Old Testament: Genesis 20:1-22:24
Genesis 20: 1-22:24 You Slay Me
Summary: In chapter 20, Abraham didn’t learn his lesson about lying about his wife being his sister to save his own hide. He does it again. But God protects both Abraham and Sarah . . . and Abimelech for that matter. In chapter 21, God finally fulfills His promise to Abraham to give him a son. Abe is 100, indicating this is a miracle child. His new son, Isaac, fights with his other son, Ishmael. Abe sends Hagar and Ishmael away but God promises to bless Ishmael and make him the father of a great nation. In chapter 22, God tests Abraham’s faith by commanding him to sacrifice his long-awaited son. Jesus, in a special OT appearance, stops Abraham just in time and provides a ram instead. Yahweh reassures Abraham that he will have many descendants and possess the land of Canaan.
In Chapter 20, Abraham realizes, on his journey, that his really hot wife could get him killed. What if he bumps into a king who wants her? They agree to tell a white lie to save her that she is his sister. (She is actually his half-sister (v. 12). They had already pulled this trick in Gen. 12:11-13 when God saved Sarah from Pharaoh.) In His grace, God intervenes between Abraham and King Abimelech by tipping off the king in a dream. Check out how Peter uses Sarah as a model of submission in 1 Pet. 3:6.
In Chapter 21, God fulfills His promise to Abraham by giving him a son when he is 100 years-old. And you think you’ve been waiting on God for a long time? Abraham’s two sons fight so Abraham sends Ishmael and his mother, Hagar, away (v. 14). The mother naturally grieves but God says don’t worry, he will have a gigantic pants company — no, that’s not right — he will become a great nation (v. 18).
In Chapter 22, God tests Abraham’s faith by asking him to give up the son. Abraham had waited over sixty years for Isaac to be born.
Abraham is about to slay his son with a knife and an angel (probably an Old Testament appearance of Jesus, cf. 16:7-14; 21:17-21; 22:11-18; 31:11, 13; Exod. 3:2; Judg. 2:1-4; 5:23; 6:11-24; 13:3-22; 2 Sam. 24:16; Zech. 1:12; 3:1; 12:8) stops him. The angel provides a male lamb as a substitute. Does this sound like anything? It is a pre-figuring of Jesus, God’s Son, being sacrificed for us. Abraham named the place Yahweh Jireh which means the Lord will provide (v. 14).
In verse 17, Yahweh reiterates His covenant with Abraham (cf. blog Just One Way). Abraham’s descendants would number more than the number of stars or the sand on the shores (or dust on the earth, cf. 13:16; 15:5). His descendants will “possess the gate of their enemies,” a reference to Joshua’s victory over Canaan.
New Testament: Matthew 7:15-29
Matthew 7:15-29 Rockin’ Out
Summary: We finish up the great Sermon on the Mount today. Jesus warns against false prophets and teaches his disciples that they need to build their faith on a firm foundation. Jesus tells the crowd that good fruit comes from a good tree. If a tree is yielding bad fruit, what does that tell you? (Change your preacher or teacher?) Just because someone says, “Jesus is Lord,” doesn’t make it so. He ends the sermon with an illustration showing that it’s not enough to just hear what He says, you have to act on what He says. His brother, James later wrote a whole book about this.
In verse 1, Jesus warns the disciples of false teachers that would appear to be good teachers and sheep. In the end, though, they will end up eating them alive like wolves (v. 15). The way to know them would be to examine the fruits of their ministries. Just as good trees bear good fruit, so good teachers will produce disciples with good doctrine (vv. 16-18). The false prophets will eventually burn for their false teaching. If they are Christians and their teaching is bad, then their works will be burned at the bema judgment (cf. 1 Cor. 3:15).
Don’t be fooled by teachers who do miraculous signs and wonders (v. 22, cf. 2 Pet. 2:1; 1 John 2:18-19). Even if they proclaim Christ’s lordship, they could still be teaching heresy (v. 21). They might not even be saved (cf. 23, Christ doesn’t know them)! There are those who hold up their Bibles today as if they were going to preach from it but they don’t. Others emphasize legalistic works to prove salvation without preaching that people are saved by grace alone. They confuse the three phases of salvation (cf. see Meet The Flockers).
Notice so far there have been two ways (vv. 13-14), two types of profession (vv. 21-23), and now there are two ways to build (vv. 24-29). A person can build on a solid foundation of good doctrine or can build on false teaching. If someone has sound doctrine, they will be able to withstand the storms brought by the false prophets: false guilt, lack of assurance, or a broken relationship with God. Disciples who build on bad doctrine risk their relationship with God and rewards in the future (v. 27). In short, good doctrine is built on the good doctrine of God’s grace and a sound relationship with the Rock Himself, Christ.
The crowds were amazed at Jesus’ teaching since he spoke with the authority that comes from God. They had only heard the baloney that the scribes were dishing out (vv. 28-29).