Life-Study of Genesisby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
The Bible is a complete revelation. The content of this revelation is God's eternal purpose. As we have pointed out many times, God's eternal purpose is to work Himself into a corporate man so that He may have a corporate expression in the universe. If we would understand any portion of the Bible in a proper way, we must keep this matter in mind.
In this message we come to Genesis 25. Many years ago, I did not like the first part of this chapter. But since there are no wasted words in the Bible, this portion of Genesis 25 must be very significant. If we do not keep before us the purpose of the revelation in the holy Word, we shall be unable to see the significance of this part of Genesis 25. By His mercy, the Lord has shown us the depth of this portion of the Word.
In both Genesis and Romans we are told clearly that Abraham was very old when he begat Isaac. Romans 4:19 says that Abraham considered his body as good as dead. Yet, forty years after Isaac's birth, Abraham married again (25:1), and when he became one hundred forty years of age, he still begat six sons (25:2). How can we explain this? If he was as old as a dead person when he was a hundred years of age, he certainly must have been more like a dead person when he remarried at the age of one hundred forty. In chapter twenty-three Sarah died and was buried, in chapter twentyfour Abraham obtained a wife for Isaac, and in chapter twenty-five he himself married again. What does this mean?
Genesis 25 also includes a record of the birth of Jacob and Esau. Why is such a wonderful record included in the same chapter which names the six sons of Abraham's concubine? The record of Abraham's six sons is negative, whereas the record of the birth of Jacob and Esau is positive. If you were composing this chapter, would you put these two records together? None of us would have written this chapter in such a way. Nevertheless, according to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, it must be very significant.
If we consider all these matters, deep in our spirit we shall realize that the Holy Spirit's intention in this chapter is to show that Abraham was not a person matured in life. Although he was old in his physical life, he was not matured in his spiritual life.
As we have seen, God's purpose is to work Himself into a corporate person that He might have a corporate expression. In order to accomplish this, God created the heavens, the earth, and man with a spirit as his receiving organ (Zech. 12:1). This man was created in God's image to express Him and with His dominion to represent Him in His authority. In Genesis 3 we see that Satan injected himself into man, and man became fallen. In chapters three through eleven man had at least four falls. After the fourth fall, God came in to call Abraham out of the fallen race and establish him as the father of the called race. God's intention in making Abraham the father of the called race was to work Himself into that race for the fulfillment of His purpose. Although God did not have the opportunity to work Himself into the created race, the Adamic race, He now had an opportunity to work Himself into the called race, the Abrahamic race. The record from the last half of chapter eleven through the first part of chapter twenty-five shows how much God worked with this person. However, when we come to the end of the record of Abraham's life, do we see a person who was matured in life and who expressed God in every way? No. Abraham was not yet such a person.
Many Christians appreciate Abraham too much. Although I respect Abraham and I do not belittle him, I must point out that, as the record of Genesis indicates, he was not matured in the divine life. Chapter twenty-four is wonderful, but it is not wonderful with respect to Abraham's life but with respect to his activity. Abraham did a wonderful thing in choosing a proper wife for his son; yet, immediately after this, he remarried. Genesis 25 does not say, "After Abraham had found a good wife for Isaac, he lived with them in the presence of the Lord for more than thirty years. One day, he called Isaac and Rebekah to him, laid his hands upon them, blessed them, and then went to be with the Lord." If the record were like this, we would all appreciate it, saying, "Here is a saint who was matured in life." What is the proof of the maturity in life? It is blessing others. When we are young, we receive blessings from others. But when we are mature, we pass on blessings to others. Although Abraham was old, he did not bless anyone. This proves that he did not have the maturity in life.
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