Summary: Week 3 of a study of Faith
As children we learned many Bible promises that said if we had faith, God would grant our requests, right? We learned that mountains would move, if we had enough faith, right? How many times have we had that faith and the mountain did not move?
What do we do when it seems as though God is not doing what he said He would do? Do we excuse Him by faulting our faith? How many times have you told yourself, “Well, I must not have had enough faith, I must have not really believed it would move, or God would have done what I asked, since He did promise.” Or maybe we rationalized, “Since God did not move that mountain, He must be planning something really special for it in the future!”
What do you think the problem is when we do not see God doing what He promised? Is it His promise? Maybe it is my faith? Possibly, it’s our sin? These are good questions, and I am sure that Abraham must have had the same questions in his mind as he waited for the fulfillment of promises God had made to him. Today, we are going to learn from Abraham how he handled the waiting.
According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, a promise is defined as: “a: a declaration that one will do or refrain from doing something specified b : a legally binding declaration that gives the person to whom it is made a right to expect or to claim the performance or forbearance of a specified act.”
When a person makes a promise, what factors cause us to believe that the promise will be fulfilled? What is the determining factor, or factors that cause us to believe? We can safely assume that characteristics such as integrity, honesty, past history and trust play a big part in our confidence in the maker of the promise, would we all agree with that?
If a person has proven themselves as keepers of their word in the past, we find it much simpler to have confidence in their word, or promises, right? Think about times in your lives that someone made a promise to do something for you, or not to do something. The first time they made this promise is a testing ground. If we do not know them, or their “track-record” with keeping their word, we have a small ounce of doubt, or hesitance about the promise. If they are people that have made numerous promises and not kept them, well, we have a much more difficult time trusting their word. That is the reason we have contracts, collateral, and credit scores.
But if a person has proven there word is their bond, we tend to let up our guard. They have already proven their integrity! We can stand sure that they will come through. Sometimes, I wish we were born with that assurance. But in this world, there are many that deceive, and mislead. Integrity is hard to find in the world. True Godly integrity that is.
Integrity is defined as: “1 : firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values : INCORRUPTIBILITY 2 : an unimpaired condition : SOUNDNESS
3 : the quality or state of being complete or undivided : COMPLETENESS
synonym see HONESTY. Did you catch that? Synonymous with HONESTY. I like the definition: “Honesty, without compromise or corruption.”
Let’s turn our verse 1 in Genesis 12. It says, “NOW THE Lord said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.” God told Abram to get up, leave your home, the security of your father’s house, your friends and go to somewhere that I will show you. It does not say this is where, or that is where. He is telling Abram he will have to have faith in Him to lead him to the right place.
In verse 2, we read, “And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.” God is promising Abram 2 blessings here. He promised to make a great nation of Abram’s family, and to make his name great!
We sit around and study Abraham today, and think of his great faith, and how he was called God’s friend, but what do you think was his thought when God gave him this directive? Get up, leave the security that you have been accustomed to, leave the land that you live in, and go where I will lead you. Do you think that Abram questioned God’s integrity here? Did he ask how God was going to fulfill His promises? How was God going to “make a nation” of Abram’s Descendants? Back in Genesis 11:30, we read, “Now Sarai was barren; she had no child.” Sarai was his wife, and she was barren, incapable of producing offspring! Yet God promised a great nation of his descendants? Do you think Abram sat back and said, “It cannot happen!” Obviously, he did not! You see, Abram walked by faith, not by sight.