Summary: It is only when we focus on our problems instead of God that we become anxious.
1. Buddy Ebsen, the actor who played the role of Jeb on the Beverly Hillbillies, told of a lesson he learned on the set for a movie which was being filmed in England. One day, a bright faced-twenty-year old assistant brought a completely different set of scene numbers for the day's shooting than the ones he had previously received and for which he had prepared. He blew up and asked the kid how they expected him to instantly learn this new set of scenes. The kid smiled at Buddy and said, "With all due respect, sir—that's not my problem." And he turned and left.
2. All of our anxieties begin when we worry about things that are not our problem. What is our problem - only one! It is too trust God. Prov.3:5-6
It's only when we focus on our problems, instead of on God, that we become anxious.
3. The Anxiety of Abraham.
I. FIRST, HIS APPREHENSION. 15:1
A. The Context.
after these things - the "things" refer to Abram rescuing Lot. Now that he has had time to calm down, he realizes that those kings might regroup and retaliate. Remember he is not living within a walled city but out in a tent! What happens if they make a surprise attack.
I have been Colorado several times, and hunted, living in a tent. You cannot tell what's going on outside from the inside of a tent. The so-called friends I was with decided to play a joke.
They had a tape of a growling bear, which one of them played at night outside the tent...I thought feet don't fail me now!
B. The Comfort.
1. It came from the Word of God.
a. It was Visible.
After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision - this is God's Tell-a-vision! What did he see? Don't know.
b. It was Audible.
saying, "Do not be afraid, Abram
(1) Words to Prohibit fear.
This is the first time "fear not" is used in the Bible, but it is not the last time. In fact "fear not" is used 366 times in the Bible. That's one for every day of the year...and one for leap year! Josh.1:9/Isa.41:10/2 Tim.1:7
Fear is the opposite of faith - when we get focused on many different problems in our life, we take our eyes off God and lose confidence.
Karl Wal-len-da thrilled crowds with his daring stunts on the high wire—before that fateful day in 1978, when his show ended.
He plunged 75 feet to his death before an audience of thousands in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
What happened? His widow explained, "Karl was never one to know fear. Self-confidence marked his style—until he started worrying. Little details of safety preoccupied his mind. He checked and double-checked the tightrope.
He was began to change, instead of putting his energies into walking the wire, he concentrated on not falling."
(2) Words of Protection.
I am your shield - speaking of protection. If God had protected Abram from them in the past, He can certainly do so in the future.
Think about it - has God ever really failed us? The older I get the more I think about security! But if God has taken care of me for 58 years - can he not take care of me now?
"I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread." Psalm 37:25
Paul said, "8 We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed--" 2 Corinthians 4:8-9
"5 Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!] 6 So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me?" Hebrews 13:5-6 (AMP)
(3) Words of Promise.
your exceedingly great reward - Abram had just turned down a great deal of wealth from the king of Sodom. But God is of greater value than worldly wealth.
"15 And He said to them, "Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses." 16 Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: "The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. 17 And he thought within himself, saying, 'What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?' 18 So he said, 'I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry." ' 20 But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?' 21 So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God." Luke 12:15-21 (NKJV)