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March 10, 2021 7:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ that I know before you sit joining us today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana. Let's join Pastor Bill Gebhardt now is once again he shows us how God's word.
Our world long term blessing. Notice he sits personally going to have you. That's going to be a great nation and everyone on the earth has the opportunity. Be blessed through what you're going to do. That's exactly the same as it happens to you and me now God doesn't call us individually, like he call him, but he does call us. He calls us with the gospel. He calls and we have a chance to respond, and if we do respond to the gospel by faith.
What's the long term blessing. You see, my sins are forgiven.
That's what a blessing. He'll never leave me nor forsake me. What a blessing his spirit of won't indwell me.
What a blessing I am heaven bound assuredly.
What a blessing. Notice it's all unconditional. That should have us have the same kind of response that a branded should worship now me on Sunday morning with music. I mean we should worship we should be thankful. People you see, we should offer a praise and thanksgiving to God all the time. A moment of faith brings about long term blessing. What a great thing, but there's a second lesson to learn in this chapter that is this fear brings short-term failure right in the middle like everything going well something happens verse 10 and now there was famine in the land. That's it. Now there was famine in the land you think that's an accident. No, it's a test now. By the way, it's not a test, so God will figure out how devoted in his faith.
Neighbor Ms. it's a test to expose to Abram how devoted he is always that way. By the way, God never touched you so we can find something out. He test you so that you can find something out.
There's a famine in the land not I understand this impermissible murder.
It's in the Fertile Crescent 2000 years before Christ had to be one of the richest areas for food supplies in the world.
He probably never really was involved much of famine in his life, but there's a famine in the land.
Now the strange part is this. He trusted God, not knowing where he was going and literally walked a thousand miles trusting God. He then faces the Canaanites and he realizes just how formidable they are and once again God re-tells him the covenant is unconditional and I'm going to give you this land and he worships God again and now there's a famine in God's not in the picture at all. Abrams decided I'm afraid I need a plan fantasy.
Now there's a famine in the land and so Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land he just got the Canon just think how long it took him to go from her wild look at this what you're walking from here to Chicago. How long is it going to take you to get there. Now you get there and say I think we gotta go somewhere else now. Why, what is a famine in the land is no accident that his solution is Egypt always in Scripture.
Egypt represents the world when that's why the children of Israel were enslaved in Egypt for 400 years FB Meyer writes this he says in the figurative language of Scripture. Egypt stands for an alliance with the world. Abram acted simply on his own judgment. He looked at his difficulties and became paralyzed with fear. He grasped that the first means of deliverance that was suggested itself.
Much like add drowning man will grab a hold of anything to stay afloat and thus without taking counsel of his heavenly protector. Abram went down into Egypt when a fatal mistake. But how many still make it. They may be true children of God and yet in the moment of panic, they will adopt methods of delivering themselves that to say the least are questionable.
Sowing the seeds of sorrow and disaster to save themselves some some minor embarrassment.
How much better would've it been, if Abram to have thrown the responsibility back on God to have said to God, you brought me here. You must now bear the whole weight of providing for me and my family. I'm going to stay here clearly until I know what you want me to do.
It never consults God just segued. He probably was a man of some accomplishment. Just like many of us are and said that the company handle this the best way that I can, but when things was pointed out one of the commentaries is you notice is no worship going on and there's no prayer. He's just said there's a family and I'm going to care this number to do something about it and by the way, you know it's a bad idea because it just snowballs me show you how it does.
And it came about in verse 11 when he came near to Egypt that he said to Sarah, his wife senile. I know that you're a beautiful woman. Now I know has been say that kind of stuff all the time, but in this case is right. She's stunning.
I mean's dining she's 65 years old and she is stunning and he understands pagan culture. Notice what happens. He says, and it will come about when the Egyptian see you that they will say this is his wife and they will kill me, but they will let you live by the way, that's kind of interesting but true in that culture.
They had such a high view of marriage.
