ABRAHAM, AN EXAMPLE TO FATHERS
Genesis: 12:1-8 and 22:1-13
Gen 12:1-8
1 Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father's house, to the land which I will show you;
2 And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing;   3 And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."   4 So Abram went forth as the LORD had spoken to him; and Lot went with him. Now Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.    5 And Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his nephew, and all their possessions which they had accumulated, and the persons which they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan; thus they came to the land of Canaan.
6 And Abram passed through the land as far as the site of Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. Now the Canaanite {was} then in the land.    7 And the LORD appeared to Abram and said, "To your descendants I will give this land." So he built an altar there to the LORD who had appeared to him.    8 Then he proceeded from there to the mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the LORD and called upon the name of the LORD.   (NAS)

Gen 22:1-13
1 Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am."   2 And He said, "Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah; and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you."   3 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and Isaac his son; and he split wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.   4 On the third day Abraham raised his eyes and saw the place from a distance.   5 And Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go yonder; and we will worship and return to you."   6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son, and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together.    7 And Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, "My father!" And he said, "Here I am, my son." And he said, "Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?"   8 And Abraham said, "God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." So the two of them walked on together.   9 Then they came to the place of which God had told him; and Abraham built the altar there, and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood.    10 And Abraham stretched out his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.  11 But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven, and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am."    12 And he said, "Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me."   13 Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind {him} a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son.  (NAS)

Introduction
Nektron are fish that can swim against the current. The name for fish who can not swim against the current is Plankton. This simple distinction divides all marine life. Nektron or Plankton. Mankind is also divided that way; some have backbone to go against the current and some do not. Abraham was one who could stand against the current of the world. He can be an example to all, but today I want to apply his life to fathers. Follow with an open Bible, heart and mind.
 
 
 

I.    AS A MAN OF MISSION. Gen . 12-1-4.  
1 Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father's house, to the land which I will show you;
2 And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing;   3 And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."   4 So Abram went forth as the LORD had spoken to him; and Lot went with him. Now Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.

EXPLANATION
One could say that Abram was the first missionary. He was certainly a man on mission. A mission is a consuming cause for which you are willing to leave family, friends and perhaps your country. It is a cause that puts everything and everyone in second place. Top Abram it was to follow the call of God.

God said, "Go forth from your country, and from your relatives, and from your father's house, to the land which I will show you." Because Abram answered the call, he was a man on mission. He lived in a pagan land. The people probably worshiped the moon. It seems that all of a sudden God breaks through and calls Abram out of that background.

God gave a call to Abram in verses 2 and 3 what God promised. (1) A great inheritance (2) A great blessing (3) a great name (4)To be a great blessing (5) A great alliance (6) A great defense (7) a great influence. As we look back upon these promises we might say, Who wouldn't take that kind of a bargain? But you must remember Abram did not have any examples to follow. We are not aware that Abram knew anything about Enoch or Noah. There is no evidence that he had seen someone else obey the Lord's call.

Don't you love the first phrase of verse 4? That's a father's example of a man on mission. A man with a consuming purpose. The purpose is to obey God. Verse 1 says, "Go forth." Verse 4 says, "So Abram went forth." Men, are you on mission for the Lord?
 

ILLUSTRATION
"Willie the janitor" was questioned one day as he scrubbed the steps of a large New York City building thus: "Willie, I understand that you are a child of God."  "Yes, sir, I'm a child of the King!" "Well, since you are a child of the King, do you believe that God recognizes you as a prince?" "He certainly does," beamed Willie."

"Well, if God is your Father, and you are a prince, and a child of the King, don't you think that it is beneath your level to be found here in New York City scrubbing these dirty steps?" None daunted,  Willie replied, "There's no humiliation whatever. You see. I'm not scrubbing these steps for Mr. Brown, my boss. I'm scrubbing them for Jesus Christ, my Saviour!"

APPLICATION

Are you a man on mission? Are you doing what you're doing in the name Jesus? If you're a Christian, you should be . If you're a Christian, you have been called of God to serve Him. You have been called to put the concerns of the world in a lesser place and to give God first place in your life. You are called to serve, not play. Serve, not sit. If someone evaluated your use of time, talent and money, what would they say is your consuming purpose? Abram followed God and he is a good example to us. Now notice the second point.
 
 
 

II.    AS A MAN OF WORSHIP. Verses 7 and 8  
 7 And the LORD appeared to Abram and said, "To your descendants I will give this land." So he built an altar there to the LORD who had appeared to him.    8 Then he proceeded from there to the mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the LORD and called upon the name of the LORD.   (NAS)

EXPLANATION
Abram worshiped the Lord. One writer said, "Anywhere Abram had a tent, God had an alter." Somehow Abram knew an atonement for sin was necessary and he offered a sacrifice for his sin and those of his household. This act of worship was perhaps the first such act in Canaan. If not the first, then at least among the first.

Abram worshiped in spite of being a minority. His worship was definitely different. He did not allow the thoughts of others to keep him from his worship of God.

