February 26, 2023

Too Good to Be True?


Listen as we study Genesis 12:1-9, examining the call of God on Abram's life! God makes fantastic promises to Abram which are ultimately fulfilled in Christ!

Message Transcript

Genesis Chapter 12 is a turning book in the Book of Genesis and in the rest of the Bible. And what we're going to learn over the next 14 chapters in Genesis. There are three big truths we're going to learn. First, we're going to learn that God makes great promises to Abraham. We're going to see the beginning of these promises this morning, and then we're going to see them unfold over the coming weeks. And these are great promises. These promises are so good that if you take them seriously, the more you take them seriously, the more you wonder if they can actually be true. Second, we're going to learn that all these promises are true. They're not too good to be true. They are true. They are guaranteed by the sovereignty of God. And we're going to see that God has fulfilled and is fulfilling these promises that he made to Abraham. And then third, we're going to learn that the promises in Genesis 12 are fulfilled in us who are in Christ. So if you are a Christian, you're reading this passage. These promises were made to Abraham thousands of years ago. You may wonder, how does it relate to us? Well, where we're going, what we're going to see in the Bible is that we are the recipients of the blessing that is promised in Genesis Chapter 12, that all the promises in the in the Book of Genesis, all the promises in the Bible, are ultimately pointing to the Lord Jesus Christ, and they find their fulfillment in Him.

And therefore we are recipients of this blessing if we are in Christ. These promises are so significant that the rest of the Bible is simply God fulfilling the promises He made to Abraham. So if you want to know what is the book of Isaiah about? Isaiah is about God fulfilling his promises to Abraham, What is Colossians about? What is the book of Acts about? What is Revelation about? What are all the books of the Bible about? Well, it's about God fulfilling the promises that He made to Abraham. And we're going to see these promises, the beginning of these promises in our text this morning. Now, our text naturally breaks into three parts. The first part is the call of God. The second part, it is the promises of God. And third is the obedience of Abraham. So let's start with the call of God. And there are three details I want you to notice about the call of God on Abraham's or Abraham's life. Detail. Number one is that the call of God is God calling Abraham to a new life of faith? God is calling Abraham into a new life of faith. He's not calling Abraham to sanitize his old life. He's not saying, just live your old life, but be a little bit nicer.

That's not what's happening. God is calling Abraham, and God calls us to a whole new life of faith. Genesis 12 one The Lord said to Abraham, Go from your land, your relatives and your father's house to the land that I will show you. So go from your land. It's very clear. Go from your land, go from your relatives, go from your father's house and go into the land that I will show you To have land, to have relatives, to have your father's house was a huge asset for Abraham. This meant property for Abraham and meant prosperity for Abraham. It meant safety, relationships, reputation, business opportunities. It meant to common culture, a common language, common customs. And it meant a measure of certainty and security for his life. And God in verse one, is calling Abraham. Out of all of that, He says, You need to leave all of that behind. That is part of your old life. You need to leave that behind. And if I was Abraham, I would have said, okay, God, where are we going? You want me to go with you? Where are we going? And God says, Go to the land that I will show you. Where is that? God says, I'll tell you when we get there. You may not know where we're going. You don't know where we're going, but I will tell you when we get there. So he doesn't give he doesn't give Abraham an address.

No zip code, no Zillow pictures to look at, to think about the house you're going to move into. That's not what happens here in this passage. And as I was studying this week, the question that kept coming into my mind is the question, why doesn't God just tell Abraham everything that's going to happen in his life on the front end? What he knows. God knows He knows what he has planned for Abraham. He knows all of the disappointments that are going to be on the road. He knows all of the highs, all of the lows, all of the failures. He knows it all right now. And he could just tell Abraham, but he doesn't tell Abraham. Why doesn't he tell Abraham? And why doesn't he tell us? Wouldn't it be nice to know all the disappointments we're going to face, all the pain that we're going to face, all the opportunities we're going to we're going to take advantage of? Wouldn't it be nice to know on the front end? But God doesn't tell us. And he didn't tell Abraham. And I thought, Why? Well, the reason is to move our confidence from ourselves, from our land, from our people, from our language, from our culture, from our relationships, to move our confidence away from that and into the Lord that there is a fundamental shift that needs to happen in every human heart. If you're going to if you're going to worship the Lord, if you're going to walk with the Lord, your confidence must be in the Lord, The Lord Jesus Christ must be the rock of your life.

