Your application is being submitted.

Please do NOT hit the back button or refresh the page.

[ close ]

Country Living 4 | Part 1 of 2

Greetings MOL Family!

Welcome back to the last lesson of this particular study on Country Living. We pray that you have gained a deeper appreciation for God’s purpose in giving us these wonderful principles. By His grace, may we become as the wise man of Matt. 7:24, 25 – not only to hear the Word’s of God, but to DO them!


Let’s Review

Someone has called Hebrews, chapter 11, “God’s gallery of heroes”. Everyone did what they did, and accomplished what they accomplished by what? — Faith. Faith is believing God, and believing Him enough to do what He says, is that right?

We’ve been studying about country living, as it’s presented in the Bible. Who was the first lesson about that we had? — Let’s start with what? – The beginning, the Garden of Eden. Who were in it? – Adam and Eve. And then who outside the garden did we notice especially? – Cain and Abel. Were they both in country living? Did they both get the help and benefit from it? No. It takes more than living in the country to find salvation, doesn’t it?

Hebrews 11:4, what did Abel have that Cain didn’t have? – He had faith. And then we studied about the man in the 5th verse; what’s his name? – Enoch. What happened to Enoch? – Translated, after he’d done what? – Walked with God for a long time. Is anybody studying these lessons walking with God, preparing for translation? I hope everybody is. Enoch worked the cities, but he lived where? — In the country. That’s where we get the expression “Enoch’s Outpost”.

And then in our 3rd lesson we studied about Noah in the 7th verse. What are those first 2 words in verse 7? – “by faith”. By faith, Noah being warned of God of things not seen as yet. Were they seen finally? Did everything that Noah predicted come to pass? – Very visible, very tangible. But before it happened, Noah knew about it, and told everyone that would listen, but they wouldn’t listen. He did more than tell them he showed them by building what? –The ark. Who told him to do that? If we’ll listen, God will tell us how to build an ark today. Not like Noah did, to escape a flood of water; but to get ready for what’s coming in the time of trouble.

 


Out of the Cities

Now, in today’s lesson, we’re going into that 8th verse:

By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. – Hebrews 11:8-10

Is a city wrong because it’s a city? — Apparently not. Abraham was looking for what? — A certain kind of city. A city which has foundations whose builder and maker is God. What’s the name of that city in the Bible? — The New Jerusalem. But on the way to get there he left a city (we’re going to take a look at the city he left) and went to the country. And he sojourned, it says, in the land of promise as in a strange country, dwelling in what? What does that mean “tabernacles”? — Tents.

Let’s go back to the book of Genesis please; the 10th chapter of Genesis, the 11th chapter of Genesis, and the 12th chapter of Genesis. We’re going to take a look first at the first city that was built after the flood. Who built this city that’s mentioned in the Bible before the flood? – Cain, the first murderer, built the first city; but all of that was destroyed at the time of the flood.

But now, after the flood, according to the 11th chapter of Genesis… By the way, before we do, just put down in your notes, Genesis 10:8-10. There you’ll find the man that was the first city dweller, city builder. His name was Nimrod. Have you heard of Nimrod? He was a great grandson of Noah. We’re going to see how it happened in the 11th chapter, beginning with the first verse.

And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city… – Genesis 11:1-4

A what? – A city. This is the 2nd time we find the word city in the Bible. The first time was back there in Genesis 4; who built it? – Cain the first murderer. Come on down now after the flood and again the first use of the word city is with this man that was a rebel (you’ll see he’s a rebel as we read on).

“Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” – Genesis 11:4

Who told them to scatter abroad? — God told them to scatter out, and they said, “No we won’t. We’re going to build us a city. We’re going up in the tower”. I don’t know whether the tower ever got to be as big as the big towers in NYC, Chicago, or the other big cities of today, but God did something about it, and He’s going to do something about these today too.

And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth. – Genesis 11: 5-9

What does that word Babel mean? Go to your margin, what does it mean? — Confusion. Now go back to 10:10, and read what the beginning of Nimrod’s kingdom was.

And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel… – Genesis 10:10

Yes, and the margin says what? — Babylon. So, there you have it, Babylon, Babel, confusion, all mean the same thing. That’s the name of the first city in this great tower, in the city that was built after the flood by Nimrod – the great rebel against God. And notice its purpose was direct defiance of God. God said “I want you to scatter out”. They said “No, we’re going to make us a city and a name that will reach to heaven”. That was city building after the flood.

