55 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 2 - Part 3 - Book 5 - Law & Grace - Timeline - Isaac

55: Lesson 2 Part 3 Book 5 – Law & Grace – Timeline – Isaac: Genesis 24


Through the Bible with Les Feldick


Law and Grace: Time Line: Isaac

Genesis 24

Let’s turn to Psalm 2 where we left off in our last lesson. Remember, we’ve been talking about Abraham sending his servant to the far country, up into Syria, to get a bride for his son, Isaac. We brought out the point that this is a beautiful picture of the Holy Spirit working in this present age calling out a Bride from among the Gentiles for the Son, Christ Jesus. The reason that I like to use this illustration, is that Isaac had left his home tent and was out in the field some distance from home, when he met his bride coming from the far country. I think this is a perfect illustration of how Christ will leave Heaven and will call the Bride up to meet Him in the clouds of the air.

Before we get into the regular teaching, we have some requests from our television audience to sometime lay these things out on a timeline. Before I do that, I always like to make clear the understanding of the Old Testament program, in which there is no hint of this “Church Age. The Old Testament program was always God’s plan for Israel, and this is best laid out in outline form in Psalm 2. That’s the reason we are going to point this out, and how this program was interrupted and God went to the Gentiles to call out a people for His Name; and how He will one day come back again to finish this Old Testament program.

Psalm 2:1-3

“Why do the heathen (Gentiles) rage, and the people (Israel) imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers (of Israel) take counsel together (Jew and Gentile), against the LORD (Jehovah), and against his anointed (against The Christ, or Messiah), saying, ‘Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.’”

Now that took place at the rejection of Christ at His Crucifixion. The response of God the Father in Heaven was that He would laugh:

Psalm 2:4

“He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them (the nations of the world) in derision (confusion).”

The word used in the Gospels, as Jesus foretold these days, was “perplexity”, and we are seeing that in our own times. Nevertheless, this was all looking forward to the coming of Christ and His rejection. The very first word of Verse 5 is a time word – “then.” In other words, after the nations had come to a place of derision:

Psalm 2:5

“Then shall he (God) speak unto them (the nations) in his wrath (not in His Grace!), and vex them in his sore displeasure.”

The Psalmist is talking here about the Tribulation – that terrible period of time that is going to come on the world, but will be especially directed against the Nation of Israel. Then immediately following this period of wrath and vexation, which all of the Scriptures designate as seven years, in verse 6, God says:

Psalm 2:6

“‘Yet have I (God) set my king upon the holy hill of Zion.’”

We can probably illustrate this in kind of a timeline. We are coming out of the Old Testament, and I like to start with the call of Abraham and his Covenant. We move on then to the coming of The Messiah, and Israel rejects and crucifies Him according to Psalms 2. After his rejection, He would ascend (see Psalm 110). Normally, people don’t think of the Book of Psalms as being prophetic, but there are many prophesies in the Psalms. Psalm 22 foretells the Crucifixion, and Psalm 110 portrays His Ascension to the Father’s right hand:

Psalm 110:1

“The LORD said unto my Lord, ‘Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.’”

The word “until” is a time word. Jesus was to sit at the Father’s right hand – but not forever – “until” God made His enemies His footstool.

Psalm 110:2-3

“‘The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.’”

All these verses tell us is that after this rejection of The Messiah, He would ascend unto the Father ‘s right hand. Then there would come an indeterminate period (according to Psalm 2) until the nations would reach a point of derision, and then would come that period of wrath and vexation which we know from Daniel and others is a period of seven years of Tribulation. Then back in Psalm 2:6, God says:

Psalm 2:6

“‘Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.’”

And The King is always associated with the Kingdom. There is the Old Testament program. After you come out of the Old Testament chronology of Israel’s history, The Messiah comes on the scene and is presented as Israel’s King, whom they reject and crucify. He ascends, and the next thing on the agenda is the Tribulation.

It’s so clearly laid out here in Psalm 2.

Psalm 2:7

“‘I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, ‘Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.'”

The word “Son” is capitalized and we know that it refers to Christ. I want also to define the word “begotten.” It does not refer to Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, but rather to His Resurrection. That is made so clear in Acts and in Romans 1:4, where Paul explains it so succinctly. I believe we can delegate the line of thought found in Psalm 2:8 to the Father, where He says:

Psalm 2:8,9

“‘Ask of me, and I shall give thee (the Son) the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.’” When Christ returns and sets up His Kingdom, it will not be just in the Middle East, but it will include the whole world.

“‘Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash (break) them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.’”

This, of course, He is going to do after His second coming at the Battle of Armageddon, when the nations of the world will be removed from the scene.

Psalm 2:11,12

“‘Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him.’”

Again, we have the reference to God the Son. Now, in order to understand all that this little chapter is and is not saying, we know that at Christ’s Ascension (Acts 1:9-11), Peter and the eleven knew this Old Testament program. They knew that the next thing on the agenda was the coming in of seven years of wrath and vexation. Then they expected the return of Christ back to Jerusalem in order to set up His kingdom. (This is where a lot of people, church-going believers do not understand that, according to the Old Testament program, it was to unfold in this manner.) The King would set up His Kingdom, and as soon as it was established and He was ruling from Jerusalem, then the Jews could go into all the corners of the world to evangelize the Gentiles. That was to be Israel’s role(See chart on page 74).

Turn to Isaiah 42. I think my problem is trying to get across in a couple of hours what I’ve learned in 20 years, and of course, that’s impossible. But if I could just help people to see all these things in a clear cut way it would erase so much of the confusion that I think reigns supreme. In Isaiah 42:1 it is referring to the Old Testament program. God expected Israel to receive her King, get the Kingdom set up, and the Jew to go out and evangelize the world.

Isaiah 42:1

“Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment (rule) to the Gentiles.”

Turn now to Isaiah 49:6. I’m not exhausting the Scriptures on this subject by any means. I’m just picking out a few verses that are more clearly stated than others.

Isaiah 49:6

“And he said, ‘It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my (God’s) salvation unto the end of the earth.’”

Always examine a verse. Who was the “thee” who was to be a light to the Gentiles? Israel! This was to be Israel’s role. We’ll take it a little further, so turn to Chapter 59. When I speak in days to come of God dealing with the Jew only – and He has been ever since the call of Abraham up until we get well into the New Testament – it’s Jew only, with exceptions.

Isaiah 59:20,21

“‘And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, (a mountain in Jerusalem) and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob,’ saith the Lord. ‘As for me, 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, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed,’ saith the LORD, ‘from henceforth and for ever.'” In other words, we are already looking at eternity. Now go to Chapter 60.

Isaiah 60:1

“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.”

Again, He was talking to the Nation of Israel. When their Messiah appeared He told them that “I am the light of the world,” and had Israel believed Him, they could have gone out and told the world. I’ll show you that in just a moment.

Isaiah 60:2

“For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.”

The darkness that was to cover the earth was a spiritual darkness; even Israel would be under that darkness.

Isaiah 60:3

“And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.”

Those are all promises to Israel according to the Old Testament program – that even after they’d rejected and crucified their Messiah, their King, He would ascend until the Father had made his enemies his footstool. This would be during that time of derision, which wouldn’t have been long; then would come the wrath and vexation of the Tribulation; Messiah would return and set up His Kingdom; Israel would be the apple of His eye, and would be the very center of all activity with regard to bringing people to a knowledge of God. Now, turn over to the Book of Jeremiah 23. These are all verses that point out the fact that Israel was promised, not only The King and the Kingdom, but that they would be the vehicle to bring the pagan Gentiles to a knowledge of Israel’s God.

Jeremiah 23:5

“‘Behold, the days come,’ saith the Lord, ‘that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.’”

