In thy Seed – all the nations of the earth be blessed

In the covenant that the Lord God makes with Abraham for his obedience, God promises to not only bless him but also lets him know that he will be a blessing and through him will come The Seed by whom all nations of the earth shall be blessed.

Though Isaac was the immediate child of Abraham, Apostle Paul identifies that the Seed refers to none other than Jesus Christ himself (Galatians 3:16). The Bible also teaches us that Jesus Christ in the hope of all nations (Matthew 12:21) and Jesus Christ IN us is the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). We also learn from the Holy Scripture that those who have trusted IN Christ Jesus as their Savior, Master, King, and LORD are a new creation – no longer cursed and under the penalty, but blessed with life eternal (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Points to ponder:
Is Jesus Christ, ‘The Seed’ sowed in your life or in other words is Christ Jesus, the hope of glory, by and through whom, all of the nations of the earth is blessed, in you, germinating to make your life fruitful for God’s purpose. And equally important it is for you to answer – Are you in Christ Jesus? Have you trusted in Him – The Seed of Abraham.

Genesis 22:18 (KJV)
18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

Lesson from Lot’s wife – the Pillar of Salt

For those who are familiar with the Bible, the story of Lot’s wife turning into a pillar of salt, when she disobeyed and looked back at the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, is not unknown (Genesis 19:26).

Since the Bible is not explicit on the details of this transformation, there are quite a few questions left unanswered. What is this pillar of salt? Was Lot’s wife’s body tissue calcified from within or was she covered with the residue of the brimstone poured out of heaven? Was she punished because of the allegiance of her heart to the wickedness of the city she lived in or was it because of her disobedience in looking back? Why did the angels not ask Lot about his wife, but asked his sons, daughters and even his sons-in-law? (Genesis 19:12). Did they already know that this unnamed wife of Lot would look back even after she had the knowledge of her salvation, and is that why they warned the family to not look back? There are so many questions that the natural mind warrants answers for and it would be mere speculation and futile of man to even attempt to answer these. However, the answers to the spiritual mind are more evident than the natural ones.

From this account, we can learn a few hidden truths that is well substantiated by the Bible.

  1. The consequences of disobeying God willfully after the foreknowledge of salvation is death (Hebrews 10:26) as the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).
  2. To look back is to consider the ways of the past – our lives before we come to know of the saving grace of Jesus Christ – a life that is sinful and contrary to the will and ways of God. But anyone who is in Christ Jesus is a new creature; the old has gone and the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17). The new can have nothing to do with the old for the new shall burst out the old as new wine bursts out the old wineskin if put in it (Matthew 9:17). Instead of looking back at our wicked pasts and be drawn to it, we must look on forward unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).
  3. A pillar is usually erected to hold something on top of it or as a monument of remembrance. Lot’s wife was one who had lost her saltiness (Luke 14:34) only to find out that she would serve as a monumental reminder to the truth that friendship with the world is enmity with God (James 4:4).

Points to ponder:
Where are you looking at and more importantly who are you looking at? To look behind and be drawn to a wicked lifestyle after having seen the Salvation of the Lord bears the consequences of death – Look not behind at the world but unto Jesus. Are you a friend of the world (James 4:4) or are you a Friend of God (James 2:23)?

Genesis 19:23-26 (KJV)
23 The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.
24 Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven;
25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.
26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

Hebrews 10:26-27 (KJV)
26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

Romans 6:22-23 (KJV)
22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

James 4:4 (KJV)
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

James 2:23 (KJV)
23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

Hebrews 12:2 (KJV)
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Sarah thy wife

When the Lord and the divine visitors question Abraham, they asked “Where is Sarah thy wife?” To the cursory reader, while this may seem like a very simple and direct question regarding the whereabouts of Sarah, in-depth scrutiny reveals quiet the contrary.

First note, how the Lord refers to Abraham’s wife as Sarah – the new name she was given by the God (Genesis 17:15) and not Sarai – her birthname given to her by her earthly father – Terah (Genesis 11:27; Genesis 20:12). Second, did you notice, how the Lord is stating the obvious apropos Sarah’s relationship to Abraham as his wife. We do not know of any other Sarai who was renamed Sarah except for Abraham’s wife at that time. Then why would the Lord need to explicitly refer to Sarah as Abraham’s wife?

