GENESIS 13:1 – 15:21 and MATTHEW 5:1–26
The Lord brings both Abram and Lot back to the original place of consecration. It is the Lord giving another opportunity to Abram to fulfil the 3-fold requirements that were presented in Gen 12:1. Abram was very rich and Lot was not doing so bad himself. Let’s take note of verse 6.
Gen 13:6 And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together.
It had become evident to both parties that there needed to be a separation seeing that the land was unable to contain all the people and substance. It is the mercy of God at work that makes the need for separation a priority. There is about to be a clear line of demarcation between Abram and Lot. Let us remember that these men were brethren in both the natural and spiritual. How will this separation take place; what will be the basis of going their separate ways. The scripture makes it all to clear. What separated Abram from Lot is that which is separating many in the church of our day.
Gen 13:10 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 comest unto Zoar.
Gen 13:11 Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.
Heb 11:8 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.
Heb 11:10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
The basis of their separation came down to their respective visions. Lot made a decision based on what looked good to his eyes while Abraham made a decision through the lens of faith. In today’s parlance we would say that Lot made the more prudent and safe choice. He evaluated his position and put feet into the direction of that which looked to be promising and fruitful. Honestly, if we were in such a position which of the two streams or paths would we take? If we are governed by our soul we would opt towards the decision that Lot took. Abram on the other hand has had an established relationship with the Lord that started from a younger age. He had learned to hear from God and was able to make decisions that were not based on circumstances. He has already paid a price in not following through on the three point directive that was given him in Gen 12:1. I am sure that his experience in Egypt was warning enough to not make that mistake again. Though it was a mistake to keep Lot and sojourn to Egypt Abram learned a valuable lesson that helped to make this period of separation a bit easier. Abram was clear that this was of God’s initiative that he could put Lot into the position of choosing which direction to take. Abram could do this because he was looking for more than just a city to dwell in; he was looking to enter into the fullness of God’s promise. The Bible speaks of him obeying even though he was not sure where he was going. This comes as result of a close relationship with God. If our walk is not with a consecrated heart we could never endeavour to walk in such a path of faith. From this account we can begin to understand how Abram would be later known as the Father of our faith.
This is why vision is so important. Our vision must be one that has an ability to see beyond the here and now. How is this achieved? Let’s consider what Peter writes concerning this subject.
2Pe 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
2Pe 1:6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
2Pe 1:7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
2Pe 1:8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2Pe 1:9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
There is also the familiar verse in Proverbs regarding vision.
Pro 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
One of the ways to have proper vision is to have a love and adherence for the law of God. This will be seen later when God gives the Law to Moses after the time of the Exodus. Lot had no idea what awaited him in Sodom and Gomorrah. At this time and moment the watered path to Sodom was appealing to his natural senses.
This introduces another thought that should be considered when confronted with such a decision. How was Lot to know what it would be like in Sodom? All he had was the circumstances of his current environment which compelled him to head towards Sodom. Would it not have been wisdom to seek this approach? This is something that a person who walks closely with God would be more inclined to do. They would ask questions such as; Lord, how do you see this matter, what direction should I take? This reflects an attitude of trust that an individual has with His God. Don’t you think God would delight in being brought into such situations? This quality would help greatly in having right vision, especially when confronted with decisions of great magnitude. This should be implemented in our Christian walk to help insure we are in alignment with God’s perfect will. There is an abundance of presumption in today’s church. This can be the result of relying on methods that worked before. This is a real danger because many quality personalities failed in this area. One of the more tragic would be King Josiah who presumed God would be with him in his battle against Pharaoh-Necho. King Josiah had come to know great revival due to his bringing back to life the law of God. He lost his life in his presumption. (2 Chr 35:20-24) I feel to place emphasis on this point because presumption will eventually lead a people down the wrong path. The ability to have right vision comes through intimate relationship. The more we walk with the Lord the more we know His heart, His ways and methods. Still, it is always prudent to ask the Lord what he would do or what decision should be taken. God will honor such a request and place us on a path that seeks a city whose founder and maker is God. This is how faith develops and grows and this is how we come into an arena of greater promises.
