Thesis: We are blessed so that we might be a blessing to others.
1. There are probably two things we as human beings like:
a. Illust. We like to see. Starts early in childhood. Nearly every kid is afraid of the dark. That's why we have those little 4-watt night lights. In our house the bathroom light stays on or we get scared! We like to see.
b. Illust. We like consistency. Ever notice how many of us tend to sit in the same seats in church? No names there--sit in same ones because we like consistency. If we ever go back to one service we may have some problems!
2. We like to see and we like consistency. Abraham was called by God to leave
both! < Turn to Gen. 11:27-12:9 >
I. EXPLORING THE TEXT. < Pausing to comment ... >
A. AFTER VERSE 32:
1. This genealogy begins/ends with information about Terah.
a. Three sons, one of whom was Abraham.
b. Died at 205 (v. 32)--before his father died (v. 28).
2. Two important things stand out from these verses:
a. The barrenness of Sarah (v. 30).
1) Lest we miss it--stated twice!
2) Sets up an unresolved problem driving saga.
b. The incomplete journey (v. 31).
1) Why did Terah leave?
2) Why did he take only part of his family?
3) Why did he stop and settle at Haran?
3. The most striking thing about this genealogy is that it "dead-ends."
a. NO FUTURE: barren wife, incomplete journey, dead father.
b. That is just the kind of situation God delights in!
B. AFTER VERSE THREE:
1. One of the most important texts in all the Bible!
a. "Great nation" = OT.
b. "All peoples blessed" = NT.
2. This is a really good deal for Abraham! What does God ask him to do? < Not much! >
1) I will make you a great nation.
2) I will bless you.
3) I will make your name great.
4) I will bless those who bless you.
5) I will curse those who curse you.
6) Through you all people will be blessed.
b. Requests: "Go!" (v. 1)
< Abruptly begin reading 12:4ff. >
C. AFTER VERSE NINE: Now that we have Abraham where he's supposed to be, we can relax. Right? Wrong! Much more to the story!
II. THE POINT OF THIS TEXT.
A. Not about the faith of Abraham.
1. Abraham is known as "Man of Faith" (Gal. 3:9)--Not yet!
2. The faith of Abraham is not the focus of this passage.
3. Think about it ... strange land, barren wife, dead father ... what does Abraham have to loose? (Faith = "knowing a good deal when you see it")
4. Illust. 12:4 simply says, "So Abram left." It doesn't speak of him having some agonizing period of doubt. It doesn't say he spent all night in prayer, fasted, offered sacrifices, or put out a fleece. Simply left!
B. The focus of this story is not Abraham's faith, but on what God is doing.
1. In case we miss that, the word "blessing" appears 5 times in vv. 2-3 (In contrast, the word faith appears 0 times!)
2. Purpose of all this blessing is so that Abraham can BE a blessing! (Look at the end of verse 3)
C. We all want to be blessed by God. The good news is we don't have to be superheros of faith to receive God's blessing. However, the issue for us is the same as it was for Abraham--will we BE a blessing?
1. Illust. One of my favorite places to eat is Shoney's. The local Shoney's in Aquia Center has undergone some extensive remodeling. Beautiful place! New walls, fresh carpet, clean paint. Talked with one of the hostesses about it. She went on and on about how this was a local project. Local people picked out the colors, carpet, etc. Great place! Still get lousy service!
2. We all want to be blessed by God. The issue becomes--what will we do with it when we are?
a. All want good health, money, satisfying job, family life.
b. These are not ends in themselves! (cf. Pedigos)
3. This congregation has been richly blessed by God.
a. Growth, peace/harmony, elders, indebtedness, preacher!
b. This is not an accident. God wants to use us to get to other people--he has blessed us to be a blessing.