Summary: Abraham’s "two steps forward, one step back" life story is just like ours. How does fear undermine our faith?
Abraham: Faith and Fear
“It is only the fear of God that can free us from the fear of man.” -John Witherspoon
***IF you were to WRITE A BOOK about your life...and you gave EQUAL TIME and EQUAL WEIGHT to every person and every event in your life...it would be IMPOSSIBLE to read!!!
-It would MAKE NO SENSE to give equal weight to your “first day in the 4th grade” as you did to the day you got MARRIED or the day your FIRST CHILD was BORN.
Different PEOPLE and different EVENTS deserve more or less TIME and ATTENTION...right?
SO...bring that understanding of PRIORITY with you as you consider God’s Word...and why not everything gets the same amount of SPACE and DETAIL.
-The FIRST 11 Chapters of Genesis...from the CREATION to the FLOOD covers a period of at least 1,600 years.
-The NEXT 39 Chapters of Genesis...from Abraham to Joseph (the Patriarchs of the Jewish people...covers a period of just 361 years...and in those chapters…
ONE MAN stands out above all the rest:
The SIGNIFICANCE of Abraham:
-4 chapters in Genesis devoted to CREATION and the first family.
God makes the heavens and the earth and everything that fills them FROM NOTHING, and His highest creation is man and woman. Adam and Eve have perfect fellowship with God for a short time, are deceived and rebel against God and are put out of the Garden. They experience separation from God and begin to physically die. They have children and the “first family” has some major problems with their first son, Cain, killing his brother Abel.
-1 chapter is GENEOLOGY. Genesis 5 is the record of the human race from Adam to Noah.
-3 chapters on JUDGMENT and SALVATION Genesis 6-9 Noah is the only man on earth who has a RELATIONSHIP and finds FAVOR in God’s eyes. God starts the clock on the world’s destruction and for 120 years, Noah PREACHES (by words and example) as he builds the vessel that will save himself, his family and other living creatures from the world-wide flood.
-1 chapter is the formation of the NATIONS. Genesis 10 shows how the human race began again through Noah’s sons– Shem, Ham and Japheth.
1 chapter on the SCATTERING of the nations. The people are building a city and a tower that will be a monument to “HUMAN ACHIEVEMENT” and God comes down and CONFUSES the language of the people so they cannot communicate with each other.
14 chapters on the Old Testament’s CENTRAL character. ABRAHAM...the man of faith!
Why? Why only 9 verses in Chapter 11 about how all the different PEOPLE GROUPS of the world and LANGUAGES of the world got their start? We’re really curious about such things!
BUT...this is God’s Book...and His Story...and He puts the EMPHASIS on the things most important to His PURPOSES!!!
God’s emphasis is on the MORAL and SPIRITUAL more than the physical. And REDEMPTION trumps DEPRAVITY!
Center stage is a REDEEMING GOD!
1.) The call to LEAVE the familiar and FOLLOW into the great unknown! (v.1-6)
1 The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.2 "I will make you into a great nation
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you." 4 So Abram left, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran. 5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there. 6 Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land.
The Bible doesn’t give us any CLEAR reason why God choose Abram except that he comes through the “BRANCH of the family TREE” that God has chosen to use. Abram can trace his line back to SHEM and to NOAH (who walked with God) to ENOCH (who walked with God) to SETH (who walked with God) to Adam.
27 This is the account of Terah.
Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot. 28 While his father Terah was still alive, Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, in the land of his birth. 29 Abram and Nahor both married. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah; she was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milcah and Iscah. 30 Now Sarai was barren; she had no children. 31 Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there. 32 Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Haran.