Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half. Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away. – Gen. 15:10-11 NIV.
Please click the link above to download the full text of this Ministration.
Five kings including the King of Sodom and the King of Gomorrah had taken the decision to rebel against Kedorlaomer, the King of Elam, after being his vassals for 12 years. They decided to rebel in the thirteenth year and Kedorlaomer himself, in the fourteenth year, decided to defend his rulership by allying with four other kings to fight his rebellion. In victory, they took away captives with them which included Lot, Abram’s nephew and his possessions – Gen. 14:1-12.
Information got back to Abram on this development with regards to Lot and he decided to rescue his nephew using 318 trained men who were with him to pursue the attackers. He was successful in this adventure as he brought back all captives including his nephew. He also came back with spoils of war and was met on his return by Melchizedek, king of Salem, to whom he gave a tenth of all that he recovered, and the King of Sodom who took back all the captives and offered him all the goods he repossessed – Gen. 14:13-21.
Abram however rejected the offer on the basis that he swore to the Lord that he will take nothing, no matter how small as compensation from the journey, so that the king would not have any reason to claim glory for his future prosperity – Gen. 14:22-24. The following must be noted in this act of Abram:
1. Although he was not poor since he had possessions of cattle (Gen. 13:5-6), he did not allow his desire for wealth to make him covet or take what he had promised he would not touch.
2. He knew God had promised him wealth and he was not going to allow any human being to take that glory when the wealth manifests – Gen. 13:14-18. He was willing to wait for God’s blessings.
3. He kept his pledge to the Almighty God which was probably the foundation for the victory or how else could 318 men have defeated the army of five kings, without a supernatural intervention.
Christians need to have in mind these acts of Abram if they are to have a promise fulfilled relationship with God. They need to avoid breaching agreements made with the Lord or creating situations that make it impossible for God to take full glory for their successes due to their spiritual adultery.
These actions of Abram was probably what triggered the double promise he got from the Lord. God had appeared to him shortly after this event according to the Bible, letting him know that He (God) is his (Abram’s) reward and not man – Gen. 15:1. Abram, probably in deep emotional pain, wondered to God what could be the benefit of the reward since he did not even have a child of his. What will be the need for all the wealth anyway if all he had and will have to go to Eliezer, a foreigner – Gen. 15:2-4. God’s response came in the form of two promises:
1. God was going to bless him with his own children beyond what he could ever imagine – Gen. 15:5.
2. God also re-emphasized His earlier promise to him that he will possess the land he was living in – Gen. 15:7-9.
Abraham believed God for the first promise and the Bible says it was credited to him for righteousness (Gen. 15:6) but for the second he expressed doubt and for this reason God directed him to offer a sacrifice, probably to help in removing his doubt – Gen. 15:7-9. It was in the course of offering this sacrifice that he created a big dent on a promise that would have been fulfilled with no negatives.
He had prepared the sacrifice with a personal expectation on how God will come for it, only to end up using his action to constitute an obstacle to his sacrifice being accepted. The Bible says he chased away the birds of prey that came to eat what he supposedly prepared for God – Gen. 15:9-11. What an insult to God, he must have thought, not realising that his sacrifice was actually a way of God providing for some other creatures, who were equally looking up to Him for provision.
Many Christians there are today who seem to actually know God so well that they can predict all that he wants or does and the way He will act in all situations. They not only know this, they also try to enforce it in a judgemental manner, knowing who is fit to be in church and who is not. They take steps to ensure that God is not insulted by the actions or inactions of these “substandard people” who they believe, want to bring the name of God into disrepute and by so doing become the unofficial advocates of the Almighty God. Such people just end up at best, constituting themselves into an obstacle for the fulfillment of the promises of the Almighty God for their lives. The ways of God are mysterious and it will remain so till eternity and no one should try to predict it or claim to know it unless God reveals it. Abram by this act, not only created a problem for himself, but created problems for generations within a period of 400 years. Are you sure your excessive zeal is not the reason for that delay of that promise? Yes it is good to be zealous but can you know God more than God? Let your zeal for Him be guided by current information from Him concerning every situation and this you can achieve only if you operate in His Holy Spirit. Without this Spirit, do not even try to display unnecessary zeal as sooner than later, you will find your self in the same situation as Abram. Avoid being judgemental in any situation and you will save yourself and generations unborn from unnecessary challenges.
May God grant us His Holy Spirit to guide our zeal for Him in Jesus name. Amen.