Abraham and Sarah. “The Promise”….Behind the Scenes with Abraham and Sarah.
The story of Abraham and Sarah fits into this theme, and will unveil paramount information concerning the depth of their character not usually revealed in sermons or Bible study groups.
Following their call from God, Abraham and Sarah were truly an inspiration to all humanity. Their lives exemplify how God transforms ordinary people, molding them into who they were meant to be, with the ability to accomplish His extraordinary purpose.
In this installment of Ancestry. Jesus, “The Promise” we will not only delve into the lives of Abraham and Sarah as seen from their viewpoint, but also look at events as seen from the eyes of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Through looking deep into emotionally charged scenes, such as God’s call to offer Isaac as a sacrifice, parallels will be drawn to the life of Jesus Christ as only Mary would have understood.
Of interest is that with Abraham and Sarah, a new chapter unfolds in the history of the Bible with how God deals with humanity. The Lord, working to keep His promise to save humanity from the destruction of the Devil, reached out His sovereign hand and plucked Abraham and Sarah from paganism to be blessed, and through their offspring to bless all mankind.
Making a Promise for the salvation of humanity after the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, God prophesized to the Devil with His words in Genesis 3:15,
“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring: he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15)
In studying the lives of Abraham and Sarah, we will see how God’s Promise is progressing towards fruition with the lineage leading to the birth of Jesus Christ.
Through examining the deeper meanings encompassing the events in Abraham and Sarah’s lives, we will see how God’s big picture unfolds to foreshadow and point directly forward to the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
During the journey leading to the offspring that predates Jesus, Abraham and Sarah will be blessed by the Lord with His seven-fold Covenant, which will in turn be a Promise to all humanity.
“And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
As we follow God’s Word concerning Abraham and Sarah, we will also discover why they are considered to be the Patriarch and Matriarch of Judaism and Christianity.
Laying the foundations of Judaism, as well as foreshadowing Christianity through their future descendants, the history of Israel and Judaism will unfurl, and in turn will point forward and culminate with the birth of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
Through Jesus, God’s Master Plan will be realized and His Promises will be kept, blessing all humanity.
So let’s begin our journey of going behind the scenes with Abraham and Sarah, with all of its twists and turns, as God so likes to punctuate His Word.
We will relive the story of their lives and experience firsthand how they demonstrate an outstanding example of how an ordinary couple can accomplish the extraordinary, through their faith and trust in God.
As before in the series of Ancestry.Jesus, exegesis from Old and New Testament scholars as well as commentaries from the ancient Rabbis in the Midrash have been included as Pearls in the text. This information is invaluable and helps to add depth to the characters, as well as context to the material.
Please follow along in your Bible as you read this installment of Ancestry. Jesus, “The Promise,” and open your minds and hearts to absorb what God wants us to discover through studying the lives of Sarah and Abraham.
Prepare to experience the unfolding of God’s Master Plan through studying the lives of the Patriarch and Matriarch of Judaism and Christianity, as you have never before experienced
Prologue: The State of the World
Timeframe: Ca. 2000 B.C.
Playlist: “You are God” by Philips, Craig and Dean; “To God Alone” by Aaron Shust, “Yahweh, We love to Shout your Name” by Phil Wickham
Pre-Reading: Genesis 12, Deuteronomy 32:21,35, Romans 10:19
With the flood, God had essentially pushed the ‘reset’ button on His creation of earth, and every living thing on its surface.
However, after the flood, as humanity began to repopulate and disperse over the earth, the people once again became slave to sin.
As a result of God ravaging the earth with the flood, all of humanity had perished except for Noah and his wife, his sons and their wives.
As instructed by God, Noah had built an ark to weather the rainstorm that resulted in water covering the entire surface of the earth. Noah’s family, along with a breeding pair from every kind of animal in existence, had entered the ark prior to the flood guaranteeing their survival in the post-diluvial world.
After the flood subsided and the Ark landed on the drained land, over time the descendants of Noah dispersed and flourished. Through Noah’s sons, Japheth, Ham and Shem, the population of the earth grew.
Noah’s sons’ descendants ended up taking very divergent paths in the family tree of mankind.
Ham’s descendants took a very different path than Shem’s, as it is known that Ham’s lineage led to the Canaanites (Amorites), and also later on to the Philistines, the tribe of the well- known giant, Goliath.
Shem’s lineage on the other hand, led to Abraham through Terah, Abraham’s father and ultimately to our savior, Jesus Christ.
During Abraham’s lifetime, Ham’s descendants through his sons, Canaan, Cush, and Egypt began to cause an uprising throughout the land.
