Thursday, 16 January 2014

The Everlasting Covenant with Abraham

Genesis 12:1 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.

Our church is preaching through the Bible this year. It is not a thorough study but rather more of an overview and touching on topics that the preacher chooses to preach on. This past Sunday the focus was mostly on Abraham and the everlasting covenant that God has made to him and his descendants. 

I like to take notes as the preacher delivers his message so I will post my notes below the Bible reading from Genesis 12:1-8

 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:
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:
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.
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.
And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.
And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.
And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto theLord, who appeared unto him.
And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the Lord, and called upon the name of the Lord.

Pastor Ben was preaching and here are the notes that I took from his sermon:

We are looking at the big picture story of the Bible. 
God created the world and all of humanity and He said that it is very good.
But humanity rejected God and turned against Him.

God made a promise to Abraham and Sarah in Genesis 12. He starts enacting this plan in order to combat and wage war against the evil that has enveloped his creation. God is looking to draw humanity back into relationship with Him. The covenant promise is an act of mercy and grace.

God is Holy. He is robed in majesty and power. Humanity rejected and betrayed Him. It is not surprising that there is judgement. God destroyed most of humanity in the flood of Noah's day and spared only Noah and his family. God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah but spared Lot and his daughters. We can think of the tower of Babel when God confused the language of the people. 
The surprising thing is that God is so merciful and gracious. In judgement God shows mercy and grace.

Genesis 12 is a major shift in history - a change in how God relates to humanity. 
Verse 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:
We are blessed through Abraham. The Scripture is written by a descendant of Abraham. Jesus our Savior is a descendant of Abraham.

What are the promises to Abraham in Genesis 12?
1) Descendants - a great nation 
2) He will be blessed and be a blessing
3) A promised land

Will God be faithful to these promises? Can we trust God to fulfill His Word?
Absolutely YES!!

Genesis 1-11 describes how humanity fails and are not faithful to God. People reject Him time and time again.

But God is showing that He can be trusted and He is faithful.

God does provide children to Abraham. Isaac is born - a miracle baby. Genesis 12 is a blessing to Isaac.
Then we see Jacob getting the promise of Genesis 12. Jacob has 12 sons and so they become the 12 tribes of Israel. God does give them children and they become a great nation and even to this day!!

Laban is on the receiving end of the blessing when Jacob lives with him. Laban recognizes this to be true. God is constantly fulfilling his promise.

God's promise invites us to respond, to change and to live a new life in Christ.

Just as God called Abraham to leave his old place behind him, so God calls us to leave our old ways behind and he invites us to come to Him - to change and to follow Christ.
We need to trust Him. We need to come to Him in repentance and faith.

Will you trust Him?

God has promised provision. He has promised to take care of us. He will provide for us.
This allows us to live in a new way. We do not need to cling to our possessions, to our bank accounts or retirement fund.  We hold our possessions with a free hand because God is our provider.

God has promised to be in relationship with us. We don't use people in our to get ourselves ahead. We don't need to worry because  we are resting in the promise of God.

Hebrews 11:6  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Our well being does not come by living for ourselves. Society says "me first" .
The Bible says "me first" is a recipe for disaster.

We are learning to trust God and to live in His promises.

Thought for the week - "When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, I used everything you gave me." Erma Bombeck 

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