Looking at the message of the OT from the mountaintops of some of the most important events and texts.
What do these texts tell us about God?
About what God expects of us?
1 – Creation of Universe 2 – Creation of Man
In the first two lessons, we saw how special we are to God – so special that out of all creation, he has bestowed his love on us!
3 – The Fall – Man rebelled and sin introduced into the world 4 – The Flood – God’s judgment on sin
In the last two lessons, we saw God as both judge and redeemer.
After the flood, sin continues, as God knew it would
*** Individually (Noah’s son Ham) and corporately (Babel)
God’s redemption also continues
God chooses one of Noah’s descendants—Abram
Agent of redemption — means by which God will deal with sin
*** Gen 12:1
Gen 11:31 NET. Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot (the son of Haran), and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram's wife, and with them he set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. When they came to Haran, they settled there.
Left Ur, in modern Iraq (on the Euphrates, somewhere near Al Basrah, at the tip of the Persian Gulf) & moved toward Canaan.
Rather than cutting across the desert of Saudi Arabia, they followed Euphrates northwest through Iraq, passing through Karbala, Fallujah & Ramadi (where bad stuff is happening today).
Continued into modern Syria and stopped in Haran (near Ar Raqqah, Syria) — eventually Abraham’s father died — c.a. 2000 B.C. – as many years before Christ as we are after Christ.
Then proceeded southwest through Damascus into Canaan, the area we know as the nation of Israel, as God had directed him.
Route followed Fertile Crescent.
God renewed his call to Abraham
Genesis 12:1-4a NIV The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. (2) "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. (3) I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." (4) So Abram left, as the LORD had told him …
God renewed his call to Abraham — Genesis 12:1-4a
Two parts to the promise
Gen 12:2 NIV "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.
1. “Great nation” is promise of descendants & land — not specify thru his own son
2. “Blessing” — Abraham — Abraham will be blessing to all families on the earth
Conditional promise — conditioned on his response
1. Abraham must believe God’s promises are true “Faith” is “trust”:
Hebrews 11:8-10 NIV By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
2. Then he must act on that faith Not enough to say you have faith — faithfully obey
Abraham has a choice to make. He chooses to believe God’s promises and then to faithfully obey God by leaving first Ur, then Haran, setting out to a place God would show him.
Covenant Ceremony (Gen 15)
“Covenant” – Formal agreement between two parties — obligations, privileges, relationship
Situation leading up to the covenant ceremony:
Genesis 15:1-5 NIV After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward." But Abram said, "O Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?" And Abram said, "You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir." Then the word of the LORD came to him: "This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir." He took him outside and said, "Look up at the heavens and count the stars—if indeed you can count them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be."
Abraham (Gen 15:2) is not questioning God because of a lack of faith
It is because Abraham believed God’s call in Gen 12 that he doesn’t understand why he is still childless.
If he were to die, his heir would be a servant named Eliezer, whom he picked up on the road from Haran to Canaan, as he passed through Damascus – not even a member of his family
“Sovereign Lord” (Gen 15:2) is an unusual title in Hebrew that emphasizes that God is master and Abraham is the slave.
“I believe you, God, that you will be my shield of protection and will give me a great reward, but …”
“What good is a reward if my name dies with me?”
God clarifies & ratifies his promise 1. “Great nation” (12:2) will be through your own son 2. Descendants as numerous as the stars.
Later renamed Abraham as reminder of promise:
Gen 17:5-6 HCSB Your name will no longer be Abram, but your name will be Abraham, for I will make you the father of many nations. I will make you extremely fruitful and will make nations and kings come from you.
"Abram" means "exalted father," probably referring to Abram's father Terah. Name looks to the past; Abram from noble lineage.
"Abraham" is variant of Abram. Significance is wordplay with 'avhamon, "father of a multitude," which sounds like 'avraham, "Abraham"). New name looked forward as reminder of God's intention to make Abraham the father of a multitude.
Ratification: Summarize ceremony (15:7-21 — both kings walk)
Gen 15:6 NLT Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD counted him as righteous because of his faith. Nothing has changed (Sarah not suddenly pregnant) Abraham trusted God to do what He said He would do Rom 4:18-22 NLT Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, "That's how many descendants you will have!" And Abraham's faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah's womb. Abraham never wavered in believing God's promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever He promises. And because of Abraham's faith, God counted him as righteous. Biblical definition of “Faith” — “conviction … trust … obedience” Abraham responded in faith, God responds by declaring Abraham “righteous” Conduct expected of someone within the covenant relationship What did God expect of Abraham? Trust & Obey
What does God expect of us? Two things 1. Faith like Abraham. Trust God, even if counter to what we see Heb 11:1 NLT Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Abraham doesn’t understand, but believes anyway Habakkuk: “Why don’t you do something about Judah’s sin?” God: “I am – Babylonians” Hab: “They’re worse!” Hab 3:17-18 NIrV The fig trees might not bud. The vines might not produce any grapes. The olive crop might fail. The fields might not produce any food. There might not be any sheep in the pens. There might not be any cattle in the barns. But I will still be glad because of what the LORD has done. God my Savior fills me with joy. Hab scratches head, but believes, anyway Human tendency to want something tangible — “See” God — “Feel” presence — physical/emotional crutch Thomas in trouble for this (John 20:25) “Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Heb 11:6) Core requirement for righteousness Christians are people of the ear, not the eye; God does not act to be seen, but he speaks to be heard.
2. True faith always shows itself in faithful action Faith without obedience — not like Abraham No better than demons (James 2:19) — dead & useless True faith will be followed by obedience It was faith that made … Noah build the ark; Abraham leave his homeland; Habakkuk praise God when there was no food to be had. Paul: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Rom 8:18). It is faith that makes us trust God even when doctor says cancer When a drunk driver kills someone we love It is faith that … Makes husband ignore the lures of the world & honor his marriage Leads teens to hold to their sexual purity — believing that God’s way is better It is faith that leads the single person finds his/her sufficiency in Christ. This is the faith of Abraham — fully convinced — faithfully obey
We live within a covenantal community In Jer 31:31-34 God talks about a new covenant – instituted by Jesus, the descendant of Abraham: … "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest," declares the LORD. "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.“ What does God require of us? Trusting, obedient faith Are you fully convinced that what God says is true? If you are, then you have the joy of receiving the rewards of the life of faith Accepting God at his word, and stepping out in faith and watching Him keep his promises. If you are not fully convinced that God is true 1. Cry out with the father who has the demon-possessed son: “I believe. Help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24) 2. Step out on the promises of God Take a chance — risk believing Come to understand the joy of living by faith in the God of Abraham
101031 ot vistas 05 abraham, friend of god
Genesis 8:21 NIV
"Never again will I
curse the ground
because of man,
even though every
inclination of his
heart is evil from
Genesis 12:1 NIV The
LORD had said to
Abram, "Leave your
country, your people
and your father's
household and go to
the land I will show