Summary: What were the Israelites Chosen for? What are we chosen for? This sermon reveals the heart of God drawing people to himself through his people
I have 30 minutes to tell you the HISTORY of the World.
- 30 Minutes to reveal to you the Will of God
- 30 minutes to tell you what YOUR purpose in life is
Here we go!
1. In the beginning God created the world. And it was Good!
Notice: He started with the Universe - not just the earth. Then, He created the earth - not just Israel. Then, He created the Human Race - not the Chosen Race.
2. God created man in his own image. Male and female he created them. And it was Good! He told them, “fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."
3. God gave man a choice. In the garden, He said, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." (Genesis 2:16-17). Man chose poorly!
4. Next, we come to the story of Cain and Abel. Cain killed his brother Abel. Cain chose poorly.
(I take some comfort, though, seeing that the very first family of all time was dysfunctional)
5. Then, Lamech, killed a man – and boasted about it. Lamech chose poorly.
6. Then... the days of Noah. Genesis 6:5-6 tells us, “The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.”
7. In Genesis 11 is the story of the Tower of Babel. In Genesis 11:7-8, God says, “Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other." So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth. God SCATTERED them. Why? What did they do wrong?
In Genesis 11:4, the people said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be SCATTERED over the face of the whole earth."
Could the problem be - they cared more about their name than God’s Name?
Could the problem be - they cared more about their will than God’s will? (In Genesis 9:1, God had commanded them to “fill the earth”)
The people of the Tower of Babel chose poorly.
Then, we come to one of the most important passages of the whole Bible.
In Genesis 12:1, the LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you.”
What we have here is the very first mission trip ever. Abraham was told to leave everything he ever knew, and go to a place he had never been. (Note: Abraham was called out of Ur. Ur was a great metropolis, with libraries and universities. He was sent to the Land of Canaan – a land full of idols. (This is the equivalent of being called out of New York, and sent to Africa.)
And then God gives Abraham a promise. In Genesis 12:2, God says, "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."
God repeats this promise in Genesis 18: “Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him." (Genesis 18:18-19)
And then, after God tested Abraham by asking him to sacrifice his one and only son (which I understand was a pretty easy test for Abraham because Isaac was a teenager. ), God repeated the promise a third time: “ I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me." (Genesis 22:17-18)
I want us to break down this promise and see the significance of it, and see how it has played out over the past 4000 years.