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A STORY FROM THE BIBLE, 12/2/2011

Friday, December 02, 2011

Abraham: Following In The Footsteps Of Faith, 12/2/2011, Part 5
Genesis 12:4-5

ABRAM'S COMMITMENT TO A LIFE OF FAITH

I remember as a soldier, that we moved around from place to place quite a lot. We would live in this town for a while and then we would move to another town, or maybe we would just move from one house to another in the same town. We never stayed any place for a long time. In a sense, I was a pilgrim.

I soon discovered, from reading the Bible, that the Christian life is also a pilgrimage (1 Pet. 2:11). Everyone of us that is saved is a pilgrim for the Lord. We are on a journey that began the day we obeyed the Gospel and received Jesus into our hearts (Mark 4:35); this kind of life will continue until the day we arrive in Heaven. This pilgrimage is, at times, a wonderful thing. At other times, it is difficult. Yet all the time it is a pilgrimage that is to be lived out through faith in the Lord.

This man named Abraham was the first one to leave the things God hates behind to walk with the Lord by faith. His pilgrimage was not easy, though there were blessings along the way for Abraham. However, in his pilgrimage, Abraham sets the example for you and me. He shows us how to live out our lives in absolute faith in and total commitment to the Lord God Almighty.

Let's journey along with Abraham as he sets the example for all of God's children down through the ages. He teaches us a lesson today in The Commitment To A Life Of Faith. There are three sides to Abraham's Commitment To A Life Of Faith.

Gen 12:4-5 ABRAM'S OBEDIENCE
It took a while, but Abraham finally came to the place of total obedience to the Lord. That is the same place God wishes to bring each of His children, ( 1 Sam. 15:22-23).

It Involved His Separation - The call of God had been for Abraham to separate from his relatives, and to follow God by faith (Gen. 12:1). Abraham was called upon to separate himself from everything that would hinder the progress of his walk of faith!

The Lord's call is the same for His children! Anything that prevents us from progressing as He would desire is a weight that must go (Heb. 12:1-2.) Most of the time, you will not be called upon to sever ties with your family as was Abraham. However, if you decide to walk by faith, there will be times when they will not be sympathetic to what the Lord is leading you to do in your life, especially if they are lost. In times like those, the will of the Lord must be given the priority (Matt 6:33)! The words of Jesus in this matter reveals why He was sent to us (Matt. 10:32-39) ...."TO SEPARATE US FROM THOSE IN THE WORLD".

It Involved His Substance - Verse 5 tells us that when Abraham left to follow the Lord, he took "all his substance." In other words, when the Lord got Abraham, the Lord got everything he had! Abraham didn't leave anything behind for the world to use, but he took it all and went after God!

You can gauge the level of a person's commitment to the Lord by how much of that person's "stuff" has been dedicated to the Lord! We get hung up on the tithe. And, I believe that a person ought to tithe. But, what you do with the other 90% is just as important to the Lord as what you do with His 10%. You see, God doesn't just want His part, He wants your part too! He gives us what He does so that we might us it for His glory and for His kingdom's work. That's why some folks don't ever have anything! They peel off a dollar for the Lord and spent the rest of the ten on themselves and the things of the world… God won't bless that! When He has you and your checkbook, He can bless you in ways you have never imagined.

The way to “get” is to give (Luke 6:38; Mal. 3:10). That is not the motive for giving to the Lord and in His name, but it is a benefit! How much of your stuff does the Lord have? Or, do you have "your pile" and "God's pile"? If you do, I'll guarantee you that your pile is bigger! You had better be careful, He might blow on your pile. If He ever does, there won't be anything left (Hag. 1:5-11). If you have a problem with your tithes and offerings, you really don't have a problem with your tithes and offerings. You have a problem with your heart!

Of course, this thing is bigger than just God wanting our money. He wants all of our stuff to be dedicated to Him. He might want to use your house or your car. He just wants you to surrender all to Him so He can do with it what He will!