Speaking of promises let’s take a look at what God spoke to Abram after his separation from Lot. In verses 14-17 the Lord spoke to him to consider all the land before him. He will not only give the land but he will bring forth a seed that cannot be numbered that will inhabit it. He was then told to walk throughout the land with the promise of it being given to him as an inheritance. This first step of faith after the separation resulted in this wonderful promise being given. Notice that this promise was not given until after Abram’s 3-fold obedience from Gen 12:1.
Today the church is dividing into two streams. One of the ways this separation is taking place is through vision. This account between Lot and Abram continues to play out in our day. There are churches and church leaders making decisions based on what looks good without really going before the Lord to enquire for His view. Sadly, there is way too much presumption and I fear that many righteous men and churches will end up in a “spiritual” Sodom just as Lot did. These leaders will become entwined with the world and its environment resulting in a loss of their distinction and saltiness. Lot was declared to be a righteous man but he became vexed with the wickedness of Sodom. We will later see that Abram is on a whole other plain. He was a friend of God and had a vision and clarity that was far beyond Lot. Let’s be honest in our assessment concerning these two men who represent two different visions. Are we a Lot or an Abraham?
This chapter records the first war that is found in scripture and there are a few highlights that can be drawn from this battle. It is covered in verses 1-16. We see that it is the kings from the land of Shinar (Babylon) that waste no time in contending against God’s people who are beginning to inhabit the pleasant land. The neighbouring areas were in subjection to these kings for a period of 12 years. The number 12 speaks of government. In the 13th year there was rebellion. The law of first mention makes clear that the number 13 speaks of rebellion. This will be seen in other areas of scripture later on. Lot, who was dwelling in Sodom at this time, was captured along with his family. Abram came to know of his capture and assembled an army consisting of 318 men. This number is also significant. It consists of the number 300 (walking with God as seen in Enoch) plus 18 (speaking of strength). The number 318 has the connotation of the strength of a separated walk. Abram was already in a pathway determined by faith. It was a consecrated and separated walk. He was able to take men who were born and trained in his house to fight this battle. This makes clear the importance of “in house” training in our churches. The heart and example of Abram was in his group of leaders which allowed for them to prevail in their battle over these enemies. It does not take long to see the distinction and difference between Abram and Lot. There was a time when they walked together but now they are on two different plains. They are both believers but on very different levels of relationship with God. We will later see similar distinctions as illustrated by the Tabernacle of Moses. We can say here that Lot would be likened to an outer court Christian while Abram being an inhabitant of the Holy Place. We now come to another significant encounter that has relevance for Abram’s day right up to our own. It is potent in so many ways. The key verse is as follows:
Gen 14:18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.
The above verse is loaded with truth. There are three primary messages we need to glean from this verse. First concerns this man named Melchizedek. The impact of this man goes beyond Genesis seeing that the Apostle Paul spends a whole chapter on him in Hebrews 7. King David makes reference to Melchizedek in Psalm 110 seeing that he represents a type of the Lord Jesus Christ (Psa 110:1-4). So who is this man Melchizedek and why is he such an important figure? What is the significance of his encounter with Abram?
We see in verse 18 that Melchizedek is both a king and a priest. We also see that he is a man whose genealogy cannot be traced. Finally, he brings to Abram both bread and wine which is a picture of the first communion service. The primary truth is that Melchizedek is giving a vivid picture and type of who the Lord Jesus Christ will be like. Jesus was both a king and priest in his earthly ministry. King David was a man whose heart so pleased the Lord that he was able to function as both a king and priest. This is what the Tabernacle of David symbolised and it is the reason why David could speak concerning Melchizedek accordingly (Psa 110:1-4).