Now where was that city? Where is Babylon, what river? – The river Euphrates, the land of Mesopotamia. That’s the land that Abraham grew up in. Take the 12th chapter of Genesis now, and notice what God told him to do. Abraham was called out.

Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shall be a blessing. – Genesis 12:1-2

So Abraham was called out of the country of Babylon, confusion, Babel. He was called away from the land of Shinar. He was called from the Ur of the Chaldees, into the land of Canaan. What did he do when he got over there to Canaan? Did he build a city? No, he built an altar. Notice Genesis 12:6-7

And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him. – Genesis 12: 6-7

What kind of living accommodations did Abraham have here in the land of Canaan? Take a look in the 18th chapter.

And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day. – Genesis 18:1

What kind of place was he living in? Poor fellow, don’t you feel sorry for him? Did we find why he lived in tabernacles in our opening text in Hebrews 11? Turn back to Hebrews 11 and see if we can find out.

By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, [what does the word ‘sojourn mean? He considered himself a pilgrim and stranger] as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise. For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. – Hebrews 11:8-10

God had showed him the heavenly Jerusalem and it spoiled the cities of this world, my friends. If you and I’ll get a view of heavenly things it’ll spoil all the riches, all the games, all the fun parties, all the politics, all the pleasures, all the riches, all the ambitions of this world will pale as insignificant. We’ll be glad to be pilgrims and strangers, because as the old song says, “This world is not my home. I’m just a passing through”.

Now, let’s go back to Genesis. Do all of these chapters in Genesis from the 12th chapter on, chapter after chapter, tell us a wonderful story of Abraham’s life? Well I want to notice something interesting that had happened in the 13th chapter. He may have lived in tents, he did, but he wasn’t poor. It wasn’t because He was so poor that he lived in tents. In fact, the 2nd verse says:

“And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold. And he went on his journeys from the south even to Bethel, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning…” – Genesis 13:2-3

Why did he live in tents? – He was a sojourner, going from place to place. Who guided him where to go? – The Lord did. And the whole life of Abraham was spent going from one place to another in Canaan — A pilgrim, a stranger, a sojourner living in tents. His whole life in Canaan was spent in going from one place to another. He was a pilgrim and a stranger living in tents.

The 5th verse introduces another man. What’s his name? – Lot. What do you associate Lot with in your memory, city living or country living? I wonder why? Did he start out that way? Abraham didn’t teach him city living. But he had, and particularly his wife had a city mind. That’s what I want you to notice.

When he got a chance to choose he went in that direction. Now the reason that this chapter brings out that he had a chance to choose was that they had so much cattle, there wasn’t pasture enough for all of them. And Abraham, although he was older, he was the uncle and Lot was the nephew. And Lot should have deferred to him, but Abraham said, “Lot, I’m going to let you make your choice. You take any part of the country you want, and I’ll take what’s left”. Wasn’t that a wonderful spirit?

Somebody said, “I wouldn’t want to do that, I’m afraid somebody would take advantage of me”. Well, that’s what happened to Abraham; he was taken advantage of, but God took care of him. Brethren, and sisters, and friends, we can afford to follow gospel principles of love, and benevolence, and generosity, and unselfishness if we’ll follow those principles, God will take care of us. But now notice what Lot saw.

And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou come unto Zoar. Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other. Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain… – Genesis 13:10-12

Here is the 3rd time the word “city” comes in the Bible. Lot took the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah as his. But now notice he didn’t move in to start with, he had enough of country living to know he shouldn’t live in the city, so what did he do? He got real close to them. Read that 12th verse again:

Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. – Genesis 13:12

That’s it, he pitched his tent; he was still living in tents, but the tents were getting dangerously near something. Did he stay in there? – No, because the 14th chapter shows war coming on and that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah taken, and low and behold, Lot and his family are captives along with the rest.

Have we been told that those who choose to remain in the cities will share in the troubles and the judgments that come on the cities? So it was with Lot. And Abraham way out in the country, he wasn’t touched by those problems at all in this case. In fact, Abraham came and rescued not only Lot, but all the people of Sodom when they’d been taken prisoner, and by his generosity and benevolence he had a wonderful influence. He had far more influence than Lot ever had.

I want to read something interesting from the book Evangelism.

