The Founding of a Nation
Shalom Partner and Friend of
By the instruction of Yeshua (Jesus) Himself (Matt 24:37 – 38; Luke -27), we are commanded to think of the time of Noah. One man and his family were instructed to do a job, to build a ship of refuge and safety for the time of the promised flood. Everyone knew about it. It was the talk of the town and beyond. Some good friends might have even defended Noah. There perhaps were those that in principle might have seen in his act a great spiritual meaning – a warning!
But who participated in the prophetic deed itself? Only Noah and his family – and that for 120 years! Could and should others have joined him in his labours? Who helped him actually build his place of refuge (ark)? Answer: NONE - Only Noah and his family. To know about it was not sufficient qualification to come aboard at the time of peril. Even those who condoned Noah’s labours or those who praised his work were not counted worthy to find refuge at the time of danger. Only those who actually participated in the salvation task it self. The physical doing of the act was the prerequisite to come aboard at the beginning of the flood.
And throughout the history of mankind, from his first day to his final day, it has been and will be those who have actually participated in some way in that all important moment of God working in history. Where God manifests His Way; His Word; His Will and by the appointed Salvation, Messianic task: the building of the place of refuge as in the days of Noah. (Heb. 11: 7; 1 Peter 3: 20)
The Word of God is priceless – it’s Prophecy
There is nothing more fascinating in all literature than the Bible revelation of the destiny of
The laws of civilized nations are based upon its Ten Commandments. The eclipse of this book would plunge the world into chaos and its extinction would be disastrous to the human race. To fully understand God’s purpose and plans we need to go back to the beginning.
Abel was the second child born into the world by Adam and Eve but the first one to obey God. He presented pleasing offerings to God and his life was cut short by his jealous older brother Cain. Because of this another son was born to Eve and she named him “Seth” for she said, “God has given me another son.”
From that time two distinct groups were emerging, one; those who showed indifference to sin and evil and two; those who worshipped the Lord (the descendants of Seth) Genesis 4:26. Seth would take Abel’s place as leader of a line of God’s faithful people. Through the genealogy of Seth we come to a man named Enoch who lived in close fellowship with God and because of his close walk with God, one day he disappeared as God took him. He had a son named Methuselah who had a son named Lamech - who named his son Noah for he said “May he bring us relief” (Genesis ).
At age 65, Enoch became the father of a son whom he named Methuselah, a name which means "when he dies it (the flood) shall come." Enoch went on to walk with God another 300 years and was taken up ("translated") into heaven by God without dying. Methuselah survived to age 969, the oldest man who ever lived. True to prediction, the flood came the year Methuselah died.
Noah was the tenth generation from Adam. God established a covenant with Noah because of the flood (Gen 9:1-19). Abraham was the twentieth generation from Adam, and God also established a covenant with him (Gen 12:1-3; -17; 15:1-7, 18-21; 17:1-8).
Because Adam sinned against God, that is, Adam transgressed the law of God, Adam was to suffer the consequences of the cursed soil (Gen -19).
Lamech named his firstborn son Noah, which meant 'rest' because of the curse of the soil from Adam's sin (Gen ). It is interesting to note that after Noah and his family had exited the ark, he worshiped God. God was pleased with Noah and soothed by his offering and thus recanted the curse from the soil (Gen -22). From God's statement, Noah's name, 'rest', truly does apply to the soil as his father Lamech had foretold.
Why is Genealogy important in the Bible?
Even more important than preserving family tradition, genealogies were included to confirm the Bible’s promise of the coming Messiah Yeshua that would be born into the line of Abraham. Genealogies point out that people are important to God as individuals and therefore God refers to people by name, mentioning their life span and descendants.
The earth was no longer the perfect paradise that God had intended. It was frightening to see how quickly all of humanity forgot about God. Incredibly, in the entire world, only one man and his family still worshipped God. That man was Noah. Because of his faithfulness and obedience, God saved him and his family from the vast flood that destroyed every other human being on the face of the earth. This shows how God hates sin and judges those who enjoy it.
The story of Noah’s life involves not one, but two great tragic floods. The world in Noah’s day was flooded with evil. The number of those who remembered the God of creation, perfect and love had dwindled to one family.
