Wednesday, January 08, 2014

January 8, 2014 Devotional - Genesis 13 & 14, and Matthew 7

Genesis 13 - Abram Settles in Canaan, Lot Settles in the Jordan Valley 
Abram left Egypt with everyone and everything to the Negeb. Abram was rich with livestock, silver, and gold. He journeyed from the Negeb to the place he was before between Bethel and Ai. He called out to the Lord there (where he had made an altar before). Lot was with him, and the land couldn't support all they both had. At this time the Canaanites and Perizzites were dwelling there. Abram said to Lot that they should separate. Lot went east toward the Jordan Valley toward Zoar. This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. Abram settled in the land of Canaan, and Lot among the cities of the valley and moved as far as Sodom. The men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the Lord. The LORD said to Abram to lift his head north, south, east and west, and that that is all the land He is giving to him and his offspring forever. He will make Abram's offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth, his offspring can then be counted. He commanded Abram to walk the length of the land, and Abram obeyed, he moved his tent and settled by the oaks of Mamre, and there he built an altar to the Lord.

Genesis 14 - Rescuing Lot, The Blessing of Melchizedek 
First Set: (1) King Amraphel (of Shinar), (2) King Arioch (of Ellasar), (3) King Chedorlaomer (of Elam), and (4) King Tidal (of Goiim);
made war with,
Second Set: (1) King Bera (of Sodom), (2) King Birsha (of Gomorra), (3) King Shinab (of Admah), (4) King Shemeber (of Zeboiim), and (5) King Bela (of Zoar).

The first set joined forces, but then in 13 years rebelled against Chedorlaomer. In the 14th year Chedorlaomer and the kings with him defeated, Rephaim in Ashteroth-karnaim, Zuzim in Ham, and Horites in Seir. They then came to Kadesh and defeated the Amalekites and Amorites in Hazazon-tamar. The second set went out and joined battle in the Valley of Siddim with the first set of kings. Four against five. As the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some fell into bitumen pits, and the rest fled to the hill country. The enemy took the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the also took Lot who was dwelling in Sodom.

One who escaped told Abram the Hebrew (who was dwelling among his own allies). When Abram heard about Lot he led 318 of his trained men in pursuit to Dan. They attacked by night, and defeated them. He brought back all the possessions and Lot along with the women and the people. After defeating Chedorlaomer, the king of Sodom went out to meet him, and Melchizedek (king of Salem and priest of God Most High) brought out bread and wine. Melchizedek blessed him: "Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!" Abram gave Melchizedek 10% of everything. Abram gave all the people and possessions back to the king of Sodom, so no one could say they were the source of Abram's wealth.

Matthew 7 - Judging, Asking/Searching/Knocking, Entering the Kingdom, Two Foundations 
Jesus commands not to judge so that we won't be judged, the judgment we use will be used to used to judge us. We are to deal with the "logs" in our own eyes first, and only then can we then see clearly to take the "speck" out of our brother's eye. We are not to give what is holy to dogs, or toss pearls before pigs; they will trample them with their feet and turn to tear us to pieces.

Jesus commands us to keep asking, and it will be given; searching, and we will find; and knocking, and the door will be opened to us. Who will give stones to his son when he asks for bread; or gives a snake when his son asks for a fish? If we who are evil know how to give good gifts to our children, how much more will our Father in heaven give good things to those of us who ask? Whatever you want others to do for you, do the same for them; this is the Law and the Prophets.

Jesus commands to enter through the narrow gate. The gate is wide, and the road is narrow that leads to destruction. Many go through it. The road and gate that leads to life is narrow, and few find it. We must beware of false prophets who are ravaging wolves in sheep's clothing. Good prophets will bear good fruit, every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. We'll recognize false prophets by their fruit. Not everyone who says to Jesus, "Lord, Lord!" will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of His Father in heaven. On that day, many will say to Jesus, "Lord, Lord, didn't we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in your name?" Then Jesus will announce to them, "I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers!"

Anyone who acts on Jesus' words will be like a builder who built his house on the rock. The house didn't collapse when the weather came, because the foundation was on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Jesus and doesn't act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. When weather came it had a great collapse. When Jesus finished this sermon the crowds were astonished at His teaching, because he was teaching with authority, not like their scribes.

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