< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Hebrews Chapters 11 Part 4

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hebrews Chapters 11 Part 4

Hebrews 11:8-10 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the Promised Land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

Abraham, or Abram, as he was originally called, was of course a descendant of Noah and just one man among the tens of thousands of people who had repopulated the earth.

He lived in Ur of the Chaldees, the most civilized, progressive, magnificent city of his day. Ur was a seaport located on the Persian Gulf. It was an exciting place to live; highly sophisticated. There were universities there offering the best education in the world, international banking and shipping…and religious worship of a moon god and a moon goddess! The people had again turned from God.

Abram’s well-to-do family was idolatrous. But, increasingly his spirit became restless and uneasy. And while he was searching for the meaning of life, God leaned down and spoke to him.

Genesis 12:1-3 The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."

God promised to bless Abram, but he wouldn’t receive that blessing unless he left everything: family, home, friends, comfort – and set out in faith. Abram didn’t know where God would lead him – just that he was to follow. But, God’s command was clear. He was to put God first in his life if he was to receive God’s blessing.

God told him that He would make Abram, who had no children and whose wife was well past child-bearing age, the father of a great nation. Abram’s family became the chosen nation of Israel that provided the audiovisual aid of sacrifices and ceremonies that pictured for the world God’s terms for a right relationship with Him. It was also Abram’s descendants who recorded the revelation of God through the written prophecy, history, biography and poetry that we call the Bible. And it was Abram’s descendants who provided the human lineage for Jesus Christ.

God told him He would make his name great; and he’s in the honor role of faith in Hebrews 11. He told him that all the people on earth would be blessed through him. Jesus, born from Jews, was the ultimate blessing God was promising Abram. Jesus was the seed promised to Adam and Eve who would be the one to reconcile God and man, bridging the gap that sin and rebellion had created. Because of Abram the entire world would have a chance to get back in a right relationship with God.

If Abram accepted God’s call, his entire life would be changed. Even his name would change from Abram to Abraham.

And he did accept God’s call.

Genesis 12:4 So Abram left, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran.

He left his comfortable, convenient yet wasted life, in Ur and set out on a journey of faith. And it changed the world.

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