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The Origin of the Jewish People & Living By Faith - Genesis Part 20

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
February 21, 2022 7:00 am

The Origin of the Jewish People & Living By Faith - Genesis Part 20

So What? / Lon Solomon

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February 21, 2022 7:00 am

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You know maybe you heard the story about the third grade teacher who offered five dollars to anyone in her class who could correctly answer the following question and her question was who was the greatest man to ever live well. One of the students said Abraham Lincoln and another student said George Washington and another student said Abraham in the Bible and she said no, no, those are all good answers, but they're not the correct answer and finally one of a young Jewish boy named Bernie raised his hand and said teacher.

It was Jesus Christ and she said that's right, she said, but Bernie of all the people in the class. I would've expected you to say Abraham and he said well teacher. He said I need to tell you that I really do think the right answer is Abraham, but business is business. Yeah the Jewish people. There's nothing like a friends and you know there really shouldn't be because out of all the nations on the face of the earth. God chose these people in a very special way. Well, that's what we want to talk about today we want to talk about. Who are these people and how did they begin and why do they exist in Tilburg and go back into the book of Genesis back to our series on Genesis chapter 12 and this is what were going to talk about. As we look at the life of the great man of God. Abraham and then working to bring all of that forward and were going to talk about okay so what difference does that make for you and me.

So are you ready to go little bit of review though because it's been a couple weeks since we been here so if you remember we said a couple weeks ago that here in Genesis chapter 12 we enter a whole new phase in God's dealing with the human race. Up to this point God is been dealing with the human race as a whole, but now God changes his approach and instead he singles out a special man to establish a special race of people with whom he will deal in a special way based on a series of special covenants that he will make with these people. Now this special man. Well of course he's our friend Abraham and his special race of people. Well, of course, there are Jewish rights, and so with that little bit of background let's dig in and see how this happened.

Genesis chapter 12 and were going to start with verse one. Here we go. Now the Lord said to Abraham, leave your country and your relatives and your father's household and go to the land I will show you at this time Abraham was living in the city of Acheron in North Mesopotamia, northern Mesopotamia was very rich city was very wealthy and prosperous city. He was living there with his wife Sarah with his nephew Lot and with his entire extended family and God suddenly appears to him and says Abraham I want you to leave all of this and I want you to come and follow me to a new land and I'm sure that Abraham has some questions like, okay, God, where we go well, you don't really need to know that right now. Abraham tell you later. Well, how long is it going to take to get there a while.

Will the how many people are my going to know in this new landlord. Nobody. You see, God said, hey Abraham I am not going to explain to you everything about this ahead of time. You need to step out by faith and do what I'm asking you to do without understanding everything related to this, but here's what I will do Abraham, if you will step out by faith and obey me. I will do this first two I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and I will make your name great through you show all the families of the earth be blessed those who bless you, I will bless and those who curse you I will curse.

And to your descendents I will give this land friends.

These six promises, all found right here in Genesis chapter 12 comprise what we call today the Abraham. It covenants and it's very important we understand that the only thing Abraham had to do in order to inaugurate this covenant and activate this covenant is obey God and believe Acheron and follow God to a new land.

Once he did that.

This became an unconditional and eternal commitment by God to Abraham and the Jewish people.

Now we read it all very quickly.

But let's go back.

Let's analyze these six revisions.

These six promises that belong to the Abraham a covenant ready to go one by one promise number one God says Abraham I will make of you a great nation. Today there are 14 million Jewish people in the world but I think we all realize that they wield and influence that far exceeds the their actual population numbers well isn't this exactly what God told Abraham he was going to do. Promise number two God says in Abraham. I will bless you personally, individually, Genesis 13, verse two says now Abraham became very rich in livestock in silver and in gold. In fact, Abraham became one of the wealthiest people in the entire ancient near East. During his day, but you know, God wasn't talking here just about serial blessings, no know he was talking about spiritual blessings he was going to give Abraham to remember God gave Abraham a miraculous son, Isaac, and then God nipped this miraculous sons heart to the Lord all the days of his life and then get God gave Abraham a godly daughter-in-law who married this miraculous son named Rebecca and then God gave Abraham a godly grandson named Jacob and a spiritual giant of a great-grandson named her Joseph.

