Abraham: Following In The Footsteps Of Faith – Sermon #8
ABRAM’S WORD FROM GOD
Genesis 15:1-6 (NKJV)
God’s Covenant with Abram
15 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”
2 But Abram said, “Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?”
3 Then Abram said, “Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!”
4 And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.”
5 Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”
6 And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.
Years ago Dr. Seuss published a children’s book entitled “Horton Hears A Who”. This book is about an elephant named Horton who hears voices coming from a little speck of dust. The story relates how Horton placed the speck of dust on a clover bloom and did his best to protect the tiny residents inside that speck of dust from the other animals who could not hear the voices rising from the dust particle. As the story develops, Horton learns that the race living inside that speck of dust were the “Who’s”. They lived in a town called Whoville and needed a protector to prevent them from being blow about by the wind, or destroyed by other means. Of course, the other animals in the jungle do not believe Horton and give him a hard time about his belief that a tiny race inhabits a particle of dust. They try to destroy the speck of dust and they even try to tie Horton up. Eventually, all the “Who’s” in “Whoville” join their voices and shout in unison so that they might be heard by the animals who have torment Horton about his strange beliefs. They are finally heard when the tiniest “Who” of them all, a tiny, yo-yo throwing tike by the name of “Jo Jo” lifts his voice and says “Yupp”. To make a long story short, there are two great moral lessons taught in “Horton Hears A Who.” The first is that we should be kind to all people, even when others refuse to be. The second is that even the smallest of the small is an important person. You may wonder what this has to do with our text. The answer lies in the fact that Horton heard a voice one day that forever changed his life.
In our text, Abram hears the “word of the LORD” and this word from God changed his life. In Abram’s day, he was just one insignificant person among millions of other people in the world at that time, but God had a special plan for his life. To God, Abram was of supreme importance. In this passage, Abram receives a word from the Lord concerning his Fear, his Future and his Faith. What he heard changed his life forever. He receive a word from the Lord and it revolutionized his life.
By the way, of all the possessions we have in this world, none can compare to the Word of God! To be able to hold in our hands the complete and perfect revelation of God to man is a treasure without equal.
In this passage, God had a word for Abram, but He also has a word for you and me this evening. Let’s listen in on this conversation between the Lord and Abram. Let’s hear the words that Abram heard and see what they have to teach us about our own walk with the Lord.
I. V. 1 A WORD ABOUT ABRAM’S FEAR
(Ill. Abram has just returned from a great military victory. During the course of the campaign, he made a bitter enemy in king Chedorlaomer. This king was mighty enough to come against Sodom and the cities of the plain, surely Abram felt that he too was in danger of attack from this king from the East. God has a word to comfort him in his fear.)
A. The Peace That Comes From Knowing God – This is the first time the phrase “fear not” is used in the Bible. But, thank God, it will not be the last! Men may encourage us to walk in peace and fear not, but their words are empty and without power. However, when the Lord comes by and speaks peace to your heart, fear must take flight! (Ill. The Disciples in the ship – John 6:17-21. He is still the great “I AM”. Let him on your vessel and he will calm your storm!)
B. The Protection That Comes From Knowing God – Abram needed not fear the attack of his enemies. The Lord was camped about him and all He had providing perfect protection day and night. (Note: Those who are the Lord’s are sheltered by Him all the time, Psa. 34:7. “Round about” = “On every side!” Ill. Col. 3:3)
C. The Prize That Comes From Knowing God – Abram is a man who has left home and family to follow God, but as yet, he has not received even the slightest hint of all that he has been promised. He is also a man who gave up much when he refused the offer of the king of Sodom, 14:21-24. Now, the Lord comes by to remind Abram that if one has the Lord, they possess everything!
(Note: What earthly treasure can compare with God’s love, grace, mercy, salvation, forgiveness, presence, peace, power, heaven, hope, etc? When we have Him, we possess it all, even if we have none of this world’s goods! The child of God is not to be pitied this evening. He is to be envied! When we have Him, we have all that is His, Rom. 8:17. (Ill. The Prodigal received the Father’s ring when he returned from the far country, Luke 15:22.))
II. V. 2-5 A WORD ABOUT ABRAM’S FUTURE
(Ill. Abram is concerned and burdened about all the promises he has received. His are not questions of doubt, but they are honest questions, which, by the way, God doesn’t mind at all! Abram knew where to take his burden to and, as a result, he received the answers he sought! There is a lesson in that for you and me this evening, Phil. 4:6-7. God’s answer brought hope to the old man’s heart once again.)
