Sermons

Summary: God said that nations would come from his family tree and Abraham is proving this to be right. But the promise God made to Abraham was that the blessing that would come to the human race would come through his son Isaac. (Genesis 12:3; 17:19)

Genesis 25:1-6 - HOW TO LEAVE A LIFECHANGING LEGACY?

The artwork and design of my wife’s book on her family tree is magnificent. The storyline is clear and so interesting. Hours and hours of work, a labour of love. I am so proud of her. A legacy for generations to come.

In the prologue of her book, Julie writes "It seems a strange thing, almost a disrespectful thing, to reduce the lifetime of one person to a page, a line or just a photo in a book. If only we could go back in time and spend an hour, a day, with each of our forebears, and listen to each one express their lives in their own words - the highs and lows, the challenges and accomplishments, the disappointments and surprises, the heartaches and celebrations - not only would we know more about them, we could appreciate more of the valuable contribution each made to following generations, and understand more about who we are ourselves."

In Genesis 25, Abraham Marries Keturah. Everyone knows about Sarah and Hagar but very few know that Abraham also had another wife. We all know he had trouble having children with Sarah. God healed both Sarah and Abraham in order for them to have children, so by the time he marries Keturah all those problems are long gone. Did you know that he had six more sons, as well as Ishmael and Isaac?

God said that nations would come from his family tree and Abraham is proving this to be right. But the promise God made to Abraham was that the blessing that would come to the human race would come through his son Isaac. (Genesis 12:3; 17:19)

What is the story with these other sons and grandsons? Strange names like Zimran, Ishbak, Ashur, (We named a cat Ashur. I wonder what ever happened to Ashur?) and Letush (great name for a market gardener), and Dedan (the trail goes dead with Dedan), and more. We never really find out? The line is followed only through Isaac, the promised son, not though these other sons.

In Julie’s family tree we can trace back a history of ten generations and a history of faith in Christ for at least five generations. Who knows how many generations to come will seek to find a relationship with Jesus Christ as part of their family heritage? Others in the family tree we know very little about, however.

In Genesis 25 we are talking about Abraham’s family history. That’s why it is strange to get a mention in Abraham’s family tree and then disappear into OBSCURITY. It seems they do nothing of any real significance.

These sons and grandsons made no real contribution to God’s purposes on the earth except to fulfil a promise made to Abraham of numerous descendents. Why are they mentioned by name at all? Perhaps God deliberately contrasts them with those who follow the believing line which runs through Isaac.

I like the way my wife speaks about LEAVING A LEGACY. She says...

"The days of a man’s or woman’s life is, Scripture says, like the flower of the field, "the wind blows over it and it is gone". But while there are times and seasons, beginnings and endings in God’s blueprint for life, Scripture tells us too that "He has also set eternity in the heart of man". Each flower drops it’s seed into the ground, it takes root, and flourishes in another generation.

So while we cannot transport ourselves back through time, we can however, remain thankful for the seeds of the lives of our ancestors which continue to bear fruit in our allotted time, being careful ourselves to drop seeds of eternal significance into the generations which follow us."

The choices Abraham makes in his life give me an invitation to explore what it would look like if I believed in the promises of God. What if I, like Abraham, believed in One through whom the nations of the world would be blessed. The promised Messiah came through Abraham’s descendents. What if I believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, who died for my sins? What if I chose not to simply disappear into obscurity, but instead pursue God’s purposes for my life?

This passage is not about Abraham dying. All of us die. It about the choices we make. Like Abraham God gives me an opportunity to choose His purposes. I choose to believe in Christ and LEAVE A LIFECHANGING LEGACY for generations to come.

What about you?

Pastor Ross

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