January 6

Genesis 13:5-15:21

There are those times when moves need to be made. In this case, Abram and his nephew Lot were growing with more people and possessions. Abram was the one who made the suggestion for separation so that there would be no strife between them (a good thing).

But Lot lacked wisdom. He did not investigate or scout out the land; it just looked good to him. We read no record of him asking God (praying about where to go). As a young man he should have left the decision to his uncle. I can’t help but think that these words we read in the Bible about Lot are derogatory in nature:

Genesis 13:1, “Then Lot chose for himself…”

God then gave to Abram what we call the Abrahamic Covenant. God promised Abram (Abraham) the land of Canaan extending all the way to the Euphrates River (Genesis 15:18) (Genesis 13:15 tells us that this promise is “forever”). Another part of this covenant is God’s promise to Abraham of an almost innumerable number of descendants. God has kept His promise to Abraham, and during the Millennial Kingdom Israel will claim all the land of the covenant.

It didn’t take long for Lot to fall into trouble and he and his family were taken away by the enemy. When Abram heard, he came to his nephew’s rescue – recovering all. I’ve always been blessed by the fact that Abraham’s servants were ready for war, did you notice that he and his 318 servants were “trained” (Genesis 14:14)?

After the victory, enters this mysterious figure named Melchizedek, King of Salem. He was the Priest of God Most High. Although I can’t be dogmatic, I’m of the opinion that this was a theophany, that Melchizedek was none other than Jesus Christ.

  • Jesus is the King of Salem (Jerusalem).
  • Jesus is the final  and forever High Priest of God (Psalm 110:4 – a prophecy of Jesus).
  • Melchizedek’s name means, “King of Righteousness.”
  • Melchizedek is described in the Bible as having no human genealogy; this is prior to the incarnation.
  • Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek (Hebrews 7:4).
  • And isn’t it interesting that here in Genesis 14:18 we have the bread and the wine? Hmmm, where have I heard that spoken of in significance? (communion)

I believe it was Jesus who enabled Abraham to have that spiritual victory over the enemy. It’s the same victory He offers to all of us (Philippians 4:13).

What a beautiful passage in:

Genesis 15:1 (NKJV) “After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.’”

Again the LORD brought Abraham out and showed him all the stars (before lights and pollution). The LORD said, “So shall your descendants be.” And then we read those epic words in:

Genesis 15:6 (NKJV) “And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.”

This is one of the passages the New Testament writers will later point to as Scriptural proof of salvation by faith (not works). Abraham simply believed and was saved. He believed and God’s righteousness was accounted to him (see also Romans 4:3; Galatians 3:6; James 2:23). We are saved by faith not works, but, as James points out, if we’re truly saved, works WILL follow as evidence of salvation.

Matthew 5:27-48

Jesus teaches with authority and reminds me that my life as a disciple of His, must be true…in my heart.

You may have noticed Jesus’ words, “You have heard that it was said…” “…but I tell you.” Jesus clarified God’s Word to us and taught with authority. Adultery is not simply this physical act, it takes place in the heart any time any of us look to lust. We don’t need to swear, as some back then were demanding, all we need to do is keep our word. In personal matters it must not be an “eye for an eye” mentality. We must love those who insult us (be patient) and even love our enemies. Isn’t this how God is? (Romans 5:8)

When Jesus speaks of plucking out an eye, or cutting off our hand in order to keep ourselves from hell (Matthew 5:29-30), it is not to be done literally, He’s simply warning us that we should deal severely with any sin in our own lives – cut it off!

Matthew 5:39 can be a tough command to obey!

Matthew 5:39 (NKJV) “But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.”

(see also Proverbs 19:11)

We’re called to overlook the insult, the sin, the wrong done to us, and simply be silent (Isaiah 53:7).

Matthew Henry, “The plain instruction is, suffer any injury that can be borne, for the sake of peace, committing your concerns to the Lord’s keeping. And the sum of all is, that Christians must avoid disputing and striving. If any say, flesh and blood cannot pass by such an affront, let them remember, that flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of God; and those who act upon right principles will have most peace and comfort.”

If we say we’re God’s children we should strive to be like Him, to be perfect, which speaks of maturity (Matthew 5:48).

Psalm 6:1-10

In Psalm 6 David is severely ill, on the brink of death. He sees it as a combination of God’s discipline (God allowing it) and the enemy coming against him. So he prays…and he’s confident, God will hear and God will heal (Psalm 6:9).

I believe that when people get hit physically, financially, emotionally, etc., they also enter into a battle spiritually. The enemy tries to capitalize on it and discourage us. David was struggling…he writes and questions:

Psalm 6:3 (NKJV) “My soul also is greatly troubled; but You, O LORD—how long?”

It wasn’t just a physical thing. It never is. It’s for that reason we need to look up and do what David did – have faith, pray, and stay focused on the Lord.

Proverbs 1:29-33

Proverbs 1:29–33 (NKJV) “Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord, 30 They would have none of my counsel And despised my every rebuke. 31 Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, and be filled to the full with their own fancies. 32 For the turning away of the simple will slay them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; 33 But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil.”

1. Wisdom personified explains

Because you refused wisdom’s call

Because you disdained wisdom’s counsel

Because you refused the fear of the LORD

2. Wisdom personified warns

I will laugh at your calamity

I will mock at your terror

I will not answer your call (after you cross that “line”)

3. Wisdom personified declares

You will eat the fruit of your own way

You will be filled to the full with your own fancies

If you think about it judgment at its core is simply God honoring the decisions of those created in His own image. We make our decisions and our decisions make us; we will choose where we spend eternity and the quality of life we live…God simply honors our choices.

Wisdom is preventative! Turn away from the truth – be a fool – and you’re dead meat. Often people seek wisdom to get out of trouble. But the point of wisdom is to prevent the damage in the first place. It’s been said, “What a fool does in the end the wise man does in the beginning.” 

Some turn away.

Some are complacent.

We want to be one of those who listen.

Proverbs 1:31 is another reminder that we make our decisions and then our decisions make us.  We will eventually and inevitably reap tomorrow what we sow today (Galatians 6:7-9).

So Manny, make good decisions – sow good seed.

I cringe at the word “complacency.” Complacency is defined as, “a feeling of smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one’s achievements.”

O Lord, I do rest in Your righteousness, but may I never have that feeling on this side of time that I’ve arrived, which may lead to Christian-cruise-control. May I always seek You passionately, everyday of my life.”

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