Genesis 15 & 16: Who Is Your Shield?
Verse of the Day: (15:1) After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
1. Shield (15:1-16:3)
And Sarai Abram’s wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife. (16:3)
Though God promised Abram that He is a Shield and Reward to him, and that He shall bless him as a father of a great nation, Israel, with many children, yet Abram failed to wait upon God, and instead, he took Hagar, his Egyptian maid, to be his mistress to bear him children. However, God still fulfilled His promise as a Shield and Reward to Abram, as eventually God blessed Abram and Sarai with their firstborn, Isaac, and then with many more children. Indeed, God’s promises never fail, as today, Israel not only exists, but it is a great and powerful nation, though there are still tensions with her neighbours.
2. Sarai (16:4-6)
And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and thee. (16:5)
Behind every successful man is a woman, and conversely, behind every troubled man is also a woman. Sarai confessed to Abram that she should not have encouraged him to marry Hagar, because Hagar now despised her after she had conceived Abram’s son. Abram must have been very troubled with his two wives arguing with each other all the time. Indeed, let us pray for a godly spouse, so that God shall richly bless our marriage.
3. Son (16:7-16)
And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction. (16:11)
Sarai humbled Hagar for despising her, and Hagar was forced to leave Abram with much grief as she was carrying his son, Ishmael. However God sent His angel to comfort and encourage Hagar to return to Abram. Even though it was not God’s command for Abram to marry Hagar, yet God still loved and cared for Hagar. Indeed, we may have failed God many times, like Abram, Sarai and Hagar, yet God still loves and cares for us. However, there is a heavy price to pay for every sin we commit. In the case of Abram, both his descendants from Sarai (the Jews) and Hagar (the Arabs) are still in conflict with each other, and sometimes resulting in wars, even until today. Though God loves us, and forgives our sins, yet we still reap the grave consequences of our sins. (Galatians 6:7).
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, thank You that You are my Shield and Reward as I fully trust in You.
Genesis 13 & 14: Will You Flee From Strife?
Verse of the Day: (13:8) And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.
1. Strife (13:1-12)
And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. (13:10)
God richly blessed Abram and his family because he trusted and obeyed Him. However, crisis soon arose as his herdmen and his nephew’s (Lot) herdmen began to strive and fight against each other because of power and rivalry. However, Abram was a man of God, and he humbly resolved the dispute by allowing Lot to choose the plot of land first, before he took the remainder of it. Indeed, Lot chose the best and most fertile land, facing Sodom and Gomorrah, and little did he know that his choice not only led him and his family to stray from God, but actually destroyed them. Let us remember that even though we may choose the best of everything in our own eyes, yet we must be careful to stay close to God and flee from sins, otherwise God shall judge and punish us for all our sins.
2. Sodom (13:13-18)
But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly. (13:13)
God richly blessed Abram even though he took the remainder of the land, while God severely punished Lot even though he chose the best land. The reason being Abram and his family were righteous and obedient to God, while Lot and his family and all the people of Sodom and Gomorrah were wicked and sinful before Him. (Genesis 19:24-25)
3. Salem (14:1-24)
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. (14:18)
Salem means Peace. Indeed, Melchizedek, the king of Salem, lived up to his city of Peace, as he was a peaceful king. When every king was fighting for fame and fortune, Melchizedek was contended to worship God, as he was the priest of the most high God interceding for all his people. Melchizedek came to Abram, and blessed him, and commanded Abram to give him tithes (10 % of all the possessions Abram had won from his victories over his enemies). The reason was that Melchizedek, the priest, represented God, and it was God who blessed Abram with his victories. Indeed, let us give tithes to God, because all that we have – our money, career, family and lives are from God. In fact, Melchizedek was the type of Jesus Christ, who is not only the King of kings, but He is also the High Priest, at the right hand of the throne of God, interceding for all our needs.
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, please help me to flee from strife and follow after You and Your peace.
