Summary: Few men, outside of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself have has such an impact on the history of the world as did the man introduced to us in this passage of scripture.
Abraham: Following In the Footsteps of Faith
Series Intro: Few men, outside of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself have has such an impact on the history of the world as did the man introduced to us in this passage of scripture. This man is revered by over one-half the world’s population. In our day, Abraham is held in high esteem by Jews, Muslims and Christians. In ancient times the Jews considered Abraham to be almost worthy of their worship. In the Bible, Abraham is presented to us as a great example of a man who lived his life by faith, and was called the "Friend of God." This man’s life was a special life and a great portion of the first book of the Bible is devoted to it. Today, we are going to begin a study of the life of this man named Abraham. Now, some may ask, "Why take the time to study a man who lived years ago?" My answer to you is that, first, the Bible takes the time to speak about him, so we should take the time to study him. The second is that the life of Abraham teaches us much about the matter of walking with God by faith. That, after all, is the goal of the Lord for all His children. God is calling every one of His children to live a life of faith. This man teaches us how.
THE CALL TO A LIFE OF FAITH
Sermon Intro: These verses teach us about the early years of Abraham’s life. They show us how the Lord found him, called him and promised to bless him. On the surface they may seem as though they have little to say to us in our day, however, nothing could be farther from the truth! The early days and call of this man’s life teach us some valuable lessons about God, His ways and about what our response to Him should be.
Since it is true that God has and is calling each of His children to a life of faith, and since we have trouble living that kind of life day by day, we need to hear what the Bible teaches us in these verses about Abraham’s call to faith. Let’s look and see what we can learn today about The Call To A Life Of Faith.
I. ABRAM’S PAST OBSCURITY: THE WRETCHED YEARS (vv. 27-30)
There was a time in the distant past when Abraham was a mere nobody. He was just another nameless face in the crowd of humanity. His past was one of obscurity.
A. The Place Of His Original Home - Ur was located in what we call Iraq today. It was in the southeast corner of Iraq, some 75 miles north of the Kuwaiti border. Right in the middle of the area where the Gulf War was fought in 1991. It was, at Abraham’s time, located at the place where the Euphrates River emptied into the Persian Gulf. At that time, it was a bustling seaport. History also says that this city was a center of intellectual activity. A large public library has been unearthed that contained thousands of ancient texts written in clay. That region was also well suited for raising flocks and herds. Which may account for the fact that Abraham was, for the whole of his life, involved with sheep and cattle.
B. The Problems Of His Original Home - While the area of Abraham’s origin may have been prosperous, it was also perverted. The people of that area were involved in some of the most wretched forms of idolatry known to mankind. The fact of their wickedness is born out by the testimony of the scriptures themselves. Gen. 31:30-34 relate that while Abraham was able to break free of the idolatry of the land, his relatives were not. There we find that his great-nephew Laban and Jacob’s wives Leah and Rachel. Many years later, Isaiah reminded the nation of Israel to remember where God brought them from, Isa. 51:1. He called their father Abraham out of the most wretched of conditions, spiritually speaking!
C. The Pain Of His Original Home - As one reads these verses, the wretchedness and hopelessness of Abraham’s years in Ur comes to the surface. For him, it was a time of darkness, death, and despair. No matter how you look at it, Abraham’s early years were wretched days!
When you get right down to it, you and I are no different than Abraham. We might not have served stone gods and worshiped the heavenly bodies, but we were all trapped in the same darkness that enveloped the life of Abraham! It rejoices my heart to know that we serve a God Who can reach into the blackest heart and turn on the light of His glory and presence. I praise Him that He can take a life that was so hopeless and barren and can turn it into one of the greatest examples of the power of faith and grace that can be found anywhere!