Genesis 063 – The Ultimate Real Estate Deal, Pt. 1

Genesis 063 – The Ultimate Real Estate Deal, Pt. 1
Genesis 15:15-16 • Dr. Andy Woods • December 19, 2021 • Genesis


Genesis 063 – The Ultimate Real Estate Deal Pt. 1

By Dr. Andy Woods – 12/19/2021

Genesis 15:15-16

Alright! Well, has the… children are going  to their special church program? Let me invite your attention if I could to the book of Genesis chapter 15 and verse 15 (Gen 15:15) and I think next Sunday is one day after Christmas, does that sound right? So I thought we’d do our Christmas message next week so we can figure out what it is we’ve just celebrated. Doing things a little bit different this year, cause I really didn’t know how to tie this passage into Christmas to be honest with you and you will understand when I give you this title. The title of our message this morning is “The Ultimate Real Estate Deal” (laughs). This doesn’t really fit with Christmas, does it? And as you’re turning there I just want to invite you to come out for Christmas Eve service here at the church on campus or join us online, if you can, we will live stream it and Christmas Eve is sort of a family time and we want to respect that so we just sort of gather to sing some traditional Christmas songs and to hear a brief devotional from myself which many of you don’t think can happen, but it can happen and we’ll be out before an hour even elapses, and it’s just a time to keep Christ in your thinking, you know, during a very busy time of the year. 1:56


    1. Beginning of the Human race (Gen. 1‒11)
    2. Beginning of the Hebrew race (Gen. 12‒50)
    1. Genesis 1-11 (four events)
      1. Creation (1-2)
      2. Fall (3-5)
      3. Flood (6-9)
      4. National dispersion (10-11)
    1. Genesis 12-50 (four people)
      1. Abraham (12:1–25:11)
      2. Isaac (25:12–26:35)
      3. Jacob (27–36)
      4. Joseph (37–50)

As you know, we have been continuing our study through the book of Genesis, we have finished the first section of the book which is four events, creation, fall, flood, national dispersion and that promise there of Genesis 3, verse 15 (Gen 3:15) which is really what Christmas is all about, has been traced for us through that section, and then we moved into chapters 12 through 50 where we learned of a special nation that God was raising up to mediate this Messiah to the world and that nation of course is the nation of Israel and it begins with God’s dealings with a man named Abram and so we have been tracing as we’ve gone verse by verse through the life, early life and journeys of Abram

Genesis, 12‒14 – Abram’s Early Journeys

    1. Unconditional promises (Gen 12:1-3)
    2. From Haran to Canaan (Gen 12:4-5)
    3. In Canaan (Gen 12:6-9)
    4. In Egypt (Gen 12:10-20)
    5. Abram and Lot Separate (Gen 13:1-13)
    6. Reaffirmation of Abram’s promises (Gen 13:14-18)
    7. Abram Rescues Lot (Gen 14:1-24)
    8. Abrahamic Covenant (Gen 15:1-21)

And we came to chapter 15 which is such a pivotal chapter in the Bible, we’ve been spending our time as we’ve been going through it, where the promise that God made to Abram has been clarified.

Genesis 15:1‒21 – Abrahamic Covenant

  1. Seed Promise Clarified (Gen 15:1-6)
  2. God’s Promise (Gen 15:1)
  3. Abram’s misunderstanding (Gen 15:2-3)
  4. God’s clarification (Gen 15:4-5)
  5. Abram’s response (Gen 15:6)
    1. Land Promise Ratified (Gen 15:7-21)
  6. God’s Promise (Gen 15:7)
  7. Abram’s Question (Gen 15:8)
  8. Preparation of the Animal pieces (Gen 15:9-11)
  9. Prophecy of redemption from Egyptian bondage (Gen 15:12-16)
  10. Covenant ratification ritual (Gen 15:17-21)

This seed, descendants and descendant that’s coming will come forth from your own body, which means God is going to have to do a miracle for this to occur. Abram believed the promise and the moment he believed it, it was credited to him for righteousness, and then God made to Abram or clarified a second promise that He was going to give him land, a tract of real estate that was dominated at that time by a very wicked group of people called the Canaanites and God says to Abram, you and your descendants are going to possess all of it one day, and of course Abram asks, well, how do I know that that’s going to happen? Verse 8 (Gen 15:8) after the promises made, verse 7 (Gen 15:7) and God says I’ll personally guarantee it by entering into a covenant with you. This is something called the Abrahamic Covenant, verses 9 through 11 (Gen 15:9-11). It actually goes all the way through the end of the chapter and it’s very difficult to understand the rest of the Bible, in fact, it’s impossible to understand the rest of the Bible without understanding the transaction that God himself enters into at this early point in human history. 4:34

So we have been talking about God’s promise, Abram’s question and then God says, prepare the animal pieces which, as I’ll show you today and tried to show you last week, this is part of a covenant ritual ceremony of the most solemn nature and then God says, verses 12 through 16 (Gen 15:12-16), uhm, just so you know that I’m going to do everything that I said I would do, I’m going to make you a short term prediction. Your descendants are going to go into bondage for four hundred years and they’re going to come out of that, and if I can bring them out of that, and bring them back into their own land, then you can certainly trust me to do everything else I’ve obligated myself to do in this covenant, because much of the language, as I’ll show you as we move through this, has never been fulfilled. God, I believe, is in the process of beginning to fulfill all of that language today and it will be fulfilled ultimately in the future millennial kingdom. 5:47