“When iniquity abounds in a nation there is always to be heard some voice giving warning and instruction, as the voice of Lot was heard in Sodom.” – Evangelism, pg. 78

Was Lot a preacher? – Oh, yes he preached. Where did he preach? He preached in Sodom. Well, you say, that’s wonderful. And he got great results didn’t he? Read on:

Yet Lot could have preserved his family from many evils had he not made his home in this wicked, polluted city. All that Lot and his family did in Sodom could have been done by them, even if they had lived in a place some distance away from the city. – Ibid

Oh, that God may dig that deep into our souls, friends. All that Lot ever accomplished there could have been done, and he could have saved his family if he had lived where? — Somewhere else. It’s pretty hard to say “Come out”, when we’re in, isn’t it?

Now this is contrasted with Enoch, that we studied about some weeks ago. Enoch in his outpost program did not live in the cities. He visited them, and, thank God, he got some converts. A number of them died before the flood, but they’ll be in the kingdom. And Enoch, of course, was translated before the flood. My point is if we want to be effective city evangelists, we need to live somewhere else than where all the iniquity is, right?

 


Abraham’s Burden

Now we come to the 18th chapter. This is a wonderful chapter. Here we see Abraham sitting in his tent door, and there in the distance, way down the road comes 3 strangers. Abraham didn’t know who they were, but he went out to meet them. Hospitality is a part of country living. They don’t do what you’re reading here in the Bronx or in Manhattan. People don’t run out after strangers and say come in and have supper. They couldn’t; it wouldn’t be safe, and there’re too many of them. But country living breeds hospitality, if the spirit of God is at work; doesn’t it friends?

And who were these that Abraham entertained that day? — Two angels and the Dear Lord Himself. Christ, and His 2 angels taking the form and guise of humanity on this occasion. You remember the message that they brought. After they’d been entertained; that Abraham and Sarah were going to have a son — Isaac.

And then we see God opening up His heart to Abraham about what’s going to happen to what city? — Sodom. What did God say He heard about Sodom? – A terribly wicked place. And speaking in our language of men He said, “I’m going down to look it over and see if the reports are true. If they’re true I’m going to destroy it”.

And Abraham, bless his dear heart, got busy and interceded for that city. Not merely for Lot, of course his nephew was down there. And even though Lot had not been very kind to him, he loved him. But he was burdened about that city. He had a part in rescuing many of those people some time before. Abraham’s heart was burdened for those people just as Jesus coming to the city of Jerusalem wept over it, so the heart of those who love Jesus will be burdened for the great cities.

 


“By living to minister for others, man is brought into connection with Christ. The law of service becomes the connecting link which binds us to God and to our fellow men.”  {COL 326.3}

Is the burden of souls on your heart, dear friend? If you have been blessed by what you’ve been learning, it’s not too late to share and invite a precious soul to join us…

-Continue on to the next study-


 

Did you know that we have more online classes available (and posted daily)?

Country Living -click here- 2019 Class Schedule: Posted on Fridays – July 19 & 26, Aug. 30, Sept. 6, Oct. 11 & 18, Nov. 22 & 29 | “Again and again the Lord has instructed that our people are to take their families away from the cities, into the country, where they can raise their own provisions; for in the future the problem of buying and selling will be a very serious one.” {CL 9.5}
Courtship & Marriage -click here- “Only where Christ reigns can there be deep, true, unselfish love. Then soul will be knit with soul, and the two lives will blend in harmony.” {AH 94}
The Christian Home -click here- 2019 Class Schedule: Posted on Fridays – Aug. 2 & 9, Sept. 13 & 20, Oct. 25, Nov. 1, Dec. 6 & 13 | A class especially dedicated to the leaders of the home: “Society is composed of families, and is what the heads of families make it.” {AH 15}
Child Guidance -click here- 2019 Class Schedule: Posted on Fridays – Aug. 16 & 23, Sept. 27, Oct. 4, Nov. 8 & 15, Dec. 20 & 27 | “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. ” (Prov. 22:6)
Army of Youth -click here- 2019 Class Schedule: Every Friday | “With such an army of workers as our youth, rightly trained, might furnish, how soon the message of a crucified, risen, and soon-coming Saviour might be carried to the whole world! How soon might the end come…” {Ed 271}
The School of Health -click here- 2019 Class Schedule: Every Wednesday | “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” (3 John 2)
Other Present Truth Studies -click here- 2019 Class Schedule: Every Tuesday | Join us, as we go through inspired and continuing series, like “The Advent Movement Survey” and “Beautiful Way”

 

_______
* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.