Guest Author: Rev. Yvette Malveaux, Author of Know Yourself and Take Flight
The Ten Testings of Abraham (Genesis 12-22):
Setting the Foundation
Were going to share a teaching about a man that we have allheard about. We have probably heard many teachings on this man of God, —The Father of Faith, Abraham
Abraham went through 10 testings in his life. that we know of that the bible teaches us.
10 very important testings, 10 testing periods, 10 times in his life; that God tested him, that were going to see in the word.
To bring Abraham into the realm of faith that God wants to bring him into, that God ordained him to be brought into.
Go to Hebrews 11:1 for a “line upon line, precept upon precept” analysis. It tells us now faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.
As we go back to Genesis 12 were going to see that Abraham is a man of Faith. He’s called the father of faith. We are the seed of Abraham according to Galatians 3:29, through Jesus Christ we became Abraham’s seed.
Here is a little bit of Historical Background…
Abraham previous to Genesis chapter 12 was an idol worshiper. His entire family was an idol-worshipping family. The genealogy of his father is given in Genesis Chapter 11. We also see in Genesis Chapter 11 the construction of the Tower of Babel. That’s where idol worship began. It wasn’t where sin began, because we know sin began in the Garden of Eden (in Hebrew Gan Eden).
But the first time we have a recorded act of idolatry, we know that it began in Babylon at the Tower of Babel.
At this place, in this particular part of the world, this was the center of idol worship; and this is exactly where Abraham and his family were raised up. So, all of Abraham’s family were idol worshipers. But something happened to Abraham. He had an experience with the living God. As a result of seeking the truth, God revealed himself to Abraham. But after God revealed himself to him, we know that Abraham was a righteous man. He began to win many, many converts. As we’re going to see here in Genesis12, many converted to the living God. They forsook idolatry.
But know as a man of faith God is going to give him 3 specific commandments (Mitzvots in Hebrew).
This is the First Test of Abraham
I believe this is really the basics for those that want to go further into the things of God. To those who are not just content with barely making it into heaven and glad that they have escaped hell.
But those that say I want all that God has for me. I want the whole ball of wax. I want everything that there is that God has for me. Things I cannot see, things that have never, entered your mind before.
The Bible tells us in I Corinthians 2:9
“The eye has not seen, neither have the ear heard. It has not yet entered into the heart of man. The things that God has prepared for them that love him.”
But there revealed unto man by the spirit. As we walk in the anointing and as we commune with the Lord through the wonderful person of the Holy Spirit, that which God has ordained for us is revealed to us.
Now we see Abraham begins his walk in the Spirit, a walk of faith
The very 1st thing that God requires of Abraham is a test which requires obedience.
(All tests require obedience.)
“The Lord had said to Abram… Get thee out”
(Notice his name is not Abraham yet).
First of all, there is a whole spiritual message God gives Abraham. “I am going to tell you right now 3 things to leave behind and I am going to show you something in the spirit to go after… unto a land that I will show you.”
Notice that Abraham was not asking for land. Abraham was not asking for territory.
Abraham was just worshiping God. He had no idea that this is what God had planned for him. But, through walking in the spirit, a revelation came from God to show him who he really was.
Now I want to share something with you. Without obedience, you are never going to know who you really are. You will not know the real spiritual person that you have the potential to become. When I say “spiritual person”, I mean that one that has the full inheritance that God has ordained for you. Some of us try to make it into Glory by our own strength. We try every single shortcut we can possibly think of. The mindset is, that the means justifies the ends, just as long as we think we can make it there, we’re content.
Obedience seems like such a hard thing. But it’s through obedience that we receive the revelation of our true self.
Case in point: I will never know who I really am in Christ Jesus until every step of the way I begin to trust God. God does not just map the whole picture for me all at once. As you go step by step, from Glory to Glory, God reveals and unveils to you who you are in Christ Jesus. The word tells you who you are. But in the sense of revelation of what God’s ordained you to do, what God has for you to do, the great things in Christ Jesus that he prepared for you. They are so Holy and they are so priceless. They seem impossible to obtain unless you were spiritually ready.
At Each Level of Testing God Reveals Who You are to YOU.
Abraham had no idea who he was in the sense of the spirit. He had no idea what God had for him.
Genesis 12:1 The lord says to Abram this was his name before God changed it.
There are 3 things that he had to get out, 3 images that we see here in the scripture. Because Abraham is the father of faith, he also symbolizes for us, the walk of the Christian faith as well. Not only is he the patriarch of the Israelite nation of the Jews, but also the bible tells us that he’s the father of faith. So we, through Abraham, can see ‘types and shadows’ of our walk in Christ Jesus.