So notice if you will verse 15 as where we left off last time and it says there as God is speaking to Abram in verse 15 (Gen 15:15): As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace… So, this is a prediction of Abram’s death, verse 15 (Gen 15:15) and it’s a prediction that he would go to his fathers in peace. In other words, he himself would not see the bondage that’s spoken of in these promises, because some of these promises are very, very difficult, because they are going to involve bondage and a sojourn in a strange land called Egypt and if God is faithful in the midst of that, he can be faithful in the midst of all of it, but Abram, you’re going to die before this bondage takes place. You yourself are going to go to your fathers in peace. Now, you’ll notice this expression “You’re going to go to your fathers”. This is very critical because there are many people today who do not believe that the concept of resurrection and the concept of eternal life is spoken of this early on in biblical history. In fact, the fashion, the wave, the vogue of Old Testament scholars and sadly I studied under such people, will basically tell you, not all, but many will tell you the concept of resurrection and afterlife, that really doesn’t show up until the book of Daniel which would be roughly one thousand four hundred years later. In other words, Abram himself knew nothing about the afterlife, Abram himself knew nothing about future resurrection and they are right, it only becomes clear in Daniel. Daniel 12, verse 2 (Dan 12:2), you have probably the clearest statement on that where it says: Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but others to disgrace and everlasting contempt… So they are right, the issue doesn’t get clear until you get to the book of Daniel, but I’m of the persuasion that although the clarity that we might want on the issue isn’t quite there in Abram’s life, the issue is still there. 8:26

All of these people in ancient history believed in resurrection, they believed in the afterlife. In fact, you might just want to slip over to Genesis, 22, verse 2 (Gen 22:2) just for a minute, verses that we’ll eventually get to and it’s there that God tells Abram to take his only son, who he has waited for, and to offer him as a sacrifice unto God on Mount Moriah. Genesis, 22, verse 2 (Gen 22:2) says: Take now your only son, whom you love, Isaac.. that’s the child of promise yet to be born in Genesis, 15, but he is born in Genesis, 21 and God says, I want you to offer him to Me as a sacrifice… He said to him, Take now your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I will tell you… I mean, how would you like to be in Abram’s circumstances where he has waited and waited and waited for this child to be born, the child is born against all odds and now God says, I want you to take your child and I want you to kill the child as a sacrifice to Me. If you look very carefully at verse 5 (Gen 22:5), you’ll see Abram’s belief in a future resurrection. Abraham said to his young men, Stay here with the donkey, I.. that’s Abraham now… and the lad… Isaac… will go over there… there is Mount Moriah, where this sacrifice was going to happen before God stayed Abraham’s hand. Abraham said to these two young men, stay here with the donkey, I and the lad will go over there and what’s the next word there? We will worship and return to you (close quote) After Isaac is offered, we, that’s me and Isaac, are going to come right back. Now, when you study that in the book of Hebrews chapter 11, what you learn there is at this point, Abraham’s faith was so well developed that he believed that even if he killed Isaac, God was going to raise Isaac from the dead. So quite clearly Abraham believed in a future resurrection. This idea that the future resurrection is not taught until the book of Daniel is patently untrue, there it is right there in Genesis chapter 22 and verse 5 (Gen 22:5) and it’s also here going back to Genesis, 15, it’s also here in our passage. 11:31

Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum – The Book of Genesis, 283

“By stating: You shall go to your fathers, God is saying that the ancestors of Abram are viewed as being in a definite place to which Abram will go. That definite place is Sheol in the center of the earth. This kind of phraseology always emphasizes the afterlife and reflects faith in the afterlife. Furthermore, this has to be a reference to the soul of Abram and not to the interment of his body because the fathers of Abram were in Haran and in Ur, but they were not here in the Land where Abram’s physical remains would be buried.”

Arnold Fruchtenbaum says this: By stating: You shall go to your fathers.. which we just read in Genesis, 15 and verse 5 (Gen 15:5)… God is saying that the ancestors of Abram are viewed as being in a definite place to which Abram will go. That definite place is Sheol in the center of the earth. This kind of phraseology always emphasizes the afterlife and reflects faith in the afterlife. Furthermore, this has to be a reference to the soul of Abram and not to the internment of his body because his fathers… doesn’t he say here, you will go to your fathers?… The fathers of Abram were in Haran and in Ur, but they were not here in the Land.. called Canaan… where Abram’s physical remains would be buried… You’re going to go to your fathers. It’s not a statement that he’s going to somehow be buried not in the land of Canaan but in Ur of the Chaldeans and in Haran, that would be geographically quite an undertaking, but you’re going to join your fathers in the afterlife and so, when the Bible makes statements like this you need to pay attention to it because it’s a refutation of modern day Old Testament scholarship which basically is saying, oh, they didn’t believe in an afterlife at the time of Abraham, two thousand years because the time of Christ. They didn’t believe in a future resurrection. That’s all nonsense. These ideas aren’t developed the way we would like, they’re not crystallized the way we would like. They don’t become crystal clear until Daniel, 12 and verse 2 (Dan 12:2) but they’re all there. Of course, the New Testament clearly tells us where Abraham went. He went to a place called Abraham’s Bosom and it says there concerning the man on the other side of the ravine, so to speak, the unbeliever who was in torment, it says (Luke 16:24-26): He cried out and said, Father Abraham, that’s our guy, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame. But Abraham said, Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony and besides between all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us… (Close quote) One of the most stunning, staggering, clear statements of the afterlife you can find in the Bible is right there in Luke 16 (Luke 16:24-26) involving this man that we’re studying and I think Abram hints at this, and the story dealing with Abram hints at this, because he says you will be joined to your fathers. 15:01

