36 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 4 - Book 3 - Abrahamic Covenant

36: Lesson 3 Part 4 Book 3 – Abrahamic Covenant: Genesis 12-15

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 4 * BOOK 3

ABRAHAMIC COVENANT

Genesis 12:1-3

Okay, we’ll turn to Genesis chapter 15. Remember we’re on the second part of this Abrahamic Covenant. Last week I think we pretty well touched a lot of the verses that dealt withthat they would become a great nation of people. And remember that by the time they leave Egypt there’s going to be anywhere from three to seven million of them, and like we were just saying after our last break that all you have to do is look at the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, and you drive through, that’s about three and a half maybe four million people now. Imagine that many people just pulling up stakes and moving out into a desert wilderness and you’ll get some idea of what Moses had to put up with.

Now in the next few moments we’re going to be looking at several verses and portions of Scripture that deal with the promise of a “land.” And like I said in our closing moments last week, this is the problem in the Middle East tonight. Israel has territory that the rest of the world thinks she should give up and let the Palestinians have it, for the sake of peace. Israel says, what? “It’s our land!” And they haven’t even got all that God has deeded to them. So I can sympathize, I can identify with the nation of Israel tonight as well as with the Palestinians.

They’ve been there now for hundreds of years, it’s home to them and nobody likes to be uprooted from home. And I can empathize with that. But we’ve still got to recognize that what God has said is Sovereign, it’s set in concrete and the nations of this world are never going to change it. We might as well get ready. There is not going to be peace in the Middle East because you see, with the thousands upon thousands of Jews coming in from Ethiopia, Russia, Albania, Europe and other places, everyplace except America, there aren’t too many Jews leaving America yet. One day they will.

But they have to have room. And I can see the handwriting on the wall for the Palestinians. Bless their hearts, I know they’re going to hate to be uprooted and I empathize with that, but God has promised it thousands of years ago through this Abrahamic Covenant.

Now I think, in order to give you some idea of how much real estate is involved in that last verse we saw last week as we closed, and you might want to be looking at it in Genesis chapter 15 that last three verses, and I don’t want to erase this, but I’m just going to put a small map up here. And again I always have to remind people, this is not according to scale.

But, here is the Mediterranean Sea, and over here is the Sea of Galilee, and the Jordan River, and the Dead Sea and that puts Jerusalem right about there. Present day Beirut, I suppose somewhere up here on the seacoast and then way out here to the east, no where to scale, but way out there is the Euphrates River. As we’ve seen in Desert Storm in the last several months and the Tigris coming down from the other direction and then down here of course, is the tip of the Red Sea and over here is the River of Egypt. Not the Nile. I think the Nile is over here, but this river is no longer there, but I think in Bible times it was and so we’ll just call this the River of Egypt. Now do you see what that verse says? This is God speaking, and He says to Abraham

Genesis 15:18b

“…Unto thy seed have I given (what’s the verb tense? Past tense. It’s already done. It’s not something in the future. God has already done it. He said, I have given) this land, from the river of Egypt (down here in the corner all the way out) to the River Euphrates:” And then we know from the geography of these various tribes mentioned that their northern border is going to be clear up here north of Lebanon and the southern border is going to be clear down here to the Rea Sea. But in rough terms the nation of Israel, land-wise, is all the way from the Mediterranean to the Euphrates River to the Red Sea to the river of Egypt and back. That’s the biggest part of the Middle East, isn’t it?

Now that has already been deeded to the Nation of Israel. That’s all in the Abrahamic Covenant.

Now even at Solomon’s height, they never even got close to enjoying this much land. So no one can say, well that’s all been fulfilled, that’s in the past. No it isn’t, as they didn’t even come close. Now tonight of course, Israel is sitting there, and again I can’t draw this again perfectly, but see, the West Bank comes clear out of there. The Gaza Strip comes out of there.And all Israel has left is this little narrow neck of land with a lot of it taken out. You want to remember this is only, about 40 miles from the sea to the Jordan Valley. Forty miles.

Now, when you read the account of Jesus going from Jerusalem down to Jericho, which is up here on the north shores of the Dead Sea, that’s only about 18 miles. And yet you know, we think of it in terms from America’s standpoint of maybe a hundred miles, or a hundred and fifty. But everything is so small and they’re only a hundred and eighty miles long from the Red Sea to, well their border now would be up here somewhere south of Lebanon. But see, Israel tonight is cramped. They’re packing them in like putting them in a little postage stamp territory and they’re going to have to have more room. Well, they’re going to get it. I don’t know when. I don’t know how. But God’s going to see to it because He has given His word.

All right, let’s go up through Scripture now and pick out some more of the verses with regard to the Land promised. Come over with me to Deuteronomy chapter 30 and let’s start with verse 1.

Deuteronomy 30:1a

“And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee,…” Now in the previous two chapters, God has listed all the blessings that would come if they’d be obedient but all the curses if they’d be disobedient. And when you read those chapters you can see how they have all been fulfilled to the last jot and tittle.

Deuteronomy 30:1b

“…the blessings and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whether the LORD thy God hath driven thee.” Now does that ring a bell? Isn’t that exactly where they’ve been? Oh, they have been out there scattered in all the nations of the world now for over 2000 years. You want to remember that this is one of the miracles of Scripture. If you ever run into a friend who has a doubt about the veracity of the Word of God, remind them that the living proof that the Bible is true is the Jew, the Nation of Israel.

Even though they’ve been in dispersion, they’ve been out there scattered among all the nations of the world, yet tonight with rare exceptions a Jew is still a Jew. They have not lost their identity, whereas you take we American with our ancestors, most of us as I look over you, probably came from Europe, Great Britain, the Mediterranean or wherever, but here America has only been a nation a little over 200 years and most of you can’t even trace your roots to one nation any more. Why? Because we’ve all intermarried, we’ve amalgamated; we have lost our national identity. But not the Jew.

The Jew has been in Russia. He’s been in Germany. He’s been in Timbuktu; he’s been all over this world. He has put down roots, he has become part and parcel of their various governments and societies, but he’s still a Jew. And as God brings them back now to the land of promise, they are not an amalgamated people. Now the Samaritans were, and that’s why the Jews of Jesus’ day hated them. They had lost their purity, they had intermarried. But the Jew is for the most part still a relatively pure race of people. And God has seen to it.

And this is why we want you to understand that the Bible is so true! And this is why God is saying that after He has scattered them among all the nations:

Deuteronomy 30:2-3

“And you shall return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all of thy heart, with all thy soul; 3. That then the LORD thy God will turn (or end) your captivity, have compassion on thee and will return and gather thee from the nations whether the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.” And then come down to verse 5:

Deuteronomy 30:5

“And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the (what’s the next word?) land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above all thy fathers.” Israel hasn’t reached their place yet, but it’s getting close. The time is coming and we don’t think it’s that far away, when all these prophetic utterances concerning the nation of Israel will become a reality.

All right, let’s move on. Go to the book of Joshua chapter 1. And again we’ll just skim the first six verses, because all we’re trying to establish is that God has promised a nation of people coming out of Abraham who would be congregated within a geographical area, a land that will be promised to them.

Joshua 1:1-2

“Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, 2. Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.” How do they get it? God is giving it to them. Now granted as they come in this time under Joshua, they’re going to have to fight wars. They’re going to have to fight battles, but nevertheless, God has mandated that it’s going to be their land.

All right, let’s go a little further up through the Old Testament. Let’s go all the way to Ezekiel 37, that portion of Scripture that should just ring a bell with almost anybody who has ever heard the old spiritual “Them Bones.” And here’s where it came from. And again we won’t take time to read all these verses, I wish we could, but we just can’t take the time for thatbut Ezekiel is shown in a vision this valley floor just covered with bones. Now remember this, this is a vision. But out of this vision, we’re going to get a literal truth. And as he sees these bones, the Lord tells Ezekiel to prophesy upon them, and he does so. Verse 5:

Ezekiel 37:5-7

“Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live; 6. I will lay sinews (or flesh) upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the LORD. 7. (so Ezekiel says) I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.” Well I think you’ve all had dreams that almost come real, haven’t you? Well, this is what Ezekiel saw. All these bones, they’d been there for centuries, they’re very dry, they’re bleached, but all of a sudden they began to move and they began to come together.Now remember this is just a symbolic lesson. This isn’t a literal thing, but he’s got a literal lesson in it.

And as all these bones that had been out there for centuries are now coming together, and right before his eyes, they take on flesh. The skin comes upon them and then finally, he says, verse 10:

Ezekiel 37:10-11a

“So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceeding great army. 11. Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are (what?) the whole house of Israel:” Oh, in symbolic language, in a symbolic vision, he saw that Israel was out there in those Gentiles nations for hundreds, yes thousands, of years. Nationally dead. But all of a sudden, what’s God going to do? He’s going to put life back into that nation and we’re seeing it right before our very eyes. They’re coming home! They’re coming back by the thousands every day.

The Jew had almost given up of every having a homeland until finally it happened in 1948. But I want you to come on down to verse 12 where God says to Ezekiel:

Ezekiel 37:12

“Therefore Prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold O My people, (remember he’s talking to Israel) I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.” In other words, a Jew living out in Gentile territory is just like being in a grave. He’s dead. He is spiritually out of it.

Ezekiel 37:14a

“And I shall put my Spirit in you, you shall live, and I shall place you in your own land:…” That’s what I wanted you to see. It just keeps coming up over and over that God has not forgotten that that land He deeded to Abraham is still the same land only now it’s going to be given to the children of Abraham, at a much later time. And then he goes on to say, “how that they will no longer be a split nation, no Northern Kingdom and a Southern Kingdom; it’s going to be a one Nation, under their Messiah.”

