614 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 1 Part 2 Book 52 - By Faith - Part 2

614: By Faith – Part 2 – Lesson 1 Part 2 Book 52

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 1 * PART 2 * BOOK 52

By Faith – Part 2

Hebrews 11:9–23

Now let’s continue with our Bible study in the Book of Hebrews. In our last lesson we finished verse 9 of chapter 11. So let’s go to verse 10.

Hebrews 11:10a

“For he…” Abraham – because of that Abrahamic Covenant. And I just put on the board the basics of the Abrahamic Covenant – and those of you who have heard me teach at seminars and so forth, this is almost a staple of my teaching format; that that Abrahamic Covenant in a nutshell, was that out of Abraham would come a nation of people. And one day God would move them into a strip of land that He had promised and deeded to Abraham. And then someday in the future, of course never setting dates, that someday in the future He would provide their government in the Person (Christ as) their King.

And so all of the Old Testament then, from Genesis chapter 12 on up until the New Testament opens up, is looking forward to that coming promised King. As I mentioned in the last program, they became a nation of people when they were in Egypt in slavery. And maybe we should go look at the verse. Come all the way back to Genesis chapter 46, and let’s start with verse 1. And of course, we’re up to the time of Jacob, and his son Joseph is already down in Egypt.

Genesis 46:1-3a

“And Israel (the man Jacob) took his journey with all that he had and came to Beersheba, (which is down in the Negev or South of Jerusalem) and offered sacrifices unto the God of his father Isaac. 2. And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I.” 3. And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt;…” Now you remember in the last program we read where God told Isaac what? Don’t go to Egypt. Sojourn in the land of promise and I will bless you. So it was a forbidden territory to go down into Egypt. But now you see, God in His Sovereignty, He can do this. Now He tells Jacob:

Genesis 46:3b

“…fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there (down in Egypt) make of thee a great nation:” See how plain this is. Now they were down in Egypt then another 215 years. That’s a long time. See I’m afraid, too many times, people do not take time in Scripture in its full impact because we look at the whole period of 6,000 years and consequently we think 200 is just a drop in the bucket. But, 200 years is 200 years. That’s a long time. Look what America has done in the last hundred, let alone two hundred. And so, 215 years from the time that Jacob goes down into Egypt until Moses brings them out, and they are now several million people. I always say from six to seven million. And they were the largest individual nation group in the whole Middle East. And so they were a great nation of people, all because of Abraham’s response of faith. Now back to Hebrews chapter 11, and verse 10.

Hebrews 11:10

“For he looked for a city (a city of which this King would be ruling and reigning) which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”

Now, of course, the book of Revelation hadn’t been written yet and so that gorgeous city foursquare had not been even mentioned anywhere in Scripture. But I think that has a part in everything that Abraham was looking forward to – that when God would literally rule on the planet and He would be in control, it would be Heaven on earth. And that’s why it’s called then “the Gospel of the Kingdom” because Heaven would come down on earth in the Person of the King. Well, all that was out in the future from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob’s day, but they looked forward by faith. All right, now verse 11.

Hebrews 11:11

“Through faith also Sara (the true wife of Abram) herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child (when?) when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.” It was a miraculous birth. They were way beyond the age of childbearing. But God, in His Sovereignty brought it about and so she was delivered when she was past age because of her faith.

Now you’re going to probably get tired of hearing me hammer faith, but remember, this is what God is looking for. God wants people who will believe what He says. And it’s just a matter of responding to His Sovereignty – to say, “Yes, God I believe you. I believe every word you say and have said.” And that’s pleasing to His ears. All right, that’s the whole idea, how that God responds to the faith of human kind. Now verse 12. So because of the faith of Abraham and Sarah:

Hebrews 11:12a

“Therefore sprang there even of one, (one man) and him as good as dead,…” Because he was a hundred. I hope there’s no hundred-year-old ones in here! (Laughter) I’ve had a few in my classes over the years. In fact, I think the lady might have just passed away. Owen, where are you? When I was teaching some over in your nursing home, we had that lady who was a little over a hundred and she and her husband had actually served the American Government with Chiang Kai-shek, you remember that Owen? That’s a long time ago. Oh, she said, we had many a formal dinner with Chiang Kai-shek and his lovely wife. But she was a hundred years old. And that’s a long time of living. But that’s how old Abraham was when Isaac is born. Even in that period of time it was past the age of normal childbearing. All right, so “him as good as dead.” Now finishing the verse.

