God takes the initiative to be involved in the life of a man He plans to use and become friends with. Sometimes this means active intervention by mighty acts. We must see what God is doing and respond. We must learn to trust Him.
Genesis 12:1-8 (NKJV)
1 Now the LORD had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you.
2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
4 So Abram departed as the LORD had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.
5 Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So they came to the land of Canaan.
6 Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, as far as the terebinth tree of Moreh. And the Canaanites were then in the land.
7 Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” And there he built an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him.
8 And he moved from there to the mountain east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; there he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD.
1/ God’s offer of covenant Gen 12:1-3
2/ Abram leaves father in Haran 12:4
3/ As he traveled south God appeared and told him to stop he had arrived 12:7
4/Abram sets up his home near Bethel, built an altar and called on the Lord 12:8
Genesis 12:9-20 (NKJV)
9 So Abram journeyed, going on still toward the South.
10 Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to dwell there, for the famine was severe in the land.
11 And it came to pass, when he was close to entering Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, “Indeed I know that you are a woman of beautiful countenance.
12 Therefore it will happen, when the Egyptians see you, that they will say, ‘This is his wife’; and they will kill me, but they will let you live.
13 Please say you are my sister, that it may be well with me for your sake, and that I may live because of you.”
14 So it was, when Abram came into Egypt, that the Egyptians saw the woman, that she was very beautiful.
15 The princes of Pharaoh also saw her and commended her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken to Pharaoh’s house.
16 He treated Abram well for her sake. He had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male and female servants, female donkeys, and camels.
17 But the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife.
18 And Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife?
19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’? I might have taken her as my wife. Now therefore, here is your wife; take her and go your way.”
20 So Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him; and they sent him away, with his wife and all that he had.
5/ He did not like the famine so kept traveling south all the way to Egypt 12:8,9
6/ Abram lies, gets in trouble and is expelled from Egypt and forced to go back home 12:10-20
7/ Because of food shortages Lot and Abram split 13:1-18
8/ Lot gets caught up in a war and is captured 14:1-17
9/ Abram meets a priest of the Most High God and gives the first 10% tithe 14:18-20
10/ Abram then refuses the riches of Sodom as a payment for military victory 14:21-24
11/ God visits Abram with new words and a promise to become a great nation 15:1-21
Sometimes God has to do the opposite of what we think, and seemingly abandons us. This means non-intervention through silence, refusing to stop us in wrong choices, and we suffer the consequences. We must see conclusively that “there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” (Proverbs 14:12)
We must learn to walk by faith:
1/ real life experiences
2/ when we carefully walk with God’s counsel & God’s presence
Abram Learned in Steps:
God had to build required foundations before He could trust him any further.
*KEY = clear experience with God personally
1/ Abram had to respond to the nature of God
2/ God’s nature was revealed through real life experiences
3/ The amount of his faith was directly related to what he knew of God
4/ Therefore God allowed famine, family conflict, and real enemies to severely test him
5/ God permitted moral choices to be made
6/ God challenged him to greater faith by enlarging Covenant promises with impossible circumstance
7/ God would not intervene when Abram listened to human counsel instead of His promises
God was more interested in his faith than the consequences of his lack of faith.