10 October 14, 2012 Genisis 15, 16, 17 From Failure To Direction
FROM FAILURE TO DIRECTION Genesis 15-17 OCTOBER 14, 2012 FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI, USA Wednesday Nights for Young Marrieds in the Christian 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 from Sonny’s BBQ 5:00 - Meal begins 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Opry Sonny’s BBQ is laying the spread. Cost: $15.00 per person (Includes chow and Opry ticket)If you are not eating, tickets may be purchased at the door at the Opry for $5.00. Tickets will be on sale at the 2nd floor kiosk today. Duds: plaid and denim If you have any questions, please contact Patricia Jenkins at (601) 949-1941 or PJenkins@FBCJ.org. Deadline to purchase tickets: Monday, October 15th! CHILI COOK-OFF Sunday, November 4 5:00-5:50 p.m. Fellowship Hall East More details coming.
Next Generation Leaders Luncheon with Oscar Miskelly Thursday, October 25th CLC—11:45 a.m. Sharing nuggets from being a successful leader. 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 There will be light to heavy manual labor, yard and garden work, and visiting neighbors.Come join the Women’s Ministry - bring your work gloves and a smile.
FROM FAILURE TO DIRECTION Genesis 15-17 OCTOBER 14, 2012 FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI, USALast week in John 4 we studied how Jesus moved the Samaritan woman at the wellfrom failure to her salvation and then how that resulted in many others being saved!The next three lessons also deal with the question: Is there life after failure? Today we will see Abraham getting impatient with God and failing to wait on Him. The October 21st lesson deals with Miriam being critical of her brother, Moses, and after being disciplined by the Lord, she was restored to a leadership position.
On October 28th, we will study that tender passage of how Jesus restored Peter after he had failed Christ so miserably by denying Him three times. All four of these people had life after their failures because God worked in their lives to move them beyond those failures.Focal Passages Today: Trust God (Gen. 15:4-6) Don’t Take Matters into Your Own Hands (Gen. 16:1-5) Refocus on God’s Plan (Gen. 17:3-6,15-19)What This Lesson Is About: God has a plan for our lives, but we need to trust Him to work in us and through us to accomplish that plan in His time. We do not need to take shortcuts and take matters into our own hands. Like Abraham, we can learn to trust God’s timing.How This Lesson Can Impact Our Lives: This lesson can help us reaffirm our trust in God when we’ve missed His direction and lost our focus on God’s plan. This is the story of Abram’s failure to follow the Lord’s plan. It teaches us the importance of turning to the Lord when we’ve missed His direction.Trust GodGenesis 15:4-6 HCSB4 “Now the word of the Lord came to him: “This one will not be your heir; instead, onewho comes from your own body will be your heir.” 5 He took him outside and said,“Look at the sky and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” Then He said tohim, “Your offspring will be that numerous.”6 Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness.” Genesis 15:4-6 HCSB
The first mention of Abram in the Bible is in Genesis 11:26.Genesis 11:2626 “Terah lived 70 years and fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran.” Genesis 11:26 Abram (later changed to “Abraham”) is mentioned 312 times in 272 verses in the Bible. He is arguably the most famous man of the Old Testament, and certainly one of the most influential men of history. Joshua 24:2 describes Abram before the Lord called him.Joshua 24:2b-32b“‘Long ago your ancestors, including Terah, the father of Abraham and Nahor, livedbeyond the Euphrates River and worshiped other gods. 3 But I took your fatherAbraham from the region beyond the Euphrates River, led him throughout the land ofCanaan, and multiplied his descendants. I gave him Isaac,” Joshua 24:2b-3 Abram was from a family of idol worshipers (moon worshipers) and was probably an idol worshiper himself. Later, when Abram’s grandson Jacob went back to Abram’s relatives, they were still worshipping idols.
