Children’s Study – Abraham, Part 2

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Abraham – Part 2

“Before Abraham was born, I AM”

by Victor Torres

Last time we learned more about Abraham. We learned how God had promised to make him a great nation, to bless those who bless him and curse those who curse him. God promised to make his name great.

Abraham did have many children, and the nation of Israel came from him. The Bible tells how much God had blessed Abraham physically and also blessed the nation of Israel. But Abraham and the physical nation of Israel are just types of us, symbols of the true elect of God. The much more important blessings, the spiritual blessings, are given to God’s elect now.

Last time I also asked you to read more of the story of Abraham up to chapter 17 of Genesis and to submit questions to me regarding it. Today, we will look at one of those questions.

Gen 11:26 When Terah [a great grandson of Shem] had lived 70 years, he fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran.
Gen 11:27 Now these are the generations of Terah. Terah fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran fathered Lot.
Gen 11:28 Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his kindred, in Ur of the Chaldeans.
Gen 11:29 And Abram and Nahor took wives. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran the father of Milcah and Iscah.
Gen 11:30 Now Sarai was barren; she had no child.
Gen 11:31 Terah took Abram his son and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife, and they went forth together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go into the land of Canaan, but when they came to Haran, they settled there.
Gen 11:32 The days of Terah were 205 years, and Terah died in Haran.

Q – How did the descendants of Shem live up to 200 years old?

In the story of Noah, we learned that people before the flood lived for a very long time. Seth, who replaced Abel after he was killed by Cain, lived to 912 years old. Methuselah the grandfather of Noah, a descendant of Seth, lived to 969 years old.

Gen 5:8 Thus all the days of Seth were 912 years, and he died.

Gen 5:27 Thus all the days of Methuselah were 969 years, and he died.

But after the flood, we lost the water build-up in the earth’s atmosphere (it didn’t rain before the flood). This made us more prone to be overexposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. This overexposure to UV rays is what causes people to die faster. Still we read about these people who live up to 200 years old after the flood, so I understand why you are curious. Living up to 200 years old is unheard of today, even with all the technological advances that we see.

I really don’t know how they did it. But this gives me an opportunity to remind you that a long life in this flesh should not be our concern. It was not the concern of our Lord Jesus Christ, so it shouldn’t be a concern of His followers.

People of this world spend billions of dollars and many, many hours to research ways of making their lives on this earth longer. We shouldn’t be like them. People of this world spend billions of dollars and many, many hours in celebrating their birthdays, specially when they reach a certain age: 1, 16, 50, 75, 100. We shouldn’t be like them.

Rom 12:2 (KJV) And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, in order to prove by you what is that good and pleasing and perfect will of God.

Rom 12:2 (CEV) Don’t be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think. Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to him.

This body is a temporary body that will go away before we are given a permanent body.

1Co 15:44 (ERV) The body that is “planted” is a physical body [the one that we have now]. When it is raised, it will be a spiritual body [the one that will be given to us after this physical body dies]. There is a physical body. So there is also a spiritual body.

This is what we are told about this physical body that we have:

1Co 15:42 (ERV) It will be the same when those who have died are raised to life. The body that is “planted” in the grave will ruin and decay, but it will be raised to a life that cannot be destroyed.
1Co 15:43 When the body is “planted,” it is without honor. But when it is raised, it will be great and glorious. When the body is “planted,” it is weak. But when it is raised, it will be full of power.

This body that we have now will die. It will ruin and decay. It is without honor, it is weak. So do you still want to live in this body for a long time? I hope not. We should all look forward to being given a spiritual body. This new spiritual body cannot be destroyed. It is great and glorious. It is full of power.

The time we live here on earth, however long or short, should be spent to glorify God. Abraham’s dad, Terah, who lived for 205 years, did not serve the LORD.

Jos 24:2 And Joshua said to all the people, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘Long ago, your fathers lived beyond the Euphrates, Terah, the father of Abraham and of Nahor; and they served other gods.

They served other gods. That’s how we all start. We serve other gods. We serve this weak and dishonorable body instead of serving the Lord and His body.

This doesn’t mean that we should neglect our body or we shouldn’t seek treatment when we are sick. What this mean is we shouldn’t be selfish but always take the opportunity to do good to all men, specially to the followers of Christ.

Gal 6:10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Some of you might ask, “what can I do, I’m just a kid?” But there are many ways that you can serve your parents. You can start by helping out around the house. I always say to my kids, “the house won’t clean itself”.

