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GENESIS 13:5-15:21

Abram was very rich in material possessions ( 13:2 ) but he valued a tranquil relationship with his nephew more than his riches because Abram and Lot were family. That Abram sought to avoid strife between his herdmen and Lot's herdment ( 13:7-8 ) by yielding says much about his godly character. So many families today fight over inheritances and money and will sometimes even sue each other in court over it. This shouldn't be. To Abram possessions just wasn't worth having a family feud over.

The Dead Sea area in Abram's day was much different than it is today. Today it is a dry, barren desert but it was well-watered ( 13:10 ) and probably a tropical paradise then. From a worldly perspective it is easy to see why Lot chose that land. Most people would. However, as Lot soon found out the grass is not always greener on the other side. Lot also discovered that attaining great wealth does not always necessarily insulate you from your wicked neighbors ( 13:13 ). Abram made the right choice in yielding to Lot and letting him have that land.

Abram armed himself and his servants ( 14:14 ) in order to go and save his nephew Lot from his kidnappers. As a life application today I must conclude from this passage and others in The Bible that it is not wrong for Christians to own firearms and defend their families. I am opposed to gun control and I don't think Abraham would have been for it either.

There are definitely striking parallels here with Melchizedek ( 14:18-20 ) and Jesus Christ:

Melchizedek was king of Salem / Jesus will reign over the nations in Jerusalem

Melchizedek brought forth bread and wine / Jesus broke bread with his disciples and drank wine with them at the Last Supper

Melchizedek was a priest of the Most High God / Jesus is our High Priest that makes intercession for us in Heaven

Melchizedek received tithes from Abram / God receives tithes from His people

Was Melchizedek really Christ pre-incarnate or was he just a type of Jesus Christ? I'm not sure. I once believed the pre-incarnate view of Melchizedek because it says of him in Hebrews 7:3 that he was " Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually." It sounds like Jesus to me. However, I am now more inclined to see Melchizedek as a figure of the messiah which was to come. No matter who Melchizedek was the story still points to the coming of Jesus Christ who was without a doubt God incarnate.

The prophecy that God gave to Abram in Genesis 15:13-16 concerning the 400 year bondage of the Hebrews in Egypt and their return to the land of promise is amazing. The same cannot be said for the descendants of Ishamel ( the Arab nations ) because they never fulfilled this prophecy. On the other hand the recorded history of the Jews taken from non-biblcial sources verifies it did happen to them. This is clearly historical evidence which identifies the Jews as God's chosen people and confirms their divine right to possess the land in our time when there is much controversy among the nations over Jerusalem and the land of Israel.


MATTHEW 5:27-48

Yes, I must confess that I have had my share of battles with lust ( 5:28 ) and sexual temptation. I have always liked women and won't deny that. I have been guilty of coveting other men's wives. I have committed adultery in my heart countless times. I have confessed those sins to the Lord and by His grace and strength nothing has gone any further than that but I have sinned nonetheless. Even so, the fear of the Lord has restrained me.

Divorce ( 5:31-32 ) is never an option as far I am concerned. They are much too easy to obtain these days and more than half of all marriages end up torn asunder.

" ...Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously"

- Malachi 2:15-16 (KJV)


Increasingly the judicial system and the courts in our land seem to be becoming more corrupt, unjust and anti-God. So Matthew 5:40 may soon become more relevant and applicable to us than we might care to think. Though men may sue us because of our beliefs we can take comfort that there is a Just Judge and a higher court in Heaven. Some day all cases will be retried there and a just sentence will be handed down.

As someone else mentioned in one of the other blogs, many common sayings orignated in the Bible, for example this one in Matthew 5:41. I'm sure we have all heard someone use the phrase " going the extra mile." Doing more than is required to help someone else or to do someone a favor is a good testimony to unbelievers and it pleases God.

In Matthew 5:48 we see God's standard of righteousness which is perfect to which no man can attain apart from Christ. No one is perfect in God's sight unless they are in Jesus Christ and He in them. In Him God sees us as already perfect ( Hebrews 10:14 ) and by Him we are being perfected ( 1 John 2:5 & 4:12 ) through the work of sanctification by the Spirit of God.


PSALM 6:1-10

It is a plea for mercy from of a man who is being chastened by the Lord for his sins and prayer for deliverance from his enemies. Evidently one way the Lord chastens us is to allow our enemies to rise up against us. David though he had sinned was one of God's children. God, our heavenly Father will chasten us as an earthly father would his son to correct us when we do wrong ( Hebrews 12:9-11 ).


