FROM FAILURE TO      DIRECTION    GENESIS 15-17   OCTOBER 14, 2012FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI         USA
Wednesday Nights forYoung Marrieds in theChristian Life Center at       6:00 p.m.   Parenting Series   by Chip Ingram
BABY BOOMERS for FUN       commences  Saturday October 20th  Brandon Opry House  1000 Municipal Drive    off Hwy 80 across...
5:00 pm - Meal begins6:30 pm- 8:30 p.m. OprySonny’s BBQ is laying thespread.Cost: $15.00 per person(Includes chow and Opry...
If you are not eating,tickets may be purchasedat the door at the Opry for$5.00. Tickets will be on sale atthe 2nd floor ki...
If you have any questions,please contact PatriciaJenkins at (601) 949-1941or pjenkins@fbcj.org.Deadline to purchasetickets...
Next Generation Leaders     Luncheon with     Oscar Miskelly  Thursday, October 25th      CLC—11:45 a.m.  Sharing nuggets ...
Make A Difference Day  Saturday, October 27 We Will Go Ministries 799 N. Congress Street      8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 2 shifts: 8...
There will be light to heavymanual labor, yard andgarden work, and visitingneighbors.Come join the Women’sMinistry - bring...
CHILI COOK OFFSunday, November 4   5:00-5:50 p.m.Fellowship Hall EastMore details coming.
Last week in John 4 westudied how Jesus movedthe Samaritan woman atthe well from failure toher salvation and thenhow that ...
The next three lessons alsodeal with the question:Is there life after failure?*Today we will seeAbraham gettingimpatient w...
The October 21st lessondeals with Miriam beingcritical of her brother,Moses, and after beingdisciplined by the Lord,she wa...
On October 28th, we willstudy that tender passageof how Jesus restoredPeter after he had failedChrist so miserably bydenyi...
All four of these peoplehad life after their failuresbecause God worked intheir lives to move thembeyond those failures.
Focal Passages Today:*Trust God (Gen. 15:4-6)*Don’t Take Matters intoYour Own Hands(Gen. 16:1-5)*Refocus on God’s Plan(Gen...
What This Lesson IsAbout:God has a plan for ourlives, but we need to trustHim to work in us andthrough us to accomplishtha...
*We do not need to takeshortcuts and take mattersinto our own hands.*Like Abraham, we canlearn to trust God’stiming.
How This Lesson CanImpact Our Lives:This lesson can help usreaffirm our trust in Godwhen we’ve missed Hisdirection and los...
*This is the story ofAbram’s failure to followthe Lord’s plan.*It teaches us theimportance of turning tothe Lord when we’v...
Trust God       HCSBGenesis 15:4-64 “Now the word of theLord came to him:“This one will not beyour heir; instead, onewho c...
own body will be yourheir.”5 He took him outsideand said, “Look at thesky and count the stars, ifyou are able to countthem.”
Then He said to him,“Your offspring will bethat numerous.”6 Abram believed theLord, and He credited itto him as righteousn...
The first mentionof Abram in the Bible is inGenesis 11:26 -26 “Terah lived 70 yearsand fathered Abram,Nahor, and Haran.”
*Abram (later changed to“Abraham”) is mentioned312 times in 272 verses inthe Bible.*He is arguably the mostfamous man of t...
one of the most influentialmen of history.*Joshua 24:2 describesAbram before theLord called him.
Joshua 24:3b-43“‘Long ago yourancestors, includingTerah, the father ofAbraham and Nahor,lived beyond theEuphrates River and
worshiped other gods. 3 But I took your fatherAbraham from the regionbeyond the EuphratesRiver, led him throughoutthe land...
descendants. I gave himIsaac,”          Joshua 24:3b-4
Abram was from a familyof idol worshipers (moonworshipers) and wasprobably an idolworshiper himself.
Later, when Abram’sgrandson Jacob went backto Abram’s relatives, theywere still worshippingidols.
Genesis 11:3131“Terah took his sonAbram, his grandson Lot(Haran’s son), and hisdaughter-in-law Sarai(“contentious”), his s...
out together from Ur ofthe Chaldeans to go to theland of Canaan.”           Genesis 11:31*Abram’s story begins inUr of the...
*It appeared as if Abramleft home in order to go toa foreign land when inreality he left a foreignland in order to go home.
*When a Christian dies, itlooks to the world as if thedeceased is leaving hometo go to a foreign placewhen in reality they...
*The book of Genesiscovers more than 2,000years of history and morethan 20 generations.*Yet, it spends almost athird of it...
Abram is unique in theway he is called the friendof God (James 2:23); *Abraham, Your friendforever(2 Chronicles 20:7);*Abr...
*We all know the value ofhaving friends in highplaces.*Abram had a Friend inthe highest place!
*Men and women in theBible are famous for manydifferent things, but*Abraham is great forhis faith.*Moses was the greatlawg...
*Joshua a great general;*David a great king, and*Elijah a great prophet.*Most of us know we cannever be great in thosethin...
