This message was preached by Debbie Vartak via zoom Word of Grace Church, on September 27th 2020. For the audio please click here..
amazing service, where the worship songs were so in line with the theme of
today's service and the sharing on Breaking of Bread and the Offering so apt,
let us now dive into God’s word.
Today I would like to title my message THE
PROMISE GIVER AND THE PROMISE KEEPER
By now, with our study of Acts and Genesis on
Abraham, we would have realised that Abraham and his entire life is not a
story….. BUT a constant reminder of a
Man whose walk with God pioneered the walk of faith. He had no one to follow…
no Old Testament or New Testament scriptures to reference, no online or YouTube
messages or no church messages, like you and I have…. just about 19 times in 30
years when God spoke to him…. BUT HE
You and I are the children of Abraham, who by
faith have received the promise of Jesus in our lives and resultantly, every
promise in the word of God. Each of the 7000 odd promises is filled with a potent
seed, expressing itself in our lives, in the form signs, wonders, miracles,
healing, provision etc… if we but
believe, then they will be YEAH AND AMEN to us.
Father Open our
physical and spiritual eyes to see you and who we are in you. Teach us to align
our thinking and sight with yours so that as we sit with you in heavenly
places, we will not be worried about a situation, concerned about a sickness or
problem, overcome with grief and dread at
a political or doctor’s verdict….. Because
we belong to the PROMISE GIVER AND PROMISE KEEPER AND HE NEVER, NEVER, NEVER,
Before I read the
scripture I want you to
TO WHOM YOU BELONG
– GOD ALMIGHTY’S …. The Promise is only as good as the person who makes. And there
is no one mightier, no one bigger, no one comparable to FATHER GOD, JESUS AND
THE HOLY SPIRIT…. AND YOU, YOU BELONG TO THEM……
WHO YOU ARE …..I AM A
CHILD OF THE HIGHEST ONE WHO HAS NO EQUAL, I AM THE SON OF THE ONE WHO OWNS THE UNIVERSE,
WHO COMMANDS THE STARS AND ALL OF CREATION AND THEY BOWS TO HIS NAME…. Then
nothing, nothing, no nothing is too difficult for THE GOD I BELONG TO.
REMEMBER THAT EVERY PROMISE IN THE BIBLE IS FOR YOU….. I am an heir of the King of Kings and the Lord
or Lords, I am HIS child, Nothing less than the child of the owner and ruler of
this galaxy, not just planet earth, and his PROMISEs are for me, to me and to
be fulfilled through me…..that I may have life and life in its abundance.
PROMISES GIVE RISE TO FAITH. But do I have FAITH? Sometimes it works and
other times it doesn’t… The question is Faith in whom and in what… Faith is believing the PROMISE GIVER, the promises HE GIVES (Assurance) and that He
also is the PROMISE KEEPER (The Evidence)…and this is what I hope to unravel as
we read Genesis 21 – the PROMISE GIVER –
the birth of Issac and Gen 22 the
PROMISE KEEPER - the test of Abraham and Issac.
Three points I
wish to share with you on this portion of scripture are :
1. The Indescribable favour of God to Abraham…. Gen
2. The Insurmountable faith of Abraham ….Gen 22
3. The infinite fulfilment of the promise to
THE INDESCRIBABLE FAVOUR OF GOD TO ABRAHAM….
What is Favour: it is an act of kindness beyond what is due or usual.
Abraham and Sarah had each laughed at the
suggestion of Sarah having a son…. Yet, in spite of this, Gen 21: 1 says
The Lord graciously
remembered and visited Sarah as He had said and the Lord did for her
As HE HAD
ISAAC WAS THE SON OF PROMISE. The birth of Isaac explains God’s indescribable
favour to Abraham and HIS PROMISE ….
Let us recount what God did for Abraham that
culminated in the birth of Issac, and as we do so, we will come face to face
with an AMAZING GOD WHOSE FAVOUR DEFIES AND TRANSCENDS YOUR IMAGINATION AND
COMPREHENSION AND LOGIC.
a. Genesis 12 : Of all the men on earth, God visits …. Abram… “Get thee up from the
UR of the Chaldees and go to the land I will show you…. Why Abraham…. ????
