Genesis 14 Part 2–The Meeting with the Kings

God was making a point with Abram. Abram had chosen well.  He had separated from the evil kings of the Jordan Valley and defeated the King of Shinar (Pre-Babylon).  Now, after winning the battle and saving the prisoners and their possessions, Abram met up with two kings. 

First, He met up with Melchizedek, King of Salem.  The Scripture describes Melchizedek as a High Priest. This is especially telling, because it was always God’s model for Israel to be a kingdom of priests.  Abram has a great meeting with Melchizedek and pays Melchizedek a substantial tribute as a thanks for his blessing. 

As he finishes that meeting, Abram them meets up with the King of Sodom.  The meeting was totally different.  The king of Sodom starts off ready to make a deal.  I will take the people, and you can have the stuff.  Seems like a great thing, but Abram could see right through the plan. 

Unlike Melchizedek, the king of Sodom wanted to somehow make Abram beholden to him. (You are only rich cause I gave you all that stuff–You owe me.) Like some two-bit gangster, the King of Sodom wanted to leverage control of all he touched. Ironically, Abram already owned all the stuff.  He won it in battle.  The King of Sodom lost title to it when he lost it in battle. 

Already won

The truth was; however, Abram did not want an alliance or even the connotation of being associated with these men.  Abram said no.  The warriors that assisted could have their share of plunder, But Abram had all he needed–God’s blessing.


As time would pass, it became very apparent that Abram chose the right ally. God protects, prepares, and provides for His chosen through all circumstances.  Abram would be the patriarch to the nation of priests that is the order of Melchizedek. It was Christ that would be the ultimate High Priest offering atonement for all whom had fallen short of the glory of God.  Abram had determined already that he was to serve God and Him only. 

 
We are to make that same choice.  As it says in Colossians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Further, in 2 Corinthians 5:17, Paul says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation–the old is gone and the new has come.”  Simply put, if given the choice between God’s blessing and men’s stuff–God’s blessing should win every time.


God Bless You


15 During the night Abram divided his men to attack them and he routed them, pursuing them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus. 16 He recovered all the goods and brought back his relative Lot and his possessions, together with the women and the other people.

17 After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley).

18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, 19 and he blessed Abram, saying,

“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
    Creator of heaven and earth.
20 And praise be to God Most High,
    who delivered your enemies into your hand.”

Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

21 The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself.”

22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “With raised hand I have sworn an oath to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, 23 that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the strap of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich.’ 24 I will accept nothing but what my men have eaten and the share that belongs to the men who went with me—to Aner, Eshkol and Mamre. Let them have their share.”

Genesis 14–Be Careful and Intentional With Whom you Associate

It was easy to see from early on the difference between peoples.  Lot had literally pitched his tent in Sodom among a very unsavory bunch of folks.  The kings of that area got into a fight with other unsavory kings and got their hats handed to them.  Sadly, by association, Lot, and all His stuff were captured and taken in the battle.


God had blessed Abram, Abram took out after the plundering kings and defeated them quickly and handily.  He returned his nephew and all that had been taken by the evil Kings.  At this point, one might consider why Lot did not move his life and family away from these evil losers. Abram was offered riches and plunder from the evil Kings but turned them down cold–He did not want anything to do with them.


God does his part to bless His chosen folks.  As they follow him closely he protects, provides, and prepares them for the battles that lie ahead.  Abram was prepared.  He handed 5 battle tested armies their rears in a sling.  Conversely, The Kings of the Jordan valley were smug, but useless. They talked a big game, but in the end simply were captured and defeated and only spared because of God’s grace and the help of a sheep and cattle rancher.


In our lives and culture, we have to follow God’s direction and lead.  Like Abram, we do not associate with evil men, even the prosperous ones.  They are self-centered and only care about their name and their stuff.  Instead, we associate with those that seek the Lord and with them we pray and walk daily to bring God glory with our lives.  It will make the difference as we face the enemy; and, it may just be a  way to introduce those evil folks to salvation given freely by the God that created them.


God Bless You


 Then the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboyim and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) marched out and drew up their battle lines in the Valley of Siddim against Kedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goyim, Amraphel king of Shinar and Arioch king of Ellasar—four kings against five. 10 Now the Valley of Siddim was full of tar pits, and when the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some of the men fell into them and the rest fled to the hills. 11 The four kings seized all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food; then they went away. 12 They also carried off Abram’s nephew Lot and his possessions, since he was living in Sodom.