*We can be friends ofGod.*If you despair inknowing you do not haveAbraham’s faith, takecomfort in knowing youhave Abraham’...
*God can build in you thefaith of Abraham, becauseHe built it in AbrahamHimself.
Because the name“Abram” means “Father,”it must have constantlyamazed those meetingAbram to discover he hadno children.
But his present lack ofchildren will play animportant role in God’splan of redemption.
The Lord had promised togive Abram an heir,someone who wouldprovide him withdescendants forgenerations to come.
*At this time, there was nosign that Abraham wouldbe able to produce an heir. *No one can overestimatethe importance of ch...
Abraham and Sarah hadno well-defined conceptof an afterlife.*So, the best they hopedfor was that after death, aperson’s me...
*The worth of a wife wasjudged by whether shehad borne a male childinto the marriage.
*Abram was concernedabout his lack of an heir.*The most eligible personto be Abram’s heir wasa slave named Eliezer.
*God had promisedAbram that his own sonwould be heir, not Eliezer,so God took him outsideand said, “Look at the skyand cou...
In ancient times, signswere used as a witness ofa special covenant eitherbetween God andmankind or betweendifferent people...
In Genesis 9:13, God put aspecial sign in the sky:  13 I have placed My bowin the clouds, and it will bea sign of the cove...
The constellations are alsoreferred to as signs:Genesis 1:1414 “Then God said, “Letthere be lights in theexpanse of the sk...
night. They will serve assigns for festivals and fordays and years.”             Genesis 1:14
Psalm 8:3-43 “When I observe Yourheavens,the work of Your fingers,the moon and the stars,which You set in place,
4 what is man that Youremember him,the son of man that Youlook after him?”             Psalm 8:3-4
Psalm 19:1-6A Davidic psalm.1 “The heavens declarethe glory of God,and the sky proclaims thework of His hands.
2 Day after day they pourout speech;night after night theycommunicate knowledge.3 There is no speech; thereare no words;th...
4 Their message has goneout to all the earth,and their words to theends of the world.In the heavens He haspitched a tent f...
5 It is like a groom comingfrom the bridal chamber;it rejoices like an athleterunning a course.6 It rises from one end oft...
*If you could see the skyfrom only one location onearth, that location wouldbe the most popular spoton the planet.*People ...
Psalm 147:44 “He counts the numberof the stars;He gives names to all ofthem.”
*The Bible teaches thatGod arranged the starsinto recognizable groupsthat we call constellations.*The Bible mentions three...
“the crooked serpent”(most likely Draco) in Job 9:9; 26:13; 38:31-32;and Amos 5:8.*The same passages alsoreference the sta...
Orion the Hunter
There are also asterisms,smaller apparent starpatterns within aconstellation, like the BigDipper (in Ursa Major),the Littl...
The Great Bear  Ursa Major
God is the One Who“fastens the bands” ofthese constellations;He is the One Who bringsthem forth, “each in itsseason.”
In Job 38:32, God alsopoints to the “Mazzaroth,”usually translated“constellations.”*This is thought by manyto be a referen...
*God used the stars as anillustration of His promiseto give Abraham aninnumerable seed(Genesis 15:5).*Every time Abrahamlo...
sky, he had a reminder ofGod’s faithfulness andgoodness.*The final judgment of theearth will be accompaniedby astronomical...
Isaiah 13:9-109 “Look, the day ofthe Lord is coming—cruel, with rage andburning anger—to make the earth adesolation and to...
the sinners on it.10 Indeed, the stars of thesky and its constellationswill not give their light.The sun will be darkwhen ...
Joel 3:14-1514 “Multitudes,multitudesin the valley of decision!For the Day of the Lord isnear in the valley ofdecision.
15 The sun and moon willgrow dark, and the starswill cease their shining.”              Joel 3:14-15
*Astrology is the“interpretation” of anassumed influence thestars (and planets) exerton human destiny.*It is a false belie...
*God specifies astrologersas among those who willbe burned as stubble inGod’s judgment (Isaiah47:13-14).*Astrology as a fo...
forbidden in Scripture(Deuteronomy 18:10-14).*God forbade the childrenof Israel to worship orserve the “host ofheaven” (De...
*Several times in theirhistory, however, Israelfell into that very sin(2 Kings 17:16). *Their worship of thestars brought ...
*To believe that stars canpredict the future is toclaim they have the powerof gods!*It puts the stars in placeof God and g...
*Intentionally or not, thatis a form of idolatry,which God forbids.
*Astrology attempts toadvise people how to act,based on the position ofthe stars, etc.*So people "trust theirlucky stars" ...
*Some people will readtheir horoscope everyday,but will go days withoutopening the Bible!*They seek guidance fromsome Occu...
*The stars should awakenwonder at God’s power,wisdom, and infinitude.*We should use the starsto keep track of time andplac...
keeping nature.*All the while, weacknowledge the Creatorof the heavens.*Our wisdom comes fromGod, not the stars(James 1:5).
The Word of God, theBible, is our guidethrough life as stated inPsalm 119:105 -105  “Your word is a lampfor my feet and a ...