He must be your refuge, the one that you run to, the one that you look to, the one that you're trusting in above all else. And if he is not, you will put your confidence in something else. You will put your confidence in something that will let you down. And so this fundamental shift needs to happen in Abraham's life, and it needs to happen in our lives, too. If this hasn't happened in your life where you say, No, no, God is the rock on which my feet stand. He is my refuge in strength. He is the one that I look to. He is the one that I trust in that that that decision, that movement in our heart, away from ourselves and unto the Lord must happen. So God is calling Abraham into a new life of faith, not to trust in his land, his relatives, as well as his culture, but to trust and the Lord detail. Number two The call of God untangles Abraham's life from the old habits of sin, idolatry and destructive relationships. So the call of God, what's happening in the call of God on Abram's life? The call of God is untangling Abraham's life from old, sinful habits. Idolatry and destructive relationships. Abraham grew up in awe of the Chaldeans, a modern, civilized, advanced city during that that time in world history.

And then he moved to Haran, which was another developed city. Both of these cities were built around the worship of false gods. They were built around worshiping the moon, God named sin, and to worship the moon, God named sin and the other gods in the land. It required human sacrifice. So they would take little kids and they would kill them. They would make an offering to the moon, God sin. They would offer their children and they would offer adults as well. On top of this, sexual, sexual immorality was part of the worship of the moon God. And so you see that this leads to chaos when you worship the wrong God, it leads to chaos in your life. And Abraham was all tangled up in that mess. He lived in those lands and he worshipped those gods. He worshipped the wrong God, not the God of the Bible. So his life, Abraham's life was tangled up in that mess. Habits of sin, patterns of adults, of idolatry and destructive relationships. So God is saying to Abraham, You need to make a clean break with your old life. You need to make a clean break with your old life. I have a little illustration that I hope will help you. It's a little ball of yarn. Maybe it's a big ball. Jt, do you want to throw that up here? Help me with it. Here we go.

So, thanks, JT. Good work. So. So this is. This ball of yarn is obviously all tangled up. And what can happen over the course of time because of our sinful habits, because of our destructive relationships, because we give ourselves to the wrong thing. Our lives, our souls can get all tangled up. And what happens is we begin to notice that some habits, relationships, things we give ourselves to, they're really unhealthy, really unhelpful. And so we'll sit, we'll identify it and we'll say, this is really a big problem. And then we try to untangle it and we realize, Uh oh, it's not that simple. How do you untangle this? Because in order to untangle this, you've got to untangle this and this and this and this and this and this. It doesn't just come undone easily. And so we continue in it, and we do the best with what we have. Some of you, you look at this and you say, that's my life right now. My life is a tangled mess. Everything is connected. There's sin, there's bad relationships. I'm not moving in the right direction. Some of you look at this and you feel anxious because you want to untangle this right now. You think I got to I got to solve this problem right now. It's driving me crazy. Or you look at this and you say, I know people like this. I know people. And you look at their lives and you say, I don't even know where to start.

Where do you start? Everything is so twisted up. Everything is so tangled. You can't just get rid of that because you get rid of that. Then this happens and this happens and then and it gets so messy. And many of us we will bring this is what we bring to the Lord. And we say, Lord, I will follow you as long as you don't touch this. I will follow you as long as long as I can keep this all in place. God, I don't want you messing up my life. I got control of my life. And you're going to have to go around these things. This is what's going to happen, Lord. And so we try to obey, but we're compromised. We start off on a bad foundation. We're compromised. Our habits are established by our desires, our ambitions, our sin, what we already want to do. Our relationships are unhealthy. We're giving ourselves to the wrong thing and we try to tuck the Word of God into the open spaces of our lives. And what the Lord Jesus is calling on each of us to do. And what the Lord was calling Abraham to do is to make a decision. To make a clean break with your old life. This is what it means. You've got to get rid of it. Got to get rid of it and go the other way. And if you don't do that, your life gets.

