under a special agreement with
presents "Light from the Old Testament"
under a special agreement with
Lesson 2 (Part 1)
Following the great flood, the children of Noah multiplied. The Bible says, "The whole earth was of one language, and of one speech." They turned from God and began to seek their own glory. They found a place where they could make bricks, using slime for mortar. They said, "Let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name…" (Genesis 11:4)
They began to build the city of Babylon and the tower of Babel. When they said, "Let us make us a name," they were seeking their own glory, not God's glory.
The LORD came down to see the city and the tower which they were building. The LORD said,
"Behold, the people are one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do…Let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech." (Genesis 11:6-7)
The Lord caused the people to speak many different languages, so that they could not understand each other or work together. The Bible says that the LORD scattered them abroad upon the face of all the earth. Thus, today, we have the different nations and the different languages throughout the earth.
From the days of the tower of Babel, this world has been the scene of man's seeking his own glory. But from those days God has presented another "world" to those who have faith in Him. The Bible calls it "the world to come." (Hebrews 2:5)
God called a man named Abraham to leave his country and his people. God told Abraham that he would be the father of a multitude of nations, and that kings would come out of him. (see Genesis 17:5-6 click link)
No doubt Abraham had seen the building of the tower and the city for man's glory, but God appeared to him and told him about a city for God's glory—a city whose builder and maker is God. The Bible says,
"By faith Abraham, when he was called…obeyed; and he went out, not knowing where he went… For he looked for a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God." Hebrews 11:8, 10
Abraham turned his back on the glory of man and the things of man. He obeyed God and went out, not knowing where he was going. From the days of Abraham, believers have looked for God's coming world.
When God's new world comes into being, it will not be a world of pride, selfishness, lust and man's vain glory, like the present world. Instead, it will be a world in which the knowledge of the LORD will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. God's new world will be seen when Christ comes again. It will be filled with God's glory.
Abram, whose name God later changed to Abraham, occupies a unique place of prominence in Scripture which no other person has. The Bible says that he is "the father of all those who believe." (Romans 4:11)
Abram lived at a time when men were worshipping idols. Abram was no different from the people among whom he lived. He too worshipped idols, but the call of God changed his life forever. The Bible says that "the God of glory" appeared to Abram and said to him,
"Get out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father's house, unto a land that I will show you: And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing; And I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curses you: and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed." Genesis 12:1-3
Abram is the first example of a man chosen and called by God. The call of God is a wonderful thing. The mighty and powerful voice of God from the unseen spiritual world reaches our heart. It awakes us to the consciousness that God is calling us to live for Him and to do a work for Him.
Like Abram, we too have heard the mighty voice of God from the unseen world. Like Abram, God calls us to be "strangers and pilgrims" in this world. (see 1 Peter 2:11 click link)
God made a covenant (a solemn, binding agreement) with Abram which contained three mighty promises:
A great nation
God promised to make of Abram a great nation. God said, "I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great." The great nation which came from Abram is Israel, God's special, chosen people here on earth.
A promised land
This is the first mention of "the land." God had a special land for His chosen people, the land of Canaan. This land was so fertile that it is described in the Bible as "a land flowing with milk and honey." It was God's purpose that His people should possess this wonderful land and enjoy its riches.
A promised Savior
God said to Abram, "In you shall all families of the earth be blessed." Later, God appeared to him and said, "In your seed [one person, Christ] shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." (Genesis 22:18) This was the greatest honor of all—that from Abraham's family, his descendants, would come the promised Savior.
God's great plan of redemption began with Abraham. When we open our New Testament, the first words we read are these: "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham." (Matthew 1:1)