It Involved His Surrender - The Bible tells us that Abraham did "as the Lord had spoken to him." Abraham learned early on that the secret to pleasing God is simply doing what He says, to the letter! Even though the Lord's call upon his life would be difficult, it was the only course of action that made sense. You see, faith builds no barriers! It simply does what it is told and trusts God to take care of the rest! It breaks down barriers.

As we progress on our own pilgrimage, the sooner we learn that lesson, the better! The only way to enjoy the Christian life to the fullest, is to come to the place of total surrender, where your everything is on the altar (Rom. 12:1-2). You might think, as you read the life of Abraham, that God wanted Abraham's stuff. Friend, God didn't need Abraham's stuff and He isn't interested in your stuff either! All God ever wanted from Abraham was Abraham! That's what it all was all about. Everything this man endured was about getting himself on the altar. That's where the Lord wants us too! All He wants from us is us!

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE and BLESSING!
Psalm 4:1-8
New International Version (NIV)

1 “Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer. 2 How long will you people turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods? 3 Know that the LORD has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him. 4 Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. 5 Offer the sacrifices of the righteous and trust in the LORD. 6 Many, LORD, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?” Let the light of your face shine on us. 7 Fill my heart with joy when their grain and new wine abound. 8 In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.”

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TMW54812 12/2/2011 7:57AM

    I could never abandon my family for anything. This is one bible teaching I have never understood and is inconsistent with values central to my life.

I do look forward to your postings.

Grace&Peace,
R>T.

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GROEDER 12/2/2011 7:39AM

    Your stories are becoming a part of my daily devotions that I wait for every morning!!!! With God's help, through your stories, I am moving forward on my journey to Him all the time.

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EOWYN2424 12/2/2011 7:33AM

    But what happens when you can't even afford to give 10%?

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A STORY FROM THE BIBLE, 12/1/2011

Thursday, December 01, 2011

ABRAHAM: Following In The Footsteps Of Faith. 12/1/2011, Part 4

Gen 12:1-3 ABRAM'S PRECIOUS OPPORTUNITIES: THE WONDER YEARS

At the age of 75, this man named Abram finally makes his break with the old life. He had travel 577 miles from Ur to Haran, and now was to begin a journey of faith that would cover 955 miles. He leaves out from Haran on the great adventure of faith. These verses tell us that after all the wretched years in defilement and all the wasted years in delay, that God reserved some wonderful years of delight for this old servant of God. Notice the qualities of these wonder years.

Gen 12:1 To Walk In God's Presence - This man Abram has been called out of the gross darkness of sin to walk in the presence of the Lord. This verse implies that God intends to lead Abram in the way he should go. God Himself will direct this man's pathway.

There is nothing in this world more precious that walking with God by faith! The faith walk puts you in a place of dependence upon the Lord and He will not let you down, (Heb. 13:5). Those who lean solidly upon the Lord need never fear that He will leave them or desert them. They need never fear that God will fail them as they lean their weight upon Him, (Psa. 37:19).

Gen 12:1-3a To Watch God's Providence - God makes some grand promises to Abram in these verses. Look at all the things God promises to give this great man:
•A New Home
•Many Offspring
•Great Blessings
•A Great Name
•Abram Will Be A Blessing
•God Will Protect Him From His Enemies
•God Will Bless His Friends
•All The World Will Blessed Through Abram's Faith

Abram doesn't know yet how God will work it all out, but he knows that God will do it. His faith has grown to the place where he is willing to trust God and just leave the details to the providence of the Lord. He is willing to live by faith day by day as the Lord works out His plan and purpose in his life! Everything God promised to give to Abram, He did give him! He kept His promises to the letter. Also notice that some of these things are still being worked out today and that God will faithfully continue to work our His promises to Abram until all are fulfilled!

