Bible Studies,  With Me In The Winepress

With Me In The Winepress – Ephesians 1:8-9

Ephesians 1:8-9 (ESV)
8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight
9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ

Unlike the natural road, there is also no other vehicle which will take us there except His sacrifice. Calvary is still the location of where The Door as Jesus referred to Himself opened up the ability to travel to Glory with Him. When we all reach Heaven, His blood will have been powerful enough to take countless more to Glory because of the riches of His Grace.

I love the word the Apostle uses in verse eight about the riches of His Grace, lavished. Of all the definitions tied to the Greek word for lavished, my favorite is “to make abundant or excellent, abounding is used of a flower going from a bud to full bloom.” It parallels the type and shadow in Scripture of The Vine and the branches.

Jesus Death, Burial, and Resurrection were designed to do more than only rescue us. He said that His plan was for us to have life, and more abundantly. The Lord’s desire is for us to grow into everything we can be in Him.

Verse eight explains He did this in all wisdom and insight, meaning not a detail was forgotten. As Pastor Denny Livingston explained recently nothing The Lord did is by chance or a coincidence. Men may do some things accidentally, but God does not. God’s blessings are designed, strategic, and always timed for the precise right moment before they ever even begin to occur.

God did not suddenly explain His plan in Matthew, nor did He share too soon all the details in Genesis. Instead He taught us from one type and shadow to the next, building up to the revelation of His Death, Burial, and Resurrection. In Genesis He promised Eve a Child and a Seed, He promised Abraham a city, and Joseph was a type of Christ.

In Exodus He gave us the Tabernacle. In the books of Samuel and Chronicles He revealed the plan for a Temple. Throughout the Old Testament He revealed details as His people could receive it. It is why He says in Galatians that the law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Jesus.

While Christ was The Lamb slain before the foundation of the world, Isaiah 9:6 states that He also is The Everlasting Father, knowing when to reveal His plan to us. As the parent of a toddler I understand more than I ever did how important it is when you teach something to your child. The Lord knows our frame the Psalmist said and remembers that we are dust, His timing is perfect.

God’s purpose went beyond just one family from Eden, it’s why He didn’t complete redemption at the garden, or the flood. God’s desire was not only to save Noah, but the entire world. It’s for this reason He reached out to Noah’s family generations after the flood and a man named Abram.

1 Chronicles 1:26-28 (KJV)
26 Serug, Nahor, Terah,
27 Abram; the same is Abraham.
28 The sons of Abraham; Isaac, and Ishmael.

Serug, Abram’s Great Grandfather’s name means branch. We know from Joshua’s words that by this time this branch of the family of Noah had fallen into idolatry. Nahor means snorter or snorer, in a very real way, the family was spiritually asleep.

We rightfully focus a lot on Abram, but God placed him in the family he was born into at the time that He had to be born. It was by Divine wisdom that Abram was born to Terah. Even though the father of Abram was an idolater, it didn’t change God’s plan.

Terah’s name meant station or delay. The word delay could seem to describe the first part of Abram’s life. His journey did not completely begin until Terah died.

God that stationed Abram in this family, and made Terah his Father. When you understand that Abram’s Father was as planned as Abraham’s son Isaac, you began to see God’s strategic design. Just as Abraham’s birth was planned, Isaac was positioned to be born at the time needed to be Rebekah’s husband. What Abram may have looked at as a delay was a Divine delay, due to the wisdom of God.

Genesis 11:27-32 (ESV)
27 Now these are the generations of Terah. Terah fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran fathered Lot.
28 Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his kindred, in Ur of the Chaldeans.
29 And Abram and Nahor took wives. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran the father of Milcah and Iscah.
30 Now Sarai was barren; she had no child.
31 Terah took Abram his son and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife, and they went forth together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go into the land of Canaan, but when they came to Haran, they settled there
32 The days of Terah were 205 years, and Terah died in Haran.

Before passing from Terah to Abram and his sons, let’s look at Terah and his children. I almost said sons, but it must be remembered that we know from Genesis 20 that Sarai was Abraham’s half sister by another woman. This was before the law or grace, in the midst of idolatry.

What I never remember focusing on was the difference between Sarai and Milcah. Sarai’s name meant princess while Milcah’s name meant queen. We don’t know the past reason for either initial name, but we do know there was a complete difference in the two women’s future

Yet both women ended up in the lineage of Jesus through Isaac and Rebekah. It’s interesting that each woman shares something in common with Terah, their connection with Haran. To do this we must note the repeating of two names, Nahor and Haran.

Apparently Terah loved his Father so much he named his second, not his first son, after him. Abram’s name mean exalted father, perhaps Terah named him this out of the joy of becoming a Dad himself, we do not know. What we do know is that before Abram heard God speak, The Lord had plans for him.

Something caused Terah to name his second son after his Father Nahor. The last son, the baby of the family was named Haran. Haran would have three children, Lot, Milcah, and Iscah. Haran would die before his Dad, and Terah would leave Ur of the Chaldees to go into Canaan, the city he settled in was also named Haran.

Two Nahors and two Harans can get confusing. I mention it because of how it affects the family, the blood line, and The Promise. Abram marries his half sister, the younger Nahor marries his niece, and her Dad dies before his Dad after which Terah and the family leave town.

I don’t know if they settled in a town of the same name as his son because of sentiment, or because of the town. Either way Terah couldn’t get away from Haran. Some things that others hold onto we are called to let go of. We often mention that Abram left his Father’s house and he did, but only after entering Canaan. God will often use vehicles you will one day discard to position you where He wants us to be.

Haran is important not only because it was where Abram separated from his family after the death of his Dad, but what would happen in the future of his family. It was the city where Abraham would send his servant to find a wife for Isaac. According to commentators Padanaram was at least the same region, if not the same city as Haran, where Isaac would send Jacob.

All of this is relevant to reflect both the brilliance and wisdom of God. These two women Sarai and Milcah, the princess and the queen, would help to build the house which produced an Israel. Sarah’s only son Isaac, would marry the daughter of Milcah’s eighth and youngest son, Bethuel. One of the definitions of Bethuel is Man Of God.

He would have Laban and Rebekah, and a pattern would repeat itself. One would leave Haran, and one would stay. Each would become a part of God’s plan. Rebekah would be Isaac’s wife, Mother of Jacob and Esau, and Laban would be Jacob’s Father-In-Law, the Father of Leah and Rachel.

God would bring about a nation through the marriage of Bethuel’s Grandson Jacob who saw God in a dream at Bethel and Laban’s daughters. All of this is a reflection to me of how in the midst of chaos The Lord strategically brought everyone together. Circumstances in our lives may sometimes be chaotic, yet God is working all things according to His purpose.

In Christ regardless of our past failures, family situations, troubled lives and circumstances we are made new. Whatever we bring to Jesus He can heal and make new. I can bring my brokenness to Him and He will make me better than new through His kindness, mercy, and brilliance

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