Lessons from the Life of Abraham (part 2)

LESSONS FROM THE LIFE OF ABRAHAM

PART 2:  WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE MISS THE BOAT?

1)    INTRODUCTION – LAST WEEK WE SPOKE ABOUT THE CALL OF ABRAHAM AND WHAT IT MEANS TO CHRISTIANS TODAY: 1) THE CALL OF GOD IS GOD’S SOVEREIGN INITIATIVE, 2) THE CALL OF GOD REQUIRES WE LEAVE OUR PAST BEHIND, 3) THE CALL OF GOD DEMANDS OBEDIENCE, AND 4) RESPONDING TO THE CALL OF GOD BRINGS BLESSING TO US, OUR FAMILIES AND ALL OUR RELATIONSHIPS.

NOBODY SAID RESPONDING TO THE CALL OF GOD WOULD BE EASY OR THAT WE WOULD GET IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME, OR THE SECOND TIME OR THE THIRD TIME.  ANSWERING THE CALL OF GOD WASN’T EASY FOR ABRAHAM AND IT IS NOT EASY FOR US TODAY.  ABRAHAM MADE MISTAKES THAT WE CAN LEARN FROM. (GENESIS 12:8 – 18)

2)    IN RESPONDING TO THE CALL OF GOD TROUBLE COMES WHEN WE TAKE MATTERS INTO OUR OWN HANDS.

A)   IT BEGINS IN VERSE 9 ABRAM SET OUT AND CONTINUED TOWARD THE NEGEV (THE DESERT BETWEEN THE LAND OF PALESTINE AND EGYPT).

B)   IN THE NEW LIVING TRANSLATION VERSE 9 READS: “THEN ABRAM TRAVELED SOUTH BY STAGES TOWARD THE NEGEV.”

C)   OFTEN WHEN WE GO START TO OUR OWN WAY WE DO IT IN STAGES, PERHAPS THINKING THAT THERE IS NO HARM DONE TO OUR SPIRITUAL LIFE, BUT IT IS THE LITTLE FOXES THAT SPOIL THE VINES.

D)   WHEN WE HAVE COMPROMISED IN THE LITTLE THINGS AND TROUBLE COMES, AND INEVITABLY IT WILL, WE ARE NOT PREPARED FOR IT – WE ARE NOT PREPARED TO TRUST GOD.

E)   FOR ABRAM, TROUBLE CAME IN THE FORM OF A FAMINE.  SCRIPTURE SAYS THAT THERE WAS A FAMINE IN THE LAND AND ABRAM WENT DOWN TO EGYPT TO ESCAPE THE FAMINE.  NOTICE THERE IS NO INDICATION WHAT-SO-EVER THAT GOD TOLD HIM GO TO EGYPT.

3)    MATERIAL BLESSING IS NOT ALWAYS AND INDICATION OF GOD’S APPROVAL AS MUCH AS IT IS A MEASURE OF GOD’S GRACE.

A)   SARAI WAS A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN (EVEN THOUGH SHE WAS ABOUT 65 YEARS OLD AT THE TIME OF THEIR JOURNEY INTO EGYPT.)

B)   ABRAM CONSPIRED WITH SARAI TO LIE BECAUSE OF HIS FEAR FOR HIS LIFE.  HE TOLD SARAI TO SAY THAT SHE WAS HIS SISTER.

C)   IF ABRAM HAD TOLD THE EGYPTIANS THAT SHE WAS HIS WIFE HE MIGHT BE CONSIDERED EXCESS BAGGAGE.  IF THEY THOUGHT SHE WAS HIS SISTER HE WOULD BE TREATED WELL BY THE EGYPTIANS – AND HE WAS.

D)   ABRAHAM WAS GIVEN SHEEP, CATTLE, DONKEYS AND MALE AND FEMALE SERVANTS AND CAMELS.

E)   IF ABRAHAM HAD LIVED TODAY IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN A BIG SALARY, STOCK OPTIONS, A BIG ANNUAL BONUS AND A COMPANY CAR.

F)    IF SATAN KNOWS THAT GOD HAS A CALL UPON YOUR LIFE HE CAN BE VERY GENEROUS.

4)    GOD DOESN’T GIVE UP ON US IN SPITE OF OUR FAILURES OR OUR STUPIDITY.

A)   GOD WOULD NOT LET ABRAHAM’S PLAN WORK FOR LONG.  HE LOVED ABRAM TOO MUCH.

B)   GOD INFLICTED SERIOUS DISEASE ON PHARAOH AND HIS HOUSEHOLD AND THEN HE TOLD PHARAOH THAT THE REASON FOR THESE DISEASES WAS BECAUSE HE HAD TAKEN ANOTHER MAN’S WIFE.

C)   PHARAOH TOLD ABRAM TO TAKE HIS WIFE AND ALL THAT HE POSSESSED AND GO!  THE NEW LIVING TRANSLATION INDICATES THAT HE ESCORTED ABRAM AND SARAI OUT OF THE COUNTRY.

D)   AGAIN WE SEE THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD.  GOD CAN USE WHOMEVER HE WILLS TO CARRY OUT HIS PLAN AND PURPOSE – IN THIS CASE IT WAS PARAOH, A HEATHEN KING.

E)   YOU SEE, SARAI WAS AN INTEGRAL PART OF GOD’S COVENANT WITH ABRAM THAT PROMISED THAT HE WOULD BE THE FATHER OF MANY NATIONS AND THE ANOINTED ONE WAS TO COME THROUGH HIS LINAGE.  GOD WAS NOT ABOUT TO ALLOW PHARAOH TO HAVE RELATIONS WITH SARAI.

5)    CONCLUSION – I HOPE THAT THIS MESSAGE ENCOURAGES YOU – IT DID ME.  WE SERVE A LOVING GOD THAT NOT ONLY HAS PROVIDED FOR OUR SALVATION AND OUR REDEMPTION BUT ALSO DOESN’T GIVE UP ON US WHEN WE FAIL HIM.   HE ADOPTED US INTO HIS FAMILY AND CALLED US INTO THE MOST IMPORTANT WORK ON EARTH, SPREADING THE GOOD NEWS OF JESUS CHRIST.   SOMETIMES WHEN WE THINK WE ARE FOLLOWING CHRIST WE LOSE OUR WAY.  WE GO OUR OWN WAY AND DO OUR OWN THING, BUT GOD LOVES US ENOUGH TO BRING TROUBLE INTO OUR LIFE TO TURN US ASIDE.  IT IS HIS WAKE UP CALL.  GOD WILL OFTEN USE OUR CIRCUMSTANCES AND EVEN UNBELIEVERS TO SPEAK TO US AND JOLT US OUT OF OUR COMPLACENCY.

Phi 1:6  For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

2Pe 1:3  According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

Your Support is Greatly Apreciated

Speak Your Mind

*