Summary: Abraham was a normal man with a unique situation. He messed up from time to time but God still used him. An encouragement to a sinful man like me!
1. Abram, Abraham, is a man not unlike most other men
2. He was married, had a family, and many responsibilities
a. Well, he had no kids of his own
b. But he was keeping up his nephew Lot who proved to be a handful
3. Why did God call Abram to such a great promise?
a. Because of his faith
b. He truly believed in God and obeyed Him through all things
4. In Abraham we see some significant points that help us understand faith
a. Seeking to please
b. Sinful city
c. Stumbling through
5. Life was not a bowl of cherries for Abram and he was not always perfect, but what you see from the life of Abram, or Abraham, is hope for the normal people of life to live faithfully
TRANSITION: The first thing we notice of Abram is that he was:
I. Seeking to please
A. Here is an explanation of Matthew 6:33
1. A missionary was trying to translate the idea of obedience unsuccessfully
a. He saw a boy call a dog to him and the dog came with enthusiasm and excitement to please the boy
b. The missionary said, "There, what do you call what the dog just did?"
c. The man nearest him said the dog was "all ears" for the boy
d. So the missionary said that obedience to God was being "all ears" for Him
2. Abram was "all ears" for God
3. His desire was not just to do what God said but to please God with enthusiasm in the process
B. Abram’s call was a tough one
1. "Leave all that you know and to into another land that I will show you"
2. "Which land?"
a. Whiteford’s maintenance changes, "Trust us"
b. But what are we trusting, where is this going?
c. I’ll show you, with most this is not enough to pack up your family and move, but with Abram and God it was plenty
3. Without knowing his destination, Abram packed up and followed God as he was instructed
C. When he got there he built an altar
1. He was not just going to appease but to please
a. He had no real instruction, "When you get there build an altar"
b. But he decided to do all he could to please God and not just abate His wrath
2. Abram was "all ear" for God, going where he was told and doing all that he could for God
3. Abram obeyed with honor in his heart for God and not for self
D. We should be "all ear" for God
1. Hearing what God wants us to do
2. Desiring to please God with out lives
3. Some people want to change the Bible to fit their lives
4. We ought to change our lives to fit the Bible
TRANSITION: Abram left a:
II. Sinful city
A. He walked away from an evil influence
1. Ur was a sinful city
a. The #1 religion in Ur was idolatry
b. Like Haiti and Voodoo
c. Ur was home of the Ziggurat, a square terraced temple
d. The main gods worshipped there were Nannar and Ningal
e. Tablets were found there that listed the temple prostitutes who worked to honor the daughter of Nannar and Ningal, Ishtar (Asherah)
2. The entire culture was based on the worship of these idols in particular and others who were their "supporting cast"
a. The city was built in the shape of the moon centered around the Ziggurat
b. Nannar and Ningal were the god and goddess of the Moon
B. The population was transient
1. Ur was built on a seaport on what is now the Persian Gulf
2. Many people would then be in and out of Ur
a. Ships from around the world brought goods into the city
b. Caravans were awaiting arrival of shipments to take those goods out of the city
c. Many influences in both religion and thought were then brought into the city to the detriment of the moral climate
d. Especially considering the temple priestesses were mainly prostitutes
e. Ur was much like the first-century city of Corinth
3. With this evil influence of course comes corrupted morals
4. Abram was called out of this moral mess into something better
C. We too are called out of the moral mess of the world
2. We are called out of a sinful world as was Abram
3. Like the boy’s dog we too ought to be "all ears" for out God in coming out of the world and to Him
4. If we are to change the world we must be different from the world
TRANSITION: Notice that as Abram comes out of the sinful city he is: