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Service Archives > 01 Genesis - 2009 > Genesis 21:9-22:14

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Genesis 21:9-22:14

Taught on | Topic: Faith | Keywords: faith, sacrifice, Isaac, Abraham

It can be challenging for us to line up our behavior with the teachings of Scripture. Biblical principles are often contrary to our human nature, and obedience can be uncomfortable. As we examine the profound testing of Abraham's faith, we must ask ourselves, "Am I willing to do what is difficult?" As we walk in obedience to the Lord, our faith is developed and our relationship with Him is strengthened.

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3/3/2010
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Genesis 21:9-22:14
Genesis 21:9-22:14
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
It can be challenging for us to line up our behavior with the teachings of Scripture. Biblical principles are often contrary to our human nature, and obedience can be uncomfortable. As we examine the profound testing of Abraham's faith, we must ask ourselves, "Am I willing to do what is difficult?" As we walk in obedience to the Lord, our faith is developed and our relationship with Him is strengthened.
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01 Genesis - 2009

01 Genesis - 2009

The book of Genesis is rich with theology including creation, the fall of man, and justification by grace through faith. Genesis, the book of beginnings, provides foundational truths from which we can learn who God is and how He operates in the lives of His people.

In this study of Genesis, Pastor Skip Heitzig presents an in-depth examination and fresh perspective of familiar stories like the creation, Adam & Eve, Noah and the Flood, the call of Abraham, and Sodom and Gomorrah. This series offers solid information to equip believers with truth in today's battle against the lies of evolution, the basic goodness of man, and a "fairy tale" approach to the Bible.

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Detailed Notes

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  1. Introduction
    1. Relationships are a risk
    2. Vows are made
  2. Sibling Rivalry
    1. Isaac  (age 3) has a party
    2. Ishmael (age 17) is scoffing
    3. Sarah wants Hagar and Ishmael cast out
    4. Abraham loves Ishmael
  3. Mutual Submission - Ephesians 5:18-22
    1. Listen to her
    2. Wives submit to husbands
    3. Submission to one another comes first
    4. Result of being filled with the Holy Spirit
    5. Five-fold submission (husbands, wives, children, fathers, employees)
  4. Hagar and Ishmael Sent Away
    1. Abraham gave only bread and water
      1. He was wealthy
      2. Why no caravan? Guards? Ample supplies?
        1. Code of Hammurabi, releasing a slave (according to some)
        2. More likely, faith
          1. Believed God would do what He said He would
          2. God promised a great nation out of Ishmael
          3. Didn't need a caravan, just release
    2. God will perfect that which is committed to Him
      1. Train up a child in the way he should go…
      2. Don't overprotect and worry about your children
      3. Believe the Lord's promises
    3. Hagar dedicated Ishmael to the Lord
      1. Picture of single mother
      2. God sets the solitary in families - Psalm 68
    4. Hagar selected an Egyptian wife
    5. Ishmael will become the father of 12 sons
  5. Abraham and Abimelech
    1. Abimelech watched Abraham
    2. Abraham had dealt falsely before
    3. Now Abmielech says, "God is with you!"
    4. Application - over time you can outlive your critics, even if you've blown it
    5. Abraham rebuked Abimelech
    6. Abraham and Abimelech make a covenant at Beersheba
      1. Well of the oath (er sheba - to swear)
      2. Well of the seven (sheba- seven)
      3. Well of the oath we made with seven sheep
    7. Abraham planted a tamarisk tree  (indicating he was determined to stay there)
  6. Trusting God
    1. Faith
      1. When people make vows they focus on better, richer, health
      2. When disrupted, they fall away
      3. Faith must be tested
    2. God Tested Abraham
      1. God doesn't tempt man
      2. Satan tempts us to ruin us
      3. God test us to develop our faith
      4. We often can't tell the difference
        1. Joseph sold into Egypt
        2. Satan after Job
        3. God is sovereign
        4. All things work together for good for those who love the Lord, those called according to His purpose - Romans 8:28
    3. Preparation
      1. After these things - Genesis 22:1
      2. God prepared Abraham for the test
  7. Whom You Love
    1. God commands Abraham to sacrifice Isaac
      1. Not different from the pagan religions
      2. God didn't allow Abraham to go through with it
      3. Later sacrifice of children will be forbidden
    2. Abraham goes in obedience
    3. We will come back
      1. Demonstrated faith
      2. He trusted the character and power of God - Hebrews 11:17-19
      3. He logically considered the situation logizomai - to consider
      4. When faced with illogical contradictions make a logical conclusion based on the character of God, then jump!
    4. We will go yonder and worship
      1. Turned difficult circumstance into opportunity to worship
      2. We must learn to glance at our trials and gaze at the Lord
    5. Shadow of the Cross
      1. Abraham must go to the same mountain where God offered His Son
      2. Take your son, your only son - God's only begotten Son
      3. Only son whom you love - first use of love, a father's love for his only son
      4. Go to the land of Moriah - Golgotha
      5. On the third day - (dead in Abraham's mind for three days - Jesus raised on the third day
      6. In the mount of the Lord it shall be provided, prophetic
      7. How a man could love God! - How God could love Man!
Figures Referenced: Ann Kiemel
Cross References: Genesis 20, Psalm 68, Romans 8:28, Ephesians 5:18-22, Hebrews 11: 17-19
Hebrew Terms: El Olam - Everlasting God, Jehovah Jireh- God who provides, er sheba - to swear, sheba - seven,
Greek Terms: logizomai - to reckon, to consider

