Monday, October 31, 2016

Genesis 24:10-28 comments: the bride-to-be responds to a request

10 ¶  And the servant took ten camels of the camels of his master, and departed; for all the goods of his master were in his hand: and he arose, and went to Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor. 11  And he made his camels to kneel down without the city by a well of water at the time of the evening, even the time that women go out to draw water. 12  And he said, O LORD God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and shew kindness unto my master Abraham. 13  Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water: 14  And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast shewed kindness unto my master. 15  And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder. 16  And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her: and she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up. 17  And the servant ran to meet her, and said, Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher. 18  And she said, Drink, my lord: and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink. 19  And when she had done giving him drink, she said, I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking. 20  And she hasted, and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again unto the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels. 21  And the man wondering at her held his peace, to wit whether the LORD had made his journey prosperous or not. 22  And it came to pass, as the camels had done drinking, that the man took a golden earring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold; 23  And said, Whose daughter art thou? tell me, I pray thee: is there room in thy father’s house for us to lodge in? 24  And she said unto him, I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, which she bare unto Nahor. 25  She said moreover unto him, We have both straw and provender enough, and room to lodge in. 26  And the man bowed down his head, and worshipped the LORD. 27  And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master’s brethren. 28  And the damsel ran, and told them of her mother’s house these things.

Much can be said about the significance of the Eliezer, a type of the Holy Ghost, bringing ten camels. There are many sermons to be had out of this passage exhorting people to believe on Christ. For one example of prophetic interpretation, the phrase And God said is repeated ten times in the first chapter of Genesis. Perhaps, in symbolic, typology these ten camels, brought by a type of the Holy Ghost to a type of God’s church represent God’s word in Abraham, a type of God the Father, sending the Holy Ghost to gather His church for Christ, who in type is Isaac, already sacrificed in type and resurrected in type, based on how the church responds to the words of God. What is happening here is then telling us in shadow what has happened in the spiritual world since before creation.

Ephesians 1:4  According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

The part played by the bride-to-be for Isaac, the church for Christ, is laid out by the servant of Abraham, or the Holy Ghost, as one who when approached by the Holy Ghost, responds. The Holy Ghost makes the truth of the gospel brought by the Holy Ghost on ten camels, in a manner of speaking, representing what God has said, apparent and the bride-to-be responds. The bride for Isaac waters the camels as the church glorifies the gospel of Christ by its response to that gospel, confirming that the church is indeed chosen, but chosen by her response. Below, Paul expresses his wish to present the church as pure to Christ as His bride.

2Corinthians 11:2  For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

And this marriage will be complete at the end of human history.

Revelation 19:9  And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

Verse 16 defines a virgin; a virgin, neither had any man known her. This will be important in talking about the miracle of Mary carrying Jesus in the gospels. Verse 22 gives us an important point about understanding the Bible. Bracelets, which go around wrists, are said to be for hands, which clearly includes the wrist. So, an earring is said to go on one’s face in the next passage.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Genesis 24:1-9 comments: A wife for Isaac

1 ¶  And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things. 2  And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: 3  And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: 4  But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac. 5  And the servant said unto him, Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land: must I needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest? 6  And Abraham said unto him, Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again. 7  The LORD God of heaven, which took me from my father’s house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence. 8  And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath: only bring not my son thither again. 9  And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him concerning that matter.

Abraham was well-acquainted with the religious practices and the character of the Canaanites. Ham’s grandson’s descendants were very carnal and impulsive, prone to the most awful religious practices like temple prostitution with both female prostitutes called whores and male prostitutes called sodomites, a reference to Sodom once under control of Babylon, and the source of that early God-defying religion. The slang dog is also used as a derogatory term for them.

Deuteronomy 23:17  There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel. 18  Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the LORD thy God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the LORD thy God.

There was also child sacrifice to Baal where, with trumpets blowing and drums beating, the infant was thrown into the super-heated arms of a statue of this devil. The noise was so that the screams of the infant could be muted because it was not pleasing to this devil for parents to mourn. In this way, on one occasion, 300 babies were slaughtered in the city of Carthage, a colony of Phoenicia, much later in history when Rome besieged it, to appease Baal’s wrath.

Sex with animals as evidenced even today on an Indian temple in carvings and other sexual practices under the guise of religion and for any reason as banned by the Law given to Moses was also common. It was a wicked world without even the superficial layer of pretended morality we have today.

Abraham wanted nothing of this world to have polluted the wife he desired for his son. Unfortunately for Solomon, later king of Israel, he did not feel that way much to his shame.