All right, now then let’s go a little further to Jeremiah 23, and let’s pick up at verse 5:

Jeremiah 23:5a

“Behold the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and King…” Now that word Branch is capitalized – used several times – who is it? Christ! It’s in a prophetic naming again of the Messiah. And He says, “I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a (what?) King.”

Now we’re also going to use this verse when we come to the third part. But, pass over it for now, we’re going to come back to it. And “A King shall reign and prosper.” And then come on down to verse 7 because this is exactly what we’re seeing in our news every day now, the fulfillment of this which was written 600 years BC, verse 6:

Jeremiah 23:6a

“In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely:…” That hasn’t come yet, but we’re building up to it. And then verse 7:

Jeremiah 23:7-8

“Therefore, behold, the days come saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, who brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; 8. But, (they’ll say) the LORD liveth, who brought up and who lead the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country; (what’s that? That’s Russia, straight north of Israel, they’ll come out)and from all the countries whether I had driven them; and they shall dwell (where?) in their own land.” Can you beat that? God said it and don’t you worry for a minute the nations of the world, the United Nation, the Kings and Prime Ministers can peace talk all they want – Israel is going to end up in her own land!

And she’s only got a portion of what she’s going to have some day. So, I don’t see Israel giving up a big chunk of territory. I can envision the day when the Palestinians will be pushed out, or they’ll be amalgamated; they’re going to have a choice. And I don’t know why they rebel at that because we were given the opportunity to go to Israel many years ago and at that time we had an Arab guide and an Arab bus driver and they both made it so plain that the best situated Arabs in the whole Middle East, other than the oil rich of course, but those who had it the best were those living in Israel, who were part and parcel of the Israeli economy, they had businesses, they were thriving.

We’d drive through the countryside and there would be a big nice school and our guide would say, now until the Israeli’s came on the scene these kids never had an education. But Israel provides schools for them. Provides their education and yet they’re rebelling against it. And so I take 90% of the news coming out of the Middle East with a great big dose of saltbecause the whole media is slanted against Israel because Israel is God’s Covenant People.

Now I tell my classes all the time, “Now look, don’t expect the present day Israeli government or the Jewish people to be super-spiritual, or super-moral, if anything they’re quite the opposite. But, they are still His Covenant People.” God has His thumb on them. And God doesn’t sanction much of what they’re doing but nevertheless, they are His Covenant People and I think a lot of times people think, well if they’re the people of God, why don’t they behave like it?

Well, listen they’re the people of God only by virtue of the Covenants as yet, but, when Israel becomes all that God wants them to be, as it says in chapter 31. And since I’m on that line of thought here in Jeremiah, and we’ll finish that thought. The Scripture says it better than I can. The day is coming when their ungodliness, when their unbelief will come to an end and you’re going to find that the Jew once again is the apple of God’s eye.

Jeremiah 31:31a

“Behold, the days come,…” Now even though Jeremiah wrote this clear back in 600 BC, yet it’s still future from our time. But it’s coming, God has said it is. And He expects us to believe it.

Jeremiah 31:31

“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:” Now He could not make a new covenant until this one has run its course. The Abrahamic Covenant is still going to be fulfilled. She’s going to be a nation of people, living within their geographical area, with a super, super government – God Himself in the person of Christ the Messiah, their King and when that has become a full reality, now look at Israel’s spiritual condition.

Jeremiah 31:32a

“Not according to the covenants that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt;…”

What covenant was that? Law. And Law was harsh. Law was a burden. Peter and others in the New Testament referred to it as a yoke of bondage that no one could bear. But oh the day is coming; it’s going to be something far better than that covenant of Law, the one that they broke.

Jeremiah 31:32b-33

“…which my covenant they brake, although I was a husband unto them, saith the LORD. 33. But this shall be the covenant that I will make (now you see I’m emphasizing the verb tenses here, this is future. A covenant, he says that I will make) with the house of Israel; After those days saith the LORD, I will put my law (not on tables of stone but where?) in their hearts, and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” Oh, they’ll just have full knowledge without having to sit down and read the Torah, or study under a Rabbi; it’s just going to be there by an act of God.

Jeremiah 31:34a

“And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor,…” As they were taught back there in Joshua, you remember when they came into the land. In fact you remember what the instructions were? When they rose up in the morning, when they sat down to eat, when they lay down to sleep, what were they to be doing? Memorizing the Word. Just letting it saturate them. God says, the time is coming they won’t have to do that because they’ll have it inwardly.

Jeremiah 31:34b

“…from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD, for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Now that’s going to all come to pass when this Abrahamic Covenant comes into full fruition, the Messiah will finally be their King and they will enjoy this whole Middle East as their homeland. There will not be an unbelieving Jew anywhere in that kingdom, they will all be believers. And it’s going to be that glorious kingdom that all the Old Testament has been looking forward to.


Now next week I’ll make a little more mention of the fact that all these promises given to Israel are earthly, I’ll shock you. Never does the Old Testament teach a Jew dying and going to heaven. Never. You can’t find it. But he knew that he would die and be resurrected and come back to this earthly Kingdom. He didn’t really understand it. He didn’t really have a full knowledge of it as we have now with the Word of God complete, but nevertheless, the Old Testament Jewish believer had no concept as we do, of dying and going to heaven. So, Israel was an earthly people with earthly promises. The Church, the Body of Christ, is a heavenly people with heavenly promises.

35 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 3 - Book 3 - Abrahamic Covenant

35: Lesson 3 Part 3 Book 3 – Abrahamic Covenant: Genesis 12-15

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 3 * BOOK 3

ABRAHAMIC COVENANT

GENESIS 12:1-3

We’re going to pick up more or less where we left off in last lesson, but before we start on a real in depth study of the Abrahamic Covenant, which I have mentioned in previous lessons is so basic to understanding all the rest of God’s program for the ages and the change of God’s dealing with the human race as we come into Genesis chapter 12, I need to show you some important verses that help make all this connect.

Now within that Abrahamic Covenant remember, we have these three basic premises: 1. That He’s going to make of them a Nation of people. 2. He’s going to put them in a geographical area. He’s going to give them their own land. 3. And over that people dwelling in their own land, He’s going to provide them with a government. Not just an ordinary government, not even kings such as David and Solomon. But that one day, God Himself would become their King in the person of the Messiah, the Christ.

And consequently that’s why when we come to the book of Matthew, He is referred to as the King of Israel. Now that wasn’t just a frivolous term. This was all part and parcel of this Abrahamic Covenant. All right, Genesis chapter 46 is where we closed last week, where God said to Jacob as he was hankering to get down in Egypt where Joseph was, He said:

Genesis 46:3b

“…I am God, the God of thy father, fear not to go down into Egypt;…” Now the reason it’s spoken in the way that it is, God, up until this time, has instructed them not to go to Egypt. Because you remember, Egypt in Scripture is a picture of what? Of the world. Sinfulness. Absolutely. And so now God has come to the place where He can permit Jacob to go on down to Egypt with his sons and their wives and their family and Joseph and his family are already there – so for a total of 70 some souls, will move down into Egypt and then look what it says:

Genesis 46:3c

“For I will there (in Egypt) make of thee a great nation.”

Now then if you’ll come to the Book of Exodus, and we’ll be studying this in detail when we get there chronologically, but you’ll see in Exodus chapter 1 drop down to verse 5 where it says:

Exodus 1:5

“And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph was in Egypt already.” And then verse 7.

Exodus 1:7

“And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land (that is the land of Egypt, Goshen in particular) was filled with them.” And so they began to just multiply until finally, verse 9:

Exodus 1:9

“And he (the king of Egypt) said unto his people, Behold the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we:” So the King had to do something drastic.

Now if you’ll turn on over to Exodus chapter 19, one of the other benchmark verses of Scripture. A verse I dare say that most nominal Christians don’t even realize is in their Bible. But it is such an important verse in light of this covenant that we’re studying. In Exodus chapter 19 drop down to verse 5 and again get the setting. Israel is now out of the land of Egypt. They have come through the Red Sea experience. They are gathered around Mount Sinai and in chapter 20 they’re going to receive the Ten Commandments. But just before God gives the Commandments to Moses, look what He tells this nation of people.

Exodus 19:5a

“Now therefore, if….” Now what kind of a word do we call that in English? Conditional, isn’t it? If. It’s going to be up to them.

Exodus 19:5b

“…if you will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, (see how many times that word comes up) then you shall be a peculiar…” Now the word peculiar in its original is not as we think of as someone odd or a little bit different. But, the word in its original language was of intrinsic value. You shall be a special people.

Exodus 19:5c

“…treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:” Why? Because God is Sovereign. He can do any way He wants to do. Now look at verse 6, underline it, circle it, do something with it because this is a crucial verse if you’re going to understand even the New Testament.

Exodus 19:6a

“And you (the nation of Israel) shall be unto me a (what’s the next word?) kingdom of priests,…” Now let’s stop. As we understand the word priest, what is the role of a priest? So far as God and man are concerned, what’s the role of a priest? He’s a go-between, isn’t he? Now we’re not acquainted with that so much, especially protestants. Now our Catholic friends understand it a little better than we do because after all isn’t that what they think of in terms of their priest? He’s the go-between between them and God. Now that’s the term priest.

Now Israel was being promised that if they would be obedient to the commands and the covenants of God, they would be a kingdom, a nation of priests – go-betweens.

Exodus 19:6b

“…and an holy (now that word holy means separated. It doesn’t mean perfect but it means separated. A holy or a separated – what’s the next word?) nation.” Now there’s plain English. Israel is a large enough group of people now brought out of Egypt, God is going to give them the Commandments, He’s going to give them the system of worship, which we now recognize as the system of Law, the Temple and all the rest of it. But the whole idea of this thing is that they were to become a nation of go-betweens.