Topic: Faith

Keywords: faith, sacrifice, Isaac, Abraham

Transcript

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This last weekend was a lot of fun for me. It was a busy weekend. Not only the four services Saturday and three in the morning, but our Sunday night service down at Metro downtown. And then in between the third service Sunday and the Sunday evening service downtown, I had the privilege of doing a wedding here. So I sandwiched that in between the third service and the evening service on Sunday. And I really enjoy doing weddings. I especially enjoyed this one because they were two friends, they were mature in the Lord, they shared beautiful vows with each other. So often when I do weddings and I share vows and the vows themselves are usually set out in polar extremes to one another.

That is, the couple agrees to a lifelong covenant that includes for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish till death do us part. Now this couple definitely understood what that commitment was. However, I have often wondered, especially with younger couples, if they're listening to those vows. And I'm thinking, probably not. They're probably not thinking a poorer. They're not probably thinking at that moment, they're so happy, they're not thinking worse. They're not thinking in sickness. They're thinking better, richer, health.

So when people get into a relationship and they don't fully understand what the future is, that's why they share vows. After all, every relationship, every marriage commitment, is a risk. The couple is taking certain risks not knowing the future, not knowing what's going to happen, not knowing where they're going to move. So they're willing to take vows that will say, since I don't know what is going to happen to us in the future, I'll make a vow, a promise, a covenant, with you before God and these witnesses that no matter what, we're going to be together.

Well, Sarah and Abraham have had some very interesting ups and downs in their marriage, in their lives. Some good times and some bad times. Chapter 21 represents the peak of all experiences they've had. The promised son after 25 years of waiting, waiting, and waiting on God's promises. Finally, the child comes. Exciting! Now that's better. That's richer. That's health. Even though they're quite old, they're still in good health. Laughter is brought into the home as little crack-up is born--Isaac, laughter. That's what his name means. He's born. Sheer joy is brought into the home. The first part of chapter 21 if it were a TV series, it would represent the finale. The finale. The child is born. It's the best show of the season.

But things change around mid-chapter. There's now a twist in the plot, a twist in the story, if you will. They've been enjoying their lives, the child of promise has come, given them a new lease on life, making old Abraham feel quite a bit younger. He's so excited and Sarah, his wife, is so excited. But now they have two kids in the home. Ishmael, who's quite a bit older, and Isaac, who's only about three years old. He's just weaned. Two to three years of age. And there seems to be developing within the home a strain, a sibling rivalry that brings a strain not only among the two boys, but among the whole family.

