#4 The Dispensation of Promise

The Dispensations
#4 The Dispensation of Promise
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References: Genesis 12:1-3

Be turning to Genesis, the book of Genesis in chapter 12. We’re going to talk about our fourth dispensation tonight, the dispensation of Promise. We call it Promise because of a promise that God makes to Abraham. We see that promise first here in Genesis 121 through 3. Let me read these verses as you follow along.
Genesis 121 through 3. Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, into a land that I will show thee. And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great, and thou shalt be a blessing. And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseeth thee.
And in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. When we talk about our dispensations, usually we place those in timeframes, but again as I said before, they’re really a stewardship, a responsibility, that God has given to his people at various times throughout history. And this dispensation that we call promise is because here God selects a man, and his name is Abram, or we know him as Abraham, and he makes a promise to him, a covenant, as we’ve read here. And so this dispensation will go from Abraham to Moses, from the time of the calling of Abraham, and then the patriarchs, with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and then Joseph, all the way down to Moses. So when you think about it, of all of those dispensations we’ve looked at so far, this will be the largest in that it will go from chapter 12 here in Genesis to the end of the book. As a matter of fact, into the book of Exodus, a little ways until God calls Moses in Exodus chapter 3, and takes them out to Sinai in chapter 20, and gives them the law. So this dispensation of promise, we have a lot of material about, because we have the life of Abraham, and then Isaac, and then Jacob, and Joseph, as he was taken down to Egypt, and then the Israelites in Egypt for 400 years.
So this goes quite a ways. Now, Ryrie calls this Patriarchic rule, that is, God was giving his dominion mandate, that is, here’s what you as my people are supposed to do. Basically, through the whole world, through Adam and Eve, and they were the only people in the world, and then through his spirit to whoever lived at that time, then through those people up to the Tower of Babel. But now, God is going to select a family, as a matter of fact, a person, Abraham, and from that person, and from that family, he is going to begin to give his will, and give his directions, and we’re going to have through that then, the dispensation of promise that we’ll look at next, which will be the Israelites, and the law that God gave to them.
So here he’s beginning to do this. He made a covenant with Abraham, and we’re reminded of this covenant throughout the Scriptures. Let me remind you of Hebrews 6, and in all the books, it seems like, of the New Testament, mentioned Abraham at some time. When God made promise to Abraham, Hebrews 613, when God made promise to Abraham, because he would swear by no greater, he swore by himself, saying, Surely, blessing, I will bless thee, and multiplying, I will multiply thee.
And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. Hebrews 11, where a lot of space is given to Abraham, the writer says, By faith, he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise, for he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. And you’ll notice there that the land of promise is this land that God brought Abraham into, and one of the responsibilities is going to be, you stay in this land.
You see it as my gift to you, and so you stay here and wait for the promise. And so, this Abrahamic promise is very important throughout Scripture. And let me say also that, We have been following the seed of the woman, right? From the time that God said to Eve, you know, the seed of the serpent will have conflict with your seed. And that seed is going to then, we’ve seen it already, go through Seth, her other-born son, then through Noah, then through, and Shem, Ham’s child, and then Abraham. And so that seed is continuing, and it will then go down to David, who we will see under the law, and then all the way down to Christ. And so that seed of the woman is being followed, and it comes directly through Abraham. Now this promise to Abraham was to him personally, to give him encouragement and promise, and yet it’s a promise to all of his seed in verse 2 of our text here, the whole nation. So Israel gets blessed through this promise, and then all of us get blessed through this promise, all of the nations, because in verse 3, all families of the earth will be blessed because of this promise.
So it spreads out that way. You might think of the promises like this. As a matter of fact, I gave that illustration this morning of, you know, getting one present and you open it up and out of it come three more presents. Well really the covenant is like that too. If you think about it, we will see in Genesis 1212, and 3, that God says, I’ll give you a land, I’ll give you a seed, and then I’ll give you a blessing, three parts to this Abrahamic covenant. And so the land will later be reiterated in the Palestinian covenant, where God will say, actually under Moses and in Deuteronomy, here’s the land, I’m giving it to you. The promise of the seed will later be reiterated in the Davidic covenant, where God will say to David, it will be your seed that will come. And then the blessing part of it will be the new covenant, which we enjoy some of, which will bring the blessing of the millennial kingdom to the earth. And so the land, the seed, and the blessing kind of parallel Palestinian, Davidic, and new covenants. So out of this one covenant, Abrahamic covenant comes these three covenants. I wonder if we ask the average American citizen today why we are so supportive of the nation of Israel, what kind of answers we would get.
