Lessons from the Life of Abraham (part 6)

LESSONS FROM THE LIFE OF ABRAHAM

PART 6: OUR IMPATIENCE DOES NOT FORCE GOD TO HURRY UP!

( Pastor Lee Jackson FFWC)

1)      INTRODUCTION – WHAT MAKES THE BIBLE SO CREDIBLE IS THAT IT TELLS THE WHOLE STORY – WARTS & ALL.   TODAY WE SEE SARAI & ABRAM NOT AS HEROES OF THE FAITH BUT AS HUMAN BEINGS, LIKE OURSELVES, WITH ALL THEIR FRAILTIES   THEY HAD GOT TIRED OF WAITING ON GOD AND DECIDED THAT HE NEEDED A LITTLE HELP TO MAKE ALL THOSE PROMISES COME TO PASS.

TEXT: GENESIS 16.

2)    GOD DOES NOT NEED OUR HELP – JUST OUR FAITH & OBEDIENCE (GEN. 16:1-3)

A)   HAGAR HAD BECOME PREGNANT TO ABRAM, JUST AS SARAI AND ABRAM HAD HOPED BUT THERE WERE UNFORESEEN CONSEQUENCES.

B)   OUT OF HER OWN MOUTH SARAI “THE LORD HAS KEPT ME FROM HAVING CHILDREN”;  SHE RECOGNIZED & ACTED AGAINST THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD

C)   ABRAM WAS NOT GUILTLESS – LIKE ADAM IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN, HE ACTED AGAINST HIS HIGHER AUTHORITY TO PLEASE HIS WIFE

D)   IT WAS CONSIDERED ACCEPTABLE AT THE TIME FOR A MAN TO CONCEIVE CHILDREN THROUGH HIS SERVANTS (CONUBINES) AND TO HAVE MANY WIVES

E)   WHAT IS DEEMED ACCEPTABLE IN CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY IS OFTEN NOT ACCEPTED BY GOD.

3)    SUCCESS GAINED BY DISOBEDIENCE WILL MOCK GOD’S PROMISES (GEN. 16:4  6)

A)   HAGAR CAME TO DESPISE SARAI WHO HAD NOT GIVEN CHILDREN TO ABRAM;  HAGAR WAS NOT ABOUT TO TURN THE CHILD SHE WAS CARRYING OVER TO SARAI TO RAISE AS HER OWN.

B)   SARAI RECOGNIZED THAT SHE HAD MADE A BIG MISTAKE – THIS WAS NOT WORKING OUT ACCORDING TO PLAN.

C)   SHE WAS NOT ABOUT TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR HER PART – ABRAM WAS AN EASY TARGET

D)   ABRAM LOVED HIS WIFE AND GAVE SARAI PERMISSION TO DEAL WITH HAGAR AS SHE WANTED – THEY COMPOUNDED THEIR SIN AND COMPLICITY IN THE MATTER.

E)   SARAI BEGAN TO BADLY MISTREAT HAGAR, TO THE POINT HAGAR COULD NOT BEAR IT ANY LONGER AND LEFT.

 4)    RESTORATION & BLESSINGS COME THRU SUBMISSION TO AUTHORITY (16:7 – 12)

A)   GOD PROMISED TO BLESS HAGAR AND THE CHILD SHE WAS CARRYING IF SHE WOULD RETURN TO SARAI AND SUBMIT TO HER.

B)   HE WOULD NOT BE ABRAM’S PROMISED CHILD & HEIR BUT GOD WOULD BLESS AND MULTIPLY HIM ANYWAY.

C)   GOD GAVE HIM THE NAME ISHMAEL (GOD HEARS) – GOD HEARS THE CRY OF THE OUTCASTS OF THIS WORLD.

D)   ISHAMEL WAS A WILD MAN, UNABLE TO GET ALONG WITH HIS BROTHERS OR ANYONE ELSE.  HIS DESCENDANTS HAVE FOLLOWED SUITE.  THE ARAB NATIONS HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO GET ALONG WITH EACH OTHER AND HAVE BEEN A CONSTANT THORN IN THE FLESH TO ISRAEL.  DID GOD FORSEE THIS?  ABSOLUTELY!  I AM SURE THAT GOD HAS A PURPOSE IN ALL OF THIS.

 5)     CONCLUSION: ONCE IN A WHILE WE GET A GLIMPSE OF THE GOD WHO SEES US (SEES ALL AND KNOWS ALL) (GEN 16:13-13) HAGAR NAMED THE WELL: WELL OF THE LIVING ONE WHO SEES ME.  GOD’S GRACIOUSNESS TO HAGAR REMINDS ME OF JESUS MEETING WITH THE WOMAN AT THE WELL IN THE NEW TESTAMENT.  IN EITHER OCCASION HE DID NOT CONDEMN THEM BUT WAS GRACIOUS AND MERCIFUL, SHOWING THEM THE WAY TO RECEIVE GOD’S RESTORATION AND BLESSING.

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