That is where He wants to bring us as well. He wants us to come to the place where we can simply take Him at His Word and be satisfied in our hearts that He will do what He has promised to do. Regardless of what the devil, the flesh and the world tell us, we can trust God. Everyone of His promises is true! You can depend on Him to take care of you if you will live your life by faith (Rom. 4:21). He will look after those who lean on Him!

Have you reached the place where you can rest in the arms of divine providence and know that He will take care of you? That is where we all need to be! Remember, no matter how life looks, God is doing what He does for you for good (Rom. 8:28.)

Gen 12:3b To Wonder At God's Purposes - As Abram began this journey of faith he must have questioned how God could take an old idolater and make him a blessing to all the families of the earth. When he died a hundred years later at the age of 175, he still did not have the answer to that question. But, this man Abram died in faith. That faith was counted for righteousness (Gen. 15:6), and when he died, he went to a place called paradise. Well, he waited there some 2,100 years. Then one day a man appeared in paradise. This man said that His name was Jesus and that He had just died on a cross for the sins of everyone in paradise and for the sins of all who would believe on Him (1 Pet. 3:18-19; Eph. 4:8-10). When Jesus appeared in that place that day, Abraham realized that the last piece had been placed in the puzzle. This man, Jesus, Who descended from Abraham through His mother Mary was the One that would make Abraham a blessing to all the families of the earth.

When Abram left Haran, he did so with all his hopes hidden in his heart. He held all the unseen things of the future in the hand of faith. He trusted God to take care of it and the Lord fulfilled every promise, just as He had said that He would!


As we live this life of faith in this world, there will be times when we cannot see the way. There will be days when we too will wonder how God could ever do anything with the likes of us! There will be times when we will have to walk by faith and not sight (2 Cor 5:7) . Of course, some people just can't do that! If they can't see how it should be done, they won't do it! If they can't explain it, then they avoid it. Those folks never grow! The people God uses greatly are those who will walk obediently wherever the path of God leads them. Whether they understand it or not, whether they like it or not, whether they know what will happen or not. Those are the people who get to see the Lord part the seas. They see the multitudes fed. They get to walk on the water. They walk unharmed through the fiery furnaces and lion dens of life. They live life by faith and they get to see the Lord do the impossible over and over again.

Conclusion: There is an old saying that goes, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." It took Abram a while, but he made that step. When he did, he saw God do things that amazed him until the day he died. It makes us wonder, have we made that first step of faith? Have we made the step of faith for salvation? Have we made the step of faith to total surrender and obedience? Have we made the step of faith that will take us beyond the hum drum, ordinary run of the mill life into that other worldly realm where God operates and calls people like us for His glory? You and I will never be all we can be for Him until we cut our ties with this world and cast ourselves on Him by faith! God will help each of us to do just that today!

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE and BLESSING:
Psalm 3:1-8
New International Version (NIV)

A psalm of David. When he fled from his son Absalom.
“1 LORD, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! 2 Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” 3 But you, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. 4 I call out to the LORD, and he answers me from his holy mountain. 5 I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me. 6 I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side. 7 Arise, LORD! Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. 8 From the LORD comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people.”


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GROEDER 12/1/2011 8:08AM

    Abram's story came to me at the perfect time (thank you Lord)!!! I have a close friend who is in the midst of some life changing decisions, so I recounted the story to him and asurred him that God will lead if he is willing to follow.
Please pray for him to let God be in charge of his life. With us asking for His guidance, my friend cannot fail to follow Him.
Thanks,
Gregg

Comment edited on: 12/1/2011 8:12:31 AM

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A STORY FROM THE BIBLE: 11/30/2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

ABRAHAM: Following In The Footsteps Of Faith. 11/30/2011, Part 3

Gen 11:31-32; 12:1 ABRAM'S PARTIAL OBEDIENCE: THE WASTED YEARS

Gen 12:1 The Call To Depart - We are not told how the call came to Abram (Abraham). Notice the word "had", but we are told that God spoke to this man in his darkness and called him into the light to follow a new path. Abram was called to leave behind everything he loved and everything that had shaped his life up to that point. He was ordered to leave his Region, his Religion and his Relatives behind. For any man, it would be a difficult task. He was issued a call to Follow Faith and to a new Future. He was to leave his home, not knowing where he was going, or when he would arrive. He was to leave all such matters in the hand of the Lord! That requires FAITH!