Now the best verse I guess that I can show that would be a fulfillment of that, if you’ll go all the way back to Zechariah. Zechariah is the next to the last book in your Old Testament, and come down to chapter 8. Zechariah chapter 8 and try to keep all this sorted out now in your memory – that Israel had become a nation of people while they were down there in Egypt. God has miraculously brought them out, they’re around Mount Sinai ready to be given the very system that’s going to prepare them for this role. They are now a nation of people and He is promising that they can be priests of God, they could be the go-betweens, not just between each other but between themselves and again, this river of humanity.

Now remember the whole idea of separating this little nation of people is to prepare them for the day when they could be all that God wanted them to be with regard to the non-Jewish people, which we normally refer to now as Gentiles.

Zechariah 8:20

“Thus saith the LORD of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, (now it hasn’t yet, it’s still future, but of course in Zechariah’s time, we’re back there about 450 BC but we could still say it’s appropriate, because it never did happen up till now) that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities; 21. And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD (or Jehovah) and to seek the LORD of hosts; (and these people will say) I will go with you also.”

Zechariah 8:22

“Yea, many people and strong (what’s the next word?) nations (I’m a stickler for every word. So we have people and nations – plural) shall come to seek the LORD of hosts (where?)in Jerusalem, and pray before the LORD.” Not heaven, but in Jerusalem. Oh, it’s going to be the center of all this activity. Now verse 23, I think most of you who have been in my classes longer, you’ve already got this well underlined.

Zechariah 8:23

“Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days (what days? When God is finally using Israel to evangelize the nations) it shall come to pass that ten men shall take hold out of all languages (around the world, every tongue and tribe and nation of people) of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We want to go with you for we have heard (what?) God is with you.” That’s where everything is happening. And this is what Israel had in her future. Oh she could come to the place where ten men to one would say,“Can we go with you and go back to Jerusalem and meet this God of yours that we can have fellowship with Him as you do?”

Wasn’t that tremendous prospect and Israel blew it! But oh I want you to see that this was the potential all the way up through the Old Testament. Another verse just came to mind a moment ago. Maybe let’s go to the New Testament, I don’t think it’s the verse I had in mind but let’s go to Galatians. Come to Galatians and I’m just trying to sort out and see what we can use the quickest and which would be the clearest. I think chapter 3. in Galatians and just drop down again for sake of time to verse 23 and 24.

Now of course, Paul again is writing to predominately Gentile people but he is stressing why everything happened the way it did. Why has the Law now been set aside and why had God turned to the Gentiles by grace through faith alone?

Galatians 3:23-24a

“Before faith came, (or the faith way came) we (speaking as a Jew) were kept under the law, shut up (confined) to the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24. (this says it all.)Wherefore the law was our (what’s the word?) schoolmaster…” Now what in the world is the role of a schoolmaster? Oh, it’s to teach your kids.

And why do we educate our children? To be prepared for a role in adult life, isn’t it? That’s the whole reason parents scrape and save and put their kids through school and my when I see the cost of some of these universities lately! But why do parents do it? To prepare that child for an active life when he becomes an adult. That’s the role of a schoolmaster. All right, now that’s what the Law was to Israel.

Galatians 3:24b

“…to bring us unto (or to bring us to the time of the Messiah) Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” Without the law. But now then if you’ll come down to chapter 4 it’s a further clarification of this thought.

Galatians 4:1

“Now I say, that the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord (now that’s small ‘l’ it’s just a term) of all; 2. But (this child) is under tutors and governors (teachers. Private instructors) until the time appointed of the father.” Now you know what Paul is referring to? Back in the Roman Empire especially, well-to-do families would do just that.

This little boy as he came into the family meant nothing, he had no more rights than a hired servant except that old daddy is going to foot the bill to get him educated. And he’s going to educated him for a particular future role, probably within the family business or within the estate, or whatever the case may be. But he’s going to be educated by tutors for that time when the father says, “Now I’m ready son to bring you in as a full heir, I’ve got a job for you to do.”

All right, now this was exactly what God was doing with the nation of Israel. He puts them under the Law. He teaches them, He deals with them miraculously and patiently and He’s moving them along, for the day when they could become the great evangelistic force amongst the Gentiles.

Now, I know the other verse I was thinking of. Let’s back up again in the Old Testament, all the way to Isaiah because I want you to be able to see that God was not negligent in letting this mainstream of humanity go its way. Oh He had them on His mind all the while, but He had to let them go until He had tutored, until He had prepared this Covenant people of Israel, to fulfill the role that He had given to them. But in Isaiah 42 starting with verse 1 where Isaiah, and, I always like to remind people who hear me teach, to whom is Isaiah writing? To Israel. He doesn’t write to the Romans or the Greeks, he’s writing to the Jew. They were the only ones that had anything to do with the Old Testament writing. So always keep that in mind.

Isaiah 42:1

“Behold my servant, whom I uphold; my elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my Spirit upon him; he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.” And the word judgment here does not mean punishment as we think of the term, but he would bring forth rule. To whom? Gentiles. But of whom is the prophet speaking? Christ. The Messiah, this coming King. And who was he intrinsically interested in? The non-Jew, the Gentile.

Now if you’ll flip on over to chapter 59 in this same book of Isaiah chapter 59 now drop down to verse 20.

Isaiah 59:20a

“And the Redeemer (capitalized, who’s the Redeemer? Christ. The Messiah) shall come to Zion,…” Where’s Zion? Jerusalem. Now you know I’ve made this statement in my classes. Hymn writers, bless their heart, some of them though have got awful theology. And they give the idea as we sing the song, “Marching to Zion,” haven’t heard it now for a long time, but you all have sung it at one time or another. When we listen to the song and we sing it, where to we think of as Zion? Well, Heaven. But Zion isn’t in Heaven. Zion’s the north side of Jerusalem. And so this is the Zion that Isaiah is referring to.

Isaiah 59:20b-21

“…and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob,…” (that is of the Children of Israel) 21. As for me, (God says) this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My Spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth nor out of the mouth of thy seed, or your children, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the LORD from henceforth forever.” But now don’t stop there, come right into the next chapter, chapter 60 verse 1, where it says:

Isaiah 60:1

“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.” Now who is the “thee?” Israel. What time is it referring to? When their Messiah was there. You remember in the Gospels when Jesus told Israel, “you are the light of the world?” Couple of verses down, it says, “you are the salt of the earth.” What was He talking about? They were to be the vehicle. All right, now let’s come back here to Isaiah 60.

Isaiah 60:2-3a

“For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: (now who are the people? Israel. The Jew. And hasn’t that been true? Spiritually blinded. And so God foresaw all this) but (there’s that three lettered word that makes the difference) the LORD shall arise upon thee, (for what purpose?) and his glory shall be seen upon thee 3. And the(what?) Gentiles shall come to (what?) thy light,…” Israel’s light? See it? Oh the Gentiles were to see all the spiritual light through Israel.

Isaiah 60:3b-4

“…and his glory shall be seen upon thee, 4. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.” This is all in that prophetic program. But as I said before and I’ll say it again, Israel blew it. They just totally rejected it and they couldn’t understand it and as Paul writes in Corinthians, they didn’t know who He was.

Now those of you who have been with me again over the years, you’ve heard me say it over and over, Israel should have known who Jesus was. Israel could have known if they’d have just gone back to the Book. But Israel did not know. And so Paul can write in Corinthians that the wisdom of this world was just not comparable to the wisdom of God. And then he says, so clearly, “that had the rulers of this world, had the rulers of Israel, had they known who Jesus was, They would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”

So why did they crucify Him? They didn’t know who He was. And I maintain then for those of you that want to read on ahead of me or study on ahead, when you get to those early chapters of Acts, what is the great burden of the Apostle Peter? Oh, to stress to the Jew who it was that they had murdered. And that’s the word he uses in Acts chapter 2 and Acts chapter 3. And he says, “He was the Promised One, but God raised Him from the dead.” And Israel still couldn’t believe it. It’s just beyond our comprehension but they could not believe who He really was.

All right, now then, if you’ll come back to Genesis 12 and let’s just take another little run then at some of these other verses with regard to the Abrahamic Covenant. Now, in this Abrahamic Covenant, God has established the fact that the nation of Israel is now on the scene. They have come out of Egypt, several million strong, now the next thing I want you to understand is that God is going to provide them with a piece of land, a part of this old earth’s topography. To show you that, turn to Genesis 15. We’re not going to get far on this segment, but we’ll get started. Hopefully we’ve established that they were to be a nation of People. But now God’s going to put them in a geographical area.

And this is the sore spot of the whole Middle East tonight. That’s why it’s so appropriate that we’re studying this Covenant in light of the prophetic aspect as well as the here and the now. Genesis chapter 15, the very same verses are appropriate that we read earlier, where Abram is wondering, “How is God going to bring this about, seeing that he’s childless.” Now if you’ll come down to verse 8. Last time we looked at these verses he was talking about numbers, people. He said, “as the stars are numbered, so are the people that will come of thee.” Now, verse 7:

Genesis 15:7

“And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this (what’s the next word?) land (here it comes. Now we’re talking about real estate. Regular old terra firma) to inherit it.” And old Abram is so human, he comes right back and what does he say?

Genesis 15:8

“And he said, Lord GOD, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?” You can just hear old Abraham, “Yeah, but Lord, how do I know that? How do I know I’m going to inherit the land? You haven’t given me any guarantees other than Your word.” We’ve got to give Abram credit, he was a man of faith, but even a man of faith still says what? Show me some proof.

