A Preparation for Jesus and the Life of Faith in Jesus
According to Jesus in Luke 24, the Scriptures witness to himself.
Just like a diamond has facets, so the gospel has many facets that are woven into God’s work in redemptive history.
These facets prepare us to see and receive Jesus for all he is.
So, we always want to make sure we attempt to see the in our texts the person and work of Jesus in the text as we study through Genesis.
Genesis 13:8-9 – Abram, the first missionary man of faith, points us to Jesus through his deferential trust in God.
Luke 24:25-27; 44-47
All Scripture predicts, prepares for, reflects or results from Christ’s person and his work.
All bible texts give us a way of interpreting our world and of understanding God from a redemptive perspective. Some predict the coming of Christ; some prepare us to understand aspects of his nature or ministry; some reflect the human predicament that requires rescue (gonna see that in Lot); and some encourage a grateful and obedient response as a result of God’s redemption. – Bryan Chapell
Genesis 13 helps prepare us to understand an aspect of Jesus nature and ministry as the God-man.
Abram, serves as a type, one who points to the one to come who will be the promised offspring of the woman to crush the head of the serpent.
How does Abram serve as a type to point us to Jesus redemptive work?
- Abram gives up his right as the one who will inherit the land as a base of operations.
- Abram takes no advantage to himself.
- Abram will later be called on to rescue Lot.
Philippians 2:5-8 (ESV) 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
This deferential trust points us to Jesus who would defer his right as God in order to take on flesh, become sin, and take no advantage to himself, die, be buried and rise that we may be saved and rescue a redeemed humanity (called the church) at the Father’s appointed time for himself.
Genesis 13 prepares us to understand the nature of Jesus, the Son of God, himself God, Creator with God the Father and the Holy Spirit, in his inter-Trinitarian deference to the plan that required him to give up his crown for a cross to save for himself a people.
- These passages prepare us to receive Jesus when we get to the gospels. We see Jesus as the fulfillment of the redemptive work already done.
2 Timothy 3:14-15 (ESV) But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
- These passages help to make sense of what we see in the New Testament when the writers are applying OT passages to their current situation.
Genesis 13:1-7; 10-18 – Abram, the first missionary man of faith, shows us what a life of faith looks like.
13:1-4 – Abram retreated back to the source of his faith after his failure in Egypt…calling on the name of the Lord.
- Abram called on the name of the Lord in 12:8, and immediately fails.
- After his failure, he retreats to the place where he first called on the Lord, and he calls on the Lord again.
- High point…low point.
13:4, 18 – Abram’s acts of faith are bracketed by Abram’s worship.
Worship fuels a life of faith.
13:5-13 – Abram walked by faith and not by sight in initiating the division of their people and in deferring the prime choice to Lot.
The recipient of the promise did not need to guard his future possessions jealously; rather, he could deny himself and relinquish the better part to Lot. Here we have an early example of the contrast between those who walk by faith and those who walk by sight.
Abram could offer Lot his choice of the land because Abram’s might is not in the fertile land, but in God who can give him all he needs in spite of the quality of the dirt.
- We never have to jockey for position in the kingdom.
- This truth creates the ethic of the last being first and the first being last in God’s economy.
13:5-13 – All that glitters is NOT gold…Those who walk by faith can be deceived.
Lot, a righteous man (2 Peter 2:7), chooses the more fertile land, but verse 13 gives us a glimpse of the coming conflict in chapter 19.
Lot did not do wrong in choosing the more fertile land.
The truth is, that what looks and “feels” good is not necessarily best.
- We are called to walk in discernment in the application of biblical wisdom, which is the application of biblical truth to every area of life. THIS IS NOT EASY.
- We have to be willing to make honest and good-hearted mistakes and trust God to rescue us when we do.
See what God does even when Lot lingered not wanting to leave his home:
Genesis 19:16 (ESV) But he lingered. So the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city.
13:14-18 – God strengthens Abram after Abram showed practical trust in him by deferring to Lot.
The Lord’s present encouragement and counsel to Abram reminds us of what he had planned for us in the ministry of the Holy Spirit that Jesus purchased for us in his work on our behalf.
Abram got momentary glimpses, and serves as an example of what we have constant access to. He got momentary presence. We get constant presence through Jesus’ work on our behalf.
Matthew 13:17 (ESV) For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.
1 Peter 1:8-12 (ESV) Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11 inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.
Psalm 147:1 “Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.”
Allen P. Ross, Creation and Blessing: A Guide to the Study and Exposition of Genesis(Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1998), 281.