So it just continues to get tangled up. I mean, there are so many people, how many people, they think about Christianity, they begin to come to church, they come to a Bible study, but they can never get free. All their old relationships, patterns of sin, things are giving themselves to drag them down. And they can't get free. They can't get free. Now you might be thinking to yourself, Wait a second. Aren't people involved in their. Don't. Aren't we supposed to care about people? So how does how does that work? Because doesn't God care about those people? Well, this is what's so interesting about the passage is that God is calling Abraham to leave his relatives, to leave his land, to leave his father's house. And then the promise he makes is that if you do this, I will make you a blessing to the entire world. He's calling Abraham to be a blessing to the entire world. But before he's going to be a blessing, before God is going to use him to bless the whole world, he has to make a clean break with his old life. Or another way to say this If you're going to be the light of the world, if you're going to be the salt of the earth, you need to become the light of the world. You need to become the salt of the earth. If you're dark and you're living in darkness, you won't light up the world if you're not salty.

If your life is not salty, Jesus says, What good is it? What good is it If your life is all entangled with the darkness? So you have to get free. And what God knows is that with Abraham, Abraham will be the source of blessing for the entire world. So he's not saying Give up on your old life because you don't care about people. He says, Give up on your own, your old life, that you might be the light of the world, that you might be the salt of the earth, that your light might stand out. And how do you become the light? It means you become a Christian. Now you come to faith in Christ, you build your life not on your dreams, your ambitions, your desires. You build your life on the Word of God. You have a new center of gravity. And that center, center of gravity is the Lord Jesus Christ. And this makes perfect sense to me that if Jesus is calling us to a new life in Him, then we cannot have a new life in Christ and hang on to our old life of sin. You can't you cannot experience and walk in the newness of life if we're not willing to let go of our old life of sin, how do we expect to be filled with the fullness of Christ if we are still filled up with our own lives? How do we expect to be filled up with the fullness of Christ? Don't you want that to be filled with the fullness of Christ? How do we expect to be filled up with the fullness of Christ if our lives are packed full with ourselves? God only fills empty vessels, and when we empty ourselves as an act of worship to Christ, he will fill our lives.

He changes our lives. The Lord wants us to lay down our lives. That we might find our lives in Him. Some of you are holding on to your old life. You're trying to do both. And what I'm telling you is it won't work. It won't work. You need to make a clean break with your old life of sin and destructive relationships. And God will give you wisdom as far as what that looks like. But in your heart, you need a new master. You need a new Lord. And that's what God is calling Abraham to detail. Number three to notice is that the call of God is gracious. The call of God is gracious. As you read the story, you asked the question. You can't help but ask the question, Why Abraham? What is it about Abraham that that God saw? He saw something in Abraham. What is it that God saw in Abraham that said, Yeah, that's my guy. What is it? You know, Was he just better than everyone else? Wiser than everyone else. More righteous than everyone else? Certainly not.

Abraham is no better than anyone else. No more worthy than anyone else. And so why Abraham? Well, it is because God chose Abraham. That's what happened. He chose to be gracious to Abraham and Abraham's descendants. God says to Abraham, I'm going to make you an object of my grace. You are an object of my grace. A trophy of my grace. A great passage. There's a great passage in Zachariah Chapter three, verses one through four that I hope gets stuck in your head, because it is a it is a powerful picture of what it is like to become a Christian. How do we think about Christianity? How do we think about what God has done for us? How do we think about our sin in light of all that Christ has done for us? How do we how do we put all these things together? Well, this is what it says in Zachariah three one through four it says. Then he showed me the high priest, Joshua, standing before the angel of the Lord with Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. So we. So we have the Angel of the Lord. We have Joshua, the High Priest, and then we have Satan standing there accusing Joshua of sin. That's what the devil does. He's the accuser of the brethren. He goes after the people of God accusing them, Look at their sin. Look at their sin. Look at their sin. Look at their sin.

