similar way to the start of Abram's adventure in Egypt (Genesis 12:10–20). They will come seeking survival during a time of famine (Genesis 46). After revealing to Abram, perhaps in a dream, the affliction his future family will face in captivity, serving another nation, God informs Abram he will not live to see any of this. Instead, Abram will "go to his fathers"—a common reference to death—in a time of peace and at a good, old age. Of course, at this point in time, Abram is already somewhere between 75 and 85 years old (Genesis 12:4; Genesis 16:16).  God's words about Abram's immediate future are a comfort, but they also let Abram know not to expect to possess the land of Canaan in his own lifetime. Instead, it will one day belong to him through his descendants. This promise comes along with God's prior reassurance that Abram will, in fact, see a natural-born son (Genesis 15:4). As it turns out, this promise itself will take some time for God to complete (Genesis 17:16–19).  In the meantime, Abram will be renamed as Abraham (Genesis 17:5), and will attempt to "help" God fulfill His promises by having children with his servant, Hagar (Genesis 16:16). Finally, God concludes his prophecy about Abram's future family. In the previous verses, God revealed that they would be captives, serving another nation for around 400 years, before leaving that country with great possessions.  Then, and not before, Abram's descendants would return to the land of Canaan "in the fourth generation." Later passages of Scripture will give a more specific number than this round figure: Israel will be in Egypt for 430 years, all told (Exodus 12:40). God's given reason for that delay is that the sin—the "iniquity"—of the Amorite people had not yet reached its full measure, or was not yet complete.  In other words, one purpose of Abram's future family, the nation of Israel, is to serve as an instrument of judgment on the Amorite people for their sins against God. However, God would not preemptively judge the Amorites or any other people group of Canaan. In His justice, He would wait for them to earn the judgment He would pour out on them through His people Israel when they came to claim the land of Canaan as their own.  This delay also serves as an expression of God's mercy, allowing that much more time for the wicked inhabitants of Canaan to see their sin and repent. After God completes His prophecy about Abram's descendants, He returns to the covenant ritual that began with Abram dividing and arranging the halves of the animals God had instructed him to bring (Genesis 15:9).  Now the sun goes down, and God completes the ritual. Whether Abram is now awake and sees it with his own physical eyes, or sees this event in his vision or dream, we don't know for sure. Either way, what Abram sees is remarkable. In the dark, two items move between the halves of the animals. One is a smoking fire pot, something that served as an oven in Abram's day.  The other is a flaming torch. In the narrative itself, we're not told what these two items represent. However, fire is often associated with both God's judgment and His holiness. In addition, these elements of smoke, fire, and the various kinds of animals later used for sacrifice under the Law point to God's future relationship with Israel. Finally, in moving between the two halves of the animals, God is apparently finalizing the agreement between Himself and His people through Abram. This aspect, in particular, is important for its symbolism. Scholars suggest that this ritual—passing between the halves of sacrificed animals—was meant to imply a binding oath on those who participated.  By walking between the animals, the person was accepting that same destruction if they broke their end of the bargain. Pointedly, note that Abram does not pass between the halves—only God does, via the symbolism of the pot and flame. The promise God has made here is entirely dependent on His will and His work. Abram had begun this part of the conversation by asking the Lord how he would know if God would keep His promise to give Abram and his descendants the land of Canaan. Abram's dramatic experience of God's answer in performing this covenant ritual would surely have made a lifelong impression on him. With the covenant ritual between the Lord and Abram completed, God gets very specific about the boundaries of the land He is promising to Abram and his descendants. Covenants between God and humans are significant, of course. Often they include conditions from God which, if met by the people involved, will result in God keeping His end of the agreement.  This covenant is different. Sometimes referred to as the Abrahamic Covenant, this was an agreement in which all the conditions and promises were on God's side. For example, in the prior passage, God symbolically passes between the severed halves of the animals.  This might have been a common ritual of that era, where both parties declared their obligations by walking through the middle of the carcasses. Notably, only God is shown to do this in the preceding verses-Abram's work is not part of this promise. God was binding Himself to do as He promised no matter what Abram or Abram's descendants did or did not do.  Put another way, this promise from God to the people of Israel to give them this land, was a unilateral covenant. In defining this Promised Land, God begins at the southern border with the "river of Egypt," which many scholars identify as the Wadi el-Arish River, not the Nile. The northern border would be the great Euphrates River.  The following verses will define the remaining areas of the land promised to Abram's offspring in terms of the people groups occupying those lands previously. In the previous verse, God established His unilateral covenant with Abram and his descendants.  This is a promise which depends only on one side's agreement: in this case, God's vow, which He will fulfill no matter what Abram or his descendants do. That covenant includes possession of the land of Canaan as defined by God Himself.  Verse 18 revealed the southern and northern borders to be the "river of Egypt," meaning the Wadi el-Arish River, and the Euphrates River, respectively.  Now the Lord continues to define the areas of the nation His people will possess in terms of the people groups occupying those lands previously
    38 min. 29 sec.
