(Genesis 22; Job 1:8-9; I Peter 1: 7)
Blessed is the man who is patient under trial and stands up under temptation, for when he has stood the test and been approved, he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him (James 1:12).
“For when he has stood the test and been approved” there will be a crown waiting for him, the crown of life which has been promised by God Himself to those who love Him, shown in action of obedience and endurance. The crown of life is the crown that will be given to those who endure trials and martyrdom for their faith. “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Rev. 2:10).
In his testing of faith, the Patriarch Abraham answered the Lord’s calling by saying, Here I am! This is such a gesture of submission it cannot be ignored. Abraham had a friend’s relationship with God. His walk of faith confirmed it, and the fact that God Himself so expressed in Genesis 18:19: For I have known him [as My own], so that he may teach and command his children and the sons of his house after him to keep the way of the Lord and to do what is just and righteous, so that the Lord may bring Abraham what He has promised him. Abraham did not know about the test of faith he was about to go through at God’s calling his name. “Here I am” he answered. The Lord then commanded him saying, Take your son, your only son, whom you loveand go to the region of Moriah; and offer him there as a burnt offering upon one of the mountains of which I will tell you ( Gen. 22:2).
But you shall go to my country and to my relatives and take a wife for my son Isaac. See to it that you do not take my son back there. He will send His Angel before you and you will take a wife from there for my son. (Genesis 24: 4, 6,7b)
Following the order of Abraham to fetch a wife for his son Isaac, his servant Eliezer went to God and prayed, “I pray You cause me to meet with good success today and show kindness to my master Abraham.” That’s the secret of obedience: a humble heart before God and man. Eliezer did not go fetch a wife for his master’s son on his own power and wisdom. He acknowledged his limitations and asked God for help. This is a beautiful story of God’s faithfulness expressed to Eliezer. His heart was tuned to God’s frequency in His plan for Abraham’s posterity. He blessed Eliezer by answering his prayer and giving him Rebeka as a wife for Isaac.
Then go quickly and tell His disciples, He has risen from the dead, and behold, He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you (vs. 7). As they went to tell, behold Jesus met them and said, Hail, and they went up to Him and clasped His feet and worship Him. Jesus said, do not be afraid, go and tell my brethren to go into Galilee (v.9).
After YAHSHUA’S resurrection, Mary and the other Mary continued to look for Him among the dead. In the process, they witnessed supernatural events beyond their imagination at the time they arrived at the place where the Lord’s body had been buried. First, there was an earthquake, followed by an angel of the Lord descending from heaven to roll the boulder back and those keeping guard were frightened and agitated and trembled and became like dead men (Matt. 28:1-4). At that sight, the angel told them, YAHSHUA is not here; He has risen, as He said. Come, see the place where He lay; go quickly and tell His disciples, He has risen from the dead, and behold, He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see Him (Matt. 28:5-7). Leaving the place joylessly, they went to tell the disciples. Their excitement overtook them; they could not wait to share the greatest miracle they ever witnessed. To make their day even more exciting, while on their way, behold, the Lord YAHSHUA met them saying, Greeting! They went up to Him, clasped His feet and worshiped Him (Matt. 28: 8-9). Echoing the message from the angel, He said to them, Do not be alarmed and afraid; go and tell My brethren to go into Galilee, and there they will see Me (Vs.10). The angel emphatically expressed the command to them by saying, Behold, I have told you. That means, attention, look! His command was for them to go quickly and tell the disciples that the Lord YAHSHUA had risen from the dead.
In II Kings chapter four the Bible registers the story of a Shunammite woman. No name was given, just the place where she lived. Shunem was located in the tribe of Issachar, to the north of Jezreel and north of Mount Gilboa. The Bible views the Shunammite as wealthy, influential and respected, a woman with kind heart, and compassionate. We see that in her good deeds toward the Prophet Elisha. As she watched him often passing by, she perceived him to be a man of God. Her perception led her to provide Elisha a furnished chamber to rest while in his journey. She not only had good perception, but she was also an initiator of action. She was willing to receive the Prophet Elisha in her house because he was “a man of God.” Her good deed toward Elisha was for love of God. Although they were wealthy and had everything they wanted, they did not have children. Children in those days were not inconvenience, but considered a blessing from God. They were not aborted, but they were given their place on earth to fulfill God’s plan for them. Elisha was most grateful to her and wanted to reward her. Knowing this detail, he promised her a child. Knowing her husband to be old, she pleaded the prophet with these words: “No, my lord, you man of God, do not lie to your handmaid.” Nevertheless the Shunammite woman conceived and bore a son at that season the following year, as Elisha said to her. A true Abrahamic miracle!
covenant is an agreement between two people; it will only work if both parties
will honor their obligation to it. Therefore it is conditional. God had a
covenant with Abraham, from which the nation of Israel was born. The Lord also
promised Abraham’s descendants the land of Canaan, from the river of Egypt to
the great river Euphrates. When Abraham was tested on the mountain “The Lord
will provide,” God blessed him by saying, I have sworn by Myself, says the
Lord, that since you have done this and have not withheld or begrudged your
son, your only son, in blessing I will bless and in multiplying I will multiply
your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand of the
seashore. And you Seed will possess the gate of His enemies. And in your Seed
[Christ] shall all the nations of the earth be blessed and [by Him] bless
themselves, because you have heard and obeyed My voice (Gen. 22:17-18). Although
Abraham kept the covenant between God and him, his descendants did not; reason
why they lost their beautiful Promised Land covenanted with them, conditionally
upon their keep of the contract.
Israelites, while living in Egypt, were undefined as a nation. They were a
family composed of twelve brothers, whose numbers grew greatly, as God was
preparing them to make a nation out of them. The 430 years that they remained
in Egypt, they grew to a staggering number, causing the Egyptians to kill their
babies and force hard labor on them, bringing them to a slave’s status. Jacob, his
wives, and sons were living in Canaan before they sojourned to Egypt until the
famine took them to Egypt in search of food. These were days of uncertainties
in the mind of Jacob, as he made decision to move to Egypt, a distance of 121
miles from Canaan, their Promised Land; they were already there, but not in
fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham in the space of time ordained for it to
happen. Many years had to pass, many things had to happen in their lives,
including in Moses’ life. A nation to be
a nation is required for a good number of people to fill the spaces. A nation,
out of seventy people is hardly enough to be formed into one. God’s plan was
for them to grow and multiply before He took them out of Egypt for the purpose
to form a nation unto Him- a royal race.
From the beginning of times, Satan tried to destroy YAHWEH’S
plan to bring about His purpose of redemption for humankind. It started with
Cain who killed his righteous brother out of anger and resentment. But YAHWEH
gave Adam and Eve a third son who carried the righteous lineage and from his
descendants, Noah was born ten generations later. From the family of Shem, one
of Noah’s son, Abraham was born. The gap between Noah to Abraham was also ten
generations. Here is the summary of Abraham’s lineage:
1. Noah – name means: Comfort or Rest
2. Shem – meaning: Renown; prosperity
3. Arphaxad – meaning: A healer; a releaser
4. Shelah – meaning: Sent Out, Branch or Javelin
5. Eber – meaning: To pass over, through, take away
6. Peleg – name means: Division
7. Reu – name means: Friend
8. Nahor – the name means: Breathing Hard
9. Terah – name means: Spirit, Spirited or Inspired
10. Abram – a high father – later to be called Abraham –
father of multitude