Faith of our Fathers: Abraham

Genesis 12:1-8; 15:1-6

Teacher: Give me a sentence that starts with the letter, “I”.

Student: Okay! I is the…
Teacher: Stop! Don’t say ‘is’ after “I”. Always put ‘am’ after
“I”.

Student: Okay! I am the ninth letter of the alphabet!

As promised last week we are going to begin by looking at the
definition of faith found in Hebrews 11
Hebrews 11:1-2,6; “Now faith is the assurance of
things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
For by it the men of old gained approval.”
And now v.6 “And without faith it is impossible to
please Him, for he who comes to God must believe
that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who
seek Him.”

Faith is believing something to be true even when we can’t see
the evidence.
Faith in God means trusting His word and doing what He says.
Last week we talked about Noah and how he had faith to build a
boat before he had even seen one drop of rain.
Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things
not seen.

He also obeyed God by following His instructions and building the
ark just as God said.

Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:7 “for we walk by faith, not by sight”
That’s exactly what Abraham did.

Look down a few verses to verses 8-10
Hebrews 11:8-10
By faith Abraham obeyed God when he was called.
By faith Abraham lived as an alien, as a foreigner in the land.
Now let’s turn back to the OT and see the story in full.

Genesis 12:1-8

God told Abram to go.
I like how the King James Version translates verse 1
“Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country,
and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that
I will shew thee:”
Get thee out of thy country!
It’s time for you to go.
I will show you the land. Trust me.
Notice this first truth

Abram followed God without explanation and limited
information

He placed his faith in God and took Him at His word. He started
off on a journey they would span over 400 miles from his home in
Haran to the land of Canaan.
That’s what faith is all about. Believing in what we can’t see.

God’s Promises to Abram

God says,
He will make Abram a great nation.
He will bless Abram.
He will make Abram’s name great.
He will bless those who bless Abram.
He will curse those who curse Abram.
All families on earth will be blessed in Abram.
Imagine what Abram must have been thinking…
I’m old, my wife is barren.
You’re going to make me a great nation?
Just how do you plan on doing that God?
At this time Abram was 75 and Sarai was 65.
But with God all things are possible!

Abram Obeyed God in Faith

Look at verse 4
So Abram went.
He didn’t ask questions.
He put his faith into action.
God said it and he did it.

He took his wife, his nephew, his possessions and all the people
they acquired in Haran.
Remember the land of Canaan was currently occupied. God
promised to give it to Abram’s descendants. He was depending
on God to provide for him.
By faith Abram had to dwell in the land of Canaan as a foreigner.
He was out of place. A stranger in a strange land.

God Appears to Abram

This is the first time the Bible mentions God appearing to
someone. Sure Adam and Eve walked with God and so did Noah
and Enoch. But this is different. This is known as a theophany.
Jesus in His preincarnate state. And He confirms the promise to
give the land to Abrams descendants.
Notice Abrams’ response.

Abram Stayed in Close Fellowship with God

Abram built an altar to worship God.
Then he moved on to the mountain near Bethel and Ai and built
another altar. Here he calls on the name of the Lord.
But Abram wasn’t perfect.
Yes he had faith
Yes he was obedient
But, he tried to pass his wife off to Pharaoh as his sister
He left the land God led him to because of the family and went to
Egypt.

He slept with his wife’s handmaid because he thought God was
taking too long.
Not things Abram would brag to his friends about. But remember
what we read in Hebrews 11 at the start of this message? By faith
Abram obeyed God when he was called. And by faith he lived in a
land as a foreigner.

Genesis 15:1-6

God and Abram have a dialogue and I’ve never noticed the
wording here but God takes Abram outside to ask him to try and
count the stars in the sky. That’s how many descendants you will
have!
And then verse 6 Abram believed God and He counted it to him
as righteousness. His faith made him right with God.
We are saved by grace through faith!
OT, NT, it’s always been God’s plan!

APPLICATION

What can we learn from Abram?

There’s a difference between knowing and believing. We prove
our faith by trusting God’s word and by obeying what He says.

There’s a difference between knowing and believing. We prove
our faith by trusting God’s word and by obeying what He says.

It’s not enough to know about God
We are designed for a relationship with Him.

Represent the Kingdom of God

We are sojourners on earth.
We don’t belong here. We are representing God and His kingdom
on earth. We are to be set apart for His work and His purposes.
What are you doing to represent the kingdom of God here on
earth?
Are you living for Him?
Are you sharing His story?
Are you helping others grow in their walk with Him?