Genesis 11:3131“Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot (Haran’s son), and his daughter-in-lawSarai (“contentious”), his son Abram’s wife, and they set out together from Ur of theChaldeans to go to the land of Canaan.” Genesis 11:31 Abram’s story begins in Ur of the Chaldeans (Babylon/Iraq). It appeared as if Abram left home in order to go to a foreign land when in reality he left a foreign land in order to go home. When a Christian dies, it looks to the world as if the deceased is leaving home to go to a foreign place when in reality they are leaving a foreign place in order to go home! The book of Genesis covers more than 2,000 years of history and more than 20 generations. Yet, it spends almost a third of its text on the life of one man - Abram. Abram is unique in the way he is called the friend of God (James 2:23); Abraham, Your friend forever (2 Chronicles 20:7); Abraham, My friend (Isaiah 41:8). We all know the value of having friends in high places. Abram had a Friend in the highest place! Men and women in the Bible are famous for many different things, but Abraham is great for his faith. Moses was the great lawgiver; Joshua a great general; David a great king, and Elijah a great prophet. Most of us know we can never be great in those things, but we can be great people of faith. We can be friends of God. If you despair in knowing you do not have Abraham’s faith, take comfort in knowing you have Abraham’s God. God can build in you the faith of Abraham, because He built it in Abraham Himself. Because the name “Abram” means “Father,” it must have constantly amazed those meeting Abram to discover he had no children. But his present lack of children will play an important role in God’s plan of redemption. The Lord had promised to give Abram an heir, someone who would provide him with descendants for generations to come. At this time, there was no sign that Abraham would be able to produce an heir. No one can overestimate the importance of children to ancient people.
The contemporaries of Abraham and Sarah had no well-defined concept of an afterlife. So, the best they hoped for was that after death, a person’s memory would live on in one’s children. The worth of a wife was judged by whether she had borne a male child into the marriage. Abram was concerned about his lack of an heir. The most eligible person to be Abram’s heir was a slave named Eliezer. God had promised Abram that his own son would be heir, not Eliezer, so God took him outside and said, “Look at the sky and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” In ancient times, signs were used as a witness of a special covenant either between God and mankind or between different peoples on the earth. In Genesis 9:13, God put a special sign in the sky:Genesis 9:1313 I have placed My bow in the clouds, and it will be a sign of the covenant betweenMe and the earth. Genesis 9:13 The constellations are also referred to as signs:Genesis 1:1414 “Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the dayfrom the night. They will serve as signs for festivals and for days and years.” Genesis 1:14
Psalm 8:3-43 “When I observe Your heavens,the work of Your fingers,the moon and thestars,which You set in place, 4 what is man that You remember him,the son of manthat You look after him?” Psalm 8:3-4Psalm 19:1-6 A Davidic psalm.1 “The heavens declare the glory of God,and the sky proclaims the work of His hands.2 Day after day they pour out speech; night after night they communicateknowledge. 3 There is no speech; there are no words;their voice is not heard. 4 Theirmessage has gone out to all the earth,and their words to the ends of the world. In theheavens He has pitched a tent for the sun. 5 It is like a groom coming from the bridalchamber; it rejoices like an athlete running a course. 6 It rises from one end of theheavens and circles to their other end;” Psalm 19 19:1-6 A Davidic psalm. If you could see the sky from only one location on earth, that location would be the most popular spot on the planet. People would clamor to get there!Psalm 147:44 “He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them.” Psalm 147:4 The Bible teaches that God arranged the stars into recognizable groups that we call constellations. Orion the Hunter The Bible mentions three of these: Orion, the Bear (Ursa Major), and “the crooked serpent” (most likely Draco) in Job 9:9; 26:13; 38:31-32; and Amos 5:8. The same passages also reference the star group Pleiades (the Seven Stars).
There are also asterisms, smaller apparent star patterns within a constellation, like the Big Dipper (in Ursa Major), the Little Dipper (in Ursa Minor), and the Pleiades. The Great Bear Ursa Major God is the One Who “fastens the bands” of these constellations; He is the One Who brings them forth, “each in its season.” In Job 38:32, God also points to the “Mazzaroth,” usually translated “constellations.” This is thought by many to be a reference to the twelve constellations. God used the stars as an illustration of His promise to give Abraham an innumerable seed (Genesis 15:5). Every time Abraham looked up at the night sky, he had a reminder of God’s faithfulness and goodness. The final judgment of the earth will be accompanied by astronomical events relating to the stars:Isaiah 13:9-109 “Look, the day of the Lord is coming—cruel, with rage and burning anger—to makethe earth a desolation and to destroy the sinners on it.10 Indeed, the stars of the skyand its constellations will not give their light. The sun will be dark when it rises, and themoon will not shine.” Isaiah 13:9-10Joel 3:14-1514 “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the Day of the Lord is near inthe valley of decision. 15 The sun and moon will grow dark, and the stars will ceasetheir shining.” Joel 3:14-15 Astrology is the “interpretation” of an assumed influence the stars (and planets) exert on human destiny.