Note that the words “Branch” and “King” were both capitalized so they refer to Christ The King. Note also, that He is going to be King in the earth – not just in Heaven. That will be the time when He returns to set up His Kingdom; when He will rule and reign over the whole earth.

To confirm what I told you a few moments ago about Israel’s being the evangelists, turn to Zechariah, the next-to-the-last book in the Old Testament. Zechariah 8:20. Don’t lose sight of everything that was in the Old Testament program. There would be the wrath and vexation. There would be the destruction of the nations as recorded in Daniel chapters 2, 7, and 9. That would take place when He would return to Jerusalem; destroy the nations that still survived after those terrible seven years of Tribulation; and then the earth would be restored to the condition of the Garden of Eden before man’s fall. (Isaiah 51:3, Ezekiel 36:35). Remember, Zechariah wrote about 500 B.C.

Zechariah 8:20-23

“Thus saith the LORD of hosts; ‘It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, “Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts: I will go also. Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD. (23) Thus saith the LORD of hosts; ‘In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying,’ ‘We will go will you: for we have heard that God is with you.'”

Lock verse 23 into your computer! This is talking in light of the Old Testament program – that as soon as The King and Kingdom were in place, the nations of the world would be funneled to Jerusalem which would be the very abode of the God of Israel, and all the Gentiles could be blessed by coming to a faith in Him.

Zechariah 8:4

“Thus saith the LORD of hosts; ‘There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age.”

Note that the Gentiles were to come, not just from all nations, but from all languages, dialects, tongues and tribes – they were all to come to the Jews to go with them to meet their God. This is what Jesus had drummed into the disciples, and contrary to what most of us have been taught, the Great Commission in Matthew 28 was with this Old Testament program in mind. There had, as yet, not been one word spoken – even from Jesus to the twelve – of a period when God would set Israel aside, take away their Temple, and go to the Gentiles with the Gospel of Grace. So, as you read through the Four Gospels, keep this in mind. This Old Testament program was what Jesus was talking about, everything that had been promised to Israel with regard to His being their King. Of course, the disciples had no idea that He was going to be crucified. Turn to Luke 18. I remember one time I was teaching a week of classes. After one session, a young couple came up to me and said, “Wait a minute! Are you saying that Peter didn’t preach Christ crucified?” My answer to them had to be, “How could Peter preach that, when Jesus had not yet gone to the Cross, and Peter didn’t even know that He was going to!” Look at Luke 18:31-34. I can safely say that 90% of the church members don’t know that these verses are in here!

Luke 18:31

“Then he (Jesus) took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, ‘Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished.’”

He was saying that everything that had been written about Him in the Psalms and the prophets: that He would suffer, be crucified (Psalm 22) and buried, and after three days rise from the dead. That He would ascend (Psalm 110); that He would come back after the years of retribution (Tribulation) to set up His Kingdom – they should have known all that!

Luke 18:32,33

“‘For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles (Rome), and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.'”

You know that these are exactly the things that happened! See Luke 22:1-24:8. Now don’t stop here. Look at verse 34:

Luke 18:34

“And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.”

Even those twelve disciples who had been with Jesus for nearly three years, and were now ready to head to Jerusalem to wind everything up – didn’t understand anything of what He said because it was “hid” from them. If you recall, a couple of lessons ago I used the Hebrew term “Jehovah Olam. I told you that in that word Olam was a definition of something being hidden? That was exactly what God had done with what we call the “Church Age, as we showed on our timeline. In this passage, they had no understanding that He was going to die – that He was going to go to the Cross!

Look now at John 20. Scripture shows us as plain as day that even after Jesus went to the Cross, they still didn’t know that He would rise from the dead. We won’t take time to read all the verses here, but as a background, on the day of the Resurrection, Peter and John had been told that Jesus was no longer in the tomb—that His body was gone. So they ran to the tomb to see for themselves. I think that Peter was a big, old rugged fisherman, whereas John was probably more athletic. Consequently, John reached the tomb first, but he was timid and reluctant to enter. Peter, on the other hand, just rushed right in (remember this tomb was a cave – not a hole in the ground!) and they came to the conclusion that something supernatural had happened.

John 20:8,9

“Then went in also that other disciple (John), which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw (the evidence) and believed. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.”

Peter and John hadn’t believed in Jesus’ Resurrection (even though they had been told), until they saw for themselves! And not only did they not believe, but also, most of Christ’s followers! Now wasn’t that plain?

54 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 2 - Part 2 - Book 5 - Law & Grace - Timeline - Isaac

54: Lesson 2 Part 2 Book 5 – Law & Grace – Timeline – Isaac: Genesis 24

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick


Law and Grace: Time Line: Isaac

Genesis 24

Turn to Genesis 24. We were drawing a comparison of the sending out of the servant for a bride for the son, Isaac, as a parallel of the work of the Holy Spirit today in calling out the Body of Christ. We will finish this chapter and then go to the Book of Psalms, Chapter 2. So look now at Genesis 24:10. As we saw in our last lesson, the servant made a covenant or oath with his master, Abraham:

Genesis 24:10

“And the servant took ten camels of the camels of his master, and departed; for all the goods of his master were in his hand: and he arose, and went to Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor.”

Let’s look at the map of this area on page 36 again.

Abraham was a wealthy man with tons of silver and gold and flocks and servants. No doubt this servant, which I assume was Eliezer, took a pretty good sampling of all that wealth, making his way into Mesopotamia. As this map shows, it wasn’t that far, as we Americans think of, in miles. Everything in the Middle East is very compact; but for that day, and going by camel, it was still a good long journey. Eliezer went up to Haran, the area from which Abraham had come earlier, and where his old father, Terah, had died.

Genesis 24:11

“And he made his camels to kneel down without the city by a well of water at the time of the evening, even the time that women go out to draw water.”

It’s interesting that we in America can’t quite comprehend women coming more and more into the work force. It’s kind of against our ethics. But it’s the way it’s always been. I can remember way back when I was a kid and missionaries would come back from Africa with their old 8mm movies. They showed the African men sitting outside their huts drinking their homemade brew and getting drunk, while the women were out in the fields doing all the work, the grinding, and the cooking. So I have known that women have been more or less the slaves of the men for many, many centuries. And that was so in Haran as well. It was the women who drew the water, took care of the flocks. I suppose the men just sort of sat back and acted as overlords. That was the situation the servant found when he brought his camels to the well of water, and he made a prayer in verses 12-14.

Genesis 24:12-14

“And he said, ‘O LORD God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and show kindness unto my master Abraham. Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water: And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, “Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink;” and she shall say, “Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also:” let the same be she that thou has appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast shewed kindness unto my master.’”

The servant laid out a fleece before God. He basically said, “Lord, when a girl answers in that way, then I’ll know she’s the right one.” I always think of the Book of Ruth. Remember when Naomi had lost her sons and ended up with two daughters-in-law? One stayed in Moab, but Ruth came back with her to Israel. The word is used that Ruth “happened” to end up in the right field – one belonging to the next of kin to Naomi – when she went to labor in the harvest field. That word “hap” or “happened” means more than that.

I was talking to a man not too long ago, and said to him, “I wish you luck.” He answered, “Les, in the life of a believer there is no such thing as luck.” He was absolutely correct. God is in such complete control that we can honestly say that everything that happens is in His hands. This next verse makes it so plain:

Romans 8:28

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”

It was the same way here. It just “happened”, but not really, that Rebekah was the girl to make the first approach. When the servant asked for water, she responded exactly as he had asked God for her to do. She came on the scene in verse 15.

Genesis 24:15

“And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor,” Let’s refer to the family tree on page 37 again.

Genesis 24:16-19

“And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her: and she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up. And the servant ran to meet her, and said, ‘Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher.’ And she said, ‘Drink, my lord:’ and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand,and gave him drink. And when she had done giving him drink, she said, ‘I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking.’”

