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21 22-34 Trading Land For Peace In The Middle East

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                                                  liberty bible church          2/3/08 P.M.

By Tom Zobrist

“Trading Land for peace in the middle east”

Who Should Be Doing This?

Genesis 21:22-34

introduction

Illus. of “The Hunter and the Bear” Compromise is not always a good thing, especially when we compromise with sin.

And many believe that trading land for peace in Israel is a compromise that is “giving away the farm,” if you will for God’s people. However, with terrorism growing, is this something that should be pursued? Or is this a “peace at all costs” deal that will hurt God’s people? But, is it in the best interests of the region? If Israel would give a little, maybe everyone could get along. Trading land for peace is a good idea, but who should be giving up land? That’s the real question.

OPEN to passage.                                       

                

Prop. In this passage, we see how a trade can be made that will bring peace in Israel.  

Open in PRAYER.

PREVIEW the passage. Abraham has had rough couple of weeks. Two weeks ago, he lied about Sarah being his wife a second time and God once again rectifies the situation. Last week, he has to put out Hagar and Ishmael to keep peace in his house and to protect Isaac. Today, he has another issue with which he has to deal; and it’s with Abimelech again. How will there be peace? First…

 i. who wants peace? vs. 22-24

Illus. of usually it’s not the bully who wants peace, unless he starts to lose the fight, then he is willing to negotiate. That’s the case here. Abimelech realizes that he is at a disadvantage. Why?

a. Abraham has God on HIs side    

V 22a   1. A problem has come up. Apparently his promise back in 20:15 is straining relations between both groups.  Abimelech has responded with his big guns. He comes with the commander of his army. But as of right now, this is a measured response. He is very careful. Why?

V 22b  2. He remembers what happened before when he crossed Abraham, even by accident. Cf. Gen. 20:2-3; 17-18 So, Abimelech wants to be very careful. But…

b. can abraham be trusted?

V 23a   1. “swear” or shaba here means “take an oath.” It occurs three times in this passage.

            2. Abraham had a track record with Abimelech that made him skeptical. Can Abraham be trusted? He wants to make a deal that would guarantee that Abraham would not deal dishonestly with him nor his descendants. Even as a pagan, he recognized God’s hand of blessing on Abraham and he didn’t want to have any more “bad dreams.” Perhaps Abimelech felt that if he couldn’t beat him, he should join him and perhaps he may catch some of these blessings. And that’s exactly what he does and indeed he and his descendants were blessed. Illus. of nations that bless Israel are blessed and those that don’t are cursed. Cf. Gen. 12:1-3

V 23b  3. Cf. 20:14-16 He wanted no more trouble with Abraham. They needed to work out their problems.  

V 24    4. Abraham is willing to make the treaty and take the oath. He was not promising to give away land, he was promising to be honest.

Trans. WHO WANTS PEACE? It’s Abimelech. He knows he is at a severe disadvantage. Once we come to terms with this point, we can answer the next question.

ii. who dictates the terms of peace in the middle east? vs. 25-34

Illus. of if you watch the Middle East today, it’s usually the rest of the world that wants to dictate the terms of peace there. Israel says very little. They either agree or disagree and when they disagree, they are hated by many. Who dictates the terms here?

a. abraham dictates the terms

V 25    1. Abraham has a problem too. A well he had dug had been seized by some of Abimelech’s servants. Wells are a sign of blessing, particularly when they are in the wilderness. God can provide water anywhere for his people; in the wilderness or out of a rock. The fact that this well had been seized caused great hardship on Abraham and his servants.

V 26    2. Abimelech pleads ignorance. This was the first that he had heard of it. So Abraham takes the lead.

V 27    3. Just the opposite happens as did in chapter 20. Abraham realized that his group was large and a drain on the land. So he doesn’t take the land for free.

V 28-304. This is where the name “well of the seven” comes from. This would confirm that Abraham dug this well and that he owned it.  

V 31    5. Remember the word for oath above, shaba. It was used three times. Another word which sounds a lot like it is also used 3 times. Sheba means “seven.” Ba- eer Shaba is also used 3 times. It means “well of the seven” or “well of the oath.” There is a stress on the oath here between Abraham and Abimelech that will take place. That’s what the name commemorates. The nation would always be reminded of the importance of keeping oaths and treaties.

b. Abraham settles in

V 32    1. More division is avoided and Abimelech returns home. The Philistines were sea traders that starting settling around this time. The settled in large groups around 1200 BC. But you can’t miss the fact that an oath was necessary here because Abraham had been deceptive. Just because God blesses, does not give us a reason to act as we please. Israel would learn that they had to be honest and honor all their treaties.

V 33a   2. To plant a tree indicates that he planned on staying and that there would be enough water to sustain vegetation and life. Even though all this land was promised to him and his descendants, he was willing to live in harmony with the locals until God made it clear that would change. Of course did when Joshua led them into the land.

V 33b  3. And here he worshipped the Everlasting God, who would always care and provide for his descendants.      

conclusion

WHO WANTS PEACE? It’s Abimelech. He knows he is at a severe disadvantage. WHO DICTATES THE TRMS OF PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST? In this case, it was Abraham. God was blessings him and that was recognized by Abimelech. Maybe that’s what we need today; for the world to recognize that God’s hand of blessing is still on the nation of Israel. But, most of the non-Christian world and many believers as well don’t believe this. They think God’s promises have been nullified or that the church has replaced Israel, but Paul made it very clear that God was not through with His chosen people. Cf. Rom. 11:1-5ff How should this affect Christians?

1.      The only true peace is for those that know Jesus as Savior. GOSPEL

2.      We should support ministries that reach out to Israel. CJF, Friends of Israel, Chosen People Ministries, Jews for Jesus, etc. Even though the nation is now rejecting Messiah Jesus, there is a remnant being saved. After the rapture, many more will turn to Christ.

3.      We should support politicians and governments that support Israel. Our blessings on Abraham’s descendants will bless us; give us more freedom with the Gospel.

4.      Don’t be discouraged when politician after politician fails to bring peace to the Middle East. No land trade, no treaty, no peace talks will succeed in the long term. And no war or act of terror will defeat God’s chosen people. Someday, their Messiah will return and bring lasting pace and salvation to their nation and all God’s promises will be fulfilled, including more land for Israel.

Illus. of “Arbitration” Prov. 18:17 “The first one to plead his cause seems right, Until his neighbor comes and examines him.” The only one right in the Middle East is God. Many politicians want us to believe that Israel trading land for peace is a good deal. But, only Jesus coming back will bring peace to this world or to a person’s troubled soul. READ Psalm 122 

pray       

                                                  liberty bible church          2/3/08 P.M.

By Tom Zobrist

“Trading Land for peace in the middle east”

Who Should Be Doing This?

Genesis 21:22-34

introduction

Many believe that trading land for peace in Israel is a compromise. However, with terrorism growing, is this something that should be pursued? If Israel would give a little, maybe everyone could get along. Trading land for peace is a good idea, but who should be giving up land? That’s the real question.

 i. who wants peace? vs. 22-24

a. Abraham has ______________________ on HIs side   

            Cf. Gen. 20:2-3; 17-18

b. can abraham be trusted?

            Cf. Gen. 12:1-3; 20:14-16

ii. who dictates the terms of peace in the middle east? vs. 25-34

a. ________________________________ dictates the terms

b. Abraham ____________________ _______________

conclusion

Cf. Rom. 11:1-5ff How should this affect Christians?

1.       

2.       

3.       

4.


 

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