Summary: A teaching sermon about how GENESIS follows the steps of one family and uses that family to set the course for the entire Bible and the eventual coming of Christ.
Starting in GENESIS 12, we will find that Abraham’s relationship with God set the course for the whole Bible in two different ways.
#1) God made promises to Abraham. These promises, known as ‘the Abrahamic Covenant’, is the plan of salvation which becomes more and more clear as the Bible progresses, and
#2) Abraham’s faith in God is seen as the key to our personal relationship with the Lord even today.
Both the Old and New Testaments teach that only those who have a genuine belief in God, and faith in what He says, can have a personal relationship with Him.
And the Bible starts by talking about this man named Abraham, and because of His belief and faith, God promised Him several things. Now, don’t think this man was better than anyone else, because he was flawed and he sinned, just like every other human. But he did have an absolute faith in God.
In GENESIS 12-25, we read about this man. And in chapter 12, we find out about the promises God gave him.
In GENESIS 12:2, God promised to make Abraham the Father of many nations.
In that same verse, God said He would protect and bless Abraham during his lifetime. God also promised Abraham that his name would be great and that he would be a blessing. And on down to today, Jews, Christians, and Muslims all honor the name of Abraham.
In GENESIS 12:3, God promises that He would bless those who blessed Abraham, and curse those who cursed him. Then God gives another promises: Abraham would be a blessing to every person on earth. It was his descendants that gave the entire world the Bible and Jesus the Savior.
Finally, in GENESIS 12:7, God gives a promise that to Abraham’s offspring, He would give the Promised Land, or what we call Israel today. That land will forever be inhabited by the Jews at history’s end.
These covenants, or promises, are irrevocable and cannot be changed. Some of these promises have already been fulfilled and some are partially fulfilled, waiting to be completely fulfilled at history’s end, when Jesus comes back.
As much as we talk about Abraham, it is vital to note that he was not a perfect man, nor did he have any superior abilities. Of the many Bible stories you hear of him, none try to hide his faults and weaknesses. He was a liar, but he was also a man who truly believed in God and made himself available to serve God – in God’s way, not his way.
We can see this in Abraham’s life, and it applies to each of us today, too. That is God does not expect us to be ‘good’ before He accepts us. He accepts people who really trust Him, and then He helps them to become ‘better.’
We do not impress space engineers at NASA by showing them a paper airplane we made and we don’ impress God by talking about how much we love Him. We impress God by ‘showing’ our love to Him by being totally focused on Him and by doing what He has put upon our hearts to do; just like when Abraham left his home and ventured away at God’s request, not knowing where God would lead him.
And because of his great faith in God, God counted Abraham’s faith as righteousness, or the right kind of faith. A perfect example of Abraham’s faith is when he was 100-years old, and his wife was 90-years old, God said they would have a child – and Abraham believed it. How many of us, at that age, would believe such a thing? Not many! We would question it, deny it, and do everything else we could to think it could not happen.
To give you a point of reference as to when Abraham was born, here are some interesting tidbits. Four hundred years before Abraham was born, the pyramids were being built in Egypt; tools and ornaments were being made from bronze in Asia; and pottery was invented in what would later become the state of Georgia in America.
We have been talking about the son God promised to Abraham and Sarah. Let’s talk about him now.
1. HIS NAME WAS ISAAC
As we previously mentioned, God told Abraham that he and Sarah was going to have a baby boy. Sarah didn’t understand how they could do that at their advanced ages, so she tried to help God make that come true. The only way she could come up with so she could understand was to have Abraham sleep with her maid Hagar.
So she told Abraham to do just that, and so Hagar had a son which she named Ishmael. And then, Sarah started getting jealous of Hagar and the feud began. How many of you know that when you try to help God do His job, you mess things up for yourself?