Summary: The Story. A Bible paraphrase inspired by Randy Frazee and Max Lucado.
The Story - Chapter 2
September 19, 2010
As we came to the end of chapter 1, we saw God has a big vision. God wants to be with us. But the conflict immediately emerges, as the first two people God created, Adam and Eve have a different vision, and as a result a sin nature came into their DNA, so that it separates them from a holy God and causes death. And we see that this sin nature gets passed on to their offspring. And to their offspring, and to every person in this room. This is our number main problem.
The rest of the story of the Bible tells one page after another of God’s relentless pursuit to get us back. And in chapter 2 God is going to unveil His big plan.
So open your Story up to chapter 2. God is going to build a new nation. The question is, so, what is building a new nation going to do for us? The point is, God is going to build a new nation to reveal Himself and His plan to get us back.
Now, from the time of the flood, when Noah and his family got off the boat in the human race has grown again. In Genesis 11, you’ll see God dispersed the people, and new nations and new languages are created. God wants to reveal Himself and His plan, so what He decides to do in chapter 2 is to start a brand new nation.
And out of this new nation people are going to be able to get to know and relate to God, and He’s going to be able to reveal Himself and His plan. And all the other nations are going to be able to look at this one new nation and see how they relate to God and see His plan in action and how He’s going to redeem what was lost.
And it all begins in a place called UR. If you open up your book The Story to the inside cover, you will see the Old Testament map. Not only do we want you to know the Bible story, we want you to learn a little geography along the way. So, if you look by the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers you will see the land called UR. Make a stick figure or put down a letter A for Abraham.
Who is God going to select to start this brand new nation. We see at the beginning of chapter 2, God selects Abram and Sarai. So, the question I have is why these two people? Why did God select Abram and Sarai to be the parents of this new nation so that He could reveal Himself and His plan? Is it because Abram is a righteous man like Noah? Did Abram and Sarai worship God?
The answer was NO. Abram and his family worshiped pagan gods and idols. Abram didn’t know God until God visited him. Did God choose Abram because he was a charismatic and natural leader, who was young and strong? Someone who could build a nation. Nope. The Bible tells us God chose Abram and Sarai for no other reason than the fact that they were old and without children. Now I may be wrong and I may be the only one here who believes this, but it seems to me that selecting Abram and Sarai is not the best choice to build a nation upon. Does anyone see this with me, or do I stand alone.
Let me stop for a moment and tell you something, that’s a common pattern of God in the Bible. What you’re going to see on many occasions is God selecting the least likely person to engage in a big project. Why? Because when something big and huge happens, the people will look around and say, ‘there’s no way that happened because of them, there must be another reason.’ And we know the reason is God. You see, God’s desire is to help people see beyond Abram and Sarai to the God who wants to get them back. And as they see this they will understand God better.
For many of us in this room, this may be a message of hope. You may not have a great resume, but to God that doesn’t really matter, in actuality it may put you at the top of His list of people to select for His next God sized project.
What’s the plot of this story? It unfolds in Genesis 12:1-3 (page 11).
1 The LORD had said to Abram, go from your country, your people and your father's household to the land I will show you.
God came to Abram for the very first time, and basically said, ‘you don’t know me, but Abram, I want you to pick up everything you have and I want you to begin walking to a place you don’t know. Just start walking and eventually I’ll tell you when you get there. And by the way, leave behind your extended family.’ What would you do if some unknown God called out to you and told you to get up and leave? That’s a big request from a God you don’t know. By the way God is still asking us to do things like this today. We’re to follow Him by faith wherever it leads us.