The point is that everywhere this man Abraham with folks. The blessing of God dripped off of this man.

But that's exactly what God promising delete number three promise number three God says Abraham I will make your name great today billions of people. Jewish people, Muslim people, Christian people billions of people around the world all name the name of Abraham. His name has become a household word all around the world. Hey, not exactly what God promised him that he would make his name great promise number four through you show all the families of the earth be blessed Abraham. Many commentators understand this to mean the earthly blessings that the Jewish people have brought in the areas of medicine are marked in science and and and technology in philanthropy, and surely that's probably part of this but on a far more serious level. God is talking here, not about earthly blessings that he would use the Jewish people to give the human race, but spiritual blessings in the Bible mentions three of them number one God use the Jewish people to give the world the written word of God except for Luke, all written by Jews, number two, he used are the Jewish people to give the world the knowledge of the one true authentic God and number three finally, God used the Jewish people to give the world the Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Savior of the world. My gosh, the written word of God. The knowledge of the one true God, the Lord Jesus Christ. How much more blessing. Could God use one race of people to give mankind, but not exactly what God said he would do promise number five to your descendents. God said to Abraham, I will give this land is a wetland, for the land of Canaan, the land were God was taking Abraham modern-day Israel and you know for 1900 years. This promise look like it was impossible to come true. The Jewish people were scattered all over the world.

They were living in ghettos. They had no political power, they had no financial power of any kind. But then, all of a sudden, in 1948. Whammo it happened, why did it happen will because that's exactly what God promised Abraham was going to happen and finally number six promise number six, God said to Abraham those who bless you, I will bless and those who curse you I will curse in the rest of the Bible makes it clear, and it's critical that we get this we understand is that this promise is not just limited to Abraham as an individual, but rather it extends to the entire Jewish race.

If you don't believe it. Let's go through history just a little bit real quick and see if God hasn't indeed done this down through the ages for the Jewish race. Let's start with Pharaoh. Hey, he cursed the Jews in Moses's day refused to let him go made their life miserable and it cost him his oldest son, and all of his chariots in the Red Sea, but then there was the Persian king Cyrus the great and his successors who were generous to the Jews. They allowed the Jews to go back to Jerusalem and to rebuild their city and to rebuild the first temple that had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar and historians tell us that the Persian Empire was one of the most stable and long-lived empires in the history of the world. Why those who bless you, I will bless member Heyman. He was a Persian official, however, who decided that he wanted to try to wipe the Jews out what happened to him while they hung him on the very gallows that he built to hang Jews on and Alexander the great.

When he moved through the Middle East.

He was going to destroy Jerusalem, but the high priest came out to medium when he surrounded the city open the book of Daniel showed them where he was in the book of Daniel also showed in this promise from Genesis chapter 12 about blessing and cursing, and Alexander the great decided to spare the city of Jerusalem and went on to conquer the world. Romans, however, they destroyed the city of Jerusalem twice 70 A.D. when they tore the temple down and again in 135 A.D., after which they spread salt all over the city of Jerusalem, so nothing would grow there and made it a capital offense for any Jew to be found in the city limits of Jerusalem. This was during the reign of Hadrian and you know what historians will tell us that Hadrian's reign 135 A.D. represents the apex of the Roman Empire. After that it was all downhill until several centuries later when the Roman Empire fell.

Why those who curse you I will curse about Spain during the Middle Ages. Spain had one of the largest Jewish communities in Europe, the Jewish people. There were leaders in every area of society in medicine and science in the arts and then all of that changed. In 1492 is a 1492. That's the year Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Yeah it is. It's also the year that Isabella and Ferdinand started the Inquisition when they brought Jews in and they tortured them and they killed them for not changing their religion and giving up their faith, and after that they expelled every Jew from Spain, but confiscated all of their belongings and all of their property and if you look carefully you'll see that in the 500 years since 1492 Spain has never regained the position of power that it held before it cursed Abraham's descendents. And finally America. America became a safe place for Jewish people during the 19th century we treated them with kindness. We were the very first country to ever recognize the modern state of Israel. We are have been Israel's greatest friend and ally for the last 50 years. Nobody has been a friend of the Jewish people, like America has been, and you know when you look at all of the un-biblical behavior going on in America today and all the sin going on in America today.

