Summary: Lessons of faith from Abraham, Sarah, and Isaac

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Genesis 18-22


1. Sometimes we struggle with trusting others

a. For some this is worse than for others

b. We often doubt someone who lies often

c. Sometimes we doubt those who have lied occasionally

d. We doubt people we do not know sometimes

e. And even sometimes we doubt people that we know, even if they are generally honest

f. Usually our doubt is related to things they say that are fantastic or incredible

2. Abraham, Sarah, and Isaac have a story about promise and doubt that involves three aspects of life:

a. Divination (from God about a son, Isaac)

b. Doubt (by Abraham and Sarah)

c. Dedication (when God is proven true)

3. We will struggle with doubt from time to time, this is human, (in difficult times) we can see our faith built up through it if we look to God for the answers to our doubt

TRANSITION: Let’s notice first of all God’s:

I. Divination

A. God promised something to Abraham and Sarah that they had given up hope of

1. He promised them a son

a. Genesis 15:4, "…This man shall not be your heir; but one who comes forth from your own body; he will be your heir."

b. Following Ishmael’s birth the Lord returns to visit them, Genesis 18:10, "I will surely return to you this time next year; and behold, Sarah, you wife, will have a son."

2. His promise was to both Abraham and Sarah

B. What event prompted the promise of Genesis 18?

1. The Lord visited Abraham and Sarah because of something

2. Abraham had obeyed the Lord’s commandment to circumcise all those in his household

3. The covenant of God was sealed with obedience at the circumcision of Abraham and all the males in his house

C. God makes promises

1. But they always have stipulations attached

2. Genesis 17:1-2

a. God said that He would establish His covenant with Abraham

b. IF he walked before God blameless

3. Joshua chapter 1, three times God promises Joshua

a. I will be with you

b. IF you remain strong and faithful to me

c. Proven in Joshua 7 when Ai is attacked

d. For the first time ever Israel is defeated

e. They were defeated because Achan had taken forbidden spoils from Jericho

f. They did not walk blameless before God so He did not go with them into battle against Ai the first time

g. His reason, Joshua 7:11, "Israel has sinned and transgressed my covenant which I commanded them"

h. God’s promises are great, but they are also given commandments that must be kept

4. Israel is taken captive over and over again and promised deliverance and protection over and over again, IF they will continue to follow God

5. 2 Corinthians 6:16-18

a. God will be our God and Father

b. IF we separate ourselves from the world and follow Him

D. God has always been true to His word, Paul tells Titus that He cannot lie; when His people are true to His word they can enjoy His promises

1. For us that is heaven

2. If we are true to Him

TRANSITION: But Abraham and Sarah had their:

II. Doubts

A. Genesis 16:1

1. She still has no children

a. God was not on her time-table

b. So often we make this mistake

c. John 11:24-26, Martha was not on Jesus’ time-table either

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