Genesis 12:1 – Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
Genesis 12:2 – And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
Genesis 12:3 – And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
Genesis 12:4 – So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.
Hey all, new blog today, and looking at Abraham’s life. Abraham is commonly referred to as the father of faith. His life is like a prototype for us. As our father, in terms of in a steps of faith sense, his life is invaluable to us in learning about hearing God and obeying God. Because Abraham obeyed God’s word. God made the promises to Abraham… and it was by faith Abraham would receive them, just like us. So we can look at his life, which God has furnished us with, both the good and bad, so we can be wise and have understanding in our walk with God today.
It wasn’t enough to be born of the physical descent of Abraham. The Jews of Jesus’ day thought because they were physically Abraham’s seed, that they were ok! Talk about misplaced confidence. But no, the promise was to faith, not to physical descent (although physically as a nation, Abraham’s seed, Israel is God’s earthly people, to whom the promises are also made). But these promises DO NOT make faith of none effect. A Jew is required to get saved, just like a Gentile, the promises of God are from faith to faith. We all have sinned, we all are guilty, we all need the forgiveness, grace, mercy and life that is available to us provided for us by God through his only begotten Son Jesus Christ. Abraham obtained the promises of God by faith, not by works. Which is what many people missed and still do miss. The promises are to those who have the same faith Abraham had. This does not negate though, that Abraham had a faith which produced works. A true faith produces works… a false faith is a dead faith. Abraham heard, Abraham obeyed.
So what is faith? People talk about faith like it’s just this abstract meaningless cliche. It’s just what we say. But most people claiming faith don’t have faith at all. They may have “a” faith, but not the Biblical faith. It’s interesting that the Bible talks about Jesus being the author and finisher of our faith… the Bible says “by the faith of Christ”… because our faith is his faith… he gives us faith to begin with. He is faithful, we are not. People that stress their faith, and elevate their faith are deceived. We have none. We are nothing. Faith in God is not abstract hope in something you make up in your head or want to be so… that is idolatry… faith is believing AND obeying God’s word. Faith is an action word. It’s what separates the fakes from the true people of faith, it’s the difference between a hearer and a doer. It’s the difference between being overcome and being an overcomer. Because the victory you have in this life, over this world, the devil, sin, lust, lies … is by faith in Jesus Christ. His faith firstly, which gives us our faith. When you hear of Jesus’ faithfulness to you… great is thy faithfulness!… it puts some faith in us doesn’t it. You don’t have victory, because you don’t have faith, you never asked God for faith. Lord I believe, help thou mine unbelief. If you are saved you will overcome this life. The Bible says faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Faith is hearing, reading and obeying God’s word. God speaks through his word. His word is truth, thus when he speaks to you personally through his word, you know what he’s saying, and what he says is truth, and you can confidently do according to his word.
What people need is preaching. Because God made it (so take it up with him) that it is by the foolishness of preaching that people are saved. Preaching carries authority, because it’s not a dialogue, a negotiation… no, it’s thus saith the Lord. It’s crying aloud and showing people their sin, it’s standing in the gate, standing in the way, and declaring the word of the Lord. Reproving the world of sin, of righteousness, of judgement. Pointing people to Jesus Christ. Why did he come? Because we are sinners… so we need to know why he came for him to be of any value to us. It’s a wonderful gift from God to have a love of truth in you, even if it rebukes you, even if it tears you apart… because God’s truth also has healing and building and planting and watering in it. God just needs to break us first, so that then he can plant us and grow us. It’s why preaching illicts hostility from mankind, because it’s invasive into our dark hearts. It insults our pride, it exposes our lust, it threatens our evil desires. Preaching only hurts when we are not right with God. It’s God’s word, and thus we are to bow to his word, because his word is truth. His word doesn’t need changing, we need the changing. His word judges you. Preaching with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven, is what saves, because God blesses his word, he breaks the word of life to our hearts, so preaching can make a real difference into all of our lives, God’s authority in our hearts and minds. God always honors his word, so if you give people his word, you’re giving them something God can honor. God doesn’t honor lies, God is not in it. God won’t honor your garbage. He won’t honor you doing things your way, and expecting him to override your sin, negligence, and evil self willed presumptuous ways. Remember, God honors his Son ONLY, he only saves you because of his Son, not because of you. We are forgiven our sins for HIS names sake. It was Jesus who pleased the Father, you did not and never can. We are only acceptable ever on the basis of the Son. We must reach an agreement before God that God is true, and we each are liars. 1 Corinthians 14:37 – If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.
