• | Chris McCann
  • Audio: Length: 22:25
  • Passages covered: Genesis 13:17-18, Leviticus 19:12, Hebrews 6:13, Hebrews 6:13-18, Titus 1:1-3, Ephesians 1:4-5, Galatians 3:29, Hebrews 10:35-36, James 1:10-12, Hebrews 13:18.

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Genesis 13 Series, Part 13, Verses 17-18

Welcome to EBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the Book of Genesis. Tonight, is study #13 of Genesis, chapter 13 and we are continuing to look at Genesis 13:17-18:

Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee. Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto JEHOVAH.

In our last study, we were looking at the fact that God stated He would give the land to Abram and to his seed. Not only did God declare it, but we saw that the Lord swore to it and took an oath that He would fulfill His promise to Abram.

It is like when we go to court today and they ask the person to swear upon a Bible that the things he or she is about to say are the absolute truth.

We saw in Leviticus 19:12:

And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am JEHOVAH.

Yes, this was God’s Law to mankind, but we must remember that God swore by His own name and He has placed Himself under His own Law. How do we know that God swore by His own name? We know because He tells us in Hebrews 6:13:

For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself,

God swore on His own name, just as it said in Leviticus 19, verse 12. Anyone swearing by God’s name is not to do so falsely. It would be a sin. That is what we saw in Numbers 30, verse 2 where it said that if a man swears an oath, he binds his soul and he shall not break his word because it would be a sin. God cannot sin. He must uphold His own Word. So, again, it said in Hebrews 6:13-18:

For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:

The first immutable (unchangeable) thing is because of the nature of God and His characteristics and attributes. In His very being, He is the essence of truth. The Lord Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life. “Thy word is truth,” the Bible declares. God is true and faithful. He is honest, just, pure, right, good and holy and all these things absolutely require honest truthfulness. There cannot be the slightest bit of deceit or the slightest lie, falsehood or erroneous statement in the Bible or within the Person of God, or God would not be God. He would not be Holy God and the Bible would not be the holy Book. God would be a sinner, but He is not a sinner. It is impossible for God to lie because of His very nature. That is one immutable thing.

The second immutable thing is that God took an oath and He swore with an oath regarding His promise to Abraham. We are reading of those promises as we go through the Book of Genesis and we will be continuing to read of them as we go through chapters 15 and 17, and so forth. There are promises of the seed and promises of the land and promises that there will be an everlasting possession of these things and that means the seed must live everlastingly to possess the land everlastingly. Eternal life and an eternal dwellingplace are what God has promised to the seed of Abraham. We read in Titus 1:1-3:

Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;

God has made promise not only to Abram in “time,” some four thousand years ago, but God’s promises go all the way back before the world began. We can read about that when we read in Ephesians that the Lord elected a people before the foundation of the world. Let us turn there quickly and look at Ephesians 1:4-5:

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

This is language of salvation and language of choosing of the “seed” that are the heirs of the promise. Remember, they are the ones that are counted righteous through the imputed righteousness of the faith of Christ and counted for the seed. Christ is the “seed,” singular, and we are the seed in Him, as it says in Galatians 3:29:

And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

It is the promise that Titus tells us God gave before the world began. We have hope of eternal life that God who cannot lie promised. It is impossible for God to lie and God made promise before the world began because, as we know, that is when He set in motion His salvation program. That is when He determined whom He would save and predestinate and He placed their sins upon the Lamb, the Lord Jesus, and Christ was slain at the foundation of the world. He rose, declared to be the Son of God, and the promise was in full effect. It was declared by God and He obligated Himself and guaranteed it. He would create the world and He would save these people out of the world and He wrote their names (as it were) in the Lamb’s Book of Life. He would save each one as history unfolded over the course of time. This was the will and promise of God and He would reiterate this promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and to you and me and all the saints. It is the promise of the Bible of eternal life through God’s magnificent salvation program.

It is the same promise for which we are presently waiting, as it says in Hebrews 10:35-36:

Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

It is the promise of eternal life that was given before the world was. You know, we are really involved in matters far greater than us when we consider God and His Word and the oath He has sworn and the declaration of promise He has made. Yes, we can trace it back over four thousand years to Abraham, but we can go back all the way to creation which was over 13,000 years ago and, even then, the promise was already in effect. God made the promise before the world was, in the counsel of eternity past. He made decrees concerning it, regarding the saving of certain ones, the payment for their sins by Christ and the resurrection of Christ and making His blood available at the very beginning of the world for application to Abel and Noah and Abram, and so forth, and all His elect down through history. God went about the business of fulfilling His promise.

You know, now we are living in a very difficult time in history because we are living in the Day of Judgment. It really can appear that God has forgotten His people. It can appear that God has forgotten about the completion of His salvation program for His elect people; that is, His promise to grant us our new resurrected bodies and to deliver us into the new heaven and new earth where God will dwell with us in complete happiness for ever and ever. From our perspective, it is a grievous time as we live on an earth that is spiritually ablaze because the fire has been set upon all the unsaved inhabitants of the earth, and we find ourselves in the midst of that fire. Hopefully, we are “gold, silver precious stones” that will endure to the end and come through the fire, but these are severe circumstances. The church age is over and the great comfort of Family Radio and Mr. Camping’s teaching for so many decades have been removed from the people of God. And we might be under the mistaken impression that the fulfilment of the promises God has spoken is no longer significant or meaningful to Him or that He has forgotten us, but that is impossible and that is about as far from the truth as anything could be.

What the Bible reveals is that God is extremely concerned that every jot and tittle of His Word be fulfilled and the things that He has sworn to being upheld. His faithfulness must be adhered to, so that we may all know He is a faithful and true God who upholds His promises. He does not let His word fall, so we can be certain that God actively and presently in the process of fulfilling His Word concerning the wonderful promises given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all His elect people, the seed of Christ. God will bring it to pass. There is no possibility He will not because that would mean that He has sworn falsely and, therefore, He has sinned by speaking in error. Again, that is not according to the nature of God. We have these immutable things we can count on: the Word of God, the Person of God and the sworn declaration of God.

Of course, He will bring these things to pass according to His timetable. There is a need of patience after having done the will of God until we receive the promise, but the promise does await us, as it says in James 1:10-12:

But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways. Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

You see, this applies to the “fire” and the “wood, hay, stubble” or “gold, silver precious stones” that are all put through the fire. And blessed is the man that endures to the end and endures the temptation or testing. As we are being tried, the day is declaring our true spiritual condition. If we are a child of God, we will receive the crown of life, which is eternal life, that the Lord has promised to them that love Him.

I thought we would get to verse 18 and finish the chapter, but I do not want to rush through it. Lord willing, we will do another study and concentrate on verse 18. It is a verse that is helpful in defining some places in the Bible that we read about often, as it says in Hebrews 13:18:

Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto JEHOVAH.

God mentions Mamre and Hebron, so there is no need to rush past this verse, so when we get together in our next study we will look at some of these places that God will mention, again, and again, as we read the Bible.