This is gonna strange, but found that such a high view of marriage, it would take another man's wife so they take another man's widow I she's now no longer anybody's wife. They just kill the husband and Abram knows that's going to happen. That's what he thinks is going to happen. He said please see that you are my sister so that it may go well with me because of you and that I may live on account of you notice what is concerned about his life and his welfare. That's is concerned by the way, who was supposed to be protecting who in this situation Abram is supposed to be protecting samurai is not exist, just as little favor.
None be taken by somebody else. You can see what a bad idea. This is the beginning. That's why said his idea of going to Egypt is wrong from the beginning because the power plays itself out and send it came about when Abram came into Egypt.
The Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful and pharaohs or the palaces, officials saw her and praised her to Pharaoh. The woman was taken into Pharaoh's house, all the places I mean it could have been any kind, a local official could've been a smaller official, but apparently Pharaoh's own palace officials got a look at her.
Notice what they did. They took in a putter and pharaohs house that you might be worried about this because you might wonder what happened to her. Nothing, not yet. Whenever Pharaoh especially would bring in and anybody from any country be fair game for Pharaoh in Egypt, he would not have a relationship with her until she had been in the heroin for at least nine months.
They want to make sure she's not pregnant with somebody else's child so she would be untouchable to anybody else, and that was one notice who ends up protecting her Pharaoh, not Abram C. Pharaoh protects her well. Just like with us when we make really stupid choices. God comes the rescue. Notice what happens first. Therefore, verse 16, he treated Abram well for her sake and gave him sheep and oxen and donkeys and male and female servants and female donkeys and camels.
They want to say what first of all female donkeys there sort of the BMWs of the day and what I mean by that is there, the preferable ride Mel donkeys are not fun to ride their stubborn mail stubborn but female donkeys are what you wrote. And then it says camels and if I was using the same analogy in that day. Camels are Ferraris. In other words, camels are where the real money is at and so pharaohs making him extremely rich. All because of her and is interested in his willingness to give her up to her harem.
Now God intervenes. It says, but the Lord struck Pharaoh and his house with great plagues that word means diseases or infirmities because of Sarai. God says I'll do what you should've done and so he goes right after Pharaoh's household.
Now understand once this happens, the Pharaoh in Egypt at that time, anywhere in the world at that time. All diseases are spiritually based. That's the problem so I'm sure Pharaoh would've brought in all the priest and said we have to start making sacrifices to our duties. We have to do this sums wrong. They never believed it was just something physical was always something spiritual, and apparently what they did is they went through all the motions and made the sacrifices and everybody was still afflicted.
Except one lady in their Sarah God's not conflict. Sarah so now Pharaoh you know become Pharaoh for nothing. Pharaohs figure this out.
Wait a minute you see, wait a minute, what's going on here. So he calls Abram and Pharaoh called Abram and he said to them, what is this that you have done to me. Why did you not tell me that she was your wife now in his defense, he's a lot like us when you get in a difficult time and you going to that default mode of your old sin nature you do half-truths.
She uses half-sister Genesis 20 read that Sarah is Abram's half-sister so was 1/2 a lie. She is seeking but she is his wife and and so Pharaoh notice what is this that you have done to me. Why did you not tell me that she was your wife why do you say to me she's my sister and I took her for my wife now then here is your wife take her and go who has the high moral ground here Pharaoh pagan. He has a high moral Ron and Abram a friend of God, a man of God's own choosing. The example for all of us is the weasel in the story Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him and they escorted him away and his wife and all that belonged to him. You know what Pharaoh might've just said.
I give my word I gave you that on the taken aback. I'm a man of character compared Abram but an interesting story. Faith brings long-term blessing, but fear brings short-term failure. There are several little application of principles of come out of the story number one is this. We all face famines. Everybody faces famines for believer in Jesus Christ your face famines know they might not be famines, but they meet all kinds of things. I mean we face death and disease and divorce. We face economic downturns we face all kinds of famines. That's what life is. Secondly, whenever we decide to escape the famine without consulting God were likely to make a big mistake seed is never consulted God. He just said I think I can handle this.
I know where to go. I know the food is the careful that there's 1/3 principle, sort of, all the way through it before we get too judgmental about him.