It would be a good question for a man on the street answer, wouldn’t it? Why is it we support Israel? Why is it America has always supported Israel?
I hope that you have a strong feeling about this. First of all, America has a Christian history. And so our history is in the Word of God. And that Word of God has a lot to say about Israel. Secondly, Israel has a biblical history. Not that they’re all born again, because most of them are not. But they have a biblical history, and what we’re seeing here is they have biblical promises from God. And then not only that, but as we see in verse 3, God promises a blessing on those who are friends with Israel, and a curse on those who are not.
And that promise, as we’ll see, has never been rescinded. And so would we understand today why we as America ought to support this country? Not just because they’re a good Middle Eastern country, they’re the only democracy in the area or something like that. It’s really because they are God’s people. And God said, I will bless you if you’ll bless them. And America has been good to the Jews and to the nation of Israel, and I hope that we continue that way. What I want to do is talk to you about those three things, the land, the seed, and the blessing from Genesis 12, and we’ll expand that so that you get an understanding of what this covenant is and how it’s going to bless all of us and how God is going to use Abraham in all of this time.
Let me say two things. Number one, most of the Abrahamic covenant is future. It was future to Abraham. Abraham didn’t really get to see the fulfillment of all of these things in his own lifetime, though he got into the land and he was there, but he was a stranger in the land.
He dwelt in tents as Hebrews 11 says, when God had promised him a city and he looked for that city, and that city hasn’t come yet. These promises are still yet in our future because Israel doesn’t have all the land that God promised him yet. Christ came, who was the seed of Abraham and of David, and that is good. And yet the new covenant is still waiting for its fulfillment when Christ will reign on the earth. Not only that, but remember that salvation was always by faith.
As a matter of fact, you’re close. Look at chapter 15 and it is here that God says in verse 5, he brought him forth abroad, God brought Abraham forth, and said, look now toward heaven and tell the stars if thou be able to number them, and he said unto them, so shall thy seed be. Yet at the time there was no seed. At the time he and Sarah were growing old and had no children, and yet God says, look, here’s what it would be. But see verse 6. He, that is Abraham believed in the Lord and it was counted to him for righteousness.
Salvation is always by faith. It always was and always will be. It was under the Abrahamic dispensation, the Mosaic dispensation it is today. Abraham believed and God reckoned it to him for righteousness. Paul will, that is Paul’s favorite Old Testament verse I think. All through his writings.
He quotes this verse to tell you that salvation is by faith. It was that way before the law. Moses isn’t born yet. The law is not given yet. Salvation is by believing in God all the way back to Abraham.
So we need to understand that too. Let me talk first of all about the fact that Abraham was promised a land. Again, verse 1. And he said, Get thee out of thy country from thy father’s house into a land that I will show thee. So this land of Israel will be the center of the restored earth one day. This will be where Christ reigns one day. This will be where the people of Israel have all of their promised land.
And when Jesus Christ reigns on the earth, this will be the center of the earth, the naval of the earth, if you will. Let me remind you of these verses. Genesis 12.7, and you can turn to some of these. The Lord appeared unto Abraham and said unto thy seed, will I give this land? And there buildeth he an altar unto the Lord who appeared unto him. Chapter 17, verse 8. And I will give unto thee and to thy seed after thee the land wherein thou art a stranger. All the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession I will be their God.
And if it means everlasting, it’s still in effect today, isn’t it? 2 Samuel 7, verse 10. Moreover, I will appoint a place for my people Israel. I will plant them and that they may dwell in a place of their own land. And move no more, neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more as before time.
So all through scripture we could keep on going with those kinds of verses. God is promising to Israel, this land is yours and it will be yours forever. Now even though for the last 2000 years, when Israel rejected their very Messiah and God spread them out through all the kingdoms, the Jews still exist, don’t they? And God brought them back to the land which may be an indication we were in the last days because now we talk about Israel, we talk about that land that belongs to them. And yet even at this time, they don’t have nearly all the land God promised them from the river Euphrates unto the river of Egypt.
That is a lot of land. And the nations today like Iraq, Iran, and Syria, and Jordan, and all the rest who are oppressing Israel, one day most of that land will belong to Israel and God will give it to them. So why should they give up a few yards of dirt now in the little strip of land where they are? God has promised them all of this land. So this covenant is still in effect.
