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GENESIS Chapter 22 - PICTURE PERFECT - Part 3
Last week we continued to see just an awesome picture of Jesus Christ in this text, and the picture will continue to grow in the last part of chapter 22.
Now the Lord says a very interesting thing picking it up in Vs.15.
Vs. 15-19 - “The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. (Interesting thing here, he uses 2 pictures: “Stars in the Heavens” picture, and “Sand on the seashore” picture.) Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”
Then Abraham returned to his servants, and they set off together for Beersheba. And Abraham stayed in Beersheba.”
Did ya notice Isaac’s not mentioned in the return down the hill? There’s a picture of the Ascension! Did he come down the hill? Of course he did, but maybe that deliberate omission in the text is pointing to the ascension after Christ was resurrected. Very profound. So, Abraham passes this test with flying colors, he does exactly what God wants him to do, so God now confirms the covenant.
Again, I want us to see a very interesting picture the Lord is putting forth here. He’s putting 2 things together. The stars of the heaven and the sands on the seashore, and the re-affirmation of the covenant. A number of scientists speculate that there are probably an equal number of sands on the seashore as there are stars in the heavens. And that just the design of our Creator!
Now remember, Abraham is the father of 2 different groups of people. On the one hand he is the father of the Jews, there are those that are his children, by birth, and they are the sands on the seashore. But then there is also a second offspring of Abraham that Paul tells us, when Paul calls him the father of the faith in Rom. 4. That he is the father of all whom believe, so he is the father of those of us who will dwell in the heaven with the Lord Jesus Christ.
So, it’s pretty fascinating that God uses these 2 pictures to describe the 2 different people groups that would spring forth from this man.
Finally, vs. 20. And you probably might think - “What do we need to know about Abraham’s brother after this huge climax?” But we will discover why!
Vs. 20-24 - “ Some time later Abraham was told, “Milkah is also a mother; she has borne sons to your brother Nahor: Uz the firstborn, Buz his brother,
Kemuel (the father of Aram), Kesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph and Bethuel.” Bethuel became the father of Rebekah (Rebekah, BINGO! That’s why this is here, because that’s going to set up Chapter 24. Rebekah will be the wife of Isaac!). Milkah bore these eight sons to Abraham’s brother Nahor.
His concubine, whose name was Reumah, also had sons: Tebah, Gaham, Tahash and Maakah.”
Couple things here. Why in the world do we need to be told what’s going on with Abraham’s brother?
First of all, it’s going to set up the story in Gen. 24, and we are going to see the only other chapter that could possibly, in typology, compare with this chapter. We are going to see a fantastic picture of the Gospel. We’ve seen types of Christ and there we will see types of the Holy Spirit and His ministry.
Practically speaking, I also think what this shows us is that - here ya got Abraham, and no doubt he’s got some heavy deals going on in his life; He’s having dinner with the Lord, God’s showing up, there’s burning ovens, smoking lamps...- There’s just heavy things going on in the life of this man. This dude has spiritual experiences coming out of his ears!
I mean, imagine God showing up at your house and telling you: “Hey, you’re going to bless the whole world!” What could be heavier than that? And, if your not grounded man, your ego is headed for outer space - is it not??
But this shows that Abraham is not living above his family, there’s still that contact and there’s still that communication going on with his family back in the old country.
Now, we’ve given Abraham a rough go of it from time to time. Because Paul said these things were written for our instruction (Rom. 15:4). But remember, this man has, under these cataclysmic spiritual happenings, he’s just really held it together. Abraham has found some way to just remain an ordinary guy. A guy that did not allow the spiritual experiences or the money and all the prosperity that goes with that, to get to his head! Abraham, to his immense credit, was able to keep a proper perspective of who God was and who he was.
So its necessary for us, if we’re going to be used to any degree as Abraham was used, that when we look at his life, we see obedience, honor, a deflecting of the glory from himself to God, and we see that he always kept himself humble. So this is something that all of us should be in prayer about!
As we close, man we have learned alot through this chapter!! There has been a tremendous amount of insight and application for us! And I pray that you will, in the quietness of your hearts this week, get with the Lord on what He has shown you. Take the study notes with you and go deeper.
We have learned how the Word of God defines love, how it defines worship, and God has once again, in a profound display of His sovereignty, through this incredible picture of Christ and the Gospel in Abraham and Isaac... He has let us know once again, in spectacular fashion, that HE is in control, and by His hand He governs all things. May God bless you richly and show His love to you this week.