LESSON 25 JASHER CH 22
SATAN CHALLENGES ABRAM
THE MAN OF FAITH
1. And Ishmael then rose up and took his wife and his children and his cattle and all belonging to him, and he journeyed from there and he went to his father in the land of the Philistines.
2. And Abraham related to Ishmael his son the transaction with the first wife that Ishmael took, according to what she did.
3. And Ishmael and his children dwelt with Abraham many days in that land, and Abraham dwelt in the land of the Philistines a long time.
4. And the days increased and reached twenty six years, and after that Abraham with his servants and all belonging to him went from the land of the Philistines and removed to a great distance, and they came near to Hebron, and they remained there, and the servants of Abraham dug wells of water, and Abraham and all belonging to him dwelt by the water, and the servants of Abimelech king of the Philistines heard the report that Abraham's servants had dug wells of water in the borders of the land.
5. And they came and quarreled with the servants of Abraham, and they robbed them of the great well which they had dug.
6. And Abimelech king of the Philistines heard of this affair, and he with Phicol the captain of his host and twenty of his men came to Abraham, and Abimelech spoke to Abraham concerning his servants, and Abraham rebuked Abimelech concerning the well of which his servants had robbed him.
7. And Abimelech said to Abraham, As the Lord liveth Who created the whole earth, I did not hear of the act which my servants did unto thy servants until this day.
8. And Abraham took seven ewe lambs and gave them to Abimelech, saying, Take these, I pray thee, from my hands that it may be a testimony for me that I dug this well.
9. And Abimelech took the seven ewe lambs which Abraham had given to him, for he had also given him cattle and herds in abundance, and Abimelech swore to Abraham concerning the well, therefore he called that well Beersheba, for there they both swore concerning it.
10. And they both made a covenant in Beersheba, and Abimelech rose up with Phicol the captain of his host and all his men, and they returned to the land of the Philistines, and Abraham and all belonging to him dwelt in Beersheba and he was in that land a long time.
11. And Abraham planted a large grove in Beersheba, and he made to it four gates facing the four sides of the earth, and he planted a vineyard in it, so that if a traveler came to Abraham he entered any gate which was in his road , and remained there and ate and drank and satisfied himself and then departed.
12. For the house of Abraham was always open to the sons of men that passed and repassed, who came daily to eat and drink in the house of Abraham.
13. And any man who had hunger and came to Abraham's house, Abraham would give him bread that he might eat and drink and be satisfied, and any one that came naked to his house he world clothe with garments as he might choose, and give him silver and gold and make known to him the Lord Who had created him in the earth; this did Abraham all his life.
14. And Abraham and his children and all belonging to him dwelt in Beersheba, and he pitched his tent as far as Hebron.
15. And Abraham's brother, Nahor, and his father and all belonging to them dwelt in Haran, for they did not come with Abraham to the land of Canaan.
16. And children were born to Nahor which Milca the daughter of Haran, and sister to Sarah, Abraham's wife, bare to him.
17. And these are the names of those that were born to him, Uz, Buz, Kemuel, Kesed, Chazo, Phildash, Tidlaf, and Bethuel, being eight sons, these are the children of Milca which she bare to Nahor, Abraham's brother.
18. And Nahor had a concubine and her name was Reumah, and she also bare to Nahor, Zebach, Gachash, Tachash and Maacha, being four sons.
19. And the children that were born to Nahor were twelve sons besides his daughters, and they also had children born to them in Haran.
20. And the children of Uz the first born of Nahor were Abi, Cheref, Gadin, Melus, and Deborah their sister.
21. And the sons of Buz were Berachel, Naamath, Sheva, and Madonu.
22. And the sons of Kemuel were Aram and Rechob.
23. And the sons of Kesed were Anamlech, Meshai, Benon and Yifi, and the sons of Chazo were Pildash, Mechi and Opher.
24. And the sons of Pildash were Arud, Chamum, Mered and Moloch.
25. And the sons of Tidlaf were Mushan, Cushan and Mutzi.
26. And the children of Bethuel were Sechar, Laban and their sister Rebecca.
27. These are the families of the children of Nahor, that were born to them in Haran; and Aram the son of Kemuel and Rechob his brother went away from Haran, and they found a valley in the land by the river Euphrates.
28. And they built a city there, and they called the name of the city after the name of Pethor the son of Aram, that is Aram Naherayim unto this day.
29. And the children of Kesed also went to dwell where they could find a place, and they went and they found a valley opposite to the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there.
30. And they there built themselves a city, and they called the name of the city Kesed after the name of their father, that is the land Kasdim unto this day, and the Kasdim dwelt in that land and they were fruitful and multiplied exceedingly.
