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Keralabrethren.net: General Forum: Giving up the choice or right

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# 07780 :  Giving up the choice or right

I was encouraged when i read the following passage of Genesis 13:8 onwards "And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left."

During the strife, Abraham gaveup the choice/right and asked Lot to make and inturn God blessed Abraham whatever choice Lot had taken.

Can we take this as a lesson/attitude during our disagreements in earthly matters?

Allowing the other person to choose whenever there is disputes related to property or any other issues which you come across.

Request anyone to share more as God guides you.

-- Deepu

Post by : deepucvarghese  View Profile    since : 6 Aug 2015


Reply by : George P. Koshy   View Profile   Since : 6 Aug 2015 12:44:43 PM Close

Dear Deepu,

I was reading Romans 11 and 12. Those two chapters are to be taken as the exposition of Genesis 13:8, as you wrote.

Shalom Malekim!!!

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Reply by : deepucvarghese   View Profile   Since : 8 Aug 2015 7:33:57 AM Close

Dear KJ,

What you wrote is completely out of topic. Kindly delete it and start a new thread.

-- Deepu

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Reply by : deepucvarghese   View Profile   Since : 10 Aug 2015 10:08:08 AM Close

Dear KJ,

Thanks for deleting it.

Romans 12 is very much related. Go through the whole chapter and let me know, i shall provide the same in context of the thread.

im studying both chapters and will include in detail what i learnt.

-- Deepu

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Reply by : moses2006   View Profile   Since : 13 Aug 2015 8:33:54 PM Close

The choice that Abraham gave to Lot in Gen 13:8 had nothing to do with the calling that Abraham received from God. Further, there is no scriptural reason to insinuate that Abraham obedience "was not instant and immediate, but very gradual".

God did call Abraham when he was still in Mesopotamia. It is recorded in Gen 12:1. The call was to leave his country, his family (which Stephen stated in Acts 7 as "relatives") and his father's house.

As soon as God called him out, Abraham left Mesopotamia (Gen 12:4, Acts 7:4). He did not linger around in Mesopotamia. It is true that his father Terah and his nephew Lot also went up, out of Mesopotamia with him to Haran. In Gen 11, the departure of Terah to Haran was because of the calling that God gave to his son, Abraham. Then, God had Abraham wait in Haran until his father died and "when his father was dead, He moved him to [the] land" of Cannan (Acts 7:4). Abraham did not wait in Haran for his father to die, it was God who had Abraham wait in Haran till Terah died.

The narrative does not in any way incriminate Abraham's speed of obedience. His moving to Haran and then to Cannan was in obedience to God's call. The fact that Terah and Lot accompanied him, in some of his travels, does not violate the original calling of God in Gen 12:1. When God commanded him to do so, Abraham left his home, relatives and his country and there was no delay. Further, God blessed Abraham when he was in Haran (see Gen 12:5).

Coming to choice that Abraham gave to Lot in Gen 13:8 - it is just an example of his humility and grace in making and ensuring lasting peace between him and Lot. Lot would have stuck with Abraham all his life and once the herdsmen's quarrels went up the chain, they would have had an acrimonious relationship,. Abraham prevented that and this shows his foresight, as well as his sacrificial mentality to achieve peace with his nephew.

In Rom we read, "If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men." If it means that we give the first choice to another for the sake of peace, then do it. Abraham is an example of one who was a peace maker and his actions testify of this.

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Reply by : moses2006   View Profile   Since : 14 Aug 2015 6:40:50 PM Close

Quote, "

Terah was 70 years old when Abram was born
Abram was 75 years old when he left Haran
so, Terah was 145 years old when Abram left Haran
But, Terah died when he was 205 years old.

Subtracting 145 from 205 will give us information that Terah lived another 60 years afer Abram left Haran." End Quote.