The call of Abram raises some questions. First, why did the Lord pick this one man, out of all the men of the earth? Why didn't God choose some of the other inhabitants of the world, or of Ur to call to this new adventure called faith? "Why does God call anyone?" Why did He call you and not your neighbor? Why did He call you and not you coworker? The answer to those questions dwell within the cloud of God's sovereign (Rom. 9:18-23)! May I suggest that God knows the heart of man (1 Sam 16:7). Did He not chose Enoch and Noah because He knew they would walk with Him and in His ways? God knows our hearts well and doesn’t want anyone of us to perish (2 Pet 3:9). We are not told why God chose Abram ,but perhaps Abram was seeking God! God finds those who seek Him (Matt 6:33).

Regardless of why God calls who He does, those who have been called by Him should rejoice in the fact that they are saved and secure in the blood of the Lamb! Thank God for the day when we received the clear call to follow the Lord! Bless His name for on that day He turned the light on in our soul and showed us the way to Himself! Therefore, let us rejoice in what He has done for us (Luke 10:20).

When the call of God does come to a life, it is a call for that person to sever all ties with the past life. His call is a call to a new life with new priorities and a new Lord. His call is for total commitment (Matt. 16:24). His call is for the believer to leave the old life behind and to begin a new life of faith (Eph 4:22-24), where every moment is lived in utter dependence upon the Lord alone for every need. That is the nature of the divine call! God's call is for you to follow without your being concerned about the destination. His call is for you to leave the details to Him. His call is for us to surrender to His call, regardless of what it costs, where it leads or how much it hurts. His call is still to follow Him!

Gen 11:31 The Compromise In Devotion - The nature of Abram's call was for him to leave. Note the word "thee" in Gen 12:1. Yet, when they left Ur, notice that it was "they" who went (Gen 11:31). It seems that Abram compromised by not separating from his family totally as he had been ordered. He failed to fully submit to the Lord's call!

Some may argue that he just wanted to take his immediate family with him as he began his journey for the Lord. That is noble, but it should be noted that there is no indication that they were all saved. There is no hint that they ever placed their faith in the Lord as did Abram. The only ones who were saved, it would seem, were Abram, Sarai and Lot. The rest were still pagans, trapped in the darkness of their sins.

The Bible says that “they” (Terah and family) came to Haran and dwelled there. If you look at map, you will find that Haran is north and east of the promised land. This was not where God wanted Abram to be! He had yet to make the journey into the land God had in mind for him. He needed to separate from his family and follow the footsteps of faith to the place he had been called to. Always remember that partial obedience is simply disobedience! Until you have done all God says to do, you haven't done what God said to do!

What has the Lord told you to do that you haven't done? Have you come short in the obedience department? I know first hand that not all of God's commands are easy to obey. Some are difficult, some are frightening and some are costly, but all to be obeyed without question by each child of God who wishes to walk by faith and be found pleasing to the Lord (1 Sam. 15:22).

Notice that Abraham did not leave Haran and fully follow the Lord's command until the death of his father Terah. The name Terah means "A Station or delay." It has the idea of a stopping place, a rest area or a roadblock. Evidently, Terah was a roadblock between Abram and his doing the will of God. When Terah was removed from the scene, Abram was ready to move on in the things of God.

