Awesome Hands – part 05: “So that you will be a blessing”
In the last study, we have seen that the “Awesome Hands” of the Lord, as shown to us in the story of the flood, are there to rescue us from our history and the “world” that has been corrupted.
Once we are given salvation via the ark, the way out that the Lord has provided for us, we are then going to be nourished by and also devoured by the beasts that the Lord preserved with us while we were in the ark.
Praise the Lord that He has given us a dove to guide us, to bring into the ark so that we know what to do next. It is a process, but it is a sweet smelling savor to the Lord as He works out of us the things that the blood on our hands are required to happen.
God has made a covenant with us that says He will finish the work in us that He has founded in the Christ, since the foundation of the world.
In part 5, we will continue to look at the next scriptures dealing with God’s awesome hands working in our Way, Truth and Life with Jesus the Christ.
Lord willing, we see what the Lord has prepared for us at His altar as we see what we can learn from Abram and Lot’s departures from one another in Gen 13:9.
Up until now, we have studied various examples of God’s “awesome hands” working in our lives. We started at the beginning with the first Adam and his wife Eve, and then we went out from the garden of Eden to later find ourselves in the story of Noah and the arc.
Now, we find ourselves in our next verse dealing with “hands” as they are mentioned in the OT, and we find ourselves in a very peculiar situation.
In Gen 13:9 we see:
Gen 13:9 – Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right, or if you take the right hand, then I will go to the left.”
In order to set the tone for the study and the area where this verse is found, I want to take a few minutes and read the story as it leads in verse 13:9.
Gen 12:17 – But the LORD afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife.
Gen 12:18 – So Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife?
Gen 12:19 – Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife; take her, and go.”
Gen 12:20 – And Pharaoh gave men orders concerning him, and they sent him away with his wife and all that he had.
Right away, this should sound very similar to a story that happens to Israel as they are slaves in Egypt and we’ll study this story out to see if there are any similarities.
Earlier in this story, God tells Abram to leave Egypt and “go to the land that I will show you”.
Gen 12:1 – Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.
Gen 12:2 – And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.
Gen 12:3 – I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
God tells Abram to go to a land that He will show Abram by going away from his country, his kindred and his father’s house, but how do we initially see Abram live out what the Lord had said?
Gen 12:4 – So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.
Gen 12:5 – And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.
Gen 12:6 – And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.
Gen 12:7 – And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.
Did anyone notice that God told Abram to go out from his country, kindred and father’s house? Well, Abram did but he took a little something- something along too …. his brother’s son.
This sounds very similar too what God tells Moses he must do, but Moses seems to always want to add a little something- something to God’s plan and commandments.
Of course, we all know it is completely the Lord’s will that is working it out that these men do this, but that is no different than Pharaoh being setup to have a hardened heart.
Still, we are going to live it out as the Lord has planned and we must see that our will, our “self “ is nothing if we are dead to our own works, dead to our own fleshly desires and rising daily in a newness of hope and faith in Him.
Now, what do Abram’s plans yield him as he travels into the land of Canaan? It is in this part of our walk that even though we think we are doing as the Lord commands, and we are according to His strong delusion, that we go away from the north [ judgment] and towards the south, the wilderness, the place where God will be with us in longsuffering because WE HAVE NO FAITH.
Gen 12:8 – And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD.
Gen 12:9 – And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south.
So, why do I say this is when we have no faith? Well, we know from scripture that Abraham is the father of the faithful, but here we don’t see him acting faithful. In fact, he is so fearful of what is about to happen to him that he gets Sarai to lie about being his wife which in turn has God spook the Pharoah to “let my people go”.
Gen 12:10 – And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land.
Gen 12:11 – And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon:
Gen 12:12 – Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive.
Gen 12:13 – Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee.
What does this all have to do with the hands of God and this study? Doesn’t it seem like Abram is being setup along with Sarai? Well, they are.
Isn’t that how we feel when we cry out and try everything we can do rid ourselves from “His wrath” though we don’t know that is truly what is happening until we can look back to it?
However, while we are going through it like Abram and Sarai are in this story we too try to continually take things into our own hands and help God along.
Gen 12:14 – And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair.
Gen 12:15 – The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house.
Gen 12:16 – And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels.
Gen 12:17 – And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram’s wife.
Gen 12:18 – And Pharaoh called Abram, and said, What is this that thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife?
Gen 12:19 – Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way.
Gen 12:20 – And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him: and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had.
