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Wednesday, 28 June 2017 06:29

Genesis 14-15 Notes

Genesis 14-15

Notes
* Note the contrast between Abram and the kings in this text.  The kings sought to gain power.  Abram, after he had won and rescued Lot, lays down his arms and does not pursue worldly power.
* On Melchizedek, see Psalm 110, Hebrews 5-7.
* Note the ministry of Melchizedek, then Abram's response to that ministry.
* In chapter 15, Abram believes God's promise, but fairly wonders how it will be fulfilled.
  When God tells him the seemingly impossible, he believes.
* Abram was righteous before chapter 15.
  His faith being accounted as righteousness points out righteousness by grace through faith in God's power.  Faith alone lays hold of God's promise.  Faith is active in our trust, love, etc.  For more on this see Romans 4.
* God promises the land and then tells how it will come to pass.
  Often the will of God includes trials.  God sustains and blesses us through these trials and fulfills His promises in spite of all obstacles.  Faith is sustained and expresses itself amid these matters.  For more on this see Hebrews 11.
* God alone is the author and provider of this blessing.
  Abram is not an equal partner, he is recipient of grace.

Discussion Questions
1.  How did Abram's attitude differ from that of the kings and why?  How is power sought and/or taken advantage of among us today?  How do we combat it in our lives and in the lives of others?
2.  How is Christ a prophet like Melchizedek?  How is Jesus a priest like Melchizedek?  How is Jesus a king like Melchizedek?
3.  How did Abram respond to Melchizedek and why?  What application do we make of this?  What is the reason Abram responded the way he did and why should we?
4.  Why did God declare Abram righteous?  Why does He declare us righteous?  How was Abram's righteousness active?  How is ours?
5.  How difficult was it for Abram's descendants to inherit the land?  How did they endure their trials?  What application does this have for us? 
6.  Is the covenant of salvation a partnership or a blessing of grace?  What is our part in it?  What is our response to it?  How do we apply that to our practices in the church and family?

Devotions

Day 1
Read Genesis 14:1-16  What a difference!  The kings in this story fought over power and sought the wealth of others.  When one side wins, they take plunder of the possessions and power of the others, including Abram's nephew Lot.  Abram sets out to rescue Lot and brings him back.  To do this he defeats the kings who had just won.  But unlike those kings, Abram does not seek to exercise power over them.  He simply takes what is his and lays down his arms to live in peace.  He had the advantage of all the kings who had fought on both sides but does not take advantage of them. 
     Jesus is the same way.  During His ministry on earth, Jesus served and loved us without taking advantage of His position as God (Philippians 2:5-11).  He did what He came to do (saved us) without insisting on anything for Himself.
     God grant us this attitude.  Having been so loved, let us join Abram in defense of, and service to others.  In thanks to Christ, let us never take advantage of our positions in life but use them in loving, Christlike service to others.  Pray that God would continually remind us of these things and do them in us.

Day 2
Read Genesis 14:17-24.  Melchizedek is the king of Salem, which means "peace."  He is a priest of God.  He also speaks God's Word, making him a prophet.  He is mentioned in scripture as a foretelling of Jesus. 
     Jesus is our Prophet, Priest, and King.  He is our prophet because He spoke God's Word and still speaks through the proclamation of the Good News of salvation.  He is our Priest because He has sacrificed Himself for our sins and He sits at the right hand of the Father as the reason that God accepts us into heaven.  He is our King because He rules the universe, the church, and heaven. 
     What does this mean for us?  Jesus has promised to provide for all our needs, both physical and spiritual.  He does this as our Prophet, Priest, and King.  We can live our lives knowing that Jesus will fulfill all His promises.  We go to Jesus each day to receive the assurance we need to live.  We don't need to go to various sources.  Jesus does it all.  Pray a prayer of thanks for this complete ministry of our Savior.

Day 3
Read Genesis 14:17-24.  Abram came as a victor.  But his coming to the priest of God was to give thanks for the blessings of God.  Abram saw the saving of Lot as another in the long line of blessings he had received from God.  In response to God's blessings, Abram gave a tithe (10%) of what he had.    
     All that we have is a blessing from God.  In thanks we use all God's gifts to His glory for our families, etc.   In response to the blessings of God, let us thank Him by taking the first fruits of God's blessings and give it for the work of the church.  We do this as a response to His blessings, not the needs of the church.
     God has given us our time.  may we thank Him by using it to His glory.  May we also take the first fruits of our time for working to do the work of the church.  God has given us our talents and abilities.  May we use them all to His glory.  may we also take the first fruits and express our thanks by serving Him in the work of the church.  Start by picking one thing you can do for the kingdom and do it well.  God has given us our treasures.  We thank Him by our wise use of it to His glory and the benefit of others.  We also thank Him by our taking the first fruits for the work of the kingdom.  Set a percentage and let God determine your gifts in thanks for His.
     Thank God for all His blessings in prayer and then prayerfully consider your loving response to those blessings.

Day 4
Read Genesis 15:1-6. (see also Romans 4)  We think of Abram as a fine, outstanding example of how a believer should be.  Often we are tempted to name the things he did when asked what was special about him.  This text shows where his greatness came from.
     Abram received the promises of God and had faith.  His faith is why he was regarded as righteous.  The things he did were responses of faith to God's promises.        So with us.  We are tempted to point people to our works when asked why God loves us.  But God promises us salvation and all His other blessings and we respond by faith.  We are saved by grace through faith.  We are Christians by grace through faith.  We do loving works by grace through faith.  God has richly blessed us.  Let us thank God for the gift of faith and pray that we would always respond to Him by faith.

Day 5
Read Genesis 15:13-21.  Abram was promised that his descendants would inherit the land.  This was a blessed promise.  But with that came trial.  They would have to endure slavery.  God would deliver them in miraculous fashion.  God empowered them to endure the hardships they faced.  But it was still a struggle.  In their weakness they sinned against God by not trusting Him.  God was faithful and brought them into the land which they possessed. 
     We seek peace and harmony in our lives.  We want to bask in God's promises and be care free.  That is not how it often works out.  God has not promised us a life free of trials.  We avoid the consequences of sinful actions when we stay away from them, but that will not eliminate all trials.  Some trials will come because we are believers in Jesus.  We need to remember God's promise to Abram and His faithfulness in delivering on that promise.  God will be faithful to us and empower us to face whatever life may bring.  Take comfort in knowing that's God will fulfill what He has promised no matter what comes our way.  Pray about this.

Day 6 
     Abram believed the promises of God.  He especially believed the promise that in the Messiah, who would come from his family, God would bless the world.  This was the covenant God made with him, to save him.  When God makes and fulfills promises, the covenant is always one sided.  God makes the covenant.  Abram was not an equal partner in this covenant, he was its recipient. 
     So it is with us.  God has established His covenant of salvation with us.  He establishes that covenant  He alone deserves the credit for our salvation.  We are thankful recipients of grace.  Thank God for loving us so much that He would sacrifice His only Son that we might be His covenant people.  Pray a prayer of thanksgiving.

 

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