Sometimes you'll hear people say things like, you know, if God doesn't judge America is going to have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah, so it does raise an interesting question which is how come God hasn't judged America. Why has God been so good still to this day to America will I can't give you a definitive answer that I'm sure is right, but I will say this I think a big part of it is Genesis 12. Three those who bless the Jewish people.

I will bless says the Lord.

So let's summarize God ask Abraham to follow God to a new land. So God could start a new race of people that he could use in a new way and God promised Abraham if Abraham would step out in faith and believe call Ron and follow God, God would make a marvelous covenant with him that had six promise is attached. Here they are number one Abraham I will make you into a great nation. Abraham number two. I will bless you personally.

Abraham number three Abraham I will make your name great number four through you, Abraham, all the families of the earth will be blessed. Number five, to your descendents I will give the land of Canaan, and finally Abraham. Those who bless you and your descendents I will bless and those who curse you and your descendents I will curse okay so this was the deal that God offered Abraham. What Abraham do well, let's look first for so Abraham went forth as the Lord had told is that women long to think Abraham had like any misgivings you think maybe he had any any struggle on this at all and it really was rainy's was ready kind of back-and-forth going on in Abraham's heart about obeying God. Do you think well I don't know the Bible doesn't say. I suspect there might have been that he you know we he had to think about this.

I bet there was. But you know the really important thing is not whether he struggled about whether to obey God friends, we all do that from time to time. The important thing is when the chips were down.

Abraham obeyed God so Abraham went forth as the Lord had told him, and lots went with him.

Abraham was 75 years old when he departed from carotid Abraham took Sarah his wife and lots his nephew and set out, and thus they came to the land of Canaan. Abraham pass through the land as far as Shechem to the oak of Moreira.

Now the Canaanites were occupying the land at this time. Why tell us that Abraham didn't come into a land that was unoccupied. He didn't come into a land and take it over, and suddenly it was his land as God promised no no, there were people there who owned that land when he arrived in the Lord appeared to Abraham and said to your descendents I will give this land so Abraham built an altar there to the Lord would appear to him that Abraham proceeded from there to the mountains on the east of Bethel and pitched attempt there and there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord friends.

I hope we realize Abraham spent the rest of his life in the land of Canaan, but except for the cave of mock law where he bought it to bury his wife Sarah except for that I hope you understand. Abraham never owned one square foot of the promised land.

He simply lived there by faith building altars and worshiping God and believing the promise of God that one day this land would belong to his descendents. Even though he Abraham never got to see that with his own human eyes. I love what Hebrews 11 says verse nine, it says, by faith Abraham lived as an alien in the land of promise and so did Isaac and Jacob who were also heirs with Abraham of God, same promise I'm going to give you the land.

Verse 13 all these people, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob died in faith watches not having received the things God had promised they would. Abraham died, he wasn't a great nation. When Abraham died, his name was in great when Abraham died. The Messiah hadn't been born to bring blessings to all the families of the earth would Abraham die and Isaac and Jacob, their descendents didn't own the promised land. They died, not having received the things God promised but they were convinced of them anyway and they embraced what God promised them from afar say the next two words by phase, there you go wow what a heart this man Abraham, the heart of faith or hard to believe God's promise, no matter how impossible it looks a hard to believe God's promises even though he never saw the fulfillment of them with his own eyes. Is it any wonder then that three times in the Bible God calls Abraham, my friend, an interesting let me tell you why God did in calling that capriciously he just didn't say who I think I need to pick out a few friends I distrust of names out of a hat. Gabriel from my friends are going to be no no no friends. God doesn't do that Abraham achieved the status of being called a friend of God. How would you like to get there. Susie, my friend Bernie, my friend Maia.

July God call you his friend.

You know how you get there you live like Abraham did I tell you get there. God loves these people.