This are things to keep in mind because we’re being inundated with a mindset from cable, the History Channel, Mysteries of the Bible, A&E, where they’ll bring on scholars constantly to somehow always chip away at the Bible, chisel away at the Bible, and they’ll say very glib things, even some evangelical scholars saying this, that there is no such thing as resurrection or the afterlife until the book of Daniel and yet you can see things in the text that make that teaching untrue, and you need to be in a position to narrate these things correctly to your children and your grandchildren whose minds are being propagandized with statement after statement designed to shrink the Bible to less than it says. The afterlife is a very real thing. In fact, the afterlife is just as real and it’s just as much a conscious state as is this life. You don’t end this life by suddenly disappearing into the never, never zone or into some kind of soul sleep as if you never existed at all. It’s very real and it’s very true and this is a doctrine that God wants us to understand from Genesis to Revelation and even here, very early on in the book of Genesis, you see that doctrine developing. The choices that we’re making right now will affect us for all eternity. The ultimate choice of course is what you’re going to do with God’s son, Jesus Christ. Are you going to trust him for salvation? or not? Whatever decision a human being makes on that front is something that will have eternal consequences and ramifications and then as we grow as Christians in the walk of sanctification and we make choices, those choices have eternal repercussions. There’s a judgement of rewards where some are rewarded, others not so much. Although everyone’s happy that they are in heaven, and so it’s another case of decisions I make, choices I make, am I going to stay a grudge holder against someone that offended me or am I going to, as the saying goes, get over it? What a great time to get over it as we’re moving into a new year. Am I going to forgive as I’ve been forgiven? That choice, whether I chose to succumb to the walk of the Holy Spirit or not, that’s another choice that will affect me and my destiny throughout the ages in terms of rewards. Am I going to move through this sin or not? Am I going to give the Lord more time in terms of Bible study and prayer or not as a Christian? That has eternal consequences as well, and one of the things Satan wants you to believe is there is no afterlife, there is no future judgement. 18:17

It’s very interesting that when you go back into American history into colonial America where the different State Governments posted their requirements for people to hold office. Typically what you see in almost every state, of course at that time we only have our East Coast States, colonial America, even then they probably won’t even called states, but if you wanted to represent the United States of America, you wanted to represent your city, you wanted to be representing people in terms of political leadership, then you go back into some of those documents and you see, well, one of the things you have to believe is you have to believe in the reality of the afterlife. If you don’t believe in the reality of the afterlife then you’re unfit for office. I think things have changed a little bit since then, and why would it keep saying in province after province you have to believe that the Old Testament is inspired by God, the New Testament is inspired by God, you have to believe in a future judgement, you have to believe in an afterlife, because the people that founded the United States of America were smart enough to understand that if we believe someone is watching, then we’re going to mind our p’s and q’s in office right? If you don’t believe in an afterlife and you believe this life is all there is, would you trust such a person with political power? And you see, this type of thinking is almost looked at as archaic today, some would probably call even hate speech, they would use all kinds of words like discriminatory or whatever to marginalize it but the truth to the matter is that’s how the country was founded. The reality of an afterlife. The reality of future rewards and judgements because people lived differently if they believed that. If Satan erases the whole concept from your mind and you don’t believe in a future accountability, then you live differently in the negative respect. I think it was Noah Webster, if I remember right, that was asked the question: What is the greatest thought you’ve ever thought in your life? And you know who Noah Webster was, one of the great patriots that founded the United States, Webster’s dictionary, a great mind, and he was asked: What’s the greatest thought you’ve ever thought about? And he said: Here’s the greatest thought I’ve ever thought about and that’s my accountability to God. He believed that he was accountable for what he did and what he didn’t do by God in the next life and that’s why it disturbs me greatly to see Old Testament commentary and Old Testament commentary come out on the book of Genesis telling people that there is no such thing as the afterlife or future resurrection in early Genesis, nonsense. You can see it developing very early on in the book of Genesis. 21:35

We continue on in Genesis, 15 verse 15 (Gen 15:15) and it says: As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you… God’s speaking to Abram… will die at a good old age… It is a wonderful thing and we’ve seen the death here of several key patriarchs in the book of Genesis. The death of Adam Genesis, 5, the death of Noah Genesis, 9, we have the future death of Abraham. Abraham of course won’t die until Genesis, 25, verse 8  (Gen 25:8) but God says to Abraham, Abram, then to become Abraham, when you die, you’re going to die at a good old age…. and what a joy that is to get to the point of death and to look back at your life and you say to yourself, you know what? I spent my life the right way. Life is a lot like having a hundred dollars in your hand, and I realize a hundred dollars today doesn’t mean what it meant last year, but you got a hundred dollars in your hand and you can spend it anyway you want, but once it’s spent it can only be spent one time. You can’t retrieve what you just did, typically and that’s how life is. Life is very short, it’s very brief, it’s very transitory and God has put us into this unique time and place and He said, make choices but you have to understand that whatever choice you’re making today, good or bad, you can’t make that choice again tomorrow, it’s made, it’s spent and Abram, of course, not a perfect character as we have seen, and will see, because he has a big fall in the very next chapter, Genesis, 16, but overall, Abram could look back at his life and say, you know what? I spent it the right way. 23:50