After God took Abramoutside and showed himthe stars, then Abrambelieved and it wascounted unto him asrighteousness.
The Gospel in the Stars*Virgo = the Virgin*Aires = the Ram, the          sacrifice*Gemini = the dual nature          of Ch...
Genesis 15:66 “Abram believedthe Lord, and He creditedit to him asrighteousness.”
1 Peter 4:1919 “So those who sufferaccording to God’s willshould, while doing whatis good, entrustthemselves to a faithful...
Abram believed God eventhough he did not have allthe facts both when Hetold him to leave his“home” to go to a foreignland ...
What if God revealed toyou as a five year old,everything that was goingto happen to you in yourlife time?
We all have trusted Godwith our eternal salvationbut do we trust Him withour everyday lives?
A little faith will bringyour soul to Heaven butgreat faith brings Heavento your soul!
Focal Passages Today:*Trust God (Gen. 15:4-6)*Don’t Take Matters intoYour Own Hands(Gen. 16:1-5)*Refocus on God’s Plan(Gen...
Don’t Take Matters intoYour Own HandsGenesis 16:1-51 “Abram’s wife Saraihad not borne anychildren for him, but sheowned an...
named Hagar.2 Sarai said to Abram,“Since the Lord hasprevented me frombearing children, go tomy slave; perhapsthrough her ...
family.” And Abramagreed to what Sarai said.3 So Abram’s wife Saraitook Hagar, her Egyptianslave, and gave her to herhusba...
after Abram had lived inthe land of Canaan 10years.4 He slept with Hagar,and she becamepregnant. When sherealized that she...
pregnant, she treated hermistress with contempt.5 Then Sarai said toAbram, “You areresponsible for mysuffering! I put my s...
since she saw that shewas pregnant, she hastreated me withcontempt. May the Lordjudge between me andyou.”           Genesi...
*Three life lessons emergefrom this portion of thestory.*These life lessons help usavoid temptations to takematters into o...
*First, getting ahead of theLord can become a badhabit.*Abram had a history oftaking matters into hisown hands (12:10-20; ...
*In each case, he got intotrouble because he actedon his own instead ofturning to the Lord.*The same outcomeawaits us if w...
ahead with our plans, notwaiting on the Lord towork out His plan.*Second, waiting on theLord can put tremendouspressure on...
*Like Abram, we oftengrow more fretful aboutour unmet need as timepasses.*If we’re not disciplined,we’ll give in to the st...
need to take action on ourown.*Before long, we’ll findourselves pushing hard inorder to make thingshappen according to our...
*At the same time, we’llignore the reality that Godcan be trusted to keep Hispromises.*Third, getting wisecounsel can keep...
*It can help us to keep ontrusting God whencircumstances seem to bepushing us to dosomething on our own.*A variety of Bibl...
of getting the Lord’sguidance by seeking thecounsel of believers whohave grown in godlywisdom (Prov. 11:14;12:15; 15:22).
Proverbs 11:1414 “Without guidance,people fall,but with many counselorsthere is deliverance.”
Abram and Sarai’sdecision teaches us thevalue of sharing our ideasabout how to solve ourproblems with matureChristians who...
Resentment, desperation,and terror filled the homeof a couple who stoppedtrusting God and tookmatters into their ownhands.
The sad outcome ofAbram and Sarai’s plandemonstrates three keyrealities to keep in mindas we face the challenge ofwaiting ...
*First, we cannot rely onour own ideas alone whenit comes to doing theLord’s work.*Left to our ownjudgments, we certainlyw...
try to solve our problemswithout the Lord’sinvolvement.*Second, we must resistthe temptation to blameeach other when we ca...
see them fail.*By contrast, we reflectwisdom when we turn tothe Lord in repentanceand obedience.*Once we turn to Him, weca...
willingness to follow Hisleadership.*Third, we should notdevise our own plans thenexpect the Lord to makethem work.
*When we live out God’splan, we can expect Himto bless it.*However, when wedepend on the Lord tobless plans we’ve devisedw...
make a grave mistake.*After Sarai’s plan failed,she wanted the Lord toget involved and judgeAbram for the role heplayed in...
When we see our plansfalling apart, we also oftenfind ourselves asking theLord to make things betterfor us.
*Oh boy, what a mess—and all because Sarai andAbram took matters intotheir own hands!*Recount a time whenyou took matters ...
*What did you learn?
Focal Passages Today:*Trust God (Gen. 15:4-6)*Don’t Take Matters intoYour Own Hands(Gen. 16:1-5)*Refocus on God’s Plan(Gen...
