Life-Study of Genesis

Life-Study of Genesisby Witness Lee

ISBN: 0-7363-0836-9
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry

Currently in: Chapter 40 of 120 Section 1 of 4

LIFE-STUDY OF GENESIS

MESSAGE FORTY

THE PROGRESS IN ANSWERING GOD'S CALLING

As we have pointed out many times, nearly every item in the book of Genesis is a seed. In this message we come to the seed of river crossing, to the experience of the first river crosser. What is river crossing? It is the real and actual following of the Lord. Following the Lord is a matter of crossing the river. Although it is easy to talk about river crossing, it is not easy to have the real river crossing according to the experience of Abraham. In this message we need to see how Abraham crossed the river. His experience, an example for us all, is another of the seeds sown in Genesis. This seed is now growing in so many of us. How we need the growth of this seed!

2) The Progress

a) Called the First Time at Ur of Chaldea in Mesopotamia

The best way to study the Word is to compare one portion of it with another. We may do this with respect to the calling of Abraham, for his calling is mentioned in both Genesis 12 and Acts 7. By the help of the Lord, it is easy for us to see the comparison in these two passages. We can see from these two portions of the Word that the God of glory appeared to Abraham twice. God did not come to him once for all. This is not our guess; it is proved by Acts 7:2 which says that the God of glory appeared to Abraham before he dwelt in Haran, while he was still in Mesopotamia. Then Genesis 12:1 indicates that after Abraham had dwelt in Haran for a time, God appeared to him again. By these two verses we see that God appeared to Abraham in two different places: at Ur of Chaldea and at Haran. It is certain that these two callings did not occur at the same time. The first call came while Abraham's father was still alive, and the second came after his father had died. This is a strong proof that God appeared to Abraham twice.

There is a very crucial difference between these two callings of God. In the first calling God told Abraham to get out of his country and his kindred (Acts 7:3). In the second calling God told him to get out of his country, his kindred, and his father's house (Gen. 12:1). When God called Abraham the second time, He not only mentioned Abraham's kindred in a general way but his father's house in a particular way. It was not sufficient for him to leave his kindred; he had to come out of his father's house. Later on we shall see the reason for this. But now we can see that Abraham experienced two different callings at two different places. In the first calling God told him to get out of his country and his kindred, and in the second calling He told him to get out of his country, his kindred, and his father's house.

Once we see this matter of the two callings, everything is clear. When I was young, I was told by certain teachers that Acts 7 was a quotation of Genesis 12. These teachers never pointed out clearly that God called Abraham twice. Perhaps some of you reading this message still hold on to the concept that Acts 7 is a quotation of Genesis 12. But the call in Acts 7 occurred before Abraham was brought to Haran, and the call in Genesis 12 happened after he had lived there for a time. The call in Acts 7 preceded the call in Genesis 12.


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