So if you were to look back at verse eight where it says the child grew [that is Isaac] and was weaned. In those days between two to three years of age. And Abraham made a great feast on that same day that Isaac was weaned. Exciting time for Abraham. And verse nine, "And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham [that's a long way of saying Ishmael], scoffing.' So little Isaac has a little party thrown for him. He's finally weaned, he's growing up, he's on his way to manhood, exciting times. But not for Ishmael. Ishmael's about seventeen years of age, Isaac's about three years of age. And the big brother is scoffing, mocking, jeering, his little brother.

Now if you're wondering, if you're thinking, what kind of a brother, aged seventeen, would scoff a little three-year-old child? If you're wondering that, you haven't been around many families. It doesn't matter what age brothers or sisters are at all. The rivalry doesn't care about the age. All he knows is he's not getting the attention like he used to. He used to be the one that got all the attention, the only child. Now there's another child. Moreover, it's the child of Sarah and Abraham. The promised child. So now Ishmael feels alienated. He's scoffing. "Therefore she said to Abraham [this is Sarah now talking to her husband], "Cast out this bondswoman [this Egyptian slave] and her son; for the son of this bondswoman shall not be heir with my son, namely with Isaac."

Now wait a minute, Sarah. As I recall, it was your idea to have that child. It was your idea to tell your husband, honey, this isn't going to work. I'm an old woman. I'm unable to have kids. You take the Egyptian slave Hagar and you have a baby with her--have relations with her. And the child that comes out, we'll consider it as if it were our own child. And let that be the promise that God will fulfill His good work with. It was her idea. And even Abraham, after going along with it, said, O Lord, that Ishmael might live before You. That obviously wasn't God's plan and now that their plan isn't quite what they thought and they have this new child who is now weaned, and now there's this sibling rivalry, Sarah says, get rid of her, give her her freedom. Cast her out.

"And the matter was very", verse eleven, "displeasing in Abraham's sight because of his son." He loved his son; he loved Ishmael. It was his son. He loved him; he didn't want to see him go like this. "But God said to Abraham, "Do not let it be displeasing in your sight because of the lad or because of your bondwoman. Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed shall be called." Men, you may want to underline that in your Bibles. Inasmuch as it's probably underlined in your wives' Bibles. The Lord said listen to your wife.

Now in times past when he did listen to his wife, it wasn't good. i.e., Hagar. But this time the Lord says listen to your wife, what she's saying to you is good. Now this is a great verse of Scripture because a lot of men not only don't have this underlined, they do have underlined, and they do have memorized, a very key text of Scripture to many men. That's Ephesians chapter 5 verse 22. They know it in English, they know it in several translations, some even know it in the Greek language: "Wives, submit unto your own husbands as unto the Lord." And some men love to use that as a club to beat their wives if they could into submission. They disagree with them? Hey, the Bible says submit unto your own husbands. That is not only unfair relationally, it is uncalled for theologically, contextually. Because Ephesians chapter 5 verse 22 has a verse before it. Ephesians 5:21… that reads "submitting to one another in the fear of the Lord." So whatever that submission of the wife to the husband comes from, it comes from the idea that there's a partnership built in and there's a mutual humility and submissiveness of the husband to the wife.

Moreover, it begins before, 5:21; the thought actually in Ephesians 5 begins in verse 18. Now it says, if I can get it right, "Thus, do not be drunk with wine in which is dissipation but be filled with the Holy Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart unto the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Submitting to one another in the fear of God. Wives? Submit to your own husbands as unto the Lord. Now that's the context. So we have mutual submission based upon the fear of God that is the result of being filled with the Holy Spirit.

Now the way that chapter goes is that not only are wives to submit, but husbands are to submit, children are to submit, fathers are to submit, and employees, or in those days, slaves, are to submit. There's a five-fold application in that section based on the word submit. Now it's interesting, back, or not back, up in Ephesians 5:22 where it says, "Wives submit unto your own husbands," in the original the word submit is not there. It's implied so the translators put it in. It's all based upon the word in chapter 5 verse 21, "submitting to one another in the fear of God." Wives to your own husbands, that's number one. And then in verse 25 of the same chapter, husbands love your wives. And then in chapter 6 verse 1, children obey your parents. And then in verse 4, fathers do not exasperate your children. And then in verse 6, slaves be submissive to your own masters according to the flesh. All of those different people groups are to submit in a certain context.

