Lessons from the Life of Abraham (part 5)

LESSONS FROM THE LIFE OF ABRAHAM

PART 5:  LEARNING TO WAIT ON THE LORD

(Pastor Lee Jackson FFWC)

1)      INTRODUCTION –TODAY WE ARE GOING TO CONTINUE ON OUR STUDY OF THE LIFE OF ABRAHAM.  LEARNING TO WAIT UPON THE LORD.  HIS PROMISES ARE YEA AND AMEN IN CHRIST BUT WE STILL HAVE TO WAIT ON GOD’S TIMING.

TEXT: GENESIS 15.

2)    GOD DOES NOT GIVE UP WHEN OUR FAITH GROWS WEAK (GEN. 15:1-6)

A)   SOME TIMES WE CAN HAVE GREAT FAITH FOR SOME THINGS BUT NOT FOR OTHERS.  OFTEN GREAT VICTORIES ARE FOLLOWED BY TIMES OF GREAT DISCOURAGEMENT.

B)   ABRAM HAD JUST GOT BACK FROM THE VICTORY OVER KEDORLAOMER AND THE KINGS WHO WERE ALLIED WITH HIM RESCUING LOT AND HIS FAMILY.

C)   THE WORD OF THE LORD, JEHOVAH (YEHWEH), THE SELF EXISTENT ONE, CAME TO ABRAM IN A VISION TELLING HIM NOT TO BE AFRAID – GOD WAS HIS SHIELD AND VERY GREAT REWARD.

D)   PERHAPS ABRAM FEARED THAT THE KINGS THAT HE HAD DEFEATED WITH GOD’S HELP, MIGHT BE SEEKING REPRISAL.  THEY MIGHT BE COMING AFTER HIM.

E)   ABRAM DID NOT SEEM TO BE IMPRESSED. DISCOURAGEMENT OFTEN FOLLOWS GREAT VICTORIES:  ELIJAH AFTER THE DEFEATING THE PROPHETS OF BAAL ON MT CARMAL, JONAH AFTER NINIVEH HAD REPENTED AND TURNED TO THE LORD.

F)    ABRAM’S RESPONSE WAS “O SOVEREIGN LORD, WHAT CAN YOU GIVE ME SINCE I REMAIN CHILDLESS?”

G)   GOD’S PROMISED ABRAM IN THE BEGINNING THAT “I WILL MAKE OF YOU A GREAT NATION …ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH WOULD BE BLESSED THROUGH HIS SEED, BUT SARAI WAS BARREN AND HER BIOLOGICAL CLOCK FOR HAD STOPPED TICKING OR SO IT SEEMED.  ABRAM WAS GETTING CONCERNED.

H)   THE LORD GRACIOUSLY ASSURED ABRAM THAT HIS HEIR WOULD NOT COME FROM HIS LOYAL SERVANT, BUT WOULD BE PRODUCED FROM ABRAM’S OWN BODY.

I)     GOD LED ABRAM OUT UNDER THE STARS TO VIEW THE NIGHT SKY AND TO COUNT THE STARS.  GOD TOLD HIM TO LOOK UP INTO THE SKY AND COUNT THE STARS IF HE COULD AND TOLD HIM THAT THE NUMBER OF HIS OFF SPRING WOULD EXCEED THE NUMBER OF THE STARS THAT HE COULD SEE AND COUNT IN THE NIGHT SKY.

J)    WE CAN LEARN FROM THIS:  SOMETIMES WE NEED TO GET OUT OF OUR BOX AND LET OURSELVES BE AMAZED AT GOD’S CREATION: IT IS A FAITH BUILDER.

K)   IT IS RECORDED HER AND IN THE BOOK OF HEBREWS THAT ABRAM BELIEVED GOD AND IT WAS COUNTED HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS!

3)    GOD IS A GOD OF COVENANT (HE HAS A LONG TERM PLAN) (GEN. 15:7  21)

A)   GOD REMINDED ABRAM THAT HE HAD BROUGHT ABRAM OUT OF THE UR OF THE CALDEANS TO GIVE HIM AND HIS SEED THIS LAND. BUT AGAIN ABRAM QUESTIONS GOD:  “HOW DO I KNOW THIS?

B)   Abram’s question, “Whereby shall I know that I shall take possession of it (the land)?” was not an expression of doubt, but of desire for the confirmation or sealing of a promise, which transcended human thought and conception.

C)   GOD’S RESPONSE WAS TO MAKE A SOLEMN COVENANT WITH ABRAM RECORDED IN VERSES 9 – THE END OF THE CHAPTER.

D)   IT INVOLVED THE OFFERING OF A HEIFER, A GOAT, A RAM, DOVE AND A PIGEON KILLED WITH THEIR BODIES CUT IN HALF AND THE HALF’S ARRANGED OPPOSITE ONE ANOTHER (EXCEPT FOR THE PIGEON AND THE DOVE).

E)   THE ANIMALS ON THIS LIST ARE THE EXACT SAME GOD LATER PRESCRIBED TO BE USED TO SACRIFICE UNDER THE LAWS GIVEN TO MOSES.

F)    GOD PUT ABRAM INTO A DEEP SLEEP IN THE MIDST OF A THICK AND DREADFUL DARKNESS TOLD HIM THE FUTURE OF HIS OFFSPRING.  THEY WOULD SPEND 400 YEARS IN EGYPT, AS SLAVES, BUT AFTER 400 YEARS THEY WOULD COME OUT WITH GREAT POSSESSIONS AND RETURN TO THIS LAND THAT GOD HAD PROMISED ABRAM.

G)    NOTE THAT THE COVENANT WAS CONSUMMATED BY GOD BY HIS SPIRIT SEEN AS A SMOKING FIRE POT WITH A BLAZING TORCH PASSING BETWEEN THE PIECES.

H)    THIS BLAZING TORCH REMINDS ME OF JOHN’S VISION OF GOD SITTING ON HIS THRONE, SURROUNDED BY 24 THRONES OF THE 24 ELDERS AND ANGELIC BEINGS ARRAYED IN SPLENDOR BEYOND COMPREHENSION. Rev 4:5  And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

I)     JEREMIAH 34:18 & 19 REFER TO THIS METHOD OF ESTABLISHING SOLEMN COVENANT BETWEEN TO PARTIES.  THE MESSAGE WAS IF I DO NOT DO AS I HAVE PROMISED MAY I BE KILLED AND TORN IN TWO AND SACRIFICED JUST AS THESE ANIMALS WERE.

J)    NOTICE THAT GOD DID NOT CALL FOR ABRAM TO PASS BETWEEN THE PIECES.  GOD ALONE INITIATES HIS COVENANT WITH US ON HIS OWN TERMS.

4)     CONCLUSION:  GOD HAS ESTABLISHED A MOST SOLEMN COVENANT WITH US RATIFIED BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS. IN OUR CELEBRATION OF COMMUNION WE READ THAT JESUS BROKE THE BREAD AND SAID “THIS IS MY BODY WHICH WAS BROKEN FOR YOU, DO THIS IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME”  AND THEN HE PASSED THE CUP SAYING “THIS CUP IS THE NEW COVENANT IN MY BLOOD, DO THIS OFTEN AS YOU DRINK OF IT IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME.”  GOD HAS CALLED US TO BE MINISTERS OF THIS NEW COVENANT.  IN 2Co 3:6 (NIV) He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant–not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

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