The bread and wine symbolised the fact that Jesus would be the future broken bread who would shed his blood for the sins of mankind. Abram was meeting a man after this war who serves as a very real type of the Lord Jesus Christ. Melchizedek is not the Lord but one who portrays a powerful picture of who He is. The saints of the last days are called to be made unto kings and priests (Rev 1:6, 5:10). The distinction between kings and priests will not be made until later. We will see that one of the patriarchs will later have the call of bearing the sceptre. The tribe of Judah will be the royal lineage from which Christ will come forth. The priestly (royal) line will not materialize until much later on. The priestly function will later be given to the patriarchal tribe of Levi. This is due to their response to the call as to who is on the Lord’s side at the time of the Lord’s displeasure with Israel (Exo 32:26-27). Originally it was God’s intent that all Israel would become priests before him (Exo 19:6). They failed to do so because of being offended at the giving of the Law. (The 10 commandments – Exo 20:18) The call to the last day church is that all would become both kings and priests but not all believers will be kings and priests. Many like the idea of ruling as kings but few appropriate the realities of a true priest. What is seen here in Genesis 14 will be fulfilled in Revelation. This encounter that Melchizedek is having with Abram has a fulfilment in the millennium as seen in the following verse:
Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
There are many other truths that can be gleaned from the life of Melchizedek. Please see the commentaries from Hebrews 7 and Psalm 110 for more insight.
Abram is about to be given a vision from the Lord that contains very precious promises. First God speaks that he will be Abram’s protection in both His coming and going. Who can prevail against the Lord? Abram already experienced the power of God’s might as he and his 318 men fought against the kings while delivering Lot. He is also being given the promise of a close personal friendship with God. The Apostle Paul came to know of this great privilege as well as seen in the following verse to the Philippian church.
Php 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
Abram now asked the Lord a legitimate and logical question. If he were to be the father of many nations with precious seed coming forth from him how then would it be done? He was getting older and it was not natural for him to be in a positon in being able to bring forth seed. He surmised that it would come forth from his faithful steward Eliezer but the Lord quickly affirmed that it would come from his loins. Abram was then given another precious promise from the Lord as seen in verse 5. His eyes were to look heavenward and consider the number of stars. The Lord spoke and said so shall thy seed be. In the previous promise God spoke for Abram to survey the land before him and to walk upon it with the promise of it becoming his inheritance (Gen 13:16). Think of what was happening here! God was speaking to a childless man who was late in years declaring that he shall have seed likened to the number of stars in the heavens. In these two promises we see Abram being presented with a natural seed from the dust and a spiritual seed as expressed in the heavens. Indeed, he is the father of our faith. The key to Abraham as being the father of our faith is seen in verse 6.
“And he believed in the Lord; and [the Lord] counted it to him for righteousness.”
Abram had the ability to believe God, no matter what the natural circumstances would indicate. This ability was seen at the time of the separation from Lot (Heb 11:8-10). Abraham believed God and counted it to him for righteousness. The Apostle Paul picks up on this truth when writing to the Romans (Rom 4:3). Righteousness involves a heart attitude and it is on full display here. There is something that changes within a person when they respond positively towards Truth. This response puts something into motion within the heart of one who takes God at His Word. The fruit of righteousness begins to be developed. It is a righteousness that goes from being imputed to a believer to being imparted. This means that the righteousness of God becomes an inner garment that becomes a part of who they really are. This is conveyed in the arrayed bride that is prepared for her bridegroom.
Rev 19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
The fine linen of righteousness can only materialize as we respond and embrace to truth. The faith at work in Abraham allowed for him to receive greater promises coupled with greater intimacy with God. I am reminded of a song I once heard from an elderly saint at a convention back in the 1980’s. This was the only time I ever saw her but the song she sang and the way she sang it will never be forgotten. Here is the song that she sung with such great gusto.
Jesus said it, and I believe it, yes His promises are True,
Jesus said it, and I believe it, he will make a way for you
Put your trust in God the Father, put your trust in God the Son
And the moment that you believe it, it is finished, it is done.
The Lord is now about to establish a covenant with Abraham. He was told to take a cow, a ram, a goat, a pigeon, and turtledove and divide them one upon another. The birds were not to be divided. The birds were to be separated on either side of the sacrifices. Once this was established there were the fowls of the air that sought to come down and feed upon the carcasses. This speaks of how the enemy seeks to immediately break a commitment that is made to the Lord. When a commitment or vow is made to the Lord it is to be kept. There is a verse in the psalms that speaks of binding the sacrifice to the altar (Psa 118:27). Do you know this is another old charismatic song we used to sing? It was a beautiful song that seemed to carry a unique anointing. The Words are below:
I give myself to thee as living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God. (repeat)
Bind me to the altar with the cords of thy pure love; let thy grace enable me to stand.
