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April 24, 2022 7:00 am
You know one of my favorite Christian authors was a gentleman named AW toes and one of the things he wrote was this, and I quote, he said, have you noticed how much praying for revival has been going on of late, and how little revival has resulted considering the volume of prayer that is the sending of these days rivers of revival should be flowing that no such results are in evidence should not discourage us, toes, or says rather, it should spur us to find out why our prayers are not answered. He concludes by saying I believe that our problem is that we have been trying to substitute praying for obeying the and it simply will not work." Focus is what were going to talk about today as we return to our verse by verse study in the book of Genesis were going to talk about obedience to God, obeying the God from the example of the great man of God. Abraham so already. Genesis 17's were going to be studying a little bit of review before we begin. Remember Genesis chapter 16 that Sarah and Abraham grew impatient waiting for the song that God Promising them so they took matters into their own hands and they engaged in a legal and acceptable practice in the culture of their day, namely Sarah gave her handmade and Hagar to Abraham. Abraham had relations with Hagar Hagar bore a son to Abraham named Ishmael and according to the society of that day. That son was also considered to be Sarasohn last removing from Serra. The stigma of barrenness of childlessness that she was feeling okay. We all we been there. So now it start chapter 17 verse one when Abraham was 99 years old. The Bible says the Lord appeared to Abraham now. 13 years have passed between Genesis 16 and Genesis 1713 silent biblical years. Ishmael had grown in the young manhood Abraham. It apparently given up on the idea that Sarah was ever going to have a song when suddenly, God appears to Abraham and reconfirms the covenant that is already made with Abraham in Genesis 12 and again in Genesis 15 watch verse two. The Lord appeared to Abraham and said I am God Almighty walk before me and have integrity, for I will confirm a my covenant with me and you and I will greatly increase your descendents and you will become the father of multitudes of people. So first of all, God reconfirms his promise that Abraham will become the father of multitudes of people. In fact, God even changes Abraham's name to reflect this. Verse five God says no longer will you be called Abram, which means exalted father, but your name will now be Abraham's father of a multitude that God goes on for say and says in the whole land of Canaan. I will give to you and your descendents after you as an everlasting possession. So second of all, God reconfirms his promise to give the land of Canaan to Abraham's descendents as an eternal possession, but then God adds a new promise that he's never included up to this point in verse seven God says, and I will establish my covenant between me and you and your descendents after you throughout all generations, for an everlasting covenant, watch to be God to you and God to your descendents. Third, and finally, God promises. And remember what we just said this is new news for Abraham that God is going to single out that God is going to choose Abraham's descendents to be there God in a special way in a unique way in a personal way in a private way they're going to have a special relationship with Almighty God, that the rest of the human race does not have. They are going to be a specially chosen group of people you start lots officer. Let me make sure I really understand what you're saying I was saying if I got it right is that the Arab people and the Jewish people are both the descendents of Abraham, the Jewish people are descendents of Abraham through Isaac, the other Arab people are descendents of Abraham through Ishmael right that is correct, you say okay so then based what God is saying here about Abraham's descendents then first of all the Arab people are God specially chosen people just like the Jewish people. Second, according to what God saying here the Arab people have a claim to the land of Canaan, the land of Palestine, just like the Jewish people do. And finally, the God of the Arab people, and Islam. That is our law is the same God of the Bible that we Jews and Christians worship long you have I got it right will know you got it wrong you got it totally and utterly wrong. He said wait a minute that's exactly what it sounds like this is saying I know friends, but we haven't finished the chapter yet.
That's why the end of the chapters on the beginning of the chapter to finish the chapter and when we do we discover that God limited this covenant that he's making with Abraham only to Abraham's descendents through Isaac that is critical. Watch verse 18 and Abraham said to God, all the Ishmael may live before the but God said no Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac and eyes shall establish my covenant with whom with him.
Isaac, for an everlasting covenant for his descendents after him. God's is as for Ishmael, I've heard you, behold, I will bless you and I will multiply him and I will make him fruitful and he shall become the father of 12 princes and I will make of him a great nation friends has God done that for their peoples, hello yes has God kept his promise to their peoples. Yes, he has watch verse 21 but God says but my covenant I will establish with who Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this season next year. So what this means is that even though the Arab people are descendents of Abraham. God's everlasting covenant with Abraham. Here in Genesis 17 is not for them.