You have to understand that when people get on their deathbed, a lot of them can’t say that. I’m reminded very much of what Mark Twain, his pen name, what he says here in his autobiography, he says:

Mark Twain – Autobiography, 2:37

“A myriad of men are born; they labor and sweat and struggle for bread; they squabble and scold and fight; they scramble for little mean advantages over each other. Age creeps upon them and infirmities follow; shames and humiliations bring down their prides and their vanities. Those they love are taken from them, and the joy of life is turned to aching grief. The burden of pain, care, and misery grows heavier year by year. At length ambition is dead, pride is dead, vanity is dead; longing for release is in their place. It comes at last-the only un-poisoned gift earth ever had for them-and they vanish from a world where they were of no consequence; where they achieved nothing, where they were a mistake and a failure and a foolishness; where they left no sign that they have existed-a world that will lament them a day and forget them forever.”

A myriad of men are born; they labor and sweat and struggle for bread; they squabble and scold and fight; they scramble for little mean advantages over each other. Age creeps upon them and infirmities follow; shames and humiliations bring down their prides and their vanities. Those they love are taken from them, and the joy of life is turned to aching grief. The burden of pain, care, and misery grows heavier year by year. At length ambition is dead, pride is dead, vanity is dead; longing for release is in their place. It comes at last-the only un-poisoned gift earth ever had for them and they vanish from a world where they were of no consequence; where they achieved nothing, where they were a mistake and a failure and a foolishness; where they left no sign that they have existed-a world that will lament them for a day and forget them forever… (close quote) Sort of the perspective of the godless, as they look back on their life, as they find themselves at death’s door. Contrast that with what Paul the Apostle said about his life, just before he died. We know he made this statement just prior to his death because in verse 16 of that same chapter (2 Tim 4:16), he talks about how he’s about to be poured out as a drink offering. He says, the time of my departure is at hand and he makes this statement that is so different than what you find with Mark Twain, he says (2 Tim 4:7-8):  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not to me only… he says… but also to all who have loved His appearing… (close quote) It’s kind of interesting that when people get to the end of their lives and they don’t have that much time left they kind of spill, concerning what’s really going on in their hearts and may we be the type of people like Noah, like Adam, like Abram, who could look back at a life and say, you know Lord, it wasn’t perfect, a perfect life but over all, you got your will in my life. I mean, what you wanted to do in my life was executed. That’s a gift from God, to be able to say that, that’s a blessing, because most people can’t say that. I’m not even venturing to say that a lot of Christianity can’t say it because Paul opens the door to the reality of a carnal Christian, 1st Corinthians, 3, verses 1 through 3 (1 Cor 3:1-3). He is not applauding carnal Christianity, he’s talking about the unfortunate possibility of carnal Christianity and how at that Bema Seat judgement, as God is giving out rewards, there’s regret, there’s tears, he says. They suffer loss, as people are in heaven suffering loss, for a season and this is where people want to know these very specific questions, how long will the memories last, how do you, you know, sort of conflate being with Jesus but having a moment of regret, how do those two work out. I don’t know if I have all the answers to it, I just know that the Bible warns us about that. Not so we can get into a bunch of pontificating but so that we can make adjustments now. The truth to the matter is if you’re unsaved, you need to make a big adjustment, because the afterlife is very real and if you are saved and walking in the flesh habitually, which is an unfortunate possibility for the Christian, 1st Corinthians, 3, 1 through 3 (1 Cor 3:1-3), we need to make adjustments now, because heaven is real, eternity is long, life is short and what an important thing to think about as we move into a new year. 29:02

Ephesians, 2, verse 10 (Eph 2:10) says: For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them… did you know that you are saved not by good works but you are saved for good works? Do you realize that at the moment you placed your faith in Christ alone for salvation, is the moment that God not only saved your soul from eternal retribution but He programmed into your life the blessing that you would be to other people. You’re not saved by good works but you’re certainly said for good works. Very different understanding of salvation than what we typically get that, oh I trusted in Jesus, my fire insurance is paid up, but the truth to the matter is God has much more in store for a person’s life than simply having their fire insurance paid up and not going to hell. He wants to replicate spiritual fruit in and through them and many people say, well, if you’re not bearing fruit then you are not saved. We don’t teach that here, because this verse, the way it’s set up in Greek does not make the good works flowing from salvation automatic. Reformed theology does that. It’s the so-called perseverance of the saints doctrine as taught in modern day Calvinism, if you’re not bearing fruit, then you’re not a Christian. The Bible says that’s very simplistic way to understand it, and the reason I’m saying that is “walk”, peripateō, in Greek is in the subjunctive mood in Greek. I’m not going to bore people with a bunch of information on Greek and Greek tenses unless it’s pertinent to the passage and here it’s… couldn’t be more pertinent. Do you know what the subjunctive mood is? Is the mood of possibility. When he says, you’re not saved by works but you’re saved unto good works, what He is saying is the good works that flow from salvation are a possibility. They’re not automatic. God wants them, God desires them, but in the middle tense of salvation, progressive sanctification, you got to start cooperating with the Holy Spirit and you have the complete and total ability as a child of God to say no to the Holy Spirit and to, 1st Thessalonians, 5, verse 19 (1 Thess 5:19) to resist the Holy Spirit. You have the ability as a Christian to grieve the Holy Spirit or else Ephesians 4 wouldn’t say, don’t grieve the Holy Spirit. 1st Thessalonians, 5 (1 Thess 5) Don’t resist the Holy Spirit… and so a lot of people will leave this life as Christians, joyful that they are on their way to heaven, but look back with a lot of regrets. I wish I had submitted unto the Lord, unto his power, more frequently. I wish I hadn’t always resisted the promptings of the Holy Spirit and the Bible gives us a warning about this. The afterlife is real, good works are a possibility, now press into that purpose because whatever decisions we’re making on the daily basis as Christians will have eternal ramifications just like whatever decision an unsaved or saved person makes concerning the salvation that is freely offered in Jesus Christ, those will have eternal ramifications as well, because the next life is just as real as this life and in fact, early America if you don’t want to believe this then you can’t hold office, cause we can’t monitor everything you’re doing in office, can we? But, if you believe this, you’re going to act differently because you understand that someone bigger than yourself is monitoring. I think we’re losing a lot of this teaching in American society, would you not agree? 33:38