1Kings 11:4  For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.

Nehemiah 13:26  Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin.

The Christian is warned not to be unequally yoked with an unbeliever.

2Corinthians 6:14  Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15  And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

Many marriages made by Christians with cynical unbelief have either turned out unhappy or, even if physically happy, have borne no faith and a lack of regard for God in both parents and children is the result. It is a terrible mistake to encourage a son or daughter who has been a faithful Bible-believing young person to marry someone who does not believe or trust in Christ, someone whom they met in the public school you sent them to or the university you thought they must attend.

There are two things, two trends, in American history that have killed faith in later generations. One of them is the hyper-Christianity, the self-righteousness of conservatives and liberals who believed they were bringing in the kingdom of Christ on earth without Him. The other is Christian youth marrying unbelievers and creating confusion and then unbelief in their families.

Here we see an odd custom of putting one’s hand under the upper leg of a person superior in rank to swear an oath. The thigh in the Bible refers to the leg down to the knee as in this description of breeches, the underwear of the Hebrew priests.

Exodus 28:42  And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach:

This steward the eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had is identified by name as Eliezer of Damascus in 15:2. It has been said that if Abraham is a type of God the Father, then Eliezer is a type of the Holy Ghost going into the world to gather the church of believers only, the Bride of Christ, for Isaac, who is a type of Christ. Verse 8 underscores the free will nature of this church as God forces no one to follow Him.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Genesis 22:20-24 to Genesis 23:1-20 comments: Abraham buys a cave to bury Sarah

22:20 ¶  And it came to pass after these things, that it was told Abraham, saying, Behold, Milcah, she hath also born children unto thy brother Nahor; 21  Huz his firstborn, and Buz his brother, and Kemuel the father of Aram, 22  And Chesed, and Hazo, and Pildash, and Jidlaph, and Bethuel. 23  And Bethuel begat Rebekah: these eight Milcah did bear to Nahor, Abraham’s brother. 24  And his concubine, whose name was Reumah, she bare also Tebah, and Gaham, and Thahash, and Maachah.

Chapter 23

1 ¶  And Sarah was an hundred and seven and twenty years old: these were the years of the life of Sarah. 2  And Sarah died in Kirjatharba; the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan: and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her.

    3 ¶  And Abraham stood up from before his dead, and spake unto the sons of Heth, saying, 4  I am a stranger and a sojourner with you: give me a possession of a buryingplace with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight. 5  And the children of Heth answered Abraham, saying unto him, 6  Hear us, my lord: thou art a mighty prince among us: in the choice of our sepulchres bury thy dead; none of us shall withhold from thee his sepulchre, but that thou mayest bury thy dead. 7  And Abraham stood up, and bowed himself to the people of the land, even to the children of Heth. 8  And he communed with them, saying, If it be your mind that I should bury my dead out of my sight; hear me, and intreat for me to Ephron the son of Zohar, 9  That he may give me the cave of Machpelah, which he hath, which is in the end of his field; for as much money as it is worth he shall give it me for a possession of a buryingplace amongst you. 10  And Ephron dwelt among the children of Heth: and Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the audience of the children of Heth, even of all that went in at the gate of his city, saying, 11  Nay, my lord, hear me: the field give I thee, and the cave that is therein, I give it thee; in the presence of the sons of my people give I it thee: bury thy dead. 12  And Abraham bowed down himself before the people of the land. 13  And he spake unto Ephron in the audience of the people of the land, saying, But if thou wilt give it, I pray thee, hear me: I will give thee money for the field; take it of me, and I will bury my dead there. 14  And Ephron answered Abraham, saying unto him, 15  My lord, hearken unto me: the land is worth four hundred shekels of silver; what is that betwixt me and thee? bury therefore thy dead.

    16 ¶  And Abraham hearkened unto Ephron; and Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver, which he had named in the audience of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, current money with the merchant. 17  And the field of Ephron, which was in Machpelah, which was before Mamre, the field, and the cave which was therein, and all the trees that were in the field, that were in all the borders round about, were made sure 18  Unto Abraham for a possession in the presence of the children of Heth, before all that went in at the gate of his city. 19  And after this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre: the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan. 20  And the field, and the cave that is therein, were made sure unto Abraham for a possession of a buryingplace by the sons of Heth.