Hebrews 11:12b

“…so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.” Now I’m sure that that’s a play on words. It’s just simply to show us that the number of people that came from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were such a multitude. Now again, I’m stressing everywhere I teach, and I haven’t done much of it on the program, but I’ll probably hit a little more in a later half hour today. But, do you realize that the Jewish people who had been scattered into every nation under heaven for the last, you might say, 2,600 years, going back to Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian captivity – they have been scattered out amongst all the nations of the world. They should have disappeared. They should have just simply been assimilated into the other nations of people, by intermarriage and what have you.

But because of these promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob there, they are back in the land tonight. And the world can’t comprehend it. But the little Nation of Israel is there because God has kept them under His wing, even though they’re there in unbelief. I wouldn’t doubt but that there are more almost agnostic, if not atheistic Jews in Israel than believers of any sort. But God has kept them in spite of all of their adversity. They have not intermarried to the place that they lose their identity and they’re still God’s covenant nation. And I don’t think people stop to analyze that. That a little nation of only an average of 10 million people should have disappeared. They should have just gone out into the various nations by intermarriage and lost their identity. But they didn’t. And there they are. A Jew is a Jew is a Jew.

I was reading in some magazine the other night. A Jewish community clear up in the boondocks of Siberia. And they had their Synagogue and they had been practicing Judaism for centuries. Just a little pocket of them. Well, that’s the way it’s been all the way around the world. And they have kept their identity. All right, so here it is. Verse 13 now.

Hebrews 11:13a

“These all died in (what?) faith,…” They never stopped believing that this Abrahamic promise was going to be fulfilled through this nation of people coming from these three men. All right, they didn’t receive the promises. Not on this earth.

Hebrews 11:13b

“…not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” Why? Well, as yet they don’t have a designated homeland. They do not have a designated king or government or constitution. They are just simply held together by God’s invisible power. But nevertheless, they’ve always survived as a nation of people. All right now then, verse 14.

Hebrews 11:14

“For they that say such things declare plainly (without any gobbledy-gook to it) that they seek a country.” One that would be ruled by the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Now let’s see, let’s go back to Luke. I don’t think I did this in the last several programs and if I did, it won’t hurt to repeat. Let’s go back to Luke chapter 1 – and this of course is the father of John the Baptist at the time of John the Baptist’s birth. So, we’re approaching the coming of the Messiah but He certainly hasn’t made His appearance as yet. So the father of John the Baptist by virtue of being filled with the Holy Spirit, up there in verse 67:

Luke 1:67-68a

“And his father (that is the father of John the Baptist) Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, (or spoke forth) saying, 68. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel;…”Now every time I teach this I make the point – there’s no Gentile in here. Not a reference to anybody but Jews. Israel. “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel.” Now we know the Abrahamic Covenant looks way past all this to when this Messiah will become the Savior of the whole world but, remember, He’s going to deal with Israel first. You know I’m always quoting Romans 15 verse 8 – I guess I’ll quote it every chance I get.

Romans 15:8

“Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:” That’s what Paul writes in Romans, that Jesus Christ came to confirm these promises that Hebrews is also reviewing. And now this is what Zacharias is talking about. The promises that have been made to Israel. All right, verse 69.

Luke 1:69-70

“And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us (Israel) in the house of his servant David; (how many Gentiles in the House of David? None. We’re not talking to Gentiles. We’re talking to Israel. Read on.) 70. As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, (the Old Testament) which have been since the world (ages) began:” Here it comes in verse 71.