Terah is a type of flesh and other roadblocks that hinder our progress in the things of God. You see, until those things are taken care of and "reckoned dead" (Rom. 6:11), there will be little or no progress in your life for the glory of the Lord. What is your Terah today? Oh, if you aren't exactly where the Lord wants you to be, you have a Terah. Oh yes! You have a roadblock between you and your doing what the Lord has told you to do. You know what has to happen when there is a Terah in your life? There must be a death! That thing that serves as a station or a delay in your life must go! What's holding you back this today? Let it die so you can move on. Also, we all need to be careful that we do not stand in the way of others doing the will of God. If you aren't careful, you just might find yourself being a Terah to someone in your life. Don't let your lack of faith prevent someone else from following God fully!

Gen 11:32 The Cost Of Delay - Abram's delay in this matter of obedience was costly to him. While he lingered in Haran precious years past him by. Those were years that could have been spent enjoying the best God had to offer. Instead, those years were spent watching the father he loved waste away. Those years were spent being grieved by the sins of a family still in the grip of idolatry.

The work of God is too precious and time is too short for us to hesitate in carrying out the orders we receive from Heaven. Why should we settle for second best while the wasted years pile up in our lives? Everyday brings us one day closer to the grave, let us determine in our hearts that we will make every moment count for the glory of the Lord (Rom. 13:11-14; Eph. 5:16).

God was so patient in His dealings with Abram! He gave him time to get things squared away in his life. But, it is far better for us to hear His voice and respond in immediate action for the glory of God! That is what Jesus did (John 5:19-20), and that is what the Lord wants for you and me too! Have you been putting something off that God has told you to do? If so, the time for delay has past! Get busy carrying out the will of God. Delay is dangerous and it is costly.

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE And BLESSING:
Psalm 91:5-16
New International Version (NIV)

“5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. 9 If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, 10 no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. 11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. 13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. 14 “Because he loves me,” say the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. 15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BONBON561 11/30/2011 3:16PM

    Like Abraham I have been given a call. Now I hope I can follow it. God will give me the strength to I know

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GROEDER 11/30/2011 7:35AM

    I praise God for his call, and pray every day that He gives me the strength to remove my Terah's and follow!!

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SONYALATRECE 11/30/2011 7:26AM

    Bless His holy name!
I needed this Word right now.

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A STORY FROM THE BIBLE: 11/29/2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

ARAHAM: Following In The Footsteps Of Faith
Gen 11 and 12, Part 2

Few men, outside of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself have has such an impact on the history of the world as did the man introduced to us in this passage of scripture. This man is revered by over one-half the world's population. In our day, Abraham is held in high esteem by Jews, Muslims and Christians. In ancient times the Jews considered Abraham to be almost worthy of their worship. In the Bible, Abraham is presented to us as a great example of a man who lived his life by faith (Heb. 11:8-10). James 2:23 records the fact that Abraham was called the "Friend of God." This man's life was a special life and a great portion of the first book of the Bible is devoted to it. Let’s look at the story of the life of this man named Abraham.

Genesis 11:27-12:3
THE CALL TO A LIFE OF FAITH

These verses teach us about the early years of Abraham's life. They show us how the Lord found him, called him and promised to bless him. On the surface they may seem as though they have little to say to us in our day, however, nothing could be farther from the truth! The call of this man's life teach us some valuable lessons about God, His ways and about what our response to Him should be.

Since it is true that God has and is calling each of His children to a life of faith (Rom. 14:23; Rom. 1:17), and since we have trouble living that kind of life day by day, we need to hear what the Bible teaches us in these verses about Abraham's call to faith.

Gen 11:27-30 ABRAM'S PAST OBSCURITY: THE WRETCHED YEARS

There was a time in the distant past when Abraham was a mere nobody. He was just another nameless face in the crowd of humanity. His past was one of obscurity.

The Place Of His Original Home - Ur of the Chaldees was located in what we call Iraq today. It was in the southeast corner of Iraq, some 75 miles north of the Kuwaiti border; right in the middle of the area where the Gulf War was fought in 1991. It was, at Abraham's time, located at the place where the Euphrates River emptied into the Persian Gulf. At that time, it was a bustling seaport, where trade was conducted with India and Africa. History also says that this city was a center of intellectual activity. A large public library has been unearthed that contained thousands of ancient texts written in clay. That region was also well suited for raising flocks and herds. Which may account for the fact that Abraham was, for most of his life, involved with sheep and cattle.