PROVERBS 1:29-33

This passage is speaking of those who reject the Word of God. God will often let them go their own way and learn the hard lessons of disobedience. In the end they will reap what they have sown. It is notable that God says here that ease and prosperity will destroy them. Many people are so consumed with pursuing the pleasures this world has to offer that they make no time for God. They are self-sufficient in their attitude toward God and see no need for God in their lives.

GENESIS 13:5-15:21

Abram was very rich in material possessions ( 13:2 ) but he valued a tranquil relationship with his nephew more than his riches because Abram and Lot were family. That Abram sought to avoid strife between his herdmen and Lot's herdment ( 13:7-8 ) by yielding says much about his godly character. So many families today fight over inheritances and money and will sometimes even sue each other in court over it. This shouldn't be. To Abram possessions just wasn't worth having a family feud over.

The Dead Sea area in Abram's day was much different than it is today. Today it is a dry, barren desert but it was well-watered ( 13:10 ) and probably a tropical paradise then. From a worldly perspective it is easy to see why Lot chose that land. Most people would. However, as Lot soon found out the grass is not always greener on the other side. Lot also discovered that attaining great wealth does not always necessarily insulate you from your wicked neighbors ( 13:13 ). Abram made the right choice in yielding to Lot and letting him have that land.

Abram armed himself and his servants ( 14:14 ) in order to go and save his nephew Lot from his kidnappers. As a life application today I must conclude from this passage and others in The Bible that it is not wrong for Christians to own firearms and defend their families. I am opposed to gun control and I don't think Abraham would have been for it either.

There are definitely striking parallels here with Melchizedek ( 14:18-20 ) and Jesus Christ:

Melchizedek was king of Salem / Jesus will reign over the nations in Jerusalem

Melchizedek brought forth bread and wine / Jesus broke bread with his disciples and drank wine with them at the Last Supper

Melchizedek was a priest of the Most High God / Jesus is our High Priest that makes intercession for us in Heaven

Melchizedek received tithes from Abram / God receives tithes from His people

Was Melchizedek really Christ pre-incarnate or was he just a type of Jesus Christ? I'm not sure. I once believed the pre-incarnate view of Melchizedek because it says of him in Hebrews 7:3 that he was " Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually." It sounds like Jesus to me. However, I am now more inclined to see Melchizedek as a figure of the messiah which was to come. No matter who Melchizedek was the story still points to the coming of Jesus Christ who was without a doubt God incarnate.

The prophecy that God gave to Abram in Genesis 15:13-16 concerning the 400 year bondage of the Hebrews in Egypt and their return to the land of promise is amazing. The same cannot be said for the descendants of Ishamel ( the Arab nations ) because they never fulfilled this prophecy. On the other hand the recorded history of the Jews taken from non-biblcial sources verifies it did happen to them. This is clearly historical evidence which identifies the Jews as God's chosen people and confirms their divine right to possess the land in our time when there is much controversy among the nations over Jerusalem and the land of Israel.


MATTHEW 5:27-48

Yes, I must confess that I have had my share of battles with lust ( 5:28 ) and sexual temptation. I have always liked women and won't deny that. I have been guilty of coveting other men's wives. I have committed adultery in my heart countless times. I have confessed those sins to the Lord and by His grace and strength nothing has gone any further than that but I have sinned nonetheless. Even so, the fear of the Lord has restrained me.

Divorce ( 5:31-32 ) is never an option as far I am concerned. They are much too easy to obtain these days and more than half of all marriages end up torn asunder.

" ...Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously"

- Malachi 2:15-16 (KJV)


Increasingly the judicial system and the courts in our land seem to be becoming more corrupt, unjust and anti-God. So Matthew 5:40 may soon become more relevant and applicable to us than we might care to think. Though men may sue us because of our beliefs we can take comfort that there is a Just Judge and a higher court in Heaven. Some day all cases will be retried there and a just sentence will be handed down.

As someone else mentioned in one of the other blogs, many common sayings orignated in the Bible, for example this one in Matthew 5:41. I'm sure we have all heard someone use the phrase " going the extra mile." Doing more than is required to help someone else or to do someone a favor is a good testimony to unbelievers and it pleases God.

In Matthew 5:48 we see God's standard of righteousness which is perfect to which no man can attain apart from Christ. No one is perfect in God's sight unless they are in Jesus Christ and He in them. In Him God sees us as already perfect ( Hebrews 10:14 ) and by Him we are being perfected ( 1 John 2:5 & 4:12 ) through the work of sanctification by the Spirit of God.


PSALM 6:1-10

It is a plea for mercy from of a man who is being chastened by the Lord for his sins and prayer for deliverance from his enemies. Evidently one way the Lord chastens us is to allow our enemies to rise up against us. David though he had sinned was one of God's children. God, our heavenly Father will chasten us as an earthly father would his son to correct us when we do wrong ( Hebrews 12:9-11 ).