What did the servant know? She was the right girl! She was eligible and had all the physical attributes that caught his attention. After all, these people were just as human as we are. So she hastily drew the water and he knew that she was the one! Now verses 26-29a.

Genesis 24:26-29a

“And the man (Abraham’s servant) bowed down his head, and worshipped the LORD. And he said, ‘Blessed be the LORD God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master’s brethren.’ And the damsel ran, and told them of her mother’s house these things. And Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban:…” Laban will come on the scene later in Genesis when we start dealing with Jacob. Remember, it was Laban for whom Jacob worked for his two wives, Leah and Rachel.

This young man, Laban, came running out, and I like verse 30 because all these people were so human. I think a lot of times people get the idea that these Bible characters were somehow a cut above the human. But they were not! They were just as human as we are. So when her brother came running out:

Genesis 24:30

“And it came to pass, when he saw the earring and bracelets upon his sister’s hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, ‘Thus spake the man unto me;’ that he came unto the man; and, behold, he stood by the camels at the well.” What did he see? The wealth that this man represented. I’ll bet that when he saw them his eyes bugged out and he thought “Wow! What in the world is my little sister getting into?” He was all for this arrangement when he saw the wealth that was involved.

Genesis 24:31a

“And he said, ‘Come in, thou blessed of the LORD (Jehovah);’”

I always have to remind the people I teach that when these pagans speak of the Lord and of God, it isn’t that they themselves were actual believers, or that they knew Jehovah. You must remember that all the people who lived in this Middle Eastern environment were saturated with paganism. Even these relatives of Abraham, the children of Terah, were idolaters.

Soon we’ll come to the episode where Jacob, his wives and children had left for Canaan (long after this particular time), and, suddenly, Laban came running after them looking for his family gods – the idols which Rachel had secretly brought with her. So because all these people were idolaters, take it with a grain of salt when they use the name of Jehovah. They were using that Name, not because they knew Him, but just as another name of another god, and they realized that He was the God of Abraham. Then word passed to the girl’s father that this servant of their relative, Abraham, was looking for a bride for Isaac, and Rebekah seemed to be the one. We won’t go through all these verses, but if you’ll read it later, you’ll find that even though the servant does all he can to win this beautiful girl, she had to make the final decision. After they’ve had their feasting, and getting acquainted in the house of Rebekah and her family, it all boils down to her making the choice.

Genesis 24:57,58

“And they said, ‘We will call the damsel, and inquire at her mouth.’ And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, ‘Wilt thou go with this man?’ And she said, ‘I will go.’”

She made the final decision. It’s the same way with Salvation today. The Holy Spirit can woo; the Holy Spirit can convict; but God will never take someone by the nape of the neck and force the issue. I often say I am certainly not against evangelism, but I am against arm twisting, because that falls down into the energy of the flesh. Salvation has to be totally the work of the Holy Spirit. Too many times other things enter in, and people are almost forced to make a false decision. Then, years later, people wonder what happened that that Christian is bankrupt spiritually. I’m afraid they’ve never had a true experience, because it was approached in the wrong way. But here, Rebekah was given the choice and she said, “I will go.”

Genesis 24:59

“And they sent away Rebekah their sister, and her nurse, and Abraham’s servant, and his men.”

So they took off from way up in Syria, heading back down to the land of Canaan. Now we’ll pick up the husband-to-be. The man who is representative of Christ, Himself; who is allowing the Holy Spirit to do the wooing and the winning of those who come into the Body of Christ.

Genesis 24:62,63a

“And Isaac came from the way of the well Lahai-roi; for he dwelt in the south country.” Isaac lived south of Jerusalem, down in the Negev, in the area of Beersheba. Beersheba is still a bustling city of about 300-400 thousand in that same area of Israel.

“And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide:…”

Now, there are a lot of commentaries that have differing opinions regarding this word “meditate.” Some think he just went out to think things through, while others think that he was thinking about the servant bringing him a bride. But I think that the crux of the matter was found back in Chapter 23, when a very important person in his life, his mother, died. I think what happened here was that Isaac was mourning the loss of his mother, and had gone out in the field to contemplate that loss.

Genesis 24:63b

“…and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming.”

Now, all of a sudden his grief and his loneliness had turned to joy; to expectation. His bride had come. What I want you to understand, is that Isaac, who had been living down south of Jerusalem in the desert, had left his home and the tents of Abraham. And somewhere between “the far country” from which his bride was coming, and his home, there was a meeting. What was the lesson? It will be the same way when Christ calls His Bride home. He’s not going to immediately call her to Heaven, but He’s going to leave Heaven and meet her part way. We’ll look at that probably in our next lesson. Anyway, Isaac had left home going part way toward Mesopotamia, and suddenly saw his ride coming.

Genesis 24:64,65a

“And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel. For she had said unto the servant, ‘What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us?’”

I’m sure she had a pretty good idea who the man was, but Scripture does that so often! How many times have I pointed out to you that Jesus, when He wanted to get somebody’s attention, would ask them a question. He knew the answer! And way back in the Garden of Eden, God didn’t have to ask, but He said, “Adam, what have you done?” I think the Scripture does that just to give us time to think, so she said, “who is this?” She knew! Oh, this was her husband-to-be, her fiance as we call it today.

Genesis 24:65,66

“And the servant had said, ‘It is my master:’ therefore she took a veil, and covered herself (That was a Middle Eastern custom). And the servant told Isaac all things that he had done.”

I want you to picture these things. Isaac and Rebekah had just met, and the servant explains to Isaac how miraculously this whole thing had come together. “There’s no doubt Isaac, that this girl is God’s choice for you.” So Isaac had no doubt that this was, indeed, God’s choice of a wife for him.

Genesis 24:67

“And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.”

As I’ve pointed out before, The Bible never tells a wife to love her husband, but it does say, “Husband, love your wife.” And here it is: It doesn’t say that Rebekah loved him (although we know that she did), but it began with Isaac loving his wife. Now, this is why I think he had been meditating over his mother’s death. He was comforted by the whole new experience that came into his life. That vacuum that his mother had left was suddenly filled by his new bride. Now let’s go to Psalm 2. We won’t be able to finish all that I’d like to do concerning this Psalm in this lesson, but perhaps we can be prepared for the next part of our study, and that is “how is the present day Age of Grace pictured as the calling out of a Gentile bride for God the Son, for The Christ?”

The only way we can understand the language of the Apostle Paul regarding the calling out of the Bride, is to get an even better understanding of the Old Testament program. Here is where we have had so much confusion over the years throughout all Christendom. There is so much difference between the Old Testament program and the Age of Grace, that nobody really knows what to believe, or why, or how. So, we’re going to take some time now to outline the Old Testament program. The reason I’m emphasizing this is because nowhere in the Old Testament, or well into the New Testament, is there a single hint that there would be a Gentile wife of Christ. Everything was Israel. Israel was to be the bride of Jehovah.

In the Book of Hosea, Hosea was actually instructed by God to go out and marry a “woman of the street”, and take her home to be his wife. But it wasn’t very long until she was back out on the street with all of her multitudes of lovers; and by the end of the book, she had been restored and was back in fellowship with her husband. That was the beautiful picture of Israel. Even though she had been an idolatrous nation, always chasing after other gods all the way through the Old Testament, we know that the day is coming when Israel is going to be restored, and all her adulterous past will be put behind her and forgotten. But we have another analogy, and that is “The Bride of Christ.” Let me show you the verse in II Corinthians. There are probably some who don’t agree with me that the Church is the Bride of Christ, but you don’t have to. I just teach it as I see it and the way that I am most comfortable. Turn to II Corinthians 11:1, where Paul begins:

II Corinthians 11:1

“Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me.”

