Summary: Abraham's testimony
1. I had the priviledge of hearing my friend Sam Moore preach the other day. I remember having to preach a sermon on Circumsion and having a hard time finding an introduction.
He said, "Ah, just ask all those who have been circumcised to raise their hands!"
2. Well maybe we could get skip the introduction and get right into the message.
3. Abraham's Testimony.
I. FIRST, WE HAVE THE SILENCE. 17:1
The last time God had spoken to Abraham was 13 years ago! Abram was learning the value on waiting of God. He had promised him a child, but then backed off!
F.B. Meyer, "God has set times. It is not for us to know them; indeed, we cannot know them; we must wait for them. If God had told Abraham in Haran that he must wait for 30 years until he possessed the promised child, his heart would have failed him.
So in gracious love, the length of weary years was hidden and only as they were nearly spent, a few months to wait, that God told him that "according to the time of life, Sarah will have a son."
Hank Williams had a song called "Just waitin"
The old maid's waitin' for leap year to come
The crooner's just waitin' to sing
The old cow's standin' by the bull durham sign
Just a-waitin' for the grass to turn green.
Worm must be waitin' for the early bird
I guess the early bird's waitin' for the worm.
Ev'rybody's waitin' for som'thin'
Nothing seems to turn out right
'cause the night shift's waitin' for mornin'
And the burglar just waitin' for night.
Sunflow'rs waitin' for the sunshine
Violets just waitin' for dew
Bees just waitin' for honey
And, honey, -- i'm -- just -- waitin' -- for -- you.
II. NEXT, THE APPEARANCE. 17:1
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless
A. His Age.
We are never too old to do business with God! He is 99 years old and still going strong.
"Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, do not forsake me, Until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come." Psalm 71:18
"Even to your old age, I am He, And even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; Even I will carry, and will deliver you." Isaiah 46:4
A lot of things change as we get older, but not our desire to walk with God!
Reminds me of an old man who was taking his evening walk. He enjoyed the solitude, but he heard a voice calling, "Help me! help Me!" The man looked down and saw a small frog.
He picked it up and the frog said, "I'm really a beautiful princess. If you kiss me, I will return to a princess and will love you forever."
The man put the frog in his pocket and proceeded with his daily walk. The frog spoke from his pocket, "Why don't you kiss me?"
The man said, "Frankly, at this stage of my life, I would rather have a talking frog!"
Things change, desires change - but not our desire for intimacy with God.
B. The Appearance of the Lord.
The Lord appeared to Abram, "I am Almighty God" - the word "appeared" means "to see." This is in the Niphal stem meaning "to become visible, to appear." Same word used in Gen. 12:7
It was a theophany and the One he saw was Almighty God!
El Shaddai—The God of Strength! When your 99 years old and your wife is barren you need strength...
It is interesting that the root word is "shad" and shad means the female breast. It is suggesting that God was the one whom Abram could draw nourishment from! Rom.4:20-21
Our strength is not in our youth or our physical abilities but in God. Think of Moses!
"Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died. His eyes were not dim nor his natural vigor diminished." Deuteronomy 34:7 Phil. 4:13
Vance Havner, "We say, "What power Elijah had!" but he had no power in himself, he was simply "THERE," in the place of power. We might say, "What power that radio has!" "What power that electric light has!"
But they are very frail contraptions, they are simply in the place of power, connected with the source. When the traffic officer stops you as you drive down the street, it is not his strength that does it; you could drive over him. It is his authority that makes you halt; he represents something greater than himself.
So we are nothing in ourselves, but when we are in the place of God's purpose we have His power, and greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.