And how many of
us ask this question again and again as we sit down to worship our God…. From
the 7.8 bln men on earth…. Why me ??? Why ??? me, How come you chose me before
the foundation of the earth…….. I am so blessed and humbled.
Heb 11 says … Abraham did not trouble his mind
where he was going –Abram’s
obedience was implicit, he listened and left the Ur of the Chaldees for a place
that he did not have the name to, nor location where he was going … BUT His
obedience was partial…God’s command was to him …… yet he took his father and
Lot and his servants and started this journey.
years after staying in Haran…. (a really long stop till the death of Abraham’s
father) God did not leave him, He
aided Abraham in fulfilling His command. God continues to journey with Abram…
here again, he is accompanied by Lot. But God’s indescribable favour does not
turn him to dust. He speaks to him and says I will give this land to your
descendants ….. Abraham and Sarah are yet to have their first child…. And God
is talking descendants
He knew Abraham
would come to see things His way. Time is of no consequence to God…. Yet we are
driven by it….. Stop and let God do His work, His way, His time, His procedure,
c. Abram goes to Egypt and lies about Sarai
being his wife….. Did Abram get punished? No Pharaoh… Vs 17 of Gen 12…
everybody in the palace got seriously sick.
d. Gen 13: 9 Abram is separated from his baggage Lot….. God’s favour is still on him and he assists
Abraham for the second time in obeying his commandment….
in the same chapter shows how when 5 kings could not defeat the tyrant and
feared Kedorlaomer, when they touched Lot….
All hell broke loose…. Just 318 loyal servants carried out the raid. Kedolaomer
died …. Everything, all the plunder -
Lot his family his possessions were all delivered to safety…. ( If that is
not favour what is ?????) According to Melchizedek in Genesis 14: 20… God
handed his enemies over to Abraham….
e. Genesis: 15 God calls Abraham and says
“Don’t be afraid” …. The God of Heaven and Earth is speaking to him….. “I
am your shield, your exceeding great reward… “ What had Abraham done to receive
these words…. This inexplicable, indescribable favour !!!!
Gen 15:17-21 God cuts a covenant with Abram…. Which GOD … There was no one bigger
than God himself and so he swore by himself…..
God outlines the
map of the land God was giving to Abraham’s children…….. 10 different
countries…. Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaim,
Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, Jebusites… and all Abraham can say is “I DO
NOT HAVE A CHILD A SON….. HOW?” … Take Eliezer, my servant…..
f. Gen 16 . So Abram is impatient…. He tries
to fulfil God’s promise to him….. He had
been living 10 years in Canaan and no sign of a son…. Sarah is upset
at being made to feel small in her baroness. Abraham has a son through Hagar ….
God, you are not enough… you said and promised but have not delivered….
But God covers Abraham’s error….
At 99 years
Abraham’s resources have run dry … He continuously had a PLAN “b’ RIGHT FROM
THE START and GOD WAS PATIENT….
Plan ‘B” -
Abraham thought I cannot have a son… My nephew – Lot will do just fine… Now
there was No nephew, Gen 15… My servant Eliezer… another Plan’B’, Next Ishamel…
another ‘Plan B’. Nothing is left and 13 years after Ishmael’s birth…No
physical strength to do anything more….and God turns up …
in Gen 17 vs 1 says “When Abram was
ninety-nine years old, God showed up and said to him, “I am The Strong God, live entirely before
me, live to the hilt! I’ll make a covenant between us and I’ll give you a huge
Overwhelmed Abraham fell flat on his face. You
will be the father of many nations… INDESCRIBABALE
FAVOUR….. ITS JUST NOT ABRAHAM…BUT EACH OF US LIVES UNDER THE COVERING OF THIS
IMMEASUABLE, INDESCRIBABLE FAVOUR.
“Your name will
no longer be Abram but Abraham…. Father of many nations….kings will come from
you… where you are camping all this LAND
will be yours forever. And I will be their God.