Refocus on God’s PlanGenesis 17:3-6,15-193 “Then Abram fellfacedown and God spokewith him:4 “As for Me, Mycovenant is with...
you will become thefather of many nations.5 Your name will nolonger be Abram, butyour name will beAbraham, for I will make...
nations.6 I will make youextremely fruitful andwill make nations andkings come from you.15 God said to Abraham,“As for you...
do not call her Sarai, forSarah will be her name.16 I will bless her;indeed, I will give you ason by her. I will blessher,...
will come from her.”17 Abraham fellfacedown. Then helaughed and said tohimself, “Can a child beborn to a hundred-year-old ...
ninety-year-old woman,give birth?”18 So Abraham said toGod, “If only Ishmaelwere acceptable to You!”19 But God said, “No.Y...
you a son, and you willname him Isaac. I willconfirm My covenantwith him as aneverlasting covenant forhis future offspring...
In Hebrew, Abram means:“exalted father” (of a son).*Abraham means:“father of a multitude”(of many sons).*Sarai means conte...
Abraham and Sarahnamed their son “Isaac”,which means “laughter”,to remind them of the joyhe brought them.
The name also remindedthem that they each hadlaughed when God toldthem they would have ason (Genesis 17:17; 18:12).
Despite having takenmatters into their ownhands and havingbrought intense painupon themselves andothers, God brought their...
plan for Abram andSarai.*What causes us torefocus on God’s plan?
Biblical Truths of ThisLesson in Focus• When we trust the Lord,we can be certain we havedone what He requires inorder for ...
• When we growimpatient with the Lordas He carries out His plan,we can get ahead of Himand try to take mattersinto our own...
“It is as dark a mile aheadof God as it is a milebehind Him.”              Jeff Wheeler
• When we turn to theLord in humility andsincerity, we can count onHim to help us renew ourrelationship with Him.
• When we realize wehave failed to live outGod’s plan, we can restassured we can turn toHim for a fresh start.
Perhaps you are in themidst of a period of timewhen you have takenmatters into your ownhands or becomedistracted or in som...
God’s plan.*If so, go to Him now,reaffirming your trust inHim and committing torefocus on His plan.
NEXT WEEKHOW TO AVOID ACRITICAL SPIRIT
10 October 14, 2012 Genesis 15, 16, 17 From Failure To Direction
10 October 14, 2012 Genesis 15, 16, 17 From Failure To Direction
10 October 14, 2012 Genesis 15, 16, 17 From Failure To Direction
10 October 14, 2012 Genesis 15, 16, 17 From Failure To Direction
10 October 14, 2012 Genesis 15, 16, 17 From Failure To Direction
10 October 14, 2012 Genesis 15, 16, 17 From Failure To Direction
10 October 14, 2012 Genesis 15, 16, 17 From Failure To Direction
10 October 14, 2012 Genesis 15, 16, 17 From Failure To Direction
10 October 14, 2012 Genesis 15, 16, 17 From Failure To Direction
10 October 14, 2012 Genesis 15, 16, 17 From Failure To Direction
10 October 14, 2012 Genesis 15, 16, 17 From Failure To Direction
10 October 14, 2012 Genesis 15, 16, 17 From Failure To Direction
10 October 14, 2012 Genesis 15, 16, 17 From Failure To Direction
10 October 14, 2012 Genesis 15, 16, 17 From Failure To Direction
10 October 14, 2012 Genesis 15, 16, 17 From Failure To Direction
10 October 14, 2012 Genesis 15, 16, 17 From Failure To Direction
10 October 14, 2012 Genesis 15, 16, 17 From Failure To Direction
10 October 14, 2012 Genesis 15, 16, 17 From Failure To Direction
10 October 14, 2012 Genesis 15, 16, 17 From Failure To Direction
10 October 14, 2012 Genesis 15, 16, 17 From Failure To Direction
10 October 14, 2012 Genesis 15, 16, 17 From Failure To Direction
10 October 14, 2012 Genesis 15, 16, 17 From Failure To Direction
10 October 14, 2012 Genesis 15, 16, 17 From Failure To Direction
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  • We are glad you find our posts useful. The posts are lessons presented by PowerPoint in Sunday School. The class teacher has responsibilities that, periodically, take him out of town and he cannot teach every Sunday. The teachers who fill in usually do not use a PowerPoint presentation or have written notes that can be developed into a presentation. No presentation was used on October 21st so we do not have material to post for the 21st. The October 28th lesson has been posted. Hopefully, you will find this lesson as useful as the past lessons that have been posted.
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10 October 14, 2012 Genesis 15, 16, 17 From Failure To Direction

  1. 1. FROM FAILURE TO DIRECTION GENESIS 15-17 OCTOBER 14, 2012FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI USA
  2. 2. Wednesday Nights forYoung Marrieds in theChristian Life Center at 6:00 p.m. Parenting Series by Chip Ingram
  3. 3. BABY BOOMERS for FUN commences Saturday October 20th Brandon Opry House 1000 Municipal Drive off Hwy 80 across from Sonny’s BBQ
  4. 4. 5:00 pm - Meal begins6:30 pm- 8:30 p.m. OprySonny’s BBQ is laying thespread.Cost: $15.00 per person(Includes chow and Opryticket)
  5. 5. If you are not eating,tickets may be purchasedat the door at the Opry for$5.00. Tickets will be on sale atthe 2nd floor kiosk.Duds: plaid and denim
  6. 6. If you have any questions,please contact PatriciaJenkins at (601) 949-1941or pjenkins@fbcj.org.Deadline to purchasetickets:Monday, October 15th!
