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Counting Stars in an Empty Sky (Part 10)

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef
The Truth Network Radio
September 13, 2019 1:00 am

Counting Stars in an Empty Sky (Part 10)

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef

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I thought this morning.

I kind of let you in on a use of family secret but you have to keep it just between us. Okay, when our children were growing up they detested watching television with me and for a very good reason because I think the figure at the end.

After 10 minutes of the start and blurted out, even sometimes, I am predicting the before it was pronounced with is a love story of war story or adventure story. I think of basically unpredictable.

Armenia may be different people different circumstances in different places, but so predictable and goes something like this boy meets girl the problem arises, boy loses girl the problem is overcome, and then boy gets girl and live happily ever after.

Right. I think on the rare occasion that you find the story, takes a different twist and I think Abraham story had it finished and the last message will be an understandable, of course, the supernatural can never be forgotten. And today, as I conclude this series of messages where God told Abraham to start counting stars when he could actually see none would gonna see here in this last message.

How unpredictable the events have taken the turn.

NaturallySpeaking from the human point of view this is the hardest message in the whole of the series, emotionally speaking. This is the toughest in all of the 10 messages even in terms of faith.

It is difficult to comprehend. And while I don't deny the difficulty I don't want you to miss the important part. I don't want you to miss the big picture ability to miss the big vision here Abraham from the time we saw the very first message were God told him of the error of Chaldeans to go and to this point of his life.

The 50+ years or so in reality what Abraham is going through is what each of us will go through. It is the school of faith.

Faith is like a muscle that it does not grow while you just sitting there eating potato chips and watching television faith like muscle, it grows by exercise and this exercise of the school of faith were Abraham entered in the Earl of Chaldeans, and now we see him going from kindergarten to PhD program in the school of faith. We saw him graduate from kindergarten when he was rescued from Egypt after lying to Pharaoh. Then he graduated from elementary school when he ties his entire network to Melchizedek and then we saw him graduate from high school when you realize that Ishmael is not the one. After he called out the garden so that Ishmael be the one.

And God said no. Then he graduated from the College of faith when he trusted the Lord to give him and Sarah at their very old age, a son, and they named him Laster and here today you going to see him going through his PhD program in face. The reason our call with her. She was the highest degree you could ever earn in a PhD program you do five examination of this after three or four years of of coursework do five examinations of five hours each. The call comprehensives and trust me they call comprehensives for a reason and then you write a dissertation that has to be original work is not something you regurgitate from second resources. It is very rigorous and that's what Abraham is completing today. His PhD program. I wanted to turn with me if you haven't already, to Genesis 22.

Look at verse two with me because in Genesis 22 Abraham goes through. What none of us. None of us can ever understand or comprehend. Not on this side of heaven. This time God's voice that Abraham was used to hearing. Now this time God's voice shatters his peace and his peaceful existence. God's command comes as a sharp knife piercing into his very heart. This time God's voice and God's request can only be described as devastating. This call presents Abraham with one of the greatest test, if not the greatest test that God could ever put his friend through verse two Abraham here I am, take your son Isaac. You notice he mentioned by name because Abram could've said, in a analyzers adopted. What about Ishmael, his anonymous Isaac by name in order to emphasize the point he said whom you love has a total affection is now placed on Isaac and go to the region of Moriah sacrifice him there as a burnt offering to say that these words appear as an extremely cruel words would be an understatement but more like a minute.

Do you know what you say. This is a solemn promise. Lord, I can offer you a thousand head of Rams, Lord, I have a thousand head of cattle I can offer them as a sacrifice. What I can offer your lives are my adopted 11. I can even offer your nourishment, but not Isaac. Please Lord, not Isaac Lord take me. I live long enough.

I won't go on the altar for myself as a sacrifice, instead of Isaac Lord, remember the miraculous work that you have done all of that is going to go down the drain. Lord you promise that you keep your word and you kept your word with me for over 25 years. Lord, your reputation is going to be marred in this land Lord, my testimony is going to be tonic.