Moses, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, gives us information about Milcah being the mother of children by Abraham’s brother, Nahor. If you read the book of Job you will see that the writer of Job, Elihu, is a Buzite, or descendant, perhaps a grandson, of Buz. see Job 32. Of course, there may have been another person named Buz but the general time frame works for the events of the book of Job which took place in what became known as the land of Edom. Job was a Gentile, not a Hebrew.

Milcah and Nahor will be the grandparents of Rebekah, Isaac’s wife. See Genesis 24:15.

Sarah is now 127 years old. She dies in Canaan. Heth was a son of Canaan, who was cursed in the incident between Noah and Ham in Genesis 9. Heth is the father of the Hittites as we see by verse 10. Later, Uriah the Hittite will play the role of innocent victim in the story of David in 2Samuel 11.

What follows is the purchase of a cave in which to bury Sarah. Remember, when Abraham refused to take any reward from the King of Sodom in Genesis 14? Here, Abraham refuses to accept this cave without paying for it. There is a pattern here, it would seem, of not wishing to be in thrall to a person who offers you something for free. It appears to be a matter of honor. Notice David refusing to accept a place to offer a sacrifice as a gift but demanding to pay for it in 2Samuel 24. And, it may be a ritual, a custom played out where it is expected to offer something for free and it is expected to offer money for it.

One last thing, notice the custom of burying the dead out of one’s sight rather than exposing the dead to the ravage of scavengers and decay as some cultures did and still do. Also, keep in mind that in the diaspora of mankind from the building of Babel that some cultures grew to not just respect the dead but to worship the dead, their ancestors, as gods. This is the source of some god mythologies around the world. The cult of death in human history has a long tradition which will show itself in later chapters where the heathen make marks on their bodies to venerate the dead. Death itself can be worshipped as is evident by certain groups in modern society. Consider philosophies where death is to be preferred or, if not preferred, glorified like the cult of hyper-patriotism in war, abortion-on-demand, and euthanasia and examine them closely and the writings of their most vocal proponents. In the various expressions of the cult of death war, abortion, and euthanasia are sacraments almost. Beware of anyone who glorifies death without the resurrection. They will justify it by pragmatism, patriotism, sacrifice, or a matter of human rights. They will wrap it in a flag, the Constitution, humans as mere animals, reason, practicality or any number of justifications. It is Satan who wishes us to focus on death alone. That is the key to controlling our thought processes and affections, our beliefs about everything from science to how we view the end of life.  Here, Abraham wishes only to show respect for Sarah and bury her out of his sight.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Genesis 22:15-19 comments: the results of Abraham's obedience

    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. 19  So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba.

Christ, the visible image of the invisible God, the angel of the Lord, the one of the three parts of God by which all things were created, makes a promise to Abraham. (see comments on chapter 1, verse 3, for the Biblical explanation of who Christ is.) In the promise He makes a statement of equivalence between the amount of sand on the sea shore and the number of stars in the heavens. Although we can never know this number in this life scientists do approximate that there is a similar number of both although many insist that there are more stars in the heavens than sand. In any event, the point of this is not to engage in a scientific statement but to underscore the concept of a lot of or very many. This is done in other places to signify a large amount.

Deuteronomy 28:62  And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because thou wouldest not obey the voice of the LORD thy God.

But if you insist that this does refer to an exact number then you must also consider that in eternity the Jews, who will inherit the physical earth while followers in Christ from the church age will abide in the New Jerusalem, will reproduce fully populating from their scant ten million roughly today on the earth to perhaps the entire universe as Rebekah’s brother and mother prophesied a number in the billions for them eventually. The following is more of a specific kind of number.

Genesis 24:60  And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her, Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them.

As explained before in 19:1-3 comments the gate is the place of judgment in a city. It is a place of authority and the Hebrews here are promised much victory.

Because Abraham obeyed God the entire earth is blessed and all men will have the opportunity to be reconciled to God. Our amnesty in the rebellion begun by Adam against the King of all existence is again ensured. This promise is referred to in several places which I recommend you read, paying attention to the context. See Genesis 12:3; 18:18; 26:4; Acts 3:25; Galatians 3:8,9.

Paul makes the argument that this promise, as with the land grant, comes directly through Christ and eventually to Christ in Galatians 3. This is how the Jews will inherit the land they were promised, through Christ, and this is how all believers will inherit eternal life, through Christ.

First, Paul compares Abraham believing God, the foundation of his salvation, with our believing Christ, who is God, the foundation of our salvation along with believing in His resurrection as stated in Romans 10, starting in verse 9.

