Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
The Tree of Life from the week ending 03/08/09
True love would protect Sarah, but pseudo love betrays her.
And Abraham took Sarai his wife and Lot his nephew, and all their possessions which they had accumulated, and the slaves which they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan; thus they came to the land ofCanaan. And Abraham passed through the land as far as the site of Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. Now the Canaanite was then in the land. And the Lord appeared to Abraham and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him. Then he proceeded from there to the mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord. And Abraham journeyed on, continuing toward the Negev. Now there was a famine in the land; so Abraham went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land. And it came about when he came near to Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, and it will come about when the Egyptians see you, that they will say, “This is his wife; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. Please say that you are my sister so that it may go well with me because of you, and that I may live on account of you.”
Let's get some principles down:
1. Abraham is willing to betray category two love as the means of saving his own life.
2. True category two love would protect Sarah but pseudo love betrays her. Pseudo love eventually always betrays the object of its' love.
3. At this time, Abraham is a traitor to Sarah, not her lover and not her protector.
4. Abraham would use Sarah's beauty to gratify his own lust and then turn around and betray her by exposing her to the lust of others.
5. You cannot truly love someone else and think more of your own life then you do of theirs.
6. One of the great things in category two love is to think more of someone else's life then you do of your own.
7. Flattery is the facade of pseudo love. A pseudo love which inspires and motivates others to be dishonest, deceptive liars hypocrites.
8. No real man and no gentlemen would ever compromise a woman to gratify his own lust for survival.
9. Selfishness destroys capacity for love, capacity for life, capacity for happiness.
10. If a person thinks more of themselves then they do of doctrine, then they will think more of themselves then they do of others they allegedly love. In fact, if you think more of yourself then you do of doctrine then you'll think more of yourself then you do of God, and this is blasphemous.
“Please say that you're my sister so that it may go well with me because of you, and that I may live on account of you. And it came about when Abraham came into Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. And Pharaoh's officials saw her and praised her to Pharaoh; and the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house. Therefore he treated Abraham well for her sake; and gave him sheep and oxen and donkeys and male and female servants and female donkeys and camels. But the Lord struck Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abraham's wife. Then Pharaoh called Abraham and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife, take her and go.” And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him; and they escorted him away, with his wife and all that belonged to him. (GEN 12:13-20)
In GEN 12:14 it says, when Abraham came into Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. The word “saw” does not mean to just “see,” it is the qal imperfect of “raah” which means to “stare.” As they arrive in Egypt and they move through the streets, everyone is staring, not at Abraham, but at Sarah. As Sarah makes her triumphal entrance into Egypt, everyone is staring at her and Abraham is pushing his way through the crowd along side of this beautiful woman. Remember that Sarah had to overcome a lot of things to reach spiritual maturity. One of those things was one that very few believers ever have to face, and that is she was one of the most beautiful women in the world. Of course, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, and if your soul improves ladies then of course you will become more beautiful with every passing year! It is worth noting that there is nothing wrong with a woman being beautiful, and nothing wrong with a woman trying to make herself beautiful by being dressed and using make-up. Sarah's magnificent feminine beauty and glamour was never criticized as being worldly, unspiritual, or dishonoring to the Lord. Although she did some things that were dishonoring to the Lord, being beautiful was not one of them.
Generally, a beautiful Christian woman is the object of much jealousy, vindictiveness, pettiness, and criticism. Women often become ugly because they envy the beauty of other women. Envy and jealousy is often a great destroyer of beauty! If women would forget about comparing themselves with other women they would discover that in the advance of doctrine they are no longer ugly. When doctrine resides in a woman's soul, she is beautiful! There is no such thing as an ugly woman with doctrine in the soul! The great point that you need to learn is the fact that you should never compare yourself with anyone else about anything!
For we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves by themselves, and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding.
You are yourself, so be yourself. Remember what the apostle Paul said in 1CO 15:10 "But by the grace of God I am what I am," So if you are advancing spiritually, you are becoming a greater person! When it comes to your advance with doctrine ladies, you're going to discover something, and that is that there is no such thing as an ugly woman! A person's face reflects the thinking in their soul! JER 5:3 “O Lord, do not Your eyes look for truth? You have smitten them, But they did not weaken; You have consumed them, But they refused to take correction. They have made their faces harder than rock; They have refused to repent” (JER 5:3).
She is emptied! Yes, she is desolate and waste! Hearts are melting and knees knocking! Also anguish is in the whole body, And all their faces are grown pale (NAH 2:10). It's always the soul that counts! The danger is to develop the ugly soul! The ugly soul is a monster!
Another factor that is brought out in this verse is that beautiful women, like all ladies, must be protected. There's always some type of male predator who comes up on her blind side, and that's a part of being a woman and a responder. The problem is that some women have absolutely no taste in men at all, they settle for anything with teeth, hair and a pair of legs! Because the woman is a responder she must be protected from something outside of her self. She either must be protected by her right man, or by the doctrine in her soul!
The Pharaoh that was involved in this fiasco was a very unusual person, he was an unbeliever, and he puts Abraham to shame when it comes to the manner in which he handles life, and the use of his justice. The principle for Abraham is that he is trying to solve his problems in the energy of the flesh, which is when we simply complicate our lives and add to the problem. Abraham tried to solve his problems by leaving Canaan and going to the Negev, the place of apathy and indifference toward doctrine. By the way, we are all given a warning in 2JO 1:8 not to enter into our own spiritual Negev, Watch yourselves, that you might not lose what we have accomplished [your momentum and your spiritual growth] but that you may receive a full reward[the imputation of your escrow blessings in time and in eternity]. Remember that neglect of doctrine means rejection of doctrine. What is neglected today is rejected tomorrow.