The Problems Of His Original Home - While the area which spawned Abraham may have been prosperous, it was also perverted. The people of that area were involved in some of the most wretched forms of idolatry known to mankind. That city was an important center for astrology and for the worship of the stars and the moon. The fact of their wickedness is born out by the testimony of the scriptures themselves (Josh. 24:2). Gen. 31:30-34 relates that while Abraham was able to break free of the idolatry of the land, his relatives were not. There we find his great-nephew Laban and Jacob's wives, Leah and Rachel. Many years later, Isaiah reminded the nation of Israel to remember where God brought them from (Isa. 51:1). He called their father, Abraham, out of the most wretched of spiritual conditions.

The Pain Of His Original Home - The wretchedness and hopelessness of Abraham's years in Ur comes to the surface. For him, it was a time of darkness (Josh 24:2), death, (Gen 11: 28), and despair (Gen 11: 30). No matter how you look at it, Abraham's early years were wretched days!

When you get right down to it, we are no different from Abraham. We might not serve stone gods and worshiped the heavenly bodies, but we are all trapped in the same darkness that enveloped the life of Abraham (Eph. 2:1-3)! We should rejoices in our heart to know that we serve a God Who can reach into the blackest heart and turn on the light of His glory and presence. Praise Him! For He took a life that is so hopeless and barren and turn it into one of the greatest examples of the power of faith and grace that can be found anywhere!

The whole point is this: regardless where we came from or what baggage we carry with us now, God is able to come where we are and change us for His glory. He can make new creatures of us for the glory of God (2 Cor. 5:17)! No one is beyond the touch of the Lord! Not even a pagan like Abram!

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE AND BLESSING:
Psalm 40:8-16: New International Version (NIV)

8 “I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart.” 9 I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, LORD, as you know. 10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help. I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness from the great assembly. 11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, LORD; may your love and faithfulness always protect me. 12 For troubles without number surround me; my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails within me. 13 Be pleased to save me, LORD; come quickly, LORD, to help me. 14 May all who want to take my life be put to shame and confusion; may all who desire my ruin be turned back in disgrace. 15 May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!” be appalled at their own shame. 16 But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who long for your saving help always say, “The LORD is great!” PRAISE GOD!






  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ARACELI0071 11/29/2011 5:51PM

  I was born again in JESUS CHRIST .I love GOD and I bless him, he has bless us all in may ways.and I really like your story because it's from the bible.

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ONENESSMOM 11/29/2011 8:49AM

    Great blog!

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SVELTEWARRIOR 11/29/2011 8:44AM

    beautiful blog!

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MJRVIC2000 11/29/2011 8:25AM

    Thank You BIGDOG18 for taking time to read today's blog. Praise God!

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BIGDOG18 11/29/2011 7:44AM

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A STORY FROM THE BIBLE: 11/28/2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Story of Abraham
GENESIS 11 and 12, Part 1





The story of Abraham starts with a journey. Abraham lived in a very interactive society. Wandering clans, or tribes, of extended families were never far from settled urban areas. These traveling clans consisted of many different levels of family: servants, slaves, livestock, animals, and all other possessions. Some of these clans were very wealthy and powerful, and contained large populations.

They bought and sold goods with local merchants and peoples, then picked up and moved on to the next location. These wandering clans tended to travel along routes with ample water. These routes ran North and South near rivers, brooks, streams, lakes, etc.

However, caravan routes also ran East to West, leading directly through the heart of the Arabian desert. These routes connected Mesopotamia directly to Canaan. Though much shorter in distance, these caravan routes were much more dangerous and less traveled than the routes leading northward, along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The book of Genesis describes the story of Abraham and his father, Terah , as traveling along one of the northward routes along the Euphrates.

