Summary: A sermon discussing Abram and Sarai, their sin, and their obedience. It also details the root cause of the conflict in the Middle East today ... a conflict between distant relatives.
On our trip through the book of GENESIS, we have covered the creation of the world on down to a man named Abram, who was called by God to go into an unknown area. The important thing to remember in Abram’s life is that he obeyed without hesitation. And because He obeyed, God made him the father of the Hebrew nation.
Don’t get the idea that Abram was somehow better than the rest of us, for he wasn’t. He was a liar. When he and his wife went into Egypt, he told everyone that she was his sister, so if they desired her they could take her and leave him safe. But, if he was such a low down cad, why did God use him?
God used this man, even though he was a liar, because he believed in God. I also think that God chose him to show us that, no matter how low in sin we might have become, God is still willing and able to use us, too. It all depends on our belief in Him and our availability to be used by Him.
Let’s talk about Abram’s wife for a moment. Her name was ‘Sarai’, which means ‘Princess’. People never change. Sarai was the same as we are today in that she always tried to make sure everything was taken care of and going smoothly. That tendency of hers often worked against what God was trying to do. Oh, it wasn’t because she meant to do that, as her intentions were to just;
1. HELP GOD DO HIS JOB
We are going to talk about Sarai for a moment. Now, keep in mind that the people of yesterday were the same as people of today. Their minds worked in the same way our minds do today. And Sarai was no exception.
God has created life to be simple, yet we always make things so complicated it takes God to simplify it once again, just so we can understand. Sarai tried to help God and when she did, she ended up making things very complicated.
GENESIS 15:3-5 Abram was talking to God in a vision.
‘And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir. Then the word of the Lord came to him: ‘This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir.’ He took him outside and said, ‘Look up at the heavens and count the stars – if indeed you can count them.’ Then He said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.’
Now, Abram was well past 75 years, and the Lord is telling Him that he is going to produce so many generations that he will not be able to count them all. How would we feel if we were in Abram’s shoes and God told us that? The first tendency for many of us would be disbelief. What was Abram’s reaction?
GENESIS 15:6 says that Abram believed the Lord and that was credited to him as righteousness. God likes it when we believe in Him without having doubts.
In this same chapter, God goes on to tell Abram that his descendents will be slaves in another country for 400 years, but when they come out, they will come out with many possessions galore. And then the Lord made a covenant with Abram. It is important to know that a covenant is a promise that cannot be broken. In this covenant, God is telling Abram that He will give Abram’s descendants a vast area of land as their own.
As we go into chapter 16, we see where Abram’s wife Sarai started trying to help God do His job. She knew she was too old to have children, so she did like we do: She thought through all the possible ways this could happen, and then ‘she’ decided the only way for her to become a mother was to be a mother by proxy. She told Abram to sleep with her young maid, Hagar.
Abram, being a dutiful husband and not wanting to argue with his wife, said, ‘Okay, darling. Anything for you.’ And I am sure that before she could change her mind, he went and slept with the young maid named Hagar. Keep in mind that Abram was now 85 years old. Most men of that age today have a difficult time going to the kitchen to get a glass of water, much less trying to think about raising a family.
So Hagar got pregnant, and guess what happened? Being human, she and Abram’s wife started having difficulties getting along. That shows right there that they were the same as humans today. Then Hagar ran away into the desert and an angel found her. He told her to go back and be obedient to Abram’s wife. Then the angel talked to her a little about the future of her unborn baby.