You know the amazing thing is, Abraham never said any of this. Probably that's what out of the not every means any of this.

This is the amazing part we ask your question in person.

Just listen carefully. Please has any of God's gifts of God's blessings in your life taken God's place. Please think long and hard about that and only answer that yourself answered only to yourself but don't miss the main issue here. It is not so much that Abraham placed all of his love on Isaac. Important as that might be. The Bible makes it clear that this was a test. What is important is that God's blessings of the future salvation is going to come through Isaac.

Don't miss this.

This is a big picture here for the first time Abraham is now confronted with her conflict. I mean this is huge. Conflict is a conflict between the promises of God and the command of God. How is he going to resolve this conflict in his mind, how is going to resolve this conflict in his life. He will have to resolve it to one of two ways is God a liar is God, and erratic God does God not know his own mind, but that's not the God that the group did know this is not the God he grew to love. This is not the gracious God that he encountered again and again and again this is not out your guy whom he knew that he will always keep his word and never go back on his promises. This is not an untrustworthy God. This is a trustworthy God in whom he trusted and so Abraham trust God even in the appearance of the impossibility in the most crucial difficulty of his life. What's going on in Abraham's mind you think, well the thing is Genesis 22,000 Thomas doesn't tell us what going on in his mind that some clues there, but it doesn't tell us love and listen to me very carefully. The Bible has 40+ writers but one author, the Holy Spirit is like a friend of mine says that when the writers were writing the Holy Spirit jumped in the ink. The Bible has one author is the Holy Spirit of God the spirit of Jesus and so the Bible reveals draws 2000 years later what was going on in everyone's mind. It's an Hebrews chapter 11 verse 17 by faith Abraham, when he was tested offered Isaac as a sacrifice, he will receive the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son. Even though he had said to him, it is through Isaac that your offspring will be redeemed. Abraham reasoned here is that on the line with the new Bible reason that's really what's going on in his mind at that time.

The Holy Spirit reveals this to us all be at 2000 years later, Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead and practically speaking, he did receive Isaac back from Beth.

Now of course we know in hindsight in many years later that this was a mere test but of course he did not know that. And because he passed this test God allow Abraham to see something that nobody else before or even since to be truthful. Allow him to see how God himself is going to do what he spread Abraham from doing and that is all for his one and only son as a sacrifice to the high for us to see. That's God's intention all along is to point all of Isaac's descendents to look forward to the day when the Lamb of God becomes our sacrifice for God. On that same mountain range would offer his one and only son for our salvation is here when Isaac asked the question father where is the Lamb where it is for the burnt offering that was a question that will be answered only by the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. That is the purpose of all Old Testament animal sacrifices that will pointing to the coming Lamb of God, the unblemished Lamb of God, the sinless Lamb of God when he is laying on the cross and Abraham's answer to Isaac was a prophetic word.

It was a word of prophecy about the coming of Jesus 2000 years. From that time.

He said God will provide himself a sacrifice. But Isaac question where is the Lamb was repeated in the Old Testament again and again. Isaiah 53 asked where is the Lamb and the answer is the man of sorrow who would be like a lamb led to the slaughter. Zechariah asked where is the Lamb. But like I asked where is the Lamb until the day a man from Galilee came up showed up where John the Baptist was baptizing at the river Jordan and their at the river Jordan heaven opened, and the Holy Spirit spoke. They said this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.

John tells us in chapter 129 that when John the Baptist saw Jesus coming he said, behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. This is the answer to Isaac's question, for it is this Lamb of God, Jesus, that Abraham looked forward to it. Is this Lamb of God, Jesus, whom every faithful believer in the Old Testament looked forward to it. Is this Lamb of God, Jesus, who is our shepherd. It is this Lamb of God, Jesus, who alone can wash away our sin and our guilt and our shame by his holy unrighteous blood on the cross. It is this Lamb of God, Jesus, who shall come again, and it may be sooner than we think, to judge both the living and the dead. And when Abraham named the place.

Yahweh are surmising the word euro is the same word actually in Arabic, Hebrew and Aramaic which means see Jehovah Jada we say it, but that's gonna from the Latin, but God will see to it.

That's really a literal translation we say Jehovah. Jada said God is going to see to it. God is going to see to it that he said that with me. God is going to see to it that's literally what he was saying.

God himself will see to it that he provides a Savior. God himself will provide a way out of this dilemma between his mercy and his justice, God himself will provide a solution to man's predicament. Whatever you might be going through right now and some of you going through tough times. Whatever you might be facing today. You need to remember that God will provide a way out of your dilemma that God will see through it that he will give you a way of escape, that God will provide a bomb to your wounds that God would compensate you for all the years that has been eaten by the locus God will give you his joy.

Again, God will dry up your tears, God will see to it that your vindicated MM blogs here you see on Calvary. God saw to it he saw to it he saw to it, for it was there on that hill, not three. There, the love of God and the justice of God met there on the tree, the righteousness of God and the mercy of God, kissed each other as Osama said there, the Lamb of God provided a perfect plan for salvation for everyone who believe in him.

I know and you know that for 2000 years of Christian history writers and artists and poets and people of all walks of life have tried to explain the love of God in their failed and did not, how, and if there's one thing after preaching for 45 years in the public ministry. I am incapable of describing the love of God I am incapable of describing it to myself live alone. I can describe it to others and that is why the person was reflecting on the love of God, and they would sit in the second stanza he said could wean with the ink the ocean fill in where the skies apartment made where every stroke on earth a quill and every man a scribe by trade to write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry nor could the scroll containing the whole the stretch from sky to sky. How can you describe the love of God. It's an impossibility, but is something else about this indomitable faith of Abraham. I don't want you to miss ability to miss this in verse five.

If you read the passage many times and you missed it. Go back on the line.

It especially one word I want to point you to it one word in that verse is what Abraham said to the servants, he said, stay here with the donkey and the boy and I will go up to the mountain to worship and we can say that with me will come back here is going to go there offer Isaac and go ice another number we gotta go up and we both can come back as such confidence that God will raise Isaac from the dead. No matter what happens he had not doubt in his mind now is graduated from his PhD program will what about Isaac. I don't want you to miss Isaac. Most historians place the age of Isaac.

At this point because we don't notice it after these things, so we don't really know but it's kind of calculated guest. He was between the ages of 15 and 33, was a strong man young strongman people run away, I mean is fathers of the hundred plus years old.

He could've overpowered him. He could've said you wanted to do what he could've said nice knowing you father goodbye.

I enjoyed the three-day journey with you Bob but this is where I leave you I have plans for my life lying on that all there is not one of them love and listen to me. How many times do we claim that we love the Lord, but only if it doesn't cost us anything.

We love the Lord. If the price is right. We love the Lord, but only if we don't have to surrender anything. We love the Lord, but only if we keep all of the blessings to us in our family. Oh I love the Lord, I want to give the idols in my life up. Oh I love the Lord, but only if I don't have, to give up my wrong relationships. I love the Lord but I don't want to give up these wrong habits is sinful habits. No doubt Isaac grew up hearing from his parents, possibly again and again and again and again how he is a gift of God, how he is. His birth is supernatural and miraculous how the promise of God for the salvation of Israel will come through his descendents how God's promise that he is a medical child that God has great plans for his life. How faithful God has been to his mom and dad how Abraham's faith in God and trust in God become so unshakable in reaching this point of being unwavering moms and dads would listen to me just a few minutes. What you teach your children what they see in your life, what you exemplify in faith what you impart on your children is engraved on their brain like engraving on steel is the scientists of said and they could live to be 100 and I can forget it and I can forget now with this brief introduction I get to Muslim. I kid you not. I have six points. First, Abraham's obedience of faith is characterized by promptness and safe with me, promptness, Abraham, here I am Lord, not once but twice. Abraham circumcise the men in your household. He immediately did Abraham let Hager an additional draw for his heart.

