1. Called to a life of faith-Genesis 11.27
Series: Abraham-Following in the Footsteps of Faith
3. Jan 10, 2010
Series Intro: few men, outside of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself have has such an impact on the history of the world as did the man introduced to us in this passage of scripture.
This man is revered by over one-half the world’s population.
In our day, Abraham is held in high esteem by Jews, Muslims and Christians.
In ancient times the Jews considered Abraham to be almost worthy of their worship.
1. Genesis 1-11 deals with 2000 years of history-creation, sin, flood, languages changed.
2. All the rest of Genesis 12-50 covering about 400 years deals with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph.
3. The rest of the OT 39 books deals with the history of the nation which sprang from Abraham, the nation of Israel.
4. All of the rest of the Bible is occupied with and centers on Abraham’s greater Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
One man’s obedience and devotion impacted all of human history, and we don’t think it is important for us to obey God!!!!
In the Bible, Abraham is presented to us as a great example of a man who lived his life by faith, Heb.
James 2:23 records the fact that Abraham was called the “Friend of God.”
This man’s life was a special life and a great portion of the first book of the Bible is devoted to it.
Now, some may ask, “Why take the time to study a man who lived 4,100 years ago?”
first, the Bible takes the time to speak about him, so we should take the time to study him.
second is that the life of Abraham teaches us much about the matter of walking with God by faith.
That, after all, is the goal of the Lord for all His children.
God is calling every one of His children to live a life of faith.
This man teaches us how.
Sermon Intro: These verses teach us about the early years of Abraham’s life.
They show us how the Lord found him, called him and promised to bless him.
On the surface they may seem as though they have little to say to us in our day, however, nothing could be farther from the truth!
The early days and call of this man’s life teach us some valuable lessons about God, His ways and about what our response to Him should be.
I. ABRAM’S OBSCURE PAST-11:27-30
THE WRETCHED YEARS
There was a time in the distant past when Abraham was a mere nobody.
He was just another nameless face in the crowd of humanity.
His past was one of obscurity.)
A. The Place Of His Original Home
- Ur of the Chaldees was located in what we call Iraq today.
It was in the southeast corner of Iraq, some 75 miles north of the Kuwaiti border.
Right in the middle of the area where the Gulf War was fought in 1991.
It was, at Abraham’s time, located at the place where the Euphrates River emptied into the Persian Gulf.
At that time, it was a bustling seaport, where trade was conducted with India and Africa.
History also says that this city was a center of intellectual activity.
A large public library has been unearthed that contained thousands of ancient texts written in clay.
That region was also well suited for raising flocks and herds.
Which may account for the fact that Abraham was, for the whole of his life, involved with sheep and cattle.
B. The Problems Of His Original Home
- While the area which spawned Abraham may have been prosperous, it was also perverted.
The people of that area were involved in some of the most wretched forms of idolatry known to mankind.
That city was an important center for astrology and for the worship of the stars and the moon.
The fact of their wickedness is born out by the testimony of the scriptures themselves:
C. The Pain Of His Original Home
- As one reads these verses, the wretchedness and hopelessness of Abraham’s years in Ur comes to the surface.
For him, it was a time of darkness, Josh 24:2, death, v. 28, and despair, v. 30.
No matter how you look at it, Abraham’s early years were wretched days!
(Note: When you get right down to it, you and I were no different what Abraham.
We might not have served stone gods and worshiped the heavenly bodies, but we were all trapped in the same darkness that enveloped the life of Abraham.
The whole point is this: regardless of where we came from or of what baggage we carry with us now, God is able to come where we are and change us for His glory.
He can make new creatures of us for the glory of God, 2 COR 5.17
No one is beyond the touch of the Lord!
Not even a pagan like Abram!)
Abram’s Obscure Years
ABRAM’S PARTIAL OBEDIENCE-VS.
THE WASTED YEARS
A. The Call To Depart-12:1
- We are not told how the call came to Abraham, (Notice the word “had”), but we are told that God spoke to this man in his darkness and called him into the light to follow a new path.
Abram was called to leave behind everything he loved and everything that had shaped his life up to that point.
He was ordered to leave his Region, his Religion and his Relatives behind.
For this man, it would be a difficult task.
He was to leave all such matters in the hand of the Lord.
God’s call is for you and I to follow without being concerned about the destination.
His call is for us to leave the details to Him.
His call is for surrender to His call, regardless of what it costs, where it leads or how much it hurts.
His call is still follow me!)
B.The Compromise In Devotion-11:31
- The nature of Abram’s call was for him to leave.
Note the word “thee” in 12:1.
Yet, when they left Ur, notice that it was “they” who went, 11:31.
It seems that Abram compromised by not separating from his family as he had been ordered.
He failed to fully submit to the Lord’s call!
(Note: Some may argue that he just wanted to take his family with him as he began his journey for the Lord.
That is noble, but it should be noted that there is no indication that they were saved at all.
There is no hint that they ever placed their faith in the Lord as did Abram.
The only ones who were saved, it would seem, were Abram, Sarai and Lot.
The rest were still pagans, trapped in the darkness of their sins.)
(Note: The Bible says that they came to Haran and dwelled there.
If you look at a map, you will find that Haran is north and east of the Promised Land.
This was not where God called Abram to be!
He has not gone all the way for the Lord.
He has failed to separate from his family and he has failed to arrive at the place he has been called to.
Always remember that partial obedience is simple disobedience!
Until you have done all God says to do, you haven’t done what God said to do!
What has the Lord told you to do that you haven’t done?
Have you come short in the obedience department?
I know first hand that not all of God’s commands are easy to obey.
Some are difficult, some are frightening and some are costly, but all to be obeyed without question by the child of God who wishes to walk by faith and be found pleasing to the Lord,
(Note: Notice that Abraham did not leave Haran and fully follow the Lord’s command until the death of his father Terah.
The name Terah means “A Station or delay.”
It has the idea of a stopping place, a rest area or a roadblock.
Evidently, Terah was a roadblock between Abram and his doing the will of God.
When Terah was removed from the scene, Abram was ready to move on in the things of God.
M.R. Dehaan- “the old man must die!!”
(Note: We all need to be careful that we do not stand in the way of others doing the will of God.