Now what does the Lord do? What is the Lord do? There's the devil going after Joshua. Does the Lord, the righteous judge of the earth, say exactly. Let's get them. Is that what happens? No way. Verse two The Lord said to Satan, The Lord rebuke you, Satan. May the Lord who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you. Now here's the phrase again. I hope this gets stuck in your head. Here it is. Isn't this man a burning stick snatched from the fire? Isn't this man. He says, Isn't this man Joshua? A burning stick snatched from the fire. Fire! What is Joshua? What is Abraham? What are you if you're a Christian? You are a burning stick snatched from the fire. And this is such a powerful picture. Here's a picture of little fire action happening, if you want to put that up there. And that fire. There are logs in there, There sticks in there. And if that fire just keeps going, those logs, those sticks, everything is going to be consumed by the fire. The fire is burning and this is a picture of sin in our lives. That sin lights our own lives on fire. Not other people. Sin. Other people. Sin certainly doesn't help, but it is my sin that lights my life on fire. It is my sin that makes me worthy of hell, apart from the grace of God. And if nothing is done with that fire like no intervention, nothing happens. All that wood will be consumed and it's gone.

And the same is true for us and the same was true for Abraham, that if God had not intervened by His grace, Abraham's life would have been consumed by his own sin and he would have been sentenced to hell apart from God forever and ever. But what God does for Abraham is that he reaches in and he grabs that stick from the fire and he redeems it. He saves it. This is a picture of salvation. This is a picture of what God has done for me. What he's done for you. If you know Christ. Then what does God do with that stick? Verse three. Now, Joshua was dressed with filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. He's filthy because of his own sin. So the angel said to the other standing there, Take off his filthy clothes and turning to Joshua. He said, See, I have taken away your sins and now I'm giving you these fine new clothes. He says, Listen, all of your sins, all of your sins that that make you worthy of separation from God. All of your sins that make you filthy. God says in Christ, I forgiven all of them. I'm taking away your dirty clothes and I'm putting on new fine clothes that you might be in my presence. And that is exactly what God does for us in Christ. That though we have we have made ourselves filthy. We have sustained our own clothes with our filth in Christ.

He's taken those clothes from us. Now, where did they go? They went to. To Christ on the cross. Our filth, our sin was put on Christ that we might be forgiven forever. And all the righteousness that God has in Christ, all of His righteousness have been put on us, new clothing that we might live in His presence. So he takes that stick that's going to be destroyed. And he forgives, forgives, forgives us our sins and closes, enclose us in his very righteousness. And I think about this truth almost every week. I hope you do, too. I hope you think about what God has done for you every day of your life. I often think about the question, where would I be if God had not saved me? What would my life be like if God had not saved me? And I don't I don't even like thinking about that because I think, oh, man, I know what's inside of me. I know what I'm capable of doing. But for the grace of God, we would we would be sticks burning in a fire. But God has been gracious to us, and he was gracious to Abraham. Now, obviously, Abraham has to respond, just like we have to respond to the invitation to follow Christ. But God saves Abraham when he's doing for Abraham is gracious. And what a glory it is. Just a side note, what a glory it is to be involved in that process.

What a glory it is that God would use his redeemed people, the church, to snatch people from the flames. Not. That is what he is doing through us. By his grace, it is a glorious thing which leads to the promises of God. The promises of God. This is the second part. The promises of God. There are seven promises God makes to Abraham. And we're going to be exploring these promises over the next 30 weeks or so. So I'm not going to dive into them right now, but it's going to take a long time to unpack all of this. But I want you to just feel the weight, the overwhelming weight of these promises that God makes to Abraham. Here they are. Remember, Abraham recently in recent history have been worshipping the wrong God. And now God makes these promises to Abraham. Number one, I will make you into a great nation. I will make you into a great nation. Number two. I will bless you. Sin has cursed you. But the God of heaven will bless you. And what this means in this context is financial blessing. Many children in territory land. Number three. I will make your name great. I will give you a great reputation in the world. God made this promise to Abraham 4000 years ago. And we're studying him today. We've gathered here. We're studying Abraham today. God made this promise 4000 years ago.

