Kingdom Economics XXXI
Greetings, Salutations and Blessings!
Aren't you glad you're here today? You realize, of course, that every single day that passes brings us closer to Jesus' return. I can't tell you how that excites me! Yessir! One of the exciting things about His coming back is that He's coming for a people who are looking for Him, and are ready for Him.
Neville Johnson made a statement the other day that I really appreciate. There will be more people from the earth who go to be with the Lord than there will be who choose Satan. Yup. More people in heaven than in hell. And that means we're in for a harvest of souls like you can't imagine!
Prepare the way of the Lord!
Coffee's poured. Got both the French Press working today and the Expresso machine. Take your pick.
Without any chit chat, let's get back to Abraham, the picture of God's friendship with him, and why he became the standard by which the Lord measures His Blessing on us.
Imagine Abraham now, if you will, having had twenty-five years pass since he first heard the Voice saying to him, "Get out of this country! Come away from your family and all of your relatives. I want you to come with me into a land and a country that I will show you."
One of the questions that I posed to Abraham during our conversation in Heaven was, "How was it that you, the son of a Babylonian high priest, having grown up in a culture and system that had no knowledge of Almighty God, could respond to a voice you'd never heard before -- and a voice at that without any visible being who was speaking?"
His answer has stayed with me my whole life. "Once you've heard the Voice of God, there is no other voice."
He was right. Despite Satan's attempts to duplicate, to counterfeit, to deceive and to pretend, the Voice of God carries with it the very essence of who He is! That Voice communicates an unending love, a dimension of peace, a mercy, and a patience that defies human rationale. More than that, it communicates power and authority -- supreme power and authority. To resist, to argue against, to disobey is to invite consequences you don't even want to consider!
So what was the 25-year wait all about? Why did God wait so long to speak to Abraham the second time?
The answer -- as it was explained to me -- was that Abraham's obedience was only partial. What made it partial was the fact that he had been contaminated by fear; and in this case, the Fear of Death. More than that, he found it nearly impossible to break the traditions of family and friends. As long as Terah was alive, Abraham's responses to the Lord would be contaminated by his love and reverence of his father. That sounds strange, I know, but it's a fact.
Human love, familial love, and brotherly love all have strong emotional bonds. Patriarchal traditions must die if we are to respond without compromise to the Lord. So long as Terah lived, Abraham's ties to his family would be virtually unbreakable.
So God waited patiently for Abraham. Terah had now died at age 205, the days of mourning had been observed, and the mantle of patriarchal leadership had been passed. Abraham is now 75 years of age. Again he hears the Voice of God. This time, the Lord amplifies what He said the first time.
"Get out of this country! Come away from your family and all of your relatives. I want you to come with me into a land and a country that I will show you. I'm going to make of you a great and noble nation. I will bless you and empower you to prosper in every way. I will make your name one to be remembered and revered. You will be a blessing, and your very presence will empower others to prosper as do you.
"What's more, I will bless and empower all who bless, praise and magnify you. Anyone who trifles with you, anyone who dismisses and disregards you, anyone who despises you and treats you contemptibly I will curse. They will become excrement in the earth. Before I'm finished, every tribe, every people, every nation and every class of people in the earth will know and have access to the blessing I've commanded upon you. Your seed will bless the earth!"
WOW! Think that might impact your life to hear God say that to you? No kidding!
Here's a guy who is now 75 years of age. He's married to a gorgeous woman now 65 years of age, but whose beauty is unparalleled. Problem is, they've never had any kids. This is kinda late to start having kids. And yet God says, "I'm going to make of you a great and noble nation"? Remember the "Once you've heard the voice of God"?
And Abraham believed God. It didn't matter that he couldn't figure out how all this could possibly happen. This was the God of the universe speaking. This was the Creator of all who was saying this. And Abraham believed God.
In retrospect, Abraham should have said "No" to
So off they head into
(From a purely geographical perspective, Abraham is standing in the very center -- North, South, East and West -- of the territorial lands and boundaries God will give to the descendants of Isaac and Jacob; and proscribe with precise specificity to Moses and Joshua.)