We come to verse 16 (Gen 15:16) and God continues on describing the Abrahamic Covenant and He says: Then in the fourth generation they… Now, Abram, that’s your descendants because you’re going to die in peace and go to be with your fathers so you will not see what your descendants are going to see in terms of the Egyptian bondage for four hundred years… Then in the fourth generation they… that’s your future lineage… will return here, for the wrongdoing of the Amorite is not yet complete… Notice this expression here, your descendants are going to go into bondage and they’re going to come out of bondage and they’re going to come right back into this land that you’re not standing in, for I’m making you all of these promises and they’re going to come back in the fourth generation. Earlier if you backup to verse 13 (Gen 15:13) we know exactly what He means by fourth generation, He means four hundred years. The truth to the matter folks, is you hold in your hand a book that has predicted, not one, not two but three occurrences of a people group being displaced from their land and coming right back into the same land.

Now, you have to understand something, that this is an anomaly in world history. I don’t know of a single group and maybe some of you do but I don’t know of a single group that has ever been displaced from their land, particularly for four hundred years and then comes right back into the same land. Not once, not twice but it’s predicted that it will happen three times. People say, well, why do you believe the Bible is God’s word? It’s because of things like this, I don’t know of any other alleged Holy book on planet earth that has made accurate predictions like this. Well, what are the three returns? Return number 1, we are reading about right here. You’re going to go out of the land, you’re going to be in Egyptian bondage and you’re going to come back into the same land four hundred years later and can we check the box there? Let’s just go check cause that happened, didn’t it?… that return happened in the book of Joshua and then later on in biblical history, about one thousand four hundred years after this prediction was made, God made a second prediction and He told the nation of Israel and in particular the southern kingdom, and you’ll see this in the book of Jeremiah chapter 25, verse 11 (Jer 25:11) and chapter 29 verse 10 (Jer 29:10), God says, I’m going to predict it again. You’re going to leave this land and you’re going to go three hundred and fifty miles to the east to a place called Babylon and you better get comfortable there because you’re not coming back for seventy years, but when the seventy years are over, you’re going to come right back from Babylon into the land of Israel and what do we do with that one? Let’s go to the square there, the empty square and go check, cause that happened in the book of Ezra and the book of Nehemiah, and then God in the book of Ezekiel says, a third time it’s going to happen, but this time is going to be different, You won’t just go into Egypt and come back, you won’t just go into Babylon and come back but you’re going to be dispersed all over the world, and we know that Rome in AD 70 destroyed the city and the sanctuary and push the Jews outside of their land where they went for two thousand years into what’s called the diaspora. The worldwide dispersion in Ezekiel, long before it happens, said, you’re going to come back into your own land. You’ll see that in Ezekiel 36, verses 24 through 28 (Ezek 36:24-28). By the way, they will never read Ezekiel 36, verse 24 through 28 on CNN nor on MSNBC and it’s probably hard press in this day and age to even see it on Fox because Ezekiel doesn’t say when you come back, you’re going to come back in someone else’s land. 38:40

You understand the propaganda that we’re under today? That people want you to think that the modern state of Israel dispersed an ancient people group? Which is factually in error, and they want you to believe that when the Jews came back, they came back into someone else’s land. The whole world community looks at that issue in the Middle East through that lens. God says, no, when you come back from worldwide dispersion, this time not after four hundred years, not after seventy years, but after two thousand years, you’ll come right back into your same land and I’m here to tell you that that’s happening right before our eyes. So what do you do with that one? Well, we might put a check by it but God says don’t do that too quick cause I’m not finished yet, because by the time it’s all said and done, Israel will have sprinkled upon her the Holy Spirit, she’ll be in faith. We haven’t seen that yet, but God says, Do you think I could do that last component, not just have a recycled land but have a nation in faith? Could I actually do that? God says, trust me for it and we kind of feel like Abraham, well, Lord how do I know you’re going to do it? And God says look at the history books, look at the track record, I mean, I predicted it once. It happened. I predicted it a second time, it happened. Why can’t you believe me when I say, I’m going to do it a third time? What you’re seeing happening in the modern state of Israel today is an absolute miracle of God. People say, Gosh, I wish God would do miracles today. Are you kidding me? Every time you see a functioning nation in the Middle East called the nation of Israel, you’re seeing a modern day miracle for the simple reason the sociologists all tell us that when a nation is removed from their land, essentially what happens is they lose their culture, they lose their language, they lose their ethnicity, in many cases they lose their religion because they essentially assimilate into the host’s culture. For example, how many Jebusites do you know exactly? Hey, so-and-so and so-and-so just moved in down the street, what a lovely Jebusite couple. What happened to the Jebusites? They were displaced and assimilated into another people group, where we don’t have Jebusites anymore. Do you understand what’s happening? That the Lord has allowed Israel to be outside of its land, not just for forty years, not just for seventy years but for two thousand years and they go right back into the land that they were evicted from. The only thing we’re waiting for is the spirit of God to be poured out on the nation, which to me is pretty easy to believe that’ll happen, given this track record that I’m talking about. The Roman Empire in AD 70 was a worldwide empire speaking Latin. They are the ones that pushed Israel out of her homeland at the close of the first century and isn’t it interesting that when they did that, Latin was a live language, Rome was a worldwide power and here we are in 2021 and Rome went out of power a long time ago and Latin is a dead language and yet tiny Israel is in existence speaking Hebrew. 42:41

