ABRAHAM - Father of Believing
Remember My Promises
In chapter 14 of Genesis several kings made an alliance and attacked the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and conquered them and took off with Lot and all his goods. Abram was told that his nephew was captured and so he gathered together his trained servants (trained in battle and in the ways of God), 318 total, and attacked the armies by night and brought back all of the goods and his nephew Lot along with the people. You can also read about the first tithes in the Bible (vs. 18) where Melchizedek King of Salem and priest of the most high God received tithes of Abram.
Chapter 15 is God talking with Abram again saying "Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and they exceeding great reward" (vs. 1). God has Abram go out into country away from any fires that may be burning and look toward the sky. If you have ever had the privilege of being out at night away from any city lights and the sky is clear you will appreciate what God told Abram. The sky is so full of stars it is truly awesome. It seems that you could not fit another one in between without them touching. God told Abram in verse 5, "look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be." Abram believed and God counted it to him for righteousness. So, God made a covenant with Abram giving him the land from the Rivers of Egypt to the Euphrates River. If you look at the map "Abraham comes to Canaan" you can get an idea of the great area this involves. Oftentimes there are maps in the back of your Bible. You are looking for one that shows Egypt in the west and the Euphrates River in the east.
Chapter 16 happens after they have been in Canaan for 10 years. Sarai, aware of God's continual encouragement to Abram, tried to figure this out herself. She recommends that Abram have children through her handmaid Hagar. Abram agrees and Hagar conceives which causes Sarai to despise Hagar and drive her away. God comes to Hagar's aid via an angel which tells her that her son will also have many children and to go back home. Hagar returned and had Abram's son and called him Ishmael as God had instructed her. Abram is 86 years old when Ishmael is born.
Sarai, trying to figure this out herself, brings up a good point. How often do we pray to God for answers, ask God to do things and tell Him how to do it? This is a very great temptation for me and I know that I am not the Lone Ranger in this. It is always up to God to bring the deliverance to pass the way He will do it. It is up to us to believe the promises He has given us and expect Him to fulfill his promises. How He does it is His business and oftentimes not the way we thought He would!
:1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine,
the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him,
I am the Almighty God;
walk before me,
and be thou perfect.
:2 And I will make my covenant between me and thee,
and will multiply thee exceedingly.
:3 And Abram fell on his face:
and God talked with him, saying,
:4 As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee,
and thou shalt be a father of many nations.
:5 Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, [high father]
but thy name shall be Abraham; [father of a great multitude]
for a father of many nations have I made thee.
:6 And I will make thee exceeding fruitful,
and I will make nations of thee,
and kings shall come out of thee.
:7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee
and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant,
to be a God unto thee,
and to thy seed after thee.
:8 And I will give unto thee,
and to thy seed after thee,
the land wherein thou art a stranger,
all the land of Canaan,
for an everlasting possession;
and I will be their God.
:9 And God said unto Abraham, [father of a great multitude]
Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore,
thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.
God changed Abram's name to Abraham [father of a great multitude] to always remind him of His promise and made a covenant with him saying he will be the father of a multitude. This is 13 years after Ishmael was born. Think about it: God keeps telling Abram he will have kids by Sarai and the years pass and Abram waits. God makes a covenant with Abraham [father of a great multitude] and the circumcision is the token, the reminder, the evidence of the covenant. The name change changed everyone's confession about him also. Now he always heard God's promise. Yet it would take another twelve years for Abraham [father of a great multitude] to see this promise come to pass.
:15 And God said unto Abraham,
As for Sarai thy wife,
thou shalt not call her name Sarai [contentious or princely]
but Sarah [mother of princes] shall her name be.
Next God sends angels (chapter 18) to Abraham [father of a great multitude] and Sarah [mother of princes] with a two-fold mission: one-to help Sarah [mother of princes] believe and two-to warn Abraham [father of a great multitude] of the destruction of Sodom where Lot lives. We must remember that this is the Christline that is at stake yet God is not going to overstep his laws. He has given Abraham (and us) free will to believe and live His Word. He had also given Abraham [father of a great multitude] every opportunity to believe His promises. The angels reiterate God's promise and Sarah overhears.
Genesis 18:10 And he [one of the angels] said,
I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life;
and, lo, Sarah [mother of princes] thy wife shall have a son.
And Sarah [mother of princes] heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.
:11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age;
and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.
:12 Therefore Sarah [mother of princes] laughed within herself, saying,
After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure,
my lord being old also?
:13 And the Lord said unto Abraham, [father of a great multitude]
Wherefore did Sarah [mother of princes] laugh, saying,
Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?
:14 Is any thing too hard for the Lord?
At the time appointed I will return unto thee,
according to the time of life,
and Sarah [mother of princes] shall have a son.
:15 Then Sarah [mother of princes] denied, saying,
I laughed not;
for she was afraid.
And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.
:16 And the men rose up from thence,
and looked toward Sodom:
and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way.
Now Sarah has been confronted about her unbelief. That was what was needed because she believed to be able to bear a child and in Chapter 21 she conceives and bears Isaac when Abraham was 100 years old.
Abraham [father of a great multitude] and Sarah [mother of princes] were always hearing God's promises when their names were mentioned. Names are more meaningful in their culture than our western culture. So every time their name was used they were reminded. That is also why I repeated their definitions frequently, so you could get the idea.
God told Abraham repeatedly that he would be the father of many nations or a multitude. Abraham and Sarah must have had some circumstances bothering their heads to keep them from realizing God's promises. We are in the same boat at times. We can surround ourselves with the Word of God as a continual reminder of His promises to us. What promises do we need to hear continually?
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse,
that there may be meat in mine house,
and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts,
if I will not open you the windows of heaven,
and pour you out a blessing,
that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
Be careful [anxious, worried] for nothing;
but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known unto God.
Isaiah 26:3 & 4
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace,
whose mind is stayed on thee:
because he trusteth in thee.
Trust ye in the Lord for ever:
for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength:
Romans 5:1 & 2
Therefore being justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
By whom also we have access by faith
into this grace wherein we stand,
and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
that ye may abound in hope,
through the power of the Holy Ghost.
II Timothy 1:7
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;
but of power,
and of love,
and of a sound mind.
I John 4:4
Ye are of God, little children,
and have overcome them:
because greater is he that is in you,
than he that is in the world.
When there are troubles that you face; go to God and His Word, He has set down for us the directions for life. He has given us promises that we may live abundantly.