I yield my heart and mind and will to thee O lord my God, and pray thy life in mine be glorified.
In verse 12 Abraham come to know what is termed the “horror of great darkness”. It was a time of utter helplessness and it is frightening. Its purpose is for us to understand that it is only God who will bring these unique promises and blessings to pass. We may know this in our mind but it needs to be known in our spirit otherwise we will find a way to take some credit. It is a very real period of helplessness and hopelessness.
In verses 13-16 there is the sealing of this precious covenant. It is remarkable as to what God is saying here to Abram. He is speaking that there will be a time when his people will be strangers in a foreign land. He even numbers the years as being 400. The Lord goes on to say that this foreign nation will be judged and in the 4th generation they will be released to return to their land with great substance. This is a remarkable declaration of what was going to transpire with the people of God. Of course this is speaking of their time of captivity in Egypt looking forward to the time when they will be set free at the Exodus. The trigger event will be the Passover. Once again we are seeing Christ being brought into the narrative through Old Testament events. Speaking of Christ He is the burning lamp as seen in verse 17. The Father is the smoking furnace. Notice that Abram is in a deep sleep. This covenant that is being made is involving the Father and the Son as they pass together through the divided pieces of the offering. This covenant ensured that the land would be given to Abram and his seed forever. It is an immutable covenant made between God the Father and God the Son and is not dependent in any way upon man. It is a covenant that can never be broken. Can we appreciate what is taking place in this area of the world today? Woe unto those who seek to part the land that God has covenanted for Abram and his seed. If we understand this truth from Genesis it will greatly aid our perspective in world events as they play out before our eyes today.
We are now introduced to the Beatitudes which represents the very best of the Lord’s teaching. This series of teachings was of extreme importance so he allowed His disciples to gather around Him at the base of a mountain. Any one of these Beatitudes is a message in of itself. It is the kingdom summarized in concise bite sized messages. The Beatitudes can be likened in importance to the ten commandments of the Old Testament. The foundational beatitude of verse three speaks of the blessings of brokenness. It refers to our nothingness and that we are like beggars before Him. It denotes our total dependence upon the Lord. It is a heart attitude that is most pleasing to the Lord. It is to the broken that the promises of the kingdom are given. If we ever become anything in Christ it would only be by reason of His grace. It is through His grace we can do all things so it is safe to say that a state of brokenness is a key to growing in grace. In verse four there is a blessing that is given to those who mourn. This speaks of those who grieve and lament over the condition of the land as seen in Ezekiel 9:4 and Revelation 7:3. The blessings of such mourning are reflected in the words of Isaiah.
Isa 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
One of the greatest attributes of God is that of meekness. Those who come to know meekness are those who have implemented the first two beatitudes. A person who has the fruit of meekness is one who projects a quiet and controlled spirit. It is a person who is not provoked when taunted and one who relinquishes all of their rights. There are only two men who were cited as being meek in the scriptures. (Moses and the Lord-Num 12:3 and Math 11:29) The next Beatitude has to deal with appetite. What is it that we truly hunger for? What is in our heart? If we have a hunger for the things of the kingdom there is the promise of being filled. A person makes provision for what is in his or her heart. If the first three beatitudes are working in our lives we then should have a hunger for His Righteousness. It is a righteousness that is attained by faith. (Phil 3:9) In verse 7 there is the promise of mercy to those who exhibit mercy. It is mercy that comes from compassion based on one’s own experience. There is a step by step progression that can be seen in these beatitudes. It first begins with being broken which sets the table for the implementation of the subsequent beatitudes. A person who is merciful is one who recognizes his need for mercy. It is a person who does not pass judgment without recognizing his own tendencies. In today’s world (including the church) we are quick to judge another man. If we are open to the teachings of the Lord as seen in this chapter we will be less prone to make this mistake.