Therefore, number one, the Arab people are not God specially chosen people, only the Jewish people are therefore number two God's promise of the land of Canaan does not belong to the Arab people.
It belongs to the descendents of Isaac Jewish people and finally, therefore, number three, God is not the unique private God of the Arab people only the Jewish people have this relationship with Almighty God. With this means is that according to the Bible, my friends, all law is not the true and living God of the Bible, Islam is not a true path to God and Mohammed is not God's ultimate messenger to mankind. The risen resurrected Lord Jesus Christ is God's messenger to mankind.
A man and then God's deal here friend was not with Ishmael, God's deal here was with Isaac wasn't even born yet and the Jewish people.
That is not what I say that's what the word of God says I'm just telling you what God said. But you know what, there's more to come. Look what happens next. Verse 10 God said further to Abraham this is my covenant, which you shall keep between you and me and your descendents after you. Every male among you shall be circumcised.
This will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. So after reiterating to Abraham all the provisions of this special covenant God tells him that he wants a custom be gone with Abraham and his household and on every male that is of the chosen people. The Jewish people for the rest of time and eternity. They are to be circumcised and why did God want this well. He says it right here in the Bible. This is to be the sign of the coveted between me and the Jewish people. This is to highlight the Jewish people special and unique relationship with Almighty God, to be a sign of that. So what it Abraham do verse 23 on that very same day Abraham took his son Ishmael, and every male in his household and circumcised them. Just as God told him to do. Verse 24. Now Abraham was 99 years old when he was circumcised and Ishmael is on was 13 years old Abraham and his son Ishmael were both circumcised on that very same day, and every male in Abraham's household was circumcised along with them. Now that the stars were going to go in the chapter will The end of the chapter so that's as far as MacGowan but we have a very important question to ask right now so all of you out there on the Internet. Are you ready good. I heard that and all of you here Tyson's already I come on and I have to tell you the other services today did very well. So you know we saved tickets for you so make this a thank you you save tickets for us. Are you ready Juan to prayer.
That's awesome that you're awesome is Alonso wants a boy do I feel bad for Abraham. Other than that goodness gracious what in the world does this have to do with me.
Well, let's talk about.
It's very interesting to me that God made a special point of emphasizing something at the end of this chapter. Did you pick it up. Let's go back see if you pick it up. Verse 23 on that very same day that is the day that God told Abraham to get circumcised Abraham circumcised every male in his household. Just as God had told in verse 26 Abraham and his son Ishmael were both circumcised on that very same day, and every male in Abraham's household was circumcised along with them.
The friends is the really intriguing. If you look very carefully here in Genesis 17. You'll find that God did not specifically command Abraham to circumcised himself and his household on that very same day I mean Abraham could've done this. The next day or the next week or even the next month and still have complied with God's command, but what is the Bible say Abraham did it that very day. Abraham didn't even put off what God commanded him for one single day and you know why because Abraham had a wonderful spiritual habits in his life, namely that Abraham practiced instant and complete obedience to God I meet.
As soon as Abraham knew what God wanted him to do. Abraham didn't exactly the way the Lord told him to do, and we see this wonderful spiritual habit of obedience all through Abraham's life. Let's go back to the first time we meet him.
