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Genesis 14




SCRIPTURE: Genesis 14

Here’s an interesting little piece of trivia.  This chapter includes the first war that is recorded in the Bible.  The story turns from trivia to personal in verse 12.  The invading kings capture Lot, all his folks, and all of his stuff.

It was at that point that Abram became involved.  His involvement turned the war and the five kings from the valley of the Jordan won.  Included in that victory was the release of Lot, all of his folks, and all of his stuff.  Lot, it seems, went right back to his home in Sodom.  We really don’t learn lessons very quickly or very well.

It is after the battle, that we encounter a most unusual story.  On his way home, Abram is met by two kings: Bera, the King of Sodom; and, Melchizedek, the King of Salem.  Bera wanted to make a deal for the “persons” that Abram had.  Melchizedek offered a meal.

Most folks who study this kind of thing think that Melchizedek is a Christophany.  A Christophany is a pre-Bethlehem appearance of Jesus.  A Christophany is Jesus taking on the form of a man and coming to the earth not yet as the Savior of the World but as the second person of the Trinity.  So, why would people think that?

First, Melchizedek literally means King of Righteousness.  King of Salem literally means King of Peace.  Salem could either be a shortened version of the Hebrew word “Shalom” or it could be a shortened version of the word Jerusalem.  Of course, it could actually be both.

Second, Melchizedek offers a meal of bread and wine which could prefigure the Lord’s Supper.  Third, Melchizedek speaks a blessing from God Most High over Abram.  And, fourth, in Hebrews 7 we read where Melchizedek had neither father nor mother and had neither a beginning of days nor an end of life.

I am quite convinced that all the evidence points directly at the fact that Melchizedek is none other than Jesus who came in the form of a man to communicate for God and connect with people of faith. 

Abram’s initial response to this was to tithe to Melchizedek.

As you think about the timeline of this chapter, there is a most interesting thing to think about.  If Melchizedek is Jesus (again I am convinced that He is), He didn’t show up until after the battle is over.  From our perspective, I think we would want Jesus to show up before the battle, give us battle plans, give us promises of victory, and give us courage to go fight.  There are certainly times that that is exactly the way Jesus operates.

But not this time.  In fact, Jesus didn’t show up until after the battle.  Get this.  He didn’t show up until after the victory. 

Here’s what I want you to think about.  We can make a really good case that we should only fight the battles Jesus says we should fight.  We can also make a really good case that we should only fight those battles the way Jesus says we should fight.

But there are times that we need Jesus to touch down in the midst of our victory.  Dealing with victory can derail us as quickly as defeat can.  Victory often brings its own set of temptations that we are less than prepared for.  We really do need Jesus in our victories.

Posted by Joe Ligon with 0 Comments

Genesis 13




SCRIPTURE: Genesis 13

As the chapter opens, Abram, Sarai, and the family are leaving Egypt.  In verse 3, they go back to the very place they were before, where Abram built an altar to worship God and meet with Him.  There are different times in our lives where we all tend to get off track and end up in places that we didn’t anticipate and maybe didn’t even intend to be.  The question when we find ourselves there is are we going to stay there or not.  The answer is we need to go back to the last place we met God and start over from that point. 

Going back to the last place we met God and starting over promises us a fresh start thanks to God’s grace.  Going back to the last place we met God and starting over doesn’t promise a life free of problems or conflicts or struggles.  But going back to the last place we met God and starting over does promise us the opportunity to see things differently which allows us to think differently which allows us to act differently.

This actually plays out in this chapter.  The land was not sufficient to provide for all the flocks and herds of animals that Abram had and his nephew Lot had.  There was actually some conflict brewing because of this.  Abram’s solution to the problem was to let Lot choose what land he wanted and Abram would go the other way.

In verse 10, the Bible says Lot “lifted up his eyes and saw”.  In other words, he made a decision based upon what he could see.  On the surface that probably doesn’t look to bad and it might even be what we have done or advised others to do.  But in this instance, remember that the Bible doesn’t call us to live by sight but to live by faith.  Lot made his decision by sight.  By faith, Abram trusted God to take care of him.

If you are familiar with the story, you may know that in the days, months, and years ahead, things did not go well for Lot and his family.  I don’t want to spoil this for you.  We will read about it in the upcoming chapters.  On the other hand, things went better than ever for Abram.

In verse 14 and following, God told Abram to look in every direction because the all the land he could see was his.  That could cause some of you to put the brakes on.  After all, I just busted on Lot for looking and now God is telling Abram to look.  Here’s the difference.  Lot used sight to make a decision.  Abram used sight to see what the Lord had done. 

God also promised Abram countless offspring.  That must have sounded like a big promise since Abram and Sarai, at this point, were not able to have any children.

God then told Abram to go look around at all the land.  Abram obeyed.  And the chapter ends with Abram building another altar, this one at Hebron, to worship God.

Posted by Joe Ligon with 0 Comments

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