Then after his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King's Valley). And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said, “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he gave him a tenth of all. And the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give the people to me and take the goods for yourself.” And Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have sworn to the Lord God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth, that I will not take a thread or a sandal thong or anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’ I will take nothing except what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their share.” (GEN 14:17-23)
Here, as a reversionist, he accepts the wealth. The difference lies in the fact that doctrine actually makes a man out of a wimp, whereas reversionism makes a wimp out of a man, and at this point it is a wimpy Abraham. Now, what Sarah going to do about all this? Well, the only thing that she can do is trust God. Therefore in GEN 12:17 we read, But the Lord struck Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarah, Abraham's wife.
While Pharaoh did not know that he had taken Abraham's wife into his harem, Jesus Christ, the supreme court judge of heaven, did know it and the principle becomes quite obvious, ignorance is never an excuse for anything. Ignorance of doctrine is no excuse. Pharaoh's volition was involved in taken Sarah even though his cognizance was not involved, and the point is that God holds us responsible for our volition, whether it is cognizant or ignorant. This means that a sin of ignorance is not excusable.
Since Sarah is included in the Abrahamic covenant as the wife of Abraham, logistical grace demands her protection. Logistical grace is defined as divine planning, divine support, divine provision, and divine blessing for the fulfillment of God's will, purpose, and plan for your life. Logistical grace includes three factors of divine provision:
a. Life support is provided for every Church Age believer. This explains how and why we are alive every moment. The only reason we are alive is because of logistical grace.
We do not earn or deserve it; there's no work we can accomplish to keep ourselves alive.
b. Blessing is provided for every Church Age believer, both winners and loser. This dramatizes the justice of God, in that the justice of God sends life support and blessing to the indwelling righteousness of God in both winners and losers. This emphasizes grace.
You are alive only because of the grace of God, not because of anything you do. Winners utilize logistical grace, losers coast on it, but never utilize it.
c. Divine provision for every Church Age believer to execute the PPOG. All doctrine comes from the prepared pastor-teacher. If you have persistent positive volition, you will find doctrine and your right pastor-teacher.
Therefore, some principles: 1) Since Sarah as the wife of Abraham is included in the Abrahamic covenant, logistical grace demands her protection. Logistical grace demands that those that are the beneficiaries of the promise be protected for the fulfillment of the promise. The beneficiary is Abraham but Sarah is also a part of it. Therefore, until the promise is fulfilled nothing can happen to Abraham or Sarah. This is why being in reversionism is much worse then being out of fellowship in every way! When you are in reversionism, you are always attacking logistical grace designed to support you while you go your merry and horrible way. Therefore, you actually contend with two factors of judgment instead of one, self-induced misery, and divine discipline. The weakness, cowardice and deception of reversionistic Abraham does not remove Sarah from divine protection. Abraham has failed to protect her, so the Lord will. She is still under divine protection. If you are a woman and your husband is not a protector and a provider, remember that the Lord will protect and provide for you. Abraham turned against Sarah but God never turns against the believer. Even divine discipline is not God turning against the believer.
Do you realize all the things that God has done for us? But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (ROM 5:8)
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? (ROM 8:31-32)
Even the Lord Jesus Christ is at the right hand of God the Father praying for us, who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. (ROM 8:34)
Even the mistakes that the Old Testament saints made are said to be for our advantage. Now these things happened as examples for us, that we should not crave evil things, as they also craved (1CO 10:6). The difficulties and the trials of life are even said to be for us, or for our own benefit in 2CO 4:17. So God is for us, and Sarah learned that even when your husband is against you, God is not. Perhaps that's why HEB 11:11 says By means of doctrine resident in the soul even Sarah herself… since she considered Him faithful who had promised; When believers betray you or turn against you, like Abraham did to both Sarah and the Pharaoh, God remains faithful to you and sustains you with His logistical grace. All of us have had the experience or will have, of having friends and loved ones turn against us, and you will discover that when that happens, God still protects you even though you might be in a place of great jeopardy. God has a plan for Sarah's life, and the betrayal by Abraham cannot destroy that plan. Just as God has a plan for you, and if someone betrays you, they cannot destroy that plan, in fact, they only further it. Remember 2CO 13:8, For we can do nothing against the truth, but only for the truth.
Human weaknesses and failures do not change the plan of God. Nor do they hinder protection from the Lord. Therefore, history works for God, not God for history. That's where a lot of believers are mixed up today. So neither Abraham's carnality nor his reversionism can stop the plan of God.
But the Lord struck Pharaoh and his house with great plagues or great disasters because of Sarah, Abraham's wife. (GEN 12:17)
Now, like a good leader pharaoh begins to look for the cause of all these problems. He discovers somehow, perhaps from Sarah or someone along with Abraham, that he has taken into his harem another man's wife.
Then Pharaoh called Abraham and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife, take her and go.” And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him; and they escorted him away, with his wife and all that belonged to him. (GEN 12:18-20)
Notice that the answers from Abraham are not recorded. The answers from the reversionist are not worth recording. Note that reversionistic Abraham has treated Pharaoh unjustly while the unbelieving Pharaoh does not treat Abraham unjustly. You would think that it would be the other way around. However, a believer in reversionism is the worst monster around. He is a liar, a cheat, a thief, a gossip-monger, a slanderer, a hypocrite, and this type of person is to be avoided at all cost. They are usually self-righteous, and they assume that they can do no wrong. Avoid this type of person like you would avoid the plague.
Here's a principle by way of warning to all of us, you can be honorable and great one day as a believer, and in a very short time thereafter, disciplined and dishonorable through reversionism. If Bible doctrine is not more important to us than anything or anyone in life, then the Lord Jesus Christ is not more important to us than anything or anyone.