To answer this, we would need to rely solely on God’s word and other sections in the infallible Scripture can give us some insight. Abram (before he was named Abraham) had told a half-truth i.e., lied to the Pharoah of Egypt about his relationship with Sarai (before she was called Sarah) stating that she was his sister, for the fear of his life (Genesis 12:11-20). Additionally, Abram, at the consent and act of Sarah herself, had taken her Egyptian maid Hagar, to be his wife not concubine (Genesis 16:3). The Lord leaves no question unturned – that it is Sarah, not Hagar who is “Abraham’s” wife through whom his promised Seed (Galatians 3:16) would hail.

Points to ponder:
From these we can learn a few things –
1. God calls us by our new names and not our old. When we belong to Christ (we are Christ ones or Christians) and God sees us as his children and not as the children of the devil (John 8:44) under whose power we live (1 John 5:19) since natural birth (Psalm 51:5) until we are born again spiritually (John 3:3-7; 1 Peter 1:23). What is your new name for those who are in Christ – those who have received him and believed in his name – those who are a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17); they are the children of God (John 1:12).
2. The Lord reminds us and reestablishes our relationship. Due to our meagre understanding of the power of God, we may choose to establish our own earthly relationships, but only the relationship that God has promised and provided will stand. Just as Sarah was the wife of Abraham, bearing the children of freedom and not of slavery to the law (Galatians 4:21-31), those who are the children of God, born again, by believing in Jesus are children of freedom and are free indeed (John 8:36).
What is your new name?
Is your relationship with God – a Father-Child relationship?
Can God say <put your name here> my child?

Genesis 18:9 (KJV)
And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent.

God’s command is re-given

God gave Adam and Eve, the command to be fruitful, and multiply, and to replenish the earth. However, Adam and Eve disobeyed God and brought about death into the world they lived in. Subsequently, wickedness and violence became rampant in the world, so much so, that God had to destroy it in a flood, during the time of Noah. After the flood waters receded, it was a new world and interestingly God gives Noah and his sons, the same command that he gave Adam and Eve. God’s command is re-given.

Points to ponder:
When we are believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, we become a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17) and our citizenship is of a new world; of heaven (Philippians 3:20). God’s command (along with his blessing), is given, for us to be fruitful, and to multiply God’s kingdom by replenishing it others who believe in Jesus Christ. God’s command is re-given to us. How do we fare in regards to being fruitful and multiplying God’s kingdom, for God’s command to do so is re-given?

Genesis 1:28 (KJV)
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Genesis 9:1 
1. And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.

Nahum 1:3 – Clouds are the dust of his feet

The last part of Nahum 1:3 reads “and the clouds are the dust of his feet.

The Bible tells us of the pillar of the cloud that went in front of the people of God and led the Israelites out of Egypt, their land of physical bondage (Exodus 13:21-22; Nehemiah 9:12, 19); that went behind the people of God and protected them from their enemies (Exodus 14:19). The Lord looked from the pillar of fire and of the cloud at the army of the Egyptians and troubled them (Exodus 14:24). As Moses entered the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the Lord talked with Moses (Exodus 33:9, Deuteronomy 31:15), and called for Aaron and Miriam (Numbers 12:5), implying that God was there to be seen face to face (Numbers 14:14). During the transfiguration of Jesus, a cloud came and overshadowed the disciples and they feared as they entered into the cloud. From within the cloud, the voice of God was heard, promulgating Jesus as his beloved son again, and commanding the disciples to listen to him. After this the found Jesus alone. All this is indicative and proof of the fact that God is there (Jehovah Shammah) in the cloud (Ezekiel 48:35). In fact, the Bible informs that Jesus will return with clouds (Revelation 1:7) meaning that the clouds will be [like] the dust of his feet (Nahum 1:3). Revelation 10 speaks about a mighty angel of the Lord who came down from heaven, clothed with a cloud and a rainbow was upon his head and his face was as if it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire. Reading the description of this mighty angel, we can induce that this is a reference to the Lord Jesus Christ himself, for the rainbow upon his head represents the covenant of mercy that God promised to Noah, and the face shining like the sun and brandished feet are the same that are used to describe Jesus as his identified himself in the beginning of his revelation to John (Revelation 1:15-16).

