Do you really get into scripture, or do you just skim the surface?
This message is going to show you how to not only to take a few verses of scripture and make a whole study out of it – by example, but also how to dig into the Bible and even to use this for evangelistic purposes.
So here we go.
There are times when we Christians use the standard scripture references to rebuke the sins of homosexuality as well as adultery.
Well, in thinking on these things, God gave me another, and very powerful reference, and it comes from Genesis 18, and verses 9 through 12:
Then they said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?”
So he said, “Here, in the tent.”
And He said, “I will certainly return to you according to the time of life, and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son.”
(Sarah was listening in the tent door which was behind him.) Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; and Sarah had passed the age of childbearing.Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, “After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?”
The Lord was standing among the angels (other men) speaking to Abraham. Look at the references.
Everyone goes to verse 11, and says that this is about Sarah conceiving and having a child after her childbearing years, which it is.
But go back to verse 9 – “where is your wife?
Sarah is undoubtedly female, and Abraham is undoubtedly male – so, it is goes to reason that God blesses marriages between man and women – not men with men, not women with women, but one man and one women – who were to enjoy each other (verse 12).
How do we know this – we go back to the Hebrew. As a pastor I know says, time to swim into deeper water.
The Hebrew word used here is לְאִשָּׁ֑ה transliterated as ish-SHAH, a feminine noun meaning wife. Other translations include woman as well, but the meaning is clear – even Eve was referred to as Adam’s “ishshah” – his wife, in Hebrew.
So there you go, relationships and marriage are between a man and a woman.
And also note verse 12, where Sarah refers to being with her husband as “having pleasure”. This a direct reference to having sexual relations – with her husband (my lord being old also).
It may sound sexist – but that’s how wives referred to their husbands – the heads of the household – back then.
The Hebrew word is transliterated as “eden” has two forms – masculine and feminine. The masculine form, עֵ֫דֶן, means “luxury” or “delight” – however in its feminine form, עֶדְנָה, appears only once, and it’s this verse. It means to enjoy sexual relations. In context, it means to enjoy sexual relations with her husband.
In front of God, she asks how she can have and enjoy sexual relations with her husband – not her boyfriend, not some “side guy,” not her “baby daddy” – her husband.
What does this mean? Sexual relations are between a man and a woman, in the confines of marriage.
No homosexual relations or relationships, no sex unless the partner is the opposite gender, and your spouse. It’s that simple.
But I hear it now … Abraham committed adultery with Hagar, and David committed adultery with Bathsheba.
True on both counts.
Now it’s time to dive into the deep end.
David should have darned well known better, as he had the Law and the Ten Commandments, and he paid dearly for it – losing the child and his family issues later in life.
Abraham, on the other hand, didn’t.
First, his name at that time was Abram, and her name was Sarai and there was no Law given. The Law wasn’t given until Moses was on the scene.
In Genesis chapter 15, Abram tells God that he’s old and has no descendants, How could he lead a nation?
God tells an old Abram that his descendants will number the stars in the sky. He also lets the secret out that the descendants will be enslaved for four hundred years, but that they will inherit the promised land.
The Lord gave the promise, but Sarai wasn’t so sure – She too, was old and hasn’t had any children. No woman that old had kids, so she told Abram to sleep with her much younger maid, Hagar, without taking into account, the consequences.
When Hagar became pregnant with Abrams child, Sarai was incensed and put her out – kicked her out of the house.
In other words, Abram and Sarai didn’t listen to the words of God – when God says He going do something, He’ll do it. It’s not up to us to usurp His authority by trying to rush things along – and that’s exactly what they were trying to do!
God did take care of Hagar and her newborn son, Ishmael – his offspring too, would number many, but they would not get The Land, Israel. In fact, Ishmael’s descendants would become the Arab line, and he would father the line of Mohammad and Islam.
How many times have we made a really bad choice, even when we’re presented with overwhelming evidence that the choice we’re making is a poor one, but more expedient or more desirable. That was Abram and Sarai’s dilemma. She wanted a child and he wanted an heir.
Waiting on God? Too long – actually, it was impossible in their eyes.
That nice young thing named Hagar? She was the answer to their problem!
Not so fast. She wasn’t God’s answer – Sarai was God’s answer.
