Summary: The part commitment plays in our lives
Intro: We had a training session here yesterday morning with Paul Hirschy from UB Headquarters, and it was a wonderful morning. I realized many of my own weaknesses as a communicator. Now, I’m sure some of you could have told me much quicker, but nevertheless, it was a good morning.
Afterwards, Diane Brown was saying Sandi Patti was downtown at the rally for David MacIntosh. I said, if she sees you, she’ll probably want you to go out to lunch with her. This morning, let me start by asking “whose friend would you like to be?” Close your eyes, and think, who would you like to have call you up and send you Christmas cards?
A story is told about the pope, when he came to the United States. He was down in Texas, and was riding in a big stretch limo. The driver was pulled over at a gas station filling up, and the pope came up to him. The pope said, “I just love cars. This one looks like it could just fly on the highway. Do you think I could drive it.” The young driver didn’t want to argue with the pope, so he sat in back and the pope took off down the road. Well, the pope decided he’d see just how fast the limo would go. So, he floored it, and about a half mile down the road, he passed a traffic cop. The cop pulls out, flashing lights on, and pulls the limo over. The cop driving says to his buddy, you wait here, I’ll go give this yahoo a ticket. So the cop walks up to the limo, and a minute walks back shaking. His buddy says, who was in there. The shaken cop said, “Well, I never did find out, but he’s got the pope for his chauffeur!”
Sometimes it pays to have the right friends. This morning, I want us to consider a man who alone of everyone in the Bible has this said about him. James 2:23
And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
We want to look the next few weeks at the life of Abraham, and see what lessons his life holds for us. Let’s turn first this morning to Genesis 11. READ 11:27-12:5
As I read this chapter this week, I thought, what do all these genealogies tell us? But as I started studying, I was fascinated with what I found. 11:10 tells us that 2 years after the flood, Shem was 100. Then the list of descendants grows. In adding up the years of births and deaths, I found that when Abram was born, almost all his forefathers back to Shem the son of Noah are alive. Abram probably knew Shem and the whole line. Noah was his great (8x) grandfather he died just about 2 years before Abram is born. Now Hebrews 11:13 says that Noah was living by faith when he died. Yet, we have to wonder about the rest of his generations. God chooses to call Abraham, but he passes over Shem, Arphaxad, Shelah, and the whole line of generations. Why?
It appears that even in godly families, often the ways of the fathers are forsaken. Remember, God gave the world a new start in the flood. Yet, what happens, even with a godly man like Noah -- children turn from the Lord. Look back in Gen. 10. Here we see the line of Shem, the son of Noah. Eber has two sons: the one Peleg, and the other Joktan. In chapter 10 we see the line of Joktan. And in chapter 11 we see the tower of Babel. Men wanting to “make a name for themselves. In chapter 12 we see the line of the other son of Eber, Peleg. 10:25 tells us in his days the earth was divided. Something happened in his day that divided the peoples. Maybe it was the tower of Babel, when men started turning against God. Incidentally, with Peleg the ages of people are dramatically decreased. Noah 950, Shem 600, Eber 464 - but Peleg 239, Reu 239, Serug 230.
God wants to save a godly race, a people that would be devoted to him. So who does he choose? Not Shem or any other early descendants of Noah. Rater 10 generations removed, a young lad named Abram. Why Abram? I think the answer is found in Genesis 18:19 - The Lord is speaking about Abram, and he says, For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.