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#370 GEN 20:1-18 THE POWER OF GOD'S GRACE
Notice that light is thrown upon the root of Abraham's fall into the grievous sin recorded in GEN 20:13. Here we see the light of the crutch of his sin that brought about the history of this chapter. "And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my father's house, that I said unto her, This is thy kindness which thou shalt shew unto me; at every place whither we shall come, say of me, He is my brother."
It is vitally important that we understand what happened here. We're not talking about a teenager or a man who is void of grace. We're talking about a man of a hundred years old who had just received gracious and blessed revelations of God and His promise that God would give him a son by Sarah. There's no reason why he would have to fear for his life if he had faith in God. He's recorded as "the father of the faithful." We see this man afraid for his life, fearful that God isn't going to bring about the promises he has just received, so he's telling a lie that was contrived between him and his wife while they were yet in the land of Gerar, in the land of the Chaldees. This arrangement was entered into between Abraham and Sarah before they left Chaldea. He said this is what they had agreed when God caused him to wander from his father's house. This sin was brought with them from the time of their spiritual birth.
When the Lord works regeneration in the heart, there's still much conversion needed; it's a lifetime precept. This bosom sin of Abraham was already in him at the time of his spiritual birth, and had not yet been dealt with at a hundred years old. That bosom sin was the fruit of the old man of sin, which had not yet been crucified. The work of conversion that the Lord had been working in Abrahams heart for all those years had not yet crucified that particular sin.
This was not the first time that he fell in that sin. Verse 12 reveals the trickery that was in that sin; "And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife." When Abimelech reproved Abraham for what he did, he still tried to justify it with a lie. He's telling a partial truth. Telling a partial truth (leading a person to believe a lie) is more diabolical than to outright tell a lie that has no truth in it because it takes connivance to fabricate that lie so it can later be justified.
He told a diabolical lie! He made a lie! It says in the book of Revelation that the place of torment will be for those who make a lie. He took truth out of context, and he conspired to make a lie. He led that man to believe that this was not his wife, which was the purpose of the lie from its very conception. He could go to these strange places and by leading them to believe that she was not his wife, they would not kill him for his wife's sake. We see Abraham, not Esau nor Ishmael, nor someone recorded in the Word of God who has no part in Christ, but we're talking about the father of the faithful justifying himself after Abimelech had reproved him! What Abraham said was a deliberate, planned connivance.
As we learn to rightly understand the meaning of Abraham being the father of all who believe, we also start to realize where some of these same sins pop up in our own hearts. We begin to understand that it doesnt mean we are not true children of God, but that we indeed are the children of Abraham. In the book of James, we read that Elijah was a man of like passions, even as we are. He was subject to the same sin, the same weaknesses that we are. This isn't to comfort us in our sin, but to show us that when we find these sins in our heart, we need not despair; we have to confess. The Lord wants us to confess that we indeed are the children of Abraham.
ROM 4:11 reads, "And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also." This becomes synonymous with the history of Adam as the father of all that have been born in sin. The Scriptures clearly teach us in ROM 5:12; "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." Adam is held forth throughout the Scriptures as being the father of all those who have sinned, while Abraham is held forth as the father of all who believe.
In Adam we see the fall of man, and that we have inherited sin and death through Adams fall. In Abraham, we see that we have inherited that fallen, corrupt nature of Adam, but by the intervention of God, He has chosen to work salvation in our souls. It's not because of anything in us, and that's why we are taught that we are the children of Abraham. It teaches us of the trickery and corrupt, evil nature of the human heart, and how in every way, we would only destroy ourselves for all eternity. Had it not been for God's intervention, the whole plan of salvation would have been spoiled in this trick of Abraham. God intervened. You and I must learn that our own salvation is of the Lord, and were it not been for the Lords intervention, we would all destroy ourselves even after we have lived a life unto the work of grace.
