Monday, July 08, 2019

2019.07.08 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 14:1-16

Questions for Littles: Which kings, of which nations, were on Chedorlaomer’s side (Genesis 14:1)? Which kings, of which nations, were on Sodom’s side (Genesis 14:2)? Where did the Sodom coalition join together (Genesis 14:3)? For how many years had they been enslaved (Genesis 14:4)? What did they do in the thirteenth year? What happened in the 14th year (Genesis 14:5)—which people, and where, did the Chedorlaomer coalition attack (Genesis 14:5-7)? Which coalition initiated the battle in Genesis 14:8? What point does Genesis 14:9 make about the numbers? What did the Sodom coalition end up doing in Genesis 14:10? What did the Chedorlaomer coalition do in Genesis 14:11? Whom does Genesis 14:12 mention in connection with this? Where had he been living? What had the “reporter” in Genesis 14:13 providentially been able to do? To whom did he report? Where was Abram staying? What allies did he have? How many men did Abram arm in Genesis 14:14? What else had been done for them? How far did they pursue? What did Abram do with his forces at the beginning of Genesis 14:15? At what time of day? What did they do? How far did they pursue them? What did Abram bring back (Genesis 14:16)? Whom, specifically, did Abram bring back? Whom else did Abram bring back?    
The earth is full of violence. The news is full of it. Nation against nation, kingdom against kingdom, and within each nation there are the many wicked who prey upon the weak around them. We know what this deserves. We saw it in the flood: the wrath of God.

Yet, this is not the ultimate plan and response of God to this wickedness. He is just, and will punish. But He is also merciful. He has promised a Seed of the woman, who will crush the serpent’s head. He has promised that in Abram, all of the families of the earth will be blessed—that Abram will have a Seed who inherits all that is currently in the possession of the wicked.

With that in mind, we watch with interest as the world war in Genesis 14 unfolds. What will Abram do about all this? How will he be a blessing to those who are being defeated and taken captive?

Abram is a picture of Christ to us, as he leaps into action on behalf of Lot. His intervention is especially focused upon the one who uniquely belongs to him. In the same way, the Lord Jesus always acts in history with a view toward His church. Nations rise and fall, and many benefit from Christ’s action, but the aim is especially at the ultimate salvation and glorification of the people who are His by loving choice since before time began.

This is Abram’s ultimate role: to be an ancestor of Christ. But his proximate role—that part that God has given him to play in the day-to-day of his life—is to do whatever good he is enabled to do within the national and family connections in which God has placed him.

To that end, the 318 fighting-aged men who were born in his house, he has trained. And he has amassed enough arms to equip them all on a moment’s notice. Here is a man whose hope is in what Christ would ultimately do, and for whom worship was so central to his household’s life that their time in a particular location can be summarized as worshiping there. But he is not ignoring ordinary, physical necessities and duties. God is his strength, but he is zealous to be prepared and to employ means, effort, and strategy.

Ultimately, this too is a picture of Christ unto us, isn’t it? He has gone to the cross. He has borne the wrath for our sin. He has risen from the dead. He intercedes for us. One day, He will return and raise us up by His own resurrection power. But, it is also He who rules and overrules all things for our good. Even the most mundane things. And so, as we trust in Him and follow Him, we seek both to prepare for eternal glory and also to serve and enjoy Him in all of the day-to-day details of our lives. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they are the people of the Prince of Peace!
Out of what difficulty is Christ currently saving you? Whom may you help in imitation of Him?
Suggested Songs: ARP146 “Praise the Lord” or TPH146 “Praise the Lord! My Soul, O Praise Him!”

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