Faith Abraham

January 24, 2016Genesis 12Faith Abraham

 

   We are introduced to Abram and Sarah in Genesis 11 where Abram takes Sarai for his wife and in verse 30 we see that Sarai was barren she had no child.   It is later in scripture where God changes her name to Sarah.   For 65 years the story of her life is that she does not have a child and that she is Abrams wife.   In Genesis 12 God tells Abram to get move out of Ur and away from his family.   The Ur of Chaldees was a godless place where pagan idols were worshipped but there were some around in the world who still worshipped the true God.    It is believed that Job and his 3 counselors lived during this time.   Also the priest Melchizedek is mentioned in chapter 14.   In Genesis 11 tells us about the tower of Babel    Romans 1 speaks to the situation.   Men knew God but had become vain in their imaginations and their foolish hearts became darkened.    Abraham is the 9th generation descendant of Shem the son of Noah.   Abram’s father Terah went with them and Terah’s grandson Lot.   Terah seems to be in charge of the extended family and they move to Haran a distance of some 650 miles.    There in Haran Terah, Abrams father dies.   He lived to be over 200 years old.  

    Abraham was 75 when he leaves Haran for the Promised Land, which means Sarah is now 65 years old.   There does not seem to be anything special about Abram.   We know nothing of his first 75 years but God calls him.  It does not seem like there is any special reason that God chose him.  He was not a great king or leader nor do we see anything that he wrote.   We call it grace. Abram was not perfect but God called him.  Abram was an idol worshipper Joshua 24:2.   Paul tells the Corinthians not many of you were wise or of noble birth.  God calls Abraham.   Stephen in Acts 7 said the God of glory appeared to Abraham and God calls him away from his family.  When you have tasted the God of glory you quit worshipping idols.  False idols cannot hold a candle to the God of glory.   God always calls us from vain and dead idols and God calls us away from sin and God calls Abraham out.   Abraham obeyed and Hebrews 11 commends his faith for leaving his country.   Sarah is 65 years old the ideal age most people think of retirement but she is still looking for a baby.  She is not young anymore. 

      Abram kicks the tires on the camper, changes the oil, fills the gas tank so to speak and takes off.   God tells him to go but does not tell him where to go.  Joyce Meyer said that she was in a successful ministry had a parking spot and office and God told her to go.  She did not go.  In a year she was telling the Lord that she was not happy and God reminded her that she was to move.   So she said where do you want me to go?  God told her to go.  She told God tell me where I supposed to go.   God said move and she said tell me where.  She finally decides to move and then God showed her where.   What did God say to Abram?  You go and I will show you.  You go and I will show you.  You step out and move and I will give direction. 

   Abraham takes a rather large caravan with servants and all their stuff but no children and travels some 350 more miles to Bethel a fertile land with abundant springs.  Abraham’s first act was to build an altar to the Lord.  We see Abram making a number of altars in Genesis.   It is mentioned 6 times during Abraham’s life.  Altars and worship mark Abraham’s life.    God expands His promises to Abraham by saying that God would give his descendants the land.  This is the same place that Abraham’s grandson Jacob would be visited by God and would have the vision of the latter that extended to heaven.

     Bethel means house of God.   That is what this church name means this is the house of God.   It is a place of prayer and a place to worship and a place to meet with God.    I hope your home belongs to God.   I hope you have dedicated your home and anointed your home to and for God.  I was asked and the Lord led me to do some anointing this week.   I also anointed the church signs on route 28 and by pass 28 this week. 

     I like what Warren Wiersbe wrote comparing Genesis 11 the tower of Babel and Genesis 12 the call of Abraham.  At Babel the people said let us but to Abraham God said I will.  At Babel the people wanted to make a name for themselves but God made Abraham’s name great.  At Babel the people tried to unite together but God separated them.  With Abraham the whole world is blessed and in Jesus we have unity.   Where would we be if God did not break into this world and call men out to follow God?   God called Abraham.  Notice what God said here Abram I will, Abram I will, and Abram I will.  Abram I will make you great.  I will bless you. I will make you a great nation.  I will bless the peoples of the earth through you.  In John 1 we read there was a man sent from God whose name was John.  There was a man called and sent out by God whose name was Abram.   God had a plan and when God has a plan he often calls a person.

     God still calls people.  He calls us to share the gospel.  God calls us to lay down our life and to forsake all for Him.  God calls people to preach and to pastor.  He calls people to trust him and to give their money.  He calls people to worship.  Some may think I am tired of the preacher preaching that kind of stuff and before we know it we will be in heaven and then we will think I wish the preacher had pushed us harder.  God blesses you so you can bless others.  God blessed Abram so that through him all the nations of the earth could be blessed. 

   At age 75 Abram leaves Haran and travels to the land of Canaan and God appears to Abram and tells him I am going to give this land to your descendants.  Abram and Sarai at this point must have wondered how God was going to fulfill that promise.  They were childless.  Think about that.   God told Abram I am going to bless all the peoples of the earth through you.  Abram this land belongs to your descendants.  God in case you didn’t notice I don’t have any kids yet. I suspect that Abram did not talk like that.   Well God exactly how are you going to do that?   Abraham struggled with his faith more than once I am sure.  OK God I do not have any little rascals running around right now.  So in a few years Abram is in his early 80”s.   Lord where is the child?   Then a few more years Lord remember that promise?   I want children.  Then Abram is in his early 90’s and still no child.   God I am not seeing it.  God this makes no sense.  I can just hear God saying well Abraham I will do it in my time and you Abraham will know that I have done it. 

