Summary: This sermon examines the life of Abraham as an example of obedience, faith and saying "yes" to God.
I want you to picture in your mind the first car you ever had. What make and model, what year, what color? I want you to turn to someone you came here with and describe that car to them!
Maroon 1979 Chevy Impala nicknamed the scud (slow and inaccurate) It had all the self inflicted dings and dents of a 16 year olds welcome to responsibility. Complete with a carpeted dash, 8 balls hanging from the rear view mirror, a hole in the back seat from a misguided bottle rocket shot from the inside by one of my friends, a box in the trunk with two ten inch woofers so the world could listen to my poor music choices...detachable face stereo so I could take it with me and ...eventually loose it...
There’s something special about the first of something isn’t there?
To this day I claim the Kansas City Royals because my first baseball team I played on was the Royals. My first "F" on a grade card! Your first boyfriend or girlfriend that you thought you loved...your first job, first house, first child. There’s something special about the first.
That’s why I love the book of Genesis. There’s a lot of firsts there. There’s a lot to learn from. The first knowledge of God, the first man and woman, the first sin of mankind. The first move that God made towards our impending rescue.
One of my all time favorite characters in the history of man is Abraham. Talk about something special about the first...
Abraham was the father of all nations. I grew up singing cheesy songs about "Father Abraham" in Sunday school. I knew him as the patriarch. The founding father. The old man that was willing to follow God even to the point that he was wiling to sacrifice his own son on an alter if it pleased God. Some of you are familiar with the life of Abraham, or as he was known in the beginning as ...Abram. Some of you are waiting to be introduced to the father of all nations...
That’s where I would like to start, with a brief overview of his life...in the beginning, with a man who would go down in history as being...the first.
WELCOME WHITEHOUSE CAMPUS
Gen 11:27-32, Acts 7:1-4 Abram comes out of nowhere in the scripture. All we knew about him is that he came from the line of Shem. He was a native of Mesopotamia, specifically Ur, one of the oldest known cities in the world.
Abram received a call from God to leave Ur (according to Stephen in Acts) and headed for Haran with his family.
Gen 12:1-4 God gave one command and two promises to Abram. God commanded Abram to separate himself from his family and go to Canaan, a land Abram knew nothing about. God promised if he did this, that He would make Abram’s name great. He also promised that, as a result of Abrams obedience to follow God, all nations of the earth would be blessed.
So Abram departed with his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and what little possessions they had.
Genesis 12:6, 14:24 Abram travels to Shechem in Canaan where God promised to give land to Abram and his family. The problem was the land was struck with famine. So Abram leaves the land God had given them and heads for Egypt. Abram abandons Gods plan and makes up his own. Never a good idea. Famine or not!
When Abram gets to Egypt, people start noticing how incredibly beautiful Abrams wife Sarai was! Abram had to come up with a plan...he was fearing for his life! Who wouldn’t want to kill him to get with her??? This is where all of you fellas turn to your wives and say "I know what he was going through"!!! Feel free to do that right now, you can thank me later.
Abram knows he’s in trouble here, so he comes up with another stupid plan! These are what we call plans that are not God’s...stupid. He decides to lie and tell everyone that Sarai is his sister!
Sarai is so beautiful that Pharaoh actually takes her into his personal harem! God, at this point decides to bail Abram out, and He inflicts Pharaoh and his family with plagues. Abram takes him family and flees for his life...once again, to Canaan...where God wanted him to be in the first place.
Here God once again renews His covenant to Abram. God promises that He will provide a child, from Abram and Sarai, that will be an heir to the nations.
This seems simple enough, but the problem is, is that Sarai couldn’t have children...and they know that!
This is again the point where stupidity likes to creep in...you know -- the point in your life when God’s promises seem impossible according to you.