Legends of the Faith - Abraham
Series: Legends of the Faith
September 16, 2018
LEGENDS OF THE FAITH - 2
(Hebrews 12:1) Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
For when you don’t understand God’s ways...
“God always does the right thing.”
(Genesis 15:1) After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.”
(Genesis 15:2-6) But Abram said, “O Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.” Then the word of the LORD came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir.” He took him outside and said, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars--if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
Genesis 15:6 “Abraham believed the Lord…”
Hebrews 6:17-19 Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. 18 God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.
(Genesis 15:8) But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, how can I know that I will gain possession of it?”
Genesis 15:9 So the Lord said to him, “Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon.” 10 Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half. 11 Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.
Jeremiah 34:18 Those who have violated my covenant and have not fulfilled the terms of the covenant they made before me, I will treat like the calf they cut in two and then walked between its pieces. 19 The leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, the court officials, the priests and all the people of the land who walked between the pieces of the calf, 20 I will deliver into the hands of their enemies who want to kill them. Their dead bodies will become food for the birds and the wild animals.
Genesis 15:12 As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him.
Genesis 15:17 When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces.
TWO PROBLEMS WITH TRUSTING GOD…
· “Lord, how can I know about YOU?”
Mark 15:33 At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.
Isaiah 53:8 For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished.
· “Lord, how do I know about ME?”
GOD ALWAYS DOES THE RIGHT THING...
1. Even if it takes a long time.
(Genesis 16:1-2) Now Sarai, Abram's wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar; so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her.” Abram agreed to what Sarai said.
(2 Peter 3:9) “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient…”
2. Even if it seems absurd.
(Genesis 18:10-14) Then the Lord said, "I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son." Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. Abraham and Sarah were already old and well advanced in years, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, "After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?" Then the Lord said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh and say, 'Will I really have a child, now that I am old?' Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son."
(Romans 4:19-21) Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.
3. Even if it doesn’t seem right.
(Genesis 18:23, 25) Then Abraham approached him and said: "Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? ...Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?"
4. Even if we don’t understand.
(Hebrews 11:17-19) By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. Even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned’, Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead...”
(Psalm 9:10 NCV) “Those who know the LORD trust him…”
FINAL WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT
· “Don’t make earth your home.”
(Hebrews 11:9-10) By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
· “Live with an eternal perspective.”
(Hebrews 11:12) And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
(Hebrews 11:13-16) All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country--a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
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