Summary: We struggle over knowing what God wants. We ask for signs. Some in scripture have an advangage, sort of, they get to speak to God or atleast hear God’s voice. What about us today?
What does God want?
You know, I have a pretty hard time knowing what I want some times. I can get caught up in all kinds of simple dilemmas; it can be a simple as choosing something for lunch when there are lots of interesting to try. In more important situations perhaps some decision over a family purchase what I want can be even harder.
I often find it hard to especially know what other people want. An example, Renee says “choose a place to have dinner”, I will say, “How about this place…no not that place.” Or recent events like our anniversary or her birthday What does she want as a gift….I don’t seem to have a clue.
But how about the biggie as people of faith, What does God want?
Oh how many times have I asked God for some kind of a sign?
Ok God, If you want me to do this or that let so and so call or this happen or some other simple action…..
Why does it seem so hard to know what God wants….?
Is this feeling of doubt a hint that something is wrong with me, my faith, my salvation?
Why do We struggle over what GOD wants?
In our reading today, the author takes a series of well known Characters from the OT and focuses on how they demonstrated faith. We are focused on Abraham and the highlights we read about this morning in Hebrews come from Genesis 12 through 22. The writer condenses information from 10 chapters into a very focused 11 verses.
The focus is trimmed down to just 1 subject…. one main idea…the FAITH of Abraham.
Lets read the beginning of Genesis 12 where Abram’s event starts:
Genesis 12: The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."
The Lord Said….Not a very detailed description of how God let Abram know what he wanted. Even the Genesis account seems to only carry the highlight. A statement of action and some general promises. And a few facts about Abram follow in Genesis, he is 75 years old, he and Sarah and Lot his nephew will take off on a journey.
In Chapter 11 of Hebrews we heard Abraham’s faithful reply to this initial call of God over a period of over 20 years.
Abraham’s statements tend to make it sound pretty easy to respond to what God tells you to do.
By Faith Abraham packed up all his worldly possessions and headed off to a place that he would somehow inherit…That does not sound too bad.
God seems to ask him to go some place so that he can prosper him and his family. But there was a catch; he was going to live in the land as a foreigner.
No rights or privileges. He was going to live as a nomad going from place to place living in tents.
God “speaks” to Abraham and tells him to leave his family, Mom and Dad and brothers…..A family where he was the oldest son and by culture had responsibilities and rights in the family. He is in a position where is already sure of an inheritance. In genesis it describes getting ready to move and they had a lot of stuff… So he really doesn’t need anything.
If he is 75 then how hold is dad? His real inheritance was to be the leader of the family.
The voice of God must be pretty inspiring for him to pack up all he has and head into the unknown.
God calls him to an unknown place and he goes…that sounds like faith in God to me.
Abraham trust God enough to leave a sure thing and do something that he has never done before. Go wants him to take a really big Risk and trust Him.
-- Then another faith event was brought up, Abraham and Sarah were childless and while it is not directly stated, the promises indicate that he and Sarah will have at least one child. Genesis uses the phrase make “him a great nation.”
You can’t be a nation without kids. So, it is implied. But nothing seems to be happening. 10 years pass and while they keep asking god to keep his promise nothing seems to be happening. They aren’t getting any younger… They are already way too old to have a normal expectation of children.
You will probably remember that during that time Abraham and Sarah got a little impatient and Hagar, Sarah’s maid servant and Abraham were paired up to help God with his promise and Ishmael is born.