Points to ponder:
When life seems to be clouded with problems and challenges, we can take solace in the fact that God goes ahead of us to lead us through the fog of life, and goes behind us to protect us from our enemies. He looks from within the cloudy situations of our life and troubles our troubles. In the clouds of life, we can hear God – we can hear his call of us and we can see him face to face if we are of a pure heart (that is sanctified by the blood of Jesus – Matthew 5:8). While we may be afraid to enter into the cloudy situations of life, if only we listen to God’s promulgation, we can hear him identify Jesus Christ as the Only begotten Son of God whom we must heed to (Mark 9:7). Jesus was in the cloud and is in the clouds of life that blocks our view of God. Jesus will return with the clouds and if we are cleansed by his blood (1 John 1:7), with a clean (pure) heart that he creates in us (Psalm 51:10), when we believe (John 3:16), as a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17), we shall be able to see him face to face (Exodus 33:11; 1 Corinthians 13:12). Are you ready for the return of Jesus with the clouds as the dust of his feet, and to see him face to face?

Nahum 1:3 (KJV)
The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.

Mark 9:2-8 (KJV)
2 And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them.
3 And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them.
4 And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.
5 And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.
6 For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid.
7 And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.
8 And suddenly, when they had looked round about, they saw no man any more, save Jesus only with themselves.

Suitable/’Meet’ Help

The latter half of Genesis 2:18 reads of God saying “I will make him an help meet for him.“, with him here, referring to “the man.” Taken literally, this would mean, that the woman who was created for man, was made as one who would be a suitable (meet) helper for the man. When explaining this to our beloved seven year old son, Reuben, he paused for a moment and then asked the question – If Eve was made for Adam as his helper, why did she end up hurting him? I had to explain as to how the woman was deceived by Satan, even though she was fully aware of the commandment of God and out of her own desires, willingly chose to ignore God’s commandment.

Points to ponder:
God has remade those who have believed in his Son (Jesus Christ) to be a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17), with the intent of us being a suitable (meet) help for Jesus Christ, The Man in heaven (1 Timothy 2:5). Not that Jesus needs our help, but we are commissioned to be his ministers of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:20), as we await his glorious return. As the bride of Christ Jesus, the bridegroom, are we working for him like someone who is a suitable help for him or are we being deceived by Satan to gratify our own selfish desires? At the end of our time, let God be able to say of each one of us, “He/She was a help meet for my beloved Son.”

Genesis 2:18 (KJV)
18 And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

To rest or not to rest?

To rest or not to rest? – that is the question.

Genesis 2:2-3 records that on the seventh day, God rested. While we have heard several sermons about God resting on the seventh day, from which an extrapolation of the need and importance to rest, is exposited, it is important to note that the verses read that God “ended” his work and he rested. He “blessed” the seventh day and “sanctified” it (declared it holy), because it was the day when he rested.

The first thing to note is that we must complete the work that we have been tasked with i.e., just as God ended the work of making new things before he rested, we must end our work as well. The good news is that God who began the good work in us will bring it to  completion (Philippians 1:6) as we are ambassadors of his, making things new by presenting the gospel of Jesus Christ, for whoever is in Christ is a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17). Also when we rest, we must bless the Lord for having given us rest. Jesus said, the sabbath was made for man and not man for the sabbath (Mark 2:27) i.e., in other words, rest, that is important, is necessary so that man can take his mind and body off the things of this world, a chasing after the wind, and focus on God and the things above, blessing God and keeping the sabbath (rest) holy, just as God did. Well, the fourth commandment in the ten commandments is to “Remember the sabbath (rest) day, to keep it holy. ” (Exodus 20:8)

Points to ponder:
To rest or not to rest? –  that is the question. We must rest only when we end our work (and God will help being our work for him to completion) and when we rest we must bless God and keep our rest holy.

Genesis 2:2-3 (KJV)
And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

Philippians 1:6 (KJV)
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Mark 2:27 (KJV)
27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:

Exodus 20:8 (KJV)
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.