BSF Genesis: Week 13, Day 5

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

11.
a.
Himself, the Messiah

b.
you are a priest forever in the order of melchizedek

c.
Mel was both a king and a priest, king of righteousness and king of peace. Not a priest through Levites, but ordained by God

12.
a.
Christ has offered forgiveness for everything troubling you. He has been given the power to forgive all.

b.
Christ prayers for you continuously. He calls on God to bless you, not because you deserve it or have earned it, but because it reflects the glory and honor of the Creator

c.
Give to the church joyfully and without regret or reservation for the body of believers is the the body of the church of which Christ is the head

My Daily Journal:

Christ cried.

Hebrews 5:7  says Jesus offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears.

One of the men in our group talked about this and it helped reveal how amazing this is.  Think about it.  This is the creator of everything.  Everything.  Heavens and earth, seen and unseen, mortal and spiritual beings, matter, dark matter, antimatter, everything.  This is the all powerful.  All knowing.  Eternal God.  And he cried.

Growing up my fear of my father was not one of fear of punishment or anger from him, but fear of causing him disappointment or pain.  If as a child I understand this for my human father, then as a maturing adult believer how much more should I feel this for my Lord.  And, yet, he cried.

I don’t say this as a depressing thought or for guilt, but I think it shows the heart of God and His amazing love for me and all of His children.  That love, embodied in Christ, serving in the role of eternal priest for me, interceding on my behalf and paying the sacrifice for my wrongs, well… that is love.

BSF Genesis: Week 13, Day 4

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

8.
They came out to meet him in the valley and each attempted to honor him in his own way. Melchizedek brought bread and wine and blessed Abram with a prayer of blessing from God and honoring to God. Abram gave him a tenth of everything. Sodom focused on possessions. He wanted the people and to leave Abram with all other possessions. Abram said he swore an oath to God to not take anything, even a sandal strap. But the other kings should receive their share.

9.
a.
I am your shield. I am your great reward

b.
He had just stood up to a king of a wicked people and given up a great amount of wealth and riches. He had delivered a message to the king of Sodom that God was against him.  But, more so, I think he had fear for his nephew Lot.  Lot must have chosen to go right back into sin city.  Abram would have had great fear for his nephew.  Not to read ahead, but he doesn’t consider Lot to be a viable heir, but instead his only living heir is a servant he acquired.

10.
God tells us to not be afraid, over and over again. But it is hard. We make so many decisions and there is such uncertainty in this life it is hard not to be afraid and not to have second thoughts.  It is easy to look back on each decision and have doubts and questions: did I make the right choice.  But God calls us to have confidence and to shed the fear because God works all for His glory.  It is not whether I make the right decision, but how I make the decision that matters most to God.  Do I rely on myself or put my trust in Him with the intent to bring glory to Him?

My Daily Journal:

Question 8 was my pivotal question this week.

Here comes Abram marching back into the Valley of the Kings.  He is victorious.  He is accompanied not only with his entire army but with all the people and possessions.  To the victor go the spoils.  This all belongs to Abram.

The valley he walks in to must have been somber.  Not only had all the local kings been defeated in battle, but their cities had been sacked and raided, their people had all been hauled off as slaves.  It says the armies took ALL of their food.  The kings had fled from the battle, leaving their soldiers to be trapped in tarpits.  The few soldiers that did escape fled to the hills, but you cannot imagine they maintain any loyalty to these defeated and cowardly kings.

In comes mighty Abram and out come Melchizedek and the King of Sodom.  With one swipe of his sword Abram could kill the king and place himself on the throne over the entire valley.  Not even his own sword would be required, he had an army of fighting men with him loyal to his word or hand gesture.

The contrasts in this meeting are so rich.  Look at this:

The first words out of the mouth of the King of Salem are: “Blessed Be.”

Abram’s response is to give him a tenth of everything.  Note, he does not ask permission of anyone else.  All of this is Abram’s to give or keep as he sees fit.