Well, we haven’t got time to go into all of this with just one minute left and we come down through these verses that I call the signing of Israel’s deed. That’s verses 10 down through verse 18, but now look at those closing three verses and with this we’ll have to stop.

Genesis 15:18

In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed I have given (past tense) this (what’s the word?) land, (now look how big it is and we’ll show you on the board perhaps next week) from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the River Euphrates:”

God tells Abraham, “I have given you this land, from the River of Egypt to the Great River Euphrates, and He lists all the Canaanite tribes, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites.” Whose land is it now? Israel’s! And the Canaanites are going to have to be driven out so that Israel can inherit the land that God deeded to Abraham.

34 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 2 - Book 3 - Abrahamic Covenant

34: Lesson 3 Part 2 Book 3 – Abraham Covenant: Genesis 12-15

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 2 * BOOK 3

ABRAHAMIC COVENANT

GENESIS 12:1-3

Now if you’ll come back with me then once again to Genesis chapter 12 and picking up the backdrop that out of a pagan society we know, as we studied a few weeks ago, that even the father of Abram, (or Abraham) Terah served other gods. And then if you know anything about your Old Testament stories, you remember that when Jacob was on his way back with his wives and his children and all of a sudden his father-in-law, Laban came chasing after him. And what was he all upset about? Oh, his daughters had brought their gods with them. g-o-d-s.

And so even at that late point in Jacob’s life, even his wives were still hanging on to their idols. So even the relatives of Abraham and Sarah and Jacob were still steeped in idolatry even though they were not part of a Canaanite tribe or anything like that, but by the time we get to Genesis 12 every one are idolaters. There is no knowledge of the true God whatsoever.

And in that set of circumstances, God sees the heart of this man Abram that it was fertile, it was open and so God revealed Himself to him in rather simplistic language. And all He says now, if you’ve opened your Bible to Genesis 12, we’ll look at it once again, where verse 1, “The Lord had said,” remember that was back in chapter 11.

Genesis 12:1-3a

“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 show thee. (and then here’s the Covenant) 2. And I will make of thee a great (underline the next word) nation, I will bless thee, and make thy name great; And thou shalt be a blessing: 3. I will bless them that bless thee, (Underline that if you haven’t before.) And curse him that curseth thee:…” Now this is God speaking. This is God’s Word. And He cannot go back on it.

And we know that over the last 4000 years of time this has held true for the last jot and tittle. Any nation, any empire that has come down on the nation of Israel has seen its own demise. You can start with Babylon. You can go to the Meads and Persians, the Greeks, the Romans and now in modern history, you can take the likes of Napoleon, Bismarck, Great Britain, France, they have all stabbed the little nation of Israel in the back politically, economically and it isn’t long afterwards until they fall. And so this Word is sure, it’s true, that any nation that blesses Israel will be blessed of God. Any nation that curses Israel will be cursed of God.

Now I’ve had people ask me, and very appropriately, “Les how many Jews do you know that know you have a love for Israel?” I don’t know a one. I’ve only known one I guess in all my life as a young gentleman, while I was in service. And I didn’t even know he was a Jew. But I love the nation of Israel simply because the Bible says to.

They are His Covenant People and once we understand what we’re going to be showing over the next several weeks, I think you will agree with me, that it is a blessing indeed to understand how God has used this little – and they’re so small, a nation. You want to remember that over the years of time, the nation of Israel has never been more than 15 or 16 million – total. And that’s about what they are today. All through the antiquities, they were only about 5 – 10 million. Now that’s not a lot of people when it comes to nations. But yet this is the little nation of people that God has seen fit to separate unto Himself and give them this Covenant. Now we didn’t quite finish it, come back to verse 3 where he says

Genesis 12:3b

“…and in thee (that is through Abram, through Abraham) shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Now I know there will be some people that will violently disagree with me when I point out that at this point in time from Abram’s viewpoint, not from God’s necessarily, but from Abram’s viewpoint, this is what he saw that God was going to use the nation of Israel to come back into the mainstream of the nations of the world and bring them a knowledge of Himself.

Now Abraham had no full view of the cross as we know it, we pick that up from our New Testament, but granted the Old Testament is full of prophetic utterances that Christ would die, the Psalms says, “He would be buried, He would be resurrected from the dead, He would ascended to the Father’s right hand.” Sure that’s all in the Old Testament, but Abraham back here certainly didn’t know that. Abraham just understood that God was promising him a posterity that at one time in the future would be used of God to bring a knowledge of the God of Abraham to the masses of humanity.

Now latent or dormant within this Abrahamic Covenant are three categories that I’d like you always to remember. Number one, He is promising Abraham that out of him will come anation of people. Now it doesn’t necessarily have to mean 200-250 million people as we think of nations today. But they’re going to be a group of people who have a nationalistic character; I’m going to even qualify them as a set aside race of people. Now even a lot of Jews today do not seem to realize that to be a Jew is not just to embrace a certain religion. A Jew first and foremost is a unique race of people and to that race of people God gave a unique “religion,” and you know I don’t like that word but I can’t think of a better one, when He gave them the Law.

But it wasn’t that keeping of the Law, it wasn’t that particular system of worship that made them Jews, it was their birth. It was their bloodline. Now, we’re living in a time when the whole Middle East is a boiling pot, isn’t it? And it’s not over by a long shot. And here’s why it is so thrilling, I think, to teach especially this Abrahamic Covenant, the whole mess in the Middle East began with that one man. Do you realize that? All of your Middle Eastern people are intrinsically connected to this man and all the problems present in the Middle East tonight have their roots in this man Abraham.

Number one the Syrians, who are not Arabs, the Syrians are not per se – the sons of Abraham, but Jacob and Isaac got their wives from the Syrians who, remember were the offspring of Abraham’s other brother and his father, Nahor. And Laban, from whom Jacob got his two wives, they were Syrians, but they were relatives of Abram back there as they came out of Ur of the Chaldees. Then when Abraham began to have his first son, Ishmael. And you remember the story; we’ll be coming to it in the weeks to come. Who are the people that come from Ishmael? Well, your Arab people.

And you’ve got another segment of Arabs coming out of the other son of Isaac, Jacob’s brother, Esau. But that all came from Abram. And then you see, as you come on through the account of the Old Testament, even Lot, a nephew of Abram, or Abraham, had sons by his two daughters after the fall of Sodom and Gomorrah, they also then become part of the Arab world. They are the ones in the Old Testament referred to as Moab and Ammonites and some of those. So, your whole Middle Eastern boiling pot all goes back to this one man, Abraham.

Now of course, it wasn’t that God goofed, so to speak. But as God let the human race operate under their free will, all these things began to happen. For example, Ishmael the father of the Arab people, who have been a thorn in the side of the Jew since days immemorial, you go back to the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. Read it carefully, and as they were trying to rebuild the Temple and the wall, it says that they had to build with a trowel in one hand and sword in the other. Well who was opposing them? The Arabs. And tonight, and most of the American people, and I think too many people in our government, can’t seem to comprehend that all of these Arab people have blood relationship with their arch enemy – Israel. And visa versa. But, what we have to realize from the Scripture is that even though all these people have these kinsmen, or a bloodline relationship with Abram, it’s only the Covenant line coming through Isaac and Jacob that God is going to use in this little, let’s call it a little creek of fresh water coming out of this old polluted filthy river of humanity.

They’re steeped in idolatry and now this little fresh water creek, God is going to purify with the idea of bringing it back into this old polluted river and by a miraculous chemistry of God Himself, He would be able to purify.

All right, so in this Abrahamic Covenant is a promise of a Nation. And you cannot have a nation of people unless they have what? They’ve got to have land to live in. They have to have a geographical area. So God’s going to promise them a piece of this old earth’s surface, the land. Now you put people within a geographical area, what do they have to have? They’ve got to have government. And so that’s going to be the third part of this Covenant, is that they’re going to have to have a government.

Now what we want to do in these next moments as much as we’ve got going on into the next couple of half-hours, is to chase down through the Scripture how that indeed God is over and over promising that these people are going to become a Nation living in a designated land. And with a future government that is beyond human comprehension. And this government would be when God Himself would be their King.

Now we also call that person, what? Messiah. The other words, let’s go a little further. The Greek is Christ. Messiah and Christ are synonymous. When you speak of Jesus the Christ, you are actually saying Jesus the Messiah. There’s no difference in the terminology.

All right, now let’s chase some Scriptures. Turn with me to Genesis chapter 15 and we’ll be coming back and taking these more or less verse by verse in weeks to come, but for now let’s just establish the fact that indeed when God made this Covenant with Abraham, that He promised them to be a Nation – let’s take that first, not the land, but to be a Nation. Genesis 15 and come down to verse 2. And all these things just point up how human all these patriarchs were. Now even Abram, as we have learned over the years, a great man of faith, wasn’t he? His name is as the Covenant says, he would be known worldwide and indeed there’s probably a name not as well known as Abram.

Genesis 15:2a

“And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt thou give me seeing I go childless,…” Now see how human he is and you want to remember he’s a man of over 80 and God’s promised him a posterity of people. How can you have people if you haven’t even got that first child?

Genesis 15:2b

“…and the steward (or the manager of my estate) is Eliezer of Damascus. 3. And Abraham said, Behold to me thou hast given no seed: (no child) and lo, one born in my house is my heir.’” In fact I like to qualify that – “my only heir.” Who’s he referring to? Lot. His nephew. He’s the only thing I’ve got. He’s the closest next of kin. He’s the only one I can really rely on.