13 A man who had escaped came and reported this to Abram the Hebrew. Now Abram was living near the great trees of Mamre the Amorite, a brother[b] of Eshkol and Aner, all of whom were allied with Abram. 14 When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he called out the 318 trained men born in his household and went in pursuit as far as Dan. 15 During the night Abram divided his men to attack them and he routed them, pursuing them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus. 16 He recovered all the goods and brought back his relative Lot and his possessions, together with the women and the other people.

Genesis 13–Pick your Future

Abram and his nephew, Lot were a great team.  But as they grew, it became impossible for them to stay together.  So, Abram took Lot to a place they could see the width and breadth of Canaan, and Abram told Lot to pick where he wanted to build his life.  Lot did not hesitate.  He chose the Jordan valley because it was lush and beautiful.  In addition, there was community and shopping. (LOL)  In fact, Sodom and Gomorrah were thriving and sinning greatly.  I am sure Lot thought; he was above all that.  After all, wasn’t he Terah’s Grandson! 

You Pick

It is always tempting to do that which seems easy and take the most attractive option.  Usually, those options are not the best. We need to be thoughtful and walk in a manner that honors God. We need to come to a place where we trust God enough to humbly follow where HE leads.  Abram did that and was blessed.  Lot took the easy way out and we will see it did not go well.


If we will trust and follow God; and, if we will humble ourselves to simply seek His face, then we will see great and mighty works.  It will not happen quickly, but in God’s timing, the Lord, Himself, will complete His glorious plan for us.  We will see His hand and gladly give Him our trust and all the credit.

  
God Bless You


Now Lot, who was moving about with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents. But the land could not support them while they stayed together, for their possessions were so great that they were not able to stay together. And quarreling arose between Abram’s herders and Lot’s. The Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in the land at that time.

So Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herders and mine, for we are close relatives. Is not the whole land before you? Let’s part company. If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left.”

10 Lot looked around and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan toward Zoar was well watered, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) 11 So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east. The two men parted company: 12 Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom. 13 Now the people of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord.

14 The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. 15 All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring[a] forever. 16 I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. 17 Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.”

18 So Abram went to live near the great trees of Mamre at Hebron, where he pitched his tents. There he built an altar to the Lord.

Genesis 12 Part 2–Faith and Humanity

Abram is best known for his faith.  In Romans 4:3, God says that Abram had great faith and that faith was counted to him as righteousness.  But even the faithful and the righteous are still frail human beings.  Abram and Sarai went to Egypt because there was a famine in Canaan.  When they arrived, Abram had Sarai tell a little white lie…Say you are my sister! She did and was scooped up by Pharaoh to be Pharaoh’s wife.


God did protect Abram and Sarai. He started dropping plagues on the Egyptians until the
Pharaoh returned Sarai to Abram. 
Pharaoh was insulted that they would lie and risk the lives of so many.  The issue is, had Abram told the truth, would he have remained safe?  The answer is…of course.  God protected Abram with the lie, How much more would God have blessed the truth?!!?


We do silly things, even as God’s chosen, in order to “Help God Out”.  Here is a fun fact, God does not need our help, He’s Got This! The wonderful news is that even when we do sin, God still loves and protects us.  Abram’s faith is what made him righteous, Abram’s fear made him human.  We started with Romans, so let’s end with Romans 5:8,”God Demonstrated His love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us!” 


Like Abram, our faith is what saves us.  Sadly, our humanity exposes how much we need God to love us even when we try to help Him out!


God Bless You


Now there was a famine in the land. So, Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land. 11 When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, “I know that you are a woman beautiful in appearance, 12 and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me, but they will let you live. 13 Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared for your sake.” 14 When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. 15 And when the princes of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. 16 And for her sake he dealt well with Abram; and he had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels.

17 But the Lord afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. 18 So Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife; take her, and go.” 20 And Pharaoh gave men orders concerning him, and they sent him away with his wife and all that he had.

Genesis 12 Part 1–Abram Trusts God

At age 75, God called Abram to go to Canaan.  When God called Abram two important things happened.  First, God made a promise to Abram that would live beyond Abram until this present day.  God told Abram that if He would trust God and Go to Canaan the Lord would someday Give the entire land to Abram’s ancestors.  Next, God promised that If Abram would trust Him, that Abram’s family would literally bless the entire world.


Abram did trust God and made the trip to Canaan.  He built alters to worship God at Shechem and at Bethel.  We know that even today Israel is God’s people’s land.  Fight though they might, the world will not take it away.  In addition, Abram’s lineage produced our Lord and Savior Jesus and through Him, we all have the opportunity to be in relationship with God.