Luke 1:71a

“That we (the Nation of Israel) should be saved from our enemies,…” Now goodness sakes, who were Israel’s enemies at the time of the birth of John the Baptist? Well, the same ones that are there today. Nothing’s changed. The Egyptians hated the Jews. The Syrians hated the Jews. The Arab world hated the Jews. This is nothing new. And so this is what Zacharias is proclaiming. “Oh, when their Messiah comes they’ll be protected from all their enemies.”

Luke 1:71b-73

“…and from the hand of all that hate us; 72. To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; 73. The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,” They hadn’t forgotten what God had promised to Abraham. That’s been handed down – and then the prophets started writing as the Spirit moved them and everything is moving toward the time when the promises made to Abraham would become fulfilled. And then, goodness sakes, because of the rejection of the Messiah and crucifying Him, God stretched out another 2,000 years by dispersing them into the nations of the world and turned to us Gentiles with the Gospel of Grace through the Apostle Paul. But listen, everything we’re seeing on the planet today is screaming – now I don’t set dates, it may be another 50 years, you know a year is nothing in God’s sight. But it certainly wouldn’t appear that it could be that long because everything now is getting ready for the final fulfillment of all these promises.

Israel is back in the land for the most part. Oh, they’ve still got a tough row to hoe. They’re not through by any means. In fact come back with me to Matthew chapter 24, and this tells you that Israel’s worst is still ahead of them and I think we all realize that it must be awful to live in constant fear of somebody blowing up your bus or shooting at your car. But, they’ve still got, at least for now, America as a friend. They’ve got a few other areas of the world that still are friends of Israel, but listen, this is what’s coming. And this is from the words of the Lord Himself. And if anybody…anybody shows any doubt about the current scenario in the Middle East, just show them a verse like this. Hey, this is all promised. Israel is just at the beginning; the worst is yet to come.

Matthew 24:9

“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, (that is the powers that be.) and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.” Now, never forget, why are the Jews such a hated people? Because Satan knew, from the day that God told Abraham, that that nation of people would be the nation through whom all the blessings of the world would come. And Satan knew that if he could destroy the Jewish people, then everything that God said falls through the cracks. And so this is why they’ve been under such intense pressure. Satan is doing everything he can to thwart the will of God and if God does not have the Nation of Israel on which He can fulfill His promises, then He’s lost His Sovereignty and Satan knows that. And so this is why we have to pray for the Jewish people – they are under a Satanic attack, because Satan wants to destroy them.

Come back to Luke chapter 1, I didn’t quite finish there. Luke chapter 1 again, and just another verse or two, then we’ll go back to Hebrews. We did verse 73. “The oath which he sware to our father Abraham.” Now here comes the promise again. Now remember this Zacharias, a priest of Israel, is under the power of the fullness of the Holy Spirit as he speaks.

Luke 1:74-75

“That he would grant unto us, (the Nation of Israel) that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him (their Messiah, their King, their Savior, their Redeemer. How?) without fear, (it’ll be Heaven on earth. See?) 75. In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.” Now that’s what Israel is waiting for. When they can live in total peace and in fellowship with their God and they can see fulfilled these covenant promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. All right, let’s come back to Hebrews chapter 11 once again and make a little headway this half-hour. And now verse 13.

Hebrews 11:13

“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, (they never did have that king. They never did have that glorious kingdom on earth. They died looking for it.) but (they)having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, (by faith, remember) and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” They alone were in that place of promised blessings. All right, verse 14.

Hebrews 11:14-15

“For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 15. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.” Now that’s kind of a tough verse because it’s a lot of “double” in there. But, had they been mindful of the Ur of Chaldees or maybe even Egypt, then they would have been from the human side, drawn back, and they would have never had the faith to accept the glorious thing that was still future. Because you remember, when they came out of Egypt and they were under all the trials and tribulations of that desert existence, what was their murmuring statement? “Oh, would to God that we’d stayed in Egypt.” See? At least we didn’t have to swallow dust every day. But, the whole idea was that out of their adversity would come the blessings.

