All In The Family
“My parents, Salvation Army officers, were out on a miserable December night for an open-air meeting. Not another person was around, but my dad said that ‘God didn't need people to be out listening--he only needed us to be faithful.’ So they played a few carols and Dad gave a short message before everyone retreated inside.
A few weeks later, Dad was ringing the bell at a mall when a lady asked him if he had been on that street corner two weeks earlier. She explained: ‘My father had been in a coma for six months. We were dreading the holidays since Dad was not really with us. But then we heard the carols, and to our amazement, my father sat up and said, ‘That's God's music.’ And with that he died.’ What an encouraging proof of God's faithfulness to those who are faithful.”
Source: Pauline Hylton, Christian Reader, Vol. 33, no. 6.
God’s provision in FL
When we were expecting Wade, we had decided to live off of my income and put Judy’s income into savings
So, the last year she taught before Wade was born, we put her income into savings
After Wade was born, we moved back to Ohio and it took me several months to get a job
I began serving with Child Evangelism Fellowship of Hardin and Hancock Counties
Before I began serving with CEF, we were living off of the savings that we had put aside from Judy’s last year of teaching
God knew our future and He provided what we needed for the interim
God’s provision in CA
He did the same thing when I resigned from Every Generation Ministries in CA and we took several months to travel across the country and visit with family
We were able to live off of income that we had saved
God had prepared us once again for a major transition and had provided
God was faithful through our obedience
How have we seen God’s faithfulness when we have been obedient?
Take a moment to think about that for yourself
When has God asked you to obediently follow Him?
Did you listen?
What was the result? How did you experience His faithfulness?
Abraham had obediently followed the Lord’s direction in sacrificing his only son Isaac. We saw last week that God provided a ram as a substitute for Isaac. In the final five verses of chapter 22, we see the genealogy of Nahor, Abraham’s brother. God knew just what Isaac would need in the future and He was already preparing the way for him. Through this short transitional section, we will see that . . .
BIG IDEA – God is faithful when we are obedient.
GOD (Genesis 22:20-24)
News from home (v. 20a)
Some time later
These are the exact same words that are used in Genesis 22:1
It simply lets us know that time has passed
It is an indefinite amount of time – we do not know how much time has passed
Abraham was told
In verse 1 we know that God is the one who spoke to Abraham
Here in verse 20 we do not know who told Abraham about his brother
It is probable that one of Nahor’s children came from the East to visit Abraham and shared the news about his siblings
It is all speculation, because God’s Word does not identify who told Abraham
What is shared next is Nahor’s genealogy
Nahor’s sons (vv. 20b-24)
Notes about the genealogy
Why is Nahor’s genealogy shared here?
“[This] is the start of the narrative’s epilogue (22:20-25:11). With the question of Abraham’s faithfulness and the identity of the heir settled (22:1-19), the epilogue transitions Abraham’s story to the Jacob narrative (25:19-35:29) by establishing the union of Isaac and Rebekah who parent Jacob and his brother (25:21-26). . . . Reporting the productivity of the Nahor clan after the promise of blessing for ‘all nations’ (v. 18) implies that the Nahor history is part of the beginning fulfillment; . . .” [Mathews, The New American Commentary, Volume 1B, Genesis 11:27-50:26, 306]
“. . . it prepares the way for the history of the marriage of the heir of the promise.” [Keil & Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament, Volume 1, The Pentateuch, 162]
The genealogy is important for the narrative that follows in Genesis 24
Nahor’s genealogy includes twelve sons by two women
Through his wife, Milcah (mil-kaw’)
Milcah was Nahor’s niece
She was the daughter of Haran, Nahor’s brother
She was the sister of Lot
[Show the family tree]
The intermarrying of family was not considered taboo in the ancient Near East
The mention of Milcah also bearing children, perhaps gives us insight into the conversation that Abraham was having with this unidentified individual
They were catching up on each other’s lives
Abraham had shared about Sarah giving birth to Isaac
He probably shared about Hagar having Ishmael
This prompted the individual to inform Abraham that Nahor’s wife, Milcah had also borne sons to his brother
Who were these sons? [show more of the family tree]
Sons by Milcah (mil-kaw’)
It begins with a statement about Milcah also being a mother and bearing sons to Abraham’s brother Nahor (opens the inclusio)
Uz (oots) “wooded”
Jeremiah 25:20 and Lamentations 4:21 refer to a city named Uz located in Arabia [Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 18-50, 118]
Buz (booz) “contempt”
“Places or tribes named Buz and Hazo were probably located in the mountainous region of northern Arabia, evidenced by the fact that in Jer. 25:23 Buz is mentioned along with Dedan and Tema, which are Arabian tribes or territories.” [Hamilton, 118]
Kemuel (kem-oo-ale’) “raised of God”
Father of Aram
Kesed (keh’-sed) “increase”
“Chesed may represent the Chaldeans of Lower Mesopotamia.” [Hamilton, 118]
Hazo (khaz-o’) “vision”
Pildash (pil-dawsh’) “flame of fire”
Jidlaph (yid-lawf’) “weeping”
Bethuel (beth-oo-ale’) “God destroys” or “man of God” or “dweller in God”
Became the father of Rebekah
“. . . noting ‘Rebekah’ in the genealogy (v. 23) refers to the future matriarch by whom blessing will occur for Abraham’s family and, ultimately, all nations.” [Mathews, 306-307]
The inclusio is completed/closed with a nearly identical statement about Milcah bearing eight sons to Abraham’s brother Nahor
Then the visitor tells Abraham about the sons born to Nahor’s concubine
Through his concubine, Reumah (reh-oo-maw’)
“A concubine was a secondary wife, whose position was not considered disreputable in the East.” [Albert Barnes, Barnes’ Notes on the Old Testament, Accordance electronic ed. (Altamonte Springs: OakTree Software, 2006), paragraph 1765.]
