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Genesis 21:34 - The Promise Delivered - Part 3
[Read part one here, and part two here]
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, picking it up in vs.22, the scene shifts back now to Abraham - and BOY - OH THAT THIS MAY BE SAID OF US!!
Vs. 22 - “At that time Abimelek and Phicol (“Phicol” is a title, not a guy) the commander of his forces said to Abraham, God is with you in everything you do.”
“God is with you in everything that you do!” Oh, that this may be spoken of us!!
Now here’s this king and his Defense Secretary showing up at Abraham’s house and saying: “Man, we’ve been watching you and we’ve come to the conclusion that you got the Midas touch. Man, everything you seem to do God seems to bless, we just don’t get it.”
Now, what do you think people would say if they were to observe my life? Not my Facebook life, not my “at Church” life, but my life! What conclusion would they come to? This is a spectacular question to ask ourselves from time to time.
Wow! What do these guys do with that conclusion? Vs. 23 - “Not deal falsely with me..."
Now he had already done that, right?! This Abimelek is the one that he had dealt falsely with - “Oh, my wife is really my sister...” So Abimelek seems to be a bit defensive here, but he knows God is with him.
Vs. 23-26 - “‘Now swear to me here before God that you will not deal falsely with me or my children or my descendants. Show to me and the country where you now reside as a foreigner the same kindness I have shown to you.’
Abraham said, ‘I swear it.’
Then Abraham complained to Abimelek about a well of water that Abimelek’s servants had seized. But Abimelek said, ‘I don’t know who has done this. You did not tell me, and I heard about it only today.’”
So these guys are essentially negotiating a non-hostility treaty with Abraham. They’re saying here, “We can’t figure it out, but dude, we know God is with you and we figure if God is with you then we don’t want to be against you, so, we’re gonna make some kind of agreement with you whereby we are going to be nice to you and we really want you to be nice to us.”
Notice how Abraham uses this as an opportunity to discuss some dispute he had concerning this well of water! And Abraham’s response to this non-hostility deal is: “Well, you're a big well stealer! I mean, my guys go out and dig it and your guys come along and steal it, so how does that fit into the spirit of non-hostility?”
The thing that we have to remember about Abraham is that, if we were to apply modern psychology to Abraham, we would probably label him a people pleaser. He seems to be a guy that just doesn’t want to make anyone unhappy. There were flashes of intensity and brilliance in this guy from time to time, but overall we see him having that people-pleasing personality.
One of the things that go hand in hand with that personality is a fear of confrontation. And he’s been walking around for who knows how long, with maybe a false perception of Abimelek because he’s never just really talked to the guy!
Often times in our lives we hold onto these false notions of what is in the heart of other people because we just haven’t punched through that wall and begun to place ourselves on that path of communication. We’ll have this notion in our hearts of another individual’s heart just because we haven’t talked to them.
In vs. 26 Abimelek is like - “Dude, what well? What are you talking about?” Now, the whole thing gets resolved, but HOW does it get resolved? Because
communication took place.
Now, how many things do you suppose remain unresolved simply because we just don’t bring them up? And I’m convinced that one of the devil’s best advices is simply to get us to bury things, especially when they're just “small things.”
But then, down the road, we have so many small things tucked away that a relationship can become damaged, compromised, or potentially destroyed.
So, what the Word of God is laying out to us here is that we are a people who need to be communicating with one another so that these resentments do not find themselves buried and growing in the soil.
You water that soil with a little anger and a little time and you’ve got full blown resentment and your relationship will be compromised.
Vs. 27-34 - “So Abraham brought sheep and cattle and gave them to Abimelek, and the two men made a treaty. Abraham set apart seven ewe lambs from the flock, and Abimelek asked Abraham, ‘What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs you have set apart by themselves?’
He replied, ‘Accept these seven lambs from my hand as a witness that I dug this well.’
So that place was called Beersheba, because the two men swore an oath there.
After the treaty had been made at Beersheba, Abimelek and Phicol the commander of his forces returned to the land of the Philistines. Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the Lord, the Eternal God. And Abraham stayed in the land of the Philistines for a long time.”
In vs. 33 there’s a new name that God is revealing to him - The Everlasting God! And there’s a beautiful picture here. God is continuing to reveal Himself to Abraham progressively!
And what we see in the O.T. is really, over time, the progressive revelation of God, and there’s great mercy and gentleness there. I think if God just blasted us with all that He is our minds would explode!! God is just very tender in revealing Himself to Abraham.
- Back in Gen. 14 it was El-Elyong (God Most High).
- In Gen. 16 it was Elroy (The God who Sees).
- In Gen. 17 it was El-Shaddai (God the Almighty, the All-Sufficient One).
And each of those attributes related to the context in which God was dealing with Abraham at the time.
And so God, as He’s dealing with us, progressively reveals Himself to us, and it’s a beautiful picture of what happens with you and I as N.T. believers. We come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, but we’re not blasted with a tractor beam right away or we’d blow up.
God brings us to Himself, and gently, over time, never overloading our in-box, just reveals Himself to us in a gentle fashion as we prove capable, by faith, or absorbing that revelation. But here’s the one name I want you to really know if you don’t already, and that’s Jesus Christ!
And if you know the name but don’t know HIM personally, it ain’t gonna do ya no good. Isaiah 33:3 makes it simple, just call out to him today. If your interested in making Jesus Lord and Savior in tour life, please contact me in one of the ways shown on this article and I would be happy to talk to you.
Blessings to you all.
Last Update: Sep 27, 2020 2:01 pm CDT