Summary: What should I do? 1. When God is silent, we have to learn to wait on the Lord (vs. 1). 2. When God speaks: Bow (vs. 1-3), Believe (vs. 2-8), Become (vs. 5-6 & 15-16). 3. When God asks for a sign, show your dedication to the Lord (vs. 9-14).
Old Testament Encounters with Christ
Part 8: When You Wonder What to Do
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - Jan. 12, 2012
*Did you ever say the wrong thing to your boss, and then wonder, “What should I do?”
-Did you ever say the wrong thing to your wife and wonder what to do?
-Did you ever wonder about the best thing to do for your children?
-How about the best thing to do for your parents?
*In any relationship sometimes you are going to wonder what to do.
-This is true even in our relationship with God.
-Some days you will find yourself asking, “What does God want me to do?”
*Abram’s meeting here with the Lord can help, because it shows us what to do in 3 situations we are going to face.
1. First: What does God want me to do when He is silent? -- The answer is: Learn to wait on the Lord. When God is silent, we have to learn to wait on the Lord.
*Vs. 1 tells us that “When Abram was 99 years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless.”
-God spoke to Abram in vs. 1, but by the time God spoke here, He had been silent for a long time. The Lord was teaching Abram and us that we have to learn to wait on the Lord.
*Last week we saw the terrible trouble that can come when we refuse to wait on the Lord. God had promised a son to Abram and Sarai, but they got tired of waiting and decided to rush things up by having Abram also marry Sarai’s servant Hagar. The troubles we see in Genesis 16 have been causing pain in the world ever since.
*John Phillips explained that: “Abram’s trouble was that he could not wait. God had promised him a son and a seed. But in his anxiety to see that promise fulfilled, Abram decided to help God out and hurry things up by marrying Hagar.” (1)
*Have you ever tried to “help God out?” Have you ever tried to get ahead of God? -- It is always a mistake to try to rush the work of God.
*Phillips points out that the Lord has His own reasons for His delays. But Abram could not wait. “As a result of his impatience there followed a solemn silence in which, for 13 long years, he received no further word from God.” (1)
*John Hamby says: “Thirteen years earlier Abram had taken a wrong turn and for thirteen years there has been silence from Heaven. We have reason to suspect that these were years of unhappiness and unrest in the household of Abram.
*God used these thirteen years to teach Abram the cost of acting on his own. For 13 years he has lived with the fruits of his impatience.
-Many believers have had a similar experience: A time when God allowed us to go our own way with painful results. . .” (2)
*It may even seem like God has left the scene and given up on us. But what does God want me to do when He is silent? -- Learn to wait on the Lord.
2. And what does God want me to do when He speaks?
 Abram shows us, and the first thing to do is bow.
*Bow down before the Lord in worship. Abram shows this to us in vs. 1-3:
1. When Abram was 99 years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless.
2. And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly."
3. Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him. . .
*Abram fell on his face in worship to God. And we need to recognize more and more that the Lord is worthy of our worship. It helps to look at the 3 names God uses for Himself in these verses: “Jehovah,” “El Shaddai” and “Elohim.”
*In the first part of vs. 1: “When Abram was 99 years old, the LORD appeared to Abram.” The LORD -- that’s Jehovah.
*“Jehovah” is the name God uses most often for Himself in the Bible. It is used more than 6,800 times. It simply means “to be.” In Exodus 3, Moses asked the Lord what he should tell the people, if they asked who sent him. And in Exodus 3:14, the Lord replied, “Tell them ‘I AM’ sent you.” That is the essence of the name Jehovah: God self-existing in the past, present and future, depending on no one, or no thing outside Himself.
*In vs. 1 there is also the name “El Shaddai.” “When Abram was 99 years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless.”