Summary: Abraham - a Bedouin Shepherd, no great shakes in the world’s eyes, trusts God and is blessed
Abraham – a man of no fixed abode
Abraham – a man of no fixed abode
Story: A man was walking down the road in the Arizona desert after his car had broken down.
The sun was high and he was very thirsty. Eventually he stumbled upon an old hut where no one lived.
The hut had only part of a roof left and the doors were almost off the hinges.
So he staggered in and sat down to rest.
In the corner of the hut, he saw an old hand pump connected to a well 100 foot deep. So he went over and starting pumping as hard as he could.
But all he could get out of it was a squeaking noise and so he walked back over to the other side of the room and sat down.
Then he noticed a jar filled with water with a note next to it.
Intrigued he picked the note up and read: “You have to use all the water in the jar to prime the pump.”
He thought about it for a bit. Should he drink the water in the jar or should he take a chance and do what the note suggested.
He thought about it for a bit and then decided he would do as the note read but only use part of the water.
So he primed the pump with some of the water and began to pump.
But all he got was the familiar squeaking but not one drop of water.
So he poured in the rest of the water from the jar.
As he began pumping again, the pump creaked into action and water began to flow.
Soon he had all the water he needed.
So he filled the jar back up and added to the note,
“It really works but you have to give it all away. “
Abraham was a man of faith because he followed the instructions on the jar – or in his case the instructions God gave him
Nowadays we have this idea that faith is a sort of blind trust based on little or no evidence.
Yet faith in the Bible is something different. It is something that is proved by evidence in one’s life.
For example, when we were on holiday in Switzerland a week ago I gave Maddy my wallet in which I had 500 Swiss Francs.
I had faith in Maddy not to spend it all but only buy what we needed
But it wasn’t a blind faith, it was afaith built up over years of experience. I have seen her be careful with money. After all she’s Swiss!!
Her character in the past has shown that it is a wise move to put my trust in her.
That’s what Biblical faith is about. It about building up our trust in God because we have experienced his faithfulness in what he says
Faith is action and it certainly was in Abraham’s case
What I like about Abraham was that he was simply an ordinary guy.
He was a shepherd – in fact a Bedouin shepherd!
A man of no fixed abode for most of his life. The Post Office would have had a nightmare delivering post to him!
Yet the Bible describes him as the friend of God
And God gave him a promise: That he would be the father of many nations.
And Abraham believes HIM
That’s the key
We read in Genesis 15:6
6 Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
Abraham trusted God – and God reckoned that to him as righteousness. Yet if you follow Abraham’s life, it wasn’t that simple
Abraham was born with a silver spoon in his mouth
His father Terah was a pagan priest – and his family was a family of idol worshippers (Jos. 24:2) and Terah probably made a good living from it
Abraham lived in Ur when God spoke to him. What do we know about Ur of the Chaldees
1) it was the ancient capital of Sumer
2) it was one of the wealthiest and largest cities
3) It was the centre of commerce.
Ships came through the Persian Gulf - up the Euphrates
River - bringing gold, ivory alabaster copper and hard wood to Ur.
Ur even had a canal linking the west harbour with the northern harbour on the Euphrates river
4) It was a centre of education. The ruins of a school having a large library of clay plates has for example
5) It was a centre of idolatry.
The moon god Nanna was worshipped there.
Which is probably why God called Abraham to go.
So that Abraham could develop his relationship with God without the tempations of the idolatry in Ur