Good Morning to all of you blessed people! Brace
Yourself! This is gonna be an incredible
day! Ooooops...... Gotta re-phrase that.
Make that a "credible" day. Wouldn't want you to think the
events of this day weren't credible.
I was browsing through my Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
the other day and found that the prefix "in-" generally means
"not" or "lacking;" e.g., inability, inadequate, insincere,
etc. That said, shall we have a
"credible" or perhaps "spectacular" day? Yup. We shall.
Both the French Press and Expresso machine are working today, and the aroma of both fill my office. If you're out and about, stop by and join me in a cup of some good, really dark Columbian mixed with some organic beans from
My intention (and we'll see how that goes!) is to finish
up today with the events out of the life of Abraham that made him the
identification mark of God's Blessing for His people. That means we'll
probably run quite a bit longer in today's Coffee Break than usual. We'll
take a break from this series on Kingdom Economics for a couple of weeks while
I address some other things that have been heating on the back burner.
When we return to this series, we'll talk some about Seed Faith, and then we'll
wrap up this series with four or five discussions on a practical opportunity
for believers to deal with debt, canceling debt, and operating from a surplus.
FYI, we've been in the midst of the Days of Refreshing,
(showing it on the big screen here at
In K-E XXXIII we finished up talking about Abraham's
screw-up when he took Sarah's servant Hagar to wife in order to have a son, and
wound up with Ishmael. That it was a bad blunder on Abraham's part became
obvious, not only in Abraham's time and throughout history but in our present
day as well, when we realize that a good part of Israel's problems today stem
from its having to deal with the descendants of Ishmael. It is a lesson
none of us should ever forget!
You simply cannot help God accomplish His Word --
especially when you try to work things out by eating of the Tree of the
Knowledge of Good and Evil and using human logic. It just doesn't
work! Proverbs 26:2 tells us, "As
the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall
not come." The corollary to that is
that the curse caused comes.
Trying to do things using human logic is nothing less than
attempting to accomplish spiritual ends by fleshly or carnal means. God's
promises to Abraham weren't going to be accomplished with Abraham's help or
trying to figure things out. Those promises were going to take place
through the activation of faith -- and faith is fundamental to seeing any manifestation
of God's supernatural promises in the natural realm.
As we've already noted, the mercy of the Lord endures even
in the midst of our screw-ups; and when faith is present God sees past the
failings of our flesh and keeps His Word to us.
Thirteen years after Ishmael was born, the Lord God once
again appears to Abraham in person and reveals Himself as El Shaddai (The Omnipotent, The All-Powerful) for the first
time, "I am the Almighty God; walk
before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and
thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly."
Abraham's reaction was roughly the same as any of us would
have if the Lord God appeared to us in person. He fell flat on his face.
And the Lord continues, "As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations."
Now God is going to institute prophetic change in
Abraham. His name is officially going to change. His character and
personality and makeup are going to change. From this moment forward,
every time Abraham speaks his name and answers to "Abraham" instead
of "Abram," he will be prophesying his own future and his future
generations. Instead of being "exalted (or high) father," (this was
more a title of honor and respect than the name of a progenitor) he will now be
declaring himself to be, "father of a multitude" (or one who has
generated and propagated a countless number of offspring).
"As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and
thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither
shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a
father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceeding
fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.
"And I will establish my covenant between me and thee
and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be
a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art
a stranger, all the
"This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me
and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among
you shall be circumcised. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your
foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. And
he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in
your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any
stranger, which is not of thy seed. He that is born in thy house, and he
that is bought with thy money, must needs be
circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting
covenant. And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is
not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my
"And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not
call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name
be. And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will
bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of
The very thought of Sarah -- who is now 89 years of age --
is hilarious to Abraham, and he reacts with a belly laugh. "Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in
his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? And
Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!"
Now the Lord emphasizes the fact that this child -- born
under supernatural circumstances -- is the promised seed of His covenant, and
that while Ishmael will be blessed and produce kings and nations, he cannot
(for obvious reasons) be the heir of this covenant of blessing God has made
with Abraham, despite Abraham's great love for Ishmael..
"And God said, Sarah thy
wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt
call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an
everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him. And as for Ishmael, I
have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and
will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make
him a great nation. But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which
Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year. And he left
off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham."
I wish I had time in this Coffee Break to amplify this
event further, but this would become a book were I to do so. Let's
quickly skim over a couple of events that follow and get to Abraham's real test
The Lord appears once again to Abraham a matter of perhaps
three months later to emphasize the fact that Sarah is going to bear him a son,
and that he is to call his name Isaac. Further, He tells Abraham that
Sarah's youth is going to be restored so that she can bear children.
