Summary: God starts over with humanity again, only this time with a man named Abram. God chooses Abraham as the New Adam to end the lines of disaster. God makes a new fresh start.
We’re doing a series on God’s Big Story where we are tracing the central storyline of the Bible. The aim of this series is to see the big picture of the Bible. I want to offer a bird’s eye view, if you will. We live in a world that has tried to overlay their big stories as the TRUE story – the story in life that really matters. Marxism came along about a century ago to tell its story but collapsed in short order. Our Presidential candidates tell us the story of democracy and freedom that will cure all that ails us. And capitalism has promised to make all of our lives better but many have been left out in the bread lines of depressions long ago. Yet, all these stories have been tried and found wanting.
Today, we live in a highly cynical world. We are cynical of everything and everyone. Yet, the central story of the Bible promises to be the central story of our lives. And it is the one story that actually delivers on what it promises.
The Bible’s story can be unpacked in these four sentences:
God made the world.
We rebelled against our ruler.
God reentered the world to redeem us.
And God will remake the world.
So climb on top of the observation deck with me and let’s get a better perspective of the Bible before us.
Today, we look at the life of Abraham, the father of the faith. In last week’s message, we witnessed everything fall apart with the rebellion of the first couple, Adam and Eve. Things didn’t improve. In fact, things quickly got out of hand. When we left the First Couple, we witnessed them being banished from the perfect garden. And no sooner had the left the garden than their son, Cain, killed his brother, Abel over jealousy. Shortly after the Adam and Eve debacle, God pressed the reset button with a man named Noah: On Screen: “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5) But no sooner did Noah get off the Ark, than we witness the ugly scene of him passed out drunk with no clothes on (Genesis 9:20-27). Earth was in chaos. The First Couple had chosen to take a destructive path and everyone was sliding continually downward and divine intervention was required. So God starts over with humanity again, only this time with a man named Abram. God chooses Abraham as the New Adam to end the lines of disaster. God makes a new fresh start.
Today’s Scripture Passage
Bookmark Romans 4 as we will be there in a few moments.
After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” 2 But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.” 4 And behold, the word of the Lord came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” 5 And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 6 And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.
7 And he said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess.” 8 But he said, “O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess it?” 9 He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10 And he brought him all these, cut them in half, and laid each half over against the other. But he did not cut the birds in half. 11 And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.
12 As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram. And behold, dreadful and great darkness fell upon him. 13 Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. 14 But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions. 15 As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. 16 And they shall come back here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”