Today we’re continuing our series titled ‘The Faith of our Fathers’
We began by looking in depth:
The Bible Explains what Faith is: Heb.
11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Without rehashing, we learned that through this verse that faith is believing something for which proof was provided
Also to the importance thereof: Heb.
11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
And so as we consider Faith in God specifically, this chapter deals with the Faith of our Spiritual forefathers, AND WHAT IT MOVED THEM TO DO.
In this series of messages we have looked at:
We examined from v4 how that ‘By Faith… Abel Sacrificed’
We examined from v5 how that ‘By Faith… Enoch Walked with God’
We examined from v7 how that ‘By Faith… Noah Feared God’
We examined from various vs how that ‘By Faith… Abraham Obeyed, Became an Outcast & Offered’
Today we’re going to look at a variety of Fore-fathers (and a mother) of the faith, as we look at Abraham’s wife Sarah, his son Isaac, grandson Jacob & great-grandson Joseph.
Now, there’s something that I want to say is that:
1 - Faith does not exist in a vacuum.
Sure, it’s possible that I can have great faith, and you can have none - but the closer our relationship, the less of a gap that will be.
What I mean by that is that faith is contagious.
If I have great faith, and my wife very little - the more my faith in God is exercised, and the more my God has proven faithful - the more faith she will have!
I said last week that Abraham was a man of Great Faith - and I believe that BECAUSE Abraham displayed great faith in a great God, his wife & children’s faith in the same God grew great as well.
So the first one that we’re going to look at here today is Abraham’s wife Sarah
I. Blessings Received (v11-12)
We’re speaking about Sarah, Abraham’s wife and with her, we’re going to examine the Blessings Received by this woman BECAUSE of FAITH
Blessed with Conception
(How God opened her womb)
As is mentioned here in v11 Scripture, Sarah was ‘past age’ to conceive.
(This is an understatement)
The Bible tells us that not only was she ‘past age’, the woman was 90 years old!
Let that sink in a moment.
This is 30-40 years ‘past age’ of what is typically, child bearing years!
Church, I’ll ask you as the angel said unto Sarah in Gen. 18:14a “Is any thing too hard for the Lord?...”
If you serve the God that I serve, we serve a God that is Able!
He’s able to open a dead womb that had never bore children before - Just as He did with Sarah
He’s able to preserve those in the midst of a burning fiery furnace - just as He did with S,M & Abednigo
He’s able to bring forth water from a rock
He’s able to part the sea
He’s able to bring the walls that prevent the victory down - just as He did at Jericho
He’s able to cure the sick, feed the hungry, clothe the naked & raise the dead - HE’S GOD ALMIGHTY AND HE’S ABLE!
Jesus said to the father of the maniac of Gedara in Mark 9:23a “...If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”
Faith brought blessings unto Sarah - the first was the Blessing of Conception
Blessed with a Child
The Blessings of Children
It’s one thing to have conceived - especially in Sarah’s state.
But it’s entirely something else when your child comes forth.
I remember the days my children came into this world apart from their mother.
Staring in wonder at these precious babies
Hearing their cries, kissing their heads, smelling their smells… (some good, some not so…)
Watching them grow, hearing their first words, learning to crawl, then walk - seeing the wonder in their eyes when they learn things.
There’s nothing quite like children - unless it’s grandchildren Pro.
17:6 “Children’s children are the crown of old men; And the glory of children are their fathers.”
Sarah not only experienced the MIRACLE of Conception, but the JOY of a CHILD!
Blessed with a Clan
The fulfillment of Promise - the blessing of seeing that fulfillment
We read in Gen. 17:15-16 “And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be.
And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.”
Not only did God bless her with a child, but God promised to bless her with a nation!
I’ll quote Jesus again: Mark 9:23a “...If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”
Is anything too hard for God? God took a barren womb 4,000 years ago and did EXACTLY WHAT HE SAID HE’D DO! Though Satan has tried to on several instances tried to eradicate the Jews, they have thrived indeed!
Pharoah couldn’t kill them off, Hitler couldn’t do it, the Arabs can’t do it
One other point that I want to make is this: I want you to consider the way in which these blessings build off one another.
Because of the blessing received by faith of Conception, there came a child - then a clan.
One leads to the next, to the next… If we will just put faith in God and trust Him, it’s hard to tell just exactly what great blessings to which that will lead!
We see By Faith, Blessings were Received.
Secondly, we see By Faith, Blessings are Bestowed
Blessings Bestowed (v20-21)
Here we’re going to turn our attention to Abraham’s son Isaac & Jacob who bestowed Blessings BECAUSE of FAITH
Isaac Believed, so He Blessed (v20)
Isaac had faith that God would answer His prayer of blessing upon his children (Faith was the cause of blessing)
I’m sure many of you know the story - Isaac was the child of Abraham and Sarah through whom the promise was made.
Isaac had twin boys - Esau & Jacob.
Esau was the firstborn, but sold his birthright of the firstborn to his brother Jacob for a bowl of pottage.
Then in Gen. 27; Isaac is getting ready to die and has asked his favorite Esau to make him some venison, then he was going to bless him before he died - but Jacob & his mother (Rebekah) tricked him and Jacob recieved the blessing.
We see Isaac trying to verify it’s Esau, and when the deception is realized we see: Gen. 27:27-29 “And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the Lord hath blessed: Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, And the fatness of the earth, And plenty of corn and wine: Let people serve thee, And nations bow down to thee: Be lord over thy brethren, And let thy mother’s sons bow down to thee: Cursed be every one that curseth thee, And blessed be he that blesseth thee.”
Then when Esau comes in & he realizes what had happened, Isaac says this: Gen. 27:30-33 “And it came to pass, as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting.
And he also had made savoury meat, and brought it unto his father, and said unto his father, Let my father arise, and eat of his son’s venison, that thy soul may bless me.
And Isaac his father said unto him, Who art thou?
And he said, I am thy son, thy firstborn Esau.
And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who?
where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him?
yea, and he shall be blessed.”
Isaac had full faith & assurance that the blessing that he spoke over his son, God would honor & would bring it to pass!
Most of you know my history.
I had a great home growing up as far as good parents who loved & provided for me - but it wasn’t a Christians home (Thank God that’s changed!)
But I had a neighbor lady who kept me some as a child.
She’d tell stories of how I’d get out of the crib bed & run around the house - then she’d holler at me & I’d run and jump back in trying to be sneaky.
Anyway, this woman loved the LORD and prayed for me.
She prayed God would save me and do something with my life… I remember after I got saved, I went to visit her and she just praised the LORD and recalled how she’d often pray for me - and I remember her saying ‘I knew God would!’
She said she believed I would be the key to leading my parents to the LORD.
She prayed believing God would do this, now look at what has come to pass!
We see in Scripture this story of a Lunatic that was brought to Jesus: Mat.
17:14-20 “And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying, Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.