Abraham: Following In The Footsteps Of Faith – Sermon #6
GOD’S PROMISE TO ABRAM RENEWED
Genesis 13:14-18 (NKJV)
14 And the Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: “Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are—northward, southward, eastward, and westward;
15 for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever.
16 And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered.
17 Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you.”
18 Then Abram moved his tent, and went and dwelt by the terebinth trees of Mamre, which are in Hebron, and built an altar there to the Lord.
Abram is a man walking with God. His misadventure in Egypt is behind him and he is back in the place of blessing walking by faith. This is seen in the fact that when a dispute arose between himself and his nephew Lot, Abram willingly took the second place. He placed the needs of Lot ahead of those in his own life and left himself in the gracious care of God. By the way, that is how you can know when you are growing as you should be. When you can willingly turn loose of your rights and privileges for the good of others, you are on your way!
After the incident with Lot, Abram is left alone with his wife, his servants and his possessions. It must have been a difficult thing to see his own flesh and blood separate from him under such harsh conditions.
Yet, for Abram, that difficult time would turn into a time of grace and blessing. For it is this time that the Lord chooses to renew His promises to Abram.
Let’s listen in this evening as the Lord renews His promises to His servant Abram. While these are Abram’s promises, there are spiritual applications that we can glean from these words.
I. V. 14-16 THE CONFIRMATION OF GOD’S WORD
(Ill. When you look at the events of verses 7-11, you may believe that Abram got the short end of the stick. You see, verses 10 and 14 tell us that both Lot and Abram “lifted up their eyes”. But, what they saw with those eyes was vastly different. Lot saw the world; Abram saw the promised land. Lot looked in self-sufficiency; Abram looked in perfect trust. Lot looked with a heart driven by greed and lust; Abram looked with a heart driven by a sacrificial love of unity. Lot looked through eyes connected to a worldly, uncommitted heart; Abram looked through eyes that were connected to a committed, spiritual heart.
Lot may have taken the best of the land, but Abram was about to get all the land! Friends, those who walk with their faith in God and their heart centered in His will need never fear that they will lose anything! God honors the faith of His people, because the faith of His people honors Him!)
A. What The Promise Communicated – God’s promise to Abram was full of blessings!
1. V. 14-15 A Promised Land – Lot chose the best; Abram got that and the rest to boot. The land was the prize for his faith. (Ill. Heaven for us – Rev. 21-22; John 14:1-3.)
2. V. 16 A Promised Legacy – God’s promise is further enhanced by the promise of a multitude of offspring from Abram. No doubt his lack of children was a sore spot with Abram. To the people of that era, many children were an indication of the blessings of the Lord, Psa. 127:3-5. Even his name was a mockery to him. Abram means “Exalted Father”. However, God’s promise is that Abram will have a legacy in children. So many will descend from him that their number will be beyond comprehension. That has literally come to pass!
(Note: God wants to do the same for us! He wants to multiply our faith and use us to reach others for His glory. We too can leave a legacy of spiritual children behind for the glory of the Lord, Dan. 12:3.)
3. V. 15b A Promised Length – God’s promise to Abram is one that will never be repealed. Notice that there are no strings attached! God is going to do this thing for His Own reasons. It is an eternal promise! That land they are fighting over this evening in Israel and the Middle East belongs to Abraham’s descendants!
(Note: The redeemed are also partakers of eternal promises. Our salvation, our heavenly home, our Father’s love are just a few of the many eternal promises that belong to those saved by the grace of God.)
B. When The Promise Came – God’s promise came to Abram after he was separated from Lot. Lot represented worldliness and lack of commitment to the things of God. When that distraction was removed, Abram heard from the Lord.
(Note: Separation from people, institutions, etc., is never easy. However, if we ever expect the Lord to bless us to the level that He can bless us, we are going to have to separate from anyone or anything that hinders our being right with Him, 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1. God can and will bless a separated life!)
(Note: Did you notice that this promise merely amplified promises that had been given to Abram earlier? Gen. 12:2, 7 are the first of the promises concerning the seed and the land. Now, those promises are amplified, expounded and enlarged. This is how the Lord always works with His people. The walk of faith is a walk of progressive revelation. As we walk in obedience to what He has already revealed, He will show us more and more as time goes by. That is how the Lord works; line upon line, precept upon precept, Isa. 28:10. That is how His Word works, Psa. 119:105. We want to know it all up front, but God reveals Himself as we are ready to receive Him, John 16:12.)
