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GOOD AFTERNOON, SIBLINGS!
Saturday’s readings are: Genesis 12-15.
Covenants Continue today in our reading!
As I mentioned yesterday, we will learn a great deal about covenants as we read through the Bible this year.
There are two types of covenants: Conditional and Unilateral.
Conditional covenants are ones that require something from both parties, they are conditional. Unilateral are those that hold no conditions or requirements from the other.
Yesterday, we saw YHWH make a unilateral covenant with all living things in that He will never again destroy the inhabitants of the earth by flood. Nothing was required of us in exchange for that and the covenant stands forever – which is why we should still be in awe whenever we see a rainbow in the sky!
Today, we are seeing another covenant made with Abraham and his descendants. Abraham has to ratify (give formal consent to) the covenant at the start by fulfilling what YHWH required of him – to leave his country, his family, and his father’s house and to follow YHWH to the land He would lead him to. This is another one of YHWH’s patterns in that He elects and separates His people from those that would deter or detract them from His purpose. It is very likely that Abraham’s family worshiped many gods and tradition states that his father may have even been a maker of idols so it would make sense that in order to worship the one true God, leaving this culture of idolatry behind would be necessary.
However, we do need to be careful not to try to apply human reason to why we should obey YHWH. He is God, we are not, plain and simple.
Either way, we will see this electing and separating a lot in Scripture and we will see warnings of YHWH to His people not to intermarry or associate with idolators and such because a little yeast leavens the whole loaf (in fact, that exact phrase is used a few times in the Bible). We will also see examples where YHWH’s people did not heed His advice, intermarried with tribes that worshipped idols or did not separate themselves from those YHWH warned against, and suffered as a result.
Once Abraham performed what was required of him in this covenant, the remainder rested entirely upon YHWH – so we can be certain that it will be upheld from there.
In YHWH making this covenant, it becomes a law of the universe, an inescapable promise that will come to pass no matter what we do.
Our Father is a covenant keeper and when YHWH says something will happen, man cannot stop it.
Genesis 12: We see that YHWH has told Abraham that he will be the father of a nation. However, we have to keep in mind that we know how this story ends, but Abraham doesn’t. Abraham is an old man, his wife is advanced past childbearing years, and he is childless.
Verse 12:4 could provide some insight into how Abraham is envisioning this happening when we see he takes his wife and his nephew, Lot, with him. Lot is already part of his household and was no doubt set up to be the heir to Abraham’s wealth. They reach an impasse, though, when a dispute erupts and they decide to separate.
Note where Lot goes: there is a description of his choice of residence in Genesis 13:13 which will come into play later. Abraham, however, continues obeying YHWH in faith, even though he has no apparent heir.
YHWH also included in the covenant in Genesis 13:15 the promise of a particular land to Abraham and his offspring “forever”.
In Genesis 15 this land is defined and you can see a map of that land at the following link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Promised_Land
As you probably already know, this land includes Israel. This land belongs to the descendants of Abraham (He is the grandfather of the twelve tribes of Israel) forever. Regardless of where you stand on Israel, the Bible is clear about where God stands.
~Special reminder: politics are not a topic of discussion allowed in our group.~
Sara was likely around 75 years old when the pharaoh found her beauty irresistible.
When Abraham told Sara to tell folks she was his sister, it wasn’t really a lie. She was his half sister as they shared the same father. Genesis 20:12
YHWH is a God of patterns. Did you see the beginning of a pattern today in the interaction of Egypt with YHWH’s people? This begins a pattern of conflict between YHWH’s chosen people and Egypt – and YHWH sending out plagues when they lock horns. This go around the pharaoh had sense enough not to cross YHWH but in Exodus we’ll see a very different reaction.
13:17 when YHWH tells Abraham to walk the length of his land, this was a legal custom known as chazakah. Anytime a person took possession of a parcel of land, they had to walk the perimeter of it as a sign of ownership, a way of “marking their territory”. Some kings even walked the perimeter of their kingdom from time to time for this very reason, a symbolic demonstration for their subjects.
A verse that helps us connect the dots:
If you belong to Messiah, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. ~Galatians 3:29
Wow, think on that today!
Backtracking a bit: There has been a lot of discussion about Genesis 6 and the 120 years lifespan. There has also been discussion about how man could possibly live hundreds of years and whether or not this was an actual number or figurative. I want to address that a bit from my viewpoint and encourage you to test it and discard if you find it does not prove true.
6 When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” Genesis 6:1-3
Here is a theory that is worth looking into: If we read Genesis 6 in context, the Father is speaking about man becoming evil and that He is going to put an end to that evil. This is before the flood took place and many believe (based on more math than I’m able to do at this point in my day) that the flood took place 120 years after the Father made this statement. Definitely something worth dig deeper on.
As a result, while the popular thought is that this is limiting man’s lifespan, Scripture doesn’t back that up in terms of the ages we are told they lived after this fact. However, that the Father was speaking of the coming flood does appear to hold water. (totally intentional pun)
Another note regarding ages and a caution: I think one of the most surprising things for Believers to discover is that a great many Bible scholars do not consider the Bible to be true, but rather they consider it to be a collection figurative literature. I actually saw a commercial for an online faith based university this past week where a professor was discussing his Genesis class and this professor considered Genesis to be figurative literature, not truth. Believers were jazzed as all get out about that class in the comments because that little subtlety escaped their notice. And so, thousands of believers will sit, eagerly, and pay to be taught that the Bible is not true – and never even realize it.
When people who see the Bible this way come upon numbers like people living over 500 years, etc, their logic tells them that this is not possible because they haven’t seen it in our time and so it must be a figurative number or symbol of something else.
As humans, we are always always always trying to put YHWH in a box, condense Him down so He fits into a thought that makes sense to us. And so, we take miracles and works of the Father and we dismiss them because we can’t wrap our little human brains around an infinite and all powerful God.
People even think Revelations is entirely symbolic and figurative but if you imagine John living in his time, with no knowledge of what our military vehicles or aircrafts or bombs look like today, then you show him a vision of a great world war in the middle of taking place with these modern machines – he would try to explain it in the terms like we see in Revelation.
Not realizing that many scholars do not believe the Bible to be true, I think a lot of Believers don’t realize that they’ve been taught to doubt the word of YHWH by scholars who never believed it was true to begin with. A little leaven leavens the whole lump – all the enemy has to do is plant a tiny seed of doubt.
I’m telling you what, this is going to be a journey because we are going to see and learn so much about Him and grow closer to Him than we ever dreamed possible! And guess what else?
Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Proverbs 30:5
Test everything, hold tight to what is good – and HE is the only source of good.
Our Friday Blessing:
May YHWH bless you and keep you;
YHWH make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
YHWH lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
And May YHWH Bless the reading of His word!
Leave your rabbit trails and greetings on the group discussion thread and know that I thank the Father each time I think of you! See ya Sunday!
Note: There is a print link embedded within this post, please visit this post to print it.
Today’s link: Crock Pot Lasagna
Catch up on all of our Genesis Posts here
Fellowship Members: Click here for Genesis 12-15 discussion thread, Click here to visit our prayer request thread
*These are my bible notes which I post each day in my Front Porch Fellowship on Facebook. In that group, we also have in depth discussions on each day’s readings. I am posting them here on a trial basis and will determine at some point, at my discretion, whether or not this is fruitful. In the interest of time needed to devote to the Front Porch Fellowship, my family, homeschooling, and my work on SouthernPlate, Bible posts here do not have comments turned on. If you wish to take part in a discussion or ask questions, please join my Front Porch Fellowship next time membership opens up. It only opens once per year and the next window will be late summer of 2020. Thank you!
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