That's why Abraham's in the Bible and millions of people are because of the way he lived.

He lived by faith.

Now that's as far as we want to go in our passage because we want to stop now and want to ask the most important question so ready want to say how my gosh that was unbelievable is awesome.

You salon alright so what say yeah okay that is our question so what is followers of Christ. What practical issues, what practical lesson do we see for our lives here and what we study today is a lot I know what lesson I see in all of this. The lesson I see is the really nice to every Jewish person you meet. That's the lesson I got out of this well that's not altogether wrong on my dad but that's not what we want to talk about today, there's another lesson here. A deeper lesson the spiritual lesson and it all grows out of the example of Abraham. It's all about living by faith.

You know the Bible says that is followers of Christ we are to live by faith and not by sight. Okay, so what is that me if were to be able to do that. Well we got one of the greatest examples in the world of that principal right here in front of us. Let's talk about Hebrews 11. I want you to see how many times God distraught describes Abraham's life with the same two words by faith.

Here we go. Hebrews 11 eight by faith Abraham would call to go to a place that he would later receive as an inheritance obey, and went out, not even knowing where he was going verse nine by faith Abraham made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country. Verse 11. By faith Abraham, even though he was far past age was enabled to become a father because he considered him. God faithful who had promised in God. Verse 13 of Hebrews 11 says that Abraham was still living by faith even when he died.

Sorry long.

I got Abraham lived by faith I got. But you know my problem is I'm not. I'm not a Bible character. I don't my name is not in the Bible you know I'm just a normal everyday ride the Metro get in the car. Drive on the Beltway drive the car pool person so you this is a Bible guy use so that I need to know how I is just a normal person live by faith. If that's what the Lord wants me to do was a follower of Christ out of what that question salon.

Can you put some handles on it for me.

Love to ready ready. Okay, here's a promise God made Abraham. Genesis 1814 God said, I will return to you this time next year, and Sarah will have a son that's a promise. Yes yes okay now.

May I remind you Abraham when God made in this promise was 99 years old.

Sarah was 90. Yes yes yes but here we have God making them a promise number question our question. It was practically what is it mean to live by faith, our answer is found right here. The answer is it's all about how we respond to to the promises God makes us right here we have a promise. How did Abraham respond.

Romans four verse 18 against all hope, Abraham did not grow. We in faith, even though his body was as good as dead and Sarah's womb was also there. The odds were not good. Yes, our first 20 in spite of that God made them a promise in spite of that Abraham did not waver in unbelief regarding God's promise, but grew strong in what's the next word faith and what is that mean it means being fully convinced. I love this being fully convinced that what God had.

What's the next word promised God was able to perform while while DC would living by faith is all about its being fully convinced that what God has promised us God is able to perform.

I care what the odds look like I don't care what care how crazy or or or unable to understand that we may be, it means taking God at his word and believing what he promises us so deeply that we are willing to rest on it.

We are willing to rely on it, no matter how impossible it looks or how unable we are to figure out what God is up to. This is what it means to live by faith. The problem with most of us as followers of Christ is that were all from Missouri. That's our problem and we all say you know God, I need you to show me first.

I do, I need to understand Abraham could've said, Lord, I'm not bludgeoned from Quran told you show me where I'm going. I'm not bludgeoned from the city to you, tell me how long it's going to take me to get there.

I'm not budging from the city. Do you explain the me how I'm to stay alive in this crazy lead time to feed my family. I'm not going anywhere. See, this is like being from Missouri.

This is what were talking about. This is us. We go no Lord I want to understand that I want to know what I want you to explain it all to me. I want you to diagram and on the board for me.

I want to understand every little piece of it. Frankly, some of the stuff you doing out alike in some of the stuff you do and I'm not in favor of, and I will see how it can never work out and I'm not going anywhere. And so you know what if Abraham is taking that approach, my friends, he'd still be in the Quran. To this day, that isn't how Abraham lived. Abraham said okay God I got six promises from you.