Go with me for a minute to the book of Deuteronomy and go to chapter 30 in Deuteronomy and chapter 30 and for a long section here, but just in verse 3 through 5, here is what is called the Palestinian Covenant. Now understand that we jumped here from the time of Abraham about 2000, almost BC. We jumped up to the time of Moses in the 1400s BC when he is writing Deuteronomy and they are still out in the wilderness. And it says, that then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity and have compassion upon thee and will return and gather thee from all the nations whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee. If any line be driven out unto thee out most parts of heaven from thence will the Lord thy God gather thee and from thence will he fetch thee and the Lord thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed and thou shalt possess it and he will do thee good and multiply thee above thy fathers. And so here and he goes on talking about this covenant, this Palestinian Covenant. And here is what this covenant contains.
Number one, the Messiah will return. And so even though this land belongs to them, they don’t have it yet. And they won’t have it all until Jesus comes and makes sure it belongs to them. So that is still yet in the future. ….
Not only that, he will gather Israel, as these verses say, from all the nations of the earth. And they’re spread all over the world today. And most of the Jews don’t want to go back to that land today. They live in better land than that and safer land than that. But when Christ comes and he’s there in that land, he will bring the Jews back. So many passages speak about this regathering of the remnant of Israel. Not only that, he will destroy their enemies and take them out of that land.
And then he will establish them in that land as a kingdom. When we read the end of the book of Ezekiel, it’s a great… When you read it, it’s almost…
It’s as hard… It’s like a genealogy to read. But what you’re reading is descriptions of how Christ divides up that land and how he gives portions to each tribe and where he does it and how large that portion is and where the city of Jerusalem will be and where the temple of Christ will be. All of those details that Ezekiel gives in the last ten chapters of his book.
So all of that is a fulfillment of this kind of a covenant. When does it come? It comes when the kingdom of God comes. The only way we’re going to have a Middle Eastern peace treaty that lasts is when the Lord himself does it. And when he comes and puts it together, then we will have… Until then, presidents and kings and everybody else is going to go and try to bring their hands together and have them shake hands and it will never work, not until Jesus comes.
And then it will. Remember that the Jews will make a terrible mistake and they will make an agreement with someone who actually turns out to be the Antichrist. And that treaty they will make with the Antichrist to protect them will be part of the reason they suffered during the tribulation period. It is a compact with hell itself that they do.
And God is offended by it and brings tribulation on them. But he will do away with that man of sin, the fake Christ, and the real Christ will come and he will do these things and establish his kingdom on the earth. So God has promised…or Abraham was promised a land. Secondly, Abraham was promised a seed. So we see in verse 2, I will make you a great nation and by name will be great and will be a blessing. The seed will culminate, of course, in Christ himself, which we’ll see in just a minute. And he will reconcile Adam’s posterity back to God and the nation of Israel will have a permanent existence as a nation.
In Genesis 15, again, we turned there a minute ago, but in Genesis 15 and verses 1 through 6, let’s read all of those verses again. After these things, the word of the Lord came into Abram in a vision saying, Fear not Abram, I am thy shield and thy exceeding great reward. And Abram said, Lord God, what will thou give me, seeing I go childless?
And the steward of my house is this Eleazar of Damascus. And Abram said, behold, to me thou hast given no seed and lo, one born in my house is mine error. And behold, the word of the Lord came unto him saying, this shall not be thine error, but he that shall come forth out of thine own vows shall be thine error. And then he brings him out and shows him the stars of heaven. And Abram believes that and it’s counted to him for righteousness. Also, we could go to chapter 26, beginning in verse 2, where he says, The Lord appeared unto him and said, go not down into Egypt, dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of, Sojourn in this land, that I will and I will be with thee and will bless thee. And unto thy seed I will give all these countries. And I will perform the oath which I swear unto Abraham thy father. I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven and will give unto thy seed all these countries. And thy seed shall be or shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.
And so again we see that it is this seed that is coming. Now go to 2 Samuel chapter 7 and we’ll go all the way down to the Davidic covenant. So we’ve seen the Palestinian covenant which Moses wrote about in Deuteronomy. But now we go another 400 years and we come to the time of David when David now has been made king over Israel, but he wants to build a temple and God’s not going to let him do it.
He’s conquering the land and so now we’re down to about 1000 BC and 2 Samuel 7 says, when thy day shall be fulfilled, God speaking to David, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name and will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father.
He shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the stripes of the children of men, but my mercy shall not depart away from him as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. Thy house and thy kingdom shall be established forever before thee.
Thy throne shall be established forever. Now in this Davidic covenant then we have a few things told about David. David will have a son and hear his immediate name, his immediate son is Solomon and he will build that temple. Of course this foreshadows the fact that his son who is Jesus Christ, his seed, will build a millennial temple one day.
His son Solomon will be removed for his sin and yet his son who will be the son of God and the son of man, that is the son of God and the son of David, he will sit on this throne forever and ever. So the genealogy of Christ must be there somewhere. And so when the New Testament pages are open we find that Matthew gives a genealogy that is Joseph’s genealogy that goes back through David and then back to Abraham because it’s important that whoever Messiah is, he must be the seed of David and he must be the seed of Abraham. If he’s the seed of David, he’s the seed of Abraham. And then Mary’s genealogy in Luke 3 goes all the way back to Adam through David, through Abraham and all the way back. And so we see in the genealogies as the New Testament opens that this one named Jesus really is the one that Abraham spoke about and the one that David spoke about.
John Walver gives three ways in which the seed is manifested today. Number one, there is the physical line of Abraham and David. That is the 12 tribes of Israel. And out of Jacob came these 12 tribes and so even Israelites today can trace their genealogy and say, I’m a Judah, I’m a Dan, I’m a Naphtali, whatever, and they can trace their physical seed.
There’s also a spiritual seed of the Jewish nation too. Remember Romans 96 through 8 says this. Romans 9 says, not as though the word of God had taken none effect, for they are not all Israel which are of Israel, neither because they are the seed of Abraham shall they all or they are they all children. But in Isaac shall thy seed be called.
What’s the difference there? You may be the physical child of Abraham, but unless you have the faith that Abraham had to have the child Isaac, you’re not of the spiritual seed. That is, you can be a Jew and not be saved. You can be a Jew and not be a child of God, a child of Abraham but not of child of God. How many times did Jesus have that conflict with the Pharisees who said, we’re children of Abraham? And he says, yes, but you’re not children of God by faith. So there’s the physical seed and there’s the spiritual, but also even to us Gentiles, we are made a certain spiritual seed ourselves. Galatians chapter 3, verses 6 through 9. Even as Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness, know ye therefore that they which are of faith the same are the children of Abraham.
Did you come to God by faith? Yes, you’re a child of Abraham in some sense. It is in that spiritual sense. The faith that Abraham had when God counted it to him for righteousness because he believed God is the same kind of faith that you have.
And in that sense, he’s a spiritual father to you. And the scripture foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith preached before the gospel under Abraham saying, in these shall all nations be blessed so then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. So as Walbert points out, there’s three ways in which the seed of Abraham manifests itself, the physical seed of Israel, the spiritual seed of Israel, but also the spiritual seed even of the Gentiles. Now, a point that we should go farther with, and that is, Jesus Christ then is said to be specifically the seed of David, and the seed that God has promised.
Let me remind you of these verses. First, in Acts chapter 2, 29 and 30, Peter’s preaching and says, men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us to this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God hath sworn an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on the throne. Peter reminds us that God swore to David in that Davidic covenant, I will give you a seed that will sit on the throne, and he meant the seed will be the Messiah, Jesus Christ himself. Then in Galatians chapter 3, an even more pointed passage in Galatians 3.16 to 17, now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. And he says, not to seeds as of many, but as of one to thy seed which is Christ.
I think that’s an interesting focus that Paul has there. In thy seed shall all nations there be blessed. Not seeds plural, but one seed which is Christ, he says. This I say that the covenant which was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law which was 430 years after cannot annul, that it should make the promise of none effect. What he means is, God promises this to Abraham in the dispensation of promise. And even though the law comes along and the law exists for 1500 years and they keep the mosaic law, it does not annul what God said earlier to Abraham. You can’t say, well, that’s what he said to Abraham, but now he says this to Moses. No, he said that to Abraham. As a matter of fact, the Palestinian, the Davidic and the New Covenant all are reiterated under the law of Moses.
We’ll see that dispensation next week. So Jesus Christ is the seed of Abraham and the seed of David through whom all the earth is going to be blessed. And then we have a third part of the promise in Genesis 12 and that’s verse 3. I will bless them that bless thee, curse him that curse at thee, and these shall all families of the earth be blessed. Now we have a blessing and we usually link this to the New Covenant, at least I do and many people do, and that is that this blessing means, is the means by which fallen humanity can fulfill God’s dominion mandate. You and I, by being part of this blessing that is coming to all of us through the Lord Jesus Christ, you and I now are the people of God.
