Abraham - Part I
“These are the generations of Shem: Shem was an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the Flood: And Shem lived after he begat Arphaxad five hundred years, and begat sons and daughters. And Arphaxad lived five and thirty years, and begat Salah: “And Arphaxad lived after he begat Salah four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters.”
The Birth Of Abraham
Considering that Shem lived 500 more years after the flood, means he was contemporary with Abraham for approximately 75 years; however, that number varies wildly with commentators. It is almost certain that Shem and Abraham were acquainted, and it is possible that Shem witnessed to Abraham.
At this time, about 400 years after the flood, it is very much possible that there were several hundreds of millions of people on the earth. And considering that Abraham was one of the most powerful men of his day, which we will deal with later, as stated, it’s almost certain that Shem and Abraham were acquainted. If, in fact, that was the case, you can well imagine that Abraham plied Shem with every question concerning the Call of God on Noah’s life, Shem’s father. You can imagine that Abraham wanted to know about the building of the Ark, and everything about the Flood, etc.
As well, it is quite possible that Shem was used of God to witness to Abraham, but of that there is no record.
It is amazing, considering how the Lord used Abraham, that we have not one word in the sacred text as it regards how that the Lord spoke to Abraham. Did He speak to him personally, or did He use Shem?
It is believed that Noah was still alive when Abraham was born. Some even say that Abraham was two years old when Noah died. Noah lived three hundred and fifty years after the Flood, and could very well have been alive when Abraham was born. However, he would not have lived long enough to have witnessed to Abraham, at least there is no record that he did. But Shem lived some 500 years after the flood and could easily have been well acquainted with Abraham, and could have been used, as stated, by the Lord to witness to the great Patriarch.
As it regards the genealogy of Genesis 11:10 through 26, some claim that this proved that all of these men lived for God. However, that may well be true, and, of course, we hope that it is, but there is no proof that even Shem served the Lord, even as much as we would like to think that he did. The fact of being in the Lineage of Christ, as wonderful and prestigious as that was, however, did not at all guarantee salvation. In fact, the only man in this genealogy listed in Hebrews 11, the great chapter of faith, is Abraham.
“And Serug lived thirty years, and begat Nahor: And Serug lived after he begat Nahor two hundred years, and begat sons and daughters. And Nahor lived nine and twenty years, and begat Terah: And Nahor lived after he begat Terah an hundred and nineteen years, and begat sons and daughters. And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran” (Gen. 11:22-26).
The early verses of chapter 11 of Genesis record man’s effort to establish himself in the earth and to make for himself a name; the verses now under consideration show God calling a man out of the earth, namely Abraham, and giving him a name. Man said, “Let us make us a name” (Gen. 11:4). God said to Abraham, “I will make you a name” (Gen. 12:2).
When men throw in their lot with the Lord, they have then embraced that which is eternal, and in that which is “more abundant life” (John. 10:10). In fact, far too many believers make their plans, and then ask God to bless those plans. He never will! The idea is that you let God make the plans, and then those plans are guaranteed of blessing. Please understand the following:
God cannot accept anything that is conceived in the heart of man, even the godliest of men. If God accepts it, He must conceive it, give birth to it, and then guide, lead, and instruct. Sinful man cannot produce anything that God can accept and, as stated, and I repeat myself, that includes even the godliest, whomever they might be.
God has a plan for every single believer, a plan that is tailor-made for the individual. And that goes for every single believer, whoever that believer might be. And if the believer will ask the Lord what that plan is, in other words, what the Lord wants that person to do, to be sure, the Lord will answer such a petition.
A Personal Experience
Back in the 1960s, I had the privilege of preaching several meetings with A.N. Trotter, who had, I think, the greatest anointing of the Holy Spirit on his ministry than any preacher I had ever heard. He was many years my senior in those days, and I did everything I could to glean from him as much as would be possible.
I heard him relate a situation as it regarded his mother. She had been raised Baptist, was truly saved, and truly knew the Lord; however, not having the baptism with the Holy Spirit, there were many things she did not know.
He went on to relate how that his father had forsaken them, and left the family destitute. His mother began to cry to the Lord for help, and in answer to that prayer, the Lord baptized her with the Holy Spirit. And when that happened, she learned how to believe God for the impossible.
At any rate, in one particular prayer session, she was asking the Lord as to what He wanted her to do. She was a woman whose husband had forsaken her, and who had a house full of children, so what could she do for the Lord? But to be sure, the Lord had a perfect plan for her life.
He told her in answer to her petition, “Raise the children.” Now at first glance that didn’t seem to be very much. But what the Lord was talking about was far more involved than appeared on the surface. He was meaning that she should raise these children on Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. On Paul, Peter, and John, etc. And that she did!
As stated, the Lord had much more in mind than what the simple statement, “Raise the children,” seemed to imply.
Her daughter, Brother Trotter’s sister, married H.B. Garlock, who opened up West Africa to the great Pentecostal message. His experiences in Africa, and that includes Sister Garlock, were straight out of the book of Acts, even to the dead being raised.
Brother Trotter spent some twelve years in Africa, counting all the times he had gone there, and virtually every preacher in several of the African countries pastoring churches, were baptized with the Holy Spirit under Brother Trotter’s ministry. That’s why the Lord said, “Raise the children.” The Lord always has much more in mind than we realize. So, ask Him as to what He wants you to do, and to be sure He will answer.