That is an example of bad math coming from making incorrect assumptions. The erroneous assumption is that Abraham, Nahor and Haran were all born in the same year (70th year of Terah). The Bible does not state that at all. Abraham may have been the youngest, since Lot (Haran's son) was his contemporary and Nahor, a contemporary of Haran's daugher (he married her). So chances are, Abraham was born well into the middle ages of Terah (100 -140). So its is very possible that Terah when he died at 205 (in Haran), Abraham was around 75.

In addition, both Gen 12:4 and Acts 7:4 denote that Abraham left immediately after getting the call of God. There is no reason (scripturally) to assume that he did not. Especially to make a teaching out of it (delayed blessings, etc). 

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Reply by : moses2006   View Profile   Since : 17 Aug 2015 10:20:18 PM Close

Quote, "Stephen's narration about Terah's death and Abram's moving out of Haran does not seem to be correct; although I would not like to say outright that Stephen was wrong.  There may be some discrepancy in narration."

If Stephen's narration in verse 4 is not correct, what else is not correct in his entire speech? This is a man who is referred to by the inspired text as being "full of faith and the Holy Spirit" and one who performed great wonders and signs. His accusers saw that his face was like the face of an angel. Clearly, he was no ordinary believer who was just making a speech from memory. His words before the council and High Priest came from prodding of the indwelling of God's Holy Spirit.

The Lord Himself said, "But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you." Matt 10:19, 20. So the words that Stephen spoke in his defense were not his own, directly from the Spirit of the Father.

So anyone who questions the correctness of Stephen's narration and insinuiates that he has a discrepancy, is simply questioning the Spirit of God.

It is Stephen who said, "And from there, when his father was dead, He moved him to this land in which you now dwell." Acts 7:4

Note the words in bold - there is a location aspect, a time aspect and there is a divine control aspect over the whole event - revealing that God was in control of when Terah died and when Abraham was commanded to leave Haran to go to Cannan.

Quote, "God did not allow staying in the same country [Haran] but said "Get thee out of thy country"

Abraham country was not Haran, as implied the above quote - his native country is the Ur of Chaldeans, which is Mesopotamia. The commandment in Gen 12:1 was fully met when Abraham left Mesopotamia. The first land that God took Abraham to was to Haran, where God blessed with enormous wealth and people. From Haran, God took him to the land of Cannan.

If "All scripture is given by inspiration of God...", then show that belief by believing the words that came from the mouth of Stephen, which words are from the Spirit of God.

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Reply by : moses2006   View Profile   Since : 18 Aug 2015 9:11:19 PM Close

Quote, "Stephen's narration about Terah's death and Abram's moving out of Haran does not seem to be correct; although I would not like to say outright that Stephen was wrong.  There may be some discrepancy in narration."

Quote, "I hope the meaning is clear here that I would not like to say Stephen was wrong but there may be some discrepancy."

Is there a middle ground called "discrepancy" between 'not correct' and 'not wrong', when it comes to the inspired scriptures? Is not the term 'discrepancy in narration' used when the narrating person is judged as being factually inaccurate? "Discrepancy in narration" is just a creative way of alleging that the narrator is knowingly or unknowingly lying.

This alleged narration discrepancy is with Luke the inspired writer or with Stephen, the inspired speaker. The common element with both fallible humans is the infallible Spirit of God. Therefore, the insinuation is that there is "some discrepancy in the narration" provided by the Spirit of God (either to Stephen or to Luke) - in other words, the Spirit of God is lying to one or other or to both!

Quote, "Show that Moses’s writings were not from the Spirit of God or reconcile Moses’s writing with Stephen’s speech"

Moses writings in Genesis do not conflict with Stephen's narration or Luke's writings. Those who are in pains to see Terah having triplets at age 70, will undoubtedly disagree. Such people cannot be helped, since they would rather force an interpretation into an inspired text rather than see that the inspired text makes no claims that correspond to their devious mind set. This is the same mind set that charges the Spirit of God with lying, through the use of flowery language "discrepancy in narration".

