Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Story of God: Abraham

Perhaps more than any other man, God asked Abram to trust Him.

I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that Abram was called God’s friend.

Why?  God’s friendship with Abram was built on TRUST.

If I am to know God deeply, I must trust Him fully

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.”  Genesis 12:1-2

When Abraham (at that time, named Abram) was 75 years old, God told him to go to “the land I will show you.”

Sometimes God is silent on the details.  He just points in a direction and asks us to trust Him.

When God is not clear…enough…TRUST HIM anyway

After this, God spoke to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” But Abram said, “God, what can you give me since I remain childless? You have given me no children. My heir will be one of my servants.”

Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.” He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.  Genesis 15:4-6

At this time, Abram was 86 years old.  He believed it was going to happen, but did not know how.  Neither did his wife.  So they decided to arrive at their God-given destiny in their own way.

Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.” Abram agreed to what Sarai said.  Genesis 16:1-2

Following God is not only about going WHERE He is going.  It is also about going HOW He is going,

When Abram was 99, God spoke to him in a vision and said he would make a covenant with him.  He changed his name to Abraham…”father of many nations.”

God also said to Abraham,

“As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah.  I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her… and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.  Genesis 17:15-19

Living out God’s purpose works better when we follow His plan.  SOMETIMES THE HOW IS AS IMPORTANT AS THE WHAT.  God didn't just want Abraham to be a dad.  He wanted him to have a son God's way!  The "how" is as important as the "what."  In the “what,” God demonstrates His sovereignty. In the “how,” God demonstrates His love.

When God doesn’t make sense…to us…TRUST HIM anyway

Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” Genesis 22:1-2

Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. He split wood for the fire and set out for the 3 days trip to Mount Moriah. He told his servants to stay behind while he and Isaac went to worship. He placed the wood on Isaac’s back and they walked. Isaac spoke up.  “Where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham answered, “God will provide the lamb.” When they reached the place, Abraham built an altar there. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. (Genesis 22)

Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” Genesis 22:10-12

Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.

The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore.” Genesis 22:15-17

When God tests us…TRUST HIM anyway

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