In ROM 5:12 we read, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." In the original, it says, "in whom all have sinned." You and I have all sinned in Adam. Now we see in Abraham that the Lord has a chosen race. Abraham becomes the father of all those who believe, and the Lord uses him to humble us and teach us the depravity of the evil heart that we have in Adam. But for the intervention of God, no man would ever be saved. In Adam, we all have sinned, and this included Abraham. In ROM 3:23 we read, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."
Adam is revealed throughout Scripture as the father of all who have sinned, which brought death into the world. Look at 1CO 15:21-22: "For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." It's showing the first Adam and the second Adam. Any reference in Scripture to Adam is a reference to the usher of death into the world. He was the man who ushered sin, corruption and evil into the world.
Even though Adam lived 930 years, there are only two short references that I've found in regard to his life. We don't have a record of Adam's life struggles, his slips and falls, or how he struggled with the power of sin and the grief that it brought to his heart when he saw what happened with Cain and his generation.
What is recorded of Adam is first found in GEN 4:1-2: "And Adam knew Eve his wife: and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord. And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground." There's very little revealed. In GEN 4:25 we read. "And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew." The record of the life of Adam is short, brief.
The next thing we find recorded about Adam is in GEN 5:3-5: "And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth: And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters: And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died."
Notice the difference in the record that we have of the life of Adam in comparison to the life of Abraham. The life of Abraham is spelled out in so much more detail. What we learn from Adam is that he died. He had children and he died. He was the usher of death unto this world, and that's what is recorded about his life. Its a different story with Abraham.
Genesis 4 tells us the sad result of Adam's sin. This was seen in their first born whom they had hoped would be such a source of joy. The Lord had spoken to them in the Garden of Eden, saying that He would give them a son, and that the seed of the woman would bruise the head of the serpent. When Cain was born, they expected this first son of theirs would be that man. There's nothing recorded about Adam's trials of faith or his slips and falls. His first son was a murderer, and whom did he murder? He murdered his righteous brother Abel, and Adam and Eve were again without children. We don't see anything recorded about how these trials affected the heart of Adam and Eve, or what their struggles were. The Scriptures are silent on this.
Now the life of Abraham with all his slips, falls and human reasoning, together with the evidence of his having inherited Adam's fallen nature and the grace that he obtained by imputed faith, is recorded as a beacon because he is set forth as the father of those who believe. This isnt meant to be our badge or our authority to sin. It doesn't mean that since Abraham got by with it that we can be a trickster, conniver, liar or thief. This is to teach us that Abraham is set as a beacon to warn us of the slips, falls and dangers that we will encounter in our journey across the sea of life, and how we must be so aware of Satan and his trickery. It shows us that a man whom God loved, a friend of God, chosen of God, yet had all these weaknesses in him. It is a beacon, a warning of all the grief that we can escape by avoiding these same sins.
ROM 4:20-24 states, "He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead." What was imputed? The faith of Jesus Christ was imputed to him! "He staggered not at the promise," and yet we read of all his human reasoning and all his failures. This is teaching us of the imputed faith of Christ and how by the righteousness of faith, by his receiving that revelation, Christ said, "He saw My day and was glad." He saw in Christ that there would be no slips and falls. He saw that perfect obedience of faith in Christ and how His perfect obedience would be imputed to him. It says, "Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead," ROM 4:24. See the continuance? That word "believe," means standing in holy awe and reverence of that authority of the Lord Jesus Christ. We must believe in Him, having a reverence and true godly fear, and a delight in doing His will.
Now this bold declaration, "that he staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith, giving glory to God," must be seen in the light of that imputed faith; otherwise, we would say that there seems to be contradiction. How often did Abraham stagger, and fall on his face and laugh when God was telling him that Sarah would have a son? We have to see that in the imputed faith of Christ, God saw him in Christ.
We read of Jacob in NUM 23:20-21; "Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it. He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob." That didn't mean that Jacob had no iniquity; he was a liar, a trickster, and a deceiver. That was the very meaning of his name. What the Lord is saying is, "I have not beheld iniquity in Jacob."