It’s an amazing thing that God is doing right in our midst and the first of the three returns is spelled out here in verse 16 (Gen 15:16) but God has a problem, in fact, it’s not much of a problem for God, but it is a problem from the human perspective because there’s a group of people living in the land, at the time of Abram, called the Amorites and God says here: Then in the fourth generation they… that’s your future descendants, Abram… will return here…Well, what about the Amorites, Lord? It says here… for the wrongdoing or the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete… Who are these Amorites? Who are these Amorites that were, from the human perspective, encumbering God’s desire to recycle Israel back into her homeland in the time of Josua.

Ham’s Sons (Gen 10:6)

    1. Cush
    2. Mizraim
    3. Put
    4. Canaan

Well, as you know by now, Noah had three sons, Ham, Shem and Japheth and from Ham came a group of people or came a son named Canaan. Canaan of course, was the one that was put under a curse, not because of genetics, not because of race but because he imitated some of the detestable practices of his father Ham, and Ham, you remember, uncovered Noah’s nakedness. The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, amen? And so essentially what happened is Canaan committed that sin and Gosh, if sin is okay for dad, sin is okay for us. Boy! That’s a great lesson for us, isn’t it? Cause we think when we sin nobody sees, nobody is aware. Oh, you got quite a congregation, you got them in your own house and typically they are your children or your grandchildren and so, if church attendance is not that important for grandma and grandpa, it’s not that important for me. If reading the Bible is not very important for grandma and grandpa or mom and dad, then it’s not important to me and we’re wondering why we’re losing a whole group of young people to the cause of Christ. It starts right there in the home. So Ham sins and so his descendants are put under a curse because they fell into sin, and it’s from Cannan that this group of people settled in the land of Canaan, and here’s all their names:

  1. Canaan’s Sons (Gen 10:15-18)
      1. Sidon
      2. Heth
      3. Jebusite
      4. Amorite
      5. Girgashite
      6. Hivite
      7. Arkite
      8. Sinite
      9. Arvadite
      10. Zemarite
      11. Hamathite
      12. Perrizite

The Jebusites, the Amorites, who I have underlined there cause they’re mentioned in Genesis, 15, verse 16 (Gen 15:16), the Girgashite, the Hivite, the Arkites, the Sinites, the Arvadites, The Zemarites, the Hamathites, the Perizzites, the out of sights, the termites, the mosquito bites and the electric lights (laughs). I just got to make sure that you guys are still listening. 46:17

So, that whole group is involved in some of the most disgusting, despicable practices that they could ever be involved in. How do I know that? Because that’s how God describes them, having imitated Ham. If you want a description of them, you just read Leviticus, 18, 24 through 30 (Lev 18:24-30) which says: Do not defile yourselves by any of these things; for by all these the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled. For the land has become defiled, therefore I have brought its punishment upon it, so that the land would spew out its inhabitants. But as for you… Israel… you are to keep My statutes and My judgments and you shall not do any of these abominations, neither the native, nor the alien who sojourns among you, for the men of the land who have been before you have done all these abominations, and the land has become defiled; so the land will not spew you out, should you defile it, as it has spewed out the nation which has been before you. For whoever does any of these abominations, these persons who do so shall be cut off from among their people. Thus you are to keep My charge, so that you do not practice any of the abominable customs which have been practiced before you, so as not to defile yourselves with them; I am the Lord your God… Pastor that’s so depressing, I hope you never read a verse like that again. Well, let’s cheer up because when you go to Leviticus, 20, verses 22 and 23 (Lev 20:22-23) it says: You therefore are to keep all My statutes and all My ordinances and do them, so that the land to which I am bringing you to live will not spew you out. Moreover, you shall not follow the customs of the nations which I will drive out before you, for they did all these things, and therefore I am abhorred… Verses 26 and 27 of Leviticus, 20 (Lev 20:26-27): Thus you are to be holy to Me, for I am the Lord am holy; and I have set you apart from the peoples to be Mine. Now a man or a woman who is to be medium or spiritist shall surely be put to death. They shall be stoned with stones, their blood guiltiness is upon them… He’s describing what these Amorites through the Ham-Canaan line were doing for four hundred years. You say, I’m sure glad those passages are over with, I hope you don’t ever read a passage like that again, well, notice Deuteronomy, 18, verses 9 through 14 (Deut 18:9-14): When you enter the land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable practices of these nations… That I have there on the screen… There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead… I mean, we do that today already, on the psychic hotline. For whoever does these things is detestable to the Lord; and because of these detestable things the Lord your God will drive them out before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God. For those nations, which you shall dispossess, listen to those who practice witchcraft and to diviners, but as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you to do so… What you’re getting in Leviticus and what you’re getting in Deuteronomy is a description of what these Amorites and other groups that I have on the screen there, were doing for four hundred years. In fact, when you study the archeology of this time period, it’s modern day pornography. It’s what it is. When you look at the statues and the inscriptions, some of it is so vulgar. It would be inappropriate to put archeology of this time period up on a visual in a church setting. This, in essence is what the curse of Canaan brought. Canaan imitated Ham, Ham begat these groups who went into the land of Canaan and continued these despicable practices. 51:31