First off, Sarai was his wife, not Hagar, and God was going to pull off a miracle so the He, and only He, would be glorified.
Hagar was guiltless here, and God knew that, so He took care of her and Ishmael, but cursed Israel in the process. Now Israel had an enemy to contend with.
God always has His way, one way or another.
By the way, does this make the Mohammadans God’s people as well?
Not at all! God protected Ishmael because his birth was of no fault of his mother, but in no way does it make his descendants, God’s people. In fact, the very opposite is true – what became the people who occupied the land and surrounding territories such as Moab were Ishmaelites? They lost wars to the Israelites many times. In the present day, they were beaten in every war from 1948 on.
Did God consider what Abram did, an act of sin? Absolutely! Abram’s repentance is shown in chapter 17 of Genesis, when God makes a covenant with Abram, and changes his name to Abraham, and tells Abraham that he will have a son.
To put a “period at the end of the sentence” so to speak, God actually tests Abraham be telling him to go and sacrifice that very son, thus leaving Abraham with no heir. Abraham starts to do what was asked, but at the last moment, God intervenes by providing a ram to sacrifice, and blessing Abraham’s faith by sparing the boy.
In the book of Hebrews, chapter 11, verses 8 through 19, Abraham’s faith is lauded at length, and that faith gained him righteousness.
We’re rewatching The Chosen again (5th time) and I catch something new each time.
In episode 4 of Season 1, Simon Peter asks in his soliloquy to God, why he allowed God’s people to be enslaved by Egypt for 400 years, and why after they were freed, and the Red Sea was parted, they were to wander for 40 years, and why they were exiled to Babylon, and now Rome ruled them… were they indeed God’s chosen people or was God just jerking them around?
In fact, if he actually read the scroll of Beresheit (the Book of Genesis), although there were no chapters and verses then, we see in chapter 15, verses 12-16, God shows Abraham (Abram) this very thing!
From the New King James:
Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him. Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”
Simon Peter was questioning his faith here, Jesus knew it, and he would get an education that no Hebrew School or rabbi could teach him.
Abraham didn’t have the Torah yet, therefore definitely not the scroll of Beresheit, which wouldn’t be written until much later, but Abraham had blind faith.
Simon Peter had faith but was questioning what he was taught by the rabbis – Abraham didn’t the benefit of Hebrew School, he had nothing but blind faith, and God counted that as righteousness, and for that, he’s saved.
Which gets me to what I was getting to in the first place.
Many times, we listen to sermons and what’s taught in Bible study sessions, but we fail to really get into scripture.
I mean, when I started this sermon, I said that we could use the standard scripture on homosexuality such as Leviticus 18 or Romans 1, which are argued all the time, or find scripture that puts our detractors back on their heels.
Good pastors and teachers can take a few verses in context, and preach an hour on them – and if I had my voice, I’d do just that here.
If you’re going to evangelize, you need more than the standard tools in your toolkit. Your audience may be one person – a Jehovah’s Witness, or a Mormon – both requiring different scripture and knowledge to discuss the good news. The standard scripture won’t suffice on its own as their interpretation as been so ingrained into them, that it could turn into an argument.
Your testimony should come first. It’s the most effective tool in your toolkit.
Second, get into scripture, I mean really study it. Ask your pastor or elder for help, they should be able to point you in the right direction.
We can parrot what we learn from others when it comes to certain subjects, or we can really get into scripture.
We can consult commentaries – more than just one, and get into the Hebrew and Greek. Hebrew and Greek have different ways of looking at words, as was shown in this message earlier. Dig into Strongs, it’s available online.
Dig into scripture – you’ll find a wealth of information that you’ve never been taught before.
3 Replies to “Diving Deep Into Scripture”
Sometimes I wonder if having the written Torah and writings is rather distracting from a relationship with Yehovah.
Yes, the word is a great reference and guide. But has it taken away from time with Him?
So much can be said here, and you Joe would certainly write several sermons.
I think it comes down to honoring Him by time talking about Him with others inside and outside the faith family.
So much can be derived about the Ten Commandments, before they were actually handed down to Moishe (Moses) on stone tablets. This one such area. God had His standards well before He wrote them down, and Abraham learned the lesson.
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