Summary: Proposition: In Genesis 15:1 - The LORD GOD tells Abraham (and therefore us) that 1. He will be Abraham's Shield 2. He will be Abraham's protector, defender and guard. 3. All Abraham has to do is allow God to lead
Theme: God is Our Shield
Proposition: In Genesis 15:1 - The LORD GOD tells Abraham that 1. He will be Abraham's Shield 2. He will be Abraham's protector, defender and guard. 3. All Abraham has to do is allow God to lead
Grace and peace from God our Father and His Son Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord!
One of the Devil's favorite things to accomplish is to trip up God's people physically, emotionally and spiritually. He especially enjoys accomplishing this right after we have experienced a spiritual high mark in our faith walk. We see this very thing happening in the lives of Moses and the Apostle Peter.
Following Moses spiritual retreat with the LORD on Mt. Sinai, he was tempted by the idolatry of his people. Seeing Aaron's golden calf, hearing the noise of idol worship and seeing the blatant acts of immorality, Moses flew into a rage. Moses became so angry that he took the very words that God had just written on the stone tables and broke them into pieces (Exodus 32). Moses let his anger get the best of him. Moses allowed his anger to cause him to destroy God's gift to His people. The devil got the best of Moses.
One day, Peter goes out of his way to brag to anyone who will listen that no matter what happens he will never deny Jesus or Jesus' mission. No matter what anyone says or does to him, Peter says he will stay faithful. You can always count on Simon Peter. However, over the next few hours Peter faced three different temptations and each time Peter denied either knowing Jesus or being one of his disciples (Matthew 26). So much for loyalty. The devil got the best of Simon Peter.
In our Old Testament reading Abraham is facing a time of trial and temptation. Abraham is returning home from a spiritual victory and instantly he is faced with the temptations of allowing fear and doubt to overwhelm his relationship with God. He is faced with the age old temptation to mistrust God's love and will for his life.
Back in chapter 14, we read the story of Abraham's brilliant military operation by which he was able to rescue his nephew Lot and the other prisoners of war. They had been captured following a battle between two coalitions called the Five Kings and the Four Kings. The Four Kings coalition had won the battle and as a result had captured a great deal of possessions along with people and were returning home with their spoils.
In verses 13 - 17 we read how Abraham led a surprise attack and defeated the armies of the Four Kings. Returning triumphant , Abraham was approached by two men, the King of Sodom and the High Priest Melchizedek1. The King of Sodom proposed to Abraham that they establish a covenant with one another. However, Abraham knowing the immoral and wicked nature of Sodom and its' ruling parties refused to even entertain the idea. He wanted nothing to do with such an idea and believed that a covenant with Sodom would only harm him, his family and his future.
Abraham, however does stop and establish a covenant with the High Priest Melchizedek. They sit down and share a covenant meal of bread and wine. Abraham then presents a tenth of all he possesses to Melcheizedek as a thank offering to LORD. Melchizedek was a priest of the God most High and Abraham wanted to thank the Lord for allowing him and his army to win the battle against the Four Kings. Abraham knew that it was the LORD who led them to victory.
Chapter 15 opens with the LORD speaking to Abraham in a vision. The Lord's first words were words of peace and comfort - "Do not be afraid, Abram." Now, why does God say to this to Abraham? What would cause Abraham to go from the high feelings of victory to having to deal with fear and doubt?
+Bible scholars tell us that perhaps Abraham was afraid of a retaliation from the Four Kings. He had made an enemy of Kedorlaomer, the king of Elam and the other kings. Each of these kings had the ability to regroup their armies and come back and annihilate Abraham and his people. Abraham was well aware of these men's blood lust, malice and greed.
+Perhaps he was afraid of the wicked nature of the King of Sodom. Abraham hadn't mixed any of his words in refusing the king's proposal. He wanted nothing to do with either the king or the people of Sodom. He knew about their immoral ways and lifestyles and how they had already allured his nephew Lot. Abraham wanted to stay pure and holy.