Quote, "Ur of Chaldeans is NOT A COUNTRY but a city in Mesopotamia, just as Haran was NOT A COUNTRY but a city in Mesopotamia. How could one miss the point that Ur of Chaldees and Haran are in the same country, which is Mesopotamia.  Check out Old Bible Maps and see if there is still doubt. That is Abram did not move out of the country until after he moved out of Haran. How one justifies his movement to Haran and his stay in Haran?"

When God commanded Abraham to leave his country in Gen 12:1, it is simply referring to Abraham native place, which is Ur. The Hebrew Word ERETS (which is translated as 'country' in KJV) simply means 'land'. YLT translation of Gen 12:1 simply states "Go for thyself, from thy land..." The political concept that we have today behind the use of the word 'country' did not exist back in Abraham's day. There were no well defined nation states with clearly recognized boundaries. Abraham was commanded by God to leave his home land, or native place to a land that God would show him. This latter "land" is also ERETS. In the same verse, the translators simply choose to describe the first ERETS as 'country' and the second ERETS as 'land'.

One should not make teachings and feel the need to judge a man as great as Abraham based on the word choices used by translators. This judging of Abraham was done using other choice words, "We see that Abraham's obedience was not instant and immediate.."

Quote, "God did not take Abram to Haran, it is Terah who took him to Haran."

The inspired scriptures assert in Gen 12:4 - So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him..and in Heb 11:8 - By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. If Terah is the one who took him to Haran, then these verses would not have credited Abraham with the immediate obedience that is evident in these verses. The credit should have been given to Terah. On the contrary, the Word of God gives the obedience credit to his son, Abraham. This shows that Abraham is one who left in obedience, while Terah and Lot simply chose to go with him and be a part of the blessing that God was making in Abraham's life. Terah may have assumed a leadership role in this travel, since he is father. But make no mistake - it is Abraham who received the call of God and set out in obedience.

Quote, "Stephen was narrating the history and not the will of God. His narration in no way means that God intended Terah to move Abram, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife out of Ur of the Chaldeans and have a first stop at Haran and then Abram, who was then 75 years, to move out of Haran when Terah died when he was 205 years old."

Stephen was narrating the factual history as words coming from the indwelling of the Spirit of God. God's will is in Gen 12:1 and the rest of scriptures assert that Abraham obeyed God. There is no reason to doubt his obedience or to claim that he lingered in a way that would not be in accordance with God's will. God will was specific in terms of his leaving, but the exact course of his journey was not specified. God would show him the way and how he got to the final destination was yet to be revealed.

In Gen 11:34, we see that Terah is only taking some family members of his patriarchal society - "his son Abram and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram’s wife" Surely there were more members than these 4 people. Where is Nahor and his family? What about other sons/daughters of Haran? What about their grandparents? This selection of people (Terah, Abraham, Sarai and Lot) shows that only these 3 people (Sarai, Lot and Terah) were the only ones who decided to leave Ur and go with Abraham, in response to the call of God. The others were not interested and stayed back in Ur. So Terah did not move Abraham, its the other way - Terah accompanied his son and his daughter in law when they left Ur. So did Lot.

I do not know why they chose to stay for a long time in Haran - but God's call did not include a time frame ("report to Canaan in 3 days"!). What can be understood is that Abraham relied on God to tell him when to move. Per Stephen, God moved him out of Haran only after Terah passed away. And I chose to believe in the inspired words written by Moses, spoken by Stephen, written down by Luke and confirmed by the author of Hebrews. Abraham was not perfect and he did occasionally stray from God's will. But his obedience in leaving his native place, "as the Lord had spoken to him" (Gen 12:4) and his obedience in the offering of Issac are chiseled examples of obedience, in Word of God that abides in the heavens.

Others are welcome to disagree and choose to believe whatever they choose to believe.

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Reply by : moses2006   View Profile   Since : 19 Aug 2015 5:35:11 PM Close

I chose to believe in the inspired words written by Moses, spoken by Stephen, written down by Luke and confirmed by the author of Hebrews. 

Others are welcome to disagree and choose to believe whatever they choose to believe.

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