Now I can just hear a few husbands saying, are you saying, wait a minute, Skip, are you saying that I am to submit to my wife? Exactly! You say, well now this throws a whole wrench in my theological platform. How do I do that? Well Paul tells you how to do it, "Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church." You say well that's not submission. Oh yes it is. What could be more submissive than loving someone like Christ loved the church and be willing to die for her? That has to be an act of submission. The willingness to give up one's own life as Christ did for the church. So a five-fold submission all hinging upon being filled or controlled by the Holy Spirit that leads to the fear of God that leads to a mutual submission and yes, in every household, decisions need to be made and husbands are the head of the home and he must make the decision. But I'm going to recommend, on the biblical basis of what I just said, that you do it mutually and prayerfully, considering one another. And do so in the fear of the Lord. Things will be much happier.

Well, God said, "Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed shall be called. Yet I will also make a nation of the son of the bondwoman." I'm going to do something great with your son Ishmael, "because he is your seed. So Abraham rose early in the morning [now watch this], and took bread and a skin of water [that's not much]; and putting it on her shoulder, he gave it and the boy to Hagar, and sent her away. Then she departed and wandered in the Wilderness of Beersheba. And the water in the skin was used up, and she placed the boy under one of the shrubs. Then she went and sat down across from him at a distance of about a bowshot [as far as you could shoot an arrow from a bow]; for she said to herself, "Let me not see the death of the boy." So she sat opposite him, and lifted up her voice and wept." Very, very desperate scene. Heat, dehydration, she knows she's at the end, he's at the end, doesn't want to see his death, puts him in a place where she can't see him and just breaks down.

Now here's the question. We have trouble understanding how a father, who loved his son, could put a piece of bread in his hand and a little water and pat him on the back and send him and his mom out in the wilderness. It's especially difficult to understand since Abraham was very wealthy. We've already established that fact and seen some of the wealth. Not only what he brought with him from Ur of the Chaldeans in his travels, what he got from pharaoh, what he got from Abimelech the king of the Philistines. The guy has some bucks and resources. Why not send a caravan with him? Why not some foot soldiers to protect her and him as they're out in the wilderness? Why not several animals laden with food and water and other victuals for the trip? Why not?

Now some commentators, some tators are more common than others, but I've noticed that some commentators like to say that based on the ancient codes of the day, like the Code of Hammurabi, what Abraham did here was in perfect context and provision of the code of Hammurabi, in releasing a slave, giving her the freedom with her son to go out and do what they wanted. It was the releasing of a slave--setting them free. Go on your way. It was perfectly legitimate. I don't really see that as the reason. I think the reason he let his son go off into the wilderness, and you're wondering, how could he do this, how could a father do this, don't misunderstand me and listen carefully, is because of his faith. He was a man of faith.

If you think this is hard for him, wait till you get to the next chapter. It's going to get a whole lot worse of a test. But he has reached a place in his life where he believes that God is going to do what God said He's going to do. Right? God said he's going to have a son, didn't He? And Sarah said ain't gonna happen. And Abraham kept saying is gonna happen, is gonna happen, is gonna happen. Twenty-five years, is gonna happen. Twenty-five years she said ain't gonna happen. It happened. So do you think by now he's learned a lesson? Oh, you betcha.

Well God has also promised, not only here but in other places, that He would make a great nation out of Ishmael. So he knows Ishmael can't die--impossible. God has promised that He's going to take care of him. I don't need to send a caravan. I just need to release them. God is going to do something great in his life. Now to me this is a good word for parents. Parents who sometimes spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about their children. Especially the children they have dedicated to the Lord, they entrusted to the Lord, they have committed to the Lord, they have trained up in the Lord. I've heard parents quote so often in great hope and belief, ‘Train up a child in the way that he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.'