We all struggle with weakness. He's no different than your you have weaknesses in sewer line again checks when golf. He said when it comes to these weaknesses. More religion isn't the answer, don't tell me how many hours you spend reading your Bible. Don't tell me how many years you been a church member.
Don't tell me how much theology you know how many degrees you've earned none of that can protect you from the foolish decisions are lies that you tell yourself, were all week and we need supernatural help if Abram could fall soon after building two altars to God. Believe me, you and I can have a moral stumble as well were all week since Jonas that's one of the great things about the Bible you know you look at ancient literature and the heroes of ancient literature always heroic. Look at the heroes of the Bible are always real. They always have struggles forcefully every compromise we made jeopardizes a Sarah in other words, there is no sin. It's victimless we jeopardize people when we make choices that are sinful like this. Notice he had almost no interest in her.
He was interested in his own welfare for his own benefit and thought he might feel to make some money out of it.
It might go well with me mimics me when I mean by the every Egypt has a Pharaoh. In other words, we live in a world surrounded was called at Egypt by pharaohs in what I mean by that by people whose lives we touch and when you touch somebody's life the way Abram touched Pharaoh's life, what you do for the cause of Christ. How do you think Pharaoh viewed Abram's God see all I want to be part of that because if you're part of that you be willing to give up your own life. You see, when we make compromises like that everybody sees in our culture, by the way has a word for its hypocrisy. That's what Abram is at the state is a hypocrite. Six. Once you live often becomes easier to do it again that's it's really sad about the story when we get to Genesis 20. Guess what he does the exact same thing. He lives again, this time to Abimelech that I know before you say what's wrong with this guy. The me ask you this. Have you ever done something really morally reprehensible as a believer and then repeated it, see that's the point. That's what he is saying. Once you lie it often becomes easier to do it again. The late George Burns was joking about the key to his success and he said the most important thing about being successful is learning honesty, nieces, and once you can fake that you can achieve anything.
Abram was not so good at faking it.
And lastly, it is always better to struggle in the promised land in the midst of a famine than to be in Pharaoh's court in the midst of the world. He should've never left the land you see the things that you think you get from the world. Be careful look at verse 16.
Again, therefore he treated Abram well for her sake and he gave them sheep and oxen and donkeys and male and female servants and female donkeys and camels not you probably didn't even think about it when you're reading it, but one of the things he gave to Abram or female servants were going to run into that female servant, her name is Hagar. She gives birth to Ishmael. Ishmael gives birth to the Arab world how Moncks consequences are to that choice today. How much consequence to that single choice because he was given by Pharaoh female servants.
The world has very little to offer us. That is of real value and so we begin to look at the life of Abram or Abraham.
Each one of his stories.
I have so many good examples for us to follow or not follow in this story. It's clear we learn to wonderful things. One moment of faith can bring long-term blessing in your life you put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ in your whole eternity changes from one act of faith. You don't earn it. You don't deserve it. But God calls you to us through his gospel in fear brings short-term failure.
That's what ends up happening this brutal kind of failure that we have.
We take our life in your own hands. So two things that we've learned from the life of Abraham. Once a blessing once a cursing. Thank God he so often rescues us from ourselves the spring. Father, we can identify with Abraham, even in chapter 12 of Genesis.
Most of us can identify with his faith even if it was a mustard seed of believing you when you told him what you would do in his life and his faith as evidenced by his obedience and he left any travel to the promised land. He was so overwhelmed by your grace that he warship you as we worship you, but father we never arrive into were in your presence. He found that once he was tested through famine. His fear led to his failure. Father, we realize in this life we face our own famines. I pray we learn from this lesson that will we find something happening in our life that causes us anxiety or fear that we consult with you before we decide what we should do that would rely on you your wisdom, your power and your spirit rather than our own ingenuity. Father, we thank you that in spite of our failure. The covenant remains in place because it's unconditional. Your love and your faithfulness to Abraham continued in spite of his faithlessness to. We thank you for that truly are of God, who has the ability love to see us and keep us in Christ and pastoral never on the radio ministry of fellowship lower if you ever miss one of our broadcast or maybe you just like listen to the message one more time.
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