There is no human being besides the Lord Jesus Christ who was more revered and admired than Abraham. For 4000 years, people have looked to Abraham. Muslims love Abraham. Jews love Abraham, and Christians love Abraham. Number four. And you will be a blessing and you will be a blessing. God's heart for Abraham wasn't just to receive blessing, but to be a blessing. There is great joy in receiving blessing. And there is great joy in giving a blessing which is better, do you think? Receiving a blessing or giving a blessing? Which is better. Giving a gift or receiving a gift, you're probably thinking, depends on what the gift is. I mean, if a new Tesla give it, give it to me. You give me that new Tesla or whatever it is. But we know there is great joy in receiving a gift and there is even greater joy in giving that gift and giving that gift. And God says to Abraham, not only will I bless you, you will be a source of blessing for others. Number five. I will bless those who bless you. I will bless those who bless you. God says I will deal with people on the basis of the way they treat you. On the basis of the way they treat you. They bless you. I will bless them. Six I will curse anyone who treats you with contempt. Anyone who treats you with contempt. Abraham, I. The God of the universe will curse them.

Whoa. This is the God of Heaven saying, Abraham, I got your back. I got your back. They mess with you. They're messing with me. They come after you. They're coming after me. I have your back. And number seven. All the peoples, all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you. All the peoples. On the earth. We'll be blessed through you. Sin divided the entire world, and sin has cursed every person, every family, every culture, and every nation. Sin corrupts everything that it touches. And what God says to Abraham here is just outrageous. He says, Abraham, through you and through your descendants, all the peoples of the Earth will be blessed. Not just people in your neighborhood, not just your family. All the peoples of the earth will be blessed. Now, how is that even possible? How is it even possible? What we are going to see is that all seven of these promises are fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ. They're all fulfilled in Christ. They're all pointing to Christ, just like all the promises in the Word of God are pointing to the Lord Jesus Christ, because in the Lord Jesus Christ, humanity finds its greatest blessing. Is there anything better? Is there anything better than being forgiven? Is there anything better than being clothed than the righteousness of Christ? Is there anything better than having eternal life? Is there anything better than walking with the Lord? Is there anything better than having the hope of the resurrection with the new body and the new heavens and the new Earth? Is there is there anything better than the promise to spend eternity in the presence of God, where there is fullness of joy and pleasure forever, forever more? Is there anything better than that? It is the highest and deepest blessing that the God of heaven could give any person.

And that is fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ. See, humanity finds its salvation. We find our salvation in Christ. We find our forgiveness in Christ. We've been reconciled to God because of Christ. It is the Lord Jesus Christ, the seed of Abraham who is snatching to this day right now. He is snatching sticks from the fire. Redeeming people's lives from the pit. It is the Lord Jesus Christ who came into the world to receive the punishment that you deserve for your sin. At the cross. That's where the Lord Jesus Christ died in our place. It is the Lord Jesus Christ who rose from the dead, conquering sin and death and Satan in our behalf that we might possess eternal life. And it is the Lord Jesus Christ who is calling the world to Himself right now. He's inviting the world. Come, follow me. Come, follow me. Come, follow me. And so all the promises in Genesis 12 and Genesis 15 are fulfilled in Christ. Which leads to the third part of the text, which is the obedience of Abraham.

The obedience of Abraham. Genesis 12 four. So Abraham went. As the Lord told him. So what's Abraham's response? He gets the call. Stay or leave. What are you going to do? Stay or leave? Are you going to stay? Are you going to leave? God gives them promises. He looks to the Lord. He says, I'm in. I'm in. And there seem to be two obvious obstacles to Abrams obedience to things. They just jump out of the text that are obvious obstacles to Abrams obedience. The first is that Abrams is 75 years old. He's 75 years old. When God calls him, that's what verse four says. And just to be clear, I'm not saying that 75 is old. Did you hear that? I didn't say 75 is old. I'm just saying that 75 is pretty old when it comes to starting a new life. That's. That's all I'm saying. You're starting a new life at 75 years old. Go into a new country, learn a new language, Learn a new culture. And yet he went. He went. I mean, think about how stuck in your ways you get after five years. Think about how stubborn you can get. Abraham has already lived a full lifetime. 75 years old when God calls him. And yet he goes. Moses. You know how old Moses was. 80 God called Moses. The Moses that you think about was 80 years old. So if you are 60 years old, you are a spring chicken.

