【Bible Study】Genesis 12: Pay the Price For Destiny

Bible Study: Genesis

Hello, everyone! Today, I want to talk about my favorite chapter from the Bible: Genesis chapter 12. In the last discussion of Genesis chapter 12, I admitted that I didn't quite understand it correctly. I often think that I haven't got things right. Last time, I talked about the topic "God will make your name great," but why did I get it wrong? Because I was too eager for fame. Later, I realized that being famous is not necessarily a good thing. As the saying goes, "people are afraid of being famous, and pigs are afraid of being strong." So, I found out that I was mistaken, and I need to change my perspective.

This chapter we're discussing today has changed my life and my view on how people should live. It's truly remarkable! The concept of "theology of destiny" comes from where? It comes from Genesis chapter 12. Today, I feel that I've made progress again. Genesis chapter 12 talks about "the price paid for destiny." When you hear about paying a price, you might want to run away quickly because who wants to pay a price when they come to a place? I've never heard of having to pay a price to believe in God. But you need to know that there's another saying: "Outside of destiny, there's no blessing." So, the price we pay for our destiny is exchanged for blessings from God, and that is truly remarkable. Therefore, today, I no longer want to seek fame; I want to pay the price for my destiny

The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12:1-3)

I was thinking, "God, why didn't you tell me this?" Why did you specifically choose Abram? Do you ever feel the same way? Yes, I'm sure you do! God, how can I hear you speaking to me? Why can't I hear you talking to me? To be honest, up until now, I haven't heard God speaking to me like that, but others have said it was spoken to Abram. So, if I become like Abram, then God has spoken to me too, right? Therefore, I say: I also want to be like Abram, be as good as Abram.

Why Did God Speak to Abram?

You must know one thing for certain: Our God rarely pays attention to you, and He rarely pays attention to me. God can't be bothered with us. Why did God pay attention to Abram? Let me tell you a basic principle: If you don't seek God, He won't bother with you. So, what should a person seek from God? Let me start by telling you today's story: Abram was actually very wealthy. If he sat in a chair and his back was a bit sore, he would say, "Hey, servant, come and massage my back, and you there, massage my thighs." If you saw such a scene, you might wish you were as rich as him. Abram lived a luxurious life, enjoying everything. He had money, fame, and power. He was a renowned figure in his time.

Abram enjoyed those massages, so comfortable! A foot massage, so relaxing! And a little oil rubbed in, even more comfortable! After the massage, it was time to feast, eating and drinking! Despite this life of luxury, Abram was not content. Can you believe it? He was not content in the midst of all this abundance! But he found life boring, very boring. Then he saw a person who had died, going to a funeral. It's like how I really enjoy attending funerals.

Do you know about my hobby? Sometimes I say, "Who died? No one. Someone comes and tells me, and I say, "Did your father die?" "No, he's alive." It's like I have this strange desire, hoping someone dies. Why is that good? I say, "They've finally escaped the toil of the world." What kind of talk is that? I say, "I have such a hope, a hope that hasn't been realized yet." You might think, "Are you tired of life?" Yes, I'm tired of life.

So, I always place this hope on others, and that's not a good hope. But I truly believe, why are we even alive? It's just dealing with paying the electric bill, doing online banking, getting locked out of WeChat... exhausting, hard work! Later, I realized, I need to seek a path, a path like Abram's, and I found it.

Why did God talk to Abram? It's because Abram understood the essence of life and death. Attending one funeral after another, then looking at the person in the casket, seeing a portrait of them. The portrait looks handsome, they seemed to have lived a good life, but now the affairs of the world no longer matter to them. After attending many funerals, Abram began to ask, "What is the purpose of life?"

I can tell you: If a person doesn't seek the meaning of life, they're worse off than a monkey. I'm not talking about any monkey; I'm talking about "Sun Wukong," the Monkey King. Sun Wukong emerged from a stone and sought immortality. When Sun Wukong saw a monkey die, he cried, thinking, "Someday we'll all die like this." Then he sought immortality, became a disciple, and studied under Master Puti. There's a difference between those with spirit and those without. Even monkeys seek immortality. How can humans not seek it? What will you gain by not seeking?

Back in Abram's time, he saw this phenomenon. You know, during Abram's era, many people lived for several hundred years. When they died, they didn't want to die. A few hundred years flew by in the blink of an eye. Don't think that several hundred years is slow; as you get older, time flies faster. Abram began to search for the purpose of human existence. Today, brothers and sisters, you must know: If you don't seek this, if you only seek food and drink, and think you'll figure it out when you die, then let me tell you: You're worse off than a monkey, you're even worse than the Second Brother (a reference to Sun Wukong's companion in the Chinese story "Journey to the West").

