Sep 4, '08 11:24 PM

Solutions to all of you! All right…..Salutations

This IS the best day of your life.  Right?  This is the day the Lord has made, and there's no such thing as a bad day in His economy.

What an astonishing week we've had!  I've been sharing with friends the picture the Lord has given me over the past months of the coming of a huge shakeup politically within this country, and the fact that the outcome of the November elections would be very different than the politicos, pollsters and pundits were predicting.

I remember years ago the earthquake that occurred within Alaska's political sphere after I delivered a prophetic word to the then-governor of Alaska, Jay Hammond, who was up for re-election.  His chief political rival, the former Democratic Lt. Governor, Red Boucher, heard about the word, believed that word and withdrew from the race.  In a move that shocked the political establishment, Red called a press conference and asked all of his Democratic friends and supporters to throw their weight behind Jay who was a Republican.  It was unheard of!

No one could ever remember a time when the candidate of one party running against the candidate of another party had ever withdrawn and thrown his support to the other candidate.  We see these things happen regularly within political parties, but never across party lines.  (Jay won re-election, by the way, true to the word the Lord had instructed me to give him.)

All that to say that John McCain's selection of Alaska's now-sitting governor, Sarah Palin, to be his running mate has shaken up both the Republican and Democratic establishments in America.  The once-confident Democrats, buoyed by the popularity of their choice, Barack Obama, are suddenly running in fear and shaking in their boots because Sarah Palin -- who is not the presidential candidate, but rather the vice-presidential candidate -- epitomizes everything they abhor, detest and fear as the picture of wholesomeness, boldness in Jesus Christ, and daring political courage.

Not a few of the Republican party old-timers and insider politicians are grousing over her lack of "foreign policy" experience and "world" knowledge.  Good!  You know what?  We may go to the polls to cast our votes, but it is God who raises up leaders and removes leaders from power.  And He doesn't always choose leaders with experience.  He chooses leaders who will listen to His voice and respond to His will.

I don't know John McCain.  I don't know Sarah Palin, although I do know the pastor that led her to Jesus Christ many years ago, Paul Riley.  My oldest son, Chris, prior to moving his family to Sunnyside, Washington, lived in Wasilla and attended for a time the same church with Sarah Palin when she was Mayor of Wasilla.  When she was running for the office of governor, Chris called me and said, "Dad, Sarah Palin is real!  She's a committed believer in Jesus Christ.  We need to pray that she will be elected Alaska's governor."

She was elected, and now after only two years of shaking up Alaska's government and cleaning out a bunch of corrupt officials has been chosen as John McCain's VP running mate.  November's going to be interesting, folks!  Get ready for some real change -- and not the rhetorical, glad-handing political, speech-making kind!

If you'd like another view of Sarah that will give you some perspective of her as a Christian, go to the following website and watch this video:

Before we continue with our Abraham adventure, I need to make a correction (Thanks, Lynn!).  Earlier, I said that Abraham waited until Terah was dead before responding to the voice of the Lord.  Wrong.  Terah was 145 years old when God spoke to Abraham the second time and he obeyed.  Terah didn't die for another sixty years.  So Abraham's obedience to the Lord indeed caused him to "leave his country, his father's house and relatives" and follow Him into an unknown land.

When we left off in our last Coffee Break, Pharaoh had kicked Abraham (still being called Abram at the time) and Sarah (and she is still known as Sarai at this point) out of his court and out of Egypt.  Abraham, however, was the recipient of some enormous wealth given to him by Pharaoh for Sarah's sake.  But let's not forget, Abraham was already rich beyond imagination.  Not only had he inherited a fistful from his father, Terah, at his death, Abraham had added greatly to what he inherited.

Genesis 13:1 opens with the statement, "And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south.  And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold."

The Hebrew phraseology here describes Abraham as being so loaded with wealth and riches that it literally slowed his travel.  Abraham would have had to have a huge camel train loaded with gold, silver and other valuables in order to transport all that he now owned.

And where do you think he headed after leaving EgyptRight back to Beth-el, where he first built and established an altar of worship to the Lord.  He did so with good reason.  In spite of his fear and deception with Pharaoh, God had increased him beyond measure.  Returning to Beth-el was a way to return to the first place where he had both worshiped the Lord and addressed Him by name.

There is a unique aspect to this event that we many times just pass over.  Beth-el was the first place where Abraham had two-way communication with the Lord.  It was the place where he could see God as a friend.  God was more than an invisible voice at Beth-el; He was a friend; He was real; and He was God!  Beth-el was a place where Abraham could offer praise for the phenomenal deliverance God had given him in Egypt, and pour out himself in worship.

Beth-el had become a place of God's visitation, and would remain so for generation after generation after generation.  It would become a place of visitation for Jacob.  Though the area would in time to come be occupied by the Jebusites and Hivites, Beth-el would be among the first places that Joshua would re-take as Israel possessed the lands promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  It would become the place where the prophetess, Deborah, would instruct Barak in preparation for his battle and great victory over Sisera.

Beth-el would become one of three principal places from which the prophet, Samuel, judged Israel and directed the affairs of the nation.  Beth-el would be the first place David delivered the spoils of victory when he and his mighty men won a tremendous victory over the Philistines and the Amalekites.

Ironically, Beth-el would be the first place that Jeroboam would dishonor by setting up an image of Baal when he took ten tribes of Israel in the rebellion against Rehoboam.  Nevertheless the Lord would instruct one of His prophets who lived in Beth-el to prophesy against Jeroboam and Jeroboam's hand would wither and dry.

