This Sunday we’ll begin part 2 of a sermon series through Genesis that we started last year. Lord willing, over the next few winters, we’ll continue to work our way through the book of Genesis, and see how God faithfully and sovereignly establishes His people.
Last year, we finished the series in Genesis 11, where God disperses the nations after they build the Tower of Babel and we read the lineage of Abraham. This week, we’ll look at chapter 12, when God calls Abram. He promises to build a great nation through this 75-year-old man. As incredible as this sounds, we see later that God doesn’t give Abraham his son Isaac until he is 100, and his wife Sarah is 90! It definitely would take some faith to believe this is possible.
Abram’s story begins in Genesis with God promising to build a nation and calling him to move from his homeland and family. God doesn’t tell him yet where he will go, yet Abram packs his things and leaves all he knows behind. He trusts God to be true to His word.
Just a quick sidebar: if you are in a small group at Coastal, you’ll spend some time discussing what our faith should be rooted in. Abram trusted God’s words, as should we. We have the completed Scriptures, we don’t need to look for some grand vision or a prophetic voice to give guidance. God has told us all He wants us to know
Abram sets out and responds in faith to God’s command. By the end of chapter 12, however, Abram has wavered. As he enters Egypt, he fears for his life and instead of trusting God’s promise to protect him, takes matters into his own hands. He develops a ruse to pass through Egypt pretending Sarai is sister rather than his wife. Needless to say, this backfires. God remains faithful, however, and delivers them from Egypt. How many times do we do the same thing? We know God’s commands, we know His promises, yet we think we can somehow do things better? “God, I know you say that I should be generous with my money, and trust you to provide, but have you seen the bills this month?” Or, do we use failure as an excuse for inaction? “God, I know you’ve called me to share the gospel with those around me, but my family knows too much about me. They’ll think I’m a hypocrite.” Abraham is called the father of our faith, and we see in Scripture he was far from perfect. God’s faithfulness is not dependent on our merit, He’s not surprised by our sin. He keeps His promises because of His character, not because we deserve it.
Praise God that through His Son, we have forgiveness of sins! This is not an excuse to sin freely, but grace to overcome our sin. When we fail, we can turn to God and He will cleanse us. And as He did with Abraham, He can use us for His glory.