31. And Terah, Father of Nahor and Abraham, went and took another wife in his old age, and her name was Pelilah, and she conceived and bare him a son and he called his name Zoba.
32. And Terah lived twenty-five years after he begat Zoba.
33. And Terah died in that year, that is in the thirty-fifth year of the birth of Isaac son of Abraham.
34. And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years, and he was buried in Haran.
35. And Zoba the son of Terah lived thirty years and he begat Aram, Achlis and Merik.
36. And Aram son of Zoba son of Terah, had three wives and he begat twelve sons and three daughters; and the Lord gave to Aram the son of Zoba, riches and possessions, and abundance of cattle, and flocks and herds, and the man increased greatly.
37. And Aram the son of Zoba and his brother and all his household journeyed from Haran, and they went to dwell where they should find a place, for their property was too great to remain in Haran; for the could not stop in Haran together with their brethren the children of Nahor.
38. And Aram, the son of Zoba, went with his brethren, and they found a valley at a distance toward the eastern country and they dwelt there.
39. And they also built a city there, and they called the name thereof Aram, after the name of their eldest brother; that is Aram Zoba to this day.
40. And Isaac the son of Abraham was growing up in those days, and Abraham his father taught him the way of the Lord to know the Lord, and the Lord was with him.
41. And when Isaac was thirty-seven years old, Ishmael his brother was going about with him in the tent.
42. And Ishmael boasted of himself to Isaac, saying, I was thirteen years old when the Lord spoke to my father to circumcise us, and I did according to the word of the Lord which He spoke to my father, and I gave my soul unto the Lord, and I did not transgress His word which He commanded my father.
43. And Isaac answered Ishmael, saying, Why dost thou boast to me about this, about a little bit of thy flesh which thou didst take from thy body, concerning which the Lord commanded thee?
44. As the Lord liveth, the God of my father Abraham, if the Lord should say unto my father, Take now thy son Isaac and bring him up an offering before Me, I would not refrain but I would joyfully accede to it.
45. And the Lord heard the word that Isaac spoke to Ishmael, and it seemed good in the sight of the Lord, and He thought to try Abraham in this matter.
46. And the day arrived when the sons of God came and placed themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with the sons of God before the Lord.
47. And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? and Satan answered the Lord and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
48. And the Lord said to Satan, What is thy word to me concerning all the children of the earth? and Satan answered the Lord and said, I have seen all the children of the earth who serve Thee and remember Thee when they require anything from Thee.
49. And when Thou givest them the thing which they require from Thee, they sit at their ease, and forsake Thee and they remember Thee no more.
50. Hast Thou seen Abraham, the son of Terah, who at first had no children, and he served thee and erected altars to Thee wherever he came, and he brought up offerings upon them, and he proclaimed Thy name continually to all the children of the earth.
51. And now that his son Isaac is born to him, he has forsaken Thee, he has made a great feast for all the inhabitants of the land, and the Lord he has forgotten.
52. For amidst all that he has done he brought Thee no offering; neither burnt offering nor peace offering, neither ox, lamb nor goat of all that he killed on the day that his son was weaned.
53. Even from the time of his son's birth till now, being thirty-seven years, he built no altar before thee, nor brought any offering to thee, for he saw that thou didst give what he requested before Thee, and he therefore forsook Thee.
54. And the Lord said to Satan, Hast thou thus considered my servant Abraham? for there is none like him upon earth, a perfect and an upright man before me, one that feareth God and avoideth evil; as I live, were I to say unto him, Bring up Isaac thy son before me, he would not withhold him from me, much more if I told him to bring up a burnt offering before me from his flock or herds.
55. And Satan answered the Lord and said, Speak then now unto Abraham as Thou hast said, and Thou wilt see whether he will not this day transgress and cast aside Thy words.
A STORY SIMILAR TO THAT OF JOB
Here we see a story that sounds very much like the events in Job. Satan comes to ask permission of God to tempt Abraham. Satan desires to ask for the life of Isaac. There is a pattern here, and surely, this type of activity of Satan is very common. It not only is repeated here, and with Job, but over and over again, the devil does not have the brains to be original, and have a variety of plans.
"FOR WE WRESTLE NOT AGAINST FLESH AND BLOOD, BUT AGAINST PRINCIPALITIES, AGAINST POWERS, AGAINST THE RULERS OF DARKNESS OF THIS WORLD, AGAINST SPIRITUAL WICKEDNESS IN HIGH PLACES."