  • GOD's Covenant With Abraham - Prepare A Sacrifice part-2

    5 LUG 2022 · GOD’S Covenant With Abraham – Prepare A Sacrifice part-2 Genesis 15 consists entirely of a long encounter between the Lord and Abram. When the ”word of the Lord” comes to Abram in a vision to bring reassurance of God’s support for him, Abram takes the opportunity to press God with questions. Abram asks both about his childlessness and how he can know he will one day possess the land of Canaan.  God responds, and Abram believes. God’s response includes leading Abram through a covenant ritual involving slaughtered animals, as well as a prophecy about the future of Abram’s descendants before the time will come to occupy the Promised Land. Again, Abram is a very practical man. He believes in dealing with reality, and I think we need to do that. We need reality today in our Christian lives. If reality is not in your life, there is nothing there. A great many people just play church today.  Abram is very practical. He wants to know something, and he would like to have something in writing. Before God completes the ritual, He causes a deep sleep to fall on Abram and reveals to Abram a prophecy about the future of his descendants.  They will live as captives for 400 years in another country, serving that nation. When the time comes, they will be released with abundant possessions and return to execute God's judgment on the Amorites and other inhabitants of the land of Canaan. Abram learns that he will live to a good, old age, but that he will not live to see the troubling events of this prophecy. Finally, God completes the covenant ritual in a dramatic fashion. Abram witnesses a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch pass through the pieces of the animals, a sight he would likely long remember as evidence of God's covenant promises.  God completes the covenant by describing both the southern and northern borders of the Promised Land, as well as identifying the peoples who would have previously occupied the various regions of the land when Abram's descendants would receive it as their own. It is time to open our hearts, minds, and souls to the Word Of GOD. Our scripture will be coming from: Genesis 15:13-21 KJV  [13] And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; [14] And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. [15] And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. [16] But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full. [17] And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces. [18] In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: [19] The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, [20] And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, [21] And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.
    41 min. 35 sec.
  • GOD's Covenant With Abraham - Prepare A Sacrifice part-1 Discussion

    28 GIU 2022 · Our Scriptures Of The Week Is: Romans 8:35, 38-39 KJVS   [35] Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? [38] For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,  [39] Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. This chapter has indicated that those who are in Christ (Romans 3:23–26) can look forward to a future of sharing in God's glory (Romans 8:18). At the same time, we are not there yet. For now, we suffer along with the rest of sin-ravaged creation. We groan in longing for our home with the Father. We patiently wait for the hope to be fulfilled (Romans 8:19–23).  Paul urged his readers to understand, however, that though suffering continues, God is still there for us. He has been there for us since before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4), and He has proven His love for us by sacrificing His own Son to make it possible to adopt us as His children (John 3:16–18). Paul now writes that we must never interpret the darkness of earthly life as evidence of God's lack of love for us. Nothing we do can keep Christ from loving us, and nothing that happens to us can mean that Christ no longer loves us. Paul builds a list of some of the worst things that can happen in this life, including trials, hardship, persecution for our faith in Him, hunger, lack of clothing or shelter, physical threats, or death by violence.  None of this can separate us from Christ's love. None of this means Christ does not love us.  Just the opposite is true. He loves us enough to bring us through these things (John 16:33). Paul would have known this better than almost anyone. He himself experienced most, if not all, of those hardships (2 Corinthians 11:23–29) and remained convinced of Christ's love for him. Paul doesn't want his readers to feel an ounce of insecurity about God's love for them in Christ. He has built the case for why God is for us as Christians. He has already created a list of the worst things that can happen in this life to make the point that none of them demonstrate a loss of Christ's love from us (Romans 8:31–37).  Those things may happen, but as he wrote in the previous verse, they cannot conquer us in any way that matters. Those who are saved by faith in Christ (Romans 3:23–26; John 3:16–18) can continually endure, in the power of His Spirit. Now Paul begins a new list.  This covers virtually everything anyone might think of to challenge God's love for His elect (Romans 8:29–30). Paul begins with death, which for the believer in Christ can only bring us into God's glory more quickly (2 Corinthians 5:8). He continues to include life, angels, and rulers. This last concept is from the Greek word archai, usually used for a political leader or magistrate, and often applied to certain kinds of demons.  In other words, absolutely nothing, whether natural on this earth, or supernatural from heaven or hell, could ever cause God to stop loving us. Paul continues his list with the present and the future. Nothing that could happen now or tomorrow or a thousand years from now could change God's commitment to love us in Christ.  