Genesis 15:4-5

“And behold, the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; (it’s not Lot. I’m not talking about him) but he that shalt come forth out of your own innermost being shall be thine heir. 5. And he (God) brings him forth abroad, and said, Look toward heaven, and count the stars, if thou be able to number them; (and of course he couldn’t could he?) and he said unto him, so shall thy seed (or your offspring) be.” Now that must have been mind-boggling to an old man, well up in years. His wife’s just as old and they’d never had a child. And he looked up and he sees the stars and you mean to tell me that I’m going to be the beginning of that many people? God says, yes you are Abram.

Genesis 15:6

“And he (what’s the word?) believed in the LORD (in other words, what He said) and He (the Lord) accounted it to him for (what?) righteousness.” Now we have to go to the New Testament for a second, I didn’t intend to do this, but turn back with me to Romans because as we come up through the Old Testament I think the only way we can really get a comprehension of all that’s taking place is to see that it’s all happening for the reason of making a New Testament lesson, or an illustration.

Romans 4:1-2

“What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, has found? 2. For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; (or he could brag, he could boast) but never before God.” Oh, he could tell all his peers, just look what I’ve done to merit favor with God.

You know I’ve always told my classes, and it makes people smile but I don’t say it to be funny, I say it in all the sincerity of my heart, can you imagine what Heaven would be like if we’d have to listen to everybody tell us all they did to get there? Oh hey, it would be the most boring place you’ve ever dreamed of. If every time you turned around you had to listen to somebody else tell you all that they did to get there. Oh, but it’s not going to be that way. None of us are going to be able to boast about what we did to merit Heaven, not even Abraham.

Romans 4:3a

“But what saith the scripture?…” Not some denomination. Not some ecclesiastical group. But “What saith the scripture?” And this is all we can go on, and the Scripture says.

Romans 4:3b

“…Abraham (what?) believed God, (and what did God turn around and do?) counted it to him for righteousness.” He saved Abraham on the spot. Now there’s no works whatsoever in believing is there? Oh we’ve got to use the mind if you want to call that works. But there is nothing that we can do physically to merit something like this from God. But like Abraham,all God looks for is our faith, our heart believing. Now I’m not an easy-believer teacher. I do not subscribe to that and those of you who have been with me over the years know that.But for the person who honestly, completely with all his heart believes and trusts what God said, God does the same for us as He did for Abraham.

Now this is probably a good place to point out, I’ve had people come up to me after a class and say, “Well Les when we become a Christian, do we become a Jew?” You know what I always say? “Hey, I’ve been a Christian for a long time, do I look like one? Do you look like one? I’ve never seen anyone that did yet.” And they’ll say, “Well no.” “Well” I said, “if you became a Jew when you were saved, then you would have immediately have gotten the Jews black hair and his dark eyes and his large nose and all the other things that go with being a Jew. But you haven’t.” “Well, somebody told me that as soon as I became a Christian, I became a Jew.” No you do not become a Jew. That person told you wrong.

Now spiritually – spiritually we come into that position with Christ that Israel enjoyed as a Nation, I’ll grant you that. It’s a positional thing. But you don’t physically become a Jew at salvation. But, we do have an affinity to this man Abraham. And what is that? Well now if you’ll remember all through the Old Testament, no one came into a salvation relationship with God apart from some kind of work.

They brought a sacrifice. They worshiped at the Temple and all these other things. Granted it was based on their faith first and foremost, but it wasn’t faith plus nothing, like I teach to you tonight. It was faith plus – bring Me that sacrifice. And to make that clear, I always have to ask my classes, had someone back in that Old Testament economy, whether it was under Law or whether it was before the Law, if they would have tried to tell God, now look Lord, I know I’ve sinned but I don’t see any need for going to get my best lamb and bring it to you. Was that man accepted? No! He had to follow his faith with the works that were required.

Abraham did no such thing. All the references to Abraham’s saving faith is that he what? He believed. Plus nothing. Now that’s where we have a connection then to the man Abraham is that we too in this Age of Grace, are now brought into a relationship with God as Abraham was by faith and faith alone. By being obedient to what God told Paul for us in I Corinthians 15:1-4, and is known as Paul Gospel of salvation, “how Jesus died for our sins, was buried and rose again.” So if you want to mentally connect yourself to Abraham, that’s the only way you can do it, that as he was brought into a relationship by faith and faith alone, so am I. And that’s where it has to stop because we do not physically become a son of Abraham in the flesh.

Romans 4:4

“Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.” And remember all the things that so many people think we have to “do” today to merit God’s favor are works. And works is anything that we can do by just simply saying, “Hey, I guess I’ll do this or I guess I’ll do that. I guess I’ll go join that church. I guess I’ll go get baptized.” Hey, those are all things that we can do in the flesh. But faith is something beyond the flesh.

Romans 4:5a

“But to him that worketh (what’s the next word?) not,…” Now of course, I use the Old King James, I’m sorry for those of you who’ve got newer translations, but you’ll get the meaning.

Romans 4:5

“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Boy, that shocks people. I can always think years back of one man in particular who had just literally hit the skids and he had gotten down to the bottom where he was as he termed it himself – ungodly. God was so far from him that finally in desperation, he cried out one night. And he said, “God if you’re out there, save me!” But you see, that’s what I’d told him before – the only person God can save is the one who says I’m ungodly. And that’s the only person that God can save yet today.

All right, now let’s come back quickly to Genesis. We’re not even going to finish our references here on the Nation part, but let’s at least find a couple of them. Genesis 15, we just saw that Abraham is going to have people following him as numerous as the stars of the heavens. Now if you’ll come over to Genesis chapter 46. By now we’ve already come clear though the lives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and Joseph just recently has become the head man in Egypt.

And you remember the account of the seven famine years and the seven good years and so now there’s grain in Egypt. Joseph’s in control of it and Jacob the old patriarch father, now longs to be down there in Egypt. And in our closing moment, look what it says:

Genesis 46:3

“And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation: Now a lot of people don’t understand where the Nation of Israel came from, but it came as a result of Joseph being rejected by his brethren. He ends up in Egypt – God blesses him and he’s able to break the famine for his family up in Israel and they come down into Egypt, seventy souls. And for the next four hundred years they’ll be in Egypt and in that period of time, Israel becomes a Nation of people.

Now in those 400 and some years, they go from 70 some souls, and by the time when Moses will lead them out on that night of the Passover, there’ll be anywhere from three to seven million people, not counting the mixed multitude that came with them. So always remember that the nation of Israel became a Nation of people while they were in slavery in Egypt. And that’s when Joseph laid a requirement on them, remember what it was? Oh, someday God is going to take you back to our homeland, to Canaan. And when you go whenever it is, be sure you do what? “Take my bones with you.” Now there again, someone had imparted to Joseph that the day was coming when God would take those people out of Egypt and put them back in their own land.

33 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 1 - Book 3 - Abrahamic Covenant

33: Lesson 3 Part 1 Book 3 – Abrahamic Covenant: Genesis 12-15

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 1 * BOOK 3

ABRAHAMIC COVENANT

Genesis 12:1-3

In these next lessons we’re going have a real in-depth study of the Abrahamic Covenant, which I have mentioned in previous lessons is so basic to understanding all the rest of God’s program for the ages and the change of God’s dealing with the human race as we come into Genesis chapter 12.

But before we start that I would like to address a few remarks to our television audience that it’s going to be so hard to cover as much as I would like to cover in just thirty-minutes. And I’m always afraid that if I’m not rightly understood and if these things don’t really come by us in an understandable way that you’d be prone to just turn me off. And so I would beg with those of you watching us on television to not give up on us even though we may not get as far as we’d like to get in this first thirty-minutes, but bear with us and over time I think, as most of my class people have over the years, you’ll begin to see how beautifully all of this comes together.

Christendom is a mass of confusion tonight. We’ve got so many different ideas and groups and the problem is they just don’t take the time to see what does the Word really say, and we also have to realize what it does not say.

Now I’m one of those creatures, and I was just telling my wife as we were driving up, even the national magazines are beginning to realize that there are legions of people, like me, and that is whenever I pick up a book or a magazine, I immediately go to the back page. Do you know people like that? I just can’t help it and you know what they’re doing now, they’re putting their editorials on the last page. Well, now I’m going to do that same approach before we go back to Genesis 12 and start our study on the Abrahamic Covenant, I’m going to start at the tail end of it in Ephesians chapter 2.

Now this is one of the letters of Paul written to the predominately Gentile churches there and the Ephesian letter was more or less in encyclical. In other words, it was written more or less with the idea that it would be passed around to all the other churches in the area. But it was predominately to the Gentiles that he writes, beginning in verse 11 for sake of time. And again those of you watching on television, if possible, find a Bible and take down these verses. Take down some notes and if it should leave you with your head swimming, you can go back and see what the Word says.

Ephesians 2:11a

“Wherefore remember, that you (now that’s a personal directive) being in times past Gentiles in the flesh, who were called Uncircumcision by those who are called the Circumcision…” In other words, that’s the way the Jew referred to the Gentile – the uncircumcised ones.

Ephesians 2:12a

“That at that time, (while Israel was almost in a snide way referring to Gentiles as the uncircumcised dogs) you (Gentiles) were without Christ being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, strangers from the covenants of promise,…” Now underline that word covenants because this is going right back to the Old Testament. But Gentiles were “strangers from the covenants of promise” and now the last is almost unbelievable to a lot of people if they don’t understand why Paul is inspired by the Holy Spirit to write it. And that is that our Gentile forefathers were in this situation.

Ephesians 2:12b

“…having no hope, and without God in the world:” Now that seems shocking doesn’t it? And people are prone to say, well that wasn’t fair. How could God do that?