If you want to be an Abraham, and have his end, then it’d do you well to look at his life. Because his life of faith, if we are to tread the same path, we can expect to deal with the same things. So let’s go back to the end of Genesis 11… which is where we first hear about Abraham. The first thing we see is that God called Abraham, we are told that at the start of Genesis 12. What did God say to Abraham? “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee… ” and that he would make of him a great nation and bless him. So God’s first command is to get out. Get out Christian.
What does this mean? God is a “get out” God. Because separation, sanctification, is where God brings us out of something to himself. Because God will separate you. For good or for bad. This life separates the sheep from the goats, the godly from the ungodly, the obedient from the disobedient… Most people separate themselves, but are not separated by God unto God. It’s the difference between the reality of having been saved and just having dead religion. It’s not separated for separated self righteousnesses’ sake… its separated UNTO God. It’s cleaving unto God… after all repentance is turning FROM sin TO Jesus Christ. Saved people are changed people. Because salvation involves a new birth, a new creation… something totally new… not an overhaul job… a new creature in the old body. And as you live your life after being saved, the Holy Spirit sanctifies your heart and mind and soul to God. God is a God of separation. He divided the light from the darkness, the day from the night in Genesis. The new creation born in you when you get saved is 100% separate from that old creature. God is a God of separation. God brought Israel OUT of Egypt. God wants to separate you from this world, from the flesh, from sin, from lies, from wrong, from error. HOLINESS… be ye holy, for I am holy. Come out from among them and be ye separate, all ye that bear the vessels of the Lord. In case you didn’t know, Jesus paid a very great price for you, blood money is no small currency, especially tbe blood of someone who never sinned. You’re a temple of God’s Spirit, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, if you are saved, that’s not something to profane and defile and join to sin is it? Salvation produces separation. If you want blessing from God, and power, it takes separation. Samson, the man of mighty power… where was his power? It was in his separation… because he had a vow on his life, the Nazarite vow, which was a vow of separation… separation from grapes, from dead things. As a saved person, we are instantly separated from this world. We are in it, but no longer of it. That new creature born of God, that person in Christ is totally separate from sin. God is Holy, and thus holiness marks children who have his Holy Spirit. Holiness will result in separation, this world is full of darkness and sin, but a saved person is separated from sin… sure we still do sin, but this life is one of God drawing us out… spiritually, in the mind and in body… a full salvation from sin.
When God calls you, it’s him being your entire life. Seeking him first. When you put him at number one in your life, things will have to go in your life. Sinful things, vain pursuits, bad company, bad occupations… it must go. And it will go if you got saved. It will just happen. It’s not even your work. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. It’s a work of God’s Holy Spirit in you, you suddenly CAN’T do certain things anymore. If you are obedient. You have to get out. And it will be hard. Abraham was required to leave his country, his family, his friends… he would not experience the blessing and provision of God without leaving. Not just leaving for leavings sake, but leaving TO go where God called him to go. It’s time to hear God’s voice, and obey, to tread the road to his promises and blessing. Because this life is a real practical tangible life, we do have responsibility and reasonable service to do. We must leave sin, we must leave all the lies and deceit and error. God is worthy of our obedience. It was obedience to God’s voice. It is time to leave. You must leave Egypt. But the problem with the generation that left Egypt was that although God took them out of Egypt, the Egypt wasn’t taken out of them. It was in their hearts… they returned back in their hearts. And thus they never entered the promised land. And neither will you. When Jacob left Laban, his wife took her father’s images… she couldn’t quite get out cleanly. Clinging on to sentimental rubbish that would hinder her life and haunt future generations. When Lot left Sodom, his wife looked back. But Jesus said … no man, having put his hand to the plough and looking back is fit for the kingdom of God. You can’t look back. Look at Elisha, he was a plowboy, what’d he do? He was called by Elijah… and he slew the oxen and burnt up the instruments of plowing… what was that signifying? The END of that life… he was burning the bridges to his past. And it will cost you… Jesus said following him would cost you family and friends, but is that a price you’re willing to pay to follow him? It cost Abraham… but you won’t expect it will cost you? Taking up your cross and following him is a real thing, not just a cliche on paper. Is Jesus worth it in your heart? Moses would’ve been king of Egypt, he had all the pleasures that the world could offer set before him… but he esteemed the REPROACH of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt. Wow, what grace it takes to do that. I honestly don’t think I could in Moses’ position… no wonder the Bible says there never arose up one like him again.