That’s how I feel sometimes, when I begin to teach some of these things that I know the average believer has never heard. I have to say, “Bear with me, because sooner or later I’ll show you that this is actually what the Scriptures say.” Paul was writing to the Corinthian church, a Gentile church.

II Corinthians 11:2

“For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” Paul said, I have gotten you engaged to one husband, that I may present you (that is, the Body of Christ) as a chaste (pure) virgin to Christ.

All the way through Paul’s letters he makes reference to Christ as the head and the husband, and the Body of Christ is the virgin Bride. That is why Paul is always admonishing believers to live a life of purity, a life of separation, because we are not to be the adulterous wife of Jehovah as Israel was. Let’s turn back now to Psalm 2. This is an outline of the Old Testament program. Like the rest of the Old Testament, as well as in the Gospels, in this Psalm there is no hint of this “mystery”, this secret hid in the mind of God of this Gentile Bride of Christ, or the Body of Christ. Everything had been promises made to Israel.

Psalm 2:1

“Why do the heathen (Gentiles) rage, and the people (Israel) imagine a vain thing?

That word, “vain” is probably best defined as Solomon used it in Ecclesiastes 12:8, when he said, “‘Vanity of vanities,’ saith the preacher;‘ all is vanity.’” It’s just an activity of uselessness. This is what the Scriptures are asking. Why do Israel, and the heathen world alike, constantly exercise for nothing? Let’s go on.

Psalm 2:2,3

“The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers (of Israel) take counsel together, (Jews and Gentiles) against the LORD, (Jehovah) and against his anointed (Christ—the anointed One), saying,…” Why do the rulers of this world and Israel reject The Messiah?

“‘Let us break their bands asunder (the control of the Godhead, that’s why the plural pronoun is used), and cast away their cords from us.’”

In other words, they’re rejecting God in their affairs. Remember when Israel was presented with Christ by Pilate, what was their reply? “Away with Him, we’ll not have this man to rule over us!” Pilate carried it out; the Jews abandoned Him; and the whole human race fell under the guilt of the Crucifixion, because the rulers of Jews and Gentiles alike rejected him and said, “Crucify Him!” They had cast off every opportunity of God’s being able to rule over them. After all, that’s why Christ came, wasn’t it? He came to be their King, and was presented as their King, but they continued to reject Him and finally, actually, put Him to death.

Psalm 2:4

“He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.”

They can never outdo God! God is going to have the last word. The word derision is best summed up as “total confusion.”

53 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 2 - Part 1 - Book 5 - Law & Grace - Timeline - Isaac

53: Lesson 2 Part 1 Book 5 – Law & Grace – Timeline – Isaac: Genesis 24

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick


Law and Grace: Time Line: Isaac

Genesis 24

In the Book of Romans, the Apostle Paul, writes to the Gentiles:

Romans 15:4

“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”

When Paul refers to things “written aforetime”, he was referring to the Old Testament. The reason we study the Old Testament is to pick up a background for all the doctrines that are going to come, especially those from the pen of the Apostle Paul. I like to bring out the intrinsic quality of Scripture; of how miraculously it all fits, so that we will have no doubts that we can trust it as the eternal, supernatural, miraculously written Word of God. Let’s go back to Genesis 24. In the last few lessons we were dealing with Isaac and Ishmael, and howIsaac was, in type, a picture of Grace; the son of promise. Whereas Ishmael was a son of the flesh, and was depicted by Paul in his letter to the Galatians as a picture of Law.

In Genesis 24 we have a study I’m reluctant to call a “type” because there is one part of the account that would break down with regard to a perfect type. Most of you know what a “type” is in the Old Testament – a perfect illustration of a New Testament truth. For example, we know that Abraham is so typical of the man of faith, that we can call him a faith “type.” Joseph, in so many ways experienced the same things that were experienced in the life of Christ, so we can consider Joseph as a “type” of Christ in that Old Testament setting. The same applies here in Chapter 24. It comes close to being a “type,” but because of one little detail, I will only call it a “good illustration.” As Abraham is going to send out his servant to bring back a bride for his son Isaac, it is a perfect parallel of what the Holy Spirit is doing today to call out the Bride for Christ. So, this is the lesson I like to pull out of this chapter.

The only small part that breaks down is that the Gentiles, as such had not really been isolated as yet in Scripture, because Abraham was the father of the Hebrew race; and he was sending his servant back to his own kinfolk for a bride for Isaac. So, it isn’t like he was actually going to the Gentiles, as we know the Lord is doing today with regard to the Bride of Christ, the Body of Christ which is, for the most part today, Gentiles. Nevertheless, we’ll look at this chapter with this parallel, using this illustration:

The role of the servant in this situation is totally in line with the role of the Holy Spirit today, and it’s important that you see this. We won’t take the entire chapter verse by verse because so much of it is repetitious, but we will hit the highlights.

Genesis 24:1

“And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things.”

Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born, and Isaac was now well up in years, so Abraham was indeed old. In Verse 2, Abraham addressed his servant, and although that servant is not named here, earlier in Genesis 15:2 we found that Abraham had a servant named Eliezer of Damascus – no doubt this is the same man.

Genesis 24:2

“And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, ‘Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh:…’”

This language throws a curve at us, and we think, “What in the world?” But all they were doing was practicing ancient customs written out by Hammurabi. This man was more or less a philosopher and law-giver in ancient Babylon. Until God called out the Nation of Israel, and began dealing with them, and gave them His special instructions in the form of the Law, most of the then-known world operated under the laws of Hammurabi. They were good, moral laws for the most part, but they certainly were not God-inspired, as we now find here in the Scriptures. So these things we think of as “odd,” were just customs of those ancient days.

Genesis 24:3,4

“‘And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac.’”

I believe this is a good time to stop and do a brief review of the nations of that area in Abraham’s time. In order to understand what Abraham was really talking about when he said, “Go back to my kindred,” we need to remember from where he came. Let’s look at a map of this area:

If you recall, back in Genesis when God first talked to Abram (Abraham), that he and his father Terah made their way up along the Euphrates River into the area known as Syria today. Terah and his three sons had made their way from Ur, down on the Gulf of Arabia, into Syria, to a place later known as Haran. Then, from Haran, after Terah died, Abraham came down into the land of Canaan where the Canaanites lived.

The whole Middle East is in the news nearly every day. If more people could understand that setting according to Biblical history, I think we’d have a lot less confusion even among our men in high places. Remember, that Noah had three sons, Ham, Shem and Japheth. We’ll take care of Japheth first, because he became the progenitor of what The Bible refers to as the “Goyim” and we have now put the term “Gentile” on that.

Later in history, the Goyim became the Caucasian people, or the Indo-European peoples as they are often referred to now. As we come down through Biblical history, we have come to use the term Gentile to mean any non-Jewish peoples. In order to get a good picture of this setting, we’re going to have to go way back to the three sons of Noah as illustrated in the family tree below:

Ham was the son upon whom Noah placed the curse, and he became the father of the Canaanites. We normally think of the Canaanites, as referred to in Scripture, as the peoples living along the shores of the Mediterranean in the land of Palestine (or Israel), and they were already in the land when Abraham came.

Shem is the son we are predominately interested in. From this line came the man Terah who had three sons, Haran, Abram (Abraham) and Nahor. These names are not all that important except that I want you to see how, in our own present day with all the troubles in the Middle East, it all goes back to these families. Haran was the father of Lot. Lot, in turn, had two sons by his own daughters, back at the time of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. His offspring from the two daughters were Moabites and the Ammonites. Now, just in case you wonder what I’m talking about, what’s the present day capital of Trans-Jordan? Amman. It all comes back to these same roots. They are still all part and parcel of this family line.

Nahor had a son named Bethuel, and he had a daughter named Rebekah. She’s the one we’re going to come to now in Genesis 24. He also had a son named Laban. Laban in turn had two daughters named Leah and Rachel. Now, is it starting to fall into place?