  7. 7. Next Generation Leaders Luncheon with Oscar Miskelly Thursday, October 25th CLC—11:45 a.m. Sharing nuggets from being a successful leader.
  8. 8. Make A Difference Day Saturday, October 27 We Will Go Ministries 799 N. Congress Street 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 2 shifts: 8-12 and 12-4 601-949-1978
  9. 9. There will be light to heavymanual labor, yard andgarden work, and visitingneighbors.Come join the Women’sMinistry - bring your workgloves and a smile.
  10. 10. CHILI COOK OFFSunday, November 4 5:00-5:50 p.m.Fellowship Hall EastMore details coming.
  11. 11. Last week in John 4 westudied how Jesus movedthe Samaritan woman atthe well from failure toher salvation and thenhow that resulted in manyothers being saved!
  12. 12. The next three lessons alsodeal with the question:Is there life after failure?*Today we will seeAbraham gettingimpatient with God andfailing to wait on Him.
  13. 13. The October 21st lessondeals with Miriam beingcritical of her brother,Moses, and after beingdisciplined by the Lord,she was restored to aleadership position.
  14. 14. On October 28th, we willstudy that tender passageof how Jesus restoredPeter after he had failedChrist so miserably bydenying Him three times.
  15. 15. All four of these peoplehad life after their failuresbecause God worked intheir lives to move thembeyond those failures.
  16. 16. Focal Passages Today:*Trust God (Gen. 15:4-6)*Don’t Take Matters intoYour Own Hands(Gen. 16:1-5)*Refocus on God’s Plan(Gen. 17:3-6,15-19)
  17. 17. What This Lesson IsAbout:God has a plan for ourlives, but we need to trustHim to work in us andthrough us to accomplishthat plan in His time.
  18. 18. *We do not need to takeshortcuts and take mattersinto our own hands.*Like Abraham, we canlearn to trust God’stiming.
  19. 19. How This Lesson CanImpact Our Lives:This lesson can help usreaffirm our trust in Godwhen we’ve missed Hisdirection and lost ourfocus on God’s plan.
  20. 20. *This is the story ofAbram’s failure to followthe Lord’s plan.*It teaches us theimportance of turning tothe Lord when we’vemissed His direction.
  21. 21. Trust God HCSBGenesis 15:4-64 “Now the word of theLord came to him:“This one will not beyour heir; instead, onewho comes from your
  22. 22. own body will be yourheir.”5 He took him outsideand said, “Look at thesky and count the stars, ifyou are able to countthem.”
  23. 23. Then He said to him,“Your offspring will bethat numerous.”6 Abram believed theLord, and He credited itto him as righteousness.” Genesis 15:4-6
  24. 24. The first mentionof Abram in the Bible is inGenesis 11:26 -26 “Terah lived 70 yearsand fathered Abram,Nahor, and Haran.”
  25. 25. *Abram (later changed to“Abraham”) is mentioned312 times in 272 verses inthe Bible.*He is arguably the mostfamous man of the OldTestament, and certainly
  26. 26. one of the most influentialmen of history.*Joshua 24:2 describesAbram before theLord called him.
  27. 27. Joshua 24:3b-43“‘Long ago yourancestors, includingTerah, the father ofAbraham and Nahor,lived beyond theEuphrates River and
  28. 28. worshiped other gods. 3 But I took your fatherAbraham from the regionbeyond the EuphratesRiver, led him throughoutthe land of Canaan, andmultiplied his
  29. 29. descendants. I gave himIsaac,” Joshua 24:3b-4
  30. 30. Abram was from a familyof idol worshipers (moonworshipers) and wasprobably an idolworshiper himself.
  31. 31. Later, when Abram’sgrandson Jacob went backto Abram’s relatives, theywere still worshippingidols.
  32. 32. Genesis 11:3131“Terah took his sonAbram, his grandson Lot(Haran’s son), and hisdaughter-in-law Sarai(“contentious”), his sonAbram’s wife, and they set
  33. 33. out together from Ur ofthe Chaldeans to go to theland of Canaan.” Genesis 11:31*Abram’s story begins inUr of the Chaldeans(Babylon/Iraq).
  34. 34. *It appeared as if Abramleft home in order to go toa foreign land when inreality he left a foreignland in order to go home.
  35. 35. *When a Christian dies, itlooks to the world as if thedeceased is leaving hometo go to a foreign placewhen in reality they areleaving a foreign place inorder to go home!
  36. 36. *The book of Genesiscovers more than 2,000years of history and morethan 20 generations.*Yet, it spends almost athird of its text on the lifeof one man - Abram.
  37. 37. Abram is unique in theway he is called the friendof God (James 2:23); *Abraham, Your friendforever(2 Chronicles 20:7);*Abraham, My friend(Isaiah 41:8).
  38. 38. *We all know the value ofhaving friends in highplaces.*Abram had a Friend inthe highest place!
