Summary: LENT 1(B) - With complete trust, total obedience, and receiving God’s mercy we believe the Lord will provide.
WE BELIEVE THE LORD WILL PROVIDE (Outline)
GENESIS 22:1-14 - February 13, 2005 - LENT 1
INTRO: As we turn to the Old Testament we often do so to look at the examples of men and women of faith. Today is no different. The example of Abraham reminds us of the importance of putting our trust and confidence completely in the Lord who will provide. The prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 17) warned God’s people not to put too much trust in man. Trusting in man would / could / did turn the hearts of be-lievers away from God. "But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him" (JEREMIAH 17:7). Jeremiah re-emphasizes the example of Abraham for us. Therefore with Abraham we agree and also confess: WE BELIEVE THE LORD WILL PROVIDE…
I. WITH COMPLETE TRUST
A. Our Lord God is going to test the faith of Abraham. Verse 1. This test is meant to strengthen.
1. Verse 2. God asks Abraham for the ultimate sacrifice, the life of Isaac – his only, loved son.
2. Verse 3. Abraham rises early and prepares for the trip with complete trust in God.
B. Abraham took his servants, son, wood for sacrifice, knife and traveled to the place God would reveal.
1. Verse 5. With complete trust Abraham and Isaac go up the mountain to worship.
2. Isaac notices something is missing. Verse 7. Everything is here except the sacrificial lamb.
3. Verse 8. Abraham’s beautiful answer and confession of faith. God himself will provide.
C. The believer is reminded today to follow the Lord with complete trust. We look to the future in the light of God’s word. This is far different from the worldly view of the future. According to the world there is always doom and gloom ahead. The fear of the future is the prevalent philosophy of our day and age. But for the believer there is trust, a complete trust, which overcomes every fearful philosophy. "So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: ’See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed’"(ISAIAH 28:16).
D. We do not always put our complete trust in God. The world would have us trust ourselves, others, wealth, power, honor. At times our own sinful nature turns aside from completely trusting God. An ex-ample from Jesus’ disciples. The disciples were in a boat crossing the Sea of Galilee and a storm came up. Jesus walked on the water to his disciples. After the initial shock of seeing someone walking on the water, Peter jumps out of the boat and walks on the water. He has complete trust (and fixed focus) on Je-sus. But Peter, for a moment, takes his eyes off of Jesus. Peter sees the wind, the waves, and the water. Peter sinks. All might seem lost in this moment of doubt. "Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ’You of little faith,’ he said, ’why did you doubt?’"(MATTHEW 14:31). Our doubt can and sometimes does sink us but Jesus reaches out and lifts us up before we are drowned in a sea of doubt.
TRANS: WE BELIEVE THE LORD WILL PROVIDE with complete trust as we follow God’s word.
II. WITH TOTAL OBEDIENCE
A. As Abraham completely trusted God his actions also showed complete obedience.
1. Verse 4. This trip took three days. Plenty of time to question God, change minds, direction.
2. Abraham continues in total obedience. Verse 6. Isaac even carries the wood for sacrifice.
B. Verse 9. On the mountain Abraham builds the altar, arranges the wood, and Isaac on the altar.
1. This would be the last chance to disobey. Verse 10. With knife in hand Abraham is ready.
2. Verse 11. The angel stops Abraham. God knows his heart is filled with faith to do God’s will.
C. Obedience has almost become as obsolete a word as sin in today’s society. To obey would mean to follow rules, regulations, laws. Worse, many feel that God’s laws are completely out-of-date. How could laws so old apply to us today? Today, the commandments of God are being removed and hidden in back rooms. Many say God’s commandments are too demanding and too restrictive. As believers God’s law are our guide. They give us a direction to see and know what is right and what is wrong. "This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God over-comes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith"(1 JOHN 5:3,4).
D. Abraham has shown to us the power of a Christian faith. Faith trusts God and his word. Faith obeys God and his word. Faith is God’s gift to us that we may live to and for him. "Be imitators of God, there-fore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God"(EPHESIANS 5:1,2). Our God does not just obey or else. Our Lord reminds us to look at the love of our Savior. Seeing Jesus’ love we are moved to living lives of love.