In Abraham, he did not behold his unbelief. He did not behold his human reasoning or his shortcomings because he looked upon him in Christ. That's what we see here in NUM 23:21: "He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the Lord his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them." That didn't mean it wasn't there; it means he was looking upon them in Christ. He was not looking upon their perverseness; he was not looking upon their iniquity. "The Lord his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them."
It was because God beheld Abraham in Christ as the type of all the elect, that God found the reasons within Himself to be so patient with Abraham's inconsistencies. The Lord looked upon him from eternity as the type of all the elect, as the type of all His people who are yet human, and have these slips and falls and do all these things that are beyond explanation. How can a person do these things and claim to be a child of God? Well, if we understand Abraham, and what it means to be the children of Abraham, it makes us so much more forgiving of our fellow man. All of a sudden, our fellow man becomes a saint walking in white compared to what we see in our own heart, even if we have seen him as a bold-faced liar.
Isn't that what Abraham did? Oh yes, he was a bold-faced liar. He deceived Abimelech, and the Lord intervened, but the Lord looked upon him in Christ. Abraham dishonored God's name by acting as he did in setting such an example of deceit before a heathen king. I've talked to people, and they say, "If you hear someone professing to be a Christian, and you're doing business, thats the one youd better watch. Those who make no profession of Christianity will deal more honestly than the average person that claims to be a Christian." What a reproach that brings upon Christianity. And here we have a man by the name of Abraham bringing such dishonor upon the name of God before a man whom he regarded as a heathen king. See this in GEN 20:10-11: "And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What sawest thou, that thou hast done this thing? And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife's sake." What he's saying is that he thought the king was a heathen, and therefore, he thought he could lie and cheat. What a reflection we bring against Christianity!
Think of God's long-suffering patience with the corruption of sin in the hearts of His dear children. Instead of leaving Abraham and his wife, who had placed themselves in the hands of their foes, to their just destruction, we see God's unsolicited intervention. When the Lord intervenes with those who have fallen away, who have backsliden, His intervention is unsolicited. Did you know that when David had sinned against Uriah and Bathsheba, he didn't ask Nathan the prophet to come and help him out of his trouble. The Lord sent Nathan, and David bold-facedly tried to cover his sin.
Sin hardens. Sin has a case-hardening effect, and when we slip into sin, we do not solicit God's help to deliver us from that sin anymore. That was unsolicited intervention by the Lord. What a humiliating thing it is to understand that we are the children of Abraham, that he is, in fact, the father of the faithful. What does that do to bring a humbling effect to those who are the faithful, to those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ? What a humbling effect it should have on us to have the title, "children of Abraham," placed upon us! You will go out and destroy yourself in spite of knowledge, and the unsolicited intervention of God is your only hope.
Look at GEN 20:3: "But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man's wife." Abraham had not asked the Lord to intervene. Such cowardice and inconsistency were in Abraham's faith! Not only was there grievous sin on his own part, but he also brought sin guiltiness upon another who was unaware. When you and I do something that is wrong and involve other people unaware, we bring sin guiltiness upon those people without them even knowing it. Does it ever enter your mind that when you speak out of bitterness that's in your heart to another man, you bring sin guiltiness upon those who are listening, because you cause their heart to become bitter instead of covering that sin with love. Abraham brought sin guiltiness upon Abimelech with his trickery and lies. We read in GEN 20:9, "Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said unto him, What hast thou done unto us? and what have I offended thee, that thou hast brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? thou hast done deeds unto me that ought not to be done." That's how the father of the faithful is reproved by a man that he considered a heathen king.
See how Abraham and his wife, through their foolishness, brought displeasure of God upon another. Now God showed his displeasure to Abimelech, his kingdom, and his whole house because of a bold-faced lie through which Abraham deceived. GEN 20:17-18 states, "So Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they bare children. For the Lord had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah Abraham's wife." They had brought sin guiltiness upon the kingdom of Abimelech, and he did it in total integrity.