And I guess the lesson is for us isn’t it? You know I’ve said on this program over and over – God never, through Paul’s writings or anybody else, promises the believer a life of a rose-petaled pathway. A lot of people try to tell us that but it’s not true. God does not promise us a rose-petaled pathway. On the other hand we are promised that we are going to have tribulation. We’re going to suffer. We’re going to have obstacles ahead of us. And in spite of it all our faith keeps looking past all of that.

And so this is a whole concept of Christian living that we don’t have to have all these good things every day of our lives. That’s not what we’re here for. But we are going to suffer adversity as well as enjoy the blessings. Okay, now verse 16. Here we come to that word that we’ve seen all through the book of Hebrews. What is it? Better. B-E-T-T-E-R. Verse 16.

Hebrews 11:16a

“But now (because of faith) they desire a better country,…” Remember how we’ve been stressing this all through Hebrews that everything in the past was okay, it was good. But this is so much better – even the eternal view. This is so much better, because now they were looking for not just the earthly things, but heavenly things.

Hebrews 11:16b

“…that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.” I was going to take you back to Revelation this time, but I don’t have to, because you all know what it is. The streets paved with pure gold. The gates made of pure pearl. And all the gemstones that you can imagine are the stones of the foundation. Oh, that city is coming. God hasn’t forgotten. God is never going to go back on His Word. And so this beautiful city that they were looking for by faith, will one day become a reality!

613 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 1 Part 1 Book 52 - By Faith

613: By Faith – Lesson 1 Part 1 Book 52

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 1 * PART 1 * BOOK 52

By Faith

Hebrews 11:9–23

For those of you out in television, we do cherish your letters, we appreciate them, they are such an encouragement and we just continue to pray that the Lord will give us Lydias; hearts that He’s opened and that are responsive to the Gospel, and as always we covet your prayers.

Now we’re going to get right back into where we left off in our last program. We’re in Hebrews chapter 11 and we’re about ready to go into verse 8 – and in fact we touched on it a little bit in the last program. Now as I’ve been going through Hebrews almost at the beginning of every four programs, I remind our listening audience that this letter is written primarily, not exclusively, to Jewish people who were having a hard time making the break with Judaism (with the Temple worship and the sacrifices), and stepping away from it into this Age of Grace by faith in Paul’s Gospel, plus nothing, for salvation.

Now, I’m always emphasizing, that is not easy. We see it in cult people or we see people that are just so totally indoctrinated in a legalistic religion, it is so hard to just break away and say, “You mean, I don’t have to do anything but BELIEVE?” That’s exactly right! And of course a lot of people just can’t accept that. But, if Christ finished the work of the cross, and because it was finished He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on High, then we have to take His word for it.

Now that doesn’t mean that we just simply say, “Well, I believe” and then continue right on with our same old lifestyle. No, we have to realize that when we become a believer of that finished work, or what we call Paul’s Gospel, that mandates a change in our lifestyle. We’re going to live lives, hopefully, pleasing in His sight. And we’re going to seek His will in every aspect of life. And that’s all a follow-up to our believing. And so I never want to leave folks with the idea, “Well, as long as I believe, I’m all right.” Well, don’t take advantage of that because there are responsibilities that follow our believing.

But nevertheless, Hebrews, now as a main theme, is directed to Jews who were having a hard time making a break out of legalism and into this glorious Age of Grace. Consequently, as I’ve said over and over, you don’t find the plan of salvation as we present it, in the book of Hebrews. In other words, if you’re leading someone to the Lord, you don’t go to the book of Hebrews to show them how to be saved, it’s just not in here. But, like the Old Testament, all of these things are for our learning. And for the believer now to come into the book of Hebrews, we get all of this reinforcement of our faith and that’s the whole thrust.

All right now then, let’s continue our study in Chapter 11 – “the faith chapter.” And again, it’s just to show us that these Old Testament people walked and lived and were saved by faith even as we are. But, here’s where we have to be careful. They didn’t place their faith in a finished work of the cross; it hadn’t happened yet. So what did they believe? What God said to them! It was God’s Word to them. And we’ve already covered the pre-flood people. And Noah is a good example.