Now, for the first time in Abraham's life, the Lord is going to appear to him in person. He will reveal Himself to Abraham as äåˆäÊéŠ (we've anglicized this rather poorly as Jehovah) Yowd He Vav He: The Eternal, The Self-Existent One, The All-Powerful, The Breath of All Life.
"Unto your seed -- your posterity throughout the generations -- I will give, appoint and assign all this land, these territories, these countries and the very ground itself."
Now, there's a promise for you! And Abraham believed God! For the first time in Abraham's life, he is going to do something which will demonstrate his faith, his trust and his allegiance to this God of gods, this Supreme and Almighty God -- and his complete and total separation from the lifeless gods of his past. Abraham builds and constructs an altar of sacrifice to the Lord and openly worships Him.
Once again his entire entourage is on the move. This next move won't be the three-hundred odd miles of the first journey; it will only be about twenty miles to the south-southwest to a mountain area he will call Beth-el: "The House of God." Again, Abraham builds an altar and publicly and openly in the sight of the inhabitants of the land worships the Lord God.
Another first takes place in his life. Here Abraham will personally address the Lord God by name; and in the process of worshiping Him, declare the character, the integrity, the honor, the authority and power of God as the very essence of His existence. Beth-el will, from this time forward, become prominent as a place of worship to the Lord for many, many generations to come.
And the travels and journeying throughout the land
continue. Famine sets in as a result of a lack of precipitation for a
very long time. The land has become dry and unproductive. It lacks
the ability to yield any crops anymore, and Abraham can neither grow produce
nor wheat (or corn, or hay, or anything) with which to feed his very large
flocks of sheep and herds of cattle, horses and camels. Word has reached
There's just one problem. Though Abraham has been
moving throughout the land in faith based on the Word that God has given him,
he has yet to be freed from the Fear of Death. The Fear of Death has been
passed on from his father and previous generations whose spiritual
This fear is about to manifest itself unexpectedly as
All he has to do is glance over at Sarah to recall these practices and fear grips him. "Sarah, I know that you are unusually beautiful. You radiate a brightness and warmth that are very satisfying and fulfilling. Though you are my half-sister because your mother and my mother were two different women, because you are my wife, the Egyptians will kill me in order to have the freedom to take you.
"I don't want you to tell them you are my wife. Just tell them you are my sister. That way, I will not be killed. In fact, they will treat me well thinking it will facilitate a relationship with you. I will remain alive because of you and your great beauty."
Not even for a split second did Sarah hesitate to do as Abraham instructed. Sure enough, Pharaoh's servants saw her, found out that she was Abraham's "sister," and boasted of her stunning beauty to Pharaoh. Pharaoh wasted no time in sending for her and bringing her into his house in preparation for making her his wife.
The practice of giving a dowry in order to secure a woman was well entrenched in Egyptian culture and society; and Pharaoh wanted to show himself both a wealthy and prosperous husband-to-be, and generous with his wealth. He quickly lavished that wealth on Abraham in the form of male and female servants, male and female donkeys, cattle, sheep and camels.
In no time, Pharaoh's household was plagued with leprosy and a host of sicknesses and outbreaks of disease -- such that he knew something was terribly wrong. It didn't take long for Pharaoh to realize that Sarah was Abraham's wife and not simply his "sister."
Fear and anger hit him like a ton of bricks and he sent for Abraham. "How was it that you thought to lie to me and tell me that Sarah was your sister instead of your wife?" he roared. "Take her and get out of my sight!"
Interesting, isn't it, that Pharaoh didn't demand the
return of the stupendous wealth he poured out on Abraham? And yet it
would have been a loss of "face" in the sight of
We need to remember that the Blessing of the Lord is less dependent on us and our failures; and more a product of the integrity of God, His promises and His unbreakable Covenant..
Lots more to come. Stay tuned.
Inner wealth and prosperity is established by giving. Your bills cannot live when you give. Giving announces to God that you trust Him, and not your money.
The Blessing of the Lord: it makes rich and He adds no painful toil and sorrow! (Proverbs 10:22) Be blessed!
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