Next is the King of Sodom.  His first words are “Give me.”

Abram responds, “With raised hand”

While the King of Sodom is trying to put on a good front, it has to realize that with one motion of that raised hand he is dead.  But instead of raising his hand against this wicked King, Abram says, “With raised hand I have sworn an oath to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth”

What an amazing and powerful scene that is such a strong lesson to us.  Are my thoughts and words first to bless others or to get for myself.  Do I raise my hand against others or raise it in praise and promise to my solemn Lord?

BSF Genesis: Week 13, Day 3

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

5.
He had 318 trained men that were able to go into battle and he was allied with Mamre, Eshkol and Aner

6.
a.
He fought a battle of righteousness before God. To those on God’s side, it was a pleasant site, to the enemy it was death. His household took a stand, but their armament was God provided

b.
Not the weapons of this world, but weapons of divine power. They battle strongholds of argument and pretense and wrong knowledge and wrong thought

c.
The sword of the Spirit. All else is defensive, but God’s spirit strikes the enemy

7.
It is both a challenge and comfort. I am not equal to the task of bearing the burden for whether a person lives or dies for all eternity. Comforting to know that the scripture recognizes my inadequacy and that it is only by carrying Christ in spirit that it comes to pass.

My Daily Journal:

In the lesson today I changed perspectives and looked at the battle and victory through Lot’s eyes.  At this point, Lot has been chained as a slave in captivity.  He has been marched off from his home, all of his possessions taken away, his family enslaved, he is helpless, with only one hope: Abram.

I can relate to Lot.  I am enslaved by sin.  I fight it off, but by my own strength I have no hope of staying free.  But, also like Lot’s relationship with Abram, I too have I have a family member, a savior who has elected to call me brother, who will pursue me, fight the evil ones that hold me in bondage and set me free.  Like Abram, Christ has an army of trained soldiers at the ready, clothed in the spiritual battlement.  They come, without reservation or condition, to rescue any of us that call on His name.  They do not expect us to free ourselves.  They do not hold back with thoughts that we have received no more than we have earned.  They just come and fight and vanquish.

I understand that I, too, am called to dress in the armor of God.  I am pleased to be called to serve.  But I am even more thankful for all the times in my life that Christ has sent soldiers in, whether fellow christians, angels or the holy spirit, to fight for me and to rescue me.

BSF Genesis: Week 13, Day 2

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

3.
a.
Amraphel of Shinar, Arioch of Ellasar, Kedorlaomer of Elam and Tidal of Goyim

b.
Bera of Sodom, Birsha of Gomorrah, Shinab of Admah, Shemeber of Zeboyim, Zoar of Bela

c.
The plain of Shinar (Babel)

4.
a.
Decision to setup tents by the city of Sodom

b.
Choices on employment, choices on how to spend money and time, choices about whether to launch new ventures and how quickly to do them. Consequences affect myself, employees, family, readers, other believers. I also need to be talking with others about Christ. I need to pray about all of this.

My Daily Journal:

We know from the previous verses that the people of this valley were wicked.  In these verses we also see how inept the battle plans of the wicked are.

Here we see a big front.  5 kings allied against 4.  They draw up to fight on their home turf, in their own valley with naturally better ability to prepare to devise strategy, to prepare reinforcements.  What we see is that instead all they have is a big front.  There is nothing behind it.  At the first sign, they retreat.  Some are caught in the tar pits of their own turf, some flee to the hills.  The leaders themselves flee leaving the women, children, elderly and innocent to be taken by the enemy as slaves including ALL the food.

As Christians we fear confrontations with evil.  Evil today acts the same way, with a big scary front.  But like this battle, there is nothing behind it.  The soldiers are deserted, the leaders flee and they are caught up in their own lies and deceit.  I am not suggesting that we should discount the forces of evil, clearly they have the ability to cause harm and pain, but I am suggesting that under the power of the spirit of God, with the truth of the gospel, we need have no fear.