Let’s look at Abraham’s family. First, he had a son by the Egyptian slave girl, Hagar, named Ishmael. Then he had a son by his legal wife, Sarah, named Isaac. Then after Sarah died, he took a wife named Keturah, and she had a son, among others, from whom came the Midianite nation. If you’ll remember your Biblical history, the Midianites were the people to the east. When Moses fled to the desert after leaving Egypt the first time, he married the daughter of the priest of Midian. I’m only pointing all this out to show how all these families are intertwined with the exception, of course, of the Canaanites, because God specifically said that they were not to marry Canaanites. Let’s move on down. His mother being an Egyptian, Ishmael in turn married an Egyptian woman. The Egyptians, of course, came from Ham, so we have a connection between this line of the offspring of Ishmael to the Canaanites and the Egyptians. That’s why I mentioned several lessons ago that even though the Egyptians are not true Arabs, the Egyptians and the Arabs are always acting like next-of-kin.

We know that Isaac had two sons, Esau and Jacob. Esau, in turn went right back and married two Canaanite women, which the Scriptures say were “a grief of mind” to Isaac and Rebekah. Jacob, on the other hand, went back to his father’s family, marrying Leah and Rachel. From those two marriages, we have the twelve sons which become the twelve tribes of Israel. From the tribe of Judah came King David, then King Solomon. From Solomon the genealogy splits and on one side we have the genealogy of Mary, which is the bloodline that goes all the way back to Adam and Eve. On the other side, we have the line that led to Joseph, who, of course, was not the blood father, but he was the legal father of the Lord Jesus. So, you see, everything just fits perfectly all the way down through these lines, and God is in complete sovereign control. Let’s move on now in Genesis 24. Remember, that all of these families in the Middle East except for Japheth’s, are all inter-related. That’s why they have such a hatred for each other – they are all blood relatives. There’s just no denying it.

Genesis 24:3b-5a

“‘…thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac.’ And the servant said unto him, ‘Peradventure the woman will not be willing . . .’”

I believe this is will be a picture, illustration, or parallel of God’s calling out the Body of Christ from among the Gentiles. God the Father has sent the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is moving among the human race, wooing them, presenting them with the plan of Salvation. Even though God is sovereign, one of the things that is hard to reconcile is the question, “Is God absolute in whom He chooses? Does everyone else not have a chance? How does it all work?” I think what you have to do, is put the questions into an awareness that it’s not either one or the other. What I’m talking about, of course, is whether it is totally the sovereign choosing of God (“the chosen” is used, or “the elect” is used, “predestinated” is used); or, over against that is the free will of man. Way back in the time of the reformers, Calvin was of the persuasion that we are chosen. Then those who abused Calvin’s teaching went so far as to go overboard and say, “If you’re chosen, there’s nothing you can do about it. If you’re chosen, no one has to do anything to win you, you’re in. If you’re not chosen, you’re out.” I maintain this approach is rather ridiculous. But, you see, at the time of Luther and Calvin with that approach, along came a man by the name of Armenius, and I’m sure you’ve all heard about the Armenian view. This expressed the opposite persuasion, that God had nothing to do with choosing. It’s all up to the free will of the individual. That’s the other extreme.

What we have to see is what verse 5 indicates – there has to be a willingness, but on the other hand, as you go through this chapter you can see that God definitely had His hands on the whole situation. Everything fell into place, and the servant was amazed. When he got up to Syria, he asked God, “the girl who is to be the one, let her, when I ask for water, say, ‘not only can you drink, but I’ll water the camels also.’” And that’s the way it happened. The very first girl that came along was the one! Now, how are we to reconcile this. Keep your place in Genesis and let’s turn all the way back to I Peter, because this thing about the sovereignty of God and the free will of man are with us all the way from Genesis to Revelation. So, we might as well reconcile it early on.

1 Peter 1:1,2

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.”

Elect according to the foreknowledge of God that’s the secret to understanding this whole doctrine. Why can God chose some and not others? Because it is foreknowledge!Because He knows what an individual will do with His particular offer of Salvation. Way back in Genesis, why did Rebekah come to water the livestock and meet Abraham’s servant at just the appropriate time. Obviously, it was the sovereign working of God, there’s no doubt about it! But, she was also willing. And why was she chosen? Because God knew she would be willing.

Why are some of us saved, and our friends and loved ones not saved? Not because we were special or better, but God in His foreknowledge could see what we would do with the offer of Salvation, as Paul said in Ephesians 1:4. I know this verse has thrown a curve at a lot of people, but, hopefully, this will satisfy some of your questions. It isn’t that some are left without a chance, and God has put His finger on certain ones; but, rather, God in His foreknowledge knew what every individual would do in the exercise of his or her free will and then He could pick.

Ephesians 1:4

“According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love:…” Why did God choose us? Because He knew what we would do. That was in His foreknowledge.

We’re not going to be able to finish Chapter 24 in this lesson, but let’s go back to it and get as far as we can.

Genesis 24:5,6

“And the servant said unto him, ‘Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land: must I needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest?’ And Abraham said unto him, ‘Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again.’”

I think the key word in these verses, to understand what the servant was talking about, is the word ‘again.’ Since this is, as I believe, a picture of the calling out of the Body of Christ. All through the Book of Hebrews we find the word “once. This Christ died once; “This He did once; over and over again! What is being implied here? Christ is not going to come back a second time to go to the Cross. That was accomplished one time. Nothing can ever cross that over, so the emphasis here is, “Beware that you don’t take my Son back there again!” We’re not going to repeat something that’s been done once before.

Genesis 24:7

“The LORD God of heaven, which took me from my father’s house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, ‘Unto thy seed will I give this land;’ he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence.’” The land that he was speaking of was Canaan, and the LORD’s angel was, of course, Christ in his Old Testament personality, as we’ve discussed before.

Genesis 24:8

“‘And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath: only bring not my son thither again.’”

We come back to this again! As the Holy Spirit moves through the human race, particularly among the Gentiles in this Age of Grace, He is calling out a people for His Name, (and we’ll be discussing this more thoroughly in our next lesson). No one is ever forced! It is all based on the free will of the individual. But never forget, God has foreknowledge of who will respond.

52 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 1 - Part 4 - Book 5 - Law - Weak and Beggarly

52: Lesson 1 Part 4 Book 5 – Law – Weak and Beggarly: Genesis 21-23

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick


Law – Weak and Beggarly

Genesis 21-23

We’ve spent enough time on Law and Grace for now. These subjects will come up again from time to time. Turn to Genesis 22. Years had gone by and Isaac was probably a late teenager, maybe even twenty years old. God put Abraham to a tremendous test. Whenever I deal with new believers, I warn them that God is going to test their faith. We see it all through Scripture. Abraham was no exception. How do you think Abraham felt after years of waiting for a child. Ishmael finally came on the scene, grew into a teenager, and God told Abraham to send him away? Abraham loved Ishmael. This had to be excruciating for the old man. Then Abraham had his son of promise, Isaac. For nearly twenty years, he was deeply attached to him. What did God tell Abraham to do with him? Kill him! Imagine what Abraham must have gone through!

Genesis 22:1,2

“And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, ‘Abraham;’ and he said, ‘Behold, here I am.’” I prefer the marginal notes use of the word “test” rather than “tempt.” God does not tempt, but He does test His people.

“And He (God) said, ‘Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.'”

The reason I emphasize the word “only” in verse 2 is because as far as God is concerned, Isaac is Abraham’s only son. Ishmael didn’t count as Abraham’s son. The reason is that it is through the line of Isaac that the Nation of Israel and The Messiah were to come. So I want you to make special note of God’s reference to Isaac as Abraham’s only son whom He loved.