Psa 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
All of the previous beatitudes help to prepare for the blessing of being able to see God. This is the fruit of a pure heart. (vs 8) It is out of the heart where all the issues of life come forth. (Pro 4:23) We all need a new heart and it is a promise that God gives to those who seek after it. David understood his need for a new heart. (Psa 51:10) The prophet Ezekiel echoes the promise of a new and clean heart to those who allow the working of the Babylonian captivity in their lives. (Eze 36:26) Jeremiah the prophet speaks the same message to those who hearken to the message of Babylon. (Jer 24:7)
In verse nine there is the blessing given to those who are peacemakers. The Lord is our peace who has broken down every wall of partition between God and man. The Lord is known as the Prince of Peace and it is an attribute we need to seek after. Peace is one of the greatest weapons against Satan. It is the Peace of God that destroys him. When there is peace there is a neutralizing of the enemy. As believers we must be able to recognize those opportunities where we can become instruments of peace. The enemy is empowered when there is strife and division. This is why homes are divided as well as communities and nations. Those who seek peace are those who will have the privilege of being known as the children of God.
In verses 10-12 there is the blessing to those who are persecuted for righteousness sake. The tendency in man is to justify himself when reviled or persecuted. There must be an ability to have a holy resignation to the Lord and allow Him to be the one who justifies if He so chooses. This life is not always fair but God is faithful and will reward in eternity for things suffered here on earth on His behalf.
The Lord speaks of his children as being the salt of the earth. This means we are to have a savour in our place of existence. Our speech needs to be seasoned with salt. (Col 4:6) We can make a difference in people’s lives by the very words that we speak. As salt adds flavour to food our lives should add meaning to those around us. Salt can lose its savour as it gets intermingled with other things just as we can lose influence in our mixing with the world. We need to seek to maintain purity and a good testimony before men otherwise respect will be lost. The children of God are to be the light to a lost and dying world. (vs 14-16) This is especially true today as things all around grow increasingly dark. Our light is to shine before men.
The next section is an extremely important portion of scripture. It has to do with the Law of God. (vs 17-48) The Law of God is misunderstood in much of today’s theology. There are some who deem the law irrelevant seeing that we are under a new dispensation of grace. (Rom 6:14) Jesus understood this mindset and looked to set matters straight concerning the law. In verse 17 the Lord makes clear that He had not come to destroy the law but to fulfil it. What does this mean? The following is taken from the commentary that will be seen in Romans 7. It is italicized below. It addresses this particular section while bringing in an account that took place in Genesis 4. (Please see the commentaries from Romans 6-8 and Genesis 4 for further insight concerning these passages in Matthew 5.)
Oh how maligned the law has become in today’s secularized world which often includes the church. God puts an extremely high premium upon His law so we do well to heed to its meaning and not seek to trivialize and redefine it. Many draw the conclusion that the law is outdated and relegated only to the Old Testament. Jesus was challenged on this very point when confronted by Pharisee’s. Note His response below:
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” (Mat 5:17)
They were mindful of the Old Testament law, the law they could not keep. The answer the Lord gave was not what they were looking for. “I have not come to destroy the law but to fulfill it” If that was not enough He then zeroed in on several of the Old Testament laws and elaborated. “Ye have heard that It was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill…” (Mat 5:21) Let’s stop here for a moment. Jesus was making reference to the law as given to Moses by His father. It was a law that the children of Israel were never able to live up to. Jesus then elevated the standard of the law they were unable to keep by stating that if one is angry at a man it could be equated to the judgment of a murderer. (Mat 5:22) Think about that, does this mean that if a person gets angry he could be charged in God’s eyes with murder? Wow! It’s no wonder that the law is offensive to many. What was Jesus really saying in this passage? In short, I feel He was speaking to the power of the New Covenant.
What is the New Covenant? It is the law of God being written on the fleshly table of the heart. (Jer 31:33) What does that mean? Well Jesus Himself defined it by saying that He had come to fulfil or to be an expression of the law of God through His life. If one wanted to summarize Christianity it can be said that it is an issue of the heart.