Whether it's massages or a grand banquet, they can't solve the emptiness in a person's heart. You see, I felt this emptiness when I was young. If many of us feel this emptiness, then I congratulate you; you're not far from finding your destiny. Massages or luxury won't help. After seeking, God pointed him to a clear path, a path that clarifies the meaning of life. Let me tell you: a person who doesn't seek eternal life is a tragedy. Have you seen the suffering in this life? Have you heard the agonizing cries of those in cancer pain? If you have, I hope one thing: Don't think this has nothing to do with you. Anyone who doesn't seek eternal life isn't far off from this.

Seek and You Shall Find

If you want to seek the meaning of life, do you all think that living has meaning? I live for my mother, but what if your mother dies? Will you die too? I live for my father, but what if your father dies? Will you die too? It's useless to live for anyone. So, today we must know that what we seek, we shall find. Did Abraham find what he was seeking? Yes, he did. God spoke to him. But in that era, there was only one Abraham because most people were just living their lives, and as they lived, they became oblivious. That's how people are: when they are young, they live under their mother's care; when a bit older, they live for their lovers, getting entangled in romance, loving passionately.

Then they get married, have children, and start living for their children. When their children have children, they live their elderly years. They live like this, what is your hope? As time goes on, only despair remains. That's how a person's life goes. If people don't seek, what can they find? They find death, extinction. I encourage you to seek the meaning of living. Abraham sought this and found it, didn't he? He found it; God spoke to him. If you want to hear God speaking to you, then seek the meaning of living.

Abraham, he had money, so why didn't he have children when he was so old? He had a wife, Sarah. In that era, if Sarah wasn't fertile, wouldn't finding another wife solve the problem? But he didn't do that; he stayed with Sarah alone. Was it because they had a good relationship? No, it wasn't about their relationship. They simply thought, having children wasn't important. Having no children was fine too! Having no children didn't matter, and that's how Abraham lived when he was in his seventies and eighties. Why didn't he have children? Actually, it was all about seeking the meaning of living. He thought, what's the point of having children if my life itself has no meaning? Were children his purpose? No! If children were your purpose, and your children turned out to be nothing special, wouldn't that be troublesome?

Think about it, contemplate it carefully. Who can truly seek? It's someone who sees through all these worldly matters and realizes they are meaningless. I thank God for that! I'm thankful beyond words; luckily, there is God; otherwise, what's the point of living? Dealing with this and that all the time, it's exhausting! Abraham sought and he found. Even if you have no children, it doesn't matter; whether you have something or nothing, it doesn't matter. Does having money matter? Does not having money matter? Whether you have a bountiful harvest this year and a poor harvest next year, does it matter? It doesn't matter. What matters is being troubled, feeling that life is a hassle, and then starting to seek.

Watching helplessly, people are tightly ensnared by the trivialities of this world. Raising a child requires education, buying a home in a good school district. Spending a lifetime to provide for a house, what's the point of this pursuit? Turning life into such a mess. Is it worth it? If there are similar cases, it's purely coincidental. If there's no God, life truly has no meaning; but if there is indeed a God, then seek eternal life, and this present life will be insignificant. In these past years, I've witnessed one after another leaving from this world. Some were older than me, some were younger.

During my early years of work, my boss had a kidney transplant. That kidney could last around ten years, and after a decade, he passed away. I attended his funeral at the mortuary. He lay inside the coffin. Memories flooded back of the times we worked overtime together, went for supper after, joyful moments. In the blink of an eye, lying in the casket. Two years ago, he came to see our house renovation, asking about the cost of each improvement. I replied that I did those tasks, one after another. In an instant, he's been gone for over two years. One day, his breathing became labored, he struggled for breath, and then he was gone.

I attended his funeral, he lay inside the coffin, and I stood outside, overwhelmed with emotions. People don't know that life is vanity, can it be sought? I'll tell you, life is vanity, isn't money vanity as well? Would you get so worked up about money? You wouldn't. How wonderful it is to see through it all! If one thinks life is all in vain, then what else matters? Nothing does. You'd live so genuinely!

Don't think that once you see through the world, you have to become a monk in a remote temple. Seeing through life with my hair still intact, that's pretty good too! Nothing can control me, money can't control me, human relationships can't control me, nothing can control me. Because I have God, my whole life is meant to be lived in eternity, treating life and death lightly.

Everyone must know, those who cherish their own life will lose it, but those who offer their life to God will gain eternal life. Do you understand? Without God, life is dull. From then on, God is everything to me. You can take my possessions, you can take my money, but you can't take my God. I can work hard, I can tire myself, sweat, bleed, cry, but no one can take away my destiny that I sought. I live for this purpose, I came to this world for this, I'll die for this. This is my fate, this is my destiny.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7)

The Price to Pay For Destiny

Abraham felt that life had no meaning. Then God said, 'Go to the land that I will show you.' How to go? Hitch a cart, hitch a horse. Do you know how many people were in Abraham's family? If you count, there were at least two thousand. Abraham had a large family and a big estate. Hitching up carts and horses for two thousand people, what about his real estate in Haran? He left it behind. I thought this decision was quite tough! But Abraham said, 'Let's go.' His wife said, 'Sure, let's go.' Fortunately, he only had one wife. If he had three wives and six concubines, if a few of them disagreed, that would be troublesome. But he had only one wife, and she was quite good, willing to follow him.