The descendants of Ham known as the Amorites, had moved in from the Arabian Desert into the area of the eastern part of the Fertile Crescent. Previously being controlled by the Sumerians from the capital of Ur, the Amorites invaded this once stable area and established capital cities of their own. The most notable of these cities was Mari, which was located on the northern Euphrates River.
Under the influence of the Amorites, humanity spiraled down to abysmal depths. People became enamored with the evil ways of the world, and caved into the temptations of the Devil. Steeped in idolatry with the worship of multiple gods and goddesses, the pagan Amorite culture spread and grew throughout the land.
During Abraham’s time, humanity continued to become increasingly more sinful, and turned to the worship of other “gods”. As a result, idolatry and evil practices were rampant among the cultures of the land.
As a result of paganism, instead of leaning into and becoming closer to God after the devastating flood in Noah’s time, people on God’s earth began slowly moving further away. As they drifted away from God, people did not seem to want any part of returning to His fold and developing a relationship with the Almighty Lord.
At this point in time, the majority of the people had now drifted so far from God they were unable to restore a relationship with the Almighty on their own merit. Nor did they want to.
This of course was a real problem, as humanity distancing themselves from the Almighty Lord does not fit with His Master Plan for restoration and reformation of our relationship with Him.
Pearl: The cycle of people drifting away from God during good times and following the ways of other idolatrous societies is a common thread making up the fabric of sin, and found throughout history in the Bible.
Scholars even have a name for it, being the “Deuteronomic Cycle,” named after he warnings Moses gave to the Israelites in Deuteronomy.
Unfortunately, humanity moving away from God not only disappoints and angers Him, but also fits right into the scheme of the Devil.
Not only will these actions suit the Devil, helping him succeed to destroy God’s creation through sin and death, but if successful, the Devil will also usurp God’s Master Plan of the Messiah ever being born.
This of course is what the Devil desires, as he knows that the Messiah will ultimately lead to his demise, and be the savior of all mankind.
It is therefore clear that God must once again step in to our rescue, and prevent humanity from taking the treacherous evil road to destruction and spiritual death.
As was in Noah’s day, “pruning season” for the Lord to trim up his creation was again once upon us.
In God’s mercy, He must trim away the corrupt, evil deadwood that prevents healthy growth of humanity, so His creation can be cultivated to grow towards the Light, Jesus Christ.
God’s prophecy of Genesis 3:15, of the one to be born of a woman who will deliver the deathblow to the Devil, must be fulfilled.
God therefore must choose a man and his wife who He will bless with offspring to fulfill His prophecy. The offspring will be cultivated by God and eventually produce Jesus Christ, who will be the blessing to all of mankind.
That man and his wife who God chose thousands of years ago to begin the path to fulfill His prophecy were Abraham and Sarah.
Not yet being renamed by God, they at this point in time were known as Abram and Sarai.
Abram and Sarai fit into the common theme of the Word, in that they were two very unlikely people to become the patriarch and matriarch of the ancestors of Jesus Christ. Two very typical, unsuspecting people, Abram and Sarai did not necessarily stand out from the crowd with any special attributes.
Of interest is that Abram and Sarai were not only ordinary people, but they at the time were polytheistic and practiced paganism, which was the culture of the people in the area in which they lived.
We will relive the story of how this all changed, with God making Abram and Sarai into Abraham and Sarah, transforming them into the people He meant for them to become.
The story of Abraham and Sarah demonstrates how God once again uses ordinary, unlikely people to accomplish His extraordinary Master Plan of salvation for all humanity.
Let the action begin.
Other Ebooks by Dr. Jana Jones McDowell
Jana Jones McDowell DVM, DAVCA, DAVECC has spent a lifetime practicing Veterinary Medicine and former Professor at a College of Veterinary Medicine.
A Christian, Dr. Jones began her research into Biblical studies a number of years ago, focusing on “context.”
Her research revolves around the “context,” with the study and application of the Judaica Books of the Prophets and the Hagiographa (A new English translation of the Hebrew Masoretic text and commentaries by Rashi and other Rabbinical scholars), and the books of the Midrash Rabbah. The basis of this was the exegesis of the Hebrew bible with application to the origins of Christianity.
Now retired, Dr. Jones spends time researching and applying the depth of her studies into books and as a student of the Israel Bible Center, studying deeper into Jewish context and the application to Christianity.
Dr. Jones and her husband, reside in the southwest with their horses, bengal cat named Ravi and their border collie, Sarah.