  39. 39. *Men and women in theBible are famous for manydifferent things, but*Abraham is great forhis faith.*Moses was the greatlawgiver;
  40. 40. *Joshua a great general;*David a great king, and*Elijah a great prophet.*Most of us know we cannever be great in thosethings, but we can begreat people of faith.
  41. 41. *We can be friends ofGod.*If you despair inknowing you do not haveAbraham’s faith, takecomfort in knowing youhave Abraham’s God.
  42. 42. *God can build in you thefaith of Abraham, becauseHe built it in AbrahamHimself.
  43. 43. Because the name“Abram” means “Father,”it must have constantlyamazed those meetingAbram to discover he hadno children.
  44. 44. But his present lack ofchildren will play animportant role in God’splan of redemption.
  45. 45. The Lord had promised togive Abram an heir,someone who wouldprovide him withdescendants forgenerations to come.
  46. 46. *At this time, there was nosign that Abraham wouldbe able to produce an heir. *No one can overestimatethe importance of childrento ancient people.*The contemporaries of
  47. 47. Abraham and Sarah hadno well-defined conceptof an afterlife.*So, the best they hopedfor was that after death, aperson’s memory wouldlive on in one’s children.
  48. 48. *The worth of a wife wasjudged by whether shehad borne a male childinto the marriage.
  49. 49. *Abram was concernedabout his lack of an heir.*The most eligible personto be Abram’s heir wasa slave named Eliezer.
  50. 50. *God had promisedAbram that his own sonwould be heir, not Eliezer,so God took him outsideand said, “Look at the skyand count the stars, if youare able to count them.”
  51. 51. In ancient times, signswere used as a witness ofa special covenant eitherbetween God andmankind or betweendifferent peoples on theearth.
  52. 52. In Genesis 9:13, God put aspecial sign in the sky:  13 I have placed My bowin the clouds, and it will bea sign of the covenantbetween Me and the earth.
  53. 53. The constellations are alsoreferred to as signs:Genesis 1:1414 “Then God said, “Letthere be lights in theexpanse of the sky toseparate the day from the
  54. 54. night. They will serve assigns for festivals and fordays and years.” Genesis 1:14
  55. 55. Psalm 8:3-43 “When I observe Yourheavens,the work of Your fingers,the moon and the stars,which You set in place,
  56. 56. 4 what is man that Youremember him,the son of man that Youlook after him?” Psalm 8:3-4
  57. 57. Psalm 19:1-6A Davidic psalm.1 “The heavens declarethe glory of God,and the sky proclaims thework of His hands.
  58. 58. 2 Day after day they pourout speech;night after night theycommunicate knowledge.3 There is no speech; thereare no words;their voice is not heard.
  59. 59. 4 Their message has goneout to all the earth,and their words to theends of the world.In the heavens He haspitched a tent for the sun.
  60. 60. 5 It is like a groom comingfrom the bridal chamber;it rejoices like an athleterunning a course.6 It rises from one end ofthe heavens and circles totheir other end;” Psalm 19
  61. 61. *If you could see the skyfrom only one location onearth, that location wouldbe the most popular spoton the planet.*People would clamor toget there!
  62. 62. Psalm 147:44 “He counts the numberof the stars;He gives names to all ofthem.”
  63. 63. *The Bible teaches thatGod arranged the starsinto recognizable groupsthat we call constellations.*The Bible mentions threeof these: Orion,the Bear (Ursa Major), and
  64. 64. “the crooked serpent”(most likely Draco) in Job 9:9; 26:13; 38:31-32;and Amos 5:8.*The same passages alsoreference the star groupPleiades (the Seven Stars).
  65. 65. Orion the Hunter
  66. 66. There are also asterisms,smaller apparent starpatterns within aconstellation, like the BigDipper (in Ursa Major),the Little Dipper (in UrsaMinor), and the Pleiades. 
  67. 67. The Great Bear Ursa Major
  68. 68. God is the One Who“fastens the bands” ofthese constellations;He is the One Who bringsthem forth, “each in itsseason.”
  69. 69. In Job 38:32, God alsopoints to the “Mazzaroth,”usually translated“constellations.”*This is thought by manyto be a reference to thetwelve constellations.
  70. 70. *God used the stars as anillustration of His promiseto give Abraham aninnumerable seed(Genesis 15:5).*Every time Abrahamlooked up at the night
  71. 71. sky, he had a reminder ofGod’s faithfulness andgoodness.*The final judgment of theearth will be accompaniedby astronomical eventsrelating to the stars:
  72. 72. Isaiah 13:9-109 “Look, the day ofthe Lord is coming—cruel, with rage andburning anger—to make the earth adesolation and to destroy
  73. 73. the sinners on it.10 Indeed, the stars of thesky and its constellationswill not give their light.The sun will be darkwhen it rises, and themoon will not shine.”
  74. 74. Joel 3:14-1514 “Multitudes,multitudesin the valley of decision!For the Day of the Lord isnear in the valley ofdecision.