So Abraham did what God told him. That’s a marker of someone who is the real deal. They do. The one thing we do so easily miss at the end of chapter 11, is that Abraham’s father assayed to do what God told Abraham to do. But Abraham’s father, Terah, only made it part of the way to Canaan. Abraham’s father, for whatever reason, never made it to Canaan land, he went part of the way, but stopped, and died in Haran… not in Canaan. Don’t be a Terah, you got to go all the way with God. And it held up Abraham too. How often our sin and disobedience holds up everyone else as well. Miriam’s rebellion against Moses held them up in the wilderness, because they couldn’t move till her judgement was complete. Abraham’s father cost Abraham… not just himself. Because Abraham was in Haran as long as his father was there, when Abraham’s father died, then Abraham left and went to Canaan. It’s a bit like the people of Israel God brought out of Egypt. They never went into the promised land… it was their children that went in. It was ironic, because it was “because of their kids” that they didn’t go in. That was one of their excuses seeking to justify their disobedience and rebellion. Their children was one of their excuses for not obeying God. Those same children went in, and they did not. You can’t be waiting around for other people to follow God, they may never… you just gotta do it yourself. Hear, obey.
But that’s not all to learn here. Because in the same chapter that Abraham obeyed we instantly see the flipside. Later on in chapter 12… Abraham went down to Egypt. He had come to the land God wanted him in, to bless him in. But a famine started, and he went down to Egypt. Because once you start obeying God, the tests will come. A famine came… and Abraham instantly started walking by his own sight, not by faith in God. That famine took him to Egypt. There are many famines in this life.. famines of churches to go to, famines of the word of God, spiritual famines where we are just so barren before God… but where do they drive us? Do they drive you to Egypt… or to God? In this case, the famine drove Abraham to Egypt. How typical… problems arise in life, issues of life, life decisions as life happens, and instead of seeking and obeying God and holding the line on truth… we go to the world, their philosophy, psychology, their solutions, their thinking, their ways.And boy, does it have a high cost. It nearly cost Abraham his wife. His precious wife, through whom he would have his son Isaac… God didn’t tell him to go to Egypt. Going “down” in the Bible is never a good thing. And so faithless was he, he nearly lost Sarah his wife to Pharaoh, but for God’s grace and mercy. Egypt is no place for a believer. Instead of going to God in the famine, he went to Egypt. Egypt is a picture of the world, of worldly solutions to your problems. And in being there, then Abraham started making bad faithless FOOLISH decisions. His thinking went crazy! We are fools outside the wisdom of God. It’s why we got to obey God… because that’s what’s smart even if we don’t get it. He did what he thought was right, and look how stupid it was. We go from the start of the chapter 12 with Abraham obeying God, to in the same chapter he starts disobeying God. Faith is a tough journey. Life sorts us out. Because he got out of one bad place, and then he ends up in a different bad place. Don’t make that your story. Out of the frying pan and into the fire the saying goes. Ur of Chaldees was no place for Abraham, but neither was Egypt… if Satan doesn’t get you one way, he’ll get you another… we must get back to obeying God from a sincere heart, from just being real and truthful with him, from just standing and doing according to his word. We are treading a dangerous path outside of his will and design… we need God’s grace and mercy to find a way back. God saved Abraham from himself in his grace and mercy.
Faith has some baby steps… Jesus took a child and set the child in the midst… and said except ye be converted and become as little children, ye shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. It takes child like simplicity. Satan wants to corrupt you and prevent you from the simplicity in Christ. Life is actually simple. We are sinners. Jesus died for you and me. We must repent of our sin and believe on him. And after that, abide in him, continue in him, live in him… in that same life that raised from the dead victorious over sin, that shall also quicken our mortal, sin compassed, infirmity stricken bodies. God has spoken, and the Bible says today, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. Because the more God speaks, if you don’t’ respond, that word will just fatten your heart, and shut your ears… its why religious people are the hardest to save… it was the religious people that rejected Jesus, because they had been shut to truth by the truth… because of unbelief. We need to repent of our sin, acknowledge truth, confess truth, and take the steps God would have us take in our own lives personally.