I mean, you have a lot of years ahead of you. And it is not too late to change. It is not. Did you hear that? That's very important that you understand. Don't be grumpy. Don't be so set in your ways that you turn away from what God is calling you to. He calls Abraham at 75. That is so wild. The second obstacle is that Sarai, his wife, is barren. Sara is barren. And when you think about these promises that God makes, I will bless you. I will make you a great nation through your descendants, your offspring. I will give this land. And you think about all these magnificent promises. Then you remember that Abraham and Sara have no children. They're old and they have no children. I remember when Meg and I, we first got married. We were young and in love, Love and life. We're still young and love, I guess, but a little older now. And we had this attitude. We just said, we're just going to take on the world. What's going to happen? We don't know. We're going to figure out life together. When we went on our honeymoon, we were we were still too young to rent a car. I mean, she was only 16 then. I was 17. I'm just joking that that's not true. 22. 23. But. But we're still too young. Like we were too young. We just bought a house. We don't know what we're doing and trying to figure it out.

And then we had a baby. Nine months and two days after we got married. So we had two sweet days of married life without children in our lives. And then God gave us more kids. And we're so grateful for that. What a what a wonderful gift that God has given us. And almost certainly Abraham and Sara. Sarah got married young as teenagers. Almost certainly they got married young, and I'm sure they were filled with the same excitement. Let's take on the world. Don't you feel that way? You get married? Yeah. I don't know what we're doing exactly. We're going to go figure it out. Let's do it together, baby. You know, that's the. That's the heartbeat of a young married couple. It's a wonderful thing. I'm sure they had it. And then one year goes by. No children. Three years go by. No children. Ten years go by. No children. 40 years go by. No children. 60 years go by, no children. And all of the promises are based on the offspring of Abraham. How does that work? I mean, if you're Abraham, how are you not saying, Oh, Lord, we have a problem here? It's through my offspring. I don't have any kids and we've tried for 60 years. I have no idea how this is going to work. But he obeys. Abraham obeys, He goes, I love that verse, verse four. So Abraham went. And he began the greatest adventure the world has ever known.

Is there any adventure greater than what God does with Abraham? Abraham? Is there any story better? Then what God does with Abraham. His story is our story. It is the story of God's redemption. Story of God changing people's lives. And my dear brothers and sisters, if you want a life that you will not regret. Obey God. Don't waver between two decisions. Don't hold on to your old life. Push all of your chips in on the Lord Jesus Christ. Go. Just settle the issue. Go. What do we do with this information? What do we do with the story? I'm going to give you two points of application. Number one, count the cost of following Christ. Count the cost of following Christ Abraham. For Abraham, there was no halfway option. He was going to obey God and go or stay in Hebron and disobey God. He had to count the cost. The call of the Lord. Pushed Abraham to count the cost. What am I doing with my life? Do you guys ever ask yourself that question? What am I doing with my life? What am I giving myself to see? The call of God pushed Abraham to make that decision. Just like the call of Christ today pushes people to make that decision. What are you doing with your life? Well, am I going to stay in disobedience? Go and obedience? The Lord Jesus calls us. He commands us. Old Testament, New Testament.

Every person he calls, he calls them to count the cost. Believers have done this for centuries, for centuries. For Moses and Hebrews 11, we see that Moses had two options. Option one Stay in Egypt. All the pleasure, all the sin, all the glory, everything you could have wanted in Egypt. That's option one. Option two. As you follow the Lord, you walk in obedience with Him. You experience the rejection of the world. Hebrews 1126. This is the conclusion for he considered reproach for the sake of Christ to be greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, since he was looking ahead to the reward, since he was looking ahead to the reward. So he looked at the two options. Egypt. Pleasure. Glory, fame. Comfort, Security. Or following Yahweh, the God of the Bible. And he looked at his two options and he said, I'm in. I'm in. I'm going to follow the Lord. I will follow the Lord Abraham to options Stay in Hebron. Security, comfort. Relationships Ease. Or follow the Lord, even though I don't even know where I'm going. And he followed the Lord. He went. What is your decision? What is your decision? I mean, is it clear in your heart what you're doing with the Lord Jesus Christ? If you don't know, I would encourage you settle the issue in your heart. If Jesus lived for you, died for you, Rose for you. If he's alive, do you believe Jesus is alive? If you believe he's alive.