Study hard and learn as much as you can during school and during these Bible studies. Your parents are not getting any younger. There will come a time that you will need to support yourself and your family, so it is important to find a good job.

The Lord doesn’t like lazy servants, but He will bless you if you work hard and do the things that we tell you to do.

Ecc 9:10 (KJV) Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

Ecc 9:10 (ERV) Every time you find work to do, do it the best you can. In the grave there is no work. There is no thinking, no knowledge, and there is no wisdom. And we are all going to the place of death.

This command in the Old Testament is repeated in the New Testament, and it is made clear why we should do so:

Col 3:23 In all the work you are given, do the best you can. Work as though you are working for the Lord, not any earthly master.
Col 3:24 Remember that you will receive your reward from the Lord, who will give you what he promised his people. Yes, you are serving Christ. He is your real Master.

So whether you are doing household chores, or you’re doing your homework, or you are helping someone out, or when you grow up, whatever job you find, do all things as you are serving the Lord. It is He who will give you your reward.

Let’s go back to the story of Abraham. Abraham’s dad, Terah, was the one who took them out of Ur to go to Canaan, but they were not able to go all the way to Canaan, but settled in the land of Haran instead.

Gen 11:31 Terah took Abram his son and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife, and they went forth together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go into the land of Canaan, but when they came to Haran, they settled there.

Terah died in Haran.

Gen 11:32 The days of Terah were 205 years, and Terah died in Haran.

It is after Terah’s death that the Lord called Abraham. Terah’s death is a symbol of the death of our “old man”, our old self who serves other gods.

Gen 12:1 The LORD said to Abram: Leave your country, your family, and your relatives and go to the land that I will show you.
Gen 12:2 (MKJV) And I will make you a great nation. And I will bless you and make your name great. And you shall be a blessing.
Gen 12:3 And I will bless those that bless you and curse the one who curses you. And in you shall all families of the earth be blessed.

As with Noah, Abraham is a type or symbol of the elect who are chosen by God to be His people. I want you to notice how God chooses a few people in every generation. During the time of Cain and Abel, God chose Abel. After Cain killed Abel, God chose Seth. During the time of Noah, God chose him and his family to save while the whole world is in rebellion against God.

Gen 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

After the flood, God chose Shem and Japheth to be blessed by Noah and Ham to be cursed by Noah because of his disrespect of his father. Now, we are learning about Abraham, a descendant of Shem whom God chose to bless, out of all the people of the earth who are serving other gods. I hope all of this shows you the sovereignty or total control of God over all things. It is up to Him who He will choose, and it is up to Him who He will cause to sin against Him. This is not what other churches teach. What they teach is that it is up to you to choose evil or to choose good.

Gen 12:4 So Abram went as the Lord had said to him, and Lot went with him: Abram was seventy-five years old when he went away from Haran.
Gen 12:5 And Abram took Sarai, his wife, and Lot, his brother’s son, and all their goods and the servants which they had got in Haran, and they went out to go to the land of Canaan.

Did you notice that, kids? Abraham was told to leave his family, but still he took his nephew, Lot. Of course when he was told to leave his family, it means his father’s family, and it doesn’t include Sarai his wife or any children, if he had any at that time. The word used in the KJV is kindred:

Gen 12:1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:

Here’s another good translation of that verse:

Gen 12:1 (ERV) The LORD said to Abram, “Leave your country and your people. Leave your father’s family and go to the country that I will show you.

What this tells us is that like Abraham, it is hard for us to leave all of the attachments of the flesh right away, even after we are called by God to be His followers.

Gen 12:6 Abram went as far as the sacred tree of Moreh in a place called Shechem. The Canaanites were still living in the land at that time,
Gen 12:7 Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him.

Twice we are told in verse 7 that the LORD appeared to Abram. Does this mean that Abram saw God, the Father? No, he didn’t. We know that he didn’t see the Father Himself because of these verses in the New Testament:

Joh 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

Joh 5:37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.

Abraham, Noah, Adam and Eve and many others had seen or heard the LORD. They assumed it was God the Father, but it was really Christ! When Christ revealed this truth to the Jews during His time here on earth, they wanted to stone Him to death!

Joh 8:56 Your father Abraham was very happy that he would see the day when I came. He saw that day and was happy.”
Joh 8:57 The Jews said to Jesus, “What? How can you say you have seen Abraham? You are not even 50 years old!”
Joh 8:58 Jesus answered, “The fact is, before Abraham was born, I AM.
Joh 8:59 When he said this, they picked up stones to throw at him. But Jesus hid, and then he left the Temple area.

