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Abraham's Promised SeedYESHUA haMASHIAH
By Thomas H. Perdue
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2011 Thomas H. Perdue
All right reserved.
Chapter One1. The Abrahamic Covenant
At Creation, Adam and Eve were perfect, and in perfect relationship with God, and the rest of His Creation, and would enjoy all the blessings of God. However, after eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which violated God's only command, they suffered from a divine curse. God gave oracles to Adam, Eve and Satan [Serpent], and would curse the land.
Although the world continued in great sin, there were some good men [Seth, Enosh, Enoch, etc.] along the way. Those who hear and obey God's commands, will allow them to be in relationship with God. Read Deuteronomy 30:15-20 which applies to Israel [later].
Faith 1: Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:20, had faith. They knew that God had diminished their blessings, but they saw that Eve [the mother of all living] would continue the race, and so, they had FAITH. In spite of the curse, if one is willing to confess their sin, God will graciously provide.
Adam and Eve's sin created a new plan for their children, which would continue until the end of the Millennium. God created a perfect plan, but sin ended it.
Faith 2: Abel brought of the firstlings of his flocks and of their fat. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering.
Faith 3: Eve [Genesis 4:25] had faith when she said: "For God had appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew." Seth was his name, and their Faith was renewed.
Faith 4: Seth fathered Enos, who began to call upon the name of the Lord. Israel's spiritual matters could trace back to Enos.
Faith 5: Enoch [Genesis 5:24] walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.
Faith 6: Lamech had Noah [Genesis 5:29]: Noah shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed.
Faith 7: Thus Noah [Genesis 6:22] did; according to all that God commanded him, so did he. Noah [Genesis 7:1] was righteous, as God says: "for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation." Also, Noah built an altar and offered burnt offerings on it of every clean beast [Genesis 8:20-22].
Digress: Ham's sin toward the nakedness of Noah prompted an oracle: Canaan was cursed, but Shem and Yapheth were blessed.
Faith 8: Shem and Yapheth showed righteous conduct to preserve the honor of Noah when they took a blanket and walked backward toward Noah and covered him.
Digress: The Genealogy of Shem [Genesis 11:10-26]. This section of Genesis is designed to trace the ancestry of Abram, the son of Terah, back to Shem, the son of Noah. Shem is the one who had received a prophetic blessing with Mashiach import from Noah [Genesis 9:26]. He was listed first in Genesis 5:32 because of his relation to the Mashiach line. The writer is providing the connecting links between Abram the patriarch and Noah the second Adam. This link was important in the writer's mind because of the divine purpose and the Federal headship of Adam. And now, Abram was shown to be heir of the promises and the commission, as he is listed first in verse 26. The genealogy thus authenticates the direct link to the blessing at creation.
The call of Abram [Genesis 12:1-3] and his descendents was a demonstration of sovereign grace in which the Lord singled out Abram to be the man who became distinctively the heir of promise. The genealogy links that blessing to a man whose ancestors represented FAITH in the Lord and to whom the promise of blessing had been extended.
This theme builds on the idea of a covenant introduced through Noah in Genesis 9:1-17, which covenant was universal in its benefits; this covenant centered on the family and descendents of Abraham. The covenant with Noah promised that the Lord would not again curse the ground any more for man's sake [Genesis 8:21]. Also, under the Noahic Covenant, human government is established [Genesis 9:1-6]; Earth is secured against another universal judgment by water [Genesis 8:21; 9:11]; and a prophetic declaration is made that Shem will have a peculiar relation to Jehovah [Genesis 9:26, 27] - All divine revelation is through Semitic men [women], and Mashiah, after the flesh descends from Shem. But the covenant with the patriarchs promised descendants land, fame, and blessings. The sign of the Noachian Covenant was the rainbow, a sign that God gave to all creation; but the sign of the Abrahamic Covenant was circumcision, a rite that became a requirement for the covenant people. With the Abrahamic Covenant, the program of God focused on Abraham and his descendants as the channel for bringing blessing [remember Shem's relation to Jehovah] to the families of the earth.
Let us record Genesis 12:1-9, as it is central to the book of Genesis [and the whole Bible], as it list the foundation of the Abrahamic promises, and the beginning of the nation of Israel as a worshiping community.
V 1. Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: V 2. And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: V 3. And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. V 4. So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. V 5. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came. V 6. And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Si-chem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. V 7. And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy Seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him. V 8. And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Ha-i on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the Lord, and called upon the name of the Lord. V 9. And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south.
Faith 9: Abram [Genesis 12:4] departed to found a new nation that would bring blessing to the world. Israel would learn by this passage that their very existence as a nation was by God's election of one man who responded by FAITH, who would worship, have communion with God, and receive the Promise. It would affirm to the nation that their beginnings were rooted in the will of God, from Adam to Shem to Abram.