We read in GEN 20:6, "And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me; therefore suffered I thee not to touch her." He did it in the integrity of his heart with no evil intent, but look what it did. It brought God's displeasure upon Abimelech and his kingdom. Do you see why the Scriptures tell us in 1CO 5:6-7 to put out the old leaven? "Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us." The old leaven may not dwell in the lump because it brings sin guiltiness upon the lump.
When you see believers, the children of Abraham, think of the love of the Father in giving His son for all those who believe (who reverence the authority that was given to His son and the authority of His word), that they should not perish but have ever lasting life. It was at the climax of Abraham's most grievous sin that God intervened. I want you to understand the grievousness of this sin. The Lord closed up every womb in that whole country instantly because He was not going to allow Sarahs womb to become polluted with a spurious seed. He had told Abraham that her womb would bear that son who would be the father of the seed, which is Christ. At the climax of his sin, can we even attempt to imagine the grievousness to which he had exposed his wife because he didn't trust God? He exposed his wife to conceiving a spurious seed after God had just told him he would open her womb to bear the promised seed.
We read in ROM 5:8, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." It was while Abraham was at the climax of the most grievous sin of his life that the Lord intervened. The love that God had for Abraham and for his seed, i.e. those who were the believers, was so great, that in spite of such trickery and bringing himself into such a dilemma, the Lord intervened. He withheld Abimelech from touching Sarah and brought her back to Abraham as his wife. God's graces are bestowed without regard to worthiness or merit. ROM 4:6-8 states, "Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin." The Lord hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob or the seed of Abraham because he has caused His own son to be made sin for us. What a humbling thing it is for you and me, when we see and understand that he is the father of all those that believe.
The modern philosophy that God cannot influence man to be saved if man will not help Him is totally refuted when we see how simply God's influence restrained Abimelech. The teaching that God is not able to influence and change a persons mind if he has rejected Christ, if he has sinned and forfeited all is so totally refuted where it says, "But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night " That was such a small exercise of His power, and yet look at the effect when He said, "Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man's wife. But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation? Said he not unto me, She is my sister? and she, even she herself said, He is my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this. And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart ," GEN 20:3-6.
We see God's influence and His restraining grace: "For I also withheld thee from sinning against me; therefore suffered I thee not to touch her." We're talking about the king. Can the Lord influence a man's heart? He influenced Abimelech's heart to leave her alone, not to touch her, or come near her, but to give her back to Abraham as his wife. Indeed, God can influence a man's heart. Think of how simply God influences the heart of a king with no more than a dream.
In PRO 21:1 it says, "The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it withersoever he will." That sovereign grace of God, His atonement, is not limited by whether we are willing to accept. God intervenes with His restraining grace, and He works His grace without respect to what we do, whether we want, or whether we chose. The grace of God is brought about unsolicited, and He influences the heart, giving us a holy reverence for the authority that there is in His Son. He influences our heart by a revelation of His love, by a revelation of the love of His Son, and by a revelation of the grievousness of sin.
The Lord not only spoke to Joseph to reveal His decree in a dream, but it was through the interpretation of the dream of a king that Joseph was brought to the throne. The Lord does influence the heart of man. We read in GEN 41:38-40: "And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the spirit of God is? And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art: Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou." Pharaohs heart was influenced by a dream; so simply and so totally are our hearts in the hands of the Lord.
We see the distinction between what Abimelech saw in Abraham as a man guilty of deception and what God saw by looking at him in Christ. Note GEN 20:7: "Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine." The Lord says he is a prophet, but Abimelech says he is a liar and a deceiver. This is so against our human reasoning. Abraham deceived and brought guilt upon Abimelech, and yet because the Lord looked upon Abraham in Christ, Abimelech became a debtor to Abraham's prayers. Gods ways are higher than our ways. He honors Abraham as His prophet even in the face of his foolishness. Abimelech became a debtor to Abraham's prayers because, as with Jacob, God did not behold Abrahams sins. But the shout of the victory of the king was among them and what God was looking at was that kingly office of Christ, that authority of Christ who had taken all that debt of Abraham, washing it away upon the cross of Calvary. God the Father was not looking upon one sin in Abraham nor beholding one sin in Jacob, but He still beheld the sin of Abimelech as he became a debtor to Abraham's prayers.