Our Lord is so patient and long suffering with us while we are in this wilderness. As soon as we “take actions into our own hands” due to lack of faith in the Lord, he blesses us still by having mercy on us and blessing us while we yet harm ourselves.
In Abrams case, the Lord has pharaoh bless Abram with all sorts of livestock and workers just in time to then send plagues on the pharaoh and his house. So, we are sent away out of Egypt and back into the wilderness and we take with us a RENEWED mind that we have done well because it went well with “our plan”. Lo, unto us the fools!
Remember, we are still heading south and away from judgment so that Lord tells us to remember His commandments, remember his judgments because they are a huge part of the promise as well.
Deu 8:11 – Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day:
Deu 8:12 – Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein;
Deu 8:13 – And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied;
Deu 8:14 – Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage;
Deu 8:15 – Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint;
Deu 8:16 – Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end;
Deu 8:17 – And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth.
Deu 8:18 – But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.
God made a covenant a long time ago with our father and it didn’t start with Abraham. It started from the foundation of the world which is what we have being talking about and building upon since we started this series.
We are Christ’s inheritance, so God has promised His Son a wonderful bride fit for Him. God the Father will continue establishing this covenant by proving and humbling us so that our latter end will be good.
Divide with Lot
Until this point we have been building up to the verse that this study is focused on, Gen 13:9. Now, we are getting close to what God is going to do about our disobedience.
He obviously has led us into this land, has given us the heart that doesn’t have faith yet but we still must continue to go through the motions of whatever He has planned for us and in this story of Abram and Sarai, we come now to being divided by Lot.
Our brother’s son, whom we were told to “go from your kindred” now must be given his portion too, because we always want to hold on to something that we have been delivered from initially.
Ultimately though, we must be separated from our “brethren”.
It is God who endures us with long suffering because the verses leading up to this whole story are about Noah and the nations created from those on the arc and them being of one language.
God then sees that we are going to be “of one language” and confounds the one language of the earth into multiple languages thus we eventually end up in this story today. Just as God confounded us and split us up in Babel, we too must have this happen again.
Continuing with verse 13:1 we see:
Gen 13:1 – And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south.
Gen 13:2 – And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.
Gen 13:3 – And he went on his journeys from the south even to Bethel, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Hai;
Gen 13:4 – Unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the LORD.
Abram is simply being extremely blessed as the Lord continues to build the house of Abram and of Lot. Then, we see Abram make a full circle back around to the place He had been before.
Gen 13:5 – And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents.
Gen 13:6 – And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together.
Gen 13:7 – And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land.
Gen 13:8 – And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.
Gen 13:9 – Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.
There is so much growth for Abram during this time where Abram is doing exactly as God has planned…. being blessed immensely, that when he comes back around to where he started there is no longer room for both what Abram has accumulated while do as the Lord has commanded and also what has been built up from His BROTHERS HOUSE.
The wheat and the chaff truly must grow up together until the harvest when then the wheat can be separated without harm coming to the wheat AND ITS SEED.
What are we going to do we cry out, just as Abram says…. let’s get along…. we can have the best of both worlds. Let not my olds ways conflict with the new ways shown to me of the Lord…. surely, we can dwell together in peace, right?
We have SO LITTLE FAITH. We think we can do something, so we again go to Lot and try to work this thing out. What is actually about to happen is that we are going to let “our brethren”, our old man, call the shots.
Guess what, it’s going to backfire for us but according to the Lord’s plan and we are about to read how.
Gen 13:10 – And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar.
Gen 13:11 – Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.
See, our brother has always belonged in the east…. just where the Sun rises. Our brother has his purpose, but ours is to head west not east. Before that though, we will continue to stay separated and dwell where we are which is still west of Lot.
Gen 13:12 – Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.
Gen 13:13 – But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.
So, we thought we would be slick and let our brother choose the way from which we would go, eh? Well, now we get to find out about the wrath of the Lord in full glory.
We are going to need to go down and see that our brethren are more inclined to look towards Sodom than they are towards the plain, and I mean that figuratively and literally in Lot’s case.
Before we do this though, we must receive yet another blessing of the Lord and this one is HUGE. We get control of everything we can see to the north, south, east and west.
Gen 13:14 – And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:
Gen 13:15 – For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.
Gen 13:16 – And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.
Gen 13:17 – Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.
Gen 13:18 – Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the LORD.
Sodom and Gomorrah go to war
At this point, we are about to see a war happen, and it is going to be a big one. It is going to be such a big one that our brother Lot will be caught up in it and we will need to rescue him.
I’ll start in verse 14, but before that just know that this war is between 4 and 5 kings.