Sons of Reumah [show the rest of the family tree]
Tebah (teh’-bakh/teh’-vac) “a slaughter”
Gaham (gah’-kham) “burning”
“Gaham appears on a sixth-century inscription from Arad as one of eight persons from whom grain is either distributed to or collected from.” [Hamilton, 118]
Tahash (takh’-ash) “dugong”
Maacah (mah-ak-aw’) “oppression”
“A place named Maacah is located between Gilead on the south, Bashan on the east, and Mt. Hermon to the north, that is, in southern Syria.” [Hamilton, 118]
Not much else is known about the other two sons born to Reumah
What can we learn from the passage that applies to our lives?
PRINCIPLE #1 – “The Lord is faithful to all who love and obey Him from the heart.” (Boice)
We saw last week that Abraham obeyed the Lord by willingly offering his son as a sacrifice to the Lord
The Lord provided a substitute for Isaac, so that Abraham’s line would continue through this promised son
In this passage we see that the Lord is faithfully preparing the way for Abraham’s line to continue through Isaac and Rebekah
As followers/disciples of Jesus Christ and children of God, we can count on His faithfulness also
Read Hebrews 11:1-40
Abraham and many others obeyed God by faith and while none of them received what had been promised, they knew that God would faithfully complete what He had promised
What are you trusting the Lord to faithfully complete?
Are you loving and obeying Him from the heart?
My Next Step Today Is To: Love and obey the Lord from my heart and trust Him to faithfully complete His plan in my life.
PRINCIPLE #2 – “God provides for our needs before we even recognize them.” (Wenham)
God knew Abraham and Isaac’s need
The Lord already knew that Isaac would need a wife
The Lord also knew that Abraham would require his chief servant to swear an oath not to get a wife for Isaac from the Canaanites, but rather from his own relatives back east
We see in this text that Rebekah is already named as one of Abraham’s relatives
The stage is set for Genesis 24
God knows your every need
He knows about your financial needs
He knows about your emotional needs
He knows about your physical needs
He knows about your spiritual needs
“If you let your need drive you to God, God will meet your deepest need.” [Craig Groeschel, Fight, Study Guide, 48]
He knows about the needs you will have in the future
God is ready and willing to meet your needs when you seek His face
Read Matthew 6:25-34
Jesus reminds us that in our greatest need, our first response should be to seek His kingdom and His righteousness
Too often we seek the kingdom of this world and our own strength and wisdom
My Next Step Today Is To: Seek God’s kingdom and His righteousness and trust Him to provide for my every need.
“German pastor Martin Rinkart served in the walled town of Eilenburg during the horrors of the Thirty Years War of 1618-1648. Eilenburg became an overcrowded refuge for the surrounding area. The fugitives suffered from epidemic and famine. At the beginning of 1637, the year of the Great Pestilence, there were four ministers in Eilenburg. But one abandoned his post for healthier areas and could not be persuaded to return. Pastor Rinkart officiated at the funerals of the other two. As the only pastor left, he often conducted services for as many as 40 to 50 persons a day—some 4,480 in all. In May of that year, his own wife died. By the end of the year, the refugees had to be buried in trenches without services.
Yet living in a world dominated by death, Pastor Rinkart wrote the following prayer for his children to offer to the Lord:
Now thank we all our God
With hearts and hands and voices;
Who wondrous things hath done,
In whom this world rejoices.
Who, from our mother's arms,
Hath led us on our way,
With countless gifts of love,
And still is ours today.”
Source: Harry Genet, "The Unlikely Thanker," Men of Integrity (3-3-00)