Without getting into all the details, God tells Abraham that He is about to
Despite Sarah's pregnancy, the supernatural restoration of
her youth brings back her stunning beauty. Abraham falls back into the
trap of his earlier years and tells people that Sarah is his sister. Abimelech, the Philistine king, hears of Sarah's beauty
(just as Pharaoh had some twenty-odd years earlier), sends for Sarah and takes
her into his household with the intention of making her his wife! And
Sarah is nearly ninety years old! That was never going to fly, and God
warns Abimelech, "Hands off!"
I don't have time today to go into this, but when you
consider that there were two attempts to take Sarah away from Abraham, it
becomes very clear that Satan was making every effort to thwart God's plan for
a chosen people in the earth. Were he to have succeeded, it would also
have interfered with God's plan for the coming of the Messiah, the Redeemer, to
redeem the human race from the curse brought upon mankind by Adam's sin.
Just as God promises, Sarah bears Isaac. The
contention between Hagar and Sarah soon becomes so great that Abraham is forced
to send Hagar and Ishmael away.
The years pass as Isaac grows into manhood. The
Jewish Historian, Josephus, (Antiquities of the Jews) suggests that
Isaac was now 25 years of age. The ancient book of Jasher
states that he was 27 years of age, and other historians propose that Isaac was
nearer 30. Whatever his actual age, Isaac was approaching the traditional
point in his life (middle-eastern tradition puts it at 30 years of age) when he
would be regarded a man and given all the rights of "sonship"
as a mature heir to his father's holdings.
(Note: We see this picture of full "sonship" numerous times in Scripture: Joseph, age 30
when he becomes Prime Minister of Egypt; David, age 30 when he becomes King of
Israel; and -- most notably -- Jesus, age 30 when He is baptized in the River
Jordan and God the Father speaks from Heaven saying, "This
is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.")
(The Hollywood-ized movies which
show Isaac as being anywhere from
God now speaks to Abraham and puts His covenant with him
on the line. "And it came to pass
after these things, that God did tempt (the Hebrew word here is nasah, which means to prove -- in the
sense of God's demonstrating the proof of what He had worked in Abraham's life
and character) Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I
am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only
son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the
land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt
offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of."
Funny thing. Why didn't God ask Abraham to do this
years earlier? Why did He wait until Isaac was nearing the point
where he would be regarded as the full heir to all that Abraham had? The
answer should be obvious. God withheld absolutely nothing from Abraham in
blessing him. In order for him to become the standard-bearer for the
Blessing and a symbol of God's economy, he likewise had to be willing to
withhold nothing from God. Isaac -- at this point in Abraham's life --
represented the totality of Abraham's future, his seed, and all that God had
And we can see by Abraham's responses that his faith in
God and his faith God's covenant with him was totally anchored and secure.
Genesis 22:5 tells us, "And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with
the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again
Get it? Abraham, by now, was so established in faith
that there was no doubt God would raise Isaac from the dead if need be and
re-create him from the ashes of the sacrifice in order to keep His covenant
promises. Sure enough, when Isaac was bound and laid on the altar, and
Abraham stretched forth his hand with the knife in preparation to kill him, the
angel of the Lord stops him.
"And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto
him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing
thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from
me. And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a
ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and
offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son."
Did his faith pay off? Did it ever! This would
be the last time that Abraham would ever be put to the test. The Blessing
of Abraham was now etched in his character -- and in the character and makeup
of Isaac as well. (I've marveled at the obedience of Isaac in this event,
and his willingness to be sacrificed. That covenant had to be
well-established in Isaac's makeup by this time.)
"And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of
heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith
the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son,
thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee,
and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as
the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of
his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;
because thou hast obeyed my voice."
Has the Blessing of Abraham become established now in your
understanding? Now you understand why the apostle Paul wrote, "Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him
for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they
which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the
scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith,
preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In
thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be
of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham." (Galatians 3:6-9)
Again Paul writes, "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being
made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come
on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the
Spirit through faith." (Galatians
There you are, folks! The Blessing of Abraham is
foundational to the economy of God's Kingdom. It is foundational to our
securing the blessing that makes us citizens of the Kingdom. It is
integral to all that we receive as citizens: salvation, healing, deliverance,
prosperity, safety, wholeness in every area -- you name it!
And we will return to this topic again in a couple of
If you want to prosper in the physical, material world,
you must first prosper in the spiritual world.
The Blessing of the Lord: it makes rich and He adds no
painful toil and sorrow! (Proverbs
10:22) Be blessed!
Sunnyside, Washington 98944
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