In Genesis chapter 12 listen first one the Lord said to Abraham, leave your country, your people, your father's household and go to the land that I'll show you so Abraham laughed. I love that he did what the Lord told him just as the Lord had commanded him to do. Hebrews 11 verse eight by faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as an inheritance land of Canaan. He obeyed and the lands talk, not even knowing where he was going when he set out but he disregarded commanded NATO. We see this very same wonderful spiritual habit of obedience at the end of Abraham's life we pick up in Genesis 22 Abraham as well over 100 years old. Verse one. Now God tested Abraham and said to him take his son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on the mountain that I will show you watch so Abraham arose early the next morning, saddled his donkey and set out for the place that God told him to go have God appeared to you and told you to sacrifice your daughter or your son would you get up early the next morning to go do this. Abraham did and now we just seen in Genesis 17. The right smack dab in the middle of his life Abraham practiced this kind of obedience immediate, complete paper and you want to know why God referred to Abraham. Isaiah 41 verse eight as Abraham. My friend, well, you just saw a big part of the answer. Abraham was a man of obedience. Malice defined what is obedience while obedience means to follow the orders and carry out the instructions of someone in authority over you to do what you were told his followers of Christ, we must understand that in God's vocabulary obedience is a treasured word, the Bible reiterates this over and over and over again. Jesus said this, Jesus said, John 1415 if you love me you will obey what I command.
Jesus said in Luke 646. Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and yet you do not do obey what I say, hundred and 11 verse 10 a good understanding have all those who read God's commandments know a good understanding have all they who memorize God's commandments know a good understanding have all they do God's commandments and God said to Joshua. Joshua one verse eight this book of the law shall not depart from your mouth but you shall meditate on it day and night. I so that you may be careful Joshua to do everything written in it.
Why, because then Joshua you will be prosperous and then you will have good success. I suppose James sums it up as well as anyone when he said in chapter 1 verse 22 but prove yourselves to be doers of the word and not merely hearers only folks over and over. The Bible tells us that God is not interested in rituals or creeds or denominations or prayer books or him singing for church membership or religious activity. But above all else. First and foremost, God wants obedience and this is what the prophet Samuel told a disobedient King Saul first Samuel 15 Samuel said to Saul, does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as he does in obeying the voice of the Lord. Samuel said Saul behold, to obey is better than to sacrifice and I would say to you today to obey is better than to sing in the choir to obey is better than the put money in the offering plate to obey is better than to have a church membership to obey is better than to teach Sunday school to obey is better than to have your quiet time obey is better than anything not knowing this has huge implications for our lives as followers of Christ because you see in our modern-day brand of Christianity. We emphasize God's love we emphasize God's mercy. We emphasize God's compassion and emphasize God's forgiveness and God's understanding, and these are all true things about God, but so often we emphasize this to such an extreme that I'm afraid we forget something we forget that our God is a holy God, and that as a holy God. He commands obedience from his children, friends, listen the bottom line is that you and I can never become true men and women of God, personal friends of God like Abraham until we get serious about obeying God every facet of our life just that simple. Many of you know I run and do tours to Israel and other places and and I run these as Christ honoring doors and with biblical standards in every every time we do a tour we get a few applications from people that are living together unmarried not brother and sister in San Juan on say right okay and I have to always call them up and say I'm sorry this is the biblical Torah by biblical standards. You not you can check up on my door. You know, you either gotta take separate rooms with roommates are single rooms, but I'm sorry you can't do this so anyway couple years ago I got this registration from a couple two different last names same address your fan so I said I would do it. Always do: they can't do this, but just before I called him. I just happened to take a look to see how old they were when the woman was 69 and the man was in his 70s brave New World essay Sarmiento self.
So I called them up and I got the lady on the phone and I said ma'am you know I'm in the quite had say this, but I'm you can do this on my tour and you know and I went started and she said to me Lawrence Solomon to Psalm 69 years old. She said you honestly think that I'm living with some man at 69 years old is not my husband and I said I don't know brave New World.
She said no she said is my husband. We just haven't changed our name was somebody at 69. She said Lawrence Solomon, I'm sorry, what about the most of the communicative or name you know what. So anyway, it turned out to be very funny. They went on the tour. Everything worked out fine but while we were on the tour we got up laughing about this and she said to me, certainly, you don't really have people who try to come on the storage and live together like that possible actually do and she so I will obviously though they're not from McLean Bible church and I said well most of them actually are and she said are you serious, she said, how can they be from McLean Bible church can they come there and sit there and listen to you preach and listen to what the word of God says, and know what the standards of God are and still be living together, said ma'am I said is a very good question. All I can tell you is that a lot of people do what they want to do in life and it doesn't matter whether they attend McLean Bible church or not. It doesn't matter what the Bible says are not. They do what they want to do. So that brings us to the issue for today. That issue is as a follower of Christ here today. Do you do what you want to do in life or do you do with the Lord tells you to do in life so long that actually that's a very complex question, no, actually it isn't – it's a very simple question because my friends, you're either living your life. 100% under the authority of God's written word and God speaking to you directly into your heart or your living your life under the authority of yourself.