We believe what Christ said about Himself. First, to define what believe on means as believing what Christ said;

John 3:36  He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Acts 16:31  And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

Now, see how Paul uses Abraham’s belief, though like ours, imperfect, to begin his argument. Note in verse 9 that to be faithful is to be full of faith and constant to it and is not about how often you darken the church’s doors.

Galatians 3:6 ¶  Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. 7  Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 8  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. 9  So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. 10  For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. 11  But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. 12  And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. 13  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: 14  That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. 15  Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. 16  Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. 17  And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. 18  For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.  

So, that Jew and Gentile can be reconciled to God by this promise through Christ and that the Jews receive their promise of land in eternity through Christ’s acquisition of it Himself physically. As the angel of the Lord, Christ, made the promises so do they find their fulfillment in Him.

Remember, the Bible is the record of God’s efforts at reconciling man to Himself. This is the alternative to just letting all mankind share a fate worse than simply ceasing to exist, an eternity of agony and judgment in a lake of unquenchable fire for our souls. We can honor Abraham, in his obedience, for being part of God’s plan for our reconciliation to Him. But, we give all the glory to God who made our reconciliation possible, sure, and complete; for without His grace, His unmerited favor, we would be lost.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Genesis 22:3-14 comments: a sacrifice interrupted

3 ¶  And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. 4  Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. 5  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 to you. 6  And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. 7  And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? 8  And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. 9  And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. 10  And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.

    11 ¶  And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. 12  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. 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. 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.

Without questioning Abraham proceeds toward his obedience to God’s seemingly horrific command. For we know that human sacrifice is forbidden by God as an act of worship.

Jeremiah 32:35  And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

Mount Moriah is what we know today as the Temple Mount.

2Chronicles 3:1  Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the LORD appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.

The third day represents to us the resurrection of Christ after three days.

Luke 24:46  And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:

This resurrection is a theme mentioned in several places in prophetic verses in the Old Testament.

Hosea 6:2  After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.

Isaac as a type of Christ. Verse 8 shows Abraham speaking a prophecy of Christ, the Lamb of God (John 1:29, 36), as it is a ram that is provided for this sacrifice as a ram is the sacrifice of Aaron and his son’s consecration as God’s priests in Exodus 29. Isaac is being set apart for God’s purpose and we are being given a glimpse of Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection.

…God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering…

Notice here that to stop him, God, as the angel of the Lord, the appearance of God, which appearance is Christ as we have seen, calls Abraham out of heaven. Notice the similar scene with Hagar in preceding passages.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Genesis 22:1-2 comments: Abraham's test

1 ¶  And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. 2  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.

The word tempt is carefully defined in the Bible based on the context. It means to provoke when used of man tempting God. This is clear in the word’s usage in many verses talking about how mankind angers God thereby incurring His wrath.

Psalm 78:56  Yet they tempted and provoked the most high God, and kept not his testimonies:

It also means to prove or to test to see if a promise or the power of God is real, to put God to the test.

Psalm 95:9  When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.

With regard to God tempting man it is about a test, proving man’s faith or faithlessness, with God already knowing the answer but the person learning the lesson, the reality of his own faith. It is a test or proving something as in proving a sword to make sure it is properly sharpened or strong.

Here, Abraham’s faith was tried, proved, or tested.

Hebrews 11:17  By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,

Now, God never tempts, tests, tries, or proves His people with the express purpose of making them fall. That is what Satan does. Notice the phrasing of the following verse in James.

James 1:13 ¶  Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

The key phrase here, which defines the verse, is tempted with evil. As God is the standard of all good an evil it is an impossibility for you to provoke Him to go against His own will. And, God, never tempts you, if you are His, to do evil. He proves your faith. If a temptation specifically regarding your faith confronts you by His permissive will He will provide an escape.

1Corinthians 10:13  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

The context of that verse in 1Corinthians is idolatry, not refraining from drinking a beer or smoking a cigarette although you might make it so.

The key question for a Christian has to do with whether or not you are willing to die for Christ. This is the main question for believers all through the final book of Revelation. You say you believe and you say you trust in Christ but when persecution comes, are you assured enough in your trust to die for Christ?

Revelation 12:10  And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 11  And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

The one that overcomes is the one that holds that Christ is and was God in the flesh to the very end.

1John 5:4  For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 5  Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

And there are great things awaiting that one that overcomes the world. Read Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21 & 21:7.

This is very relevant here, because as we believe in Christ’s resurrection and in our resurrection because of His, so Abraham, too, believed in a resurrection and was able to overcome at the order to offer up his son of promise because of that faith.