WILL HONOUR MY COVENANT…. YOU AND YOUR DESCENDANTS…..”
Sarai … her name
is now Sarah… I’ll bless her… Nations will come from her; Kings of nations will
come from her….
God is speaking …. ABRAHAM is laughing …. Vs 17 of Gen 17. I’m 100… Sarah is 90 !!!!
BUT ‘PLAN B’ IS ABOUT TO BE BURIED…..
Abraham says,“Save your name and mine
…… vs 18 Keep Ishmael alive and
well before you…..
Vs 19…. God said…
THAT’S NOT WHAT I MEAN…. YOUR WIFE, SARAH
WILL HAVE A BABY (He did not admonish Abraham, he did not punish him. He
did not shout at him and give up.)
YOU WILL HAVE A SON, NAMED ISSAC. I’ll establish my covenant with
him and his descendants, a covenant that lasts forever. Vs 21… whom
Sarah will give you about this time next year.” In the face of Abraham’s
unbelief, God did not leave out one bit of the promise he had made to Abraham.
We are inadequate, but His favour is unusual, ever increasing in the face of
out weakness and this empowers us to believe and have faith.
this time ….. and God bringing his promise to pass.
Gen 18…. What
DOES Indescribable favour LOOK LIKE …. God visits his favoured… sits and eats
with him and …discusses his plans and reveals them …. He is not secretive about
his future plans… vs 10.. I’m coming back about this time next year… When I
arrive Sarah will have a son vs 14 is ANYTHING TOO HARD FOR ME ?
He discusses with
a human being…..and takes an opinion…. Regarding Sodom and Gomorrah… Vs 29 of Gen 19… When God destroyed the
Cities of the Plain, HE WAS MINDFUL OF
ABRAHAM and FIRST GOT LOT OUT OF THERE BEFORE HE BLASTED THOSE CITIES OFF
THE FACE OF THE EARTH.
When you are favoured by God, you become influential… because God
is mindful of the people you love when you are his favoured one.
h. Gen 21 : Abraham sins again…. Abhimelech
takes the brunt this time… You are as good as dead!!!! that woman you took, she
is a married woman.”
God goes all the
Gen 21 … we are back where we started… God visited Sarah exactly
as he said he would.. HE DID WHAT HE
HAD PROMISED SARAH BECAME PREGNANT AND GAVE ABRAHAM A SON AT THE EXACT
TIME GOD HAD SET. ABRAHAM WAS 100 YEARS OLD.
BACKGROUND OF THE CHARACTER AND POWER OF GOD WHOM WE WORSHIP… LET US LOOK AT
FAITH: THIS MEANS (IMPOSSIBLE / OVERWHELMING,
UNBEATABLE, INTRACTABLE ( WILFUL, STUBBORN, PIG-HEADED, ) INSUPERABLE
Gen 21 : 7 Sarah says: Whoever would have suggested to Abraham
that Sarah would one day nurse a baby? Yet here I am! I’ve given the old man
What is faith? By now you
know the answer….Have you unpacked what faith is … Heb 11:1 tells us Faith is
the assurance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen……
Two things …. Assurance and Evidence …… from where do these two
main ingredients of faith come…. THE PROMISE GIVER - GOD. As I said…. Because of WHOSE, WE ARE (THE
PROMISES BECOME SO EMBRACEABLE) AND BECAUSE OF WHO made the promises, THE
PROMISE KEEPER. THE EVIDENCE IS BELIEVABLE.
Ishmael is no longer with Abraham …. Gen 21: 14-16 Abraham sent
Hagar and Ishmael away…
Abraham has no
fallback plan…. God
is His only source… His only
dependency…. His sole source of
Vs 34 of Gen 21 says Abraham lived in Philistine country for a long time after Issac’s birth.
It was anywhere between 18 to 30 years after Issac was born (in
the Hebrew, NA AR = YOUNG MAN – Issac was now a young man ) that God came to
Abraham to prove him, test him as some versions say. God spoke…. Abraham (FATHER OF MANY NATIONS) he said, Gen22:1 Yes I am listening to Abraham
God said vs 2: Take your son whom you love dearly…. And go to the
land of Moriah…. Sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that
I’ll point out to you…..