Genesis 11 & 12: Will You Call Upon The Lord?
Verse of the Day: (12:8) And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the LORD.
1. City (11:1-32)
And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. (11:4)
The people became wicked and proud, and they strove to have a name for themselves, and to worship themselves instead of God. They chose to build a city and a tower to reach heaven to challenge God’s authority. They failed to realise that God had judged the entire human race with death, when the first couple, Adam and Eve, disobeyed Him. The only way to heaven is when they truly acknowledge God as their Creator, and believe in Him, and God shall then promote their souls to heaven to be with Him when they die one day.
2. Country (12:1-5)
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… (12:1)
Abram trusted and obeyed God when God commanded him to depart from his country to go to a foreign land. Though it was not an easy decision, yet Abram obeyed and trusted God. By faith, Abram believed that God who called him shall surely lead and direct him, and protect and provide for him and his family with all their needs. Indeed, when we trust and obey God, He shall richly bless us with all material as well as spiritual blessings.
3. Call (12:6-20)
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. (12:7)
God appeared to Abram to encourage him that He would fulfil His promise to bless him with the land of Canaan. Abram was encouraged by God’s presence, and he built an altar at the site of His appearance, and thereafter he daily called upon Him. Abram knew that only God could grant him victory over his enemies in a foreign land. Still, Abram failed God many times. When a famine came, instead of calling upon God to deliver them, he and his family went to Egypt. When he was in Egypt, he lied to the Egyptians that his wife was his sister, as he feared that they might kill him and stole his beautiful wife. Subsequently, Pharaoh, the King of Egypt, wanted his wife, but God intervened, and sent a disease to hurt Pharaoh’s family. Pharaoh then realised that God was with Abram. Abram confessed that his sister was actually his wife. Indeed, let us call upon God as He is faithful to deliver us from all our crises, though many times we are unfaithful to Him.
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, please help me to call upon You in good and bad times and all the time.
Genesis 9 & 10: Are You Fruitful?
Verse of the Day: (9:1) And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.
1. Fruitful (9:1-7)
And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering… (Genesis 4:4)
Children are God’s blessings to man, as we are all made in God’s image and for His glory. Since the beginning of creation, God made Adam and Eve to be fruitful and have many children so as to fill the earth that all may live to glorify Him. Though Adam and Eve sinned against God, yet God made a way for them to repent their sins by believing by faith that God shall send His only Son, Jesus, as a sacrificial Lamb, to die for the sins of the world. This was demonstrated by the faith of Abel, Adam’s son, when God accepted his offering of the blood of his flock, which was the prophecy of the coming of the Lamb, Jesus, who would die and shed His blood for the sins of the world. Indeed, though God has commanded us to be fruitful in bearing children, yet fruitfulness can also be defined as being obedient to God in all His commandments so that we shall receive His blessings.
2. Flood (9:8-29)
And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. (9:15)
After God destroyed all except Noah and his family during the great flood for their wickedness, God promised Noah and his family by the sign of the bow (rainbow) that formed after a heavy rain, that He would never destroy man with another great flood, but instead with great fire and heat in the future (2 Peter 3:10) because of their wickedness.
3. Family (10:1-32)
These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood. (10:32)
We are as strong as the weakest link, and similarly, the country or the church is as strong as the weakest family. In the beginning, the Devil, God’s enemy, started the attack on the family when he deceived Adam and Eve to eat of God’s forbidden fruit, and thereby they sinned against Him. After the great flood, God commanded Noah and his sons to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth, and they did. Noah’s sons were Shem, Ham and Japheth. Shem’s descendants became the people of Israel - God’s chosen nation, while Ham’s are the dark race, and Japheth’s are the light race. However, regardless of race, all are made in God’s image, and all must repent their sins, and by faith believe that Jesus Christ is truly God’s Son so that all shall have everlasting life with Him in heaven.
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, please help me to be fruitful in everything for Your honour and glory.