I'll see how in the world you make them come true. I don't know where I'm going I don't know what to do when I get there you Lord. But if this is what you're asking. You given me these promises I'm in a respond to these promises by believing, and I'm going this what it means to live by faith folks, you know, a few years ago we had a gentleman coming to McLean Bible church who was a naval officer was a captain in the Navy, but he was a real up and comer and he is not only a wonderful naval officers a wonderful follower of Christ, I'm doing well and he was like on the fast track and he had already been selected for Adm. and was still out at sea finishing the command that he had as a captain commanding issue and only a few weeks left to go before he would return and accept his commission to being a flag rank. He had to refuel his ship at sea and so is the tanker was pulled up alongside of his ship. He was there on the bridge commanding and he had to go the bathroom and he really had to go the bathroom and then he really, really, really had to go to the bathroom and finally when he just couldn't make it any longer because you're really not supposed to do this while you refuel in your ship but he just couldn't make it. He said I'm a run to the head real quick. He left another officer in charge is I'll be right back. And you know what happened next. While he was in the head. Somebody made a mistake on the bridge and the two ships collided at sea. Now if you're in the Navy. This is a bad thing.

You not supposed to let two ships run into each other and so he was relieved of command and never did get a star on his flag on his boards shoulder boards when I heard about it I was.

I mean, I was just sick for the poor man I meet all of these years of faithful work.

All of these years of faithful study.

All of these hours of sea duty away from his family all those long days and long nights on those ships all gone to Leica so we got back to shore called them up and to encourage it and he said that I said hi how you doing and he said I'm doing I'm doing really okay. He said honestly I don't understand why God let this happen. He said, but I have a promise from God. Romans 828 all things work together for good to those who love God, he said I thought God wanted me to be an Adm. and I would've been fine.

He said, but obviously God wants me to go in some other direction with my life and that's fine too. He said so long I'm good. I felt like saying to you, excuse me, is your first name Abraham because this is how he was acting friends. I like to close today by saying if you're here and you're a follower of Jesus Christ is your first name Abraham I mean you live like Abraham lived who do you interpret every circumstance in life through the lens of the promises of God friends. God is made, you and me a promise for every circumstance in life. I don't care what it is. So when things happen to good things, bad things in between things do we believe those promises God has made us and we rely on those promises God has made us even though the path ahead is very unclear, like you did for this naval officer when things happen.

He pulled a promise to God outfit I'm gonna believe it. And I'm relying on this. That's what I'm doing. This is walking by faith. To put it another way, do you and I go through every day believing God or doubting God because those only two options, friends when things happen.

We believe God's promise or we would you do pay me close by saying Abraham did me know where he was going when he left Quran meeting even know where to tell him to forward his mail for goodness sake, but what he didn't know is that God had promised to go before him and God had promised to hold his hand the whole way and that's all Abraham needed to know folks, if you're a follower of Jesus here today. God has promised to go before you all away.

God has promised to hold your hand all the way God has promised to take care of you and protect you, just like he took care of Abraham and protected him and you know what we want you and me to stop doing is to stop analyzing him and stop arguing with him and stop debating with him and stop questioning him and just step out and trusting like Abraham do I hope you'll do that, but it's pretty good for Jesus you know every one of us here has circumstances in our life like Abraham faced like this naval officer faced things that suddenly come and just rock our applecart weren't expecting them. We don't understand him. We don't even like one of the completely push us out of our comfort zone but Lord Jesus. That's when we find out whether were walking by faith or not, because it's in those moments where we have to decide, are we going to trust God in all of the promises he makes us or we go to doubting forgiveness Lord Jesus, forgive us all of us for so often doubting you arguing with you debating with you sparring with you, even resisting you bring us to the place, Lord Jesus, were we can embrace your promises.

Whether we understand or not, whether we agree or not, whether we can see how it's going to work out or not, but we believe that he who promised is faithful and we are fully convinced that what you promises you are able.

You're able to perform. So when that confidence help us live by faith that we might be called the friends of God like Abraham more change our lives because we were here today. Help us surrender some circumstances to you and turn them over to you, Lord. After we been fighting you for who knows how long and bring peace to our hearts as we turn loose of these things and just walk by faith and we pray all of this in Jesus name.

And God's people said what you say there

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