All of this calling required Faith in the Lord. This passage does not state that Abram believed, but Genesis 15:6 affirms it: "And Abram believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness." And Hebrews 11:8 confirms it: "By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went." The evidence of Abram's Faith was his obedience to the Word of the Lord, which is important here. If Abram had not believed he would not have obeyed, and the promises of God would not have been fulfilled through him.
Obedience would bring God's blessing, first to the patriarch, and later to Israel. The sacrifices Abram was to make did not compare to the blessings he would receive: a) land; b) seed [a great nation]; and c) Abraham would be a blessing. Abram would be responsible for opening the blessing of the Lord to the families of the earth.
This was an unconditional promise, assuming only that Abram would migrate to Canaan as God had told him. The blessings given to Abram could never be separated from the relationship with the Lord through FAITH and OBEDIENCE. God also promised protection, saying "He would bless those that bless Abram and curse those that curse him." The wording records His threat as a necessary part of the outworking of the promises. Thus, Abram would be the vessel of blessing for the whole world. No one would find divine blessing apart from the blessings given through Abram and his seed [This is Shem's Tent - Jewish Band].
Abram was FAITHFUL in Genesis 12:7a, "And the Lord appeared unto Abram," once he was in the land, to confirm the promises and to reward his FAITH. Yeshua haMashiah, the Lord appears here (cf. Genesis 17:1; 18:1; 26:2, 24 and 35:9) to Abram. The response to God's confirming appearance was adoration and worship. The idea of sacrifice, presumed here with the building of an altar. Also, at the second altar, Abram "made proclamation of the Lord by name." Against a thoroughly Pagan background (He might have known Semiramis - Queen of Heaven) and with very little knowledge, Abram simply took God at his Word and went to the land of Canaan and became a blessing. But God required faith for any generation that wished to share in those promised blessings.
In Genesis 13:8-13, Abram's solution to the strife between he and Lot: he chooses to give Lot the best choice, because he is a brethren. Abraham believed that God promised to give him the land and did not have to reserve it for himself. Rather, as the covenant partner, he had the primary responsibility for maintaining peace, and he used the land to do so. Lot was a just person and a righteous man (2 Peter 2:7-8), so Abram's appeal goes beyond mere physical ties.
In Genesis 13:14-18, with the episode of Lot resolved, Abram received the reaffirmation of the promises. This makes me think of Genesis 12:1-3, where the Lord said unto Abram, "Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from they father's house, unto a land that I will show thee.." After this strife with Lot was solved, indeed, Abram receives a reaffirmation of God's promise to give the land of Canaan to him and his seed forever. Abram, faithfully continued to worship (18), by building an altar to the Lord. As a worshiper he could respond correctly to the strife; as a worshiper he would wait patiently for the Lord to fulfill his promise.
Can Abraham Trust The Lord's Promises? In (Genesis 15) this chapter, central to it, is the report of Abram's belief in the Lord and the Lord's crediting him with righteousness (v6): "And Abram believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness."
It seems good to record Genesis 15 since it is very important:
V 1. After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. V 2. And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? V 3. And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. V 4. And, Behold, the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. V 5. And he brought him forth abroad, and said, look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. V 6. And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness. V 7. And he said unto him, I am the Lord that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it. V 8. And he said, Lord God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it? V 9. And he said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon. V10. And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not. V11. And when the fowls came down upon the carcasses, Abram drove them away. V12. And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him. V13. 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; V14. And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. V15. And thou shalt go to thy father in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. V16. But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full. V17. 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. V18. 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: V19. The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, V20. And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, V21. And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.
God assured Abram that Eliezer would not be his heir, and, then, told him to count the stars in heaven (earlier, God said the number would be as the dust of the earth - Genesis 13:16).
Then in verse 6, which may be a summary statement of Abram's FAITH. We have followed Abram's faith from Genesis 12. Hebrews 11:8 asserts that he left Ur by Faith. Abram did not start believing here, but his status was stated before God would bind himself by covenant to Abram the Believer.
Salem Kirban Reference Bible [Second Coming, 650 Willow Valley Sq. (K0 107), Lancaster, PA 17602] - The Bible declares the futility of man's efforts to deliver himself (Isaiah 64:6). It points to God alone as the One who is able to correct the sin-guilt problem. The righteousness of God is received by repentance of sin and faith in God's provision. Yeshua haMashiah (John 3:16; 14:6; Ephesians 2:8, 9; Romans 10:9, 10).
Men in every age were saved by faith. The law served only to show man his need for salvation (Galatians 2:16; 3:11). After salvation, faith in God manifests itself in the works of God (James 2:17; Ephesians 2:10). Abram here demonstrated his trust when he divided the animals, and the covenant was consummated when the fire passed between the pieces of the animal (Genesis 15:17) (Ibid., Salem Kirban, Gary G. Cohen, p. 23).
Excerpted from Abraham's Promised Seed by Thomas H. Perdue Copyright © 2011 by Thomas H. Perdue. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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