Summary: We serve a God of amazing promises who always brings them to pass!
An Incredible Promise! Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16
I am not a fan of great heights. I have never been able to stand on the edge of a high cliff or at the top of a tall building without a quick heart beat and a dry throat. I have no problem with climbing a high hill or mountain, but to stand on the edge of falling is not something I enjoy! Toward the end of Marine Corps Basic Training there is a training event known as the confidence course. It is a series of high obstacles, fast rope lines, and at the end of it is a four story repel tower. It was one of the most frightening experiences of all of basic training for me because of my lack of appreciation for high places. The way it works is that you have to climb up the side of the repel tower and then once at the top there is a person there who helps you to connect your waist harness to the repel rope and guides you as you plant both feet firmly on the edge and slowly lean out backwards until you are standing completely horizontal, parallel to the ground, the only thing between you and certain disaster; a rope and firm grip! This was the most terrifying part for me. The time of leaning out, that moment when you must let go of trust in the platform and place your trust completely in the rope.
The first time I did it I was terrified and I went down rather ungracefully. A few years later I was attending an academy for Non Commissioned Officers called the Sergeant’s Course. Much to my dismay they too had a repel tower that was part of the final week of training. While I was equally nervous about the affair, I was not fully terrified. The past experience of having gone through the repel tower event and living to tell the tale, had given me a sense of much greater trust in the rope.
This morning as I enter my text, we will see what the Lord has to say to us about trusting in the rope – our anchor of security – the promises of God! We serve a God of incredible promises; a God who is not limited to either our lack of imagination or our lack of understanding the immensity of His power.
How often do we unknowingly mock God’s provision for lack of imagination of the mighty things that God can do? How imprudently do we face the trials of this life full of fear, having no trust in the rope, because we underestimate the intimate nature of God’s protection and provision in our lives?
This morning we will examine the promises of the covenant which God made with Abraham many of which are fulfilled in Christ and in Christ Church. Let us seek an answer to the question, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”
Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16: In today’s Scripture reading we see God making a promise to Abraham; an incredible promise to an old man and old woman that not only would they miraculously bring forth a child, but that child will be the father to Kings. God tells Abraham that he will give to his descendants the Promised Land; that his descendants would occupy the land of the promise of God.
The promise of God is known as the Abrahamic Covenant. That is simply, the covenant that God made with Abraham; the outrageous promise of God to Abraham! The Abrahamic Covenant is an unconditional promise from God to Abraham and his physical and spiritual descendants.
It is unconditional in that God sovereignly decreed that He would make Abraham the father of a great nation and that He would make his name great when He called then Abram in Genesis 12:2-3, “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
The Abrahamic covenant is the foundation of the Church and is the very foundation of our faith. When we examine the New Covenant, the dispensation or age of the Church, only through the lens of the New Testament we miss out on much of the fullness and richness of God’s unfolding revelation of Himself.
God’s sovereign decree was to bless Abraham just as His sovereign decree was and is to save His Church, us, the Body of Christ. There is no ambiguity in the decrees of our Heavenly Father. When the Sovereign Lord makes a promise; it is kept!
Abraham’s spiritual lineage is the Body of Christ. In Christ God has fulfilled much of His promise to Abraham. It is through the line of Abraham that God brought salvation to the world in Jesus Christ. We’ll see that further in a few moments. Abraham’s physical descendants are the physical nation of Israel.