God didn’t tell Noah, “Now believe that I’m going to die on a Roman cross and be raised from the dead.” No way. But what did God tell Noah? “There’s going to be a flood. I’m going to destroy the human race. Build an Ark for the saving of yourself and your house.” Now believing what God said, what did Noah do? He built the Ark. And so all the way up through the Old Testament it has always been by faith, but not in that finished work of the cross as we experience today (and what God tells us to believe through the Apostle Paul’s writings), but rather in the Old Testament they believed what God told them in that day.

All right, so now then as we come into verse 8, and like I said, I know we touched on it in the last part of our last program, but his great epitome of faith, the man, Abraham, who was steeped in idolatry down there in the lower end of the Euphrates River. Remember Joshua tells us his whole family was idol worshippers. The whole city was given over to idolatry, and yet God goes down, and I think person-to-person, like He did with Abraham more than once, confronted him. And God said, “Abram I want you to leave all this, I want you to get away from this pagan environment. I want you to get out of your pagan family and go to a place that I’ll show you.” He didn’t tell him that it would be Canaan. He just said, “Go to a place that I will show you.” And what’d Abraham do? He left. Why? Because he believed what God said, plus nothing. He wasn’t circumcised. There was no Law to keep. He just simply obeyed what God said and God counted it to him for what? Righteousness. See? He didn’t repent. He didn’t grovel. He just simply believed God and God reckoned him a righteous man. Now verse 9.

Hebrews 11:9a

“By faith…” By faith; by just simply believing what God had said, now I can comprehend that it was probably easier for the man to believe something when he had seen God, Who I’m sure came down in human form, as He did in Genesis 18. I think you’re all acquainted with that chapter. When the Lord and two angels came walking up the path and Abram ran to meet them, what did he do? Killed the fatted calf and they had a meal like you wouldn’t believe. And they ate. That was the Lord Himself in what we call a theophany – God in human form. And that happened periodically in the time of the Patriarchs.

Now, many times we have to look at these things logically and ask ourselves, “Why?” And I guess I’d never really answered it myself until the last 24 hours. Because they didn’t have a written Word. Now just think about that. All the way from Adam until we get to Moses, there was no written Word from God. So how did He communicate with them? He appeared to them from time to time and He instructed them, and so maybe it was a little easier to believe what God said since they saw Him say it. But it’s the same God that speaks through this Book. And so now we’re under that same set of responsibilities – that we are to believe what God has said.

In fact, go back to Hebrews chapter 1 and that just sort of confirms what I said. Hebrews chapter 1, right up there at verses 1 and 2 – and this is just exactly what we’re saying. And the very first word is what? “God.” Remember God never changes. He’s been the same from eternity past and He will be into eternity future. He never changes. But He certainly changes, what I refer to over and over as, His modus operandi – His means of operating. In other words, He deals with us totally differently than He dealt with Adam and Eve, Abraham and Moses, and all the others. In this Age of Grace, under the writings of the Apostle Paul, He deals with us quite differently than all the others, yet still by faith.

All right, so here’s the whole idea. There was no written Word. There was no organized system of worship. Now that makes a big difference. All right, so now you come into the text:

Hebrews 1:1

“God, who at sundry (or various) times and in diverse (different) manners spake in time past unto the fathers (how?) by the prophets.” He didn’t come down and speak to the people, face-to-face like he did with Abraham, Adam and Eve or even Jacob. But He spoke through the prophets. Now verse 2, and here God changes things:

Hebrews 1:2

“Hath in these last days (that is since His first advent) spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom (the Son) also he made the worlds;”

Now when God speaks to us through the Son, that’s why the Apostle Paul then tells us that all of his revelations came directly from where? The ascended Lord. So when we read Paul’s epistles now we realize that God is speaking to us through God the Son Who in turn is inspiring this Apostle to write what we are to understand and believe for salvation, and it’s that much difference. All right, so these Patriarchs were still believers of what God said and when they responded to it, God in turn responds by calling them righteous. They were in right relationship with Him. Now back to chapter 11.

