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September 9, 2019 1:00 am
I want to imagine with me. A baseball team that has found themselves superduper picture. I mean, he's a wonder boy he can throw 120 miles he can throw every kind of conceivable ball fastball knuckleball spinning ball mean he can do it all. He is only one problem.
He refuses to watch the catcher signals, and so in the catcher would signal him for a low fastball. He sends an inside curveball and he goes on and on. I have to agree with me that is not a pretty picture. Please listen carefully because I'm going to submit to you this morning that this is a picture of an average Christian today. They are busy doing things. They are busy going through the motions that are busy being Christians and being church people and yet they refuse to get their cues from the catcher that is the word of God that will get their advice from everyone else it will get the signal from everyone else except where there should be getting it and that is the word of God and that is why you see so many of them when hit the wall. They fold they collapse they become easily discouraged and become easily frustrated or become easily disappointed.
They are beginning to play the blame game. What if he didn't do this or if you don't do this of you didn't say that many then the other thing at this would not have happened, but that's an all is a blame game instead of regrouping instead of retracing our steps and figuring out what got us here instead of facing the reality of our ignoring of the signals from the word of God. They become disappointed to become discouraged and they become complacent. We are in the middle of a series on the life of Abraham, calling it, counting stars when you can see none the last time we left Abraham in chapter 15.
He was on an emotional and spiritual high.
God has already passed through the animal that's been cut in half and the half was separated, God himself is a wonder guarantor of the covenant walked in the blood, which is a foreshadowing of the cross of Jesus Christ where he alone hung on the cross, shed his blood so that everyone who would come to believe in him and trust in him will be saved. God affirmed this covenant to Abraham in chapter 15 we saw how God personally took responsibility for not only the making of the covenant, but for the keeping of the covenant. We show how God assured Abraham that his delay does not mean his denial and you would think. Right after that would've been sufficient for Abraham to just keep on waiting patiently and to keep on counting stars instead in a moment of them picture business in a moment of impatience.
He did an about-face and Abraham stumbled headlong into one of the biggest messes that he has ever made and I want to submit to you today that here we are 4000 years after that mess was made. We are suffering and we are experiencing the pain of that mess. Don't ever think that when you sin you just enhance yourself, your sin is going to impact everybody around you and it could impact generations to come.
You often hear me say that a test always nips at the heels of a blessing safe. You are blessed right now heads up test is around the corner. Beloved, I know that biblically and others experientially know to show it to you from here from the word of God right here because if Genesis chapter 15 can be called the chapter of faith. Genesis 16 can be called the chapter of failure if in chapter 15 Abraham walked by faith. In chapter 16 he walked by the flesh. If in Genesis 15 Abraham listen to God. In chapter 16. He listens to his wife just before the elbow start flying. Just let me stop and remind you that it was Abraham who are set up to live for him when they were in Egypt are the ground is level here. I know I speak for many men when I say that I get wise counsel for my wife.
I get very good advice from my wife.
Godly counsel. Furthermore, I will show you today.
Something about Sarah's counsel to Abraham not want to show it to you as a selfless act.
I want to prove it to you in a minute but to do that I have to transport you for thousand years back in history not only in history but culturally so you understand what was going on in your mouth and say, make sure you put the text in its context and context doesn't only mean the verse before and verse after but you have to understand, to whom it was written. Who are the recipients were intended to say and what was a culture like at that time because that is very important in faithfulness to the Scripture Bible, always relevant to the people there speaking to.
So we learn from it and we take lessons from his men in those days, particularly at that time there, standing in society. It was dependent on how many children they have Abraham importance in his society. In fact, his manhood is at the stake here and Sarah felt deeply for what is perceived to be her husband's disgrace in society. In fact, I want to submit to you that Sarah wanted the world to know that the reason they not able to have children was her fault and that her husband's fault is something I wanted you to really take a grasp and understand what's going on here.
She was absolutely sure that if she followed the cultural norms and make no mistake about it, it was the cultural norms.
Everybody was doing it when you can have children you gave me your slave, your servant, and when slave becomes pregnant, ready to deliver a baby. She would sit on her mistress lap and deliver the baby as if it's her own was a dumb thing was everybody doing their beloved not everything that is legal or accepted by society is good and right. Abortion is legal and accepted. But God said it is wrong. It's a sin. Homosexual marriage is legal now, but God said its country's created order, and not because adultery and fornication is accepted, it still sin in the sight of God.
The list goes on and on and on.
