Summary: In the roller coaster ride of Abram's faith, we see a time of doubt and God's reassurance that He would be faithful to Abram. WE see that Abrams faith erased his doubt and was what saved him.
Genesis 15: 1-6 (NLT)
Intro: Mr. Jones called his pastor from the hospital one day and frantically said, "Oh, pastor come quickly, my son, John was just bitten by a rattle snake and is at the point of death." Of course the pastor hurried to the side of the worried father. "Pastor, pray for my son!", cried the father, " I have promised the Lord that if my son recovers, I will come back to church and bring my family and will again start living for the Lord. I will never doubt him again.”
Of course the pastor prayed. He said, "Dear Lord, we come to you now in behalf of Mr. Jones’ son. We pray that he might recover from this snake bite. We want to praise your name for sending this rattle snake to bite John! This one rattle snake has done what I or the church has been unable to do in the life of Mr. Jones now for over 5 years. During all this time, he has not been interested in his spiritual well-being or the spiritual well-being of his family and this one rattle snake has turned his mind back to you. Lord, could it be, what we may need in the lives of many of our other church members are bigger and better rattle snakes?"
. Pepper Rodgers was a college football coach back in the 60’s and 70’s. He coached for Kansas, UCLA and sadly Ga Tech. while at UCLA alumni and fans made Pepper’s life miserable during a season when his Bruins got off to a horrible start. Nobody in Southern California would hang out with him. "My dog was my only true friend," Rodgers said of that year. "I told my wife that every man needs at least two good friends. She bought me another dog."
Rodgers can be very set in what he wants to do. When his players at UCLA were having difficulty adapting to the wishbone offense he’d installed and the school’s alumni demanded that he adopt another system, Rodgers didn’t budge. The wishbone, he said, "is like Christianity. If you believe in it only until something goes wrong, you didn’t believe in it in the first place."
. Do we doubt our faith when things are not going the way we want them to?
. Bill Hybels, pastor of the mega church Willow Creek Community Church tells about an interesting experience after a baptism service in their church. He writes: “I bumped into a woman in the stairwell who was crying. I thought this was a little odd, since the service was so joyful. I asked her if she was all right. She said, ‘No, I’m struggling.’ She said, ‘My mom was baptized today. I prayed for her every day for almost 20 years. The reason I’m crying is because I came this close to giving up on her. At the 5-year mark I said, “Who needs this? God isn’t listening.” At the 10-year mark I said, “Why am I wasting my breath?” At the 15-year mark I said, “This is absurd.” At the 19-year mark I said, “I’m just a fool.” But I just kept trying, kept praying. Even with weak faith I kept praying. Then she gave here life to Christ, and she was baptized today. I will never doubt the power of prayer again.”
.Sometimes we doubt that God is listening to us don’t we. We pray and hope and pray and hope and nothing. We begin to doubt don’t we? It is something that we all struggle with.
. Much of that is societal. We live in a world where everything is instantaneous. We want what we want and we want it now!
. When we don’t get it, especially in our relationship and dealings with God, we can start to doubt what God has told us. I have talked to folks, especially those that are part of the done’s, that even doubt the existence of God.
. At best, many of these people are agnostic, or not sure that God exists.
. Our scripture this morning tells of a doubter.
. Most of you have heard of “Doubting Thomas” or have heard someone called a doubting Thomas.
. Here in the Old Testament we have “Doubting Abram”
. Our scripture this morning focuses on Abrams doubt and his deliverance from that doubt.
. We are in the 15th chapter of Genesis. Verses 1-6
. 1Some time later, the LORD spoke to Abram in a vision and said to him, “Do not be afraid, Abram, for I will protect you, and your reward will be great.”
2But Abram replied, “O Sovereign LORD, what good are all your blessings when I don’t even have a son? Since you’ve given me no children, Eliezer of Damascus, a servant in my household, will inherit all my wealth.