  75. 75. 15 The sun and moon willgrow dark, and the starswill cease their shining.” Joel 3:14-15
  76. 76. *Astrology is the“interpretation” of anassumed influence thestars (and planets) exerton human destiny.*It is a false beliefcondemned by the Bible.
  77. 77. *God specifies astrologersas among those who willbe burned as stubble inGod’s judgment (Isaiah47:13-14).*Astrology as a form ofdivination is expressly
  78. 78. forbidden in Scripture(Deuteronomy 18:10-14).*God forbade the childrenof Israel to worship orserve the “host ofheaven” (Deuteronomy4:19).
  79. 79. *Several times in theirhistory, however, Israelfell into that very sin(2 Kings 17:16). *Their worship of thestars brought God’sjudgment each time.
  80. 80. *To believe that stars canpredict the future is toclaim they have the powerof gods!*It puts the stars in placeof God and gives theglory of God to others.
  81. 81. *Intentionally or not, thatis a form of idolatry,which God forbids.
  82. 82. *Astrology attempts toadvise people how to act,based on the position ofthe stars, etc.*So people "trust theirlucky stars" and "thanktheir lucky stars."
  83. 83. *Some people will readtheir horoscope everyday,but will go days withoutopening the Bible!*They seek guidance fromsome Occult source otherthan God.
  84. 84. *The stars should awakenwonder at God’s power,wisdom, and infinitude.*We should use the starsto keep track of time andplace and to remind us ofGod’s faithful, covenant-
  85. 85. keeping nature.*All the while, weacknowledge the Creatorof the heavens.*Our wisdom comes fromGod, not the stars(James 1:5).
  86. 86. The Word of God, theBible, is our guidethrough life as stated inPsalm 119:105 -105  “Your word is a lampfor my feet and a light onmy path.”
  87. 87. After God took Abramoutside and showed himthe stars, then Abrambelieved and it wascounted unto him asrighteousness.
  88. 88. The Gospel in the Stars*Virgo = the Virgin*Aires = the Ram, the sacrifice*Gemini = the dual nature of Christ
  89. 89. Genesis 15:66 “Abram believedthe Lord, and He creditedit to him asrighteousness.”
  90. 90. 1 Peter 4:1919 “So those who sufferaccording to God’s willshould, while doing whatis good, entrustthemselves to a faithfulCreator.”
  91. 91. Abram believed God eventhough he did not have allthe facts both when Hetold him to leave his“home” to go to a foreignland and now when Hepromised him a son.
  92. 92. What if God revealed toyou as a five year old,everything that was goingto happen to you in yourlife time?
  93. 93. We all have trusted Godwith our eternal salvationbut do we trust Him withour everyday lives?
  94. 94. A little faith will bringyour soul to Heaven butgreat faith brings Heavento your soul!
  95. 95. Focal Passages Today:*Trust God (Gen. 15:4-6)*Don’t Take Matters intoYour Own Hands(Gen. 16:1-5)*Refocus on God’s Plan(Gen. 17:3-6,15-19)
  96. 96. Don’t Take Matters intoYour Own HandsGenesis 16:1-51 “Abram’s wife Saraihad not borne anychildren for him, but sheowned an Egyptian slave
  97. 97. named Hagar.2 Sarai said to Abram,“Since the Lord hasprevented me frombearing children, go tomy slave; perhapsthrough her I can build a
  98. 98. family.” And Abramagreed to what Sarai said.3 So Abram’s wife Saraitook Hagar, her Egyptianslave, and gave her to herhusband Abram as a wifefor him. This happened
  99. 99. after Abram had lived inthe land of Canaan 10years.4 He slept with Hagar,and she becamepregnant. When sherealized that she was
  100. 100. pregnant, she treated hermistress with contempt.5 Then Sarai said toAbram, “You areresponsible for mysuffering! I put my slavein your arms, and ever
  101. 101. since she saw that shewas pregnant, she hastreated me withcontempt. May the Lordjudge between me andyou.” Genesis 16:1-5
  102. 102. *Three life lessons emergefrom this portion of thestory.*These life lessons help usavoid temptations to takematters into our ownhands.
  103. 103. *First, getting ahead of theLord can become a badhabit.*Abram had a history oftaking matters into hisown hands (12:10-20; 20:1-18).
  104. 104. *In each case, he got intotrouble because he actedon his own instead ofturning to the Lord.*The same outcomeawaits us if we develop apattern of launching
  105. 105. ahead with our plans, notwaiting on the Lord towork out His plan.*Second, waiting on theLord can put tremendouspressure on us.
  106. 106. *Like Abram, we oftengrow more fretful aboutour unmet need as timepasses.*If we’re not disciplined,we’ll give in to the stressand begin to wonder if we
  107. 107. need to take action on ourown.*Before long, we’ll findourselves pushing hard inorder to make thingshappen according to ourown plans.
  108. 108. *At the same time, we’llignore the reality that Godcan be trusted to keep Hispromises.*Third, getting wisecounsel can keep us ontrack.
