Summary: The problems with getting out of Gods will and plan.
Series: Gods First Patriarch
Second Test: A Famine In The land
Genesis 12:10-20 (Sunday Feb 2, 2003)
I found an Illustration, which asked, “How you can tell when it’s going to be a rotten day:”
You wake up face down on the pavement.
You call Suicide Prevention and they put you on hold.
You see a "60 Minutes" news team waiting in your office.
Your birthday cake collapses from the weight of the candles.
You turn on the news and they’re showing emergency routes out of the city.
Your twin sister forgot your birthday.
Your car horn goes off accidentally and remains stuck as you follow a group of Hell’s Angels on the freeway.
Your boss tells you not to bother to take off your coat.
The bird singing outside your window is a buzzard.
You wake up and your braces are locked together.
You call your answering service and they tell you it’s none of your business.
Your income tax check bounces.
You put both contact lenses in the same eye.
Your wife says, "Good morning, Bill", and your name is George.
Without a doubt we all have had problems and trails in our lives. The question is how do we handle or problems and trials.
Last week we learned of Gods call to Abram and of the blessings he would receive by being obedient. Today we are going to look at Abrams second trial or test and see how well this patriarch of God responded. The first test of Course was Abram being asked to leave all to follow God in which he paseed.
1. Abrams Test (Vv.10-11)
A. Problem One. (V.10a)
12:10a Now there was a famine in the land. A famine was a time in which food became scarce. This sounds like it would be a direct contradiction of the promise God had made Abram in 12:2 “I will bless you.” One idea we can point out is even though God was blessing him the elements of weather were still in effect.
I believe this may have been a literal test God was putting Abram through. Not necessarily one God caused, but allowed to happen. Even though God had promised to bless him and his family, this did not mean God would not continue to test his faith.
One of the greatest illustrations of testing comes from the life of Job. Job 1:8 say’s He was “…a blameless and upright man, one who fears God, and shuns evil.” Yet in just one day, His Ox and Donkey’s were stolen, his Sheep were burned up, all of his servants were killed, but one, His sons and daughters were in a house and the house fell in and killed them all. On another day the Bible say’s Satan struck Job with painful boils from the soil of his feet to the top of his head. His wife asked, “Do you still retain your integrity?” ‘Curse God and Die. (Job 2:9) Job responded with the classic response and question “Thou speaks as one of the foolish women speaks, Shall we not receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive the evil? In all this Job did not sin with his lips. If you read Job 1:12, and 2:6, we find God did not cause the trails, but God allowed them to happen.
This leads to a question: Why does God allow trails and test to come to his children? The answer if found in James 1:2-3 “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience Test and trails are used to build us stronger in our faith.
Warren Wiersbe stated, “A faith that can’t be tested can’t be trusted.”
Ill. On December 29, 1987, a Soviet cosmonaut returned to the earth after 326 days in orbit. He was in good health, which hasn’t always been the case in those record-breaking voyages. Five years earlier, touching down after 211 days in space, two cosmonauts suffered from dizziness, high pulse rates, and heart palpitations. They couldn’t walk for a week, and after 30 days, they were still undergoing therapy for atrophied muscles and weakened hearts. At zero gravity, the muscles of the body begin to waste away because there is no resistance. To counteract this, the Soviets prescribed a vigorous exercise program for the cosmonauts. They invented the "penguin suit," a running suit laced with elastic bands. It resists every move the cosmonauts make, forcing them to exert their strength.
We often long for days without difficulty, but more often than not, the easier our life the weaker we are spiritually. For our faith to Grow, God knows we need trails and test in our physical lives to keep our spiritual lives in perspective.