II. V. 17 THE COMMAND TO GOD’S WORKER
(Ill. After the promise has been given, a call to obedience is issued. This is always the way it works with the Lord. His promise are nearly always coupled with His commands. This is good and right! If we want His best, then we should be willing to follow Him.)
A. A Command To Rise – Abram is called upon to get up and to go with God. He is being challenged to deepen his walk with the Lord. (Note: God is looking for people who will simply walk with Him, Micah 6:8. Sadly, many believers are just sitting around and are not walking with Him by faith. Romans 13:11-14 has a word for you!)
B. A Command To Review – Abram is commanded to get up and walk up and down, all over the land he has been given. He is to try and see it all!
(Note: As believers, we need to take the time to review all that we have in Jesus Christ, Eph. 3:18; Phil. 3:10; Eph. 1:3. That is a tall order, but it is one that is worthy of our time. No doubt, there are many believers who are less than they could be simply because they do not know who they are and what they have in Jesus Christ. Ill. Some of those precious spiritual possessions we have!)
C. A Command To Receive – As Abram journeyed, he was living as though he carried the title deed to the land in his hand. Even if, at the moment, it belonged to someone else, Abram was to accept by faith the fact that this land was his land!
(Note: So it is in our spiritual journey. We have much in Jesus, but we have to claim it by faith. For instance, what about victory? Jesus says that we have it, 1 Cor. 15:57; 2 Cor. 2:14; Rom. 8:37. Let’s face it, there are days when you just have to take that by faith! What about Romans 8:28? Or what about Romans 8:18? Or what about 2 Cor. 4:17? Or what about Hebrews 13:5? Those are all great promises and they are true whether I believe them or not! Abram could have sat still and the land would still have been his. I have all those things I have mentioned and more, but they do me no good until I reach out and take them by faith! BY FAITH!)
III. V. 18 THE CONSECRATION TO GOD’S WILL
A. Seen In Abram’s Adaptation – When the Lord spoke, Abram responded in action and obedience! As this old man traveled around that country, he was looking at more than the mountains, valleys, rivers, streams and lakes. He was looking for a place to settle down forever. Hebrew 11:8-10 tells us that Abram had his sites set just a little higher than Canaan. He was looking for Heaven at the end of the way. So he just kept going, moving around the country enjoying all God had given him until the day came when he would go home to God.
(Note: His is an example that we should all readily follow! Like Abram, we are pilgrims in this world. As we journey through our lives, we are to do so in dependence upon and obedience to the Lord God. Always knowing that this world is not our home. One day we will leave this world for a better land. But, until then, let us move at the command of the Lord, for nothing honors God like obedience to His commands, 1 Sam. 15:22; John 14:15.)
B. Seen In Abram’s Association – The Bible tells us that Abram moved to Mamre which is in Hebron. Those two names are filled with meaning! Mamre means “Fatness” and Hebron means “Fellowship”. The idea is that Abram has settled down in a place of blessing and closeness to the Lord. He is living a life of close fellowship.
(Note: That is what the Lord wants from your life and mine! He wants us in the place of “fellowship” and “fatness”. He wants what was said about Enoch to be true about you and me, Gen. 5:24, “And Enoch walked with God…” Can that be said concerning your life?)
C. Seen In Abram’s Adoration – Abram does again that which has become his trademark: he builds an altar for the worship of the Lord.
(Note: A life that is lived in communion with God is a life that God can bless! He desires that every one of us be in a place where we love Him more than anything else in this world. He wants us to acknowledge Him. He wants us to exalt Him. He wants us to love Him. He desires our worship, John 4:23-24!)
(Note: God is absolutely self-sufficient, Psa. 50:10-15. He needs nothing! He does not need us. But, He wants us! That is precious and we should all determine that we will live our lives for His glory, considering the fact that He (JESUS) gave His life for our salvation.)
Where are you in your relationship and walk with God this evening? Are you as close as you should be? Are you growing deeper each day in the things of the Lord? When He speaks, do you move? Are you concerned with strengthening your fellowship with Him day by day? Is His worship the number one priority in your life?
Those are hard questions to hear and face, but they reveal a lot about the condition of our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. May we determine that, like Abram, our life will be characterized by our altars and by our obedience to the voice of God.