THE LORD APPEARED
Genesis 12:6 ¶ And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. 7 And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him. 8 And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD. 9 And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south.
Genesis 12:10 ¶ And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land. 11 And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon: 12 Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive. 13 Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee.
Genesis 12:14 ¶ And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair. 15 The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. 16 And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels. 17 And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram’s wife. 18 And Pharaoh called Abram, and said, What is this that thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife? 19 Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way. 20 And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him: and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had.
Genesis 13:1 ¶ And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south. 2 And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.
This is the very first time in the scriptures that it is reported, the LORD appeared to anyone. He called Adam – Genesis 3:9. He said to Eve, Cain, and Noah – Genesis 3:13, 4:9, 6:13. But it states that God appeared to Abram – Genesis 12:7, 17:1, 18:1.
And we must take note that the Lord has heretofore only said to Abram, I will shew thee, in Genesis 12:1. But now he states in Genesis 12:1, I will give thee. So we see that the increase of the Lord’s revelation is needed, due to the increase of faith’s requirement to believe him and embrace this promise. Romans 4:19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: 20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
For it shall take greater faith to receive this land, and to walk in it than it took to leave his former homeland. For his instruction was to leave his father’s house and his kindred, which the Lord gave him enablement to do. But to receive this land was harder, not only for the upcoming trials, but also that he had no seed with whom to enter into it. The former land was a place of dying out. But this new land is marked by the faith in a miracle birth! And we shall see that to walk by faith therein, shall be even more difficult.
First we see in verse six that the Canaanite was then in the land. It seems that the Lord told Abraham that he was giving him the land, but one small thing is omitted – he forgot to tell the Canaanites. He had cursed this people. Genesis 9:25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. But he will tell Abram later (See Genesis 15:13-16), that the realization of that curse will take four hundred years, as their iniquity was not yet full. Therefore Abram’s first trial was to believe the land was given him by the Lord God, while another people held the title deed!
And this, with the combination of the upcoming grievous famine – Notice – in the land, – that is, in THE land that God just gave Abraham, he comes to make a mistake as “grievous” as was the famine! He not only leaves that land and goes down to Egypt, but he also determines to protect himself there against any trial by telling a half truth concerning the only one through whom the Lord would bring the promised seed! When the true church compromises it’s spiritual relation, received by faith with God, the world shall encroach on that spirituality and leave her, like Abram, alone in the dark, separated from the object of her fulfillment! (And the true church’s seed is Christ! And to thy seed, which is Christ. Galatians 3:16).
Yes, Sarai’s was a barren womb! Genesis 11:30 But Sarai was barren; she had no child. And yes! Her womb would eventually be dead, before it would be resurrected to bring forth the continued line of Messiah! Romans 4:19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: But now he was even without that womb at all!
Before we read of God’s revealing himself to Abram, let us take notice that there is no record of any failures, or flaws of character that he had in the Ur of the Chaldees. Of course, he was not without sin in his life back then. But there is no awareness of sin without the sovereign application of grace within the heart. It is like the Apostle Paul’s account of himself before grace came into his heart by the effectual call of this same Lord God. Romans 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. 8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. 9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.
Therefore it is now that we begin to read of Abram’s difficulties and failures, as he attempts to walk in this new land by his old principles of life. It is as Peter learned, one thing to step out of the boat upon the water. But it is a far different thing to walk upon it! (Matthew 14:28-30). Abram would later, after becoming more mature in faith’s walk, dwell upon this land with the promised seed. Hebrews 11:9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: But now he has sinned away the very womb through which that seed would come!
He must learn, as must all we sons of that same faith, (Romans 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, Galatians 3:29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.), that the real gift in all this is not Isaac, but is, in fact, the LORD who appeared to him. Genesis 15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
Dear suffering soul, those issues of your anguish in those persons or events that fill your mind with grief, are not the real issue. Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. The true and only issue of faith with these Canaanites and that grievous famine is in coming to know the Lord. And these are but that hedged fence to keep us within that only issue of faith – knowing Him! Hosea 2:6 Therefore, behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths. 19 And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. 20 I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.
Dear soul it is the Lord who caused the famine! And he does so to drive us from a pride-filled worship of the material blessings, into becoming completely reliant upon, and thankful for the Blesser, the Lord himself! Psalm 105:16 Moreover he called for a famine upon the land: he brake the whole staff of bread. 17 He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant: For hunger is blessed, as it brings us to the Bread of life! Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
Consider these golden words of the Apostle Paul: Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
He is not speaking of the resurrection of the body at the end of the world. He is yearning for the spiritual resurrection in the present, in order, not only to be freed from the passions of sin, but also to know him, which is the greatest reward mankind could attain! And the Canaanites, and the grievous famine afflictions are there to see that we are driven, not just to see the blessings of the promised land, but to see the Blesser Himself!
An interesting thing in this is that we see the “thriftiness” of the Lord! That is, when some thing works, he doesn’t throw it away, but reuses it in future days, on future believers! Ecclesiastes 1:9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. 10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us. So as he uses Egypt here for Abram, so does he also for Jacob, (Genesis 43:1, 46:10), and even for the only begotten Son (Matthew 2:13-15, 19-21).
And he doesn’t leave Egypt out of the redeemed of the Lord! In fact, he vows that they shall be equal with Israel! For both Egypt and Assyria shall be one third each, the same as Israel! Isaiah 19:21 And the LORD shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the LORD in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto the LORD, and perform it. 22 And the LORD shall smite Egypt: he shall smite and heal it: and they shall return even to the LORD, and he shall be intreated of them, and shall heal them. 24 In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: 25 Whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance.
And this shall be realized only by the redemptive blood of God’s Holy Lamb – the Lord Jesus Christ! Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
For just whom do you have listed as being present in Jerusalem at the time of the coming down of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost? There is a list of the various nations present. And take note of whom we see listed among them. It is Egypt! Acts 2:5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. 10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Dear Soul, God can take a crooked stick and draw a straight line!
Religion in America is like Sarai down in Pharaoh’s house, with her Beloved separated from her. The Lord Jesus Christ is outside the church seeking any individual believer to come out to him! Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
She is a wise virgin. But she is asleep to the awareness of the Lord’s presence! Song 5:2 I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night. 6 I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.
But when the Lord, the Heavenly Husband (Isaiah 54:5), shall send the effectual call to her, it shall again be said of her that which Pharaoh said to Abram of Sarai, Behold thy wife! Harlot religion, like Pharaoh, shall have to give up the Bride of Christ to her rightful Husband! Revelation 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
Ephesians 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Pastor Gene Breed
November 12, 2015