You and I now are carrying out the spiritual mandates, the spiritual principles, the spiritual commandments of our Lord. The nation of Israel will continue and the Gentile nations will continue, grafted into that spiritual seed. Now go now to Jeremiah 31. As we go here to Jeremiah 31 we go to a chapter that we call the New Covenant. It’s also written in Ezekiel 36.
By the way, we sang a song earlier tonight. There should be showers of blessing and that text for that is out of the similar passage in Ezekiel where Ezekiel is describing the New Covenant. You know when the showers of blessings are going to come?
Well, I hope by about seven o’clock tonight, but those aren’t the showers that Ezekiel was talking about. He’s talking about when the blessings of God come to this earth in a millennial kingdom where Christ reigns with a rod of iron and Satan is bound for a thousand years. That is, that’s when blessings will come and for those blessings we plead. We sing that song from Ezekiel 34. But in Jeremiah 31, behold, verse 31, so it’s 31, 31. Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. Not according to the covenant I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt because you see Jeremiah is writing when during the Babylonian captivity.
So we’re all the way down to the 600, 500 BC. So a long time after Moses, a thousand years after Moses, he’s writing this, which my covenant they break. That is the covenant of law, although I was a husbandman unto them, saith the Lord. But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord. I will put my law in their inward parts and write it in their hearts and will be their God and they shall be my people and they shall teach no man, every man his neighbor, and Paul says it, saying, know the Lord. For every man his brother saying know the Lord, for they shall all know me.
Do you understand what he’s saying here? When Christ comes and establishes his kingdom and fulfills the blessing part of the Abrahamic covenant, everyone will start out saved. You won’t have to evangelize on the first day of the kingdom of God because everyone will be born again. Every Jew that is there, those that have made it by faith, every one of them will be saved. What a great day that will be, as I’ve always reminded you. The day after the rapture, there will not be a saved person on the face of the earth. And the day after the second coming of Christ, there will not be a lost person on the earth.
Just seven short years later, he will turn it around that quick. They’ll all know me from the least of them, unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord, for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. And so this is totally different from the Mosaic covenant. It involves the conversion of all that will be there at that time. It involves the possession of the land and the regathering of Israel. It involves the presence of Messiah and the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem and the city of Jerusalem. And all the blessings made to Israel will be fulfilled. So what a new covenant that is.
Now, how is it that you and I are blessed through this? It would be fair to say that many Christian people differ over this. We know that this new covenant was made with Israel, through the prophets of Israel, Jeremiah and Ezekiel.
And so we know that also the fulfillment of it is going to be in the second coming of Christ when he reigns on the earth. So how is it that we can be a part of that now? How are even we a part of it?
I have a very good friend, a professor in a fundamental Baptist seminary has written on this many times, and Roy Beecham, and he believes absolutely we have no part in the new covenant, but we will in the kingdom of God. We have to wait till we get there. Then we’ll see all of these blessings and we’ll be a part of it.
I think there’s a lot to be said for that view. As a matter of fact, when I read the book of Hebrews, I always read these things in the future. This is what it will be.
This is what will happen. But we’re also told in other places that we are even ministers of the new covenant, Paul said. And so how is that? Well, I believe it is like this. We’re not going to see all of the Abrahamic covenant fulfilled and even all of the new covenant fulfilled. But we get in on one special part of it. And that one special part is the fact that you can do as Abraham did and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved. Do you know that that is a promise for the millennial kingdom? You know that when when Isaiah first wrote it and then Peter quotes it at Pentecost and then Paul quotes it in Romans, whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved, that the prophets said that’s what’s going to happen in the kingdom of God. Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
We read it here in Jeremiah. I’ll give them a fleshy heart, take away their stony heart, give them a heart of flesh. I’ll pour out my spirit upon all of them. But you know, when you receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior, you are receiving part of the promise made to Abraham and David and the whole nation of Israel.
And that is their Messiah. And you receive him by faith and the Holy Spirit is poured out into your heart so that you don’t get all of those things yet. We’re going to have to wait for the land and the seed and all of that to be fulfilled.
But you get the blessing of eternal life. That blessing is part of the Abrahamic covenant seen in verse three. So when he says, in these shall all families of the earth be blessed.
