Types in Genesis Types in Testing and Separation

Abraham Lesson 2 of 4

I. Valuable lessons - Many valuable lessons can be learned by studying the life of Abraham. The Apostle Paul admonishes us to take as examples Abraham's descendants as they had been delivered from Egypt, and saved from the elements in the desert.

In I Corinthians we read: 

I Corinthians 10:6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. The Apostle does not stop there, but he continues in just a few verses after:

I Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

I Corinthians10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

Note that in both verses, the word translated "examples" and "ensamples" is our Greek word TUPOS .

I. The Testing - The new believer is soon tested, especially after times of communion with God. This even happened to Christ, when He was baptized in the River Jordan, and the Holy Spirit descended on Him like a dove, we read in the book of Luke:  

Luke 4:1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,

Luke 4:2 Being forty days tempted of the devil.....  

We will be able to see this great principal in action in the life of Abram. 

A. The Special Circumstances - Famine in the land 

Genesis12:10 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.

 This was a real test for Abram, especially after the recent revelation:

Genesis12:7 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.

1. There was famine in the land of promise! - Undoubtedly, Abram thought at this point of the fertile land of Mesopotamia that he had forsaken.

2. Abram's faithfulness was soon put to the test -

a. We are sometimes apt to identify the peace and calm of outward circumstances with the peace arising from a consciousness of the presence of God. 

b. Abraham was tested to make this clear, and it was all for all example, or TUPOS.

 

 

B. The Long Journey (Vs. 10) - This is the first point of contact between Israel as represented in Abram, and Egypt

1. The famine was the only reason for Abram's journey.

 2. The journey was the most obvious and natural thing for Abram to do.

 3. Abram's position was not merely natural, and we will be able to see that

 a. The right way is not always the easiest way

 b. The easiest way is not always the right way.

 c. Difficulties do not necessarily mean that we are in God's will.

 C. The Proposal - (Vs. 11-13) - Abram suggested that Sarai should say that she was his sister instead of his wife. 

1. This was a "half truth" (10:12) - verbally it was correct, but it was a lie of omission.

2. This proposal was given out of selfishness 

a. There was no regard for Sarai, but only for Abram's safety.

b. Abram had traveled all the way from Ur, but could not trust God with his life or his wife.

c. How small great people can be - How weak strong people can be - How bad good people can be.

 D. The Result - (Vs. 14-16) - What Abram had feared had come to pass, and Sarai is taken into the king's harem - 

1. Abram's precaution led to Pharaoh's action. 

2. Abram's life was spared, and gifts were given to him - (probably because of the anticipated marriage to his sister) 

3. What must have been in Abram's mind as he sat alone in his tent?

4. He had gained his goal, but at a great price to both himself and Sarai.

5. Abram fell at the point that was supposed to be his strong point - Faith.

6. This same thing happened to Moses. When Moses was supposed to speak to the rock as God had commanded him, we read in the book of Numbers: 

Numbers 20:11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts [also].

Numbers 20:12 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.

 E. Divine Displeasure - (Vs. 17) - Serious illness came upon Pharaoh and his family indicating that something was very wrong.

1.God could not let the promises to Abraham become frustrated, or His will to be unfulfilled.

2.It was therefore necessary to save Abram from himself, as well as to rescue Sarai. 

 

F. The Rebuke - (Vs. 18-20) - Can you imagine Abram's surprise at Pharaoh's statements!

 1. The Egyptians, with all of their sins, seem to have appreciated the truth afterall, and hated all forms of lying.

 2. Pharaoh then ordered Abram to take her and leave, his servants told to make sure of their safety out of Egypt

G. The Restoration - (Vs. 1-4) - You can imagine Abram's feelings as his caravan left Egypt, and slowly found its wayback to the land of Canaan, we read: 

Genesis 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;

Genesis 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.

 1. Notice that at the beginning we read of no such altar or prayer in Egypt.

 2. Abram seems to have been out of communion there.

 3. Now he is open to rebuke from the heathen.

 4. But, he did the important thing:

a. He returned to the beginning - The place where he had true surrender and worship earlier in Canaan.

b. When we backslide, there is nothing else to do but to come back to the old gateway of genuine repentance and simple faith. 

c. Remember Abraham is a type of the consecrated believer.

II. The Separation - God teaches His children new lessons at every step of life's pathway. Now we can gain a deeper insight into the reality of Abram's life, as well as a fuller revelation of God's will concerning him.