By the way, the curse of Canaan, you’ll find it right there in Genesis chapter 9 and verse 25 (Gen 9:25). We’ve gone over it in depth as we’ve gone through this series on the book of Genesis and what does God say here?

This is a justification for the audience that’s receiving this information. Because this book is being written to the group of people that came out of Egyptian bondage, who are commanded by God to go into the land of Canaan and eradicate the Canaanites and unless you had a book explaining this kind of history, the command of God might seem overbearing. The command of God might seem too severe, but when you understand the history here that only the book of Genesis gives you, what you see here is not the judgement of God but the grace of God, because God allowed this to go on and on and on and on for four hundred years which is I like to say, it’s almost double, roughly, the longevity of the United States of America, just to give you a time barometer, how long God allowed this to continue before judgement hit, through the slaughter of the Canaanites, through General Joshua. By the way, these Canaanites, don’t get this idea that they were just swept off guard because they had no knowledge of God. They had a knowledge of God. You know how I know they had a knowledge of God? I know they had a knowledge of God because of what Rahab, the Canaanite says when the spies enter the land. Rahab said: For we… that’s all of us here in Canaan… have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you, so when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed… I don’t know how they got the message but they knew what God had done through the first generation that came out of Egypt and they knew what God had done on behalf of the second generation that were about to enter Canaan. They had an awareness of God. They had a knowledge of God. Somehow they got the message but they suppressed it. Why? Because their sin, I supposed, was more important to them than righteous judgement. They lived in denial and yet God puts up with this for four hundred years? Let me tell you something, on cable television, they will never give you this side of the equation. The only thing they’ll talk about is what a meany God is for wiping these people out. They don’t talk about the window of grace that was allowed before judgement came. 54:45

See, part of this deception that we’re under, is we think well, there’s been a delay in judgement, I guess it’s being denied. We confuse delay for denial and we presuppose on the grace of God. I would think that that’s the kind of thing that they were doing in Genesis chapter 6 before the flood came where God’s spirit was striving with man for one hundred and twenty years and yet judgement eventually hit. In spite of the fact that God was patiently waiting in the days of Noah, 1st Peter chapter 3, verse 20 (1 Pet 3:20). I’m so glad I have this verse in my Bible, is this in your Bible? 2 Peter chapter 3, verse 9 (2 Pet 3:9): The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance… There is a tremendous reservoir of grace and patience and long suffering in God, but the truth to the matter is, eventually even God’s patience gets exhausted and judgement happens. This is what happened in the days of Noah through the flood and this is what is being predicted now, what happened four hundred years later, long after Abraham’s death, under General Joshua after God patiently endured all of this sin for a period of four hundred years. The wickedness of the Amorites is not yet complete. That’s why it’s going to take four hundred years for this to be executed. 56:50

I’m reminded of Romans chapter 2 verse 5 (Rom 2:5): But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant hearts you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and the revelation of the righteous judgment of God… Of all of the pulpits across the United States of America today, how many pulpits do you think are saying things like this? I would think, very, very few. The judgement of God, it’s like water, building up behind that dam and eventually the water becomes so voluminous that the dam breaks, that’s what Paul the Apostle said to the unbelieving Jews. He says, you’re basically storing up wrath for yourself in the day of judgement, eventually the water it’s going to become so voluminous that the dam will break and the judgement of God will come forth. This is what is being spoken of in Genesis, 15, and verse 16 (Gen 15:16) where he says: For the iniquity of the Amorite, and you know where they came from, is not yet complete. Talking about a group of people that are ripe for judgement, ripe for a harvest of judgement. I am not a prophet nor the son of a prophet but when I look at the culture here in the United States and I look at the direction that it’s headed in, I have to at some point say, how long is it before the judgement of God comes to this country? Particularly when the United States of America has a knowledge of God. I mean, earlier I made reference to early colonial America, how you couldn’t even hold office unless you believe in the inspiration of the Old Testament and the New Testament and you believed that God is both a future rewarder of good behavior and judge of sin in the next life, you don’t believe that, you can’t hold office, and here we have this tremendous Christian heritage in the United States and we just live our lives as if God doesn’t exist at all, as if all of God’s standards could just be rewritten, that’s what they were doing before the flood, that’s what the Amorites were doing for four hundred years and yes, the judgement of God did come but after a time of tremendous patience and forbearance. 59:38