God keeps His promises.  We do not always get the benefit of seeing God’s finished product; but we can trust that, in his time, those promises will be kept.

  In the meanwhile, as His ambassadors, we simply need to trust and follow Him with joy and peace. It is an ongoing journey with many twists and turns along the way.  We only have to trust that God knows us and knows what lies ahead for us. We must simply keep His commands and follow His lead.  If we will, Like Abram, We will begin a work that God can use for generations to come.


God Bless You.


 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.

“I will make you into a great nation,
    and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
    and you will be a blessing.[a]
I will bless those who bless you,
    and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
    will be blessed through you.”[b]

So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.

Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring[c] I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.

From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.

Then Abram set out and continued toward the Negev.

Genesis 10–Almost But Not Quite

The next comeback story is the story of Abram.  Abram was the son of Terah.  According to the scripture, the journey to the promised land started with Terah who took Abram, Sarai, and Lot and they set out to Canaan.  Sadly, they made it to Harran, but then SETTLED.  It seems that they built a nice enough life, but the dream of Canaan seemed to fall off the table.  Terah and his family seemed to build a home and a life in Harran.  They followed Adonai and there are no indications that Terah was anything other than a fine man.  There is a strong indication that Terah had the dream to go to Canaan but gave up just short of the goal.


In our lives, God calls us to a journey and a mission.  Often that involves simply trusting Him and following His leadership.  Following God is hard, especially in this current godless world culture. Fact is, however, that the world has always been against God.  That is why the Lord has called us to be His ambassadors.  We are to tell people of His desire to be in relationship with us.  As God’s chosen, sometimes we come to a point that we want to give up and settle.  I confess in writing this devotion, there are days that I think 20 years, is long enough.

  
God calls us to do as Paul did in 2nd Timothy.  Paul told Timothy, “I have fought the God fight, I have finished the race and I have Kept the faith!” 2 Timothy 4:7-8.  We need to not settle.  We need to charge forward and finish the race.  That will be the start of a legacy that will reach beyond us for generations.

  Clearly Terah raised a great son.  His son would complete what dad started.  So, while Terah may not have taken Canaan by storm, His son trusted God so Terah was still used mightily.  


Never give up, never give in, and never underestimate God’s ability to use your frail and imperfect life to do amazing things.

God Bless You


 When Nahor had lived 29 years, he became the father of Terah. 25 And after he became the father of Terah, Nahor lived 119 years and had other sons and daughters.

26 After Terah had lived 70 years, he became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran.

Abram’s Family

27 This is the account of Terah’s family line.

Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot. 28 While his father Terah was still alive, Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, in the land of his birth. 29 Abram and Nahor both married. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milkah; she was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milkah and Iskah. 30 Now Sarai was childless because she was not able to conceive.

31 Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Harran, they settled there.

32 Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Harran.

Genesis 8–The New Start

After months of confinement, the earth finally dried.  God encouraged Noah to release the animals back into the world and to God and do likewise.  As God looked at the family of Noah and then at the animals as they left the ark, He made two important decisions.


First, God decided that he would never wipe out all the living creatures again because of the acts of men.  God knew that men were inclined to evil from birth.  They would always have that predisposition and the rest of the earth and animals on the earth should not suffer as a result.


Second, God made a covenant with Noah and Noah’s family not to destroy the world by a flood.  As a result, God sent a rainbow as a reminder to men after every rainfall.

God then set about the business of building his plan to save men from their evil hearts.  through the lineage of Shem, Noah’s son, God would establish a way for salvation to come to men and they would have the freedom to choose to follow God or to reject salvation and turn to their inclination of evil.


The important message from the Lord then and now is that God demonstrated His love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8.  God spelled it out, men were never destined to get better.  Instead, God had to redeem and restore men to a place of fellowship with Him.  Thank You, Lord that that place was on a cross at Calvary.


God Bless You

_______________________________________________

15 Then God said to Noah, 16 “Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives. 17 Bring out every kind of living creature that is with you—the birds, the animals, and all the creatures that move along the ground—so they can multiply on the earth and be fruitful and increase in number on it.”

18 So Noah came out, together with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives. 19 All the animals and all the creatures that move along the ground and all the birds—everything that moves on land—came out of the ark, one kind after another.

20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. 21 The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though[a] every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.

22 “As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.”

Genesis 7 Part 2–Noah Trusting God

There is little doubt that Noah knew the pressure he carried.  As the flood waters came, Noah was able to see every living creature on earth.  He was responsible for their lives, and he was responsible for their release back into life.  Had Noah been a stranger to God, that would have been overwhelming.  


