Summary: In terms of God’s promises to Abraham, we claim that we are indeed hair of Abraham. But the question is—are we heir in the spiritual heritage of Abraham? Are we heir in the call and journey of Abraham?
December 7, 2002
Within the Christian tradition, one of the truths that we share with our Jewish and Muslim brothers is the understanding that we are heir of Abraham. And we readily apply this understanding to the promise that God gave to Abraham. As God had indeed blessed Abraham, we believe that God will also bless us. As God promised Abraham the Promised Land, we also claim that the same promise is available to us.
In terms of God’s promises to Abraham, we claim that we are indeed hair of Abraham. But the question is—are we heir in the footsteps of Abraham? Are we heir in the spiritual heritage of Abraham? Are we heir in the call and journey of Abraham?
Throughout this revival week, our theme will be journeying to the Promised Land. We will take our Bibles as our road map. We will have Jesus as our ultimate guide. And we will have the Holy Spirit as our equipper and sustainer.
Call of Abraham
As we begin our journey in the footsteps of Abraham, we begin it with God’s call to Abraham. We can find this call in Genesis 12:1-4, “Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.”
Negative Elements in the Call
A. The call came when Abraham was already of ripe age. He was seventy five.
1) This is the time when many of us have long been retired from our chosen professions
2) This is the time when we are starting to enjoy the fruits of our labor
3) This is the time when the children are grown up, have their own families, and perhaps the only thing that we need to do for them is to visit them once in a while and enjoy the grandchildren.
4) This is the time when many of us have already made up our mind about a particular place where we are going to spend the rest of our lives.
B. The call tells Abraham to get out of his country, his kindred, and his father’s house.
1) When we are old, we want to be closer to our families as much as possible.
2) This is the time when we need the support of our families.
3) This is the time when we need the familiarity of home. The camaraderie of those that we have known for a long time.
a) Illustration—my parents
b) My parents were in Las Vegas with my sister for three years.
c) In terms of their physical need, they had plenty of supply.
d) In terms of earthly entertainment, Las Vegas is not short of anything.
e) Two year ago, they decided to go back to the Philippines.
f) Why? They wanted the familiarity of home. Of people that they have accustomed conversing with. They want to finish their earthly journey in the place where they had been raised.
g) Occasionally, they want to visit their relatives, and so on and so forth.
C. The call to Abraham was to journey to a land known only to God.
1) This aspect of God’s call goes against the grain of human nature.
2) Why? As human beings, we want to know that the place we are moving to is better than the place we have right now.
3) We want to survey or see the place where we are moving to before we can finally decide and bring with us our family.
4) We ask questions such as:
a) How is the weather out there?
b) What is the crime rate?
c) Is there any hospital or school in the place where we are moving to?
d) What is the unemployment rate?
e) Are the locals receptive to a minority like me?
f) Will my children be happy in that place?
Positive Elements in Abraham’s Call
A. This is not an ordinary call. It is a call from God.
1) It is not a call from the president of the United States of America
2) It is not a call from the prime minister of Canada
3) It is not a call from the Queen of England
4) It is not a call from the Pope
5) This call is a call from the King of the whole universe. It is a call from the Creator. A call from our Savior and Redeemer.