“Guard your heart with all diligence for out of it come forth the issues of life”. (Pro 4:23)
Consider again the Lord’s remarks concerning murder. How is it possible for anger to be equated with murder? Let’s return to Genesis and examine the account of the first murder found in scripture. It involves Cain and Abel whereby both present an offering unto the Lord. One is accepted and the other rejected. Cain did not take this rejection well. He became ANGRY at both Abel and God.
“But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell”. (Gen 4:5)
This anger festered in Cain resulting in the MURDER of his brother in verse 8. You see, the seeds of anger which were harboured in the heart of Cain later gave way to murder. The power of the New Covenant is its ability to get to the root where all sins originate. It’s a matter of the heart. Why should we discard the law so dismissively? Why do many go to great lengths to redefine the law, presenting it as something that is binding and restrictive? It is because many prefer the way of the By-Pass. This route shields the believer of having to confront the realities of one’s heart. Can you see how Jeremiah could come to the place of seeing his heart as deceitfully wicked above all things? (Jer 17:10)
So, how can we define the law? Let’s consider 3 quick definitions.
The Law Defines God
When the commandment of God commands us to not have any other gods before Him it is clear that He is a jealous God. (Exo 20:3) This law (10 commandments) gives an insight into the personality of God. The law makes clear that He highly esteems those who honor authority, specifically their parents. He does not tolerate liars, murders or those who covet. Instead of seeing the law as rules that constrict us may we rather see it as a means of knowing God in a greater way. In rejecting or lightly regarding the law of God we are in essence diminishing our ability to know Him. Put another way we are not interested in really knowing Him and His ways. This is contrary to the man who was given the Law. Moses had a desire to see His glory and know His ways. (Exo 33:13, 18)
The Law Defines Man
When the law of God confronts man he sees himself in light of who God is. Ouch, this can be sobering especially when we see how woefully inadequate we are; how short we come in being like Him. This is another reason why the law is so easily dismissed in many of our churches. People simply do not want to know or confront the truth about who they really are. It is here where a false understanding of grace may be employed to ease or circumvent this unpleasant reality of who we are in the standing of God’s law.
Do we opt for a By-Pass option by redefining grace and minimizing sin? Do we now put extra emphasis on kingdom related values to comfort ourselves at the expense of dealing with who we really are? Jeremiah, Isaiah, Moses and others saw themselves as undone. They acknowledged who they were and did not hide. The law is offensive due to its ability to get to the heart. It puts in clear terms the reality of who we really are; how will we respond when confronted? It’s true; such a revelation is humbling and sobering. (Isa 6:4) It’s here however where a true divine exchange can take place. This is a big IF. Will we choose to allow God to bring us to this place?
The Law Defines and Gives Strength to Sin
Remember the first law given to man in Gen 2:16-17? Up until that time Adam had free reign in the garden. Now a law, a clear cut boundary was being established by God. This was a law that had a clear cut consequence if it were to be violated. Man was now placed into the position of “choosing” to either obey or disobey the law. The violation of God’s law results in sin. Prior to the giving of the law there was no knowledge of sin. (Rom 7:7) If we are among those who choose to embrace and uphold God’s laws we must then be prepared for an even greater battle against sin. Understanding this truth will help us in navigating through the intensive struggle characterized in Romans chapter 7.
The highlighted (italicized) portion above should help to give an overall perspective as to what the Lord is speaking throughout the balance of Matthew 5. These commentaries place a tremendous emphasis on the Law of God throughout the whole of the Bible. We are a people who have the call of Zion upon us. The call of Zion represents a vision that is holy; a vision that enables a people to come into the presence of a Holy God. Zion is the dwelling place that the Lord has chosen for Himself. (Psa 132:13-14) If we are to be among those who dwell in Zion we then need to be acquainted with the Law of God. We need to be New Covenant people who have allowed the Law of God to be written upon the fleshly tables of our heart. (Jer 31:33) It is the Law of God that flows out of Zion.
Isa 2:3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.