But here's the kicker, regardless of how selfless seller tried to be, regardless of how much she wanted to take the blame for not having children, regardless of how she wanted to vindicate her husband. It was the wrong course of action, and I'm convinced that if is anybody else suggested that other than Sarah Abraham would not have gone through with and so Sarah suggested to Abraham that he could have children through her Egyptian maid Hagar, Galatians chapter 4 and read it very carefully. Paul argues that we, the believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are the spiritual descendents of Abraham because it is the seed not seeds and is talking about Jesus and that is why Jesus the Messiah was born from the freewoman. Sarah, not the slave woman Hagar, but you remember back couple of messages ago I showed you how Abraham tried to gun of drop around in on God's promise, he did it before, and he did his estate planning, and he said the God he said no I'm working my state here during my estate planning here and now must Chief of Staff Ellie Eisen from Damascus will be my heir. You know what God said to him, he's a use of translation. Read my lips. You gonna have a child by Sarah. But somehow, somehow this time waiting for Abraham and Sarah become hard, waiting become difficult. And Sarah and Abraham felt that they had to do something to help God out. You adulterous people of God little helpless and therefore my heart out to you for a minute here tell you that when we stop trusting God to fulfill his promise. No matter how rational, no matter how reasonable, no matter how good it sounds, we are actually blaming God for our difficulties. Been there, done that, and I promise you I have the T-shirt to prove it.
Look at verse two with me please. Sarah said the Lord has kept me from having children while is a statement of fact that is true, that is, but there's more to this verse and to what you just said the meets he wanted to listen carefully as if Sarah was saying. I know we should trust God. I know that we should take him at his word.
I know that we should trust his promise. I know we should wait.
I know we should be counting stars and getting ready but look at us. We are ready for the nursing home not building a nursery beloved, I know and you know that sometimes we do the wrong thing with good motives and resume our motive was good. Just remember question who's at fault here several Abraham files both. The only person involved here who is not at fault was Hager. She was a sandwich of the flagrant misuse got to do what you responded general authority element give you a counsel that I give myself trust me, I give myself a whole lot. And very often it's a counsel I give myself and it is this when I'm waiting for God to do the supernatural.
I am very careful not try to do the natural when you waiting for God to do the supernatural. Be very careful not to go for the natural, but you know what I often point the problem I show the problem I show you the sinner show the mistake, but then I want to lift up your eyes from Abraham lift up your eyes from Sarah from Hager from all of the mess that we are looking at right now I want to lift up your eyes to the Lord Jesus, I want to lift up your eyes to our God and show you how gracious he is, how incredible guardians.
These supernaturally specializes in picking up the threads of our disobedience and our distrust of him and he weaves them into a beautiful, beautiful tapestry God is renowned for pasting together the fragments of our fractured lives into a beautiful picture God is famous for picking up all the throwaway material and he produces a magnificent tapestry that forgot I wanted to look at. That's the God I want you to encounter today. Remember when our kids were little and Mr. Connor read them back to my wife resume and I'm sitting there listening and she reads a nursery rhymes and now because we do it with our grandchildren and it all always listen to this thing of Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. None the kings men are the kings horses group put Humpty Dumpty together again. Remember that anonymous sitting there will doubtless argue because Humpty Dumpty does not need the kings men of the kings horses. He needs the cane you will not need the killing because the king can trust the king wait on the king believe the kings were Sarah and Abraham came with a plan to help God out I help you perform a miracle God, and it backfired through the years. They used to be.
All of these summers evening churches power of positive thinking will produce a medical DM transcendental meditation will produce a medical visualization.
If you can visualize it, it will happen will produce a medical none of that is biblical only God can bring the medical and always asking you and me to do is to have faith to trust in him to wait upon him, and to believe that sooner or later he will do it. Sadly, one Hager fell pregnant and Sarah scheme succeeded Sarah resented her and the only thing that Hager could do at the time is run away as only thing she could do what happened when she ran away.
Look at verse seven the angel of the Lord appeared to this fatigued slave woman now pregnant with a boy. By the way, in verse seven of chapter 16 of Genesis is the first time you see the term the angel of the Lord, and this is no ordinary angel. This is no other than the pre-incarnate Lord Jesus Christ. Theologians call that theophany because he appeared, don't ever forget that Jesus Christ, the son of God coexisted with the father before all worlds. In fact, Paul said it is for whom and through whom the world was created. You see it clearly. Here in verse 13, Hager called him. The Lord, and then she goes on to say he is the God who sees me is the goddesses listen to me whenever you are tempted to think that God has forgotten you, whenever you are tempted to think that God had forsaken you whenever you are tempted to think that God does not see or care about what's going on in your life whenever you are tempted to think that he is not aware of your difficulties is not aware of your problems is not aware of your pain. It is not aware of what's going on. I wanted to remember Hager here.
