Building upon promises.
We have to start where God’s plans are laid out for us to see. The building of God’s Temple started with promises. The ones God made to a man called Abram who was married to a barren woman. When God appeared to him in a vision Abram said to Him, “O Lord God, what will you give me since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus? And Abram said, ‘Since You have given no offspring to me, one born in my house is my heir.'” (Genesis 15:2-3)
“Then behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, ‘This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own seed, he shall be your heir. And He took him outside and said, ‘Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.’ And he said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be.’ Then he believed in the Lord; and He accounted it to him as righteousness.” (Genesis 15:3-6)
Did you notice there were no conditions to this promise? It was simply an answer to a man’s prayer, “what will you give me?” The only thing Abram did was believed after the promise was given. The fulfillment of the promise is according to God’s foreordained plan.
“On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, To your descendants I have given this land, From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates:” (Genesis 15:18) A covenant is a fancy word for a promise and God was promising land. A lot of land. A place for those of His choosing, Abram’s descendants.
Building takes time.
Our time goes quickly and as Abram and Sari grew older Sari got impatient. She convinced him to take another wife. “Go into my maid; perhaps I will obtain children through her.” (Genesis 16:2) Well, he did, and Hagar, his new wife conceived. Hagar now despised Sari who complained to Abram. He threw up his hands and told Sari she could do to Hagar as she willed.
Sari treated Hagar so badly that she fled to the wilderness. The angel of the Lord found her and said, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself to her authority.’ Moreover, the angel of the Lord said to her, ‘I will greatly multiply your descendants so that they will become too many to count.” (Genesis 16:9:10)
“The angel of the Lord said to her further, ‘Behold, you are with child, and you will bear a son; And you shall call his name Ishmael, (God hears) Because the Lord has given heed to your affliction. He will be a wild donkey of a man, His hand will be against everyone, And everyone’s hand will be against him; And he will live to the east of all his brothers.” (Genesis 16:11-12)
Abram did not yet receive the son who would fulfill God’s promise. Ishmael would not live in the land promised to Abram’s descendants, but he would be the father of descendants “too many to count.”
It takes time to build the Temple of God, and it takes time to describe what will be. Hope you bear with me.
To be continued.