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Abraham's Top Ten
Dan Stolebarger - June 13, 2004

Message Recap

Are you a doer of God's Word or are you just a hearer of His Word? Many people are just listening but do not act according to what God has told them. God keeps his Word but do we?

Abraham, Father of the Faith, the Friend of God

When Sarah died, Abram was dwelling in Canaan among the Hittites. He went to them to ask for the cave of Machpelah. Genesis 23 The owner of the cave offered the land to Abram for free because Abram was held as a prince. Abram refused and insisted on paying full price for the cave. He believed God when God told him that Abram and his wife Sarai would have a son, even though they were way past the age of child birth Genesis 18:9-15. He built permanent altars to God even though he and his household lived in tents.

When Abram's and Lot's flocks had grown too large to live on the same land, Abram asked Lot where he wanted to settle so that Lot would have the choicest land. Lot chose the plain of the Jordan next to the city of Sodom, which turned out not to be the greatest a choices. Abram gave praise and tithes to God every day and when the three visitors visited him before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Abram pleaded for the Lord to save the righteous from his wrath. When Lot was carried off during war, Abram led his men to rout the abductors and when the king of Sodom told Abram to keep all the goods he captured, Abram would not saying that he did not want to give Sodom the excuse of saying they had made Abram rich Genesis 14:1-16.

He was circumcised at the age of 99 and at God's command he left everything he had and knew to go to the land promised him. But Abram, later made Abraham by God, was not perfect.

God Blesses Abraham

God made a covenant with Abram, called the Abrahamic Covenant. He told Abram to leave his country, his people and his father's household and to go to the land God would show him and He promised Abram:

  • I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you
    Abram became the father of Israel.
  • I will make your name great
    Abram became the Father of the Faith and a Friend of God.
  • You will be a blessing
    Many times Abraham is told he is blessed and his descendants will be as numerous as the sand of the desert or the stars in the sky.
  • I will bless those that bless you
    Of all the nations on earth there is only one, the U.S. that stands with Israel. The U.S. is the strongest and richest, most free country the world has ever seen. God has blessed the U.S. because we bless Abraham's offspring.
  • Whoever curses you I will curse
    Recent examples are Nazi Germany responsible for killing six million of Abraham's descendents and Sadam Hussein who within the last few years launched missiles at Israel and paid suicide bombers to kill the offspring of Abraham.
  • All the peoples on earth will be blessed through you
    Despite the repeated attempts by people all over the world to destroy Israel and the Jews, they have continued to not only survive but prosper.

The Spirit of God

Abram was 99 years old when the Lord appeared before him and told Abram to walk before Him and be blameless. God wanted to confirm the covenant between Him and Abram. He told Abram, he would be the father of many nations and that from then on he would be called Abraham. God would not only make Abraham the father of many nations but he would keep his covenant with Abraham's descendants and give to Abraham and his descendants the land of Canaan.

In Hebrew, God inserted the letter ה (he) which means to reveal the name of God or in other words the essence of God. So Abram became Abraham "The Spirit of God". Sarai, Abram's wife, is blessed by God with a child and renamed Sarah. Sarah became the mother of many nations.

Our Heroes

The Bible depicts our heroes not as supermen but in real terms, warts and all. A perfect example is David. David was a hero for killing the giant Goliath 1 Samuel 17:21-51; he spared the life of Saul even though Saul tried to have him killed 1 Samuel 24; he was the conqueror of Jerusalem 2 Samuel 5:6; and he united Israel and Judah. 1 Samuel 5:5

Yet David was also an adulterer, liar and murderer. He committed adultery with Bathsheba and murdered her husband Uriah 2 Samuel 11-12. David did not confess his sins for a year, and suffered the loss of his wives; death to his sons and it was only because he loved the Lord that David did not suffer worse.

Going Half-Way

Abraham was also just a man, so he was not perfect. In Genesis 12:1 God tells Abram to leave his country, his people and his father's household and go to a land that God will show to him. But Abram did not go straight to God's chosen land. He did go out of Ur (in the Hebrew meaning Flame of Destruction) as God commanded him but he stopped half-way in Haran (parched and desolate) and he took his father Terah (delay) and his nephew Lot with him. So he not only did not go to where God had directed him but he also did not leave his people or his father's household. It wasn't until Terah died that Abraham left Haran for the land of Canaan promised to him by God.

Haran was about half way between Ur and Canaan, so Abraham went half-way towards doing that which God commanded him. God tells us not only to hear his Word but to do as he commands us. Are we stopping half-way in doing what God commands? We are all called, as Christians, to not only hear God's Word but to study it. The walk with Christ is difficult and we get tired because we are human.

The Funeral for Delay

It is when we get tired that the world's easier promises seem worthwhile. But these promises do not satisfy us as does the joy of the Lord. Going half-way we stop in a desolate place and just as Abram waited for his father Terah to die, we need to have a funeral for delay and move on in our walk. As God put ? in Abrams name he puts the Holy Spirit in our heart when we accept Jesus Christ.

When you hear God tell you to leave are you stopping half-way or are you crossing over to the Promised Land?

Serving Two Masters

If we are not willing to go all the way then we are serving two masters. As Joshua told the people that for him and his household there would be no doubt they would serve the Lord, Joshua 24:15 or as Elijah told the people, How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him. 1 Kings 18:21

There are consequences to only going half-way. In Revelations 3:16 the church in Laodicea is told because they were lukewarm (half-way), neither hot or cold, Jesus is about to spit them out of His mouth or to vomit them out because they had become rich and thought they did not need the Lord.

The question is do you only go half-way in serving the Lord? Are you delaying following of His commandments to you? Are you trying to serve two masters, the world and God? You have to choose. Jesus said, No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God. Luke 9:62

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