This message was preached by Colin D'Cruz via zoom Word of Grace Church, on August 23rd 2020. For the audio please click here. For the worship please click here
Faith and Failure of Abraham
All through the Bible, we see mainly 2 themes -
What has gone wrong
2. How God would put it right
The book of Genesis is the fundamental book. All the other truths in the rest of the Bible are found in Genesis. If we didn't have the book of Genesis, will Exodus and then the other books make any sense? Across the Bible, we see many narratives. We may think they are just stories. But God conveyed truths through these stories/narratives.
Let's look at Genesis chapter 12.
1. God's favour was on Abraham
Abraham's family was in Ur near Harran. Ur is a city in
the region of Mesopotamia.
It was an excellent city which was well developed. God calls Abram and asks him to leave this city of Ur which means to leave a life of security, family, wealth and go to a place chosen by God. The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. - Genesis 12:1 NIV
Why did God choose Abram?
God chooses people not because of the good in them but because His mercy, Grace and favor.
We see that the Bible reveals not just the successes but also the failures.
A great blessing was promised to Abraham by God -
“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse, and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” - Genesis 12:2-3 NIV
The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring, I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him. - Genesis 12:7 NIV
We may think what does it have to do with me?
Let's look at Galatians 3:14
He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. - Galatians 3:14 NIV
This is the link now! Some thousands of years ago a promise was given to Abraham.
Jesus Christ came to this world, sacrifices His life, redeemed us in order that the blessing was given to Abraham some thousands of years ago would come to us through Christ himself.
This is a huge blessing!
* I will make you a great Nation
Thought Abraham and Sarah didn't have children and while they were old and Sarah was barren, God gave this promise to Abraham.
We may think how does this apply to me?
This is how bit applies - We are a part of that promised Nation.
* I will bless you
We see that there were temporal blessings and spiritual blessings.
For us, today, we can also receive that blessing.
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:19 NIV
... I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. - John 10:10 NIV
* I will make your name great
Even after thousands of years, the Jews, Muslims and Christians know Abraham and honor him. If he had stayed in Ur, Harran, nobody would've heard his name.
* I will bless those who bless you and whoever curses you I will curse
This is a precious promise!
All the people on earth will be blessed through Abraham. Yes, we are blessed through Abraham.
2. Abraham's faith in God
Moving to the Land God called him to was not an easy thing
But Abraham was -
Quick to obey
As he obeyed God and went, he encountered God
Abraham moved to Canaan and among all the Canaanites, Abraham was the only true worshipper of God
The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord , who had appeared to him. - Genesis 12:7 NIV
From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord . - Genesis 12:8 NIV
3. Abraham's failure and God's grace
What we see throughout the Bible is that whenever we obey God, we see trials and testing. We see the same happen to Abraham.
Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe. As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are. -Genesis 12:10-11 NIV
There was a famine and Abraham went down to Egypt to live there for a while.
Abraham could have trusted in God and stayed in Canaan. But it looks like he didn't wait to hear from God and moved to Egypt.
After reaching Egypt he told Sarah to lie about their relationship. He asked her to tell everyone that Abraham was her brother so that he would be treated well.
The amazing thing about Bible is that Abraham's weaknesses and shortcomings are narrated too.
When we fail, we will fall. But God's grace is always there.
This is how God showed His grace to Abraham.
He treated Abram well for her sake, and Abram acquired sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, male and female servants, and camels. - Genesis 12:16 NIV
God provided Abraham with everything that was needed and
Though Abraham failed, God showed Grace and provided for him.
God, yet again showed Grace.
But the Lord inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh and his household because of Abram’s wife Sarai. So Pharaoh summoned Abram. “What have you done to me?” he said. “Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her to be my wife? Now then, here is your wife. Take her and go!” Then Pharaoh gave orders about Abram to his men, and they sent him on his way, with his wife and everything he had. - Genesis 12:17-20 NIV
Not just provided but God also rescued them. In the midst of failure and sin, God was faithful to His promise and delivered them out of that difficult situation.
Let's think -
What is God asking us to let go off or do something?
In what areas have we failed?
Let's come to God so that He will give the power to change our ways of living.
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.
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