Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series



Text: Genesis 15:1 – 15:1

After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.

Webster describes Greatness as Unusually, considerately or comparatively large in size, dimensions, degree, power, intensity, etc. Greatness means wonderful, first rate, or very good. Greatness may also mean immense, enormous gigantic, huge, vast, grand. A great person can be referred to as a champion, notable, remarkable, exceptionally outstanding, a famous, distinguished etc. He must have been a person who has achieved importance or a distinction in a field.

We have example of great people in world, great cities in the world, great countries in the world etc. Soccer – Brazil, Pele, Basketball – Jordan, Magic Johnson, Boxing – Mohammed Alli, In religion, we have people like Apostle Paul, Peter etc.

Big is the most general word, large is formal, but great is more and highly formal and even poetic, e.g. we may have a big tree, a large tree, but a great oak. Thus when reference is being made to degree or a quality, great is the usual word. Thus we have great beauty, great church, great surprise, but also there may be a great mistake, you are not going to make a great mistake in Jesus name. In the Bible, the word, great was used 959 times, so you see words like great wickedness, great city, feast, salvation, wonders, faith, grace etc. etc.

When I was young, there is this saying that “some people are born great, some people achieve greatness, some people have greatness thrust upon them”.

The people that are born great at times are referred to as people born with silver spoon in their mouths. We can give examples of Princes and Princesses, the children of the nation’s presidents etc. I don’t know whether you are born with silver or plastic spoon in your mouth, but whether you are born with silver spoon or not, I want you to know that you can be great. The beginning is not the main thing; it is the end that is the most important.I want you to know that your greatness depends on the Almighty God. You are only great if God says that you are great.

There are things, countries, cities, people that have great beginnings but have a poor or bad end, or ended in great destruction, your own portion will not be like that. And there are some people who started very poorly but ended being very great. There are people who started very great and maintain the greatness and ended up very great or even greater. And unfortunately, there are people who started very poorly and ended very poorly or even poorer. You must belong to one class, but like I said, the beginning is not the most important thing, but the end; I pray that you will end well in Jesus name.

Let us examine the lives of some people in the Bible for illustration of what I am talking about.

Reuben: The name means, “behold a son” for Jehovah has looked upon affliction of being less loved by my husband. Who is Reuben? Reuben was the first son of Jacob, later known as Israel, the Bible says that Abraham was great, Isaac was very great and that Jacob was exceedingly great. The next person on line would have been Rueben, and his case, if only he had remained on line would have been, greater than Jacob his father. Let us look at the way Jacob described him in Genesis 49:3 “Reuben, thou art my first born, my might, the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity and the Excellency of power." Let us look at the New Living Translation

"Reuben, you are my oldest son, the child of my vigorous youth. You are first on the list in rank and honor."

We can see what Reuben represented here or what he is supposed to be. Reuben represented might, vigor, first among equals, honor, strength; Excellency, dignity and power, what more can we expect of a man, what else do we expect a man to be? We can safely conclude Reuben was born great, or he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Also, there are so many blessings that are associated with being the first born, let us look at them, the first born has the family inheritance, family supremacy, has the father’s blessings, he is the Spiritual leader and priest of the family or tribe. He has the choice of all the family lands, fruitfulness in offspring; he has a special providence, and personal blessing to himself and to all nations, he has eternal inheritance, a special party to the Abrahamic covenant, father of the Messiah and many nations, father of kings, have power over enemies, headship of nations, material prosperity, spiritual blessings of Abraham and even curse upon enemies. Reuben at birth was no doubt an enviable person. But how did he end? And why? Let us look at Genesis 49: 4: "But you are as unruly as the waves of the sea, and you will be first no longer. For you slept with one of my wives; you dishonored me in my own bed." That is, because of sin, you will no longer be great, Kings James says "thou shall not excel" Reuben did not excel not necessarily because of this sin, but more importantly because he did not make any attempt to do something about the sin.

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