NOTE: 3 Key Statements that GOD says to Abraham….
Get out of thy country.
From thy kindred,
And from thy father’s house.
All 3 of these statements are connected to your roots. Your House, your culture, and your kindred. Now GOD is saying to Abraham, “For the work I have for you. I am going to give you a new seed, because your natural seed is not going to be just the flesh. You are going to have to sever those ties. Because, through your seed; I am going to make you great. Therefore, it is your seed that I am going to deal with.
There is a likeness here, a cohesiveness here that each one of us should see. When God, begins to deal with us in our particular issues, whatever they may be, oftentimes what God has told us to give up in the flesh, is connected to that which he is going to give back a thousand-fold in the spirit.
“Out of thy country, and thy kindred, and thy father’s house, to a land that I will show thee.”
The bible tells us in Genesis 12:2, “…and I will make thee a great nation; I will bless thee and make thy name great and thou shalt be a blessing.“
Now those 3 things that he gave up were; his descendants, his genetic family history, and his immediate family.
Because of the word used here in Hebrew for “thy father’s house…”
In the original Hebrew language, it is the word that is the same word, used for idol, temple of idols.
(Because his father; was an idol worshiper.)
We need to understand something about the people of the Middle East. Especially in these particular times that the bible was written. When we look at Abraham in perspective to his culture and his times, we are going to see something very amazing about him.
The 3 Patriarchs of Israel are Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They were known to be spiritually and symbolically the 3 chariots of God’s attributes. Each Patriarch reflected a specific attribute of GOD.
The Attribute of GOD’s Character that Abraham so strongly reflected that was kindness.
You will find, as you study the life of Abraham, that his greatest asset in character was kindness. He was such a kind man. Many of the things that God required of him were totally against his nature. It was so hard for him because he had a sensitive area with kindness. When God tests us oftentimes it is with things that are impossible for us to do in our flesh.
It is known that Abraham is a reflection of the kindness of God, (called the ‘chesed’ of God in Hebrew). He is the one who reflects God’s kindness. Isaac reflects God’s strength and Jacob reflects God’s truth.
So, we see here that the Lord is saying, get out of your father’s house. Now, in the Middle East, the men of those days and even up to the time of Christ, leaving your father’s house was a very hard thing to do. This is why even some of the disciples said, Lord, “I will follow you but first permit me to bury my father.” It did not mean that the person’s father had died at the time.
This is a Hebrew idiom used to convey that the parent is about 70 to 75 years old. The concern was that the parent could pass at anytime, between then and 90 years old (approx.). The disciple was saying that they needed to be around to bury them. Still today this form of care for the elderly is practiced.
Now for Abraham his father was aged and Abraham’s natural inclination was to be so kind and so tender hearted, that his heart felt desire was to be present, caring for his aging father.
In the 1st testing God ask him a hard thing… “I want you to leave everything and follow what the spirit is telling you to do.” Jesus taught that this was not as license to neglect our loved ones. Quite the contrary. The Lord expects us to be loving people in our families, but we must see here the reflection of the Lord’s commandment. The Lord said, “Unless a man forsake all that he has, he cannot be my disciple.”
So, by faith Abraham leaves his father, his kindred and his country and goes to a land he was not even asking for. The lord will show him, the Lord did not even tell him where, the Lord did not even say it’s going to take this long to get there and how long he would even be there.
In this particular instance the Lord told him to do something contrary to his own nature and fiber of being… but Abraham was obedient and he left.
lech-lecha is the key word in the Hebrew that we can only uncover by reading from the Hebrew.
lech –lecha means ‘go to yourself.’ Our English translation has no way of capturing the essence of the spiritual message. In fact, it disconnects us from the part of the teaching that would otherwise draw us in, if we knew and understood the Hebrew.
You are going to find your true self when you obey me...
lech-lecha- ‘go, turn to your soul, go to yourself.’
GOD reveals Himself to Abraham and immediately speaks to his soul about his soul. There is nothing so benign going on as, “Get the out.” GOD said, “Go to your soul” Those words must have carried some weight, some form of gravity to awaken as person to such a extent that they would be willing to walk away from everything they knew and held dear, heading to the unknown and unexplained.
If you were told to, “Go to your own soul? What would you even do? What does that even mean?
Would we even try to understand? or would we dismiss it as some crazy thought we just had?
Surely, GOD was speaking to the right person…
to be continued in Part 2…