Going to the place that God wants to show you is very difficult. Going to an unfamiliar place is like a strong dragon not being able to suppress the local snake. What if you encounter local snakes? Abraham didn't ask, he just hitched up the cart and left, he didn't want the house either. You might say, isn't this troublesome? If a person can't see through life and death, they would be cautious every step of the way and wouldn't dare to take risks. If a person sees through life and death, many things become simpler.

"Abraham, do you want to leave? Leave your hometown, your relatives, your father's house?" "Oh my! My relationship with my father is so good, I can't leave my father." "Alright! Then stay." What will happen if you stay? If you stay, God will look for someone else. God doesn't lack you or Abraham. If you don't bother, don't want to listen to God's words, and don't want to go, then forget it, I'll find someone else. Why did God want him to go somewhere else? To bother him!

When he arrived in Canaan, God said, 'This is the land I'm giving you.' As soon as he arrived, there was a famine. If you can't see through life and death, if you can't see through this life, if you don't treat the small matters of this life as small matters, you might say, 'God, why is it like this?' Abraham truly regarded living as a small matter, so he dared to do this. When God said go, he went.

You might say, why can't I hear God's words to me? It's fortunate that you didn't hear, because even if you heard, it wouldn't matter. God says, go to the place I command you, that's not acceptable! My father is still alive. That's not acceptable. The house is still here, that's not acceptable! My wife doesn't agree! That's not acceptable! My children don't agree! That's not acceptable, and I don't agree myself! It turns out there's a bunch of excuses, but actually, it's because he himself can't do it. So, you can't hear God's words, because if you heard, you wouldn't listen.

Thank God, Facing difficulties hasn't been able to dampen the enthusiasm inside me, because I live for a destiny. Destiny is so important; I live for it! If you're not living for destiny, why do you believe in the Lord with me? Just do whatever you're willing to do. If you think coming among us will make your life a bit better, well, you've come to the wrong place. This place is all about 'bothering.'

I've been quite bothered in my life, but bothering is good! When Abraham arrived in Egypt, he went down to Egypt. Going from Haran to Egypt with two thousand people is already quite a long time even by train, how long would it take to walk? So, brothers and sisters, you need to understand that there's a price to pay for following destiny. But I don't even know if you have a destiny or not? God gave me an idea: 'bothering.'

God bothers me, I also bother all of you, let's all bother together on this destined path of 'bothering.' This saying has become my motto! If you don't pay the price for destiny, then how is it destiny? If you encounter difficulties and immediately give up, how does that work? So, brothers and sisters, my words might not be pleasant to hear, and the work is quite tough. Either you get taken away by ghosts, or you drive the ghosts away, you have to leave your hometown!

I once calculated that when Abraham left Haran, he was seventy-five years old. His father, when he was seventy years old, gave birth to Abraham. At that time, his father was only a hundred and forty-five years old, and his father died when he was two hundred and five years old. How old was Abraham at that time? One hundred and thirty-five years old. At that time, Abraham's son Isaac was already thirty-five years old. Abraham had never taken his son to visit his grandfather, and when his father died, he didn't go back to see him either. When he left his father, he just sat there, it was a final farewell! Abraham's conversation with his father should have been like this: Father, do you want to come with me? Father said, 'I don't want to go with you.' If you read the Book of Genesis carefully, you can see:

Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Harran, they settled there. Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Harran. (Genesis 11:31-32)

This indicates that they originally intended to go to Canaan. In fact, Abraham's father received a vision from God: to go to Canaan. However, when they arrived in Haran, his father didn't continue the journey. Doesn't this sound like people who left Egypt and died in the wilderness? It absolutely does! Today, I'm telling you, many people on this destined path only walk halfway. Abraham was definitely a resolute person: for the sake of destiny, if you don't go, I will. Don't expect me to come back, and don't expect me to take care of you in old age. Sorry! I apologize. Isn't that a price? Definitely a price.

In Egypt, his wife was taken away by someone. Is that a price? Absolutely. He didn't have many options; he came up with a terrible idea: you're my sister, everyone knew that. Most people can't walk this destined path unless they truly believe that life is meaningless. If you truly believe that life is meaningless and you're destined, you can definitely keep going because there's no meaning in other paths.

There Are no Blessings Outside of Destiny

A person who seeks blessings must seek eternal life and the glory within eternity. If someone wants to seek blessings, they need to understand that blessings come from God. Today, brothers and sisters, you must know that leaving your homeland, your people, and your father's house to go to the place that I will show you requires paying a price, it involves bothering.

