Summary: Why did God pick out a fairly obscure man like Abraham to give all these blessings? He wasn’t a man of great accomplishments, renown, or power. Why would God choose him? (Powerpoints available - Request #373)
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
(PowerPoints used with this message are available for free. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and request #373.)
ILL. I want to read part of what Danny Dutton, an 8-yr-old 3rd grader, wrote in an assignment to "Explain God." He wrote, "One of God’s main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones that die, so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth.
“He doesn’t make grown-ups, just babies. I think that’s because they are smaller & easier to make. That way, He doesn’t have to take up His valuable time teaching them to talk & walk. He just leaves that to mothers & fathers.
“God sees everything & hears everything & is everywhere, which keeps Him pretty busy. So you shouldn’t waste His time by going over your mom & dad’s head asking for something they said you couldn’t have.
“You should always go to Church on Sunday because it makes God happy, & if there’s anybody you want to make happy, it’s God.
“If you don’t believe in God you will be very lonely because your parents can’t go everywhere with you, like to camp, but God can. It is good to know He’s around when you’re scared in the dark, or when you can’t swim very good & you get thrown into real deep water by big kids.
“And you shouldn’t just always think of what God can do for you. I figure God put me here & He can take me back anytime He pleases. And that’s why I believe in God." (Adapted from Jeff Strite & Brian Mavis (SermonCentral.com) quoting Danny Dutton)
SUM: Now Danny wrote more than that, but one thing I noticed about his explanation of God is this: Danny believes in a God who makes people, listens to them, & is nearby when you’re frightened or lonely. His God cares about us!
ILL. A few years ago Baylor University sponsored a poll by the Gallup Organization on the “Values & Beliefs of the American Public.”
Concerning belief in God, it found that about one-half of those interviewed saw God as an angry, critical being who is just waiting to punish people. Others visualized Him as a remote God, not really interested in what is happening to us.
But it did find that about 1/4th of Americans think of God as a benevolent, caring Father who wants a relationship with us. (From a poll conducted by the Gallup Organization.)
Now that last group believes in a God who listens to them, cares about them, & who is nearby when they're frightened or lonely. And that is the kind of God the Bible reveals to us.
I. ABRAHAM AND GOD
In the 12th chapter of Genesis we read about one of the most dramatic relationships any man has ever had with God.
In fact, a little over 1/4 of the book of Genesis is dedicated to telling us about Abram, or Abraham as we know him best. And much of the rest of the O.T. testifies to his importance as it mentions again & again “Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob”.
The reason Abraham is so important in the O.T. is because God began His promises to the people of Israel with him.
The relationship that God had with Abraham was unique because Abraham wasn’t what you would call a great leader. Abraham didn’t have any followers or disciples. He didn’t write any books that we know of. He wasn’t a great teacher or politician or warrior.
In fact, the only real claim to fame Abraham has was that God chose him & made special promises to him. In Genesis 12:2-3 God promised him:
1. I will make you into a great nation & I will bless you.
2. I will make your name great, & you will be a blessing.
3. I will bless those who bless you, & whoever curses you I will curse.
4. And all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.
5. And in vs. 7 God added: To your offspring I will give this land.
What God was telling Abraham was: "I want a relationship with you. I will be with you - to listen to you, to walk beside you, & be there for you when life gets lonely & frightening."
And more than that, God was promising to make Abraham such a great man that he would not only affect the lives of his descendants – but even the entire world.
II. WHY DID GOD CHOOSE ABRAHAM?
But why? Why did God pick out a fairly obscure man like Abraham to give all these blessings to?
Like I said earlier, he wasn’t a man of great accomplishments, renown, or power. As far as we can tell, he was probably an older, moderately successful herdsman that may have lived with his dad!