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BBBI - 2018.01.24 - PM - Carpe Deim Aeternitatis (Gen. 16.1-16)

BBBI - OT101.2 - Genesis II  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  1:03:41
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It's never wise to get ahead of God.

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Introduction

Genesis 16:13 KJV 1900
And she called the name of the Lord that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?
Get Attention:
Carpe Deim! Seize the Day!
The clock ticks. Second by second, hour by hour, day by day, the clock ticks away. Each breath breathed and each moment spent passes and cannot be regained. For all of us, time moves forward and quite quickly it seems. We look back five or ten years ago and it seems like just yesterday. We are locked in time knowing it will one day run out, just like a prisoner on death row who sits in his cell awaiting his execution. Thinking of the fleeting of time can be depressing and quite sobering, and yet it can spur us on to use our time well, especially in the light of Jesus’ Second Coming. [Greg Wilburn, Wake up Church: How to Be Ready for the Return of Christ (Greenville, SC; Belfast, Northern Ireland: Ambassador, 2010), 91.]
Seize the Day, novella by American author Saul Bellow, published in 1956. This short novel examines one day in the unhappy life of Tommy Wilhelm, who has fallen from marginal middle-management respectability to unemployment, divorce, and despair. Like many of Bellow’s other novels, Seize the Day exhibits an ambivalent attitude toward worldly success, and it follows its sensitive, gullible protagonist’s quest for meaning in a chaotic and hostile world.[Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopedia Britannica (Chicago, IL: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2016).]
carpe diem (Latin). kar-pay dee-um. “Seize the day.” Expression used to encourage taking advantage of every opportunity. [Standard Bible Dictionary (Cincinnati: Standard Publishing, 2006).]
carpe diem Latin (ˈkɑːpɪ ˈdiːɛm) enjoy the pleasures of the moment, without concern for the future [literally: seize the day!] [Collins English Dictionary. (Glasgow: HarperCollins, 2006).]
Illustration -
COMPLACENCY - WHAT PROVOKES CHANGE - Proverbs 1:32; Amos 6:1
Apathy; Bondage, spiritual; Change; Complacency; Control; Courage; Faith; Fear; Growth; Motivation; Risk
Danny Cox, a former jet pilot turned business leader, tells his readers in Seize the Day that when jet fighters were first invented, they “flew much faster than their propeller predecessors. So pilot ejection became a more sophisticated process. Theoretically of course, all a pilot needed to do was push a button, clear the plane, then roll forward out of the seat so the parachute would open.”
But there was a problem that popped up during testing. Some pilots, instead of letting go, would keep a grip on the seat. The parachute would remain trapped between the seat and the pilot’s back.
The engineers went back to the drawing board and came up with a solution. Cox writes:
The new design called for a two-inch webbed strap. One end attached to the front edge of the seat, under the pilot. The other end attached to an electronic take-up reel behind the headrest. Two seconds after ejection, the electronic take-up reel would immediately take up the slack, and force the pilot forward out of his seat, thus freeing the parachute.
Bottom line? Jet fighter pilots needed that device to launch them out of their chairs. Question is, what will it take to launch us out of ours? [Citation: Jim Davis, pastor, Silverdale, Washington; source: Danny Cox, Seize the Day: Seven Steps to Achieving the Extraordinary in an Ordinary World (Career Press, 1994). [PreachingToday.com, Perfect Illustrations: For Every Topic and Occasion (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2002), 46–47.]]
Raise Need:
While change can be good, it not always is. One of the reasons we may get ahead of God is because we may fear getting left behind of His promises.
Orient Theme:
"A sign of maturity is delayed gratification" - Dave Ramsey
The question looms though, "How long is too long to wait?"
The danger lies in putting words in God's mouth when we assume that He will bless our plans to achieve now what He ultimately wants for us then.
Abraham was now eighty-five years old. He had been walking with the Lord for ten years and had learned some valuable lessons about faith. God had promised Abraham and Sarah a child but had not told them when the child would be born. It was a period of waiting, and most people don’t like to wait. But it is through “faith and patience [that we] inherit the promises” (Heb. 6:12).
God has a perfect timetable for all that He wants to do. After all, this event was not the birth of just another baby: It was part of God’s great plan of salvation for the whole world. However, as Sarah waited for something to happen, she became impatient.
Why did God wait so long? He wanted Abraham and Sarah to be physically “as good as dead” (Heb. 11:12) so that God alone would get the glory. At age eighty-five, Abraham was still virile enough to father a child by Hagar; so the time for the miracle baby had not yet arrived. Whatever is truly done by faith is done for the glory of God (Rom. 4:20) and not for the praise of man.
A willingness to wait on the Lord is another evidence that you are walking by faith. “He that believeth shall not make haste” (Isa. 28:16). Paul quoted this verse in Romans 10:11 and amplified its meaning: “Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed.” (The same Holy Spirit inspired both Isaiah and Paul, and He has the right to make these changes.) Whenever we stop trusting God, we start to “make haste” in the wrong direction and we end up being ashamed.
A third evidence of faith is that you are acting on the authority of God’s Word. “So, then, faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Rom. 10:17). You can act by faith, and know that God will bless, if you are obeying what He says in His Word. Hebrews 11 records the mighty acts of ordinary men and women who dared to believe God’s promises and obey His commandments.
Finally, whenever you act by faith, God will give joy and peace in your life. “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing” (Rom. 15:13). Conflict may surround you, but you will have God’s peace and joy within you.
These, then, are the evidences of true biblical faith: (1) you are willing to wait; (2) you are concerned only for the glory of God; (3) you are obeying God’s Word; and (4) you have God’s joy and peace within. While Abraham and Sarah were waiting, God was increasing their faith and patience and building character (James 1:1–4). Then something happened that put Abraham and Sarah on a painful detour. [Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Obedient, “Be” Commentary Series (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1991), 54–55.]
State Purpose:
I want to speak with you about exercising your faith to wait on God, and building your trust that He's never going to deliberately leave you behind. For those who only have death to look forward to and then the grave and hell, "Seize the Day" may seem like the only thing to live for; but for those who are looking for the Kingdom and Promises of God, we long to lay hold on a brighter day, and Seize the Eternal Day, by redeeming the time here and now.