“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12:2-3)

This is called destiny. I have finally found my destiny: I want to be a blessing to many people. If someone curses me, God will curse them; if someone blesses me, God will bless them. Everyone understands now, among us there's a person named Abraham, he's called "Abraham Liu" or "Liu Abraham." Not "Liu the Good Person," but a person willing to pay the price of life for the sake of destiny. Don't think that anything can stop me, no one can.

If you're willing to walk this destined path with me, let's walk together; if you're not willing to walk this destined path, I'll go. You go your way, and I'll go my way. Having a determined heart to walk the destined path, such a person cannot go without blessings. Later, I realized that it's not me blessing you, you receive blessings. It's you blessing me, you receive blessings. Don't get it wrong, what, are you trying to snatch money? It's not that I want money, why would I need money.

If this place belongs to an Abraham, whoever blesses Abraham, God will bless them. Do you understand this statement? Never come to me like this: Teacher, bless me. It's not done this way. What's important is whether you can become an Abraham, and then those who bless you will be blessed. Do you still lack money? Finding the meaning of life is called destiny; if you can't find it, that's your fate. Once you find it, you pay the price for it, that's good. Every time you bother, you can see the glory of God. What does it mean to have no blessings outside of destiny? Once a person obtains destiny, they gain God's pleasure. If someone wants to please people, they can't receive blessings.

You are my boss, I hope you'll be pleased with me, but what blessings can you give me? I don't even know who's blessing you. So, we need to know clearly, we won't seek people's favor anymore. Even if you have cancer, I won't seek your favor, what's the point of seeking your favor? Why should I bother with words to please you, what's the point?

There are no blessings outside of destiny, does everyone understand? If everyone understands, then you become someone with destiny, and you will seek the meaning of life. You will seek the price to pay for destiny, become a blessing, and those who bless you will receive blessings! You don't lack blessings at all; it's not that you bless others, it's that you also need to bring blessings to others. What does it mean for you to bring blessings to others? You pass on the destiny to them, and they receive blessings. Today, I must stuff destiny into your heart; I'm convinced it will fit. But once I've put it in, if you take it out again, it's no longer my concern. I've put it in, and then I tell you there are no blessings outside of destiny. If you take it out the next day and lose it, that's no longer my concern.

I really want you to receive blessings. I hope everyone can see through life and death, I hope everyone can become Abraham, I hope everyone understands that it's not me blessing you, it's you who blesses. It's me wanting you to become someone with destiny, become an Abraham, become someone who seeks. How great it would be!

He treated Abram well for her sake, and Abram acquired sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, male and female servants, and camels. (Genesis 12:16)

Let me tell you, those who curse Abram are cursed. Those with destiny cannot be cursed by others. Therefore, blessings and curses both come from God. Don't ever think that someone's curses behind your back will affect you; if you curse me, try it, you won't be able to curse me. After you curse me, what happens? After you curse me, God curses you. There are no blessings outside of destiny! So, everyone, walk the path of Abraham, walk the path of Abraham, which is the path of destiny, the path of destiny is the path of blessings. The path of blessings is truly remarkable!

Destiny Doesn't Need to be Perfect

As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are. When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.(Genesis 12:11-13)

You said, this is called faith, also called faith. This is called weakness, also called weakness. This is called imperfection, also called imperfection. But it's okay, you're imperfect, and Abraham was also imperfect. Abraham didn't seek because he was perfect. It was precisely because he knew he was human that he sought. He knew he wasn't perfect, but he knew destiny was important, that's just how it is. If we continue to delve into this matter, I don't think we can really come to any conclusions. You ask if this makes sense, I really can't explain it clearly. Today, let's not discuss this matter.

Conclusion: Become a Person With a Destiny

May God inspire us. If you're around fifty years old today, some of your classmates might have passed away. If you're in your sixties, at class reunions, you'll notice fewer classmates attending. By the time you're in your seventies, you'll find that not many classmates can make it to the gatherings. In your eighties, you might not even know if the reunion is still happening. Who knows if it's you who's missing. When the reunion isn't complete, it's a feeling of regret.

I want to summarize one thing: you must become a person with destiny. When you have destiny, your entire life is lived for God. Living becomes meaningful. A life without purpose and an empty life can still radiate God's glory, how wonderful that is. If you are a person with destiny, do you still need to argue with others today? Would you still care about something insignificant like whether you had enough to eat when you were young? A person without destiny is against God, while a person with destiny seeks to please God. Today, the Doctrine of Destiny aims to overturn the theological systems of this generation, to overturn the gospel that doesn't require a price. Whether it's good or not, let's all live for God, die for God, pay the price for God, and offer our lives to God. That is a truly honorable endeavor.

May God bless you all!

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