One of the greatest figures, other than our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, that you will find in the Bible is the person of Abraham. Evidence of this can be seen in the fact that He is called “a friend of God” three times in the Bible. Two times in the Old Testament and once in the New Testament.
Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever?
“But you, Israel, are My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, The descendants of Abraham My friend.
And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God.
However, I ask you this morning, why do you think Abraham called a Friend of God?
It is because He is portrayed throughout the Bible as the epitome of a man of Faith and obedience. Moses is known in the Bible as the lawgiver. Joshua is known as a great military leader. David was known as Israel’s King and a man after God’s own heart. Daniel is known as a man of prayer and an reliable statesman. Elijah is known as God’s fiery prophet, blazing the path for John the Baptist. Job is seen as a symbol of hope. Hosea speaks to us as a symbol of God’s divine Love, as he married a street-walker. Paul is known as an Apostle sent to minister to the Gentiles out of due time. Peter is known for his impetuous actions and statements during crucial moments in Jesus’ ministry. However, Abraham is a living, breathing example of how the people of God are justified and live by faith, even when there is no groundwork laid for a faith-walk. He is known as the Father of our Faith and is the biblical example of how a common person, man or woman, can have an imperfect, yet powerful faith in God.
Today I want to look at how God directed Abraham to move towards His destiny, as well as how this text can be applied to the means that God can lead us from this location to our destiny as a growing body of baptized believers in Jesus Christ.
When I look at the text, I have found four tasks in verses 1-4 that God is directing Abraham to do. Note firstly, God tells Abraham to...
In his call from God, Abraham received two imperatives that carried subsequent promises along with them. The first imperative was to “Get out...” In other words, God was telling Abraham, it’s time to go. This directive from God consists of a definite and decisive separation from everything and everybody in His past. He was to walk away from everything that gave him comfort and security. He was to leave all the family members that surrounded him with love and care. Abraham was directed to abandon the lush foliage, the natural beauty and waterways that Ur was famous in that day for, and he was told to head out to literally “God knows where.” God told him, “Get out...” God is progressively pulling the rug out from under Abraham’s prosperous past and idol-worshipping present. He tells Abraham to first leave his country. Second, leave his people, and third, leave his father’s household.
God is telling Abraham to go, but why? It’s clear that Abraham had to leave in order that he would grow. If he would’ve stayed in the same environment, he would’ve never grown. If he had remained in the company of his friends and family in Ur, he would’ve never grown but would’ve remained an idol worshipper like his father, Terah. If Abraham would’ve stayed in his country with his friends and family, his tomorrow would’ve been just like his today. No changes.
Why does God have to move him? Because God is in the business of maturing people. God wants fruit from His people when most times His people want pleasure and comfort. God wants changed lives, when His people aren’t interested in changed lives at all, least of all, their own! In order to help His people “grow up,” He has to remove them from the familiar environments and people they have become accustomed to, so they can learn to stand on their own spiritually.
God moves people so that they can grow and eventually glow. A tough truth is that many times, God orders death so that those who are left will mature spiritually. We can make “spiritual walkers” of the mature people around us, when in fact, God wants most of us to spiritually stand up on our own.
Therefore, God is telling Abraham, it’s time to go! Moreover, God is now telling us that it’s time to go! Christ The King Church, we have less than one month to remain in this building. However, I’ve heard from God first-hand. He has it all worked out! He has it all worked out!
Therefore, not only is God telling us to “Remove From The Premises,” Secondly, God is told Abraham to...
Reverend Joseph Parker, who pastored down the street from Charles Spurgeon is quoted as saying...
“Great lives are trained by great promises. “ Abraham and Sarah did not receive any explanations or reasons why they were moving. However, they were given promises to rest upon. God always follows a command or imperative with a precious promise or a warning. In Abraham’s case, God gave him several I wills; “I will show you a land. I will make you a great nation. I will bless you. I will make your name great. I will bless those who bless you. I will curse those that curse you. Finally in verse 7, God tells Abraham, “To your offspring I will give this land.”
This is the way that God leads his people.
Warren W. Wiersbe has a quote that I love. He said this;
We are not saved by making promises to God; we are saved by believing God’s promises to us.
Many times he lets us see the very thing that he wants us to have, then he gives us the grace to possess it. God went from showing Abraham the land, to telling Abraham; “If you leave Ur, I will bless you and make you a blessing!”
Donald Grey Barnhouse is quoted as saying; “It makes no difference where it is or what is its geology or geography. If the Lord leads us there, it is the land for us. If the Lord does not lead us, it can never be the right land, even though it is paved with diamonds.”
God makes unconditional promises for us to lean on. The reason that they are unconditional promises is because they seem to be unqualified and sometimes irrational. Consider the way God tells Abraham that he will make Him into a great nation. God is telling Abraham to leave his home. Martin Luther is quoted as saying this; “You should consider that what the Lord promises Abraham here is altogether impossible, unbelievable and untrue if you follow reason, because it cannot be seen. If the Lord has something like this in mind for Abraham, why does he not let him remain in his land with his kindred, where Abraham undoubtedly had some influence or reputation?”
Amazingly, God promised Abraham that he will make his name great. However, Sarah is childless. Wouldn’t it be easier to start the process with Sarah having children?God promised Abraham that He would make Him a great nation. Wouldn’t it be easier to make Abraham a great nation by allowing him to remain in the land he lived in, instead of telling him to “Get out?”
God is a master of going against he odds, that way nobody can get the Glory except Him. God will not share His glory with anybody else.
So, there are several promises that God gives Abraham! Moreover, God has given us several promises. If you are going to make a God-ordered faith move, you need to rest on the promises of God!
Not only is God telling us to “Remove From the Premises” and to Rest on the Promises of the Almighty, but thirdly He is telling Abraham to...
God has given Abraham a solid imperative in verse 2. However, verse 2 is imprecisely rendered in many translations, including the NIV, as the prediction “you will be a blessing.” But that wording is incorrect. In it’s literal state, the phrase is translated to mean, “Be a blessing.”
The blessing given to Abraham becomes a blessing for others. In other words, other people will share in the blessing that Abraham receives from God. Most of us want a blessing for ourselves, but we clearly are not willing or wanting to bless others. The Bible tells us; It is more blessed to give than to receive.
I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
This God’s plan for Abraham and it is God’s plan for us!!! Ephesians 2:10 tells us
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Matthew 5:16 says...
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
2 Corinthians 9:8 says...
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.
Therefore as we are blessed, we are going to bless others! This is God’s will for us! The Dead Sea is dead because of one reason; it had an intake, but no outlet! We have got to bless others as a church. God dislikes a selfish church. Instead of spending so much time in your prayers asking for a blessing, try being the blessing to someone else! There is a great lesson in nature of this. Notice that no tree bearing fruit ever bears that fruit for its’ own consumption. The fruit tree bears fruit for the blessing and pleasure of others. In the same manner, we were created to be a blessing for others! God’s purpose for us is that we will be a blessing!