Personal studies in Genesis, and a personal post

Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Back to Genesis – You know, I spent about two years in a Kay Arthur study of Revelation, and it is amazing to me how much of what is in Revelation really started in Genesis. Sometimes I think Genesis is a lot harder then Revelation, so much to think about.

Differences between Abraham (A) and Lot (L)

A – walked by faith   L – walked by sight
A – generous, waived rights to land   L – greedy, picked best land
A – looked for city whose builder & maker was God L- chose man made city
A – Father of all who believe
A – Many Heirs and offspring inherit from him L – possessions destroyed in Sodom ended up living in a cave.

Well, here are some thoughts on Chapter 14. Looking up the meaning of the names does not seem to be so fruitful for verses 1-3 which name a large number of kings, who wage war. It seems to be a confusion of five kings against four kings. Four kings from the north (Shemites) and five kings from the south (Hamites) – recognize Noah’s other sons.

There is a whole battle plan of the kings. Ultimately in the valley of Siddim which was full of asphalt (slime) – the same substance that lined the ark, and the basket of Moses, the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled. Kind of shows you how a life of sin does not keep you ready for battle – either physical or spiritual. But they took Abram’s nephew, Lot, all the possessions and departed.

Abram hears about this and musters an army – 318 trained servants. This is some indication of how wealthy Abram is – and also how prepared he was. These servants were trained in battle, and the went in pursuit of the army to Dan – that is a march of 120 miles, so not only were they trained, but they were well taken care of and strong. One interesting point is that Abram, a man of faith, still kept a trained army. Perhaps we need to realize that we can have faith, but still be prepared.

Here is the first example of guerrilla warfare. At night Abram  divides the servants and attacks and pursues Lot’s attackers. He brings back all the goods, his brother Lot, and the women and people. There are a couple of firsts in this passage, Genesis 14:1-17, this is the first time war is mentioned. and also, and in verse 15, the first time “Hebrew” is used in relation to Abram and his descendants. Hebrew means, one who crossed over.

Now comes an exciting part of the scripture, a character who is so obscure, and so enticing. I remember my first reading of the Bible trying to find out more about him – Melchizedek. We will see a contrast between two kings – the king of Sodom and Melchizedek. I am glad that Abram chose to honor Melchizedek, not the king of Sodom.

Melchizedek means King of Righteousness, his other name is King of Salem (which means peace), and he is called the Priest of God Most High. It is important to know that he is a priest of God before the Levitical priesthood was formed. He was before Aaron.

In checking Strong’s I saw that the name Melchizedek comes from the root Melek – which means king, and Tsedeq – which means righteous, just, deliverance, victory, prosperity, and messianic king.

Notice what Melchizedek offers Abram, bread and wine (the components of communion) and with these he blessed Abram. Abram also tithed to Melchizedek – he knew who should be honored. Melchizedek is a gentile king and a priest – in the future no other king would hold the role of king and priest until Jesus.

In Psalm 110, David speaks of the Messiah as, in verse 4: The Lord has sworn and will not relent, “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”

This means that Jesus comes from a line that is far greater than the line of Levites. The Levites are under Him, for He comes from a line that is older. Hebrews 7 gives us more facts about Melchizedek.
*He met Abraham after the SLAUGHTER of the kings and blessed him.
*He was without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but like the Son of God, remains a priest continually. This shows that he is most probably not a pre-incarnate visit of Jesus, but a distinct person.
*Abraham tithed to him.
*A case is made that he is greater than the sons of Levi, who have the priesthood and receive tithes from people according to the law, but they came from the loins of Abraham. But Abraham gave tithes to Melchizedek who was not a descendant. And because Levi is a descendant of Abraham, by Jewish thinking, even Levi paid -through Abraham – tithes to Melchizedek.

Then Hebrews goes on to say that if perfection could be attained by the Levitical priesthood (and it wasn’t), then there would have been no need for Jesus to be born, Jesus who is a priest according to the order of Melchizedek, not the order of Aaron.

Now something that escaped my attention is that, according to Hebrews 7:14 “For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning the priesthood.” Again, the Holy Spirit made me think of the Tabernacle (which is a great picture of Jesus if you look at the symbolism), and I checked in Numbers Chapter 2 to see where the tribe of Judah camped around the tent of the tabernacle. They camped in the East – which is the direction that Jesus will approach on his second coming. If you draw out the 12 tribes and put them around the points of the compass where they camped, for example on the east Judah, Issachar, and Zebulon camp – and put the numbers from the census for the tribes. you will find that on the east side is 186,400 people camped, on the north 157,000, on the south 151,500, and on the north 108,000. Those North – South are the arms of the cross, the base is the east and the smaller top portion of the cross is the west. Even how the tribes camped around the tabernacle form the cross, with the Holy of Holies being the center. I find that awesome – it is also what Balaam saw when he overlooked the camp from the mountain. God is an awesome God.