Then give yourself to him. That's the only thing that makes any sense at all. So count the cost. Number two, worship God alone. Worship God alone. The life of faith. Is it is a life of changing your behavior. Did you hear that? It is a life of changing your behavior, but it is not first, a life of changing your behavior. The root issue, the foundational issue in the Christian life is worship. It is worship. It is the worship of God. And the genuine worship of God will change our lives. It will lead to a change in our behavior, undoubtedly. And what we see in the story is evidence of Abraham worshipping God. Time and time again, if you look at verse six. Abraham passed through the land to the site of Shechem. Where? Shechem. On the map. It is in. It's in the middle of the promised land. So the idea is that God is leading him from here on down. Very long journey, hundreds of miles. And he leads him to Shechem, the very middle of the Promised Land. And then it says, At the oak of Mora. What's the oak of Mora? Mora means teacher. The oak of Mora is where the false prophets of the Canaanite gods taught the Canaanites. This giant tree where people could sit in the shade of the tree and the false teachers would get up and teach about the Canaanite gods. It says Abraham passed through the land to the site of Shechem at the Oak of Moura at the time of the Canaanites, at the time the Canaanites were in the land.

The Lord appeared to Abraham and said to your offspring, I will give you this land. What are you going to say for your Abraham? We have two small problems. God, I don't have kids and I don't have an army. The Canaanites. Are they just going to give us the land? Is that what's going to happen? Now, Abraham could have scoffed at this. He could have questioned God unendingly about this. But what does he do? What does he do? He's in the center of the promised Land at Shechem, surrounded by the Canaanites. God says I'm going to give your offspring this land. What does he do? Look back in 47, the Lord appeared to Abraham and said to your offspring, I will give this land. So what does Abraham do? So he built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him. And he worships. He worships. He runs into obvious conflict. How is it going to work? I don't know. This worship. Christians are worshipping people. Healthy Christians delight and worshipping their savior. Abraham is a sinful man, as we will see as well. But he keeps running into challenges, he keeps running into difficulties and he keeps worshipping, he keeps worshipping, he keeps building an altar. And verse eight, he builds an altar. He moves throughout the land.

He lives in a tent. And he builds an altar. Lives in a tent. And he builds an altar. And he keeps. He keeps worshipping the Lord. And my dear brothers and sisters. That is what we must do. You run into challenges. You worship. You worship. It's good to ask questions. But what can happen so often is that people run into challenges, disappointment, heartache in life, and then they quit. They give up on the Lord, they stop worshipping the Lord. There are two wrong attitudes I want to call out quickly. Here it is. I'm a Christian. That means God should help me get what I want in this life. If I'm a Christian, God should help me get what I want in this life. Part two of the wrong attitude. If God doesn't help me get what I want, it's okay for me to do my own thing. So, God, what He's doing his responsibility. Get me what I want. If he doesn't, I'm justified to pursue what I want. Wrong attitude. Right. Attitude number one. How do you think about yourself? I'm a burning stick plucked from the fire by the grace of God. Starting point. I'm a burning stick plucked from the fire by the grace of God. Right. Attitude number two, I'm a stranger in a foreign land. Heaven is my home. I'm a stranger in a foreign land. Heaven is my home. I love our country. I love Des Moines. I love our state, state of Iowa.

I love it. Heaven is my home. Heaven is our home where citizens first there. Hebrews 11 eight through ten, says by Faith Abraham, when he was called. The writer of Hebrews is reflecting on Genesis 12 by Faith. Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and set out for a place that he did not. Set out for a place that he was going to receive as an inheritance. He went out even though he did not know where he was going. By faith, he stayed as a foreigner in the foreign land of promise, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob co heirs of the same promise. What motivated Abraham to keep going? To keep worshipping what motivated him to keep moving. Verse ten. For. He was looking forward to the city that has foundations whose architect and builder is God. He was looking ahead. He said, I'm a I'm a foreigner and a foreign land. I'm a stranger. This is not my home, my responsibility. My goal is to walk with the Lord. To walk with the Lord, to obey him from the heart. And so, brothers and sisters, we must resolve to trust and obey the Lord, to worship him from the heart, regardless of what happens. If life. If life is great worship. If life is confusing, worship him. If life is disappointing, worship him. That's the Christian life that God has called us to.

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