Yes, Lord. Then comes the biggest test of obedience of all of all time, ever have. Dick, Isaac, whom you love you love dearly offered to me. Here I want obedience. Secondly, Abraham's obedience of faith is characterized by sustainability was prompt, but also sustained his obedience was carried through a long period of time to be sure he went through stages, but nonetheless it will sustain a long period of time. It began when God appeared to him from nowhere at the Earl of Chaldeans, which in modern-day Iraq and told him to leave. What is dear and what is near and leave everything behind and got the land that he does not know where the God is going to show him all the way 50+ years later with this greatest test give me your dearest and your nearest his obedience first was what prompted. Secondly, sustain.

Thirdly, it was a willing obedience was willing know many of us from what I'm willing to value surely Lord you know willing to value but then I winning this get tested.

Most of us at this point, Priscilla, am I really hearing you right there is this really that I'm not sure if this is your voice really Lord. I don't think you want to do this or do you really Lord do you and you gonna drag it out.

I'm gonna wait until I'm really sure it is the voice of God, the beloved willing obedience is seen so clearly in the garden of Gethsemane. Father, if possible, take this cup from me, but not my will but yours in Hebrews 10 seven tells us about Jesus willing obedience in this way is what Jesus said here I am, it is written about me in the scrolls I have come to do your will of God. It was prompt obedience. It was sustained obedience.

It was willing obedience and fourthly it was settled.

Obedience. What I mean by that that many of us willing to obey. But then we get pushed and shoved with the forces of this world we get pushed and shoved with people get pushed and shoved about circumstances and and we get pushed and shoved with all kinds of factors in life and to help us to either not obey or do what I fall for.

Sometimes what I call partial obedience settled.

Obedience is what a set of Daniel.

Daniel purposed in his heart there is no equivocation there is no wavering, he purposed in his heart that is settled. Obedience settled. Obedience said of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke that he set his face toward Jerusalem like a flint.

This is the opposite of convenient obedience. This is the opposite of Macario obedience. It was prompt. It will sustain it was willing it was settled and fifthly it was contagious obedience is a how come well, think about this. Think of the millions of believers in the Christian history who have read the story of Abraham and Abraham's obedience and they cried out to God, Lord. That's how I want my life to be more that's how one part relationship with you to be is contagious and finally it is rewarded.

Obedience breeders always will be rewarded and is not always immediate, but it will be rewarded if you look at verses 15 all the way to 19, and even little bit further, you see how Abraham abundantly rewarded not only past promises counting the stars in the number of the stars is reiterated, reaffirmed, but he gave him little extra.

Is it your descendents will be like the sand of the seashore. The Bible makes it very clear that God is faithful, but also he's gonna reward faithfulness.

Listen, I built my whole life on the principle that the Bible said God is no man's data. He is not going all you anything is not to be indebted to you. God would give back, not just what you give him, but he's gonna give it back heaped over taken out of the abundance of Jesus was rewarded for his obedience. Not only that, on the third day he rose with every ounce of his omnipotence, but also he is now raining in ruling on the right hand of the father in heaven the world might be falling apart but he is not. He is now in total control in heaven. He rules over the hearts of his children, but that there is coming and is a lot sooner that we might think that every knee shall bow, and that every time is going to confess that Jesus tries his Lord to the glory of God the father. You and I not only blessed for our obedience hereunder.

No. But one day one day and again I think maybe sooner than any of us think one day we don't hear from the lips of Jesus. Well done, well done, well done safe with me.

Well done, well done good and faithful servant, sharing the joy of your father will never lose sight of this. Don't ever lose sight of this every time you lose sight of this good in the bumps every time you use out of this trouble don't lose sight of the underside of thanks for listening to this message from Dr. Michael.

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