Main Thought

Whenever we run ahead of God's perfect timing, we can expect the consequences of sinful and worldly compromise; Let us redeem the time, and seize the eternal day!

Sub-Introduction

Connecting Context:
Yet, how easy it is even for those who know God and walk by faith to geive ear to the world's reasoning to watch the sand in the proverbial hour-glass falling away, and desire to Carpe Deim. Abram's problem with patience is here seen in more detail.
Abraham suggests Eliezer for his heir (Gen. 15:1-4); God says, "No!"
Abraham suggests Ishmael for his heir (cf. Gen. 17:18); God says, "No!"
Background/Intro Material:
This chapter marks another stage in eliminating every means but miracle towards the promised birth. It is ironical that after the heights attained in the last two chapters, Abram should capitulate to domestic pressure, pliant under his wife’s planning and scolding, and quick to wash his hands of the outcome. Meanwhile the Lord, ‘with whom is no variableness’, watches over the disregarded person and pattern, and ‘works His sovereign will’. [Derek Kidner, Genesis: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 1, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1967), 137.]

I. Compromised Ethics in Contemporary Cultures (Gen. 16:1-6).

A. Abram & Sarai Falter (Gen. 16:1-2):

Genesis 16:1–2 KJV 1900
Now Sarai Abram’s wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.
State Point -
They resort to a contemporary custom to resolve their dilemma - having a child by a concubine (Hagar).
It has often been said that God’s delays are not God’s denials, but Satan whispers to us, “God is holding out on you! If He loved you, things would be different! Blame Him!” (See 3:1–6.) [Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Obedient, “Be” Commentary Series (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1991), 56.]
Anchor Point -
However, just because this was culturally acceptable did not mean that it was acceptable to God.
The New Testament likens Hagar’s son, ‘born after the flesh’, to the products of self-effort in religion (Gal. 4:22ff.), ever incompatible with those of the spirit (Gal. 4:29). [Derek Kidner, Genesis: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 1, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1967), 137.]
Validate Point -
In the legal custom of that day a barren woman could give her maid to her husband as a wife, and the child born of that union was regarded as the first wife’s child. If the husband said to the slave-wife’s son, “You are my son,” then he was the adopted son and heir. So Sarai’s suggestion was unobjectionable according to the customs of that time. But God often repudiates social customs. [Allen P. Ross, “Genesis,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 56.]
Explain Point -
Abram hearkened to reason and the voice of Sarai, instead of the LORD!
Matthew 16:22ff KJV 1900
Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

B. Sarai's Soap-Opera Hour (Gen. 16:3-6):

Genesis 16:3–6 KJV 1900
And Sarai Abram’s wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife. And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes. And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the Lord judge between me and thee. But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face.
State Point -
After Hagar had conceived, Sarai made life extremely difficult for her.
Anchor Point -
The text reads, "dealt hardly with her."
Validate Point -
This is the same as verb in Gen. 15:13, "afflicted."
Explain Point -
This affliction caused Hagar to flee.
Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar were at war with each other because they were at war with the Lord, and they were at war with the Lord because they had selfish desires warring within their own hearts (James 4:1–10). The first thing they should have done was build an altar, worship the Lord, and tell Him their problems. They should have confessed their sins and received His gracious forgiveness. Once you stop fighting with God and with yourself, you will have an easier time not fighting with others. The first step toward reconciliation with others is getting right with God. [Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Obedient, “Be” Commentary Series (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1991), 57.]
Application: Many things in our day present a challenge to our ethics. The rapid deterioration of the moral fabric of previous generations has given way to the headlong deprivation that stares our post-modern American society in the face each and every day. While we as Christians should not expect the world to act like followers of God, what concerns me is to see so many professing believers with a skewed moral compass. How many of our average church attenders today could not only tell you what a Christian is supposed to believe, but even more importantly, why we believe it? Ethical decisions must be grounded in faith, or you will have that nagging voice on your shoulder questioning whether you were listening to God or fallen human reasoning.
Transition: The compromises that Abram and Sarai made are clear, now let's see how God intervened on behalf of those taken advantage of.