These are mysteries that contradict human reasoning until we understand the wisdom of God. Read in NUM 23:21: "He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the Lord his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them." That shout of the King of kings and Lord of lords has become the One who has gained victory over sin, death and hell, and He now has the shout of the king among them. What a blessed thought! "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit," ROM 8:1.
Now we see the other side of the principle of being the children of Abraham. Those children are looked upon in Christ; and their grievous sins are all cast behind His back in the sea of everlasting forgetfulness. He does not behold iniquity in His people. That's not a license to sin. That is such a humbling vision when we learn to see what He paid for the price of those sins. The blessedness of being the children of Abraham is that God intervenes and does not allow us to destroy ourselves, giving us His restraining grace.
We see in GAL 5:17 the spiritual warfare between the flesh and the spirit: "For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would." The word "cannot" in the original means "God forbid." It is restraining grace. You and I would destroy ourselves, as Abraham would have. We would bring ourselves to total destruction, but we cannot do the things that we would, because the Lord looks upon us in that blessed atonement of Christ. There is no condemnation unto those who are in Christ, but that does not encourage carelessness or careless living because it is for those who walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh.
As the work of sanctification is wrought in the soul, and we are allowed to see the sinfulness and the power of sin, it is to get us to flee unto Christ to be delivered from sin. In ROM 6:14 we read, "For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace." Think of that blessed consolation that we're under grace. Grace is the divine influence upon the heart. We're not under the letter or the condemnation of the law. We are under the divine influence upon the heart as it reflects itself in our lives and restrains us from sin. What a humbling fact it is that Abraham's name is recorded as the father of all those who have received God's grace.
We see the life of Abraham so clearly recorded as the lighthouse for our life, until we learn to understand Christ's divine influence upon the heart by revealing His image in our lives. When we learn to understand that by nature, we are the children of Adam; and as a result of the spiritual birth, we become the children of Abraham. And now we need to be converted. We need that continual process of conversion. Pride has to be removed, and we have to become as little children. The deceptiveness of our deceitful heart has to be removed, and we have to be made honest before God. All of this is the work of sanctification, the work of a progressive conversion as a result of that divine influence which now becomes recognizable before the world. That divine influence upon the heart reveals His image in our lives.
It's so easy to believe in God's protecting care until we come into a time of testing through the stress of circumstances. We can sit and fellowship around the past, talking about the wonderful deliverances we've had from God and many other blessed things, but we don't know until we come again into the stress of circumstances whether we would, like Abraham, lie and run to save our own flesh. We don't really know. Peter thought he could stand until he came into the stress of circumstances, and he found himself cursing, swearing and denying he ever heard of the man because his own blood was on line. They were going to treat him like they were treating Christ. He was in the same spot in which Abraham had been. When you and I are brought into the place where we have to put everything on the altar, then we find out whether we have faith.
It is only when the eye of faith is stayed upon our blessed Savior and His perfection during the time of testing that we can prevail through His faith being imputed to us. When you and I come into a testing ground, our faith would fail if our eye were not fixed on Christ. We see that He prevailed by faith, and that He is the author and the finisher of our faith. That is where the power of the Spirit comes within our soul to give us the strength to prevail. We see this in HEB 12:2-3, "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith " How are we going to lay aside the sins that so easily beset us and run with patience the race that is set before us? We do it by looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. How does that strengthen us? Read the next part of that verse: "who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds." When we understand what faith is, then we understand what this is saying.
Look at HEB 11:6: "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Christ had His eye on the reward, "for the joy that was set before Him." He endured the cross and despised the shame. Now when our eye is fixed on Christ, it is the reward that is set before us that gives us the faith to endure. He endured the cross, despised the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. He has received His reward. Read verse 3: "For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds." The strength of our faith comes by looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, and what He endured and how He gained His reward.