Well, we’re going to cover all that if not in this half-hour, well certainly in the next one. But this was the state, you want to remember, of our forefathers back in the pre-Christian era. Now after all we’ve all got forefathers that go all the way back you know, to Adam. And so our forefathers, back there before these revelations that were especially given to the Apostle Paul, our forefathers were in this set of circumstances. They were not part of the nation of Israel. They were Gentiles. They were in no way associated with the Covenants that God made with Israel and consequently then, they were without Christ, “they were without God in this world.” That was their lot.

But don’t stop there. The next verse. That three-lettered word that I always say is so crucial if you’re going to be a Bible student. But now.” Now, is a time word. Even though this was the lot of our forefathers for hundreds, yes thousands of years – 2000 years and then some now it’s different. We are no longer under those circumstances of being outside the Covenants and aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, without hope and without God, now Paul says:

Ephesians 2:13

“But now in Christ Jesus you who were at one time far off (what did he mean by far off? They were without hope, without God in this world) are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”The death, burial and resurrection are what make all the difference in the world.

Now while we’re mentioning death, burial and resurrection; it’s been quite a while since I’ve referred to it and like I’ve always stressed, I don’t claim to be an evangelist. I’ll leave the evangelizing up to them. I’m not a preacher and so I don’t constantly preach at people, but nevertheless, even though I’m basically trying to teach, we do want to bring periodically the Gospel of salvation as plainly as we know how to bring it so that there will be – as I told one of my classes the other night. I guess my most fervent prayer day in and day out is “that no one will ever come to my classes over a period of time and slip out into eternity lost.”

Because that to me is just horrifying to have someone sit under what I think is good solid teaching and yet miss God’s salvation. I think that would be awful and so that’s my fervent prayer. So periodically I’ll just make a point to come in and make as clear as I know how to make it, the Gospel, or the plan of salvation, or as Paul just said in Ephesians “that we’ve been made nigh by the blood of Christ.”

All right, now turn if you will then to I Corinthians 15 the first four verses. I use them often enough in my nightly classes that I trust people can almost just see these words in their sleep. Here Paul is writing to the Corinthian church, which was Gentiles predominately, so he’s writing to you and I today. He says:

I Corinthians 15:1-2

“Moreover brethren, I declare unto you the gospel, (the gospel, not a gospel) which I preached unto you, and which also you have received, and wherein you stand; (that is positionally) 2. By which also you are saved, (now there’s only one Plan of Salvation in our Bible for us today and that is by believing this Gospel we’re about to share in verse 3 and 4)if you keep in memory what I preached unto you, (in other words, you’ve got to know what you believe) unless you have believed in vain.” In other words, a lot of people believe, there’s no doubt about it, but they’re not believing the right thing, they’re just believing something, and anything and they think they’re going to get by. But the Scripture is so adamant that we have to know what we believe and that’s what Paul uses is the word know – K-N-O-W – from the Greek word, epignosis – full knowledge. We have to know what we believe. But we’d better know the Plan of Salvation. We’d better know why God is able to save a sinner. Now here comes the Gospel in the next 2 verses that saves you if you truly believe it for your salvation.

 

I Corinthians 15:3

“For (he says) I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that (here it comes) Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures.” Now, that means that it wasn’t just all of a sudden an afterthought. God didn’t just all of a sudden find Himself in a jam and He had to do something. No. It was all preplanned from eternity past. It was all considered before man even came on the scene.

I Corinthians 15:4

And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” He really died for our sins, and rose from the dead! Now that’s the Gospel of salvation we must believe, plus NOTHING.

Romans 1:16a

“I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it (the Gospel) is the (what’s the next word?) power of God unto salvation to everyone that (what’s the next word?) believeth;”Doesn’t say to everyone that repents and is baptized. It doesn’t say to everyone that does such and such and such and such. But it says, very plainly that if we believe this Gospel, “that Christ died, was buried and rose from the dead” – when we believe that with all our heart that Gospel becomes the very power of God Himself. The very power that created the universe is released on us, to us, in us and we by that power of God then become a child of God.

I mean it’s beyond human understanding, so what do we do? We take it by faith. We can’t comprehend it, but the Bible says that’s what it is and when we believe it, God, as Paul says over and over, accounts it as righteousness. By believing. But we’ve got to be careful what we believe. Now all of this coming back then to what we just saw in Ephesians 2, that we have been made nigh by the blood of Christ. Now you can’t separate the blood of Christ from His death, and resurrection, because they’re just tied together, and can’t be separated.

I usually don’t fault the men behind the sacred desk, that’s not my job, but one of the couples in one of my classes were rather upset the last time we met and their pastor had made the statement that there is nothing in Scripture that indicates that Christ died a sacrificial death. How in the world can anyone say that, when the Bible is full of the fact “that without the shedding of blood there is no remission?”

And then Paul comes along and is constantly referring to Christ as our Passover. He is the One who died for us, who shed His blood for us, He is the sacrifice and the only sacrifice that God was satisfied with.

Paul also, as he wrote Hebrews, and I’m sure he did, said, “that the blood of bulls and goats couldn’t take away sin, (but what could?) The blood of Christ!” Because He was the supreme, the prefect sacrifice. So that’s all wrapped up together the fact that “His blood was shed, He died, He was buried and He rose again from the dead” and now then we have been made nigh by virtue of that tremendous act of God and when we believe it the very power of God moves in on a life and we become as again Paul says, in II Corinthians and other places, “we become then a new creation.”

But, like I said, now that’s starting more or less on the back page. Now let’s come back to Genesis chapter 12. We touched on it just a little bit last week, but now in chapter 12 of Genesis, we come to a place where once again, God is seeing the human race time after time utterly rebel and reject Him.

Now just for a moment of review. Adam wasn’t in the Garden very long until he did what? Well, he rebelled. He sinned. He was disobedient. Now when Adam moved from that Garden experience, to living out of the Garden, in our present day vernacular couldn’t we very easily call that “a whole new ball game?” It was a whole new ball game, it was a whole new set of circumstances. It was a new set of regulations that God had now given, instruction or whatever you want to call it, was just totally different from life in the Garden. All right, under that set of circumstances then we found the human race just utterly rebel until it got so bad God had to bring in the flood.

Now again watch what happens. When the flood is finished, as we’ve been seeing the last several weeks and Noah and his family comes out of the Ark, what have you got again? Another new ball game. A whole new set of circumstances, and again God gives even more or different rules and regulations to live by. Remember we pointed out how that He gave instruction that they could kill animals and eat the flesh thereof. They couldn’t do that before. And so there was all these things that just made life after the flood totally different than life before the flood.

But God hasn’t changed. Human nature hasn’t changed. But yet, the circumstances change. Now they hadn’t come very long after the flood and we saw here a few weeks ago where were they? At the Tower of Babel, and now Satan’s influence comes in and they end up going after other gods – the introduction of idolatry. Remember? Paganism. At the Tower of Babel paganism just permeated the whole human race. Everyone. We have no indication that now we know Noah lived through a lot of that period of time, we don’t know what happened to him, but Noah aside, we have nothing to indicate that anyone had any knowledge of the one true God. They had all flocked after idolatry and paganism.

Now what does God have to do? For almost 2000 years, and I want to bring this out, from Genesis 1:1 through chapter 11, covers 2000 years of human history. But beginning with chapter 12 verse 1, we’re going to cover the next 2000 years and it takes up the biggest part of our Bible, all the Old Testament and well into the New are now going to be in those next 2000 years.

But here God is with a human race that again has totally rejected His offer of salvation. They have totally rejected His authority and they have followed other gods; they’re steeped in idolatry and remember idolatry’s god is Satan himself. And it just seems as though there’s no hope for that human race. And then we can use that three-lettered word again – But God”

God says I’m going to do something different. I’m going to take a new approach. Now it wasn’t again that He got caught by surprise. This was all preordained and as we were discussing the other evening with just a small group, you know there’s a fine line between the Sovereignty of God and the free will of man. And it’s so hard to define those two and not get them crossed over because God is absolutely Sovereign. We know that. He has laid the whole line of human history out ahead of time. And yet He has never taken the free will away from man to accomplish it.

And so you come on to this whole business of foreknowledge and all that, but we don’t want to get confused on these things that God is never caught by surprise. So now with the human race totally saturated in idolatry, He says:

“I’m going to take a new approach. I’m going to take one little group of people. I’m going to take one man and out of that one man I’m going to bring about a small nation of people. And with that nation I’m going to work, I’m going to teach them, I’m going to reveal Myself to them in a way that the human race has never had revelation before. And I’m going to take that little nation of people and sometime down the road I’m going to funnel them back into the other nations of the world in order to bring them to Myself.”

Now the best way I can picture it on the chalk board and we’re not going to have time this half-hour to bring it to fruition, but if I can help you to mentally see – let’s take a wide line, and call that the main stream of humanity. The human race. Humanity. Now this wide line come all the way from Adam 2000 years back. And it’s been one catastrophe after another, hasn’t it? Now at the end of that first 2000 years, like I said a moment ago, God is going to do something different. He’s going to call out one man. His name to start with is Abram and we get to know him better as Abraham. Now out of that mainstream of humanity, He’s going to pull off with a little narrow line beginning with this one man Abram, the nation of Israel. The Jew.

And here is what Paul was referring to in Ephesians. While God is going to be dealing with this nation of people coming out of this one man, Abram, He’s going to let the rest of humanity just sort of drift along in their godless state to their eternal doom, having no hope as Paul says.

