Ordinance by Abidan Shah, PhD

MAN OF PROMISE: ORDINANCE by Dr. Shah, Clearview Church, Henderson, NC

Introduction:  One of my favorite sites to visit in Israel is Tel Dan in the Northern part of Israel. It used to be the ancient Canaanite city of Laish. As I mentioned in the video, more than likely, Abraham walked through the gate known as the “Gate of the Three Arches.” You can only see the outer arch, each was probably about seven meters tall. There is a reason why we show these videos and pictures. There are people who claim that the Bible is full of myths and all these people and places in the Bible are just mythological. The truth is that the Bible stands the test of time and scrutiny. In this series titled “Man of Promise,” we come to our third message subtitled “ORDINANCE.” Main point: The coming of the Man of Promise was under constant attack by the Enemy, directly and indirectly. But, every step of the way, God protected his plan and sent word of his confirmation. God’s people knew who to receive and who to reject, who was sent by God and who was sent by the Enemy.

Genesis 14       18 “Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. 19 And he blessed him and said: ‘Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; 20 And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.’ And he gave him a tithe of all.”

Context: In the last message, we learned how when Abram and Sarai, along with Lot, returned to the land of Canaan, the land was not big enough for Abram and Lot’s livestock. So, they decided to go their separate ways. Abram gave Lot the pick of the land. Of course, Lot was enamored with Egypt, and Genesis 13:10 says, “And Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere (before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah) like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt as you go toward Zoar.” He didn’t right away move into Sodom. Genesis 13:12 “pitched his tent even as far as Sodom.” Genesis 13:13, “But the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the LORD.”

Application: Which direction have you pitched your tents? It’s not your location that matters, just your direction.

After Lot made his choice, God came and spoke to Abram. When you chose to do things God’s way and it seems that you got the raw end of the deal, don’t worry. God will come and reassure you. Genesis 13       14 And the LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: “Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are—northward, southward, eastward, and westward; 15 for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever. 16 And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered. 17 Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you.” 18 Then Abram moved his tent, and went and dwelt by the terebinth trees of Mamre, which are in Hebron, and built an altar there to the LORD. In other words, Abram chose to move away from the wicked cities and God gave him several things: First, the promise of physical land. Therefore, we believe that the land of Israel belongs to ethnic Israel, Jewish people. Second, the promise of physical descendants. Third, the promise of spiritual descendants.

Application: Do you have Lot’s vision of life or Abram’s vision of life?

It seems that everything is quiet for a while, but the Enemy is not done. If he cannot attack you directly, he will attack you indirectly by attacking someone close to you. Genesis 14        1 And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations, 2 that they made war with Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar). 3 All these joined together in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Salt Sea). 4 Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled. 5 In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and the kings that were with him came and attacked the Rephaim in Ashteroth Karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emim in Shaveh Kiriathaim…” Who are these people? I don’t have too much time to go further into this, but read Deuteronomy 2      10   (The Emim had dwelt there in times past, a people as great and numerous and tall as the Anakim. 11 They were also regarded as giants (Rephaim), like the Anakim, but the Moabites call them Emim. 12 The Horites formerly dwelt in Seir…20 (That was also regarded as a land of giants; giants formerly dwelt there. But the Ammonites call them Zamzummim, 21 a people as great and numerous and tall as the Anakim. Whatever may be happening in the world, just remember that God’s plan is not in jeopardy. He will ultimately win.

Application: How do you see what’s happening in the world? Do you believe that God will ultimately win while the wicked will destroy themselves?

6 and the Horites in their mountain of Seir, as far as El Paran, which is by the wilderness. 7Then they turned back and came to En Mishpat (that is, Kadesh), and attacked all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites who dwelt in Hazezon Tamar. 8 And the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) went out and joined together in battle in the Valley of Siddim 9 against Chedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of nations, Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar—four kings against five. 10 Now the Valley of Siddim was full of asphalt pits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled; some fell there, and the remainder fled to the mountains. 11 Then they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and went their way. 

There’s a catch – 12 “They also took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed. 13 Then one who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew, for he dwelt by the terebinth trees of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and brother of Aner; and they were allies with Abram. I would’ve said “Maybe his buddies from the cities of the Plain will help him out!” Abram had no bitterness in his heart. 14 Now when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his three hundred and eighteen trained servants who were born in his own house, and went in pursuit as far as Dan.This was where the gate of Laish was in the video. 15 He divided his forces against them by night, and he and his servants attacked them and pursued them as far as Hobah, which is north of Damascus. 16 So he brought back all the goods, and also brought back his brother Lot and his goods, as well as the women and the people. 

Listen carefully to who comes to greet Abram. 17 And the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley), after his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him. Like a football game, there is a block – 18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. Many OT scholars and theologians claim that this has nothing to do with the Communion and that it was only for refreshment. Keep in mind that the distance between Tel Dan to Jerusalem would be 120 miles, from Henderson to Winston Salem. This takes about 2 hours on the interstate. Imagine how long it would’ve taken Abraham and the men to travel from Dan to Jerusalem in those days. That’s about 18-20 miles per day. If you do the math, that’s about a 5–6-day journey. They would’ve stopped and ate along the way. They were tired but not necessarily famished. The bread and wine were not just for physical refreshment; they were for spiritual refreshment. Melchizedek belongs to those people who worshipped the living true God but were not necessarily from the line of Abram. But, make no mistake, they were waiting for the one who would come through the line of Abram and Sarai. Salvation has always been and always will be by faith in the Man of Promise, Jesus Christ. Also remember, this is specifically through his death on the cross and not just some generic faith in God. 

19 And he blessed him and said: “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; 20 And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he gave him a tithe of all. Melchizedek was the king priest of Salem, which was Mount Moriah, which was Mt. Zion (Genesis 17:19; 22:14; 2 Samuel 24:18, 21; 2 Chronicles 3:1; Psalm 76:2).

But the Enemy has an offer – 21   Now the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the persons, and take the goods for yourself.” 22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have raised my hand to the LORD, God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth, 23 that I will take nothing, from a thread to a sandal strap, and that I will not take anything that is yours, lest you should say, “I have made Abram rich’— 24 except only what the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men who went with me: Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.” Wow! Unlike Lot, Abram rejected the offer of the Enemy, albeit from a different source.

Invitation: Whose offer would you take? Which plan are you going with? Do you believe in the Man of Promise? Do you understand the true meaning of the bread and the wine? Are you saved?

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