  109. 109. *It can help us to keep ontrusting God whencircumstances seem to bepushing us to dosomething on our own.*A variety of Biblicalproverbs affirm the value
  110. 110. of getting the Lord’sguidance by seeking thecounsel of believers whohave grown in godlywisdom (Prov. 11:14;12:15; 15:22).
  111. 111. Proverbs 11:1414 “Without guidance,people fall,but with many counselorsthere is deliverance.”
  112. 112. Abram and Sarai’sdecision teaches us thevalue of sharing our ideasabout how to solve ourproblems with matureChristians who can giveus insightful advice.
  113. 113. Resentment, desperation,and terror filled the homeof a couple who stoppedtrusting God and tookmatters into their ownhands.
  114. 114. The sad outcome ofAbram and Sarai’s plandemonstrates three keyrealities to keep in mindas we face the challenge ofwaiting on the Lord tokeep His promises.
  115. 115. *First, we cannot rely onour own ideas alone whenit comes to doing theLord’s work.*Left to our ownjudgments, we certainlywill make mistakes as we
  116. 116. try to solve our problemswithout the Lord’sinvolvement.*Second, we must resistthe temptation to blameeach other when we carryout our own plans only to
  117. 117. see them fail.*By contrast, we reflectwisdom when we turn tothe Lord in repentanceand obedience.*Once we turn to Him, wecan express our renewed
  118. 118. willingness to follow Hisleadership.*Third, we should notdevise our own plans thenexpect the Lord to makethem work.
  119. 119. *When we live out God’splan, we can expect Himto bless it.*However, when wedepend on the Lord tobless plans we’ve devisedwithout His input, we
  120. 120. make a grave mistake.*After Sarai’s plan failed,she wanted the Lord toget involved and judgeAbram for the role heplayed in its failure.
  121. 121. When we see our plansfalling apart, we also oftenfind ourselves asking theLord to make things betterfor us.
  122. 122. *Oh boy, what a mess—and all because Sarai andAbram took matters intotheir own hands!*Recount a time whenyou took matters intoyour own hands.
  123. 123. *What did you learn?
  124. 124. Focal Passages Today:*Trust God (Gen. 15:4-6)*Don’t Take Matters intoYour Own Hands(Gen. 16:1-5)*Refocus on God’s Plan(Gen. 17:3-6,15-19)
  125. 125. Refocus on God’s PlanGenesis 17:3-6,15-193 “Then Abram fellfacedown and God spokewith him:4 “As for Me, Mycovenant is with you:
  126. 126. you will become thefather of many nations.5 Your name will nolonger be Abram, butyour name will beAbraham, for I will makeyou the father of many
  127. 127. nations.6 I will make youextremely fruitful andwill make nations andkings come from you.15 God said to Abraham,“As for your wife Sarai,
  128. 128. do not call her Sarai, forSarah will be her name.16 I will bless her;indeed, I will give you ason by her. I will blessher, and she will producenations; kings of peoples
  129. 129. will come from her.”17 Abraham fellfacedown. Then helaughed and said tohimself, “Can a child beborn to a hundred-year-old man? Can Sarah, a
  130. 130. ninety-year-old woman,give birth?”18 So Abraham said toGod, “If only Ishmaelwere acceptable to You!”19 But God said, “No.Your wife Sarah will bear
  131. 131. you a son, and you willname him Isaac. I willconfirm My covenantwith him as aneverlasting covenant forhis future offspring.” Genesis 17:3-6,15-19
  132. 132. In Hebrew, Abram means:“exalted father” (of a son).*Abraham means:“father of a multitude”(of many sons).*Sarai means contentious.*Sarah means princess.
  133. 133. Abraham and Sarahnamed their son “Isaac”,which means “laughter”,to remind them of the joyhe brought them.
  134. 134. The name also remindedthem that they each hadlaughed when God toldthem they would have ason (Genesis 17:17; 18:12).
  135. 135. Despite having takenmatters into their ownhands and havingbrought intense painupon themselves andothers, God brought theirattention back to His
  136. 136. plan for Abram andSarai.*What causes us torefocus on God’s plan?
  137. 137. Biblical Truths of ThisLesson in Focus• When we trust the Lord,we can be certain we havedone what He requires inorder for us to be maderight with Him.
  138. 138. • When we growimpatient with the Lordas He carries out His plan,we can get ahead of Himand try to take mattersinto our own hands.
  139. 139. “It is as dark a mile aheadof God as it is a milebehind Him.” Jeff Wheeler
  140. 140. • When we turn to theLord in humility andsincerity, we can count onHim to help us renew ourrelationship with Him.
  141. 141. • When we realize wehave failed to live outGod’s plan, we can restassured we can turn toHim for a fresh start.
  142. 142. Perhaps you are in themidst of a period of timewhen you have takenmatters into your ownhands or becomedistracted or in someother way lost focus on
  143. 143. God’s plan.*If so, go to Him now,reaffirming your trust inHim and committing torefocus on His plan.
  144. 144. NEXT WEEKHOW TO AVOID ACRITICAL SPIRIT

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