A. V. 4 The Simplicity Of God’s Promise – God’s promise is stated in the simplest and clearest of terms. Abram is assured, again, that he will have a son and that this son will be his heir. (Note: All of God’s promises are made in the same manner. He speaks very clearly in His Word. Oh that we would learn to take Him at His Word and believe all that He tells us without question. Ill. He is looking for childlike faith, Luke 18:17.)
B. V. 4-5 The Sovereignty Of God’s Promise – God’s promise said something about God’s power. Abram is an old man, well past the days when most people think of fathering children. God’s promise is designed to overcome the “laws of nature” and do what men say cannot be done.
(Note: It would do the people of the Lord to learn that our God is an “able” God, Eph. 3:20. We need to remember that He is a God Who operates in the realm of all-power, Matt. 28:18; Luke 1:37. We need to remember that we do not serve the God of the “can do”; we serve the God of the “has done”! Before we ever exercise our little faith, His plan is already in motion and He is working out His will through His Sovereign power.)
C. V. 5 The Size Of God’s Promise – Abram was concerned about a single heir to his fortune. God was concerned with giving him more heirs than he could count. God wanted Abram to know that he was about to receive a blessing so big that it would blow his mind!
(Note: We serve the God of “abundance” this evening, John 10:10. He wants to do more in our lives than we can even imagine, Eph. 3:20. If we could ever get hold of that tonight, it would revolutionize our praying and our faith. God is not just “enough” tonight, He is “more than enough”. He’s not interested in doing the ordinary and the run of the mill this evening. He wants to leave us scratching our heads in amazement at His power when He comes through. He wants to blow our minds tonight! He’s not all we need! He’s all we have and He is more than enough for any situation!))
III. V. 6 A WORD ABOUT ABRAM’S FAITH
(Ill. This is one of the simplest, yet greatest verses in all the Bible. It tells us all about Abram’s faith. What it teaches us about his faith should be true about our own faith as well.)
A. The Direction Of His Faith – The little word “in” tells the tale. Abram has moved beyond hearing the Word of the Lord and believing the promises of God into the realm of casting himself totally in faith upon the Lord Himself. He doesn’t just believe the Word anymore, he believes God. He is like Job, Job 13:15. His faith is in the Lord.
(Note: Has your faith made that transition this evening? It is one thing to believe what the Bible says about God and His promises. It is another thing altogether to move from the intellectual acceptance of the facts to the absolute trust in His person. One believe leads to Hell, the other to Heaven. Which is yours this evening?)
B. The Depth Of His Faith – Abram believed in spite of the obstacles. No doubt others around him thought he was a fool when he started talking about what the Lord had promised him. But, he still believed God! (Note: What a challenge to you and me today. Our faith in Him should be unassailable and unwavering. Men may mock us because we believe in Heaven. They may think we are fools when we speak of “being saved” and “knowing the Lord”. If you are saved, then let no trial, no naysayer, and no devil cause you to waiver in your faith in the Lord!)
C. The Dividend Of His Faith – Faith in God always pays off big and Abram’s was no exception. When Abram believed God, God erased Abram’s sin and applied His own perfect righteous to Abram’s account. God looked at Abram as being a just an righteous man.
(Note: Salvation has always been a work of faith. This lesson from Abram’s life is applied to our own lives in Romans 4:13-25.)
(Note: Abram was not saved by “keeping the Law”, for it had not yet been given. He was not saved by being “circumcised”, for it had not yet been commanded. He was saved by simple, childlike faith in God.)
(Note: What was the message that Abram believed? A message about a promised son! That is the same message that saves the sinner today, John 3:16.)
You will probably live you whole life and never hear voices coming from a speck of dust. At least I hope that is the case. However, I know that God has a word for your life. Abram heard a Word from the Lord, he believed that Word and it forever changed his life.
I wonder, has the Lord has spoken to some need in your life this evening? Is there some battle you need peace about? Is there some storm you need calmed? Is there some area of your life where you need a Sovereign God to move? Has your sin been dealt with Biblically? Are you saved? Are you walking in the perfect will of the Lord this evening? Have you received the dividend of faith in Jesus Christ: perfect righteousness? If He has spoken to your heart, this altar is open for you to come and do business with Him tonight. Let’s mind Him!
Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!