The Son’s of Noah and
In Genesis 9: 21 we read that Ham walked into his father Noah’s tent, saw his nakedness and did not cover him up but went out to tell his brothers. Noah - cursed Canaan the son of Ham because of Ham’s mocking attitude and lack of respect towards his father and God. (The Canaanite Nation, a nation who God knew would become wicked. The Canaanites had become so morally corrupt that God simultaneously planned to remove them once and for all in a stroke of judgement and purge the land of its decadence and perversion). And he said, “Cursed be
When Shem and Japheth went in and covered their father’s nakedness Noah blessed them. And he said, “Blessed be Jehovah, the God of Shem, and
Keep in mind that Canaan was the land that God would send Abraham
God had recently judged the entire world of nations with a great flood. And after the great flood it indicated that the world’s population was quite small. In reality there weren’t any nations with established and defined borders such as is common today. There only existed a network of city, states and clans. It was in just such colonies that Nimrod (descendant of Noah’s son Ham) established defensive alliances for thus enabling him the capacity to enforce a consolidation into a one world order. We read about the
Nimrod was born about 250 years before Abraham. It became Satan’s scheme to compel all the tribes of the earth to come together, conformed to a centralized and uniform system of religion, culture and economic geopolitical union.
All these city-state and tribal religions were involved in pagan polytheism. Nimrod was even worshipped as the sun god. Among these city-states were Erech,
Abram (meaning – “high or honoured Father”
Abram, as he was known before God changed his name to Abraham, was actually in temporary residence at
Terach who comes out of the genealogy of Noah’s son Shem, was the father of Abram, Nahor and
The Word of God tells us that one day at no one’s prompting Terach took his son Abram, his daughter in law Sarai (meaning “princess” later God would change her name to Sarah) and his grandson Lot and moved away from Ur of the Chaldeans. He was headed for the
ABRAHAM (meaning – “father of many nations”
It was from the city of
Now the Lord said to Abram, Go out from your country and from your family and from your father's house, into the land to which I will be your guide: And I will make of you a great nation, blessing you and making your name great; and you will be a blessing: To them who are good to you will I give blessing, and on him who does you wrong will I put my curse: and you will become a name of blessing to all the families of the earth. So Abram went as the Lord had said to him, and
Abraham is one of the most significant people in history, because he is claimed as the “father” of the Jews, Christians and Muslims.
The story begins with God asking Abram to move to a new land. It was all part of God’s plan! We have no idea how God communicated to Abraham. Was it through an angel?
Was it in a dream or did he hear an audible voice? However God communicated His message to him and all we know is that it was effective. Abraham believed God and the promises He made and he moved to
Why did they stop half-way and settle in
Was it for health reasons, climate or just out of fear for the unknown? Abram had respect for his father’s leadership, but when Terach died, Abraham moved on to
God could have chosen anyone that He wished, to become the “father of a new nation” to be the vehicle of His testimony. Maybe He did call others? But one thing is for certain; if anyone else was called they didn’t respond the way Abraham did, Abraham OBEYED and left
“Neither shall your name any more be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations.” Genesis 17:5
The first thing that we notice about the call of Abraham is that it was initiated by God!
In fact, as we paste together Abraham's background we see that Abraham was an unlikely candidate for God's favour. Read the words from Joshua 24:2
According to Jewish tradition; Abraham was born under the name Abram in the city of
Abram tried to convince his father, Terach, of the folly of idol worship. One day, when Abram was left alone to mind the store, he took a hammer and smashed all of the idols except the largest one. He placed the hammer in the hand of the largest idol. When his father returned and asked what happened, Abram said, "The idols got into a fight, and the big one smashed all the other ones." His father said, "Don't be ridiculous. These idols have no life or power. They can't do anything." Abram replied, "Then why do you worship them?"
The idea of b'rit (“Covenant” and same word is also used for “Circumcision”) is fundamental to traditional Judaism: we have a covenant, a contract, with God, which involves rights and obligations on both sides.
We have certain obligations to God, and God has certain obligations to us. The terms of this b'rit became more explicit over time, until the time of the Giving of the Torah (Old Testament).
According to Jewish tradition Abraham was subjected to ten tests of faith to prove his worthiness for this covenant. Leaving his home was the first of these trials.
1) Abraham's call to leave his family and homeland to go to an unknown land Genesis 12:1.