There is nothing in between.
As far as God is concerned, this is a very simple question whose authority are you living on, you know, the great evangelist Charles Finney once said, you can't preach against sin in the abstract.
By the same token we can talk about obedience to God in the abstract, friends, obedience to God is a very concrete thing so let me close by asking you a concrete question that question is what has God been asking you to obey him and do what is. Maybe he's been asking you to obey him and give your life to Christ babies been asking you to obey him and surrender your life hundred percent to his Lordship. Let's get even more concrete than that showing maybe God's been asking you to humble yourself and go seek someone else's forgiveness or to forgive someone else that hurt you. Maybe God's been asking you to make restitution for Sumrall that you did to someone else or to speak to some relative or friend about their relationship with Christ and you know you're going to pay a price for this, but God's been asking you to do it anyway. Maybe God's been asking you to stop sleeping with your boyfriend or your girlfriend or your fiancé or to stop dating that person that you know you got no business dating or to knock off that adulterous relationship and go back to your husband or your wife and confess your sin and rebuild your marriage. Maybe God's been asking you to get help with that secret pornography problem that you've got to stop undressing women with your eyes every single day. Maybe God's been asking you to get serious about beating that drinking problem or that drug problem or that smoking problem or that rotten attitude problem in your life that is dishonoring Christ every day in your life. Maybe God's been asking you to stop the cursing and the gossip and all the dirty talk and that comes out of your mouth every day. Maybe God's been asking you to go back and file amended tax returns and pay what you know you really owe.
Maybe God's been asking you to take on some area volunteer Christian service, or maybe even to accept his calling the full-time Christian service. Maybe God's been asking you to have a quiet time yourself and to lead your family and your children and devotions look I don't know what God's been asked folks God asks all of us to do some things, and the question is have we obey their will on. Isn't it true that we need the power of the Holy Spirit in order to be able to really obey God in our life. Yes, but my friends it takes our determination. It takes our commitment it takes our zeal and it takes our seriousness about obeying God first before God activates the power the Holy Spirit in our life. If your weight for the Holy Spirit to drop magic dust on you from heaven, and suddenly you gonna want to obey God in every part of your life, you're kidding yourself God's waiting for you and me to say Lord I want to obey you. I'm committed to obeying you I'm zealous about obeying you help me filter the power the Holy Spirit all but not to you, and I say that so let me close with the words of Deuteronomy 28 now it shall be the Lord says that if you will fully obey the Lord blessed will you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country. Blessed shall the offspring of your body. Be an Blessed shall be the produce of your ground, blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out. The Lord shall cause your enemies to be defeated before you. They shall come out against you one way and shall flee before you seven ways the Lord shall make you they add up and not the tail, if only you will fully obey the Lord's commands. Folks above everything else. This is what made Abraham.
Abraham's obedience to God and this is what God wants from you spring for Jesus after a sermon. Once you said this is a hard saying and who can hear it. Lord, I suppose that that would apply to the message today is a hard message because we all want to go our own way and many of us have been living under the authority of our sill even as followers of Christ Lord help us repent from the heart of that today and some of us here have prayed about all different kinds of things were. We need to obey you, or give us courage, Chris, takes courage, give us the humility to take some humility give us the strength and the power spirit that is going to take for us to follow through. But Lord, make a serious been working to follow through with your help and father give us the lifestyle of Abraham, the lifestyle of the great prophet Samuel, who when you spoke to him first Samuel three. He responded speak Lord for I servant listening Lord, may that be the attitude of our heart each and every day Lord speak. Whether it's through the Bible or directly to my heart speak, Lord, tell me what you want me to do and I'll do I servant listening change our lives in the way we live because we were here today, and sat under your work.
We pray these things in Jesus name.
What is God's people say