Hebrews 11:17  By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18  Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: 19  Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

He believed God’s promise that in Isaac his seed should be called and believed that God would raise him from the dead. So, the willingness to offer Isaac up and God’s order not to go through with it, which we will see, is a type, a figure, of death and resurrection. Abraham will receive his son back in a type and literally.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Genesis 21:22-34 comments: Abraham's well

    22 ¶  And it came to pass at that time, that Abimelech and Phichol the chief captain of his host spake unto Abraham, saying, God is with thee in all that thou doest: 23  Now therefore swear unto me here by God that thou wilt not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son’s son: but according to the kindness that I have done unto thee, thou shalt do unto me, and to the land wherein thou hast sojourned. 24  And Abraham said, I will swear. 25  And Abraham reproved Abimelech because of a well of water, which Abimelech’s servants had violently taken away. 26  And Abimelech said, I wot not who hath done this thing: neither didst thou tell me, neither yet heard I of it, but to day. 27  And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave them unto Abimelech; and both of them made a covenant. 28  And Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves. 29  And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What mean these seven ewe lambs which thou hast set by themselves? 30  And he said, For these seven ewe lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that they may be a witness unto me, that I have digged this well. 31  Wherefore he called that place Beersheba; because there they sware both of them. 32  Thus they made a covenant at Beersheba: then Abimelech rose up, and Phichol the chief captain of his host, and they returned into the land of the Philistines.

    33 ¶  And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God. 34  And Abraham sojourned in the Philistines’ land many days.

This good king, perhaps on an inspection tour with his general, stated that he understood that God was with Abraham as he could see how God protected Abraham and blessed him. However, he had reason enough not to completely trust Abraham. So, he wanted to make an agreement that would protect his dynasty from any plans Abraham might have. He wanted Abraham’s promise and Abraham gave it to him. Abraham and Abimelech’s servants had a violent disagreement about a well Abraham had dug and an agreement was made to settle the issue as Abraham convinced Abimelech that the well was his own. The place where this covenant was made, in the land that Abimelech had given to Abraham, was named Beersheba, either after the wilderness of Beersheba in which Hagar was cast, or perhaps both names were added after, as Strong says Beersheba means, “well of the sevenfold oath.”

For men who tended sheep and cattle a well of water was a very important resource and important social and political events revolved around a well. We see examples of this in Genesis 29 and in Exodus 2, as here.

Where people think this occurred was the scene of one of the last great and successful cavalry charges in history during World War One in 1917.

Phichol may have been a title rather than a person’s individual name. Of course, people are often known by their titles, as in your doctor or a person holding a political office, or, as in, “the general said...”

Remember, as mentioned previously, that Abimelech is the name of a Philistine king or means king in that language just as Pharaoh is not a personal name but a title.

Genesis 20:2  And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah.

And later, we will be shown;

Genesis 26:1  And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar.

The Philistines, as a plural, is also Philistim.

Genesis 10:6 ¶  And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan.…13  And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim, 14  And Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (out of whom came Philistim,) and Caphtorim.

Casluhim is the son of Mizraim, who is the son of Ham. The nursery, in a manner of speaking, where Isaac was brought forth, like the Hebrews later, will be in a land ruled by Ham’s descendants, as Mizraim was the founder of Egypt.

Genesis 50:11  And when the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning in the floor of Atad, they said, This is a grievous mourning to the Egyptians: wherefore the name of it was called Abelmizraim, which is beyond Jordan.

Strong’s dictionary, and I am not saying that it is the only authority, but Strong’s says that Abelmizraim is translated from, “a meadow of Egypt,” as Mizraim was the name for Egypt. We get the word Egypt from the Greek word, Aigyptos, and the Latin, Aegyptus, for the Roman province of Egypt. But, we can be certain that the country was named after its founder at first, Mizraim. Mizraim is also inscribed in the Ishtar Gate of Babylon and is in the Armana tablets so it is, of course, of much older date than the word, Egypt.

Abraham stayed in the land of the Philistines for quite a while. What happens next is one of the most profoundly meaningful passage in terms of prophecy in the entire Old Testament.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Genesis 21:14-21 comments: God opened her eyes

14 ¶  And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba. 15  And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs. 16  And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bowshot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept. 17  And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is. 18  Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation. 19  And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink. 20  And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer. 21  And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt.