The mountain to which God directed Abraham we know today as Mount Moriah, in the heart of Jerusalem. On Mount Moriah stands the Mosque of Omar (I read recently the structure there is actually a shrine). When one enters the shrine, coming up out of what we would call the basement, is a huge rock around which the shrine was built. Supposedly, this is the rock upon which Abraham was to offer Isaac. The point I’m making is that Mount Moriah is the very same place in Scripture where Solomon’s Temple rested. So, everything in Israel is specific in time, in prophecy, in everything. And here we see that before the Nation of Israel was a reality, Mount Moriah had become a place of tremendous importance.

Genesis 22:3-5

“And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave (carried) the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.” In verse 4, underline the phrase “on the third day.” This should immediately tell us that this is going to be a picture of Christ’s death, burial and Resurrection.

“Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said unto his young men, ‘Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.”

Underline “and come again to you(!). What did Abraham know in his heart? He knew that even if Isaac’s life had to be taken, God would raise him from the dead so that he could come back with his father. That much Abraham knew and believed. This again, is the total picture now of what Christ would accomplish on the Cross. I believe we are perfectly correct to say that in this situation, Isaac is a type of Christ and Abraham is a type of God the Father. They exhibit the same love relationship, the same sacrifice situation that Jesus and God shared.

Genesis 22:6

“And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.” We have said before that Isaac was a young man of about twenty, and had certainly been witness to more than one sacrifice and order of worship for the ancients.

Genesis 22:7-9

“And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, ‘My father:’ and he said, ‘Here am I, my son.’ And he said, ‘Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?’” Amazingly, at this point, Abraham didn’t say, “Isaac, it’s going to be you!” Instead he said:

“And Abraham said, ‘My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering:’ so they went both of them together. And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.”

For the ordinary, strapping eighteen or twenty-year-old, what would we expect his reaction to be? This was one situation in which the son could have easily whipped his father. But what do we see in Isaac? Complete obedience! Again, take this example 2,000 years into the future. When it came time for those Romans to begin scourging Jesus, and whipping Him, and pulling out His beard and crushing that crown of thorns onto His head, what could He have done? He could have rebelled. He could have thrown it all aside. Scriptures say He could have called down ten legions of angels. He didn’t have to go through all that! But what did He do? In complete obedience to His Father, He suffered at the hands of all those infidels and the raging religionists of His day, and He went to the Cross. So it was with Isaac. He obediently let Abraham bind him and lay him upon the altar.

Genesis 22:10

“And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.”

And here we have that term again… “The Angel of the Lord, God the Son. (I don’t want to call Him Jesus in the Old Testament, because the Scriptures don’t), but it is God The Son, Jehovah, the same Person, but in His Old Testament character.

Genesis 22:11,12

“And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, ‘Abraham, Abraham:’ and he said, ‘Here am I.’ And he said, ‘Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.’”

Now, let’s relate this to the life of a believer. Do believers suffer? Some of them have gone through tremendous suffering, yet they have maintained the best attitudes and happiest dispositions that you can witness. Their suffering has allowed them to prove to God just how much they love Him. The reason God brings times of testing and tribulation is to test our mettle. What do a lot of people do? They get bitter and angry and rebellious.

But to the truly believing heart, when hard times come, God becomes all the more precious. This is a lesson we all have to learn. God is not going to let us escape problems, He is simply going to be our hope as we go through them. This same thing was happening to Abraham. God said to Abraham, “I know now that you love me, because you were willing to sacrifice your beloved son.” It’s the same way with God the Father, we know that He loves us completely because He sent Christ to the Cross. The only things that put Jesus on that Cross were the love of God and the sins of mankind.

Genesis 22:13

“And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.”

You almost have to wonder whether Abraham was expecting something like this, when in verse 8 he said, “God will provide.” It seems he must have known. God has never changed! So go back with me to Genesis 4. In the timeline we’ve shown in the last few lessons, we’ve seen that over and over again. The situations changed from man’s point of view; man’s responsibilities changed. But did God ever change? No! Never!

I believe in the dispensational approach to Bible study, because it’s the easiest way to understand Scripture. The best illustration I’ve run across is our own presidential administrations. I’m going to use Carter and Reagan because they’re probably the best two for comparison that I can think of. First, we had four years of President Carter. His administration reflected his own political ideology. Then came President Reagan, who was almost totally opposite in his approach to politics and so forth, which we experienced during his administration. But they were both laboring under the same Constitution. The Constitution didn’t change, even though the administrations did. Every time we get a new president, we get a new administration and things are going to change to some degree but the Constitution never does. It was the same way here in Scripture. Things changed drastically when Adam and Eve came out of the Garden; again they changed drastically coming out of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and going under the Law; it was far different coming out from under the Law and entering into the Age of Grace. But God never changed!

Back to Genesis 4. Here God was dealing with Cain. Remember that they didn’t yet have the Law, but God had told them that when their conscience convicted them of having committed a wrong, they were to bring a blood sacrifice to God and He would accept them. Abel did, and the Book of Hebrews, the faith chapter (11) tells us that “by faith, Abel brought the more excellent sacrifice. But Cain rationalized, saying to himself, “Why should I go some place to barter for a lamb, when I can make a sacrifice of the things that I have grown. If I make it beautiful and make the effort to go to God with it, I will be accepted.” But he wasn’t:

Genesis 4:5,6

“But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell (Have you ever seen anyone get so angry that you could see it all over them? That’s the way Cain was, and God saw it). And the LORD said unto Cain, ‘Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?’” The LORD (Jehovah) is saying, “Cain, can’t you understand how I want you to get right with me?” God is always anxious to have a sinner reconciled to Him, just by doing what God has instructed.

Genesis 4:7a

“‘If thou doest well (if you bring me a blood sacrifice like Abel did), shalt thou not be accepted?…’”

Of course he would be! But Cain was evidently a farmer and had no access to sacrificial animals unless he’d barter with his brother Abel. Pride entered the picture, and Cain wasn’t about to do that. So God went one step further. Knowing Cain didn’t want to go through that kind of trouble, God told him, “Cain, I’ve provided a sacrifice for you,” just like God did for Abraham in Chapter 22.

Genesis 4:7b

“‘…and if thou doest not well (if you can’t bring a lamb on your own), sin (a sacrificial sin offering*) lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.’”

*I’m putting this translation in there, because in the Hebrew, the word used is identical for “sin” and “sin-offering.” I think it was unfortunate that the translators did not make that clear. God is saying? “Cain, if you won’t or can’t bring a lamb sacrifice on your own, I’ve put one at your front door for you to use. It’s not going to fight with you. He’s going to be perfectly willing to have you pick him up and bring him to me for a sacrificial offering. All you’ve got to do is pick him up and bring him.” God hasn’t changed! So now, let’s go back to Genesis 22. God providentially provided the ram, caught in the thicket; and Abraham apparently had no difficulty in getting the ram from the thicket to the altar. He had no help except, possibly, that of Isaac. Several lessons ago we went through some names of Jehovah, and made mention of this?

Genesis 22:14-18

‘And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-Jireh (The LORD who provides, or Jehovah the provider): as it is said to this day, ‘In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.’ And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, ‘By myself have I sworn,’ saith the LORD, ‘for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son;…’” Watch verse 17, and be reminded, you’ve seen this before:

“‘…That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;…’” Verse 18 is a repetition of the Abrahamic Covenant back in Chapter 12:

“‘And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.’” Unless we understand the Covenants in the Old Testament, it’s hard to comprehend what we talk about in the New Testament.

Genesis 22:19,20,23

“So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba. And it came to pass after these things, that it was told Abraham, saying, ‘Behold, Milcah, she hath also born children unto thy brother Nahor;’” Remember, Nahor was in Syria north of present day Damascus.