And I’ve seen it in my classes over and over where they’re almost aghast and they say, “Well they didn’t have a chance! God wasn’t fair.” You know what I always have to remind you? What had God been doing for 2000 years? He’d been dealing with the whole human race with no one segmented. With no one left off, they all had knowledge of what He expected of them, what did they do with it? They stepped it under foot. They ignored it for 2000 years so what makes mankind think they would have changed?

They rebelled and so now God in His foreknowledge can see that this wouldn’t have changed one bit, humanity would have continued to do as they did the first 2000 years. They would just constantly live in rebellion and it would go gradually from bad to worse. So He is perfectly just, as Paul says in Ephesians, to leave these people now to take their course of human history “without God,” without anything to do with this little nation of people that God is going to be working with particularly now until some future time. He was going to send that prepared people back into the main stream of humanity to bring them the knowledge of Abraham’s God, as God will reveal Himself to Abram.

Now am I making myself clear? So He’s going to take this little nation and He’s going to make covenants with them and if you remember a few weeks ago I explained that a covenant is always one way. From God to man. So even though these covenants are seemingly broken and forgotten, (but since they came from God they’ll never be broken) they’ll never be forgotten. Sooner or later these covenants are always going to come to fruition. Never lose sight of that.

And so as God makes these covenants now with the nation of Israel, always keep uppermost in your thinking it’s because of this mass of humanity that God is doing what He’s doing because He’s going to prepare these people, hopefully, for the time when they can come back in and reveal a knowledge of their God, the Scripture calls it “the God of Abraham.” So that he can give a revelation of the God of Abraham to these pagan godless Gentile nations. Has God forgotten them? Not at all.

He’s doing everything for their benefit, albeit there will be generations in here who pass in the scene and out of the scene and they’re lost. That’s just something that we can’t reconcile in human thinking but God knows what He’s doing. So the first thing I want folk to get in their mind is the reason the little nation of Israel has survived the millennia against all odds, in spite of all the times that people of this world have tried to obliterate them, it’s because they’re God’s Covenant People.

Now granted, as we can already see, they didn’t succeed in doing what God really wanted them to do. Because before they got to the place where God could now take them into the Gentile nations and use them as His missionaries or His evangelists, what did they do? They crucified the Lord of Glory. But again, Satan may have thought that he was the victor by seeing the very Son of God dying on that Roman cross. But what Satan and the rest of the world never comprehended, God wasn’t defeated at the cross, who was? Satan was.

So even though the favored Covenant People blew it, (that’s the best expression I can use), they just totally blew it, they didn’t recognize the one who had come to fulfill these covenants, they rejected Him, they crucified Him, but God went ahead and brought the Gospel to the Gentiles without Israel by bringing on the scene one little Jew. Saul of Tarsus.

And what’s the first thing that God revealed to Ananias concerning Saul of Tarsus? “He’s a chosen vessel unto me and he’s going to take the Word to the Gentiles.” And Paul tells us in Romans 11:13 “I am the apostle of the Gentiles.” And if you’re careful as you read Paul, you’ll notice that he’s always saying, “to you Gentiles.” Watch for it as you read his letters.

32 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 2 - Part 4 - Book 3 - Babel, "False Gods": Genesis 9-12

32: Lesson 2 Part 4 Book 3 – Babel, False Gods: Genesis 9-12

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 4 * BOOK 3

BABEL: FALSE GODS

GENESIS 9:1 – 12:1-3

 

Once again we’re ready to pick up where we left off and if you’ll turn with me back to Genesis chapter 11 we want to touch on a couple of things that we didn’t get time for in the last half-hour. And that is back to the Tower of Babel, and some of the things that are still with us today. Many of us don’t even realize that that’s where they originated because they have been part of our custom now. For example, I guess all of you are acquainted with the Easter egg hunt at Easter. And the Easter bunny, Santa Claus at Christmas, the Christmas tree, well where did all these things originate? Every one of them goes back to the Tower of Babel!

Because you see, as they instituted pagan worship, in consort with the Tower of Babel, the first thing Semiramis introduced, as I mentioned last time, was the idea that her son Tamar was a son of god. Well, just like we’re seeing today. We’re coming full circle. And the more you understand Genesis, the more you can see what’s taking place today. They weren’t satisfied with just the male god-figure, so what did they have to introduce? The female goddess. And so the very core of what later became the mythologies of Rome and Greece and Egypt and Babylon was centered on a female goddess.

Now, that’s all right as far as it goes, but it doesn’t stop there. Along with the worship then of the female goddess and their various names, Venus of course is one and oh, I’m forgetting a couple of the others. Those are escaping me. Yeah, Diana of the Ephesians. You know them. Well, anyway associated with that naturally followed then the fertility rites. Sexuality. And I’ve told my classes for years and all you have to do is just go back into some good encyclopedias you can check me out – associated with pagan worship, the ancient temples such as one you just mentioned, Diana of the Ephesians and these various other temples in the worship of female goddesses were just nothing but glorified houses of prostitution, but in the name of “religion” because that all went hand in hand with this pagan worship.

So now with the fertility rites of course, they went right back to nature and as we have just experienced in the beauty and I think this is one of the most beautiful spring times we’ve had in a long time, but as you approach springtime and the spring equinox, March 21-22, what do we see popping up all around us? Well, new life. And new life of course speaks of fertility, and so they put all this together then as they formed their fertility rites around the worship centered on the spring equinox, March 21 and 22.

Now again, Satan was becoming the great counterfeiter because whether he knew it before hand or whether it just came out accidentally, I don’t know, but nevertheless, also associated with the spring equinox would be our celebration of Easter. Now our Easter is timed according to the Passover of Israel in the Old Testament and all of Israel’s feasts and her time keeping was based on the moon phases. Either the new moon, or the full moon or what have you. And so way back here then, they instituted these fertility rites in association with the spring equinox and thereby came then the rabbit associated with our Easter and the Easter egg associated supposedly indicative of new life. But remember its pagan in its origin.

Well the same way with many of our customs of Christmas. That of course, is close to the first day of winter, the winter solstice as we call it, December 21 and 22 where again the ancient pagans went through their various rituals in their worship and so they instituted for example the worship of the evergreen tree because it alone was still showing signs of life when everything else was dead. And then the ancient Europeans actually began a worship of the evergreen tree, all coming out of these pagan systems and they also had in Europe what they called the Yule log – the burning of the Yule log. And so all these things, oh I’m just passing it on, just for sake of information, go back to the Tower of Babel.

And you see, as Christianity then, back in the early days in the first and second and third century of Christianity, a lot of these pagan people were coming into the “church.” And I put that in quotes. Now if they came into the “church” without having a genuine salvation experience, “by believing that Jesus died for their sins, was buried, and rose again,” and they merely came in to enjoy the worship service, it wasn’t very long until these people would begin to say what? “Well, you know we ought to add a little color, this is getting kind of monotonous. We ought to do this and we ought to do that.” And so they would introduce some of their pagan practices into the “church” and the “church” accommodated it and now here we are 1900 years later and we just take all these things for granted. But I want people to know, where do they come from? They have no place in our present day church.

Now I’m not telling people throw away their Christmas tree. We have one, and I don’t tell people, “Well now spoil Christmas and tell your kids there’s no such thing as Santa Claus.” Maybe I should, but I’ll tell you what, anytime I see Santa Claus going down the aisle of a church, I won’t go back because Santa Claus does not belong in a local church! That is a symbol of paganism! It’s a symbol of the commercial world and we should never intermix them. Now like I said, I’m not telling people to take away the fun of Santa Claus as long as you don’t associate it with the birth of Christ. Because I don’t think Christ was even born on December 25th.

I read one theory, and that’s all it is because nobody really knows, but we know He couldn’t have been born in the wintertime because the shepherds don’t stay out in the fields in Judea in December. It’s too cold. But I kind of think in my own line of thinking that April 1st would be more likely and again I just pass this out in speculation. I can’t prove this from Scripture and I hope to always tell you that when I say something that isn’t Biblical. But, I prefer to think that Christ was more likely born on April 1st than any other time.

Now I was reading the other night and this gentleman had speculated that He was born in September and that the time period of December 25th was more than likely the conception of Mary by the Holy Spirit, which would bring Christ’s birth then up to September. He may be right. But personally I think April 1st and I’ll tell you why. I think Adam was created and brought on the scene April 1st. God stipulated to the nation of Israel that April is to be the first month of the year to them. And so everything in Israel’s calendar back in Biblical times began with April 1st. I think that Christ was probably resurrected on an April 1st. Now I say – I think. I can’t prove any of this.

But I think there are a lot of things that are associated in God’s timetable with this first day of the first month of the Biblical year, the month of April and then again I think to kind of put the frosting on the cake, Satan comes back and he adulterates that very day, the first of April with what we now call what? April Fool’s or All Fool’s Day, which again came out of the occultic practices and certainly not from Scripture.

Now that’s just a little aside. Now let’s move on. We’re here in Genesis chapter 11 and verse 9 is where we closed last week that the place was called Babel because it was a place of confusion.

Genesis 11:9b

“…and from thence the Lord scattered them abroad upon the face of the earth.” And I told you last week that the word scatter here in the English is too mild. I read one commentary on it; he said the word should have been “splattered.” He actually just threw them out of that part of the world but whatever, we want to realize that God was rather forceful in seeing to it that these peoples of the earth now scattered abroad and from thence, from the Tower of Babel, they migrate within their genealogic line of either Ham, Shem or Japheth.

And you remember a couple of weeks ago, I pointed out that primarily we have the offspring of Ham ending up here along the Mediterranean. We have the offspring of Shem out here in the area of ancient Babylon, because this is where Abraham is going to originate. And this is now then the main area of the Semitic people, the Arabs and the Israelites. And then the offspring of Japheth migrated on up into western Russia and on up in to Europe, Scandinavia, Great Britain and the northern shores of the Mediterranean. And so all the people of the earth are now coming from the three sons of Noah.