If you want to bless all the families of the earth, send out missionaries with the gospel and have them preach the gospel to those people. And if they are saved, then they participate in that part, I think, of the blessing of Israel. So Acts 15 at the Jerusalem Council, after they held their peace, James, the pastor of the church at Jerusalem, answered, saying, men and brethren, harken unto me, Simon had declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophet as it is written, after this I will return and build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down and build again the ruins thereof.
So God is visiting the Gentiles now, but he will return one day and build again the tabernacle of David and we’ll be able to have part in that. Now, I always reserve kind of the responsibility, failure and judgment. covenant so that we note this each time anyway.
So what is the responsibility that Abraham had and Isaac and Jacob and all the people that lived in this time? Number one, believe the promise. Just as Abraham did in chapter 15, verse 6, he believed it, God counted it to him for righteousness. So did they all have to believe it if they were going to have faith. They have to receive the sign of the covenant.
Chapter 14, chapter 17, was the sign of circumcision, beginning with Abraham, all the way down through Moses, and this was a sign that they were accepting his covenant. They have to be separate from all the nations. Chapter 24, 27, and 28, he constantly tells them, don’t do as the other nations do. Don’t live like they do. Don’t worship their gods. Separate yourselves.
Be holy for I am holy. And so they have to separate from these nations. That’s part of their fulfilling of this covenant.
And they need to stay in this land. When they leave the land and go somewhere else, it’s a sign that they’re not trusting God, that this is their land. So we see that even Abraham went out of the land and pretended that Sarah was his sister, you remember. And Jacob leaves the land and goes way up north out of the land. Only Isaac of all the patriarchs never left the land in his lifetime.
Interesting, isn’t it? Joseph picks up and takes his whole clan and goes down to Egypt. And for that disobedience, God punishes them for 400 years.
They are slaves in the land of Egypt. So one of the things they’re supposed to do is stay in the land. I wonder if Jews that understand these kind of promises aren’t sitting over there in Israel right now saying, we’re not leaving this land.
God promised us this land. I remember one time on a tour bus in Israel going down along the Jordan River. And I was talking with the driver of the tour bus, a little Jewish fellow. And by the way, he asked me where I was born.
He knew I was from the United States. Where are you born? I said in Missouri. He said, where? I said, Springfield. And this little Jewish guy says, is that anywhere near Branson?
That’s true. But he also, I mean, we’re going down through this land and here are tanks over here on the West Bank pouring back this way and here are tanks over here on the Jordan side pointed back this way. And he says, when you get back over there, Reagan was the president at the time. He said, tell President Reagan to remember us because we’re under attack. But they’re tenaciously holding on to that land and they should.
That’s a responsibility. What was their failure? Well, they went to Egypt at the end of this.
And then that’s what brought this dispensation to a close. Abraham even had a son by Hagar, that is a son according to the flesh rather than according to promise. And he was supposed to wait for that son from Sarah, which eventually came Isaac, the son of promise. And so even Paul later uses Ishmael as a sign of working in the flesh and Isaac as a sign of working in the spirit. We’re to believe the promises of God.
And then eventually the whole clan goes down to Egypt. By the way, there were certain blessings in this dispensation. One of them is Melchizedek. This is where we meet Melchizedek and find out about him. The other is Joseph, that even though his brother sold him into Egypt, God, they meant it for evil, but God meant it for good. And God preserved this seed and preserved this nation through Joseph, even down in Egypt.
And maybe the pharaohs that knew Joseph and were kind to him were a blessing from God. The judgment is the 400 years captivity. They were 400 years there until God raises up Moses. And Moses brings them out of Egypt and brings them back to the promised land. And we’re going to start there next week and look at the dispensation of law as God gives them the law of Moses on Mount Sinai.
So a lot here, it covers a lot of chapters in the Old Testament, but we learn a lot from it, especially we learn about faith. Let’s stand now, if you will, and we will close our Bibles and open our songbook and sing a song in just a minute that will remind us of these things. Let’s go to the Lord in prayer.
Father, thank you now for the night that we’ve had. And thank you for these studies in your Bible as we go through these chapters of Genesis and learn again about these people and why they were there and what they did. Help us, Father, to learn also lessons that we need to learn. We should walk by faith and not by sight too. We should believe your promises that you’ve given to us. We should not lose faith, but help us, Father, also to be strong and to realize that a great future is coming for us. So Father, bless in these things, impress them upon our hearts that we might walk before you the way that we should. We’ll thank you in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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