“And Bethuel begat Rebekah: these eight Milcah did bear to Nahor, Abraham’s brother.” Rebekah soon will come on the scene as Isaac’s wife. Now look at an interesting tidbit in Chapter 23:1:

Genesis 23:1,2

“And Sarah was an hundred and seven and twenty years old: these were the years of the life of Sarah.” It’s interesting that Sarah is the only woman mentioned in The Bible whose age is given!

“And Sarah died in Kirjath-arba; the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan: and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her.”

Though Abraham had the Middle East deeded to him in Chapter 15 by God, he still bought a tract of land to have a place to bury his wife. Verse 11, where Ephron the Hittite said to Abraham:

Genesis 23:11-13

“‘Nay, my lord, hear me: the field give I thee, and the cave that is therein, I give it thee; in the presence of the sons of my people give I it thee: bury thy dead.’ And Abraham bowed down himself before the people of the land. And he spake unto Ephron in the audience of the people of the land, saying, ‘But if thou wilt give it, I pray thee, hear me: I will give thee money for the field; take it of me, and I will bury my dead there.’”

I think it’s interesting that Abraham is not satisfied with accepting a certain amount of acres free for nothing, even though he could have. He insisted on paying for it. I don’t know how much we can connect with this, but even in present day Jewry, when it comes to the burial of their dead, they are very particular. A few years ago they made a big furor about the things being built near, or over a Jewish Holocaust cemetery. In an article in the Jerusalem Post recently, a rabbi pointed out this same thing. He said, “Even today, we Jews are particular about where we bury our loved ones.” I thought it was interesting that so much of the Old Testament record of the ancients remains true today. So they bartered; which they were both very good at – Arabs and Jews .

Genesis 23:14-18

“And Ephron answered Abraham, saying unto him, ‘My lord, hearken unto me: the land is worth four hundred shekels of silver; what is that betwixt me and thee? bury therefore thy dead.’ And Abraham hearkened unto Ephron; and Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver, which he had named in the audience of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, current money with the merchant. And the field of Ephron, which was in Mach-pelah, which was before Mamre, the field, and the cave which was therein, and all the trees that were in the field, that were in all the borders round about, were made sure Unto Abraham for a possession in the presence of the children of Heth, before all that went in at the gate of his city.” In other words, Abraham paid Ephron for the field. It was surveyed and the ownership was legally transferred to Abraham. It wasn’t only Sarah who was to be buried there, but also Abraham, Isaac, and, I think, Rebekah were buried there.

Genesis 23:19,20

“And after this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Mach-pelah before Mamre: the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan. And the field, and the cave that is therein, were made sure unto Abraham for a possession of a buryingplace by the sons of Heth.”

In our next lesson, we will be going for a bride for Isaac. Abraham is going to send his servant back into the land of his relatives to get a bride for his son, Isaac. But why go all that way when there are lots of eligible girls right at home? Abraham instructed his servant not to take a wife for Isaac from among the Canaanite women. But later on, when Esau came on the scene, he married two Canaanite women who were a grief to Isaac and Rebekah. So, keep all these things in the perspective of Scripture, because God is preparing everything for the Covenant people of Israel. This is the way I like to look at the Nation of Israel today. They are in their land in unbelief, and, contrary to everything we think, they should be. But they are still under the sovereign will of their God, because God is watching out for Israel. They are still the Covenant people, and even back here, God had to watch who they would marry.

51 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 1 - Part 3 - Book 5 - Law - Weak and Beggarly

51: Lesson 1 Part 3 Book 5 – Law – Weak and Beggarly: Genesis 21-23

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick


Law – Weak and Beggarly

Genesis 21-23

Turn with me to Exodus 19. In this lesson we are going to pursue the difference between Law and Grace. I have found that if there ever was any area of confusion among Christian people, it’s in this area. When they are able to recognize this difference, they become so excited about it that they admonish me to be sure to teach this difference between Law and Grace to others. In Exodus 19 we find that the Nation of Israel has come out of Egypt where they have been in bondage, and by virtue of the miraculous power of God they are able to cross the Red Sea and come to Mount Sinai. In Chapter 20, Moses went up onto the Mountain and received the Ten Commandments and the rest of the Law from God. When I refer to“the rest of the Law” there may be some confusion so we need to understand that “the Law” consisted of three parts:

The Moral Law commonly referred to as

The Ten Commandments

The Ecclesiastical Law which was associated with

The Temple worship

The Civil Regulations which governed how neighbor was to get along with neighbor and how they were to handle the various aspects of their society, such as how to transfer ownership of land; all intrinsic problems of a society were covered in The civil law

It is important that when we come across the word “Law” in The Bible, we need to determine whether or not the term is being used to cover all of the above aspects of the Law, or just a portion of it, such as the Ten Commandments. The text normally reveals the use clearly. In Exodus 19, we find Israel had not yet received the Law.

Exodus 19:7,8

“And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him. And all the people answered together, and said, ‘All that the LORD hath spoken we will do.’ And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.”

That’s legalism! You cannot have legalism without the flesh doing something. So Israel said, “Lord, tell us what you want us to do and we’ll do it!” Another Scripture passage we need to review is in Deuteronomy. I believe this is more or less a recapitulation of what was said in Exodus, since Deuteronomy is generally an analysis of what has gone on before. In this passage, the leaders of Israel are speaking to Moses and tell him:

Deuteronomy 5:27

“Go thou near, and hear all that the LORD our God shall say: and speak thou unto us all that the LORD our God shall speak unto thee; and we will hear it, and do it.”

Turn to Hebrews 11. Some of these things are just so basic we dare not skip over them! This is The Bible definition of faith, as it is laid out in the opening verses of this chapter.

Hebrews 11:1

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Faith is the very substance, the very core, of things hoped for; faith is the evidence of things not seen. When we get into areas of faith, we’re dealing in areas where you cannot use your five senses. You cannot touch them, you can’t put them in a test tube in the laboratory; faith is the area of the invisible; the spirit world.

Hebrews 11:2,3

“For by it (faith) the elders obtained a good report (I believe Paul wrote Hebrews, and here he is referring to those of the Old Testament times, the forefathers). Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”

There’s no way to prove that the world was made in this way scientifically. We must believe that God made it this way, because God said that He did, and He expects us to believeHim. He spoke the word, and the universe came together.

Hebrews 11:6

“But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”

We cannot please God unless we believe what He has said! I hope no one ever accuses me of promoting an “easy-believeism.” In other words, “believe in the Lord Jesus, and you’re all right.” I never teach that. When I talk about “believing” or “faith plus nothing, I’m talking about a belief and a faith that is so rock solid you can honestly say, “With all my spirit, I know that Christ died for me. I know that my sins have been forgiven because His Blood has taken care of them. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt He has risen from the dead. I have no doubt of these things. I know He did them for me!” When someone believes like that, and it has become “a power of God experience, it’s going to change his life! It is going to have such an effect that you don’t have to have a set of rules and regulations to guide your behavior. Right action will come from that power God hasplaced within you. But it has to start with faith! We have to believe it because God has said it.

The Law included the Ten Commandments which were set in stone. God didn’t see fit to put the Ten Commandments on a teddy bear that someone could cuddle up to. They were, instead, cut into cold, hard tables of stone, and were immovable. The Law could do nothing but condemn. It had no power whatsoever to help a man keep from stealing or from committing adultery. All the Law could do was say, “Don’t you do that!” or, “Do this!” Even the first commandment about love said:

Matthew 22:37

“…’Thou shalt love the Lord thy God….'”