Beth-el would be the beginning of the trek of Elisha and Elijah when the Lord was about to take Elijah; and Elisha would require a double portion of the Elijah's anointing.

When Josiah would be crowned King of Judah, he would instruct that all of the high places of worship to Baal and Ashteroth would be destroyed; he would command that the ashes of the idols and false gods would be taken to Beth-el and buried there as a testimony against these false gods.

We've sort of gotten sidetracked here, but I wanted to draw the picture of Beth-el for you and the significance of Abraham's return to this place after departing Egypt.  58 times throughout the Old Testament, Beth-el is named as a place of worship and sacrifice unto God, a place of residence for the prophets of God, and a place of visitation of the Lord with His people.  And Abraham was the one who first established it as a place of worship when the Lord visited him.

One of the things that has gotten lost in our narrative so far is the fact that in all these travels, Lot has been with Abraham.  Lot was with him in Egypt and prospered there as well, though to a lesser degree.  When they returned to Beth-el and settled down in the area, it didn't take long for Abraham to realize that he and Lot couldn't coexist in the same territory.  Abraham's vast holdings, his flocks, herds and resources simply required so much territory that Lot -- with his ample flocks, herds and riches -- couldn't occupy the same place.  The land just couldn't support them both.

Abraham took the opportunity to offer Lot any land or territory he wanted, whether it was the well-watered plain with its cities, or the areas occupied by the Canaanites and Perizzites.  To Lot -- who didn't have the benefit of the covenant God had made with Abraham -- this was a no-brainer!  He chose the watered plain near Sodom and Gomorrah.

The division of these two was extremely important in God's plan for and with Abraham.  Though He had already covenanted with Abraham, there were some major aspects of His covenant Blessing He would withhold until Abraham was fully separated from every other member of his family save Sarah his wife.

With Lot now gone, God was going to further amplify His Word and His Blessing with and upon Abraham.

"Lift up your eyes, Abraham.  Look to the horizon to the north.  Then look all the way as far as your eye can see to the south.  Do the same thing with the east, and then the west.  Everything your eye can see, I will give to you and to the posterity and seed I will give you.  I will make your seed -- your descendants -- to number like the dust of the earth.  If you think you can count every particle of dust, then you can count the number of your descendants; and if you can't count the dust grains or particles, you can't either count your descendants.  Stand up, My Friend!  Arise!  Start walking through the land from one end to the other and back again  Everywhere you walk will be land and territory that I've already given to you."

Think you might like to hear the Lord say something like that to you?  Yup.  Thought so!

And he wasted no time.  This time Abraham headed to the north, northeast some twenty miles to a Amorite-occupied area known as Mamre, and named after one of the descendants of Emor.  Here he found an old oak tree which had stood as a landmark for some untold length of time (and would continue to stand for many, many years thereafter).  Again Abraham builds an altar unto the Lord.  Mamre would become his primary place of dwelling for many years to come.

During these years, Abraham's wealth increases with the Blessing of the Lord.  He now has 318 menservants who've been trained in the use of weaponry and fighting tactics.  (He actually has many more than that when you take into account those who are responsible for caring for his sheep, his oxen, his goats and his camels -- and that says nothing about the women who take care of Sarah's needs, the cooking, the washing, the constant drawing of water from the wells, and all the other duties which were the responsibility of women in those days.)

We don't stop to think about it much, but you also have Abraham's steward and most trusted friend and chief financial officer in the person of Eliezer, a former Syrian slave whom he purchased and freed from slavery.  Eliezer had a number of servants whom he directed in the care and management of Abraham's gold, silver and other financial resources.  This man was so close that he was treated as Abraham's son.

You're beginning to get the idea of just how great and powerful Abraham had become in the region.  Thus when word came to him that Amraphel, King of Shinar (the plains of Babylon), Arioch, the vassal-King of Ellasar (historians know this as Larsa, the prominent city of sun-worship in Babylon), Chedorlaomer, the King of Elam (much of what we know today as modern Iran), and Tidal, King of the Medes and Hittites (KJV: Nations; Hebrew text: goyim: a race of wanderers) had launched a military campaign against the cities of the plain, including Sodom and Gomorrah, and -- in the course of the battle -- had taken Lot and his family captive, he, without any hesitation, gathered the 318 trained and armed servants and headed out to free his nephew.

Abraham's boldness in this military event is unparalleled in the annals of warfare.  Amraphel, King of Shinar, has been identified by archaeologists and historians as none other than Hammurabi, one of the most powerful and influential kings (if not the most powerful!) of that era.  Chedorlaomer was a Babylonian king who earned for himself the hatred of those who worshiped Merodach.

Scripture tells us that Abraham divided his small band of armed servants into two groups, tracked the armies of the four kings to Hobah, west of Damascus, slaughtering the armies as they went.  He not only retrieved Lot, but those who had been carried away captive from the city of Sodom, along with the spoils of war the four kings had carried away.  The defeat of those kings, the slaughter of their armies and recovery of all they'd taken from the cities of the plains was a massive blow to their prestige.  History tells us that Chedorlaomer (Assyriologists know him as Kudur-lahÕgumal) was assassinated by his own son when he returned home.

Abraham's great victory was going to result in an event that would be a turning point in his life, an anchor in God that would stand him in good stead in the years to come.  That's where we'll go in our next Coffee Break.

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! 







Regner A. Capener

Sunnyside, Washington 98944

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