It is a false belief condemned by the Bible. God specifies astrologers as among those who will be burned as stubble in God’s judgment (Isaiah 47:13-14). Astrology as a form of divination is expressly forbidden in Scripture (Deuteronomy 18:10-14). God forbade the children of Israel to worship or serve the “host of heaven” (Deuteronomy 4:19). Several times in their history, however, Israel fell into that very sin (2 Kings 17:16). Their worship of the stars brought God’s judgment each time. To believe that stars can predict the future is to claim they have the power of gods! It puts the stars in place of God and gives the glory of God to others. Intentionally or not, that is a form of idolatry, which God forbids. Astrology attempts to advise people how to act, based on the position of the stars, etc. So people "trust their lucky stars" and "thank their lucky stars." Some people will read their horoscope everyday, but will go days without opening the Bible! They seek guidance from some Occult source other than God. The stars should awaken wonder at God’s power, wisdom, and infinitude. We should use the stars to keep track of time and place and to remind us of God’s faithful, covenant-keeping nature. All the while, we acknowledge the Creator of the heavens. Our wisdom comes from God, not the stars (James 1:5). The Word of God, the Bible, is our guide through life as stated in Psalm 119:105.Psalm 119:105105 “Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105 After God took Abram outside and showed him the stars, then Abram believed and it was counted unto him as righteousness.The Gospel in the Stars Virgo = the Virgin Aires = the Ram, the sacrifice Gemini = the dual nature of Christ Leo = the LionGenesis 15:66 “Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness.” Genesis 15:6
1 Peter 4:1919 “So those who suffer according to God’s will should, while doing what is good,entrust themselves to a faithful Creator.” 1 Peter 4:19 Abram believed God even though he did not have all the facts both when He told him to leave his “home” to go to a foreign land and now when He promised him a son. What if God revealed to you as a five year old, everything that was going to happen to you in your life time? We all have trusted God with our eternal salvation but do we trust Him with our everyday lives? A little faith will bring your soul to Heaven but great faith brings Heaven to your soul!Focal Passages Today: Trust God (Gen. 15:4-6) Don’t Take Matters into Your Own Hands (Gen. 16:1-5) Refocus on God’s Plan (Gen. 17:3-6,15-19)Don’t Take Matters into Your Own HandsGenesis 16:1-51 “Abram’s wife Sarai had not borne any children for him, but she owned an Egyptianslave named Hagar. 2 Sarai said to Abram, “Since the Lord has prevented me frombearing children, go to my slave; perhaps through her I can build a family.” AndAbram agreed to what Sarai said. 3 So Abram’s wife Sarai took Hagar, her Egyptianslave, and gave her to her husband Abram as a wife for him. This happened afterAbram had lived in the land of Canaan 10 years. 4 He slept with Hagar, and shebecame pregnant. When she realized that she was pregnant, she treated her mistresswith contempt. 5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for my suffering! I putmy slave in your arms, and ever since she saw that she was pregnant, she has treatedme with contempt. May the Lord judge between me and you.” Genesis 16:1-5 Three life lessons emerge from this portion of the story. These life lessons help us avoid temptations to take matters into our own hands. First, getting ahead of the Lord can become a bad habit.