Hagar and her son are put away. It seems strange that a man possessed of such wealth as Abraham would provide her with such meager provisions. It seems rather heartless, wouldn’t you say? When all seems lost, though, God does not let things go too far. To say God heard the voice of the lad is much like the earlier statements about God remembering. It doesn’t suggest that He was reading a book and happened to hear Ishmael’s cry by chance. It means that He responded to the plaintive pleas of Hagar and Ishmael as He often does not make things better for us until we acknowledge our need and weakness.

God opened her eyes so that she could see something that was hidden from her before as He often does to us although we do not acknowledge that he has done so. There is something in front of us which should be obvious but we just cannot see it until He reveals its presence to us. This opening of our eyes is also apparent in understanding.

Psalm 119:18 ¶  Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.

Ephesians 1:18  The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

The skilled workman, even the unbelieving, suddenly sees a solution to a problem, the cunning inventor suddenly has a flash of insight, the student quickly sees the answer to a dilemma that he could not previously see. Of course, we all think that this surprising inspiration, this understanding, comes from something deep inside of us, as if an idea, the problem, or a solution was a living thing just hanging around waiting for us to pick it. We attribute it to our superior reasoning ability. But, if we acknowledge that God opens our eyes things become clearer.

Satan, as well, can blind men from seeing something that is true.

2Corinthians 4:4  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

But, typically, in the Bible, it is God that blinds men whose hearts are opposed to Him so that they shall not see the truth because they will not see the truth. Think about the shall as being a consequence of the will.

Isaiah 44:18  They have not known nor understood: for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand.

2Thessalonians 2:11  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12  That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

The skilled craftsman, the student, the inventor has prepared himself by training, interest, and vocation to receive something from God, perhaps whom He does not know, because of God’s purposes, not that person’s own. So, it is that the person who seeks God prepares his own heart by his or her yearning to know the truth and then, at some point, God opens that person’s eyes and they believe that Jesus is and was God in the flesh and that He rose from the dead and our salvation lies only with Him.

Here, in this passage, God reveals something to Hagar regarding her and her son’s deliverance that was not visible to her in her despair.

Ishmael grows up to be an archer and an Egyptian wife, like his own mother, is provided for him. The bow, representing the archer, plays a part in the latter days in that part of the world as the beast arises who conquers bringing death, famine, pestilence, and much sorrow with him.

Revelation 6:2  And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Genesis 21:9-13 comments: Sarah wants Hagar and Ishmael sent away

9 ¶  And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking. 10  Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac. 11  And the thing was very grievous in Abraham’s sight because of his son. 12  And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called. 13  And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.

I mentioned the rabbinic opinion that the four hundred years of bondage began with this mocking back in Genesis 15:12-16. Sarah does not want Ishmael, who is not her offspring, to share the inheritance with Isaac. Sarah, to Abraham’s dismay, wants him to send Hagar and his son, Ishmael, away. God confirms that Isaac will be the vehicle through which He performs the covenant. He tells Abraham to listen to Sarah and God will make a nation out of Ishmael because he, too, is Abraham’s son. It is just that he is the son of Abraham and Sarah’s presumption, not the son of God’s promise.

Paul uses this in his argument in regard to comparing the Law to Grace. He likens those under Grace to be like Isaac, son of a free woman, while those under the Law to be like Ishmael, son of a slave. The Law is bondage, Grace is freedom.

Galatians 4:21 ¶  Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? 22  For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. 23  But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. 24  Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar [Hagar] . 25  For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. 26  But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. 27  For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. 28  Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. 29  But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. 30  Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. 31  So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

So, why do so many fundamentalist preachers keep trying to put their congregations back under the Law?

Friday, October 14, 2016

Genesis 21:1-8 comments: the miracle of Isaac

1 ¶  And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken. 2  For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. 3  And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac. 4  And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him. 5  And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him. 6  And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me. 7  And she said, Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? for I have born him a son in his old age. 8  And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned.

It is stated clearly that Sarah’s conception of Isaac here in this Philistine king’s generous gift of land was an act of God’s direct will. It went against what we think of as natural processes. We would call it a miracle. However, is not any woman conceiving a child a miracle of God? Lifeless, empty space is the most logical thing in the universe. For there to be something rather than nothing staggers the mind in its improbability without a rational, directing will. Even moreso for there to be life, that complicated set of functions from the cell, a little mini-universe all its own, to consciousness, that collection of countless numbers of cells to be self-aware, is beyond amazing. Since we know that the tendency is for organized things, on their own, to simply fall apart, and not for random pieces of lifeless matter to decide on their own to unite to form a complicated thing or process, we must understand that for this life to function, to operate, to exist, it must be a continuous miracle.