Genesis 15:1‒21 – Abrahamic Covenant

  1. Seed Promise Clarified (Gen 15:1-6)
  2. God’s Promise (Gen 15:1)
  3. Abram’s misunderstanding (Gen 15:2-3)
  4. God’s clarification (Gen 15:4-5)
  5. Abram’s response (Gen 15:6)
  6. Land Promise Ratified (Gen 15:7-21)
  7. God’s Promise (Gen 15:7)
  8. Abram’s Question (Gen 15:8)
  9. Preparation of the Animal pieces (Gen 15:9-11)
  10. Prophecy of redemption from Egyptian bondage (Gen 15:12-16)
  11. Covenant ratification ritual (Gen 15:17-21)

So, God makes a promise to Abraham, verse 7. Abraham asks a question, verse 8. God answers Abraham’s question by preparing the animal pieces for the ultimate real estate deal, verses 9 through 11 and then God builds into it a short term prediction that will be fulfilled within four hundred years, because if you can believe the fact that God kept His word concerning that short term prediction, then everything else God promises in the ultimate real estate deal will be executed with precision as well.

Covenant Ratification Ritual – Genesis 15:17-21

    1. The ceremony (Gen 15:17)
    2. The covenant (Gen 15:18a)
    3. The land (Gen 15:18-21)

So that takes us away from that and into the covenant ratification ceremony, where you have a ceremony described verse 17, which leads to a covenant verse 18 and that covenant happens to involve the land, verses 18 through 21 and now you have a description for the very first time of the borders and the parameters of this real estate that’s about to be bequeathed to Abram and to his descendants and so look at that, I entitled this sermon “The Ultimate Estate Deal” and we didn’t even get to the real estate deal (laughs) which means the next time I pick this up, which won’t be next week cause we’re doing a Christmas message next week… Do you think this kind of thing will be preached on Christmas? Probably not… So Christmas message next week, but the following week will be “The Ultimate Real Estate Deal” part 2 and if you’re here today visiting or listening online and you don’t know Christ personally, our exhortation to people is the Gospel, the Gospel is good news because Jesus did everything. Jesus entered history and did something for us that we cannot do for ourselves and the truth to the matter as you look at the screen here in a way of closing, there’s only two ways here.

There’s the path of religion or there’s the grace of God. The path of religion is right there at the top of the screen. It basically says Jesus did about 90%, Jesus bought lunch, you need to leave the tip. Well, how do you leave the tip? Three things, pay, pray and obey. Well how much do I pay, pray and obey? They never tell you. See, you’re left your whole wondering if you’ve done enough to merit God’s favor, that’s religion. The religious world will tell you that over and over again. Here at Sugar Land Bible Church, we are not the voice of religion. We are the voice of biblically based Christianity which says, bottom of the screen, Jesus did what? 100 %. In fact, His final words on the cross were: It is finished. So what is there left for you to do as a lost person? Not to pay, pray and obey but to receive a gift and the only way to receive a gift from God is to trust or believe in the one He has sent. In fact, that’s what Jesus was asked in John, 6, verses 28 and 29 (John 6:28-29) they said: What must we do to do the works of God? Sounds like a very religious question, doesn’t it? Lord, what do I gotta do to be made right with you and Jesus said in those verses: This is the work, that you believe, in the One He has sent. They wanted to talk about works, Jesus says: no, let’s talk about a work. The ultimate work is the work I’m going to do for you on the cross, but your job is to believe in the One He has sent. Your job is to rely upon what I will do for you, not what you do for yourself and this is the difference between Christianity that’s biblically based and the world of religion. Doesn’t matter what name or vernacular or denomination it goes under, it’s just the same old stuff. You’re either telling people they’ve got to leave the tip or you’re saying it’s all free? Lunch is paid for. The tip has been left. Now come and partake, come enjoy. 1:04

The truth to the matter folks is this, it’s a lot easier to give a gift than to receive it, because when you receive something that cannot be earned, that requires humility, doesn’t it? And God has designed it this way. He has designed the Gospel in such a way that it is an affront. It is an attack on the pride of man who always wants to bargain with God, earn something from God and we’re here to tell you that you can’t earn anything from God. God does the work, you receive it as a gift. What a great time of the year to receive a gift by the way. I mean, as all these gifts are being exchanged and given, why not receive the ultimate gift that He has for you? The death of His son for the payment of your sins so you can have eternal life. You receive that gift through a single condition which means to trust in what Jesus has done. It’s not necessary to call for a show of hands, it’s not necessary to walk an aisle, it’s not necessary to give money, it’s not necessary to join a church, it’s a matter of privacy between you and the Lord where you come under conviction cause you haven’t received this and then you receive it by faith. Faith is another way of saying “rely upon” or “have confidence in” and once that happens in a person’s heart, once that happens in a person’s life they are now made right before a Holy God and God gives them a gift that they couldn’t earn before. The world of religion wants you to strive to earn this, you can’t earn it. You receive it as a gift and I hope people in the quietness of their hearts today, even as I’m speaking perhaps all over the world that are listening to this, the internet, would place their faith in Jesus Christ and Christ alone for salvation.

If it’s something you need more explanation on, I’m available after the service to talk. Shall we pray? Lord, we’re grateful for this very special time of the year and the greatest gift that we have, the provision of your Son. I pray that many, many people would take advantage of this season and this unique opportunity by trusting in Christ and Christ alone for salvation. We’ll be careful to give you all the praise and the glory. We ask these things in Jesus’ name and God’s people said, Amen.