Pastor Roger Anghis
January 9, 2011
The nation of Israel failed to keep their part of the covenant and by doing so moved out from under the protection of God. We can see this in the body of Christ today. Many people call themselves Christians, but you don’t see any fruit in their lives. They live with the world’s values but complain that they don’t see any of God’s blessing. They get sick just like the world, have money problems just like the world, you can’t even tell the difference between them and the world. They cuss, drink, chase women, everything that a Christian is NOT supposed to do. They have moved out from underneath the protection of God. I wanted to discuss this so that it was made clear that there is a part that the Christian has to play in all of this and if we fail to do our part, the promise will not manifest.
Now, we will begin to examine the verses where God promises us increase in all aspects of our lives. Genesis 8:22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. The Hebrew word used for “seedtime” is zera and it means sowing-time. What we have to remember here is that when a farmer plants a seed, he expects to get back more than what he planted. He plants a kernel of corn, but he gets back 2-3 ears of corn that have several hundred kernels of corn on each ear. That is a several fold increase. You can plant an apple seed and get one tree that will produce hundreds of apples for many years. That is a several thousand-fold increase. God has given us a game plan to better ourselves and to grow. Remember in Genesis 1:28 He said to be ‘fruitful and multiply’? This just wasn’t a command to have children. It was a command to increase in all areas of our life.
The next verse is Genesis 15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. God is telling Abram that He is his protector. The Hebrew word for “shield” is magen (maw-gane) and means defense, shield, and buckler. Abram did not have to fight his own battles; God would do that for him. Just like when he had to rescue his nephew Lot, Abram took men into battle, but God fought for him. He lost no men, but utterly defeated the enemy which consisted of five kings. The Hebrew word for “reward” is sakar and means compensation, wages, reward. The lexicon defines this word in this verse as ‘reward for work done, faithfulness’. What needs to be seen here is God had called Abram to set himself apart from the rest of his family and follow God and for doing this God would protect him and see to it that Abram prospered for being obedient. He even states that the reward would be exceedingly great.
The next verse is Genesis 17:2 And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. The Hebrew word used here for “covenant” is beriyth (ber-eeth) and it means compact (agreement between two parties), confederacy (a contract between two or more persons), covenant (In theology, the covenant of works, is that implied in the commands, prohibitions, and promises of God; the promise of God to man, that man’s perfect obedience should entitle him to happiness.). Here again we see that God has His part and man has his part. Then God says that when we fulfill our part he will “multiply thee exceedingly”. Exceedingly means in a degree beyond what is usual; greatly. This is not simply just getting by but overflowing. This is also a reference to material possessions and wealth as well as to an increase in people.
The next verse is Genesis 24:1 And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things. The Chumash explains this verse this way: God had given Abraham everything, riches, possessions, honor, longevity and children. We have to remember that Abraham had so much that he and Lot had to split up because the land could not support both of them. Lot had many possessions only because of his association with Abraham, but after Sodom was destroyed, he had nothing, yet Abraham was still wealthy.
The next verse we are going to look at is one that talks about a promise God made to Abraham’s son, Isaac, when he was considering going to Egypt during a time of famine in Canaan. Genesis 26:3 Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; (4) And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;. God wants Isaac to learn to depend on Him and Him only as Abraham had learned to do. Isaac knew that God had taken care of his father and when God told him to stay in the land, Gaza, even though there was a famine occurring it was still something that was no doubt hard to agree to. A famine is defined by Webster as scarcity of food; dearth; a general want of provisions sufficient for the inhabitants of a country or besieged place. During a famine there is no water or an extreme lack of water. During that time of no water, no visible means of provision, God told him to stay and He would bless him, empower him to prosper. God would give all that land to his descendents. Isaac stays and God follows through with His promise.
Genesis 26:12 Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him. (13) And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great: (14) For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him. God kept His promise. When man obeys God, God will reward him with the best this earth can offer. The Hebrew word for “waxed” is gadiysh and it means to heap. He increased in everything so much that the Philistines asked him to leave because his house was greater than the Philistines. That’s increase! Also, I would like to point out that when you are following God’s lead things won’t always look like the right thing to do. As Isaac was in a land of famine it did not, in the natural, appear to be the best thing to do to stay there, but God assured him that He would bless him IF he stayed. Isaac stayed and God increased him a hundred fold for being obedient. We will be in circumstances where you feel that God is telling you to do something that appears to be the wrong direction. Stay with Him and He will see you through.
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all followed God and all prospered greatly. When Joseph was sold into slavery, God still blessed him and prospered him. God gave him favor with Pharaoh so that he was second in command in Egypt. After the period of time that they were slaves to the Egyptians, God gave them favor with the Egyptians so when they left, they left with most of the wealth of Egypt. Exodus 12:36 And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians. God was so thorough that Egypt was the mightiest nation at that time and was brought down to a third world status and has never recovered from that. According to the Chumas, the Egyptians forced goods upon the Israelites, more than what they asked for.
When the children of Israel left Egypt God declared what He was going to do for them because of the promises that He had made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Deuteronomy 6:10 And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, (11) And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full; The Hebrew word used for “sware” is shaba and means to bind oneself by seven things, cause to happen. This is what we would call an ultimate oath.
An oath that, if not fulfilled, would be cause for death. The Hebrew word used for “goodly” is towb (toob) and the Lexicon states that in this verse it means pleasant, agreeable, best, wealthy. This means that the houses that He was going to give them were going to be extravagant, with all of the best building materials and furnishings. The Hebrew word used for “houses” is bayith and means not just a house but carries an indication of big house, as in palace. Our palaces will be filled with all good things. These things are things of beauty. The Hebrew word for “good things” is towb (toob) and the Lexicon states that in this verse it means best, beauty, goodness of taste, prosperity. There is no doubt that what God wants us to have is the best. These promised things are not things borne in poverty and lack but things of great value. The best that the land had to offer.
Many have said to me that these promises were for Israel, not the church. There is some truth to that, but we also have to remember what Paul wrote in Hebrews 8:6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. If we have a better covenant than what the Old Testament patriarchs had, then what God did for them, He will do for us plus more. This means that everything that God promised Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, are our promises too. Galatians 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made.
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The promises of Abraham are material blessings, the promises of Christ are the spiritual blessings. The Hebrew word in Deuteronomy 6:11 for “be full” is saba and it means have plenty to be full and even carries the meaning of gluttony. The meaning here is that when you follow God’s direction and keep His commandments you will be blessed with much more than what you need even to the point where you have so much that you will be able assist others less fortunate. God does NOT intend for you to hoard the blessings He bestows upon you. We are to be a conduit of His blessings. The wealth that we attain is not just for us but to do His work on this earth.
© 2011 Roger Anghis - All Rights Reserved
Pastor Roger Anghis is the Founder of RestoreFreeSpeech.org, an organization designed to draw attention to the need of returning free speech rights to churches that was restricted in 1954.
President of The Damascus Project, TheDamascusProject.org, which has a stated purpose of teaching pastors and lay people the need of the churches involvement in the political arena and to teach the historical role of Christianity in the politics of the United States. Married-37 years, 3 children, three grandchildren.
Web site: RestoreFreeSpeech.org