What kind of Paradox is this ????? God calls out “ FATHER OF MANY
NATIONS”…. THE PROMISE and its fulfilment - Your ONLY SON ISSAC….. Take him and
offer him as a burnt offering ….. I don’t know about you… but I am pretty sure
that a BURNT OFFERING means death and ashes and no more living….
God says…. Something familiar which we have
heard before…. The call from the Ur of the Chaldees and the Call to take Issac
up the mountain to be sacrificed. In both cases the location was not disclosed
before time. Yet this time it was different.
Abraham’s obedience was implicit…. He now knows, understands God through
his very real experience of the faithfulness of the PROMISE GIVER AND PROMISE
KEEPER… No baggage, No PLAN B… Abraham rose pretty early, because before that
he split wood for the burnt offering before he set out for the place God had
directed him….. He travelled 3 days….
In those 3 days…. What were his thoughts? God save my son please….. don’t you remember
your promise to me? …. how can you take my son… you promised Lord…… No, no and
no. His mind did not have questions….. This was a different Abraham …. He knew
the promise GIVER… He had faith in the because he had seen the Promise Keeper
at work …. HE KNEW THE CONSTANCY, THE UNCHANGINGNESS, THE INTEGRITY AND THE
STOIC STAND OF GOD ALMIGHTY …. WHAT HE Says HE MUST FULFILL. THIS IS HIS
CHARACTER….. Abraham’s faith was…. firm and he was not shaky…
Abraham believed God … Believe did not mean in the existence of
God… James 2 : 19 says even Satan knows that.
Abraham chose to believe the promise of God THAT THROUGH ISSAC alone HE
WOULD HAVE DESCENDANTS AS THE STARS IN THE SKy…
I believe Abraham would have worshipped God…. HE ACTIVELY
We can’t believe God and not his promises… I believe, every step, …
Abraham recounted the no. of times God had been faithful to his word.
Heb 11: 17 recounts …..
By faith Abraham, when he was
tested, [a]offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises [of
God] was ready to sacrifice his only son [of promise];
whom it was said, “Through Isaac, your descendants shall
19 For he considered [it
reasonable to believe] that God was able to raise Isaac even
from among the dead. …. In other words…. It would only be Issac…. Because God
said it ….
How did Abraham know that God
would raise Issac from the dead if he sacrificed him? Abraham and Sarah were
dead in their ability to produce a son. Sarah’s womb was dead… Abraham was now
13 years older after Ishmael was born, he considered himself and reckoned it
impossible to have a son. BUT … Rom 4: 17
but god quickened the dead womb.. god quickened an impotent Abraham… and
called to live that which did not exist and Isaac was born.
As Abraham walked on that journey as he came
closer to the destiny… he was more than convinced that Isaac would be the
fulfilment of what God had promised him… from Isaac would come descendants as
many as the stars in the sky and sands on the beach….. God would do what he had
promised… that is the character of God unchangeable.
MY QUESTION IS WHERE IS YOUR
FAITH…. WHAT IS YOUR FAITH MADE OF…. IN WHOM IS YOUR FAITH …. JUST A GOD WHO
SITS UP THERE… OR THE GOD OF THE IMPOSSIBLE, WHO FROM NOTHING CREATES
Vs 4 And then on the third day in the region of Moriah…. A region
that was mountainous, He looks up and God shows him the mountain in the
distance. Stop he tells his servants. Wait here. The young man and I will go
there and worship…. I and the boy will return.
Abraham like other times DID NOT LIE. He was convinced of God’s
provision even in the face of a burnt offering.
Issac (Na ah ) was a young adult… not 6 or 7 years of age… Strong
and grown-up. Anywhere between 18 and 30.
Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and laid it on the
shoulders of Isaac. Please be aware
these were not sticks…. It would take more than mere sticks to burn a human
body. The load was heavy. He was a young strong man. Abraham was old so he
carried the fire pot ( in which coals were smouldering within) and the knife
and the two of them walked together. This was a rehearsal of what the Father
would do 2000 years later. He would walk with his son. And the time would come
when the wood on which his son hung on the cross is what he himself carried.
The father would be with him until it was necessary to turn aside.
Mount Moriah in 2000 BC was where Abraham took his
son to be sacrificed. 1000 years later David who had his capital which is
Jerusalem built the temple on Mount Moriah (2 Chron 3:1) and 1000 years later
in AD 33 Jesus was sacrificed on a Mount (most theologians say it was the same
Mountain ), however, Moriah was a hilly region and some theologians say that Mount
Moriah was the second-highest, Calvary was the highest.
The two are walking up…. “My Father, the fire and the wood are
here but where is the lamb for the burnt offering? Difficult conversations
will not undermine a relationship, but not having them will. Abraham with
faith now stronger and unrelenting in the promises of God answers “ God will
provide for himself …a lamb”. Here
again, it is as if he was given the opportunity to redeem the lies he had
previously told… Does he lie or tell the truth? By Faith, he spoke the truth. So
the two walked on together. This is mentioned 3 times in the passage…. This was
not just a test of Abraham’s faith, it was a test for Isaac also. The father
and son were partners, bonded together. Together they took the 50-mile
trek. Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood…
By then Isaac knew he was the sacrifice.
He didn’t go running around the mountain playing catch with Abraham it
would have gone on forever… Issac voluntarily allowed himself to be tied, a
willing partner in this act of obedience.
Abraham reaches for the knife but God intervenes…. 2000 years
later… Father would again say STOP…. Not Debby… Not Navaz… Not Abhishek .. In John
1… John the Baptist says… Behold the lamb of God … God would say I have
provided a Lamb. In their place. This lamb would wear a thorny crown like the
ram in the thicket caught by his horns, that took Isaac’s place and would die
in place of you and me…..
Abraham named the place “ Not God has provided, not God provided…”
not in the past tense but in the Future Tense… The Lord will provide….. 1000 years
later on that very mount in the temple of Jerusalem (2 Chron 3: 1 tells us Then Solomon began to build the house of
Yahweh at Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where Yahweh appeared to David his father)….
Lambs were offered as a sin offering … God continuing to provide. Another 1000 years
later… THE LAMB OF GOD …. One sacrifice for mankind….
JESUS the lamb of God
On the mountain of the Lord, there is provision…. By the PROMISE
KEEPER….at Calvary, God looks at the sacrifice of his son and will provide an
entrance to anyone who comes to Calvary and believers, entry into his
kingdom…. The full price is paid.
I do not wish to explain but simply ask you to hear what God will
do for you if you will hold on to his promise and like Abraham not relent, with
no Plan B and not look for another earthly fleshly way.
Gen 22: Vs 15 – 19…… The Angel called to Abraham
said, I have sworn by Myself, says the Lord, that since you have done this and have not
withheld [from Me] or begrudged [giving Me] your son, your
17 In blessing I will bless you and in multiplying I will multiply
your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the
seashore. And your Seed (Heir) will possess the gate of His enemies. ( Satan
and his minions must bow to you….. in Abraham and the Seed of Abraham – Jesus
Christ… we have this promise – Let’s claim it )
18 And in your Seed [[a]Christ] shall all the nations of the earth be blessed and [by
Him] bless themselves, because you have heard and obeyed My
In conclusion, I want to point out to you THE INFINITE FULFILMENT
OF THE PROMISE…. If you are a son of Abraham…. You are one of the millions who
down he ages believe the Lamb of God and his provision of salvation. Heaven is
your destination and heaven is filled with the sons of Abraham….. who through
his seed …. Jesus sealed what God
promised forevermore that Abrahams descendants would be like the stars of the
sky and like the dust and the sands of the sea.
You are more than conquerors….. more than Abraham……. Because YOU
have a mighty, faithful miracle-working, promise keeper ……
ord of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking 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 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 about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.