Friday, July 26, 2013

Abraham Preaches the Gospel

When Jesus walked this earth, He was a man but He was also God.   I sometimes  try to wrap my head around what it would have been like to literally sit at the 'human feet'  of God and hear the words of Truth flow from His mouth.
But we do have some of His words recorded for us and I think today maybe they are so familiar to us we take them for granted.
I'd like to draw your attention to something Jesus said and then 'unzip the file'  and reveal the depth and fullness of what He was teaching.
Several times, as in John 5:39,  Jesus makes reference to the fact that the Old Testament testifies and points to Himself  -  the gospel itself is hidden in the story accounts and in the prophetic words of the prophets.
One very direct reference is in Gal. 3:8 that states the gospel was preached to Abraham and also therefore reveals the gospel through Abraham to us.   Abraham's faith was credited to him as righteousness -- faith being the foundation of the New Covenant--  and because He is called the father of all who live by faith, all those who live by faith are blessed with him. (Rom 4:16)

But.. you may be puzzled, wondering .....   HOW does the gospel in/through Abraham testify of Jesus and the New Covenant or the church ?

Let me show you .....  

Turning back to Genesis 14 we have the story of Abraham and Melchizedek.  
The background setting is that in those days there were four  kings who joined together to make war against the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah.
The four kings prevailed in battle against the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah. Seeing that they were beaten, the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled for their lives leaving their cities vulnerable.  
The four kings invaded the cities, took captive  the  inhabitants along with all their possessions and departed, with prisoners and plunder, back to their own countries.
 At that time one of the  residents of Sodom was  Lot, Abraham's nephew, and he too with all he possessed was carried off into captivity.
One who managed to escape undetected,  had connections with Abraham and came running to tell him what had befallen his nephew.
Abraham immediately armed his servants and  intent on a full rescue mission  pursued the captors.
Abraham won the battle. He freed Lot along with all the other people taken in the raid and also retrieved all the stolen goods.
On his way back to Sodom , he encountered Melchizedek, the King of Salem. Melchizedek came with bread and wine and a blessing for Abraham.
 Abraham gave to Melchizedek a tenth of the spoil that he had retrieved from the enemy.

The grateful king of Sodom, perhaps ashamed of his cowardly flight in the face of defeat, then also came  to Abraham and as a reward offered him all the spoil, if he would but allow the people to return to their homes.
Abraham refused any gifts saying that he would keep nothing for himself, it was not his.  Therefore the people and their goods were returned to the cities from where they had been so violently taken.

Hmmm...   doesn't sound like the gospel story ?    Come back tomorrow for part two of my post.  

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