Abraham (Used By God)
Abraham is an important person in the bible. The Jews see Abraham as their father and the reason for their salvation and they place a lot of hope in being in the bloodline of Abraham. While we read about the life of Abraham, there are a lot of different lessons we can learn about God, about why we created us on this earth. Many different things, but I want to focus on one main topic with Abraham, God Used Him.
In Genesis 12:1-9, we see that God calls Abraham to leave everything behind and go to this promised land. So Abraham listens to God and goes searching for this promised land that God is telling him about. This act takes a great deal of faith. Abraham has no clue where he is going, no clue what this promised land is. He only has the Promise of God, Abraham takes God at his word. We see God do this a lot throughout the bible. He calls people to follow him, but when He called people to follow him, it’s always towards something even greater, so great, it’s hard to believe, as the story of Noah. God called that guy to build a boat that would fit his family and 2 of every kind of animal on earth because a great flood was coming. Now we see God telling Abraham to follow him to a Promise Land that God will give him. It takes faith to just leave everything and follow God.
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrew 11:1
God is calling each one of us to follow him. That tugging in your heart is God calling you to follow him and his plan for your life. Would you make that choice today and follow Jesus? Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23
Abraham wasn’t perfect, after God called him to follow him we read about him pimping his wife to the Pharaoh of Egypt. He was scared that the Ruler of Egypt would kill him for his wife, so he had his wife tell everyone she was his sister. This happened in Genesis 12:10-20
Later on, God starts telling Abraham that he will be the father of many great nations, but Abraham was already old age and had no kids. His wife convinced him that he should sleep with their servant woman to try having a son that way. He had a son with the servant woman, but it damaged his marriage relationship with his wife and it damaged the relationship between the wife and the servant woman because the servant woman was able to bear a son for Abraham, but the wife could not. In our 21st century minds, we don’t think much about this, but in that day, it was seen as an honorable thing for a woman to give a son to a man.
Abraham ends up having his promised son at the age of 100, but because he steps outside God’s plan and tries to do it his own way, both of Abraham’s sons became a great nation. One son was named Ishmael, God tells the mother of Ishmael in Genesis 16:12, “his hand against everyone and everyone’s hand against him”. Paints a picture that his son and the nations that come from this son will be hated by other nations and they will hate other nations. It will be like an evil group of people on earth. God said Abraham would be a great nation and a blessing to many nations, this fulfillment was done through the other son, the son of the Wife of Abraham. Abraham 2nd Son, the promised son is Isaac. Isaac’s people became the Hebrews, who later got called the Jews. Through Isaac’s bloodline, God sent His Son, Jesus. Jesus lives a perfect life and follows the Law of God perfectly, dies on the cross, defeats death, by coming back to life and through Jesus bloodline, the whole world is blessed, when the Church is Born. Almost 1500 years pass and some Christians find North America and in 1776 the USA is given birth and now in 2020, this nation that was started up by Christians is a blessing to all nations, a nation of many nations, a Great Nation. God gave the Jews the Land of Israel and the Christians got the USA. Both fulfillments of the Promise of God.
Whatever happened to Ishmael? Well, these people are the Philistines in the Bible. We see the Hebrews go to war with them all throughout the old testament. The biggest story we have about them is when David walked up to Goliath and threw a rock at him and he died. These people are Israel’s worst enemies, but they’re both children of Abraham. One Son was a Promise son, the other was not the promised son. Today we know the Philistines as the Muslims or the Palestinians. It’s like a spirit of evil that goes from one generation to the next, that is bent on destroying the Promise Son’s future God-given promises.
Imagine if Abraham never had a son with his wife’s servant. Imagine if he would just listen and trust God! Abraham wasn’t wrong, God really told him he would be a great nation and have a son, but He got tired of waiting and he chose to do it his own way and it started an endless war.
In the ESV Bible, I have, it says in Genesis 16:2, “And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.” He should have been listening to the Voice of God. Sometimes, taking advice from others can hurt you badly. A lot of community churches like to tell the members to listen to their community group member’s voices, but what if, just what if that’s not the case every time? Just what if you are really hearing the voice of God and he really is telling you something? Listen to God, no matter the cost.