That is the great part of knowing God; to be able to simply trust Him for our very lives and existence.  We know in our heads He is God and a creator.  He has known the plans for us since the creation.  The most difficult part is to take that head knowledge and allow it to become faith.  Then as we allow faith to take over; we actually trust in the things we cannot see.


For Noah and his family, it was several months on the boat without any land in sight.  It had to have become quite confining over time.  Still, the animals were in sync. God was in charge, and Noah was living out a lifetime of faith.  God not only saved Noah, He protected and blessed him as the new patriarch of the world.


We must trust God in the same way.  We must know that God counts our faith as righteousness.  We simply must trust Him, then the Lord will do the rest.  If we trust God, He will lead us, He will provide for us, He will protect us, and finally, He will use us to do amazing things.  Solomon said it best, “Trust in the Lord with all your hearts.  Lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge God in all your ways…and HE will make your path straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6


God Bless You


 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day, all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. 12 And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.

13 On that very day Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, together with his wife and the wives of his three sons, entered the ark. 14 They had with them every wild animal according to its kind, all livestock according to their kinds, every creature that moves along the ground according to its kind and every bird according to its kind, everything with wings. 15 Pairs of all creatures that have the breath of life in them came to Noah and entered the ark. 16 The animals going in were male and female of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah. Then the Lord shut him in.

17 For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. 18 The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. 19 They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. 20 The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits.[a][b] 21 Every living thing that moved on land perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. 22 Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. 23 Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; people and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.

24 The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.

Genesis 7–Time to Go!!!!

It must have been a daunting feeling the day Noah and his family entered the Ark.  All of the animals parading in and all the preparation for feeding and caring for the animals,  All of the behavior, the ridicule and scorn as Noah and his clan entered the boat on that sunny day. 

Then the door was closed and  well, nothing happened. Nothing happened for a week. I am sure it took some time to get everyone and everything settled in.  I am also sure that as the family prepared, they had to practice the care and feeding of the animals…BUT, by day 6, faith had to be growing weak.  Of course, day seven changed everything.  The world had never seen rain or flood–the people would not have known what hit them, they never would.  Noah and his family would be the lone survivors for the world they knew.

When we are faithful, God will make our lives full and meaningful.  He will put us in positions to test our faith, and in the midst, allow us to experience every human emotion.  We do see through all of Bible history, that God always protects, provides and prepares His chosen for what lies ahead.  He allows our faith to be stretched and pushed–so when struggles hit; we can face them with confidence, not in our abilities–but in God’s character.  We can never lose either faith or hope.  Those things are gifts.  We simply trust him, follow him and allow him to steer the boat–then we will survive!

God Bless You

The Lord then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and one pair of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, and also seven pairs of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth. Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.”And Noah did all that the Lord commanded him.

Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters came on the earth. And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood. Pairs of clean and unclean animals, of birds and of all creatures that move along the ground, male and female, came to Noah and entered the ark, as God had commanded Noah. 10 And after the seven days the floodwaters came on the earth.

Genesis 6 Part 2–Noah’s Calling

God was finished.  He had put up with the decline of humanity for as long as could.  Now it was time to clean the slate.  Interestingly, as the saying goes, “Every rule has an exception!” Noah was the exception.  He was the grandson of Methuselah and the son of Lamech. He had been raised to honor and follow God.  He stood out in the community of men.  He and His family still sought and followed God.


Now God was done.  He came to Noah and told Him to prepare the ark, Gather the animals, gather food, and prepare to survive.  It had to fill Noah with such a sense of grief and urgency.  He literally had the weight of the world upon his shoulders.  So, Noah did what men of God do when given such a task.  The scripture says it quite plainly, “Noah did everything that God commanded him.” God did not leave Noah with mysteries or puzzles.  He laid the plan out very clearly and with much detail.  As God laid it out, Noah completed God’s plan.


God wants us to do the same as Noah.  We are to ignore what everyone else is doing, and simply follow God.  He sent Jesus to redeem us from our sin.  In return, our Father simply asks that we accept the gift of life and follow the Lord.  We are called to Love God, Love others, and trust God’s plan for our lives.  Make no mistake, following God is no small task.  It is difficult and filled with trials and temptation.  If we will follow the Lord, however, He will make our path straight and meet our needs each day.


God Bless You


This is the account of Noah and his family.

Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. 10 Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth.

11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. 12 God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. 13 So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. 14 So make yourself an ark of cypress[c] wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. 15 This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high.[d] 16 Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit[e] high all around.[f] Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. 17 I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. 19 You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. 20 Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. 21 You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.”

22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him.