Summary: Discover what Abraham’s God was like throught God’s perception of Abraham.
Abraham: What’s His God Like?
As a pastor I’ve gotten used to talking about God. It’s not that have a special line to God or that I’ve known God the longest of all of us. It’s a privilege and a calling to be a pastor, and part of the pastor’s role is to tell others about God, based on the Bible.
This morning, I want to attempt to do more than talk about God. I want to talk as if I were God. You might think I’ve lost my mind, but many of us play the role of God everyday.
Even those who don’t believe in God play the role of god every day. They determine their own fate and what is right or wrong. And Christians, who know God and the Bible well, often speak on God’s behalf. They encourage one another with what God would say in a particular situation.
As a pastor, I’m often asked, "What do you think God wants me to do in this or that situation?" Then I would pray silently and flip through the pages of the Bible in my mind. If a promise, an instruction or an example from the Bible comes to mind that parallels the situation I’m being asked about, I would offer some counsel. If nothing comes to mind, I would offer prayer and delay answering.
But this morning, I want to play the role of God, in order to help you understand what Abram’s God is like. I want you to see how God saw Abram. You can tell a lot about a person by his perception of another person. And by offering God’s perception of Abram, you can know God a bit better.
I would have chosen a costume to better carry out my attempt, but since none of you have seen God before, you probably wouldn’t have recognized the costume. So I’ll just trust that you will follow along with your imagination. As you listen, you will discover what Abram’s God is like.
(Pause; begin to play the role of God.)
Most pastors have asked Me why I chose Abram. He was far from being perfect. He was easily frightened. He was not exactly a man of integrity. Being God, I knew him better than he knew himself. I knew Abram would lie about his wife in Egypt and put his wife to shame to save his own life.
Sometimes he is more frightened of people than he is frightened of Me. I told him to leave his household behind, but he allowed Lot and his family to come along. It’s easier to get the person out of the tradition than to get the tradition out of a person. And Abram’s tradition makes obedience to his elders more important than obedience to God.
Most people would not have chosen Abram to be a channel of My blessings to the nations. But you need to realize, I’m God, and I don’t need to work with perfect people, as if there were any. I chose Abram because he had a trusting heart. Trust is the key to any good friendship.
Abram’s trust was not perfect, but I’m not looking for perfection. When I called him to leave his home, he left. He was willing to move into the unknown because he trusted Me.
Another episode of trust in Abram’s life was when Abram and Lot went their separate ways. Abram trusted that I would take care of him, so he gave Lot first choice of what land he wanted to settle. Lot chose to pitch his tents near Sodom, a terribly wicked city.
Not too long after, war broke out in that area, and Lot was taken captive. When Abram heard about this, he got together 318 trained men and carried out a successful sneak-attack to rescue Lot. After this victory, Abram went to My appointed king and priest, Melchizedek, to worship Me and to give a tenth of everything he had. Abram honored Me when he did this.
Abram honored, not only in front of My priest, but he honored Me by turning down the gifts from the wicked king of Sodom. Most people can put on a godly front at a worship service, because they know how to play church. But Abram lived by the same godly values even outside the worship service.
You would think that Abram’s trust in Me at this point would have been high. After all, he recognized that I had helped him successfully rescued Lot and turned away from the temptation by the wicked king of Sodom. But instead, fear and anxiety rose in Abram’s mind and heart.
The problem was his mind wandered from focusing on Me to focusing on the possibility that the kings from whom he rescued Lot might come after him in revenge. And he wondered if he had offended the king of Sodom by declining his gifts. Sometimes doing the right thing can make you enemies.