Summary: This sermon is part of a 4 sermon series on the Promise of God leading up to Christmas. Today’s sermon shows God’s pursuit of us, even amidst our rebellion: His hope is given to those not deserving.
[This sermon is part of a 4 sermon series on the Promise of God leading up to Christmas. One of my earlier sermons, it is not a full manuscript. It is hoped that the introductory notes on the Promise in Genesis, and the sermon out line that follows, will aid in developing your own sermon series and adding some good meat to the bones. It was one of my favorite sermon series, and was received well, because it taught something that People don’t often hear from the pulpit: promise theology.]
TEXTs of PROMISE in Genesis
Gen 12—after dispersion at Babel
• Great nation/bless you
• Name great/be blessing
• Bless those who bless you/curse
• All nations/peoples on earth blessed through you.
Gen 15—after defeat of Sodom King (and blessing of Melchizedek) and profession of trust in God
• God is shield/reward
• Affirm that a son from Abram will be heir
• Stars of sky
• God “brought u out of Ur”
Gen 17—after intercourse with Hagar
• Walk before me, and be blameless
• Father of many nations
• Fruitful, many nations and kings
• Everlasting covenant
• Canaan everlasting possession
• Covenant in flesh and “everlasting covenant.”
• Sarah now, and is blessed
• Isaac prophesied/named
• Ishmael is blessed but not have the covenant
Gen 21—hagar aftermath
• Promise reckoned thru Isaac, not Ishmael
Gen 22—after taking Isaac to be sacrificed
• God provides ram
• I will surely bless you (you did not withhold your only son)
• Descendants as numerous as the stars and sand because you obeyed me.
• Through your SEED/OFFSPRING all nations will be blessed.
Gen 24—getting a wife for Isaac
• Abraham tells his servant of the promise
• Servant sees God continue his blessing by providing a wife
Gen 26—Esau has just despised his birth right
• Promise/Blessing repeated/confirmed to Isaac
• Stay in land during famine: I will bless you
• Give these lands and
• Confirm the oath made to Abraham
• Numerous descendants (stars)
• Through your offspring/seed all nations on earth will be blessed
• Because Abraham obeyed me
Gen 28—Jacob going to get a wife in Haran
• I am the Lord, the God of A and I.
• Give you the land on which you are lying
• Spread out from west to east, north/south
• All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring
• I will watch over you wherever
• Bring you back
• I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.
• Bethel: makes a vow to serve (Lord will be my God) God and he will give a tenth of what he acquires, if God follows through on his promise (duh!)
Prior: with Noah, God showed he is “refusing to allow human rebellion to divert him from his purpose to create a people to be his people in a perfect universe.” (G. Goldsworthy, According to Plan, p. 115)
• The song done on stage?
• Missionary heart of God
With Abraham’s call shortly after the scattering of the people’s after the Tower of Babel, we again see (like in Genesis 3 and 6), God’s promise of Hope and Salvation being offered in the midst of judgment.
“God is refusing to allow human rebellion to divert him from his purpose to create a people to be his people in a perfect universe.” (Goldsworthy, According . . . , p. 115)
** “The promise is repeatedly made against a background of events that seem to threaten it and make its fulfillment impossible. By this means Abraham learns that he must live by faith in the promises of God even when it seems that the promises have been destroyed by circumstances.” (ibid, p. 121)
“The importance of the threats to fulfillment lies in the fact that the promises point to an ultimate fulfillment that can be achieved only by the supernatural work of God. (ibid, 121)
• Promised land is possessed by Canaanites
• Age of Abraham and Sarah
• Sarah almost taken as wife by king
• Lot chooses the fertile ground
• For 25 years Abraham and Sarah have to wait.
And yet “at critical times during that period, God reminds Abraham of this promises to sustain him in the face of the seemingly impossible odds against their coming true. (Gen 15:4-6, 13-21, 17:1-21, 18:16-19) (ibid, 122)
There appears to be nothing special about Abraham, other than two things: He answers the call of the Lord, and he is in the line of Shem (promise).
THE SUPERNATURAL SUSTENANCE OF THE PROMISE
Constantly God fulfills his promise in circumstances that appear to threaten its survival: (see above, and:)