Abraham - The Tests on Faith

I. Abraham’s Calling and Initial Response (Genesis 12:1-5)

A. Analogous to “awakening” – initial faith to “see” God

1. Ephesians 2:8; John 6:44

B. No specifics in God’s promise – only broad terms of blessing

1. John 3:16; Ephesians 1:3-9

C. Response of obedience – non resistance

1. 1 Thessalonians 2:13; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:2-5

D. Salvation is God’s work:

1. 2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 10:8-17

E. Damnation is Man’s work

1. John 3:19-21; Romans 1:18-32

F. Abraham becomes the Biblical example

1. Romans 4:3; Galatians 3:6-9; Hebrews 11:8-17

II. Abraham’s First Test – Trust Me (Genesis 12:10 -- 13:4)

A. The famine in the land – 12:10

1. Fear for self – (10)

2. Worry for self – (11)

3. Imagination – self-induced and self-protective thinking (12)

B. The compromise with truth – 12:13

1. Makes a "deal” based on a half-truth (Genesis 20:12)

2. Observes apparent proof of his reason to fear (12:14-15)

3. Receives temporary benefit from his compromise (12:16)

C. The exposure of foolish and deceitful behavior – 12:17-20

1. God’s judgment on those involved (12:17)

2. Destruction of Abraham’s testimony (12:18-19)

3. Rebuke and rejection of Abraham by those involved (12:20)

D. The restoration after failure – 13:1-12

1. Return to the place of initial blessing (13:1-4)

2. Separation from the undedicated (13:5-12)

III. Abraham’s Second Test – Who gets the glory? (Genesis 13:14 -- 14:24)

A. God reestablishes contact after Abraham separates from Lot – 13:14-18

1. He repeats and amplifies His promise (13:14-16)

2. He gives instruction and authority (13:17)

3. Abraham settles in the land (13:18)

B. God enables a great victory – 14:1-16

1. Sodom and Gomorrah rebel against Chedorlaomer. (14:1-7)

2. Sodom and Gomorrah fight and lose. (14:8-10)

3. Abraham pursues and wins great victory. (14:13-16)

C. God receives Abraham’s worship and recognition as King – 14:17-24

1. Abraham is now in possession of “spoils”. (14:16-17)

2. Abraham meets Melchizedek. (14:18)

a. Recognizes the “most high God”
b. Gives praise and prayer
c. Tithes all of the “spoils”

3. Abraham gives back property to owners - less expenses (14:21-24)

D. God verifies and amplifies His promise. – 15:1-21

1. God is the Protector. (shield, reward)

2. God explains and reiterates His promise. (15:2-6)

a. Abraham’s question about “the heir” (15:3-4)
b. Abraham’s belief and salvation moment – Romans 4:3-13

3. God amplifies and gives plan for future (15:8-21)

a. Abraham requests a “sign”. (15:8)
b. God gives a “covenant”. (15:9-12, 17)
c. God gives the plan. (15:13-21)

IV. The Third Test (ongoing) – Will you stick to God’s Word? (Genesis 16 – 25)

A. The promise was centered in a special child. – Genesis 16

1. Nothing for eleven years – no visible evidence of God’s promise

2. Sarah is impatient and gives up – others are failing

3. Independent action (Hagar) causes pain – bad decision

B. Faith is rekindled with specific instructions – Genesis 17

1. Command and rebuke:  “Walk before me. . . be perfect”

2. Promise repeated and strengthened (17:2-8)

3. Requirement of personal identification (17:9-14)

4. Specific obedience and renewed focus (17:15-27)

C. Faith is tested with the severity of God’s judgment – Genesis 18 and 19

1. Sodom and Gomorrah to be destroyed (18:17-22)

2. Abraham intercedes for the righteous. (18:23-33)

3. God’s awful judgment is carried out. (19:1-25)

4. The terrible consequences of Lot’s life (19:26-38)

Series: 
The Patriarchs
Lesson: 
#3
Book: 
Genesis

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