2) The famine in
Tests 1 and 2 taught Abraham to depend on God for material needs and personal safety. On a similar note, we often face extensive periods of turmoil be it financial or spiritual. We face crisis after crisis and wish we could just put an end to it all. Abraham, having relocated from his native homeland sought much deserved peace and tranquillity only to be caught amid famine. Faced with yet another challenge, Abraham stood tall and passed once again beginning anew in a foreign land.
3) The corruption in
Test 3 As he entered the
4) The war with the four kings Genesis 14: 9 -12
Test 4 In the battle of the ‘Four Kings vs. Five Kings’
5) Sarah taking matters in her own hands, not trusting God, by giving Hagar to Abraham as his concubine resulted in the birth of Ishmael, who was not the promise. Genesis 16:3
Test 5 we are taught to wait on God’s timing.
6) The commandment of circumcision Genesis 17:9.
Test 6 At the late age of ninety-nine, Abraham was commanded to circumcise himself! Yet, as we see from this test, challenges often crop up when we least expect them. The importance of self-sacrifice and what it means even when it involves pain.
7) Abraham interceded on behalf of the people of
Test 7 God showed Abraham that asking for anything is allowed with the understanding that God’s answers come from His perspective and not always in harmony with our expectations as only He knows the whole story.
8) Childless Abraham doubted God's promise to make his descendents as numerous as the stars of heaven, saying; "O Lord God, what can you give me, seeing that I shall die childless Genesis 15: 2 - 6; .
Test 8 teaches us that God is faithful in keeping His promises.
9) Driving away Hagar and Ishmael Genesis 21: 8 - 14.
Test 9 God brings peace to a troubled heart as we focus on God’s eternal promises.
10) The ULTIMATE TEST Abraham was commanded to sacrifice his only son Isaac on the Altar Gen. 22: 1 - 18.
Test 10 Obeying God is often a struggle because it may mean giving up something precious and dear to us. The fact is that sometimes we must place everything in the hands of God and allow God to work the outcome. When we are severely tested we should just allow God to stretch us to develop our character. We should not expect our obedience to God to be easy or come naturally.
The Story of Isaac “meaning laughter”
The second link; in God’s plan to start a nation from Abraham. Isaac inherited everything from his father, including God’s promises to make his descendants into a great nation. As a boy Isaac did not resist as his father prepared to sacrifice him, and as a man he gladly accepted a wife that others chose for him. Through Isaac we learn how to let God guide our lives and place His will ahead of our own. Genesis 25: 19 - 28: 9.
JACOB – God changed his name to
The third and final link; in God’s plan to start a nation from Abraham. The success of that plan was more often in spite of, than because of Jacob’s life. Before Jacob was born God promised that His plan would be worked out through Jacob. Jacob’s name was changed to Israel Genesis 32:28. Jacob fathered twelve sons who became the Twelve Tribes of Israel; Genesis 49
Most people presume that
Criticizing God for selecting
1. Yeshua (Jesus) could not have been born into the family of mankind. 2. God's promise to bless all nations would be an empty promise. 3. Salvation would be unavailable to anyone. 4. The Church would not exist, nor would it be needed. 5. The Bible would have not needed to be written, and wouldn’t exist. 6. The nations would have no example of God's omnipotence. 7. The nations would have no example of God's Law the Ten Commandments. 8.
"WHAT IF GOD HAD NOT CHOSEN ANYONE"
We would have no hope, without God in this world, estranged from the unfulfilled Abrahamic covenant, non-partakers of the promises of the Lord. (Ephesians 2:11-12 and 3: 6)
WHY DID GOD CHOOSE
Galatians 3: 14 “That the blessing of Abraham might come on the gentiles through Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus).” Micah 4:1 - 2 “And many nations shall come, and say, come let’s go up to the Mountain of the Lord, and to the house of Jacob, and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths; for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem!”
Yeshua (Jesus) was born from among the lineage of Abraham and therefore within the nation of
If we will trust Him . . . He will fulfill his promises to us as well. It may not be tomorrow. It may not even be in the near future. We may not see that God has fulfilled His promise until we get to Heaven . . . but God will keep His Word. God tells us to follow Him even if we don't know where we are going. We will stand with Abraham perhaps applauding, perhaps singing, perhaps in reverent silence, realizing just how wonderful God is!
With SHALOM as we wait for our Messiah Yeshua,
Alf & Julie Saunders
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