Can you force anyone to love you? It’s impossible. Love has to spring from within. So it is with the Ten Commandments. They did nothing but stand in stark reality to convict and condemn. See how foolish it is when people say something like, “I’m doing the best I can. I’m keeping the Ten Commandments.” That’s impossible! The “good” Jew, under the Law, as soon as he realized that he had broken one of the Laws, had to reach down into the second part of the Law to practice what God had said to do with regard to approaching God, and regarding worship. He had to do everything according to the instructions provided by God, according to the letter of the Law. For example, until Israel got into the Promised Land they had the Tabernacle as their place of worship. When they camped, the Tabernacle was at the center of the community, with three of the tribes camped on each side of it.

You’ll remember that the group that came out of Egypt, and camped at Sinai, was made up of from three to six million people. Consequently, the people who were on the outer fringes of the camp were a long way from the altar contained in the Tabernacle. Put yourself in their shoes for a minute. Suppose someone from the outer perimeters of the camp had broken the Law. Maybe he stole something from his neighbor. He knows that he’s broken the Law. He knows that the Law said, “Thou shalt not steal”, and because of that he has to do something to make the situation right. But, he might think, it’s a long way from here to the priest and altar, so I’m going to admit to God that I’ve sinned, and I don’t think that I’ll have to make that sacrifice. So that’s what he does. He says, “God, I’ve broken your commandment. I’ve stolen from my neighbor, but I don’t want to go all the way up to the Tabernacle to make a sacrifice.” According to the Law, was that man accepted? NO! Why? Because he did not do what God said to do! He didn’t take the sacrifice to the priest. That was works.

A second example. Let’s say that this same fellow commits the same sin, recognizes it, and says, “My neighbor down the road had this same problem a few weeks ago. He took a sacrifice to the priest and everything was all right. I think that’s what I’ll do.” So he does that. Now, was he accepted? NO! Why? Because he didn’t do it by faith in what God had said to do. Do you see the difference? So either way, he could go through some of the motions by faith, but if he didn’t do it exactly according to God’s explicit instructions, he wouldn’t be accepted. But on the other hand, even if he carried out God’s instructions to the letter, but didn’t do it in faith, he still wouldn’t be accepted. That’s legalism. That was the Law! Let’s look at the timeline we used in the last lesson.

We saw that God began to deal with the Nation of Israel through Abraham and all the prophetic promises, and that Messiah came and was crucified. Now, we need to look at the Book of Acts. This is where a lot of people end up in confusion. Many churches teach that, somehow, the “Age of Grace” started somewhere back during Jesus’ ministry on earth as recorded in the Gospels; not that Jesus lived out His life and worked His ministry under the auspices of the Law. Everything that took place in the Gospels did so under the Law. The Temple was still going strong. Sacrifices were being brought by the thousands. Whenever people would come to Jesus, He would tell them to go to the priests and make theproper sacrifices. Remember the ten lepers who were healed? Jesus told them to go show themselves to the priest (Luke17:12).

When the rich, young ruler came to Jesus asking how to be saved, Jesus told him to keep the Commandments. (Luke 18:18-23) Jesus meant that he should keep the whole Law. If he broke a Commandment, he had to come by the prescribed way to approach God. These things all happened under the Law, and Jesus labored under that Law for the entire period of His ministry.

Let’s look at Acts 10. According to all the chronologists that I’ve studied (the men who have put a time element on Biblical events), Peter went to the house of Cornelius about eight to ten years after Pentecost. That’s a long time! God knew the heart and mind of Peter (which was correct under the Law), and when God wanted Peter to go the home of thisGentile, He knew He’d have to do something special to get him there. So, while the men were coming from Caesarea to Joppa to get Peter, God gave Peter a vision to prepare him to go with them. Otherwise, Peter never would have gone! Peter would never have gone to that Gentile home unless God had taken drastic measures. God showed Peter the vision of the sheet which contained all manner living things.

Act 10:13,14

“And there came a voice to him, ‘Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.’” Remember the time element – about ten years down the road from Pentecost when this took place. But what was Peter’s answer?

“But Peter said, ‘Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.”

Peter was a Law-keeping Jew. He wasn’t going to eat anything that was not legally acceptable under the Law. Now, if that’s not enough to convince you, let’s look at verse 25. The men have reached Peter and have taken him back to their master’s house.

Acts 10:25

“And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.”

That should give you a good indication of how far from the truth this man Cornelius was. The passage had said earlier that he was a good man, he gave alms, and he prayed to God, but yet he was so ignorant of the true God that he fell down to worship a mere human being. Verses 26 and 27:

Acts 10:26,27

“But Peter took him up, saying, ‘Stand up; I myself also am a man.’ And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together.”

Try putting yourself in Peter’s shoes. He was a Law-keeping Jew, going into a strange area, and even worse, into the home of a Gentile. He was very uncomfortable, even though God had made it clear to him that this is what he was to do. Look what Peter said as he went in:

Acts 10:28

“And he said unto them, ‘Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath showed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.”

Peter said in effect, “I’m not supposed to be here. But God . . .” Peter would have never gone there if God had not forced the issue! What I’m trying to show here is that even at this late date, these Jewish believers, such as Peter and the eleven, and all those who had come to believe in Christ, were all Law-keepers. This is hard for people to comprehend. Everything was still in the prophetic program. Christ had been crucified, buried and had ascended, but when we get into Chapter 3 of Acts, Peter was still expecting that Christ would come to set up His Kingdom in Israel with the believers. We’re now coming to a place of change. God was going to usher in something totally different than had ever been available to the human race before. He was about to initiate the “Age of Grace.” Let’s look at some of the basic tenets or doctrines of this Age of Grace. Turn to I Corinthians 15. Remember in the last lesson we looked at the passages in Romans and Ephesians, where Paul referred to the “mystery”, that secret that had been hidden in the mind of God? Now it has been revealed!

I Corinthians 15:1,2

“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel (not a gospel) which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.”

Do you see what that says? It is by this Gospel that we Gentiles are saved. Now verse 3:

I Corinthians 15: 3

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures;

If you study Paul’s letters, you’ll see that he constantly refers to the revelations that he got from the ascended Lord. How the Lord revealed the new truths to him that were never before revealed in the Scriptures. These truths were prophesied, but it was never revealed that Salvation would be for Jews and Gentiles alike.

I Corinthians 15:4

“And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”

Now, let’s see what Paul says about this very premise of Christ’s death, burial and Resurrection. Turn back to I Corinthians where Paul writes:

I Corinthians 1:18a

“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness;…”

We see that all around us, don’t we. People just don’t comprehend how someone who lived 2,000 years ago could have any effect on us today.

I Corinthians 1:18b

“…but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”

That’s what I want you to understand. The Gospel is the Power of God! Let’s use an illustration. Let’s imagine a newly married couple, and the husband has put on the wall a whole list of do’s and don’ts for his wife; things she must or must not do if she is going to stay out of trouble. If she’s human, what’s she going to do? She’ll put up her own list for her husband. “If I have to do this, then you have to do that.” That would be a marriage based on Law. “Thou shaltThou shalt not.” Legalism! What’s lacking there? LOVE.

Now, let’s take the same couple that love each other, what are they going to do? They’ll do the same things that they would have written down, but it won’t be by command, it will be from hearts of love. This is exactly the difference between Law and Grace. Everything that God said “Thou shalt” does not now become permissive. It now becomes that which comes from within. In other words, the believer is automatically going to adhere to the things written in the Law. The believer is not going to steal; he’s not going to commit adultery; he’s not going to worship a pagan idol; and on through the Commandments. There is only one commandment that Paul does not reiterate as he does all the others.

Ephesians 6:1,2

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)”

Paul never says that we can now break the Commandments, or that they are no longer any earthly good. It’s just that we are not under their demands in worship and their condemnation. Once we recognize that, “Yes, we were Law-breakers, we have broken the Law; but now in Christ we have become everything that the Law demands of us, but from an inward working power. Look at:

Romans 13:8

“Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.”

Now, all you have to do is read the following verses in Romans 13. The Commandments are all listed there.

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