Hebrews 11:9a

“By faith (by taking God at His Word) he (Abraham) sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country,…” And indeed it was. It was foreign territory to a Syrian down there in the Euphrates. The Canaanites were dwelling in the land. Now I’m not going to mention it in this program, but I will before the afternoon is over; we’re going to be looking at the difference between the Canaanites and the Arabs. There is a big difference. The Canaanites were not Arabs. And so the Canaanites were in the land of promise and it was amongst the Canaanites that Abram, or later Abraham and Sarah and then later on Isaac and so forth – it was among the Canaanites that they sojourned.

Now I think I pointed out in one of the previous programs, does that give you an inkling? What did Abraham have to do as he moved across the country with his flocks and herds? Well, he would have to ask permission. “Can I run my flocks through your orchard?” And he would probably guarantee that they wouldn’t harm anything that was productive. “But, can we just have the grass?” Because he was a foreigner. He was a sojourner in a foreign land. Even though it was the land that God had promised. So you’ve got to keep all these things in your mind as you read about these.

Hebrews 11:9b

“…dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:”

All right, so he “sojourned in a strange land” only because he knew he could trust the God who told him to leave Ur. Now, just to show you what patience that took to maintain that kind of faith, I can’t pinpoint it in Scripture so I’ll again just have to simply say, it’s my own personal feeling, that Abram was probably 50 years old when God first spoke to him in Ur of the Chaldees. Now, I think all of you know – how old was he when the promised son was born, Isaac? One hundred! So how many years did that poor man live day in and day out by faith, waiting for the birth of that son? Fifty years.

Now today we’re living in a time of instant gratification. I want it NOW! But Abraham waited fifty years before he finally got that son of promise, Isaac. So this is why he is such an example of faith and patience and integrity, that he was willing to just know that someday God is going to come through. He’s faithful. So, “he sojourned in the land, dwelling in tabernacles.” Now what’s the other word for tabernacle? Tents. Well, what was the purpose? Well, he couldn’t build a home of stone and concrete because he was just simply sojourning up and down the land, waiting for something to gel, of course. But until it did, he was living in tents that were temporary abodes that could be taken up and moved.

“And he was dwelling in tents with Isaac, and all the way on up into time of Jacob.” Nothing is concrete yet so far as the promises are concerned. But they were all “heirs with him of the same promise.” Now we’ve got to go back, don’t we? It’s been a long time since we’ve taught Genesis. And let’s go back briefly to the Abrahamic Covenant itself. I’m not going to go into it in detail, but back in Genesis chapter 12, the Abrahamic Covenant. And I’ve made the statement over and over and over through the years. If you can’t understand the Abrahamic Covenant, then this Book is a dilemma. You can’t figure it out until you understand how all of this promise of a Messiah came about.

All right, Genesis chapter 12. Now ,I always make reference that the very first promise of a coming Messiah was right after Adam and Eve fell in Genesis 3:15 – where we have the promise of the coming of the “seed of the woman.” But, for those first 2,000 years it just sort of laid there dormant. There was just nothing transpiring to get that seed growing. It was there, because Abraham comes out of one of the three sons of Noah remember. And God was in control of all that. But beginning with Abraham 2,000 years after Adam, 2,000 years before Christ, things are now going to start moving. Now here is the Abrahamic Covenant.

Genesis 12:1

“Now the LORD had said unto Abram, (in chapter 11) Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will (sometime in the future) shew thee:” See He doesn’t tell him here, for example, I’m going to send you up to the Mediterranean. He doesn’t tell him I’m going to send you up to the land of the Canaanites. No. He just says, “Leave Ur and go to a land that I will show you.” Well now, this is all means of testing the man’s faith. Now here come the promises, verse 2.

