Summary: Abraham and Sarah became impatient and ran ahead of God. But God overcame their poor choices.
TITLE: Redeemed from Poor Choices
TEXT: Genesis 15:1-6; 16:1-5; 17:18-19
INTRO: A man named Fred inherited a huge land grant. The will provided that he could choose land in either Chile or Brazil. He chose Brazil. If he had chosen Chile, he would have received his inheritance in land on which they had recently discovered uranium, gold and silver. But he chose Brazil.
When he arrived in Brazil he had to choose between receiving his inheritance in a coffee plantation or land with Brazil nut trees. He chose the nut trees, and immediately the bottom fell out of the nut market, but coffee futures went up two dollars a pound. The government took control of the nut farm for back taxes, and Fred was left with nothing.
He pawned his Rolex watch for money to fly either to New York or Boston. He chose Boston. When the plane for New York taxied up, he noticed it was a brand new super Concorde with red carpets. When the plane for Boston arrived. It was a 1928 twin engine plane held together with bailing wire.
Over the mountains one of the engines fell off, and fearing for his life, he asked for two parachutes. He jumped. As he fell through the air, he tried to make up his mind which ripcord to pull. He pulled the cord on the left, but nothing happened. He pulled the cord on his right, but it broke.
In desperation Fred called out, "St. Francis, save me!" A great hand from heaven reached down, seized him by the wrist, and left him dangling in mid-air. Then a voice asked, "St. Francis, Xavier or St. Francis of Assisi?"
I. GOD'S PROMISE TO ABRAHAM (15:1-6)
A. The Covenant Given in Bits & Pieces Summarized
"I will make of thee a great nation; I will bless thee; And make thy name great: And thou shalt be a blessing;
I will bless them that bless thee; And curse him that curseth thee; In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed."
B. God Promised Abraham an Heir
1. He would be Abraham's natural born son
2. His descendants would be as numerous as the stars
3. One descendant would be the Bright and Morning Star
C. Abraham's Faith & God's Grace
1. Abraham saved by faith (v.6)
2. Abraham's spiritual children
(Gal. 3:7) Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
II. SARAH AND ABRAHAM'S POOR CHOICE (16:1-5)
A. They Had Waited Ten Years for the Promised Heir
1. Sarah decided to try to help God out (v.2a)
2. Abraham gave in to trying her way (v.2b)
B. Their Poor Choice Affected the Entire Family
1. Hagar despised Sarah (v.4)
2. Sarah wasn't happy with the result and blamed
# A woman said to her husband: "Honey, when I get my way, that’s a compromise." He asked: "What is it when I get my way?" She smiled and replied, "That’s called a miracle!"
C. The Results Still Affect the Whole World
1. Ishmael (Gen. 16:12) And he will be a wild man; his
hand will be against every man, and every man's hand
against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all
2. Muslims claim descent from Abraham through Ishmael
and we see the results in the Middle East and across
the entire world.
(Gal. 4:22-23) For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
(Gal.4:28-29) Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
III. GOD'S PLAN (17:18-19)
A. God Renewed His Promise
1. Abraham had messed up.. but God didn’t give up
2. Sarah would bear a son
3. His name would be Isaac ("Laughter")
B. The Promise Would be Established with Isaac (v.19)
1. An everlasting covenant
2. We are part of the New Covenant
(Gal. 3:29) And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
CONCL: Don’t take matters into your own hands.
God’s plans are always better than our own
God's grace is greater than all our sins.