Gen 14:8 – And there went out the king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (the same is Zoar;) and they joined battle with them in the vale of Siddim;
Gen 14:9 – With Chedorlaomer the king of Elam, and with Tidal king of nations, and Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar; four kings with five.
Here is how the story goes:
Gen 14:10 – And the vale of Siddim was full of slimepits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there; and they that remained fled to the mountain.
Gen 14:11 – And they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way.
Gen 14:12 – And they took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.
Gen 14:13 – And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram.
Gen 14:14 – And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.
Gen 14:15 – And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus.
Gen 14:16 – And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.
Abram, though all the things he has yet to be faithful in has been used to bring salvation to his brothers son, whom Abram calls his brethren, because of all the things God has done up to this point.
However, we are about to have a live changing event happen to us. We are about to see a High Priest of God and this event will forever direct the children of Israel in the OT and the future children of the promise of God.
On the scene comes Melchizedek, bringing BREAD and WINE. He brings grain and drink, not a sacrifice but something of the field, the earth…the church of God to us. Let’s see how the story plays itself out.
Gen 14:17 – And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king’s dale.
Gen 14:18 – And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.
Gen 14:19 – And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:
Gen 14:20 – And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.
Gen 14:21 – And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself.
Gen 14:22 – And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth,
Gen 14:23 – That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich:
Gen 14:24 – Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.
Melchizedek lets us know that what we have had happened to us was done because the Lord has given our enemies into our hands. In return, we “lift up our hands”. We now have the mindset that we will not take anything for this salvation ability that the Lord has blessed us with. We can save our brethren!
Belief starts in the wilderness
Why is this story so important? In Hebrews, we see a very nice picture painted for us of what the Lord brings us through in order to have just a few actually believe in the end. It is in the wilderness that some of use are “Jacob and Caleb” and believe we can go conquer the giants in the land we have been promised.
It is in the wilderness that we see this play out and Faith is a huge miracle in and of itself.
Melchizedek comes to Abram BEFORE the law of Moses was ever in existence, so just like the cloud the leads Israel through the wilderness which we are told was Christ, we too can see here that God has always had His Kings and High Priests who come to bring the gospel of the Lord.
In all this, it is faith that we are finally given and Abram is going to become Abraham the father of the faithful lateàwhich is also Christ we know via scripture. So how do we all relate to this in our lives and God’s hands in them?
Heb 6:10 – For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
Heb 6:11 – And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:
Heb 6:12 – That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Heb 6:13 – For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself,
Heb 6:14 – Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.
Heb 6:15 – And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.
Heb 6:16 – For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife.
Heb 6:17 – Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath:
Heb 6:18 – That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
Heb 6:19 – Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;
Heb 6:20 – Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
Did Abram really patiently endure when he and Sarai got the show on the road and conceived Ishmael? Well, they hadn’t been given faith yet. So like them, we diligently work out our salvation through faith and patience as that is INHERITING the PROMISE.
We are just like Melchizedek in that we are spiritually born into a faith that is just s miraculous as a virgin birth. We are suddenly born by a spiritual Father.
As such, we are babies first who are sons who inherit the kingship and priesthood later via enduring the fiery trails of life as we are trained to know it is all of the Lord.
Conclusion of Awesome Hands Part 5
As we conclude part 5 of the awesome hands of God study, we have learned that though the Lord comes to us and we call on His name in the wilderness, it is during this time that we really don’t have much faith to begin with.
We always want to get the show on the road and do something for God once we know He is working in our lives. However, because we want to do it in our way and our time, we will reap what we sow.
Through all of this, it is the Lord who directs our steps to bring good from it because while we are yet not in the fullness of faith, the Lord can and will use us to save our brethren. We are called behind in no gift, but we have yet to move on to have our seed come to fruition.
As we have seen with Abram, we are to go to war and battle those who are our enemies. They will be delivered into our hands but unlike a tenth that was instituted as type and shadow; the promise will be given to those who are completely the Lords …. and that is when we take on His new name… being renamed in Abraham and Sara.
In our next study, we will see how we continue to move towards getting things done quickly in our lives but ultimately the Lord will bring about His will so that His covenant will stand will Christ, His bride starting in Gen 16:6.
We all are God’s and He will mold us all into being all in all.
Psa 139:14 – I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
Other related posts
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 60 (August 28, 2014)
- Children's Study - Abraham, Part 8 (February 1, 2016)
- Children's Study - Abraham, Part 1 (November 23, 2015)
- Awesome Hands - part 05: "So that you will be a blessing" (May 19, 2012)