Summary: This sermon looks at Abraham's encounter with God when God spoke to him & instructed him to sacrifice his son, Isaac
“WHEN GOD SPEAKS – ABRAHAM”
CWBC – 2/3/19
INTRO – E.F. Hutton commercial video
Today, begin a series of message entitled, “When God Speaks.” We will be looking at some specific instances when God spoke to people in the OT.
- Look at what He said to them
- Look at what their response was
- Look at the application to our lives today
In this series, we are going to wrestle w/ some questions about our walk w/ God.
- Does God still speak to us today?
- How does God speak to us today?
- How can we know that it is God speaking to us?
The OT character that we will look at today is Abraham. What do we know about Abraham?
- One thing we know for sure: God spoke to Abraham.
- Aside from Moses, no other OT character is mentioned more in the NT than Abraham.
o James called him a “friend of God” (James 2:23)
o All believers are known as “children of Abraham” (Galatians 3:7).
- God made a great promise to Abraham when He called him to follow Him. Gen. 12:1-3 – “Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
- The thing that identified Abraham the most was the depth of his faith. The writer of Hebrews wrote about him when he said, ““By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going” (Heb. 11:8). That’s what we are going to see on display today in our study – Abraham’s faith when God speaks to him.
EXPLANATION – Open your Bibles or your Bible app to Genesis 22:1-19 (page 16 in your pew Bible).
This is an amazing, heart-wrenching story of faith & obedience. Isaac was Abraham & Sarah’s son, a miracle child born to them when Abraham was 100 yrs old & Sarah was 90. His name means “laughter.” That’s what Sarah did when the Lord told Abraham that he & Sarah would have a child in their old age. Gen. 18:12-14 – “…[Sarah] laughed silently to herself and said, “How could a worn-out woman like me enjoy such pleasure, especially when my master—my husband—is also so old?” 13 Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, ‘Can an old woman like me have a baby?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” (NLT)
And when Isaac was born, Sarah proclaimed, “God has brought me laughter! All who hear about this will laugh w/ me. For who would have dreamed that I would ever have a baby? Yet I have given Abraham a son in his old age!” (Gen. 21:6-7 NLT)
This would be a moment of great testing for Abraham, a moment of decision that we call a “crisis of belief” – a turning point experience in which we have to decide what we believe about God & act on it. Do we really believe that God is who He says He is, & that He will do what He says He will do?
God does speak to us today.
- He speaks through His Word – What a treasure we have in our hands! Isa. 55:11 – “…so my word that comes from my mouth will not return to me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do.”
- He speaks through circumstances – Good & bad. 1 Peter 1:6-7 – “So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. 7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”
- He speaks through prayer – Prayer is a relationship, not just a religious activity. It’s a time of 2-way communication w/ the God of all creation. We speak – He listens. He speaks – we listen & obey. This is a good reason to keep a spiritual journal, to write down what God is saying to you as you pray.