Jeremiah understood this.

Jeremiah 1:4 ¶  Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 5  Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

David knew this.

Psalm 71:5  For thou art my hope, O Lord GOD: thou art my trust from my youth. 6  By thee have I been holden up from the womb: thou art he that took me out of my mother’s bowels: my praise shall be continually of thee.

Now, certainly they understood this, as did Isaiah in chapter 49, in the context of being called by God, born to a specific purpose. But, in the way the Bible is written with characters offered as examples for us to see reality we can understand that nothing is without a purpose. As Paul wrote;

Romans 15:4  For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

Randomness does not exist except as a justification in our minds for atheism, to justify our sin and make it have no consequence or meaning.

Isaac, Strong’s dictionary tells us, means, “He laughs,” but that is also clear from the context. Remember that both Abraham and Sarah laughed at the promise as being beyond something they could even wrap their minds around. Sarah was a beautiful, desirous woman but beyond her child-bearing years.

Abraham obeyed God in circumcising Isaac. Read chapter 17:9-14 again for confirmation.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Genesis 20:14-18 comments: Abimelech's household is healed

14 ¶  And Abimelech took sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and womenservants, and gave them unto Abraham, and restored him Sarah his wife. 15  And Abimelech said, Behold, my land is before thee: dwell where it pleaseth thee. 16  And unto Sarah he said, Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver: behold, he is to thee a covering of the eyes, unto all that are with thee, and with all other: thus she was reproved. 17  So Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they bare children. 18  For the LORD had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah Abraham’s wife.

The graciousness of a heathen king should cause many so-called Christian leaders shame. He not only did what God told him to do, restoring Sarah, but he made Abraham even wealthier than he was. Not only did he offer Abraham material wealth but he gave him the right to live in his kingdom wherever he wished.

Abimelech then scolds Sarah, calling Abraham her brother, as she and Abraham had dissembled regarding. He has rewarded Abraham and tells Sarah, in so many words, to stay faithful to Abraham, her husband, to not risk other men’s intentions toward her. She is never to call Abraham her brother again. Both have been reproved in this. Reproof, from which reprove comes, is correction. See the synonyms to reproof in this verse and do a word search to see the phrases and words it is linked with elsewhere to confirm.

2Timothy 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Remember, as you read Abraham’s journey, that the Bible is the story of God’s work in reconciling man to Himself. Reproof is an essential part of that correction, that instruction in righteousness, and fundamental to that doctrine.

It is important to note here that Abraham prayed for Abimelech, whom he had wronged. Prayers of supplication for others are important, as God reveals throughout the Bible. Christians are commanded to pray for each other.

 James 5:16  Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

We are to pray for kings and all those in authority. As there were no Christian kings when this was written we are called to pray for the heathen leaders, that they come to Christ but for mercy and grace to be applied to them, as well.

1Timothy 2:1 ¶  I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2  For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4  Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

We are to pray even for those who abuse us for our faith. Notice the context of God’s perfection here.

Matthew 5:43 ¶  Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45  That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46  For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47  And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48  Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

God honored Abraham’s prayer and healed Abimelech’s household.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Genesis 20:8-13 comments: Abimelech, a righteous king

    8 ¶  Therefore Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and told all these things in their ears: and the men were sore afraid. 9  Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said unto him, What hast thou done unto us? and what have I offended thee, that thou hast brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? thou hast done deeds unto me that ought not to be done. 10  And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What sawest thou, that thou hast done this thing? 11  And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife’s sake. 12  And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife. 13  And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my father’s house, that I said unto her, This is thy kindness which thou shalt shew unto me; at every place whither we shall come, say of me, He is my brother.

This Philistine king does not delay early in the morning to calling his servants together and telling them how God spoke to him in this dream. Apparently, the righteousness of this individual king is reflected in the culture of his household.

Proverbs 1:7  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Understand God’s involvement in and control of every moment of your life and realize how badly you need to pray for His mercy and how happy you should be that He loves you.

Abimelech blames Abraham for deceiving him and bringing the possibility of great sin upon his household. He insists he has done nothing to deserve this treatment and wants to know why Abraham did it, what he saw in Abimelech that suggested this sinful deception was necessary. Abraham admits that he assumed that Abimelech was a godless reprobate who did not fear God. So, we can assume that this was the normal state of kings and kingdoms as Abraham knew. He had every reason to believe that Abimelech, as we have understood the customs of the time, would kill him and take his wife. It must have been a common concern of men.

