Multiplied Blessings Indeed


The first part of Genesis 22:17 reads “That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed …” What does this mean? This means, God is expressing with assurance that he will bless Abraham and multiply his seed most certainly. Why? Because Abraham listened and obeyed to the word of God to sacrifice his son, Isaac, whom he loved (Genesis 22:16).

Points to ponder:
God’s assurance of blessing and multiplying you is assured when we listen and heed to his voice of offering our lives as a living sacrifice –  living for him, sacrificing our own – and that assurance is not merely in word, but indeed. You can be certain of multiplied blessings indeed. Simply Obey.

Genesis 22:!5-17 (KJV)
16 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:
17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed

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“By myself have I sworn” – what does that mean


When God assures Abraham of his blessings because of Abraham’s obedience to him, God swears by himself. Genesis 22:16 starts as follows “And (the Lord) said, By myself have I sworn (promised or vowed)” What does this signify? Hebrews 6:13 gives the answer to this. It reads “For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself,” This phrase signifies not only the greatness of God, but establishes the fact that there is no one greater.

Points to ponder:
Our God is a great God and he does wondrous things (Psalm 86:10) and in blessing you and me, if he had to swear by someone, he would have to swear by himself, for there is no on greater than him.

Genesis 22:16 (KJV)
16 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:

Hebrews 6:13-17 (KJV)
13 For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself,
14 Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.
15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.
16 For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife.
17 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath:

Psalm 86:10 (KJV)
10 For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone.

 

Out of heaven a second time


Genesis 22:15-18 records the conversation God had with Abraham after God had stopped Abraham from sacrificing his own son, Isaac. The Bible records that the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven a second time. What I want us to focus today is the phrase “out of heaven a second time.” God calls out to his people, not once but twice.

When God called Abraham the second time, he announced that in Abraham’s seed, speaking of Jesus (Galatians 3:16), all of the nations of the earth will be blessed. God however kept silent when his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, was sacrificed, because by the death of Jesus, are all nations of the earth blessed with eternal life. In other words, the first time God called Abraham, he called to save Abraham’s son, Issac, and then the second time God called Abraham, he called to save and announce of the salvation of all mankind (blessing to every nation).

Points to ponder:
Do you and I listen and heed to the calling of God, any time he calls?

Genesis 22:15-18 (KJV)
15 And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,
16 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:
17 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;
18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

Where is Jehovahjireh?


The place where Abraham was provided a ram to sacrifice in place of his son, he called “Jehovahjireh” meaning that “In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.” God made provision for a ram to be made available to Abraham on a mount in the land of Moriah (Genesis 22:2) for the sacrifice. On a mount, God showed Abraham the sacrificial ram.

Points to ponder:
On the mount that looked like a skull a.k.a. Golgotha (in Hebrew) commonly known as Calvary, God showed us his provision of salvation for all of mankind, by providing his only begotten son – the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. On mount Golgotha, salvation was seen. The real place that can be called Jehovahjireh is mount Golgotha i.e., Calvary. At calvary, you will see the provision of the Lord as he is the provider. Do you believe in Jesus, God’s salvation who is seen on the Cross on the mount of the Lord.

Genesis 22:14 (KJV)
14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.

Threefold cord – Tied together


May 12, 2015 – Fourteen years since my beloved wife, Sangeetha Johnson, and I took our vows before God to be unified and as we celebrate our anniversary, I thank our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for his grace and guidance in our lives, consistently and constantly. The Bible says that a threefold cord is not quickly broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12) and so I know for certain, that despite my lusts after worldly pleasures and selfish desires, it is solely because of Jesus Christ, the third cord, who binds us together, that we can celebrate fourteen years of being tied together. Sangeetha, emulates the love of Christ not merely by words, but by action.

So as the singer Cliff Richards aptly put it, we remind ourselves this day and pray the following:
You and me and Jesus, Jesus me and you,
On our own, we’d break, with Him, we will make it through
Jesus, take us make us, what you want us both to be
I give myself to her, She gives herself to me.

Points to ponder:
A threefold cord is not quickly broken. Is Jesus intertwined in your life so that you and your relationships are not quickly broken?

Ecclesiastes 4:12 (KJV)
12 And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

God our Mother


For some, the title of this article may seem absurd, but there is a point to be made. Having said that, this article is not about speculating on the gender of God as much as it is to get a glimpse of the character of God, which is not confined to merely one of the two genders, as we know about (male and female).  While most references to God is as God the Father, the Bible at times portrays God as a mother as well. In fact, God is Spirit when he created man, the Bible establishes that God created man in his own image, both male AND female, he created them.

Growing up in India, one of the familiar sights in the streets of the village of Malkangiri that I grew up was the sight of hens and chicks roaming the streets. These cute little chicks would follow their mother hen, strutting about and whenever they would sense any kind of day, they would huddle and scamper under their mother. The mother hen would often spread its wings to cover and protect her baby chicks.

On May 10, 2015, we celebrated Mother’s day in honor of our mothers … and as I pondered about what to write, I learned that God our Father, considers himself to be like our mother as well. Jesus himself establishes this motherly character of God, when he spoke of himself/God and questioned, “how often would I have gather your children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings (Matthew 23:37)”. Jesus likens himself to be a mother hen, one protecting her baby chickens, in the presence of dangers and evil around.

Points to ponder:
So this Mothers day and in all to come, let us remember to honor our earthly mothers, but more importantly, let us remember to recognize and honor God (as our Mother and Father) above all.

Matthew 23:37 (KJV)
37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

Psalm 91:4 (KJV)
He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

Jesus – The True Ram (Lift up your eyes and look)


Genesis 22:13 reads “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.” Isaac’s question of “Where is the lamb for the offering?” to Abraham is answered temporarily here by God providing a ram (not a lamb) that was caught in a thicket, whcih Abraham went and took and offered it as a burnt offering instead of his son.”

In the book of Daniel chapter 8, we see that the kings of Medes and Persia are represented by two horns of a ram on rampage, with nothing standing in its way until it is overthrown by the king of Greece, represented by a he-goat. So the ram  is symbolic of  strength and authority as that of a kings.

Points to ponder:
Jesus Christ, the supreme authority to whom all blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving, honor  and power and strength is given/ascribed (Revelation 7:12) – the ruler over all of creation (Ephesians 1:21-22) – The True Ram – was lifted up on the Cross of Calvary, with his head wrapped in a thicket (thorn) crown (Matthew 27:29). All of his Lordship, Kingship and authority was willfully relinquished by himself. Jesus being God, he made himself of no reputation (Philippians 2:5) as a king caught in the thickets of God’s plan for the redemption of mankind. Instead of us, the sons and daughters of God through Adam, Jesus, the Only begotten Son of God, was the offering provided for the salvation of all mankind. Just as Abraham went and took the offering provided, we must also go to Jesus and take (accept) him, but this begins with us first lifting up the eyes of our heart and looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).  Jesus is the True Ram (King) – Do you see – Lift up your eyes and look (believe)?

Genesis 22:13 (KJV)
13 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.