Life-Study of Genesisby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Genesis is a book of the riches of God's divine revelation. The more I stay with this book, the more I enjoy its sweet riches. When we read the book of Genesis, we need the divine enlightenment, for by our human mentality we cannot get anything out of this book except historical records and some interesting stories. When I was young, I was happy to hear the stories in this book, but if we only understand Genesis as a story book, we shall miss a great deal.
Sarah and Hagar, the wife and the concubine of Abraham, God's called one, are an allegory of two covenants (Gal. 4:24). If the Apostle Paul had not written the book of Galatians in which he tells us that these two women are an allegory of two covenants, none of us would ever have dreamed of such a thing. Although some Christians criticize the allegorization of the Bible, Paul took the lead to allegorize the Old Testament. If we are going to appreciate the treasures in the book of Genesis, we must realize that Genesis is a book of allegories. Abraham's biography is an allegory. His wife and his concubine especially are a very meaningful allegory. In this message we shall do our best to probe into the meaning of this allegory.
Before we come to this allegory, however, we need to see something about the book of Genesis. Why is Genesis so sweet and precious? Because it is a book containing many seeds of the divine revelation that were sown by God Himself. This book contains all of the main aspects of God's divine revelation. In the very first chapter we see that God has an intention to express Himself through man and that for this purpose He created man in His own image (1:26). Man was made according to God's image with the intention that he might become God's exact expression and that through this expression God might have a dominion, a kingdom, in which He could exercise His authority. This is God's ultimate intention, His eternal purpose. If you read the Bible with this heavenly light, you will see that the whole Bible covers this divine intention. In order for God to fulfill His intention of having Himself expressed and of obtaining a dominion on earth, He needs to have the seed and the land, both of which are related to Christ. This Christ must be wrought into God's people. God wanted to do this with Adam, but Adam failed. Eventually, God had a new start with a new race, the race of the called ones, the first one of which was Abraham. If you read Abraham's biography, you will see that again and again God came to him with a promise concerning two thingsthe seed and the land (12:7; 13:15-16; 15:5, 7, 18). Abraham was not young when he was first called by God; he was seventy-five years of age when he answered God's calling in a full way.
Although Abraham was seventy-five years of age, he still did not have a child. As far as God was concerned, that was very good. If when God calls you you have nothing, that is very good, for if you have too much, that will frustrate God's calling. When Abraham was called by God, he did not have a child and he lived in a condemned, demonic land, a land out of which God called him. After he was called, Abraham had no child and no land. Suppose a man and his wife today would have no child and no land. Would they not think of themselves as the most pitiful people on earth? Perhaps Abraham said to his wife, "What are we here for? I am seventy-five and you are sixty-five, and we don't have even one child. We have also been called out of our land. Where are we? What are we doing here? Where are we going?" It seems that they were in a pitiful situation. But the more pitiful we are in this way, the better it is for God's purpose. I hope that none of us has a child within nor a land without. If both within and without we have nothing, that would be wonderful. Why? Because God does not want us to have anything for the fulfillment of His purpose. What God wants is to work Christ into us as the seed and then to work Christ out of us as the land. Firstly, the seed must be wrought into us; secondly, it must be worked out of us to become the land. Both the seed and the land are Christ.
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