     And along the way Abram tries to help God out.  I can have a child by another woman.  I will do it my way.  Well that does not work very well.  It never works very well.  It made a mess for Abram and for Sarai and just about everybody else.  Soon Abram is 99 years old and the promise of God must have seemed dead at times for Abraham.   Abraham waits 25 years for Isaac.  Twenty five years is a long haul just a ask someone who is 20 years old or younger.   Lord 25 years ago I moved as you ask me.   Where is the child?  Abram probably thought what is the use but that baby was the key to great things that God was doing.  A nation would be raised up and through that nation the Lord Jesus would be sent.  We want to see with the eye of faith and not just see with our eyes.  Satan whispers give up and God’s spirit says to us keep going your labor is not in vain in the Lord. 

     God keeps his word.  God keeps his promises.   Nu 23: 19 God is not a man that he should lie, neither the son of man that he should repent, hath he said it shall he not do it?   Hath he spoken it shall he not make it good?   Promises are important.  God has not forgotten the vows and promises we have made.   He does not forget his promises.   If you are praying, walking with Jesus, and trusting Jesus great things are happening.  If He has given you a promise He is good for it.  He will do his part we need to do our part.   He is the God of miracles.  Abraham found out that God does miracles.  The eye fastened on God believes great things.  By faith Abram leaves Haran and by faith he enters into the place that God wants him.  By faith great things are done.   Later Abraham offers Isaac and is stopped.  Romans 4 tells us that Abraham did not stagger at the promise of God through unbelief but was strong in faith being fully persuaded that what God promised he able to perform. 

    There is a famine in the land and so Abraham leaves the Promised Land for Egypt.   History repeats itself many times and that happens again in Genesis account.   There is no indication that Abraham sought God or that God told Abraham to go.  The famine was severe in the land Genesis tells us and Abraham moves south to Egypt.   This is the first time and not the last time that Abraham tries to pass Sarah off as his sister.  Amazingly even though she is over 65 years old that her physical beauty was so eye catching that Abraham more than once assumed that she would be wanted to be in the king’s harem.  Beauty has its issues ladies.  Abraham’s faith is weak at this point.   He should of trusted God and God would have protected him, which God does anyway.  Abraham tells Sarah when the Egyptians see you they will say this is his wife and they will kill me but let you live.  At Abraham’s suggestion she agrees to pose as his sister.   That is really tough. 

   Sarah is his half sister.   Now Adam and Eve’s children brothers and sisters must have married.  There was no indication that it was wrong back then to do that.  Adam and Eve were genetically perfect creatures.   There was no weakness in the genes that we have today that would cause off spring of brothers and sisters to have very weak genes and thereby the children would have physical weaknesses.  It was later in scripture at time of Moses when God forbid incest.

     During this time frame people lived hundreds of years.  Only gradually did the dangers of inbreeding occur and when it did God wisely said do not do that anymore.   God looks out for our good.   Sarah agrees to pose as his sister.   Stewarts of Pharaoh saw her and pointed her out to Pharaoh.    You would think they would look for some 20 some year old and not someone her age.   Pharaoh shows favor to Abraham because of Sarah’s beauty and showers him with cattle with the thought that pharaoh would marry her.  Abraham gets rich because of his wife’s beauty.   I do not know about you that whole situation does not appeal to me folks.   We all should be thankful for how God has made us.  

    God protects her and Abraham.  Pharaoh does not marry her nor harm her in any way by the grace of God.   God strikes his house because of Sarah and Pharaoh discovers the reason for the plagues and confronts Abraham with the deception.   He expels Abraham and his wife from Egypt.   He does not harm them but expels them.    In Genesis 13 Abraham leaves Egypt a very rich man and Abraham returns to Bethel   He goes to the place where he was before and to the altar that he made before and he calls upon God.   He seeks God. 

     Abraham’s walk with God takes him on quite a trip.  From the Ur he travels about 1000 miles to Bethel and then to Egypt and back again.  God has a quite a journey for all of us.   We know from the NT that God’s covenant with Abraham and Sarah is an affirmation of the promise that God made to Eve in the Garden of Eden when God said the Seed of woman would crush the head of the serpent or Satan.  Through the seed of Abraham and Sarah the whole world would be blessed.  Abraham and Sarah were the human channels that God would pour out His redemptive plan upon mankind.   Hebrews 11:11 said she judged Him that is God faithful who promised.   There is unbelief with Abraham and Sarah and weakness of faith but this promise no doubt was an influence to their life.   Despite her faith she knew from a human perspective that the long years of childlessness was a deterrent and a threat to having children without God’s intervention.   

     Abram leaves Egypt a very rich man.  Some would say well his time in Egypt was good for him.  We must remember that they brought a servant from Egypt named Hagar and she caused a great deal of conflict in the family.  It is through her that Ishmael is born.     God keeps speaking to them.  God encourages Abraham just like God encourages us.  God tells Abraham I am your shield and your reward.   Do we see God as our shield?  Do you see God as your reward?   More than anything else in the world is God your reward?   Abraham says God what will you give me seeing that I go childless?  God tells him that his descendants would be like the stars of the sky and Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness.   This promise was a unilateral promise.   God is saying this is what I am going to do.   Nothing in the promise is required of Abraham.   God is going to do it.  

Jesus is like a computer: he enters your life, scans your problems, edits your tensions, deletes your worries and saves you.