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 a great turn in Abraham's experience of God. Everything that we have seen of Abraham's experience of God thus far has been outward. Abraham was called by God and he answered God's calling by going to the place where God intended him to be. That was absolutely outward. Following that, Abraham's second experience was living by faith and trusting in God for his living.
The first trial that he faced in living by faith was a grievous famine through which he learned to trust God in the matter of eating. Whether in ancient or in modern times, whether in the Orient or in the West, all people, regardless of their attainment, education, or position, are concerned about the matter of making a living. Making a living is completely dependent on eating, on bread and butter. In the Bible and in human history, many times God exercised His control over the human race through this matter of eating. Do not be proud, for once God removes your food supply, you will bow down and say, "O God, help me!"
We have seen in previous messages that after Abraham came to the place where God wanted him to be, the first lesson he had to learn was to trust God in the matter of eating. He failed this test and went down to Egypt. There, in Egypt, he learned the lesson of trusting in God. After learning that lesson, he returned to the place between Bethel and Ai. Immediately after that, there followed another lesson in the same realm, in the realm of eating, when there was strife between the herdsmen of Lot and the herdsmen of Abraham. These herdsmen were fighting for their bread and butter, striving with one another for the sake of a better living. They did not want others to take away their bread and butter. Abraham was victorious in the second trial, having learned in the first trial that God was sovereign in his daily life. Abraham came to know that the God who had called him was the Most High God, the Possessor of heaven and earth. He did not need to take care of his own bread and butter, for he had learned that the One who had called him would take care of this for him.
The fighting between the four kings and the five kings was also related to bread and butter. According to history, all of the warfare among the human race is over this matter. All international warfare is for one purposebread and butter. Genesis 14:11 indicates that the fighting between the four kings and the five kings was for this purpose.
Abraham was not afraid of those four kings but went out boldly and fought against them, slaughtering them and recovering the food supply. After Abraham had gained the victory over the four kings, Melchisedec came to meet him with bread and wine (14:18). This bread was mysterious. There was no need for Abraham to do anything in order to get it and he did not have to fight for it. Abraham just fought the battle and recovered the food supply, and then Melchisedec came to him with bread.
All of Abraham's experiences up to the end of chapter fourteen were outward, being concerned with outward blessing, care, and supply. When Abraham went down to Egypt, God took care of him outwardly, giving him cattle and servants. The victory that he won against the four kings was also outward. Even what Melchisedec brought to Abraham was outward. Everything that Abraham had experienced to that point was outward. Before hearing this, you might have thought that at the end of chapter fourteen Abraham must have been on the peak of his experience of God. Yes, in a sense he was on the peak, but it was the peak of the elementary stage of his experience. All that Abraham had experienced prior to chapter fifteen was elementary. At the beginning of chapter fifteen, God came in to turn him to an advanced stage in experiencing God.
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