PROVERBS 1:29-33

This passage is speaking of those who reject the Word of God. God will often let them go their own way and learn the hard lessons of disobedience. In the end they will reap what they have sown. It is notable that God says here that ease and prosperity will destroy them. Many people are so consumed with pursuing the pleasures this world has to offer that they make no time for God. They are self-sufficient in their attitude toward God and see no need for God in their lives.

Abram and Lot parting - I like the way Abram let Lot have the best "lot", the best land or the first choice. I often see people grabbing stuff to the get the best bargin or the best piece or the biggest slice - greed. People seem to be unhappy with what they have, even in marriage. "The woman down the road looks better than my wife" some men might say or "The man next door is a hunk" some women might say. TV does not help the married life - living together, try before you buy [marry]. We live in a throw away society; use it, try it, throw it away and get another. Marriage today seems like this - I am speaking personally here as my wife decided enough is enough and left and took the kids too. Don't get me wrong here, I still love her and it is my fault as much as hers. No adultery was involved, I just wasn't making her happy. So Matthew 5:27-28 really hit me hard today - "You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart."
God knows what he is doing and I have faith in Him just like Abram, maybe not as strong, but I'm working on it.

I have found that the best way to develop a pure thought life (avoid lust, hatred, ...) is to fill my life with good thoughts. I don't think we can rid our minds of 'bad' thoughts without filling that space with good ones. You may have heard it said that we become what we think about. I have found this to be true in my life. If we want to become more like Christ, then we need to fill our minds with God's word, and develop an on going life of prayer with God ("Practicing the Presence of God" by Brother Lawrence has been helpful to me in developing a moment by moment relationship with God).

If you struggle with lust, then you should definitely avoid books, magazines, web sites, etc. that prompt you to sin. But you can do much better if you also fill your heart and mind with viewing good books, web sites, prayer, fellowship, service, etc. Remember, 'Train yourself to be godly'. My road in this area has not been straight, but I have seen God work more powerfully in my life the more I dwell on (fill my life with) the goodness of God.

Hello,

I guess I feel the need to speak into the lust issue from a woman's perspective. I've definitely heard story after story of men enslaved to porn particularly. Men seem to be more visually vulnerable than women for some reason (though I'm generalizing here). I find it interesting that many studies find a link between porn and violent crime (i.e., serial killers often are heavy into porn). Of course, I'm not suggesting every man who is enslaved to porn is given over to intensely evil behavior, but I do believe porn is a subtle gateway into deeper darkness. The internet makes it all so impersonal and easy to slip into....

Beyond this, I find it sad that so many fathers do not make a strong effort to educate their sons about the dangers of pornography, or make stronger efforts to model proper respect/care for women. It's definitely an area of weakness for many men (and many didn't have a proper view of women modeled to them...so that makes it harder when you haven't seen it walked out).

Our culture is so lost with regard to sexuality. I won't go into all the blatantly sexual junk
I have to weed through all the time with my kids, but it is MAJOR work...exhausting....I feel like I am continually having to educate them and teach them perspective about what's out there.

Lest you think I am being overly hard on men....women, I think, are as vulnerable to lust, but we generally lust in different ways. I think we are more apt to buy into the lie that a man, a different man, would be more sensitive, more in tune, more relational than their spouse.

I think women are vulnerable to expect too much from their husbands emotionally to the point where they expect things from their husbands that they really need to go to the Lord for. He's the only perfect one who can fill us full! Otherwise, we are apt to make idols out of mere men.

As an aside, Henry, I really appreciate your transparency about your wife and the dissolution of your marriage. I image it is an incredibly deep hurt and admire you laying it before Him and us so candidly. I will pray for healing for you in that regard.

Have a great day everyone,

I would like to say that Jesus has set me free from a world of porno, drugs, alcohol, and now at our church we are introducing a Celebrate Recovery group for all hurts, habit, and hangups, Please continue to pray for us that we will be able to help people make the choices, even as Abram made. Also I would feel free to share with anyone that cares to listen, about more detailed in recovery about porno. I would welcome also any Christian to email me so we might talk on the interrnet. I am so blessed to be married to my wife, and as proverbs say that I am only satisfied with her. So if anyone wants to email, we can chat about Jesus and his goodness.

Genesis

Lot Chooses

Lot was a hanger-on. Nothing wrong with that, but he just followed Abram and received everything from him up to this point. Lot was probably a believer to some degree, perhaps fully?? Now there is strife.

Abram, the more mature man of faith, says: "choose". Lot chose the well watered plain, the cities, the possible wealth to be made (like in Egypt).

