Summary: The most distinguishing feature of Abraham's life was faith. His story is packed with lessons that are relevant in every time, all of them rooted in unshakable faith.

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Start with black slide

*Advance to Matt 1:1 slide

“The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” (Matt 1:1)

A more detailed genealogy follows, noting in v17 that there were 14 generations between Abraham and David, 14 from David to the captivity, and 14 from the captivity to the Messiah.

Why did Matthew set these two ancestors of Jesus apart from all the others?

Abraham was the one to whom the promise of the Messiah and the gospel was first delivered. He was called “the friend of God” (Isa 41:8, James 2:23),

And with good reason, he is called “the father of the faithful.”

David was the one on whose throne Mary was promised her son would reign forever. Luke 1:32-33

He was called a man after God’s own heart.

… I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will. (Acts 13:22)

It is Abraham we will look at today, and examine his life for lessons that are relevant now.

(Tell the story quickly.)

Abram was a man who lived in Chaldea with his wife Sarai.

The scripture tells us that Sarai had no child. She was barren.

Abram’s name was an irony if not a mockery, as “Abram” means “high father,” suggesting multiple generations of posterity.

*Advance to map

Acts 7:2-3 At God’s call Abram left home forever (with Sarai, Terah, and Lot).

*Click 1st animation

Gen 11:31 - They came to Haran and stopped for some time. The scripture says “they settled there.”

We don’t know why they stopped.

This extended interruption of the journey is sometimes thought to have shown a willful loss of concern for obeying God’s command (stopping short of Canaan, not completing the course, etc.).

Many scholars believe it was ill health and the death of Terah that accounts for the halt.

But we don’t know if either is true.

• God appears to have been in no hurry to have his promises realized.

• Should Abram have been in emergency mode?

• God was to show him the land where he was to go, according to the original command.

• It is not apparent that Abram knew yet whether to go beyond Haran or if so, where to go.

(12:2-3 – Abram appears to have been called a second time while in Haran)

*Click 2nd animation

• 12:5 – They came to Canaan

• 12:7 God promised Abram the entire land, countless offspring

• He went through Canaan building altars (Shechem – Gen 12:6-7; Bethel/Ai – v8; later back to Mamre v18)

• 12:10 - Famine drove them to Egypt

• 12:11- 20 - Lied about Sarai in Egypt. Her beauty obviously was phenomenal.

• Taken into Pharaoh’s palace.

• Lord inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh and his household.

• Pharaoh said “Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? Take her and go!”

• 13:18 Abram moved to Hebron, built another altar

• 14:1-12 - War of the kings, Lot captured

• 14:18-20 – Returning from the victory, Abram gave tithes to Melchizedek

• 15:1-5 - God appears to Abram, promises a son and countless offspring

• 15:6 - Abram believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness

• Years passed

• Ch 16 Sarai arranged for Abram (now about age 85) to father a son by her Egyptian maid Hagar.

• 16:15 – Ishmael was born

• Years passed

• 17:1 Abram is now age 99.

• God re-iterates the promise of a son, land, father of many descendents

• 17:5 – Abram was renamed Abraham

• Means “the father of a multitude”

• Circumcision was required of all Abraham’s generations as a sign of the covenant God had made 13 years earlier, and declared the covenant to be everlasting

• 17:14 - By circumcision of males, all became participants in the covenant, and any who were uncircumcised were cut off

• 17:16 - Sarai renamed Sarah, promises made concerning her specifically

• 17:20f - Blessings were also promised to Ishmael

• 20:1-15 Lied about Sarah again at Gerar.

• God spoke to king Abimelech, “You are as good as dead because of this woman.”

• So Abimelech returned Sarah to Abraham.

• 21:1-3 – (read this). Long-awaited birth of Isaac

• 22:1-18 (read this) Sacrifice of Isaac

• Ch 23 records the death of Sarah at the age of 127.

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