A. A Serious Problem - Abram and Lot were rich. This is the first mention of riches in the Bible, and we also have here the interesting problem of wealth in the believer's life.

 1. A careful study of Scripture seems to show that there is no sin in being wealthy, provided:

 a. The riches have been honorably obtained

 b. Are regarded as belonging to God

 c. Are constantly used as in the sight of God.

2. Wealth very seriously increases the responsibility of the believer, and his riches will soon become a sin, if they are not used with a sense of stewardship, not ownership.

3. Definitely here is the danger of relatives quarreling over money graphically depicted.

 B. A Terrible Strife - The argument originated with the servants, and was limited to only them.

 1. Each probably looking for the best pasture.

 2. The Canaanites probably heard the strife.

 

C. A Generous Proposal - Abram takes the initiative.

1. Begs there be no strife

2. Even though Abram is the senior, he gives Lot first choice.

3. Abram recovered beautifully from his fall in Egypt.

 II Timothy 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive......

 D. A Selfish Choice - (Vs. 10-13) - Lot, of course, took advantage of Abram's generous offer, and after seeing that the plain of Jordan was well watered everywhere, he took that region for himself. 

1. Material gain was all that Lot considered.

2. The Consequence - He got richer, but as he pitched toward Sodom, he suffered morally.

3. Some examples of the same thing today:

a. Christian people today often choose their home for monetary purposes, with no regard for ministry, Christian education, etc. - many times the kids suffer spiritually.

b. Children are often sent to school because of its prestige, reputation, sports capabilities, regardless of the spiritual atmosphere. 

4. Lot paid dearly for this decision - Notice how rich he was as he left Sodom:

Genesis 19:16 And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.

Genesis 19:17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said,

Escape for thy life;...... 

E. A Divine Revelation - (Vs. 14-17) - "After that Lot was separated from him." - Abram was now alone. 

1. Abram probably began to wonder if he had made the right decision, or if his offer to Lot was out of lack of assertion of rights.  

2. Often there is temptation like this after a great moral decision has been made

3. Just at the right time, God came to Abram with a fuller revelation of His divine purpose. It consisted of three aspects: 

a. Command to Look - Lot had "Lifted up his eyes", and now with emphasis, God says to Abram, "Lift up now thine eyes." - Abram's experience was much greater because it had the Word of God behind it.

b. Promise given - (Vs. 15-16) - This is the first time God gave the land to Abram - before it had only been promised to his seed.

This has many implications - It is already having its primary fulfillment in the Church of Christ as Abraham's spiritual seed - In Galatians we read:

Galatians 3:7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

Galatians 3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, [saying], In thee shall all nations be blessed.

Galatians 3:9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.....

Galatians 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

 There will be a literal fulfillment in the future Millennium to the Jewish Nation. - (Abraham's Seed)

Romans 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

Romans 11:27 For this [is] my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

Romans 11:28 As concerning the gospel, [they are] enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, [they are] beloved for the fathers' sakes.

Romans 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God [are] without repentance. 

c. Possess the Promise - (Vs. 17) - Abram was to walk through the land - The Promises of God are to be taken by faith - This is the way a person realizes the purpose of God in his personal experience.  

F. A Quick Response - (Vs. 18) - Immediately Abram responded to God.

 1. Abram moved to Mamre which is in Hebron - Hebron means fellowship. He had fellowship with God.

 2. Abram built there an altar - Abram's tent and altar indicate the pilgrim and devout life of the true child of God. 


 

G. Differences in Believers - Except for II Peter 2:7-8, we would hardly credit Lot with any consecration at all.

Lot - Type of the Unconsecrated Believer

Abram - Type of the Fully Consecrated Believer

Endeavoring to stand well with God, and at the same time pushing to the hilt his own earthly interests - letting part of his life necessarily suffer

Large heartiness of spirit

Although 'righteous' he is yet living by sight. - seeking his own advantage.

Simple acceptance of God's promises

Worldliness is his dominant characteristic - seeking pleasure

Whole-hearted obedience to God's will.

No Testimony either to his family, friends, or to others.

Courageous testimony in the altar of worship

 

Results Each Obtained

Lot

Abraham

Obtained earthly prosperity for a time, but it can be questioned whether he ever was happy for making that choice.

God became an increasing reality to him.

No Testimony, no blessing on his house.

A glory and power in his life, and it is a known fact that he never regretted putting God first - ever.

In the end came spiritual and social disaster

Obtained God's divine favor and blessing

We must remember God's admonition in the book of I Corinthians:

 I Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. I Corinthians 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.