When you and I receive such terrible contradiction of men against ourselves, we look to Him and what contradiction He suffered lest you and I become weary and faint in our minds. We see that it is the imputed faith of Christ that gives us the strength and the courage to endure the trials. When our Savior hungered and was tempted by Satan to make the stones into bread, what did He say? "It is written ," MAT 4:4. "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." When He was tempted, when He hungered, and when Satan would have Him come out and foolishly do some act or miracle to prove that He was God, He rested in the authority of the Word. We don't live by bread only; we live by the authority of that Word, every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. That's the pattern we have to follow.
When our Savior sat by the well and was warm and tired from the journey, he was weary, but not too weary to speak words of comfort and grace and life. See JOH 4:10: "Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water." Even when He was tempted, weary, and tried, He was still a fountain of living water, still able. This teaches us that when we become weary, we mustnt start to murmur and complain. We must still be a fountain of living water to our fellow man, who also might be weary.
Consider those cities where Christ had done most of His mighty works, and they refused to repent. Stop and ponder how weary the Son of Man must have become when He was there doing these wonderful works, and the people refused to hear Him. To get just a glimpse of it, work in the ministry awhile. Try working with some of your fellow men, pleading with them to understand the love of God--and have them reject it. We see how the Lord Jesus Christ worked, labored, pleaded with the people to repent. He showed them how Sodom and Gomorrah would find it more tolerable in the day of judgement than they would. Then what did He do? He submitted so meekly to His Father's will in MAT 11:25-26: "At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight."
We must not become discouraged just because others are not willing to hear. We must keep laboring. We must not become weary but must submit all into the Father's hands, giving it into the hand of One who judges righteously. We must keep pleading for His cause and for His mercy to come upon their souls. We must keep intervening for them in prayer, begging that the Lord would give us a time that we can speak a word in season. We must not become discouraged; they rejected Christ Himself! And He says, "Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight." You know what He's really saying? He's acknowledging that Abraham would never have returned if the Lord hadnt intervened. He was acknowledging that outside of the intervention of His Father, thered never be one who would believe. You and I must acknowledge this also.
When our Savior hung naked before the world being reviled by Satan and all hosts, He gave Himself as our example in submission to His Father's good judgement. 1PET 2:20-23 states, "For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously."
When the Lord Jesus Christ hung on the cross before the world, being scoffed and buffeted, He prayed for the very ones who were doing it. He said, "But when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently " The word "patiently" means to cheerfully endure, not grumbling, moaning. and murmuring. We must come pleading before the throne of grace, "Father thy will be done." We have to be able to commit all these things into His hands. At the extreme crisis of His suffering, our Savior gave us an example of mediation for our enemies by openly praying for those who hung Him there. Pray for your enemies. LUK 23:34 reads, "Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots."
All those who are the children of Abraham find their raiment which are symbols of their conduct, their habits and ways of unrighteousness to be nothing but filthy rags. Our raiment, which is the emblem of our conduct, is nothing but filthy rags. They are, at best, so much patchwork. All of our best righteousness, a little piece here and a little piece there, is nothing more than filthy rags. But His, as we read in JOH 19:23, " was without seam, woven from the top throughout." When we, as the man of the Galileans, have our eyes opened to see Jesus, the power of sin is broken, and our filthy garments are removed. We get rid of these filthy garments by a revelation of Jesus Christ, by the power of that love of God, and by the power of seeing that perfect raiment of Christ that was without seam from top to bottom.
We read in MAR 5:15, "And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid." He was clothed in that precious garment of Christ, which was without seam from top to bottom. There was no patchwork to it. All the actions and symbols of our conduct are the symbols of our garment. The man who had dwelt in the tomb, who had been a lunatic, was now sitting clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. Those who were outside of Christ were afraid because they saw the power and the wonder of Christ in delivering a maniac whom they had seen all these years. We have to understand the power of God's grace in delivering His people, the children of Abraham. Amen.
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