Summary: Man’s wisdom and men’s minds don’t accomplish God’s plan. When men try to fulfill God’s word apart from God, there is strife, contention, & failure
Passage: Genesis 16 Man’s wisdom and men’s minds don’t accomplish God’s plan
There was a man who purchased one of those do it yourself kits from the sporting goods store. It contained all the parts to build a replica of the old muzzleloader guns used in days gone by. He pealed open the box, broke through 3 pieces of tape inscribed with warnings, tossed aside the safety manual, threw out the warning stickers and proceeded to sand and stain and assemble his new firearm.
When all was ready, he purchased a grade of powder, and with no regard to the warnings printed on the side he poured in what he thought was a good measure and tamped a lead bullet down the barrel. Setting the charge he leveled the piece at a target down the way and pulled the trigger...
When he arrived in heaven he was found to be a Christian man, and therefore was ushered into heaven. Jesus was standing there greeting him when the man interrupted and asked, "Why didn’t you protect me from the blast?"
Jesus eyed him momentarily and gently said, "Friend, you had 6 warnings- but you chose to do it your way instead of listening to the ones who knew better. What more should I have done?"
Like that man, we all have a need to consult the authority before we act. God has a plan in place, but God’s work done man’s way will most certainly end up disastrously.
We have a deep and pressing need to seek God’s face as we endeavor to press forward the gospel in our area. For many years, the thrust at Fame Church has been one of missions far off, and not much missions at home. I believe that God is calling us to bring our missions mindset into our own backyards. I believe that God is calling each one of us to be missionaries in every sense of the word, even doing the very things that an overseas missionary does, so that we can win our communities to Christ.
God has placed you where you are at to do his work, and he has revealed what that work is going to be, I believe it’s the work of Fame Church to spread the good news of life in Jesus Christ to every man, woman and child within 5 miles and later within 10 miles of this church.
I believe that God is calling us to spread his kingdom on this earth. And yet I also believe that our task must be accomplished only under the guidance of God’s will and power. Tonight’s passage comes to us as a warning against trying to accomplish God’s work, without involving God. If there’s one thing that tonight’s lesson teaches us, it is that very thought. There is a danger of doing God’s work, man’s way! When men try to fulfill God’s word apart from God, there is strife, contention, & failure
Turn with me if you will to Genesis 16 and read the passage with me.
Now remember please, the events of Chapter 15. Abram returns from his battles, God promises him a great reward and Abram wonders who will inherit whatever he has. God then promises Abram a son saying in verse 4, "...[your servant] will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir." In fact, God went on to promise that Abram’s would have more descendants than could be counted, just like the stars.
The second half on chapter 15 involved God entering a covenant relationship with Abram to prove to him that Abram’s descendants would indeed inherit the land.
Now we enter into chapter 16 and Abram’s wife is getting impatient. Look at what it says, "Sarai... Had born him no children, [but] she had an Egyptian [servant] named Hagar." SO Sarai said to Abram..."
Stop right there, you know what’s going on. Sarai has heard Abram related all these promises to him and she’s getting impatient.
Let’s face it, sometimes, we want God to work a little faster in our lives, don’t we? Wouldn’t we like God to sometimes hustle it along so that we can start getting the blessings he’s promised?
But have you noticed that whenever the ball starts rolling, we start yelling "Whoa God! Whoa! You’re going too fast!" I’m convinced that the problem isn’t necessarily that God’s timing isn’t what we’d like, I think the problem is much deeper, it’s an issue of control. Answer this in your heart, "what is it that God has promised you?" Now, follow up that answer with this question, "What are you doing about it?"
Sarai wanted to do God’s plan, her way so she does something that sounds absolutely shocking to our modern minds; she takes her servant and gives Hagar to Abram like a second wife! And Abram consents! Now I have to note that according to the customs of the society Abram was living in, that arrangement was humanly lawful. Please understand that Since Hagar belonged to Sarai just like a piece of property it was understood that whatever the slave produced (INCLUDING CHILDREN) belonged to the owner; so that Hagar’s children would be legally considered as Sarai’s children