Abram had a history of taking matters into his own hands (12:10-20; 20:1-18). In each case, he got into trouble because he acted on his own instead of turning to the Lord. The same outcome awaits us if we develop a pattern of launching ahead with our plans, not waiting on the Lord to work out His plan. Second, waiting on the Lord can put tremendous pressure on us. Like Abram, we often grow more fretful about our unmet need as time passes. If we’re not disciplined, we’ll give in to the stress and begin to wonder if we need to take action on our own. Before long, we’ll find ourselves pushing hard in order to make things happen according to our own plans. At the same time, we’ll ignore the reality that God can be trusted to keep His promises. Third, getting wise counsel can keep us on track. It can help us to keep on trusting God when circumstances seem to be pushing us to do something on our own. A variety of Biblical proverbs affirm the value of getting the Lord’s guidance by seeking the counsel of believers who have grown in godly wisdom (Prov. 11:14; 12:15; 15:22).Proverbs 11:1414 “Without guidance, people fall,but with many counselors there is deliverance.” Proverbs 11:14 Abram and Sarai’s decision teaches us the value of sharing our ideas about how to solve our problems with mature Christians who can give us insightful advice. Resentment, desperation, and terror filled the home of a couple who stopped trusting God and took matters into their own hands. The sad outcome of Abram and Sarai’s plan demonstrates three key realities to keep in mind as we face the challenge of waiting on the Lord to keep His promises. First, we cannot rely on our own ideas alone when it comes to doing the Lord’s work. Left to our own judgments, we certainly will make mistakes as we try to solve our problems without the Lord’s involvement. Second, we must resist the temptation to blame each other when we carry out our own plans only to see them fail.
By contrast, we reflect wisdom when we turn to the Lord in repentance and obedience. Once we turn to Him, we can express our renewed willingness to follow His leadership. Third, we should not devise our own plans then expect the Lord to make them work. When we live out God’s plan, we can expect Him to bless it. However, when we depend on the Lord to bless plans we’ve devised without His input, we make a grave mistake. After Sarai’s plan failed, she wanted the Lord to get involved and judge Abram for the role he played in its failure. When we see our plans falling apart, we also often find ourselves asking the Lord to make things better for us. Oh boy, what a mess—and all because Sarai and Abram took matters into their own hands! Recount a time when you took matters into your own hands. What did you learn?Focal Passages Today: Trust God (Gen. 15:4-6) Don’t Take Matters into Your Own Hands (Gen. 16:1-5) Refocus on God’s Plan (Gen. 17:3-6,15-19)Refocus on God’s PlanGenesis 17:3-6,15-193 “Then Abram fell facedown and God spoke with him: 4 “As for Me, My covenant iswith you: you will become the father of many nations. 5 Your name will no longer beAbram, but your name will be Abraham, for I will make you the father of manynations. 6 I will make you extremely fruitful and will make nations and kings comefrom you.15 God said to Abraham, “As for your wife Sarai, do not call her Sarai, for Sarah will be
her name. 16 I will bless her; indeed, I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, andshe will produce nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”17 Abraham fell facedown. Then he laughed and said to himself, “Can a child beborn to a hundred-year-old man? Can Sarah, a ninety-year-old woman, give birth?”18 So Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael were acceptable to You!”19 But God said, “No. Your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will name himIsaac. I will confirm My covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his futureoffspring.” Genesis 17:3-6,15-19In Hebrew, Abram means: “exalted father” (of a son). Abraham means: “father of a multitude” (of many sons). Sarai means contentious. Sarah means princess. Abraham and Sarah named their son “Isaac”, which means “laughter”, to remind them of the joy he brought them. The name also reminded them that they each had laughed when God told them they would have a son (Genesis 17:17; 18:12).
Despite having taken matters into their own hands and having brought intense painupon themselves and others, God brought their attention back to His plan for Abramand Sarai. What causes us to refocus on God’s plan?Biblical Truths of This Lesson in Focus When we trust the Lord, we can be certain we have done what He requires in order for us to be made right with Him. When we grow impatient with the Lord as He carries out His plan, we can get ahead of Him and try to take matters into our own hands. “It is as dark a mile ahead of God as it is a mile behind Him.” Jeff Wheeler When we turn to the Lord in humility and sincerity, we can count on Him to help us renew our relationship with Him. When we realize we have failed to live out God’s plan, we can rest assured we can turn to Him for a fresh start.Perhaps you are in the midst of a period of time when you have taken matters intoyour own hands or become distracted or in some other way lost focus on God’s plan. If so, go to Him now, reaffirming your trust in Him and committing to refocus on His plan. NEXT WEEK HOW TO AVOID A CRITICAL SPIRIT