1. Hello listening friends.
2. We are glad you tuned in to listen to the rest of this program on the life of Abraham.
3. I want to begin today by talking to you about fear.
4. Fear... in one form or another comes to all of us.
5. Fear does not come to each of us at the same time... or under the same circumstances.
6. Fear of failure, for example, keeps some people from reaching their full potential.
7. Fear of criticism . . . detains some people from accomplishing anything worthwhile.
8. Fear of the unknown... binds some people to the boundaries of what is only comfortable and familiar.
9. Irrational fear... grips some people in a constant state of panic and disarray.
10. But not all fears are the kind that anticipate some kind of disaster.
11. There are fears that come after a great success.
12. There are fears that hit after a great victory.
13. There are fears that only move in... after great achievements and accomplishments.
14. The Bible reveals to us that this kind of fear must have struck Abraham... after a tumultuous victory.
15. And that is why God said to him in Genesis 15:1;
16. “After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” (Gen 15:1 NIV)
17. In the last broadcast, we left Abraham separated from his self-centered nephew Lot.
18. And Abraham is now dwelling securely where God wanted him to be.
19. But, troublesome family members can cause problems whether they are living near by... or far away.
20. Lot's self-centeredness kept Uncle Abraham's peace constantly disturbed.
21. You can read about this in Genesis chapter 14
22. One of the Sodomites escaped and he came to Abraham to deliver some bad news.
23. In effect, he said to him "Your nephew and his entourage were taken hostage by gunmen.
24. Chapter 14 verse 13 of the book of Genesis
25. Let’s read it.
26. “One who had escaped came and reported this to Abram the Hebrew. Now Abram was living near the great trees of Mamre the Amorite, a brother of Eshcol and Aner, all of whom were allied with Abram.”
27. Naturally the magnanimous Abraham responds quickly and he went to the rescue of his nephew.
28. Abraham took his 318 men “rescue squad”... and storms the place.
29. You can safely assume that when Abraham and his boys returned to Sodom... with the hostages and the confiscated property... they received a hero’s welcome.
30. So much so that the King of Sodom wanted to give Abraham a blank check... it was up to him to fill in the amount.
31. In verse 21 of chapter 14 of the book of Genesis
32. “The King of Sodom said to Abraham ‘Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself.’”
33. Had Abraham. accepted this offer... he would have been a multi-millionaire.
34. He would have been able to expand his ranching operation to the level of an empire.
35. And the idea must have been tempting.
36. But the way Abraham dealt with this temptation was absolutely beautiful.
37. He simply turned to the King of Sodom and said;
38. In verses 22 and 23 of chapter 14 of the book of Genesis,
39. But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have raised my hand to the LORD, God the Most Highest, Creator of heaven and earth, and have taken an oath
40. that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the thong of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich.’”
41. What an example of trusting in God to be his provider!
42. Abraham said no to wealth right in front of Lot's eyes... who would have grabbed any scraps the King of Sodom would have tossed his way.
43. As if Abraham is saying... “If I am going to be blessed... I want God to bless me... not you... even though you are a king.”
44. To compound this incredible trust in God’s provision... when
45. Melchizedek appears from nowhere it seems... Abraham gives him one tenth of his net worth.
46. You can read that in verses 18 to 20 of Genesis chapter 14.
47. Melchizedek... which means the King of Righteousness... was also called the King of Salem or Shalom--the King of Peace.
48. Hebrews 7 says Melchizedek was a type of Christ.
49. Let us read it.
50. Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains a priest forever.
51. Just think how great he was: Even the patriarch Abraham gave him a tenth of the plunder! (Heb 7:3-4 NIV)
52. Not only does Abraham turn down an incredible opportunity to become rich... because it was not from God.
53. But he turns around and gives a tenth of all he has to Melchizedek.
54. Melchizedek brings out bread and wine... and shares it with Abraham... thus foreshadowing the cross.
55. Psalms 110 tells us that the high priestly order of Melchizedek is of the highest order.
56. The Bible tells us that the tithe is the Lords.
57. when I give to the poor... I get the glory.
58. But when you tithe to the storehouse and the storehouse gives to the poor... God gets the glory.
59. Back to Abraham.
60. After refusing the offer to get rich quick,
61. After giving the tithe of his net worth to Melchizedek,
62. Abraham gets home totally worn out.
63. Most likely by the time he got home... he was devastated physically... mentally... and emotionally.
64. You can only understand his feelings...
65. if you have ever been in a real hand to hand combat with the devil, you will understand
66. You will only appreciate the way Abraham felt if you have been in real spiritual warfare and the Lord gives you victory.
67. You will understand the drain that takes place after the victory.
68. Or you may be saying “wait a minute... how in the world can he feel devastated after a great victory?”
69. How can he feel down when he is secure at his house?
70. Someone said that; “Cowards are afraid before the battle and heroes are afraid afterward.”
71. This is certainly true of Abraham in the aftermath of his success.
72. How do I know that?
73. Genesis chapter 15 and verse 1
74. After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.”
75. The wonderful thing about our Lord is... that He knows even our unspoken needs... and He meets them.
76. My listening friends I want to tell you something very, very important... so please listen carefully.
77. The moment when you and I are most vulnerable to sin... is the moment after the flush of victory.
78. You are not only surprised at your victory...
79. but you will have a mixed feeling between pride... and fear.
80. A mixed feeling between thinking that you did it... which is from the devil of course...
81. and fear of what if they come after me again.... will I succeed again.
82. Abraham stepped down from the pinnacle of victory... and about to plunge into the pit of depression...
83. But God stepped in and stopped him at mid-fall
84. So God says to Abraham; “Don't be afraid... because I am your shield.”
85. What does the shield do?
86. It protects you... from the weapons of your opponent.
87. What God is saying to Abraham is this;
89. You are under my cover.
90. You are under my care.
91. You are under my protection.
92. You are under my shield.
93. You have me for a shield.
94. Your enemies will have to get to me before they can get to you.
95. Look at the second part of verse 1 of chapter 15...
96. “I am your shield, your very great reward.
97. A literal translation of this would be... “I am your exceeding great reward.”
98. what is God saying to Abraham,
100. You have refused to get rich quick from the offer of the King of Sodom.
101. You have cut into your net worth... and gave sacrificially to me.
102. You have been self-sacrificing.
103. You have been magnanimous with selfish Lot.
104. You have been generous towards me.
105. Abraham, don't think that all of this has been wasted on me.
106. Because of that... you have me... the Lord of Heaven and earth as your reward.
107. My listening friends, let me tell you;
108. when you have Jesus... you have everything.
109. He is the one... who satisfies the lonely heart.
110. He is the one... who fills the empty voids.
111. He is the one... who gives joy to the joyless.
112. He is the one... who compensates the victim.
113. He is the one... who vindicates the righteous.
114. He is the one... who supplies all of your needs.
115. Do you know Him as your Savior and lord?
116. You can know Him today.
117. Confess your sin and repent, then Invite Jesus to come into your and forgive you
118. He promised to come to every one who invites Him.
119. He will come to today.
120. Why don’t you invite Him and receive Him as your Savior from sin and Hell today?
121. It is my prayer that you will.
122. In our next broadcast we will see, that even knowing all of these things, Abraham still yearns for reassurance.
123. Until next time, I wish you God’s richest blessings.