Summary: These verses before us today portray a horrible failure in the life of one of God’s choice servants. If you remember Abraham’s journey down into Egypt in Genesis 12:10-20, you will notice some similarities between this event and that one.
Following In the Footsteps of Faith Series
Sin and the Saint of God
Intro: These verses before us today portray a horrible failure in the life of one of God’s choice servants. If you remember Abraham’s journey down into Egypt in Genesis 12:10-20, you will notice some similarities between this event and that one.
It is never pleasant to see failure in the life of one of God’s children. But, I am thankful that God did not sweep Abraham’s sin under the rug. I am grateful that He saw fit to record the event in the pages of Scripture. I am grateful because, like Abraham, we all struggle with sin. Sometimes, we struggle with the same sins over and over. What we need in the midst of our struggle is some encouragement! What we need is the blessed assurance that we have hope in the midst of our failures!
This passage offers that hope to our hearts this morning! It may seem like a passage of darkness, gloom and failure, but in reality, it is a passage filled with hope and help for you and me. I want to point out a few principles that are contained here that speak to your need and mine. I want to preach for a while on Sin and the Saint of God.
I. SIN DOESN’T HAVE AN EXPIRATION DATE
A. Remember that Abraham is 100 years old when this event occurs.
• When he did this same thing in Genesis 12, he was just beginning his walk with the Lord.
• Here, he should be at the height of his maturity as a believer.
• Notice also that this is a sin he has carried with him for many decades, v. 13.
B. For us the point is clear: there will never be a time when we will be beyond falling!
• Therefore, we need to avoid some of the mistakes that Abraham made.
1. Never stop trusting God to take care of you
o Why was Abraham there in the first place?
o Well in Gen. 12, he went because of a famine, not believing that God would take care of him.
o This time, we are not told why he went, but my opinion is that he was getting away from Sodom and Gomorrah.
o He probably thought that all the area would be burned up.
o When we come to the place where we no longer trust the Lord to meet our needs and to get us through the trials of life, we are headed for disaster!
2. Never put yourself in the place of temptation
• Abraham had a fear that some man would kill him so that he could have Sarah.
o When he felt this fear, he was inclined to lie to save his hide, not believing that God would be able to take care of him.
• Only a fool subjects himself to temptation’s lure and believes that he will walk away unharmed!
o If you know that you have a problem in a given area, you are foolish to place yourself in a position to be tempted!
o When temptation comes, you and I need to be like Joseph: Run! - Gen. 39.
C. Friends, we must never let down our guard!
• May we never come to think that we have arrived at a place where we cannot sin, or where we are free from the temptation to commit a particular sin?
• As sure as you let down your guard, you are headed for trouble, 1 Cor. 10:12!
• As long as you live in this flesh, you will never be safe!
II. SIN CANNOT OVERCOME GRACE
A. Even though Abraham is clearly out of God’s will at this time in his life, he is still enjoying the Lord’s blessings!
• That may mess up our theology, but it is still true!
• You see, even when Abraham is in a place of his own choosing and is not doing what God asked him to do, he is still being blessed by the Lord.
• Notice the blessings that came his way:
1. He Forgave Him of His Sins - Implied in verse 17
2. He Protected Him from Harm - v. 2-9, 18
3. He Blessed Him Financially - v. 14-16
4. He Used Him for His Glory - v. 17
• This same principle is witnessed in the life of Elijah - 1 Kings 19.
B. What does this teach us?
• Simply the truth that who we are in Jesus cannot be invalidated by our sin!
o We all know that God chastens His children - Rev. 3:19; Heb. 12:6-12.
o However, how many of us could testify to the truth that there have been times when we were miles away from the Lord and He still blessed our lives!