Summary: Abram goes to Egypt
February 17, 2008
When we first moved here back in February I decided to preach verse-by-verse through the books of Genesis and Romans. I love these books, and I could re-preach them over and over, but I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t think I could save some time using old sermons.
I thought I could take my old notes, update them a little here and there, and then…PRESTO! I’m off to make some visits.
But you know what? God hasn’t let me do that yet.
I have to be honest—there’ve been times over the last couple months that I’ve laughed out loud or had to just shake my head at what I preached before.
I’ve grown so much over the past four years, that I see all kinds of inconsistencies and flaws in my old sermons. It actually takes more time to correct everything than it does to just start over, so I haven’t actually saved any time by taking the short cut.
I’m actually a little curious of what I’ll look back on in another 10 years and laugh at. What do I believe today that’s glaringly inconsistent?
I think this principle works in life for all of us on a regular basis.
I look back at all the things I used to do that I’d never dream of doing now. Some of those things that I thought were cool when I was younger now cause me to wince in shame and embarrassment.
I’ve grown over the years.
A gray head is a crown of glory; it is found in the way of righteousness (Proverbs 16:31).
We change over time.
We’ve been making our way through the book of Genesis and we’ve covered a lot of ground. We’ve gone from creation, to original sin, to the flood, and to the forming of the nations of the earth. It’s nearly 2,000 years of history crammed into 11 chapters.
Now, though, we come to a near halt, and for the rest of the book we’re going to look at the lives of just four men. We’re going to see how God brought them from idolatry (Josh. 24:2) to faith. We’re going to see how He stretched them and put them in awkward and uncomfortable positions to make them into the patriarchs we know. We’re going to see how he takes them from being young and faithless to being the heroes of the faith.
We closed last time with the genealogy of a man named Abram. He was called out of a place called Ur to go to a place called Canaan (Acts 7:1-4). You’ll remember that the Canaanites were the sons of Ham who were cursed by Noah (Gen. 9:25). Abram and his family made it all the way to a place called Haran where his father died.
This is where we pick up the story:
Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you;
This is one of the most important chapters in the Old Testament and in the Bible because it introduces what’s known as the Abrahamic Covenant. We’ll look at some of the specifics in the next verse.
God calls this man who is an idolater and commands him to go to a land “which I will show you.” Imagine for a minute how difficult that would have been. There was no road department; there were no realty companies; to just pack up and go and not even know where you’re going wasn’t a brilliant idea.
By leaving, he leaves behind his relatives and his whole inheritance. His “father’s house” was his security in life. But God tells him to leave the land, his family, and his inheritance behind to go where God will show him.
Now, I don’t want to get into interpretation to quickly, but I can’t help but think of the similarities for all believers. We’ve been told to consider ourselves as strangers here (I Pt. 2:11), to leave our relatives behind (Lk. 14:26), and to not love the things of this world (I Jn. 2:15). We’re moving on from this place to a better place which we can’t see.
2And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; 3And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed."
These are some of the specifics of the Covenant. I’ve underlined the words “I will” because I want you to notice God’s part in it. Abraham doesn’t have to do anything. God shows him the place, makes him into a great nation, blesses him, makes his name great, blesses his friends, and curses his enemies.