Summary: 5 in my series "Our Favorite O.T. Stories. In this sermon I use Abraham's call to become the father of God's nation to look at our own call to evangelize the lost.
So far in our study of the Old Testament we have covered the creation, the fall, and the flood. Spiritually we have seen the world go from a perfect relationship with God to absolute depravity. Paul sums up the spiritual history of the world in Romans chapter 1.
Romans 1:18-24 (NLT)
But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.
Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.
So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired.
Adam and Eve started the human existence in a perfect relationship with God. But they exchanged that for the empty promises of Satan. Just a few generations later the thoughts of humanity were only evil all the time. There was only one person who even thought about God and that was Noah. So God sent a flood to wipe out all of humanity except for Noah and his family.
Now I wish the story got better from there, but it doesn’t. God said, “Be fruitful and multiply and spread out over all the earth.” But they didn’t. Instead, they built a city for themselves. They said, “Let’s forget about God and build a name for ourselves. Let’s forget about God, we can reach heaven on our own.” So God mixed up their language and spread them out over the whole earth.
More generations go by and mankind completely forgets about God once again. Instead, they create gods of their own. They form them out of precious metal, wood and stone. They create gods that look like birds, animals, reptiles, men and strange combinations of the four. They worship the sun, the moon, and the stars instead of the creator of the heavens. And by the time of Abraham there is no one left who worships God.
Let me repeat that. By the time of Abraham there is no one left who worships the True and Living God.
At this point it looks like God has failed. Mankind has abandoned Him. God’s plan was for mankind to worship him. God’s plan was for all of mankind to have a close personal relationship with Him. But that plan failed. So God changes His plan. Instead, of waiting for humanity to come to Him, He goes to man. To a specific man. To Abraham. God chooses Abraham. And in the story of Abraham we learn what it means to be called by God.
I. God’s Choice = Grace.
Genesis 12:1-3 (NLT)
The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.”
God made a crazy promise to a random nobody who lived in the middle of nowhere. God chose to create a nation of His very own from an absolute nobody. Let me make this absolutely clear. God had absolutely no reason to choose Abraham. There was nothing about Abraham that would show that Abraham was worthy of God’s choosing Him. Scripture does not even tell us that he was a righteous man as it does for Noah. In fact, it tells us that Abraham was the son of a quitter.
Genesis 11:31-32 (NLT)
One day Terah took his son Abram, his daughter-in-law Sarai (his son Abram’s wife), and his grandson Lot (his son Haran’s child) and moved away from Ur of the Chaldeans. He was headed for the land of Canaan, but they stopped at Haran and settled there. Terah lived for 205 years and died while still in Haran.
Terah headed for the land of Canaan, but stopped at Haran. Many scholars believe that Terah had been called by God to go to Canaan, but he never fulfilled his calling. He gave up. He quit. So Abraham was the son of a quitter. Yet, God chose him anyway. God chose to begin his nation with a nobody. The father of the nation of Israel did absolutely nothing to earn that great privilege. That is grace. The same grace that is offered to us.