So a covenant that comes from Jesus is a better covenant than one that comes through the Levitical order, because Jesus has a continual and unchangeable priesthood. The Levitical priests had to sacrifice to make themselves pure to offer sacrifice to God. Jesus knew no sin and did not have to sacrifice to purify himself – he was the pure sacrifice. No Levitical priest could claim what Jesus could claim. Hebrews 7:26-28  For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens, who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.

I love the consistency of the Bible, if you look up the words Righteous and Peace. You will find that in a list of attributes the word “righteous” appears always before “peace.” See, in order to have true peace, we need to have a righteous life. Anything less will put stumbling blocks in our path towards peace. Now how do we get righteousness. There are two ways. Plan 1. Be perfect, never sin, flawless perfection for all one’s life (impossible). or Plan 2, righteousness through faith, covered by the blood of Jesus.

Contrast that to another king – the king of Sodom, who comes out to meet Abram. This king says to Abram – Genesis 14:21-24 Now the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the persons and take the goods for yourself. But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have raised my hand to the LORD, God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth, that I will take nothing, from a thread to a sandal strap, and that I will not take anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich’–except only what the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men who went with me; Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.”

The king of Sodom wants people (souls), and offers material goods to Abram. Melchizedek offered spiritual sustenance to Abram – a far better gift for one who is looking for a city whose foundation is God.

I only want to focus on the first three words of chapter 15, “After these things….” After Abram made his choice between the kings, then God came to Abram in a vision. If you look at Revelation, you see the same term in Chapter 4 – after the church age – after these things…then John is in the throne room of heaven. Oh that we listen to God, but often He will not speak until we act righteously. A loving father cannot reward wrongful acts. I keep praying that my path keeps in the path God set for me.

Hoping you have a blessed day.

Heather.

 
Good Morning – Weather report today: one teen dark and stormy, one teen neutral, other teen uncertain, he is still asleep. Sigh. I am public enemy number 1 because I insisted my daughter attend her 8th grade graduation. It doesn’t matter that my husband also insisted, I am the enemy. I am praying for peace.

I have a question for you. We seem to be on the Jehovah Witness hit list, and people are coming frequently to our house. My husband is polite, takes their literature, listens and then they leave. I have also at times been there, been polite, listened, asked questions, then pointed out to them that I am born again, that I do not agree with their understanding of Jesus and the Bible, that they are wasting their time trying to convert us. But they seem to think that my husband is a prime target, but he is Catholic and does not agree with them either.

Well, last time they brought in the heavy guns. We used to have a woman and her trainees. Now we seem to have attracted a man with the woman and the man I suspect is a pastor/elder or whatever they call their higher ups. He gave me two Bible passages. I was talking with him about how I have a personal relationship with Jesus, that since I have had Jesus in my life things are so much better. I pointed out that my main disagreement with Jehovah Witnesses is that they do not believe that Jesus is God – I pointed out the difference in our Bibles regarding John 1:1. Well he gave me two passages, 1 Corinthians 15:20-28, and 1 Cor. 11:3, these talk about the body of Christ, with Christ being the head, under God. I am trying to figure out how best to show that that does not imply that Christ is not God when he comes back (he came back two days later but we were heading out the door and Jim couldn’t talk with him). I thought of Revelation 22:13 that shows that Jesus is the Alpha and Omega. Then I thought about asking him if he was married-he is a husband; does he have a child – he is a father; is he a pastor/elder or what kind of employee he is. And then point out that when he is acting as a husband that does not negate that he is also a father and pastor. That God can be Jesus, Holy Spirit, and God, and it is the same God.

Do you have any ideas of how to respond in love to them? Obviously telling them point blank that they are wasting their time trying to convert us isn’t working. My husband does not want to point blank tell them not to come. So I keep praying for them, but I feel sort of inadequate dealing with them. Maybe the reason they keep coming back when it is apparent that it is futile is that the Holy Spirit is trying to plant some truth into their philosophy. But I suspect that they think that they can make an inroad into our house through Jim – but I suspect that will not happen because Jim does know that Jesus is God. They have their own mindset regarding the Bible, so I suspect my questions and thoughts may not even be listened to. I also invited them to Living Word Chapel’s Bible study and she says that she is uncomfortable around Pastor Don, hmmmm wonder why. Any help is really appreciated.

Later today I will try to add more about my Genesis reading. I am finding that I like Abram/Abraham so much because he gives me hope when I make a mistake in my life, that God can still use me in spite of myself.

Heather

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About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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