II. Counseling Encouragement from the Angel of the LORD (Gen. 16:7-16).

A. The Counsellor Came to Hagar (Gen. 16:7):

Genesis 16:7 KJV 1900
And the angel of the Lord found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur.
State Point -
She was on her way back to Egypt.
Anchor Point -
The Angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, "by the fountain in the way to Shur."

B. The Counsellor Encouraged Hagar (Gen. 16:8-12):

Genesis 16:8–12 KJV 1900
And he said, Hagar, Sarai’s maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai. And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands. And the angel of the Lord said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the Lord hath heard thy affliction. And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.
State Point -
She was to return to Abram and Sarai and submit herself to them.
Poor Hagar! What contrasts met in her life! Bought in an Egyptian slave-mart, but destined to be the mother of a great people! She is not the last to suffer from the mistakes and sins of God’s children, but she was abundantly recompensed. Abram did her a great wrong. Human policy will often suggest a course which seems right in our own eyes, but the end is death. How remarkable is the advice given to Hagar by the angel: return and submit! [F. B. Meyer, Through the Bible Day by Day: A Devotional Commentary, vol. 1 (Philadelphia: American Sunday-School Union, 1914–1918), 24–25.]
Anchor Point -
She was to call her son Ishmael ("God hears").
Validate Point -
Imagine the rebuke to Abram when she relays this information back to him!
Explain Point -
God predicts the general nature of Ishmael and his descendants (Gen. 16:12 - "wild man", or "wild donkey").

C. Hagar's Confession (Gen. 16:13-16):

Genesis 16:13–16 KJV 1900
And she called the name of the Lord that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me? Wherefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered. And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son’s name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael. And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.
State Point -
Hagar called God El Roi ("thou God seest me").
13, 14. The angel of the Lord is now disclosed to have been the Lord himself26 (cf. 18:1ff.; Exod. 3:2, 4; Judg. 6:12, 14; etc.), and Hagar’s words reflect her awe at the fact. [Derek Kidner, Genesis: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 1, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1967), 138.]
Anchor Point -
This speaks of not only God's awareness, but also of His compassionate CARE!
Validate Point -
This passage is loaded with practical theology.
Explain Point -
God Hears... & God Sees!
Application:
For Sarai, the only thing worse than a barren land was a barren womb. So, turning to her culture’s custom, she told her husband, Abram, to give her children through her Egyptian maid, Hagar. But when Hagar conceived, Sarai became resentful and mistreated Hagar, who then fled.
The Bible says that the Lord found Hagar “by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain on the way to Shur” (Gen. 16:7). The location reveals that Hagar intended to head back home—to Egypt. But God told her to return to Sarai and to name the child Ishmael (meaning, “God hears”), [“because the LORD hath heard thy affliction”] (v. 11). Hagar did so, and she called the Lord El Roi, “the God who sees me.” The well by which she sat received the name Beer Lahai Roi, meaning, “the well of the Living One who sees me” (see vv. 13-14).
The meaning of the names “God hears” and “God sees” would remain constant reminders to Abram and his family. Earlier, Abram had run to Egypt to escape a famine in the land (see Gen. 12). Sarai had turned to an Egyptian to escape barrenness. Hagar had run to Egypt to escape misery. But each effort, apart from God, found them at the same place of having to trust Him all over again.
The Lord wants us to learn to turn to Him rather than run to Egypt during what seems inescapable despair. As we wait on the Lord, we have His promise that He waits with us, for God hears our prayers and God sees our needs.
O Lord, how often have I traveled the road to Shur toward some Egyptian decoy, running from a chance to trust You. In situations today when I feel like running, may You find me instead on my knees—before a God who hears and a God who sees.
If God told you on the front end how long you would wait . . . you’d lose heart. . . . But he doesn’t. He just says, “Wait. I keep my word. . . . In the process of time I’m developing you to be ready.” —F. B. Meyer [Wayne Stiles, Going Places with God: A Devotional Journey through the Lands of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Revell, 2011).]

Conclusion

Summary/Review:
People may agree with you, and the law may defend you; but if God cannot bless you, don’t do it! Let God accomplish His will in His way and in His time. Sarah tried to run ahead of God, and she created problems that are with us yet today. [Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Obedient, “Be” Commentary Series (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1991), 60.]
God Wants You To:
Guard your heart against Carpe Deim (Seize the Day) and press toward Carpe Deim Aeternitatis! (Seize the Eternal Day).
U.S. runner Marla Runyon, legally blind for twenty-two years, competed in the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. She qualified for the finals in the 1,500-meter race, then finished eighth, just seconds behind the medal winners.
Runyon can’t see in color; all she sees is a fuzzy blob. So when she races, she just follows the blob of figures in front of her. The real difficulty is rounding the final turn and racing toward a finish line she can’t see. “I just know where it is,” she said. —Today Show, September 22, 2000 [Craig Brian Larson and Phyllis Ten Elshof, 1001 Illustrations That Connect (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 2008), 428–429.]
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