Short Clip
If you’re opening your Bibles to Genesis chapter 12, we’re only going to take the next segment of Abraham’s life. But all of life is a struggle and the scriptures describe as actually in the Book of Philippians as fellow strugglers. Salvation begins as a struggle it says in Luke 13 and verse 24, prayer is a struggle in Romans 15 and verse 30, self-control and discipline are lifelong struggles, 1 Corinthians 9:25. It says that we are like competition in a game we are struggling and wrestling through the life of Christ. Disciple-making ministry is a struggle in Colossians 1 and verse 29, intercessory prayer Colossians 4 and verse 12 is a struggle. Holy living is a lifelong struggle, 1 Timothy 6:12, and finally, all of life in Christ to the Apostle Paul was a struggle. He said in 2 Timothy 4 and verse 7, he said, “I have agonized, the good agony”, that’s how he characterized his life.
Well, many, many months ago we saw that Job struggled and we are just looking at biographies in the scripture. Job’s struggled to see God and through his pain, struggling through it, he saw God, like he had never seen Him before. Then few weeks after that we looked at Paul and Silas and we saw that they struggled to learn to worship God through their persecution, and they sang from the prison and that’s another struggle that we have to deal with struggling through persecution. And then we saw a few weeks later that David struggled through depression and he learned more about God in his darkest days than he ever learned in the sunny days and that’s a truth too. We have to learn through the struggle of depression and those dark days and then we saw that Joseph struggled to keep his life pure and we looked at that struggle and saw how he was purified through that struggle and God greatly used him. Then finally we saw Moses as he struggled to be content and was satisfied, only by the face of God, that’s the only thing that can really satisfy us.
But tonight, Abraham, and starting in chapter 12; we’re looking at these little tests that he went through, he went through seven to be exact and Abraham struggled to learn to wait for God. He had to learn to wait and I don’t know if I relate too much to the Job or to the persecution in prison or to the depression or to the purity thing of Joseph or Moses, but waiting is always hard for me. Always has been. I think that’s one of the reasons I got married, so I had to wait. You know, when you get married, you just can’t say, I’m going. You have to take first your wife and then, you know a whole carload of people with you, so you have to learn to wait.
But Abraham lived a life of faith. He became the father of faith and right here in chapter 12, he has a series that extends off through 10 chapters of the Bible of successive examinations God took him through. What’s interesting, in the weeks and months ahead as we go through these, we’re going to see that when he had an examination that he failed, God gave it to him again. And he got it again until he would pass it. Abraham lived in an ancient city called Ur, it was very much metropolitan area, 300,000 people, walled, they were highly educated, they were educated in mathematics, astronomy, all types of art, printing, they were those that first perfected the art of libraries and they used cuneiform and clay tablets to record their ideas and their social beliefs, their religious life and even to this day, archeologists continue in the ancient near east, to unearth these huge libraries, the newsy tablets and many others.
Like the rest of the world, this culture was polytheistic, they worshipped many gods. Abraham was a worshiper of false gods. He in fact worshipped the moon, of all things, but in the 21st century BC, God called him and he responded. Just like us, it saved the same way, God knocked on his heart door and he responded by faith to the moving of the Spirit of God in him. Well, in chapter 12, the first nine verses, his first test is waiting and we saw in January 21st, the answer to the question, is God sufficient for Abraham to follow, can he wait to follow behind God or is he going to take over, and it says in those nine verses, “The Lord…” verse 1, “Said to Abraham, get out of your country, get out from your family, get out of your father’s house, go to a land that I’m going to show you, I’ll make you a great nation” and you know what, verse 4, he passed the test. It says “Abram departed as the Lord has spoken to him” he just did it. He obeyed the call in verse 8 of — in a corollary passage, I’ll take you to it if you want to turn there. If you weren’t here in January, look at Hebrews chapter 11, for a minute and verse 8, now I’ll just give you all of Abraham’s life from a New Testament perspective.
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