What Lot did not see was death (Jordan means death), evil, and destruction. How could he, Lot just chose what looks good.

When will man learn that it is the man who is a pilgrim here on earth (tent and an altar) - who knows this is a temporary way station - that the Word of God is revealed as to the nature of things.

It is to the one who trusts in God, waits on God, and believes in God who will be rewarded in the end.

Genesis

Melchizedek and King of Sodom

Lot's man came to Abram the Hebrew. Hebrew means "pilgrim". So it is to the man with the tent and altar that help is requested - not someone from the plains and cities.

Abram rescues Lot and is met by all the ally kings. Before his temptation by the King of Sodom - there is an interruption.

Melchizedek, the king of what will eventually be Jerusalem, met with Abram first. There have been many suggestions as to who Melchizadek was, and all we know is that he was a Gentile king who beleived (based on the oral Gospel passed on by Adam) - and he served the Lord.

What he is here in Genesis is a type of Christ. Pointing everything back to the Father, reminding Abram of who was behind his victory, and giving him love (symbolized by bread and wine). Abram worshipped God with the High Priest, and gave one tenth of all to Melchizedek. This is not a debt paid to God, but an act of worship acknowledging that all Abram has is from the Lord.

Without this meeting with Melchizedek I doubt Abram would have passed his test with the King of Sodom. The king offered Abram all the goods as a reward. What is so bad about that???

Abram, a man of God who served God would have been in debt to Sodom (evil). Abram would not be able to turn down any request for aid in the future. Abram said no - and Abram will continue to serve the Lord, and just the Lord.

Genesis 15

Many sermons on this chapter. Just two things:

6 Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

Abram did not become a believer or righteous here in Genesis. Hebrews 11:8 said that happened when Abram left Ur.

The Hebrew construct here gives the meaning that Abram looked up at stars and believed the Lord's promise. God acknowledged(credited) Abram's belief as this was proof of his faith/trust in God. Believing that which has not been seen yet.

to me this is just further evidence that a believer is not one who just has head knowledge of God, nor acknowledges God can do these things - but TRUSTS God and believes He will do what he says.

2) Unilateral covenant - the split animal thing is how covenants were done in Abram's time. Both parties would come to agreement and walk through the animals. Here only God (Jesus - symbolically via furnace and lamp)passed through the animals.

Abram believed and God made a covenant (promise). There is nothing Abram, his descendants or Israel could or can do to break this promise. It is God's Word. If it were broken - we would have real problems as we could never be sure if God will keep His Word regarding Salvation.

[Note: Needless to say I am strongly opposed to any Christian group that teaches the "church" has replaced the physical seed of Abram in this covenant.]

Matthew 5

Just going to summarize yesterday. My take - sp read it - pray about it - and decide for yourself.

Jesus was celebrating with disciples and inviting the non-believing crowd.

Congrats to the poor in spirit - those that mourn the poverty, realize it is not about self, and desparately seek God (righteousness). Why?

Because theirs is the kingdom of heaven. They are saved.

The righteous - merciful, pure in heart, and peacemakers (none done perfectly, but growing with the help of God) will be persecuted. Repeated twice for emphasis - probably for assurance. What assurance?

Theirs is the kingdom of heaven, and that is the big picture. They are saved.

How does God see these believers. Salt of the earth and light of the world.

Jesus shifts to the Law and says it is still valid. He came to fulfill prophecies, and to fulfill the Law by offering Himself as the one final perfect sacrifice for sins.

Jesus raises the bar on how we are to act. For believers it is a goal that can only be accomplished by the work of the Father through the Holy Spirit. For a non-believer it is impossible. They could not even adhere to the original Law.

48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Well, no one can be that perfect. Again - beleivers are on that road in the sanctification process, and it will be completed in heaven.

For non-believers they should sit up and say - we can't possibly do that or be that - what are we to do?

Hence they are ripe for the Gospel where the repent and believe message is given out.

Psalm

David is still batting 1.000 as he directs all his prayers and supplications to the Lord. Do you?

I am just amazed by David's prayers to God and how much of a personal relationship he had with Him in order to be able to say what he did. This walk through Psalms via The Message bible is making me see them in a whole new light.

I am particularly struck by Matthew 5:48. Again, instead of 'be perfect', I'm getting a description of what that entails - "Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you." What a challenge!

Today's passage in Proverbs reminds me the importance of choosing the right paths with the fear of God. We can only choose the right paths when we follow God's leading and trust the Lord!

Based the teaching of Matthew 5 about lust, I recommend a website called "The Fight", which is a ministry that a friend of mine is involved with. The aim of "The Fight" is help help adult men to fight their pornography / sex addiction, as well as developing passionate purity in God.

http://www.thefight.com.au/

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