Since we are in a battle against some evil spirits of various ranks and powers, we need the armor of God. These beings that Paul is telling us we battle are these:
archas (principalities) - the highest rank of evil power under the authority of the devil himself, these are probably like arch angels of the devil... perhaps they were arch angels to God before their sin
exousias (powers) -those immediately under those of the highest rank, these are probably angels that fell with the devil in his original sin, or angels that transgressed later, as in the days preceding the flood when they came and transgressed with women and produced a race of half-angelic giants.
kosmokratopas (rulers of the darkness of this world) -these are the ones that rule perhaps a 1000 other demons, these are probably the spirits of the giants of the pre-flood days, and they are more powerful than other demons, because they are half-angelic, and half-human.
pneumatika ponerias (spiritual wickedness) - these are the normal demons that we are accustomed to dealing with in spiritual warfare, they came into existence from the humans that were of the creation before Adam, that the devil was to lead in worship to God. They were all killed in the rebellion that came as Lucifer sinned and had these beings worship him instead of God. Their spirits now roam this earth, and they desire to inhabit a human body, since they no longer have a body. They are extremely evil since they have fallen in league with the devil.
Since we are in battle with these evil forces,
special armor and special training are required for us.
"THAT YE MAY BE ABLE TO WITHSTAND IN THE EVIL DAY"
Abraham, Sarah, and Isaac are tested of God, and the devil is the one who attempts to defile, kill, discourage, and bring to sin and wickedness. God allows this test, for He knows that Abraham, Isaac, and Sarah can pass the test.
God is discriminating in His training. He knows how much suffering to allow into our lives. He knows what measures to take to toughen us into the soldiers that He needs to do battle against the devil. God's purpose is to prepare us for His army. His skillful hands guide us through a basic training that is unique to us. He knows how long to train, and discipline, just as the farmer know how long to plow, or thresh. When the plow has softened the soil so that the seeds can now take root and produce a harvest, the farmer ceases to plow.
Our responsibility is to receive the basic training rightly. How do you react to God's plow? Do you soften and subdue? Or do you resist the plow? If we accept God's dealings, we get through the basic training sooner.
Job experienced tough training. He finally had to yield to the plow, and say:
"THE LORD GAVE AND THE LORD TAKETH AWAY, BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD."
Job didn't harden his heart. He didn't curse God and die. He yielded. And in the same way God allowed the troubles of Job to teach him to yield, God is now about to allow a great test for Abraham. God is careful in choosing His training methods. He selects trials with a calculation aimed at strengthening us, not hurting us. He may choose delay, or maybe denial, to our prayer requests. He may withhold, or withdraw our blessings. Joy may come, or suffering. God knows which trial will bring us to become the finished soldier that He desires.
Abram also had tough training. He had been raised in the home of an idol builder. He had been given a death sentence as a child. He had dwelt away from the luxuries of Ur, and dwelt in the land of terror, destruction of nearby cities by God, and sinners abundant. He had proven to be a man of great faith in the true God.
What are we to do when we face trials and attacks of the devils?
In Ephesians 6:11, we are told to "PUT ON" this armor. This verb is "enduo", which means "to be clothed." It is in the passive voice, which means we just let God give us the armor. Our part is to just receive it, God has made an offer of it. The armor is complete. When we have the armor of God, we need nothing more. We are told it is the "WHOLE ARMOR" (Ephesians 6:11, 13). The word in the Greek is -"panoplian". It comes from two words - "pas" = "all", and "hoplon" = "weapon."
Among the Greeks, the word "panoplia" referred to the complete equipment that was used by a heavily armed infantry. So, when we accept the armor of God, we are completely armed for the battle that we fight.
"PUT ON (enduo) THE WHOLE ARMOR (panoplia) OF GOD THAT YE MAY BE ABLE TO STAND AGAINST (stanai) THE WILES (methodias) OF THE DEVIL."
TWO KINDS OF ARMOR
1. DEFENSIVE ARMOR
HELMET...GIRDLE...BREASTPLATE... BOOTS/SHOES... SHIELD
2. OFFENSIVE ARMOR
HELMET OF SALVATION
The word for "helmet" is from the Greek "perikephalaia". It comes from two Greek words: peri = around
kephale = head
It was an armored headpiece to protect the head from attack. In I Thessalonians 5:8, it says:
"PUT ON...FOR A HELMET, THE HOPE OF SALVATION."
The "hope" of our salvation is the return of our Savior. So this helmet refers to the hope of the Lord's return, when we will receive our eternal reward. It is this hope of His coming that gives us the mental fortitude to battle evil.
BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
The word "breastplate" comes from the Greek word "thoraz". It was a two-part breast cover that protected the body on both sides from the neck to the waist. The breastplate protects the vital organs from attack. Satan attacks our life, and past. He reminds us of all our sins. What protects us is not our righteousness, no, it is the righteousness of Jesus. Our righteousness is as "filthy rags." So, while the devil is trying to attack you, and your life... remind him that the righteousness of Jesus is your defense.
GIRDLE OF TRUTH
The word "girdle" is from the Greek word -"zoma". It was a belt that held the garments close to the body so that it would be easier to move about. The loose fitting garments would otherwise hinder the movement of the soldier. This belt was often hollow, or folded so that it could also serve as a purse. The fact that we have the truth, and can trust what God has revealed in us, gives us ability to fight better. In this belt of truth, we carry our sword, food, water pouch, etc. All the staples of life are bound up in the fact that we know with certainty that we have the truth.
This is the Greek word - "knemides". It referred to the cover for the front of the leg. This front cover that was tied to the leg and often to the leather sandals, protected the lower legs, and feet from the stones, brush, etc. that were in the battlefield. It is the "preparation of the gospel of peace..." that protects us from the rough times and things we meet in life. Whenever a trial comes unexpectedly to us, we need to have studied the Word of God, so the peace that the Scripture gives us can flood immediately to our minds, when the trial strikes. The Word of God produces peace.
"GREAT PEACE HAVE THEY WHICH LOVE THY LAW, AND NOTHING SHALL OFFEND THEM."
SHIELD OF FAITH
The word for "shield" is "thureos." It referred to the Roman shield that was 2 foot by 4 foot. These shields were usually made of wood that was covered with a metal cover. They were heavy and bulky, but the soldiers moved slowly ahead with them, safe from the attacks of the fiery arrows of the enemy. These shields were often used by gathering a group of soldiers about in a circle. When the shields were held in front of them, they made a hedge like protection. Several other soldiers in the center of the circle could hold their shields overhead and give a turtle like shell of protection. When the arrows of the enemy came down upon them, this circle of shields easily protected them. Satan is always firing darts at us. We need "faith" to block his darts. When the attack is especially heavy, we need to gather together with others of faith, and stand against his attack together.
This is the protection that God has provided. We need to be aware of how it is to be used.
We are not to be "foxhole Christians." We are to attack the devil and his strongholds. Did Jesus come to be beaten by the devil? No! He healed the sick, preached the Word, raised the dead, cast out devils, etc. In the same way, we are to attack the devil, demons, and the destructive work they are doing in this world.
THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT
The "sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God," refers to the "machaira" of the Roman times. It was not a sword as we usually think. We think of a sword as the three musketeers would have used. But this sword though was a short sword, a dagger. It was used in close combat. God did not offer us a spear, to throw at the enemy 20 yards away. We are to come face to face with the enemy. Not hiding in a foxhole, occasionally rising up to hurl a spear and then duck into safety again. We are to get into the battlefield.
"SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, WHICH IS THE WORD OF GOD."
The "WORD" referred to here is the Greek word "rhema" and not the word "logos" that many have assumed it to be. Rhema denotes an utterance of God. Logos denotes the Word of God, i.e. the Bible. Rhema is the speaking of God through us, perhaps using God's Word, or by prophecy, by word of knowledge, or by inspiration.
"BUT I SAY UNTO YOU, THAT EVERY IDLE WORD (rhema) THAT MEN SHALL SPEAK, THEY SHALL GIVE ACCOUNT THEREOF IN THE DAY OF JUDGMENT."
Here the word, rhema, refers to the times when one may say: "God is saying... to you." Whenever a person of God speaks for God in this way, he or she must be very careful to be sure it is truly God speaking. Rhema is the uttering of God's message to someone.
Could Elijah had spoken rhema to cause fire to fall from heaven without first praying? Too many want to speak rhema without communication with headquarters to know what God wants spoken. Soldiers in the Lord's army must keep in touch with the Commander. We're the "gun" that will fire, but He will give us the bullets. To run off to battle without prayer and communion with God, is like running into battle with an empty gun.
THE CHALLENGE OF THE DEVIL
As in the story of Job, we see how Abram is about to go through a great test. We also see a bit more of the story of Isaac, and of his statement of faith to Ishmael. We have this added to the Bible narrative, and it explains the confident faith of Isaac as his father puts him, instead of a lamb upon the altar. The faith of Abram was great, and his son was learning and growing in the faith. This story continues in the next chapter of Jasher. The added detail to what the Bible tells us, makes the truths even more vivid.