Sermons

Summary: This sermon addresses the topic of vision, Abram’s vision in particular. The message is designed to help it’s audience understand how spiritual vision functions in the life of a Christ-follower.

Vision Quest, Learning From Men Of Vision

Part 2 – Abram

May 26th, 2002

This morning we continue with part 2 of our series, “Vision Quest - Learning From Men Of Faith”. Today’s man of vision is Abram. I invite you to join me in Genesis 12:1-5:

Then the Lord told Abram, "Leave your country, your relatives, and your father’s house, and go to the land that I will show you. [2] I will cause you to become the father of a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and I will make you a blessing to others. [3] I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. All the families of the earth will be blessed through you."

[4] So Abram departed as the Lord had instructed him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran. [5] He took his wife, Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all his wealth—his livestock and all the people who had joined his household at Haran—and finally arrived in Canaan.

As we read this passage, the narrative seems straightforward enough, but when you stop and examine all that really took place here, it’s quite astonishing. First of all, let’s put this story in its proper context. Last Sunday we studied the man Noah and the vision God gave him to preserve mankind. God had chosen to flood the earth in an effort to wipe out the existing population due to its extreme perversion and sinful inclination.

So, God instructs Noah, the sole remaining worshipper of Jehovah, to build an ark. Noah obeys and mankind is preserved through Noah and his sons. However, as is man’s tendency, it isn’t long before things start getting out of control. The population is speaking a common language and has centered its civilization in a rather small and fertile plain know as Shinar. In their pride as a people, they decide to build a tower into the heavens. The Bible Knowledge Commentary describes it this way:

Written Babylonian accounts of the building of the city of Babylon refer to its construction in heaven by the gods as a celestial city, as an expression of pride (Enuma Elish VI, lines 55-64). These accounts say it was made by the same process of brick-making described in verse 3, with every brick inscribed with the name of the Babylonian god Marduk. Also the ziggurat, the step-like tower believed to have been first erected in Babylon, was said to have its top in the heavens (cf. v. 4). This artificial mountain became the center of worship in the city, a miniature temple being at the top of the tower. The Babylonians took great pride in their building; they boasted of their city as not only impregnable, but also as the heavenly city, babili, which translated means, (“the gate of God”).

God responds to this situation by confusing the languages of all the people so that they disperse from the plain of Shinar to different regions of the land. We find that Noah’s three sons go in different directions and from the line of Shem, Abram is eventually born. But what we must bear in mind is that mankind, at this point, has already become predisposed to rejecting their Creator. Scripture tells us that Abram’s father, Terah, was a worshipper of pagan gods.

Why is this significant? Because it is out of this background that God calls Abram to follow Him. Isn’t it amazing that a man born and raised in a culture of pagan religions and worship, hears the voice of God and responds by obeying God’s command? So here is Abram, he receives God’s Vision, and steps out in faith.

Faith. It is the foundation upon which our entire belief system is based isn’t it? The Bible tells us in Hebrews 11:6: So, you see, it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that there is a God and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. Now isn’t this precisely what Abram did! It’s utterly amazing! A man, who prior to God’s calling, probably never even heard the word “Jehovah” spoken, much less worshipped, should choose to believe there was a true God in heaven, and more than that, choose to obey and follow that God. Abram believed that there was a true God and when that God spoke to him, he responded out of faith.

Friday, Troy and I were discussing Abram spiritual pilgrimage and what impressed up both was how accurately Abram’s life parallels our own salvation process. Before I chose to accept Christ as my Savior, I had friends who had shared the Bible with me.

You know it’s just stunning when you think of how tenaciously God pursues us. I grew up in a thoroughly pagan home. My father was raised as a Muslim and my mother grew up pretty much oblivious to God. Yet, despite this, I cannot tell you how many different individuals God directed into my life to share His love with me. School teachers, neighbors, and friends. When I was preparing to transition from fourth grade to fifth grade, my homeroom teacher, Mr. Snell, gave each of us in his classroom a New Testament which he personally signed.

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