Remember what you said he is the God who sees me is the gutter sees you will only see you he sees all of the details in your life. He sees all of what's concerning his concern about what concerns you all the minutest details in your life is before him. He is watching over all things in your life. All the surrounding things, things that you can even see owner Psalm 139 non-intern said if I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost depths of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me in your right hand shall hold me, but I may be jumping ahead of myself here and I just want to get back to the story and they're going to ask you to raise your hand if you have ever tried to run away from the place of obedience. Try to run away from the place of obedience I mean when the Lord wants you to be patient and wait but you run another project couple of times in my life is miserable. I discovered that the place of blessing is in the place of obedience, the place of blessing is where he wanted me to be, not where I want to go today. The motto in our culture is when things get tough, the tough gets going out the door you see, most would rather run away than stay and deal with the issues that's the problem with our culture today. We quit jobs and liquid schools with quick churches recruit marriages and redo it with dizzying speed. What we don't realize is that when people quit. Whatever it is thinking that can run away their running away with the problems and they just gonna repeat it and again repeated until they stop and deal with the core issue for Hager, she probably was going back to Egypt is not much call for pregnant unwed mothers in Egypt. You only be in misery. Look at verse 4C Hager began to despise Sarah and Sarah returned the favor.
Verse five. It shows me how fickle my memory as it showed me how short my memory is look at it with me place. Sarah said to Abraham, made the wrong you have done to me beyond you. May the Lord judge between you and me.
She has forgotten how was your idea. Amazing, even though it was well intended. There was Wellington in my flesh I try to imagine Abraham reacting to this. The Bible doesn't say it's a longer look for it will help drive. Imagine will all die as a dazed and confused, and looking at services but sugar pumpkin that was your idea. Here's what you mean is my idea… I may Nicholas said no for Hager. She thought having the baby's boss is going to burn her promotion voted on the gutter. The boot and the more Hager figure blossomed, the more contractor Sarah God, I would have to agree with me that up to this point of Hager's life. She experienced undeserved troubles right your great but is what I want to show you. More importantly, that she received unexpected blessings that never underestimate God to give you unexpected blessing when you're going through undeserved trouble another's life is not fair and all, as I understand that God also is a God of justice and he sees what's going on but before she receives that blessing that unexpected blessings he had to go back. She had to go back into the path of blessing the limitations there is a path of blessing and there is a pass of no blessing Bible makes it clear there's just no third way and in order to receive the blessing he had to stand in the path of blessing running away from the place of obedience is not going to bless you running away from the place where God wants you to be will not bring about the blessing you confided all you want that for as long as you want, you can take this to the bank only where he wants you to be is the place of blessing in my early years in my walking with the Lord. Like many people I would cry to God's situation an outside card. Please change my circumstances. Please change my circumstances and outcry to God and God lets me cry for little while and then in his sweet quiet voice suits a Michael I want to change you. I will change you before I can change your circumstances before I will change your circumstances here.
God set the huggers and I will bless you when you go back to the place of obedience, I will bless you, you will have a son, and you shall call his name Ishmael Sharma God who hears air. The name of God. Ishmael L. God hears the words you is God saying to Hager and he saying to so many of you here saying our hear the cry of your affliction. I hear the cry of the one who's been wronged. I hear the cry of the inner pain of those are being deceived. I hear the cry of injustice. I hear the cry of a true victim of unfaithfulness.
I hear you cry. And that is why when God asked Hager where did you come from and where you go, it's not because God did not know where she's coming from wishes going is omnipresent and omniscient, but because he wanted her to verbalize her pain.
He wanted her to verbalize her pain. Beloved unconvinced that when Hager returned back. She returned back up change woman. But that's not all.
God also change the heart of Abraham in the heart of Sarah and went on for 13 years. Next message will be talking about the 13 years of silence of God, he changes things.
Sometimes in our eagerness to change our circumstances and want to change my weight want a change in our time and our eagerness. We don't see how God works and how that he is working in so many fronts all at the same time he is preparing so many hearts all at the same time. How is setting up all the events, how he is lining up all of the circumstances so that the blessing can be revealed in his purpose be fulfilled wherever you are today reviewing whatever your circumstances only know whatever you cry.
Maybe this very moment whatever your pain is only you and God know whatever your hopes and dreams of their shattered brother being fulfilled wherever your I wanted to do something with me in a moment I want you to pray this prayer Lord take me to the place of obedience, Lord, take me to the place of blessing in Jesus name, amen, amen, amen. Thanks for listening to this message from Dr. Michael. You sat recently featured on leading the way. If you'd like to know more about us, please visit LTW.org that LTW.org