Genesis 12:2-3a

“And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee:…” Do you see all those “I will’s.” Those are promises from God Himself to the man Abraham. And again as I’ve said so often on this program, all you have to do is become a student of history and you’ll see that this has never fallen short. Every empire, every king, every despot that turned on the Nation of Israel met their own doom. And it’s never changed. You can bring it all the way up; I always like to use Great Britain as probably the best example in modern history. When Great Britain stabbed Israel in the back after World War II, Great Britain went down and they’ve been a no-account nation ever since. And, morally, spiritually, Great Britain is in the gutter, and it was primarily precipitated because of their treatment of the Jew. All right, but then the best promise of all is the last part.

Genesis 12:3b

“…and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Not just the nation coming from his loins but every person on earth would one day feel the ramifications of this promise made to Abraham, which of course, was what? The coming of the Christ and His going to the cross. His death, burial and resurrection and all that was brought about because of the promises made to this man. And so, consequently, we can say that through Abraham, then, all the families of the earth were blessed.

Now we’re going to see where God repeats this same covenant, if I may call it that, to the next one on the scene, which is Isaac. And Isaac, too, is going to be given the covenant promises over in chapter 26.

Genesis 26:1-3

“And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine THAT WAS IN THE DAYS OF Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar, 2. And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of: 3. Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, (now here it comes) and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father;” He’s telling Isaac the same covenant that I made with your father Abraham, I’m bringing it on to you. All right, now let’s go up to the next generation and chapter 28. Here comes Jacob. Years are going by but God doesn’t change. God never forgets.

Genesis 28:1-4

“And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan. 2. Arise, go to Padanaram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother’s father, and take thee a wife from thence of the daughters of Laban thy mother’s brother. (now here it comes) 3. And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people: 4. And give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham.”

The world today knows nothing of this. The world today won’t even recognize anymore the authenticity of this Book. And if you try to tell them, well this is what the Scripture says, they’ll probably scornfully rebuke you and say, “Well, that Book doesn’t count.” Well, I beg to differ. As I’ve said on this program over and over, this is the only Book on earth that can prove itself as the revealed Word of God. And everything we’re seeing in the Middle East today is fulfilling everything that was started back here in Genesis. How can they miss it? I’ll never know.

But here it is, that all the promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob with regard to that nation of people inheriting the land of Canaan. And God later would promise that they would be scattered into every nation under Heaven because of their disobedience. But that someday in the future, He would what? Bring them back again. And then when people scoff and shake their heads and say “Ah, well that’s Old Testament,” remind them that Paul writes the same thing in Romans 11, that just because God broke them off as the main trunk of the tree, and scattered them into the nations and grafted in the Gentiles by virtue of the Body of Christ. He says, “Now take heed. Don’t you get puffed up because the same God that could break off those original branches and graft in foreign branches can break you off and bring Israel in and what’s the word? “Again.” That’s what it says in Romans 11. “And I will graft them (Israel) in again.”

And of course, that’s what we’re seeing the beginnings of. Now they’re not totally there, where they’re going to be. They are still there, for the most part, in unbelief – but listen, tell the world. They’re there as a result of the promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And that’s the whole idea of Hebrews 11. These people were there by virtue of their faith in the promises that God made starting with Abraham, repeated to Isaac, and repeated to Jacob – and then of course, it follows all the way up through Israel’s history as we’re going to see in the succeeding verses. All right, reading on now then in verse 9 before we go on to verse 10.

Hebrews 11:9

“By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country; dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same (what?) promise;”

God promised it and they all believed it even though it took so many hindrances – my goodness, just stop and think of the confrontation between Jacob and Esau. Who would ever dream that, out of that, God would fulfill the promises, but He did. And so Jacob has to flee for his life, never seeing his mother again. He goes on up into the area of Syria to her kinfolk and begins to put together the family, then, that brought about the twelve sons, which in turn brought out the twelve tribes of Israel, but it isn’t until they end up down in Egypt in slavery that God says, “they will become for the first time a nation of people!”