There are two main lies that other churches believe. The first one is that Jesus Christ is not a created being, that He has no beginning, and He co-existed with the Father. But what does the Bible teach?

Rev 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

Col 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

The other lie is what those Jews who wanted to kill our Lord believed. They believed Christ did not exist before He was born in the flesh. Again we should ask what the Bible teaches.

Col 1:16 For by him were all things created [for real, not in God’s mind only], that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
Col 1:17 And he is before all things [for real, not in God’s mind only], and by him all things consist.
Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

Christ had to empty Himself of the holy spirit before He was made in the likeness of men.

Php 2:7 (ASV) but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men;

Now we can understand what our Lord is saying here:

Joh 17:5 (MKJV) And now Father, glorify Me with Yourself with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

So it was indeed our Lord Jesus Christ who appeared and talked to Abraham and many others in the Old Testament. But even after the Lord had appeared to Abraham and gave him all those promises, we saw last time how he still went to Egypt when a famine came.

Gen 12:10 The crops failed, and there was no food anywhere in the land. So Abram and his wife Sarai went to live in Egypt for a while. But just before they got there, he said, “Sarai, you are really beautiful!

This just shows our immaturity in our early walk with Christ. Our complete love and trust for Him doesn’t come instantly. Instead of trusting that God would give him enough food, Abram and Sarai went to live in Egypt. And we know how Abram told his wife to lie for him because Sarai is beautiful, and he was afraid the Egyptians would kill him for her. That’s another example of Abram’s distrust of the Lord and His promises.

Let’s continue to read the story of Abraham:

Gen 13:1 So Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the Negeb.
Gen 13:2 Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold.
Gen 13:3 And he journeyed on from the Negeb as far as Bethel to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai,
Gen 13:4 to the place where he had made an altar at the first. And there Abram called upon the name of the LORD.
Gen 13:5 And Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents,
Gen 13:6 so that the land could not support both of them dwelling together; for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together,
Gen 13:7 and there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock. At that time the Canaanites and the Perizzites were dwelling in the land.

This strife or quarrel between the herdsmen of Abram and the herdsmen of Lot is a symbol of our quarrel with our spiritual family when we still have an immature faith. The apostle Paul found this childish faith in the Corinthians who were quarreling among themselves and preferring one teacher over another.

1Co 3:1 (CEV) My friends, you are acting like the people of this world. That’s why I could not speak to you as spiritual people. You are like babies as far as your faith in Christ is concerned.
1Co 3:2 So I had to treat you like babies and feed you milk. You could not take solid food, and you still cannot,
1Co 3:3 because you are not yet spiritual. You are jealous and argue with each other. This proves that you are not spiritual and that you are acting like the people of this world.
1Co 3:4 (GNB) When one of you says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos”—aren’t you acting like worldly people?
1Co 3:5 After all, who is Apollos? And who is Paul? We are simply God’s servants, by whom you were led to believe. Each one of us does the work which the Lord gave him to do:

Paul corrected the Corinthians by telling them that the body of Christ needs to be united, and the teachers are but servants of the Lord who do the work which the Lord gave them to do.

Gen 13:8 Then Abram said to Lot, “Let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, for we are kinsmen.
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.”
Gen 13:10 And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw that the Jordan Valley was well watered everywhere like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, in the direction of Zoar. (This was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.)
Gen 13:11 So Lot chose for himself all the Jordan Valley, and Lot journeyed east. Thus they separated from each other.

Here we see Lot, who is a symbol of our flesh, being attracted to the things that this world can offer. To think like this is spiritual death.

1Jn 2:16 (GNB) Everything that belongs to the world—what the sinful self desires, what people see and want, and everything in this world that people are so proud of—none of this comes from the Father; it all comes from the world.

Abram remained in Canaan.

Gen 13:12 Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled among the cities of the valley and moved his tent as far as Sodom.
Gen 13:13 Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the LORD.
Gen 13:14 The LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward,

“After Lot had separated from him” is a symbol of us when we start to deny ourselves instead of being attracted to the things that this world can offer. It is when we start to deny ourselves and take up our cross that God starts to bless us with spiritual blessings.

Gen 13:15 for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever.
Gen 13:16 I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted.
Gen 13:17 Arise, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you.”
Gen 13:18 So Abram moved his tent and came and settled by the oaks of Mamre, which are at Hebron, and there he built an altar to the LORD.

Next time, Lord willing, we will continue to learn the story of Abraham and answer more of your questions.

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