Summary: Despite Abram’s failures, doubts and hestitancy God still claimed, upheld him as a man of faith

Sermon: Out of the Comfort Zone Gen 12:1-4 Feb 27, 2002

Turn with me to Gen 12:1-4

I. A Hero of Faith??? - Abram/Abraham

A. Seems so Simple

1. God said go - Abram went!

2. An Amazing Example of Faith

a) Held up as a standard of faith

(1) father of our faith and the muslims

b) Heb 11:8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.

c) In the New Testament Paul speaks of Abraham and he commends the faith of Abraham to us as “Only believe.” We hear the stories like this one and we go home from church berating ourselves, telling ourselves we ought to have more faith, we ought to believe more, we ought to trust more, we ought to obey more, We ought to be more like Abram. If we would only believe everything would work out? I mean, Isn’t that what we say in church? Have faith and see what God can do”… so simple, so easy

d) And yet, The simplicity and easy of it accuse us our lack of faith. It points it finger at us as being weak, sinful, unworthy individuals

3. We could never be like Abram, w don’t have the faith that Abram did - or do we? We think of him as above us, a standard of faith held so high we could never get close

a) truth of the matter is Abram is just like us.

II. in the infamous words of Paul Harvey - And Now for the Rest of the Story

A. Joshua 24:2 “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Long ago your forefathers, including Terah the father of Abraham and Nahor, lived beyond the River and worshiped other gods.

1. Abram wasn’t a Christian much less a Jew - he worshiped other gods.

a) now I find that highly interesting when the opening verse in today’s scripture simply says God called Abram to go and he went.

b) we don’t know how or when he became a believer in the one true living God, or how God appeared to him, how Abram knew it was God talking - there is nothing in the scriptures to tell us

B. So what does the scripture tell us

1. Another look at the first verse of today’s reading

a) Gen 12:1 - This time notice exactly what God told Abraham to do

(1) Notice God’s first words to Abram are leave and go. Leave your country. Leave your people. Leave your father’s household. Leave your comfort. Leave everything that is familiar to you. Leave your desires. Leave your preferences. Leave your daily routine. Leave our buddies. Leave your soft king size bed. Leave your three quarrel meals a day. Leave your golf outings with your friends on Friday afternoon. Leave your dinner dates with Sarai at The Olive Garden or McDonalds. Leave your cable tv and blockbuster video store. Leave everything that you have to come to love and enjoy over the past 75 years of your life and go.

(2) Go to the land that I will show you. Go to the unknown Go to the unfamiliar. Go to the place where you will have to trust Me like you have never trusted Me in your whole life. Go to where I will have to provide for you. Go and watch me be your road map, your atlas. Go and watch Me be your provisions. Go and watch Me be your Bread of life and your living water. Go Abram and watch Me be your all in all through it all. Go and I will bless you.

a) When God called Abram he called him to a journey alone. Isaiah 51:2 later marks this point but did Abraham go on alone? No way!

(1) he took all his excess baggage with him - his family, his nephew - lot, his material possessions and all the responsibilities of being a patriarch

(i) It is hard to hold on to the Lord when our hands are full of everything that gives us security and comfort.

(2) It sounded so simple and straightforward at the start of our story today - God called Abram went

(a) God called Abram to rip himself away from all of these things so that he could find out that God and God alone , is the source of security and comfort. He is our provider and He alone can supply us with the things that will endure throughout time.

(3) But when we notice the details, when we really look deep into the story what we really find is not a story of a super human saint but a story of hesitant, faltering, first steps of a man who doubts God, who isn’t perfect, who makes mistakes, who sins, who doesn’t trust God to protect him or to fulfill his promises.

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