Now as we come over to verse 10 in chapter 11, we keep moving on. We’re going to be introduced to the generations of Shem. And again, I’m not going to take it all word for word because we’ve covered a little bit of it back there in chapter 10, but the important name now in chapter 11 and in the line of Shem, is in verse 22:

Genesis 11:22a

“And Serug lives thirty years, and he begat Nahor:…”

Genesis 11:24

“And Nahor lived nine and twenty years and he begat Terah:”

Genesis 11:26

“And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram,…”

 

And we know from Scripture that Abram’s name was changed by God to Abraham. Now we’re getting close to that chapter that I said a week or two ago was the benchmark of almost all the Old Testament, the call of Abraham. So if you can get these names straight, that Nahor was the father of Terah, Terah was the father of Abraham, as well as his brother Haran. And they are living down here on the Euphrates River, down here in the ancient city of Ur.

Now it’s interesting that most of your Bible maps and I’m not going to argue with them, but I’ve had people come up after class and say, “Well now Les, this map shows Ur on the west side of the Euphrates and you said it was on the east side.” And I said, “Well, that’s what the mapmakers say but I always have to go by what the Book says.” And they’ll look at me quizzically and they say, “Well what do you mean?”

Well let’s turn to Joshua, and look at that for a moment. Turn all the way to the last chapter, which is chapter 24. Joshua chapter 24 and just drop right in to verse 1 and 2. Now this of course, is taking place many, many years later. Israel is now in the land of promise, having been led there under Joshua after Moses passed off the scene.

Joshua 24:1-2a

“And Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem and called for the elders of Israel, and for their heads, and their judges, and their officers; and they presented themselves before God. 2. And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers (or we would say your forefathers) dwelt on the other side of the (now the King James uses the word) flood…” But all your newer translations that I’ve seen use what word? “River.” Now read it that way.

Joshua 24:2a

“…your forefathers dwelt on the other side of the river…” Now the other side of the river is the east side. Because Joshua is not on the east side of Euphrates and speaking of west of the river but speaking from the land of Israel, he said, our forefathers came from the other side of the river. That’d be the east side. That would have to put Ur over here. But nevertheless, it’s a technicality, because as you’ve been watching the Middle East events you’ll realize that down in this very corner of what was Kuwait, I think, was seemingly according to your maps, the ancient city of Ur. But whatever – that’s the territory that Abraham comes out of.

Joshua 24:2b

“…Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the river in old times, even Terah, the father of Abraham, the father of Nahor: (underline that last portion) and they served (what?) other gods.” What were they? Idolaters!

Now we’ve come about 200 years again from the Tower of Babel to this call of Abraham.

Now let’s come back if you will to chapter 11. About 200 years from Noah coming out of the Ark, until they’re gathered at the Tower of Babel. Then about another 200 years from the Tower of Babel to this call of Abraham and now we’re at 2000 BC as near as we can tell chronologically. We’ve come 2000 years from Adam to Abraham and there’s 2000 years left from Abraham to the time of Christ. All right, verse 27 then, still in chapter 11 where it says:

Genesis 11:27a

“Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat (or was the father of) Abram,…” Now we’re going to use that term first for a while, instead of Abraham. We’re going to call him Abram because the Bible does, but it’s the same man who will be called Abraham.

Genesis 11:27b

“Terah begat Abram, Nahor and Haran: (three sons) and Haran was the father of Lot.” (Who of course came with Abraham and Sarah to the Promised Land.)

Genesis 11:28

“Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees.” So one of the brothers died before they move from Ur further to the northwest.

Genesis 11:29a

“Abram and Nahor took them wives; the name of Abram’s wife was Sarai;…” And again I’m going to use the pronunciation as it’s spelled, her name also will be changed later on to Sarah. But here she’s still called Sarai.

Genesis 11:29b-32

“…and the name of Nahor’s wife, was Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah and the father of Iscah. 30. But Sarai was barren; she had no child. 31 And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son’s son, (in other words, the nephew of Abram) and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went forth with him from Ur of the Chaldees, to go to the land of Canaan; and they came to Haran, and dwelt there. 32. And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran.” Now again geographically, as they left Ur they came up to an area northeast of present day Canaan. In fact, it’d be an area somewhere north of Damascus. Now again this isn’t all scale remember. But, Damascus, Syria the present day city and up north of that was the community that we know in Scripture as Haran. And as they migrated from Ur to Haran it was here that God put the stop on them until Terah dies. Now there’s a reason for it and I think you should already catch what it was. What was Terah? He was an idolater. He worshiped other gods.

Now in order to pick up the prompting of this family moving out of their home ground we have to go to chapter 12 verse 1. And all you have to do is watch the verb tense.

Genesis 12:1

“Now the LORD had said (so chapter 12 verse 1 is taking us back to chapter 11, see?) to Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, and unto a land that I will show thee.” But from the verses that we just read in chapter 11, Abram didn’t just say Sarah, the LORD God has told me to leave, let’s just say goodbye to father and our relatives and let’s move out. But rather, I can’t prove this from Scripture but again I like to just kind of imagine how this took place. We know that the people of the Orient are tight knit when it comes to family, even today. You go into China and the family in spite of what the Communists have tried to do, is still a tight knit unit.

Also the Middle Easterners have been nomadic, from day one. They didn’t really set their roots down like we think of it in Western culture. And they would move from place to place with their flocks and their herds. So I like to think that after God, however He did it, I don’t know, but when God spoke to Abram and said, now get thee away from your father’s house and Abram the obedient son went in and said, “Father we’re going to leave.” What do you suppose old father Terah said? “Well, son that’s no problem, we’ll go with you. I mean after all we can pick up our tents and we can move.” And I don’t think Abram had the wherewithal to say “Dad, I can’t take you.” And so he says, “Well all right.”

But, it wasn’t in God’s will that Terah go with Abram, so what does God do? Well, he lets them migrate and He brings them on up to Haran up there into what is modern day Syria and there God put the brakes on and He waits until Terah dies and then after Terah has died, now Abram comes down into the land of Canaan. Got that picture?

All right, now let’s go on if you will to verse 2 and 3. Now what I like to have you do, is somehow, anyway you see fit, understand that verses 2 and 3 are what we call the Abrahamic Covenant. Now you can either put a circle around them, underline them or put it out on your margin – this is the Abrahamic Covenant.

Now, if you’ll remember a week or two ago, I explained that a covenant was always from God to man and that it’s unbreakable. It’s irrevocable. And now God makes a covenant with this man Abram. He is now what? Eighty some years old, ninety? And Sarah is only a few years younger. And they’ve never had a child. And now look what God says, in verse 2 and 3:

Genesis 12:2-3

“I will make of thee (of Abram) a great (what’s the word?) nation, (now don’t lose the impact of these individual words I will!) and I will bless thee, and I will make thy name great; Thou shalt be a blessing: 3. And I will bless them that bless thee, and I’ll curse him that curseth thee: (and then the all-encompassing promise is) and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” Now as Bible believers we have to get a good understanding of what God really said.

I was encouraged sometime ago when the Daily Oklahoman interviewed our own Senator Nichols and Senator Nichols, a devout Roman Catholic, said in his interview that even though his own church did not see things as he did, yet he had to stand on the Biblical premise that the nation or the people that will bless Israel, will be blessed of God and he says, I have to believe the Bible.

And so, I’ve been encouraged that the Senator has got his Bible straight. I was reading again just before we left this morning that at the prayer breakfast in Washington, back in January, that would have been the one, that war went so fast you can’t remember whether it was in the hundred hours or just before but anyhow they had a great prayer breakfast in Washington DC in which there were multitudes of our government leaders and it was again to make the stand that we as America are the friends of Israel. And they made it plain in their various addresses at that meeting that the nation that stands with Israel is going to be in the very blessings of God.

And we certainly saw that accomplished in this last little episode where everything just went like clockwork, because after all we were protecting God’s covenant people. And so never lose sight of this promise to Abraham, that He would make them a great nation and that He would bless the man individually and we know that he was. He would make his name great. Archaeologists are now finding bills of sale and everything else with Abraham’s name on it. The man is still world renowned, many, many thousand years later. So indeed, his name is great.

But the best parts of this covenant are in verse 3, two of them. “I will bless him that blesseth thee, I will curse him that curseth thee (and then the last is that) in thee (through this man Abram) God would bring a blessing upon the whole human race.”

Now of course, what did God have in mind? Redemption! Salvation! Salvation would come to the whole human race through the nation of Israel. We’ve got a couple of minutes left, turn with me if you will, to the book of Romans where Paul is writing to the Gentile congregation at Rome and so I call this Gentile ground scripturally, but in Romans chapter 3, and let’s drop right down to verse 1 and 2.

Romans 3:1-2

“What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there in circumcision? (Or being a Jew? Now verse 2 the answer to the question.) 2. Much, every way: (of course they had an advantage) chiefly because unto them were committed (what?) the oracles (or the Word) of God.” Every word in this Book comes through the nation of Israel. Some would maintain that Luke was a Gentile, and I prefer to think that if he was anything we might have been a half-Gentile, but I think he was still primarily a Jew. Every word of this Book has come to us from the Jewish people. And never lose sight of it.

If we had time and you can do it in your own leisure. You go into Romans chapter 11 where Paul says, that by their fall (that is through the fall of Israel, when they rejected their Messiah) what did it prompt? God sending salvation to the nations of the world without Israel, but Paul is quick to point out in that chapter, God hasn’t set aside Israel forever. Israel has been set aside only temporarily. They are still in His eternal program.