Abraham was not a settled man, nor was he a wanderer. Rather, he was a combination of both. This fact is alluded to in the terms that are associated with Abraham. He is called an Aramean, Hebrew , Aramu and Habiru. These terms are commonly used to describe seminomads; people that live outside the typical structure of settled civilization. Over time, these terms merged together to form the catch all word, Arab. The book of Joshua tells how the Israelites ancestors - Terah, Nahor, Abraham - lived "beyond the Euphrates", and served other gods.

Note that Terah was a known idolater. The narrative in Genesis suggests that perhaps Terah was the initial receiver of God's call to leave Mesopotamia. Yet, Terah failed to obey God, and stopped in Haran. Terah could not break from his idolatrous beliefs, and clung to the polytheistic system of religion in Babylon. His settlement in Haran is seen by God as a sign that Terah will not step out in faith and obey (Gen 11:31-32). Thus, the next chapter of the story of Abraham (Gen 12) begins with God's call for Abram to leave his "father's household", and head for the land of Canaan.







Indeed, the story of Abraham starts in Mesopotamia. It is quite possible that many of the traditions and stories in Sumerian mythology, are parallel accounts of the Bible stories with which they share so much in common. There is a clear and obvious similarity between ancient Mesopotamian stories of the flood, and the Genesis flood. The ancient Mesopotamian city of Eridu, near Ur, has been tied with the Biblical Eden. Some scholars claim the Enkidu of Mesopotamian myth stories, is the same as Enoch of Genesis. It becomes clear the story of Abraham is heavily influenced by his Mesopotamian background. Abraham, as the link between the two, is not unreasonable at all.

Through the lists obtained from s0me scholars and with archaeological finds, such as the ancient tablets from Ebla and Mari , the following dates have been prescribed to Mesopotamian kings; Sargon, and the Old Akkadian Period from 2360-2180 B.C.; Ur-Nammu, and the Third Dynasty of Ur, from to the end of the second millennium, or start of the first; Hammurabi, dated to the exact period from 1728-1686 B.C.

Scholars have dated the story of Abraham in Genesis as occurring in the period between Ur-Nammu and Hammurabi. This period falls in the Middle Bronze Age, from between 2100-1550 B.C.E. The story of Abraham and the other Patriarchs are widely agreed upon to have happened in this time frame. After years of study and wavering, some scholars finally concluded that Abraham existed between the 20th and 19th centuries B.C.

The Ussher chronology places the story of Abraham around 2000 B.C. Traditionally, his birth was placed at 2056 B.C. However, this was not widely agreed upon, and many other dates have surfaced over the course of debate.
Edward R. Thiele published a modified chronology which placed Abraham's birth in 2167 B.C. Though the date is not agreed upon unanimously, his existence is rarely denied.

The names mentioned in the Abrahamic narrative correspond with many names located throughout northwestern Mesopotamia, particularly Haran and the surrounding neighbors. It is reasonable to make an assumption that the patriarchal narratives and traditions were born in this region.

The story of Abraham and his arrival in Canaan have been associated with northwestern-speaking Semitic peoples. These people came after the Amorites, but perhaps were Amorite in lineage. Abraham, Isaac , and Jacob are Israelite, as well as Amorite names.

TODAY’S PRAYER:
Gracious Father, Loving God, When a baby is born, family members argue over the babies physical features; and yet, were we not all created in Your spiritual image? Jesus came so we could know our God. His mission was to show us the Father. This He did through the life He lived to all who will believe in Him, listen and obey His word. Help us Father to seek You each day; enable us to change into the likeness of our Savior, the life for which You created us. Help us to focus on our true purpose in life as we seek to follow Your commands and instructions in accordance with Your Word in Christ Jesus. Guide us in every way and allow Your Word to be our light, our path, and our labor of love. This we pray in the wonderful name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen!



















  


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