Next he lists "powers," referring either to supernatural powers like Satan and his demons or earthly governments like Rome. As it turned out, Paul himself was eventually killed, so far as we know, by the "powers" of the Roman government. They did not conquer him, though. Nor did they separate him from God's love for him, in Christ. Hardships might test us (Hebrews 12:3–11), and persecution may fall on us (John 16:33). We will sometimes fail to obey (1 John 1:9–10). But Paul's explanation thus far has included everything from our experiences, to powerful forces, and even the natural and supernatural worlds. He has listed the present and future. He has listed powers, meaning perhaps hostile governments. Now, he lists height and depth, meaning anything that might come down from above or up from below. Finally, he throws in an all-inclusive mention of anything else in all creation. Paul is being an absolutist about this. Nothing will ever be able to separate those of us who are in Christ from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Those who are saved, through faith in Christ, are saved eternally and forever (John 10:28–29). Period. We are loved by God always. No matter what. Forever. Our topic today is: GOD’S Covenant With Abraham – Prepare A Sacrifice part-1 Discussion This portion of study continues with the coming of the word of the Lord to Abram in a vision.  Previously, Abram has questioned God about not yet having a son, yet continued to believe God's renewed promise to give him an uncountable number of descendants. Prior verses have shown that God's promise is that of a literal, natural, biological son (Genesis 15:4).  The Hebrew terms used also make it clear that the faith expressed in this encounter is not new—this is a continuation of the faith Abram has already placed in God (Genesis 15:6). Now the Lord returns to His other great promise to Abram, to give Abram—and his descendants—the land of Canaan as their own possession. As the Lord puts it, He brought Abram out of his old life, his former home, for this very purpose (Genesis 12:1–3).  Abram would like reassurance about this seemingly impossible promise, as well. Now Abram asks for something tangible: "How can I know I will possess it?" Notice, as when he asked about having children (Genesis 15:2), Abram begins his question with great respect, addressing God as "O Lord God" or "Sovereign Lord."  Abram's questions do not represent a lack of faith, accusation, or bitterness. This passage makes it clear that Abram has already put his faith in God (Genesis 15:6), and continues to do so.  This is a request for God to reveal even more of Himself to Abram—Abram is asking for reassurance. That's exactly what God will provide in the following verses. The symbolism of the ritual shown in these next verses is powerful, and includes prophetic hints at the future of Abram's nation. Along with this symbolism is a demonstration of how certain God's promise to Abram really is. Abram is admitting that he cannot see a path from where he is now, to the promise God has made for him. In response to the question, God directs Abram through the steps of a very specific ritual, formalizing that covenant promise. The first step, in this verse, is a list of animals Abram was to bring before the Lord: a heifer, goat, and ram, each three years old, along with a turtledove and young pigeon. The processes which follow emphasized the seriousness of this promise, on the part of God. It also includes a surprising prophesy about the future of Abram's large family. The Lord told Abram to bring five specific animals before Him. Abram did so and now proceeds to cut the heifer, goat, and ram (all three years old) in half and to lay each half opposite the other. He did not cut the turtledove or pigeon in half. The symbolic meaning of this bloody-but-purposeful covenant ritual will be clarified in the following verses.  In part, this meaning involves a unity of those making the agreement. According to some interpreters, this ritual was also used as a way of demonstrating sincerity; by implying that those passing between the pieces were willing to be destroyed, as the animals were, if they broke their part of the agreement.  The use of the animals also provides Abram with a symbolic picture of Israel's future struggles under the oppressive rule of Egypt. Some scholars believe the symbolism of this ritual was meant to highlight the promise made, as if saying "may I be so destroyed if I break my part of this covenant."  Others see it as an expression of unity: passing "inside" the sacrificial animals. However, something dreadful happens that threatened to derail this covenant ritual between God and Abram. Each of the five animals chosen for the ritual were "clean" animals that would be appropriate, especially under the Law, to use as a sacrifice before God. But before the ritual is ended, a group of unclean birds of prey descend upon the remains of the animals.  Abram is forced to drive them away. This seems to be an omen of the coming 400-year affliction of Abram's descendants described by the Lord's prophecy in the following verses. Abram, the man who will soon be renamed Abraham, is in the midst of a covenant ritual between himself and the Lord. At this point in the story, the sun is going down.  Previously, God had instructed Abram to look at the stars (Genesis 15:5). That moment either took place within Abram's vision or on the previous night. On this night, at dusk, Abram seems supernaturally overpowered by a deep sleep and a great and dreadful darkness. In the following verses, the Lord will speak to Abram in a dream or vision as he sleeps or after Abram is awakened.  The upcoming words will prophesy the slavery of Abram's descendants in Egypt, their eventual exodus, and their conquest of the sinful nations of Canaan.
    35 min. 5 sec.

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