His worship demonstrates his responsibility. He was given the mission of taking the message of redemption to his world. He did it and proved himself responsible in worship. His worship also reveals separation. He had to break with the customs and idolatry of a pagan land. He was not worldly, but other-worldly. His life and lifestyle called others to worship God.
 

ILLUSTRATION
A family on vacation was driving from Seattle to Boston. Coming down the Black Hills Highway in South Dakota, they stopped late one afternoon at an isolated tourist camp. No other campers had arrived. At dusk, however, to their surprise, five carloads of Sioux Indians drove in.

They were on their way to a Christian convocation service. At 4:30 the next morning, the father looked out of their tent, and there about two hundred feet away, motionless as a bronze statue, silhouetted against the pale glow of the coming dawn, was an aged Indian kneeling. His hands were clasped, his face was upturned, and his whole attitude was one of adoration and worship.

Filled with wonder and awe, the father quickly wakened the others. Then as they looked out over the camp, they saw that in the lifted doorway of every tent, other Indians were kneeling. Silently, their heads, and their hearts too, bowed with those of their brothers in Christ.

APPLICATION

Abram's worship affected others! The Indians worship affected others! How about our worship? Does it influence anyone else? Some of your children don't want to worship because they haven't seen it make and difference in your life. It made a difference in Abram's life and he is an example.

ILLUSTRATION TWO
Dr. L. S. Bauman, of Long Beach, used the illustration that Roosevelt was a church-goer. It is said that on one gloomy Sunday morning during the World War, he walked three miles in order to attend worship. One of his neighbors, noticing this, said to him: "I can worship in the fields or anywhere else." "Yes," replied Mr. Roosevelt, "but no one will ever suspect you of it."

APPLICATION

Abram's worship was noticed by others and so should ours. President Roosevelt's comment about worship illustrates the obvious effect of Abram's worship. His worship and the prominence he gave to it would have been an example to us. Now notice the third way Abram is an example.
 
 
 

III.    AN EXAMPLE IN FAITH. Chap. 12:1-5, 22;1-13  
Gen 12:1-5    1 Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father's house, to the land which I will show you;
2 And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing;   3 And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."   4 So Abram went forth as the LORD had spoken to him; and Lot went with him. Now Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.    5 And Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his nephew, and all their possessions which they had accumulated, and the persons which they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan; thus they came to the land of Canaan.

Gen 22:1-13
1 Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am."   2 And He said, "Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah; and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you."   3 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and Isaac his son; and he split wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.   4 On the third day Abraham raised his eyes and saw the place from a distance.   5 And Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go yonder; and we will worship and return to you."   6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son, and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together.    7 And Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, "My father!" And he said, "Here I am, my son." And he said, "Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?"   8 And Abraham said, "God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." So the two of them walked on together.   9 Then they came to the place of which God had told him; and Abraham built the altar there, and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood.    10 And Abraham stretched out his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.  11 But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven, and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am."    12 And he said, "Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me."   13 Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind {him} a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son.  (NAS)

EXPLANATION
It is a shame that we do more talking about Abraham's faith than we do imitating it. Abram had the faith to leave the security of family, friends and a walled city to be a stranger in the open country. Abram took a step into a seeming void and found solid rock.

His faith was tested. Someone said, "An untested faith is an un-sufficient faith. Crises do not make one lose faith. They reveal what kind of faith one has or does not have." His faith was tested in the realm of values. Did he value home and security more than God's call? His faith was tested in the area of patience as he had to wait 25 years to receive the son God promised. Abram's faith was tested in the scope of loyalty as he was called on to sacrifice his son.

Abram's faith grew. He had a direct promise to be a great nation. He had faith to leave home. He received a direct promise to be a father. He had faith to wait 25 years for a son. He received no direct promise that God would spare his son, but he had faith to prepare to sacrifice him.

ILLUSTRATION
This week I heard Arthur Blessit preach. I have never heard a man speak who had evidence of following the Lord as closely as Arthur does. He told of being in a war zone and believing God wanted him to go into the midst of the war torn area. The soldiers would not let him go.

He went back into the nearest town and started to park his car on a level area. God told him to park his car on a hill and go into a store. He did and the sales clerk spoke English and was the girlfriend of the captain of the guard. Arthur got to go into the war zone where God told him to go.
 

APPLICATION

Obedience to God's commands cause a person to be people of faith. Abraham is known as an example of faith because he obeyed God. Arthur Blessit is known as a person of faith because he is obedient to God. Are you and I known as people of faith because we are obedient to God? We have an example in Abraham and many other Biblical characters. We have the supreme example of Jesus. We have the leading of God's Holy Spirit. We should be known as people of faith.

CONCLUSION

Abram was an example:

(1) As a man of mission

(2) As a man of worship

(3) As a man of faith

What should we be because we have heard this message from God's Word?

(1) People of mission

(2) People of worship

(3) People of faith
 

 
 
 


E-Mail preachim@scan.missouri.org
 
 
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