Abraham then sort of halfway justified himself. “Well, what I said really wasn’t a lie. She is also my step-sister.” This scene makes a mockery of the times when we justify a lie, dissembling, insisting that since it was partly true it wasn’t really a lie. Oh, how many times I have heard that argument from a child, a teenager, or a grown person. The intent was deception but when found out we think we are so clever in that part of it was really true.

Finally, he says that this was what he told her to do everywhere they went where there was some danger. But, we see that Abraham’s lack of trust in God’s protection was unwarranted because even though he tried to deceive Abimelech for his own safety’s sake God revealed Himself to the king and warned him. In the two situations we see that Pharaoh, though wicked, was wise enough to know that, with the sicknesses brought on his house, he wanted to be rid of Abram and Sarai and even blessed them with abundance. But here, God, knowing Abimelech’s heart, revealed Himself, but protected Abraham.

Abimelech is a model of a righteous Gentile king.

2Samuel 23:3  The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Genesis 20:3-7 comments: a warning in a dream

3 ¶  But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man’s wife. 4  But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation? 5  Said he not unto me, She is my sister? and she, even she herself said, He is my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this. 6  And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her. 7  Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine.

There are other times that God speaks to men in dreams as to Jacob, Laban the Syrian, to Joseph, etc.

Abimelech is not the sort of man that the previous Pharaoh that Abram and Sarai encountered was. God dealt with that Pharaoh by visiting sickness on his house to cause him to bring no shame on Sarai/Sarah while God kept Abimelech’s household from conceiving as revealed later in verse 18. But, Abraham has misjudged Abimelech. God reveals to us that this king has integrity and wants to do right. He had not touched Sarah and truly thought she was Abraham’s sister. So, God moved in him to prevent him from having any relations with her. It was God who prevented this sin of ignorance that was possible but not completed.

God made provision for dealing with sins of ignorance, just not realizing what you were doing, in the Law given to Moses. You can read examples of this in the context of Leviticus, chapter 4, for example. But God does restrain us from following our “natural” impulses at times, our desires, as He did when he kept David and his men from killing, as Abigail believed, even though David considered it and felt justified by Nabal’s treatment of him and his men.

1Samuel 25:26  Now therefore, my lord, as the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, seeing the LORD hath withholden thee from coming to shed blood, and from avenging thyself with thine own hand, now let thine enemies, and they that seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal.

God has restrained you from doing things that you thought were the right thing to do because you didn’t have all of the facts. How often have you thanked Him for that mercy? You have held your tongue when you really wanted to blast someone with your words only to find out that you were operating off incomplete understanding. We should always be careful and not to repeat the errors of Job’s friends in assuming we have knowledge we do not. A friend may get a serious illness, lose their job, have marital difficulties, or have a rebellious child and you assume there must be some secret sin in their life that they are being judged for but, if God is merciful to you, you managed to refrain from the evil of misrepresenting God and telling your friend what you think before you have all the facts. Of course, you may never have all of the facts so it is a good idea just to shut up and minister to your friend in their grief.

But, remember, as here, you may have some difficulty related to your intention to shoot your mouth off and hurt your friend. Think about what God is telling you. Abimelech’s household were having some problems with Sarah around. Something wasn’t right. Before God’s dream came to the king came the problem with conceiving. As you were intending to speak out of turn someone was saying things about you they had no knowledge of and this should have been a warning as God eventually prevented you from damaging your relationship with your friend. To see how God works in our lives we have to be sensitive to His guidance. This is very hard for you if you have adopted the modern sense of God not participating in your life on a moment by moment basis.

My problem has always been about assuming I knew someone’s intentions and motives when I did not. If that is your problem have you found yourself on the receiving end of someone accusing you of motives that you did not have as you contemplated the same error on someone else, even the same person? Did God prevent you from speaking your mind or, perhaps, did you not speak your mind in this instance and not realize that God had prevented you?

Think about when you don’t say something, did you really prevent yourself?

In God’s warning to Abimelech He refers to Abraham as a prophet. As Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the 12 heads of the tribes of Israel, and Israel itself went about doing God’s will, even if they had to be steered by God because of their stubbornness in not completely trusting and doing things their own way they received God’s protection.

Psalm 105:8 ¶  He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations. 9  Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac; 10  And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant: 11  Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance: 12  When they were but a few men in number; yea, very few, and strangers in it. 13  When they went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people; 14  He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes; 15  Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.