Life-Study of Genesisby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message we come to Abraham's experience of trials. We have seen how Abraham was called by God and how, by God's appearing, he was strengthened to answer that call. We have also seen that, by God's appearing, Abraham was brought to the very place where God intended him to be. Firstly he was brought to Shechem (12:6) and then to the place between Bethel and Ai, the place between the house of God and the heap of ruins (12:8). That place between the house of God and the heap of ruins was the high point, and Abraham should have remained there.
However, suddenly, after such a high attainment in his experience of God, Abraham continued his journey, going toward the south (12:9). In studying this chapter, I have spent much time to find out the reason why Abraham continued his journey. Why did he journey on and not remain there between the house of God and the heap of ruins? Abraham had attained the high point, the place where God intended for him to be. By God's mercy, he should have remained there. But Abraham journeyed southward. This means that he went downward. After such a high attainment in the experience of God, any journey would be downward. This continuing of his journey was the cause of Abraham's failure.
We have seen that, at the beginning, Abraham dragged his feet through mud and water. Eventually, he was victorious, going all the way to Shechem and afterward to the place near Bethel. That was wonderful. In both of those places he built an altar and at the place between Bethel and Ai he also called upon the name of the Lord and pitched his tent as a declaration to the whole world that he was an anti-testimony to the situation at Babel. Do you not think that in doing so Abraham had arrived, attained the high point of his experience of God?
Perhaps you are thinking that if you had been Abraham, you surely would have remained there. But we should not think this way, for we are today's Abraham. The ancient Abraham was just like us. As we have pointed out elsewhere, Abraham's experience was a seed of our own experience. The record of Abraham in Genesis is his biography, but it is our autobiography. You may say, "No, it is Abraham's autobiography and my biography." But this record is your autobiography not your biography, because the biography of Abraham was written by Moses and your biography is written by yourself. Abraham's experience corresponds with ours. We and he are one. Have you not had a wonderful time with the Lord in which you reached the high point and shouted, "Hallelujah! How good it is here! No place is better than this place. This is the best place for me to be." Have you not said this? But what happened the very next day? You began to journey downward. The night before you said, "Hallelujah, this is the place for me," and the next morning you began to journey downward to the border of Egypt. This means that you journeyed to a place that was so close to the world, close to the movie theaters. One night you were on the high point in Canaan and the next morning you were moving downward to the border of the world. Has this not happened to you? I am so happy and surprised to hear the junior high young people offer such wonderful prayers in the meetings. But I need to say an honest word to them; I do not trust you. After praying such a wonderful prayer one night in the meeting, the next morning you may journey downward to the border of worldly entertainments. Today you may say, "Hallelujah, this is the best place for me," and next weekend you may move downward to the movie theater. Remember that we are today's Abraham. It is easy to reach the high point, but it is not easy to remain there. There is not much room on the high point. If you move just slightly, you will fall downhill. It is very difficult to keep the God-appointed position. The high point is surrounded by pits, and it is easy to fall into one of them. The called ones will not usually go backward, but it is easy for them to go downward into Egypt. Abraham never went back to Chaldea, but he did go down into Egypt.
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