And yet, some parents it would seem want to surround their child with a caravan their whole life. A caravan of protection--don't let anything bad happen--in such an overprotective manner that it becomes unhealthy for the child and reveals the parent's own lack of faith. I've heard, or seen, over the years, parents, well, once they become parents, you know, theoretically it's one thing, but once you become a parent, you have your own child, I watch people change.

Suddenly it's like, I can't send my child to Sunday school, you know, the child could get a cold. Don't want to expose my kid to those germs. Got to protect the child. I suggest to you, that's not a smart tactic. Don't try to protect what God is trying to direct. You pray for the child, you raise the child in a normal environment; let the kids be around other kids, play, get sick, they'll get better. And then release them to the Lord--and trust the Lord. But instead of placing the caravan of protection around them, to release them and say, Lord? I believe Your word. I believe Your promises. I'm entrusting them to You now. Reveals the kind of faith that Abraham displayed in releasing the child that God promised He would bless. And He does.

Look at verse 17: "God heard the voice of the lad. Then the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven," it must have been a wonderful time. She's at the wit's end and suddenly she hears a voice talking to her from the sky, from heaven. "And said to her, "What ails you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise, lift up the lad and hold him with your hand, for I will make him a great nation." Now I don't think that means pick up the child in your arms, the kid was seventeen years of age. But you help him up, pick him up, get on your way. I'm going to do something great. To me it's a picture of a single mother dedicating her child and walking out of faith. It's a beautiful picture. My heart goes out to single parents, especially single mothers. They have the responsibility of two people and the income of one person.

Twelve million in our country, twelve million adults, are single parents. 28% of the children in our country are being raised by single parents. And it says in Psalm 68, "God will set the solitary in families." And maybe it's your family. Maybe you know a single mom or a single dad and you could reach out a little more often, and have them over frequently for dinner, or mentor one of the children, or get them involved in sports, and help out a little bit. Maybe offer to mow the lawn or fix an electrical problem. Just to show support. God sets the solitary in families. And certainly our church family. We love the idea that many single parents are here and we can provide a network of support to them.

So "God opened her eyes", verse 19, "and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water, and gave the lad a drink. So God was with the lad; and he grew and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer." So you ever wonder what happened to that ‘70s band, The Archers, he was one of them. A lot of you don't even know what I'm talking about--forget it, forget it! "He dwelt in the Wilderness of Paran; and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt." Now why the land of Egypt? She was an Egyptian. Now it was a mistake rather than selecting a wife who was a believing wife from the covenant and the clan of Abraham. He got an Egyptian wife and later on, he will become the father of twelve nations. Or he'll have twelve sons and several nations will develop from the twelve sons, like Jacob later on out of the loins of Abraham.

"And it came to pass at that time that Abimelech [remember him back in chapter 20?] and Phichol [you don't know who he is, but he's introduced here], the commander of his army [now you know], spoke to Abraham, saying, "God is with you in all that you do." Really? This comes from Abimelech? Remember he was the guy that Abraham lied to and said about Sarah, this is my sister, and got him in trouble and God closed up the wombs of all the Philistine women. But notice he says, "God is with you in all that you do. Now therefore, swear to me by God that you will not deal falsely with me." Why would he say that? Because he had dealt falsely with him! Simply by experience he says, look, you were a creep in the past, don't be a creep in the future. Because I watched you; now I know that God is with you. Or "with my offspring, or with my posterity; but that according to the kindness that I have done to you, you will do to me and to the land in which you have dwelt."

Now in chapter 20, Abimelech rebukes Abraham for being mischievous, for lying, for misrepresenting the truth. An unbeliever rebukes a believer but, over time, Abimelech has just watched Abraham. Just observed his life. And in observing his life over time, whatever misconceptions and anger he had against him was quickly assuaged, or at least it was over a period of time. Because he could see the evidence that God was with him.

And I love this because as you live in the world and as you work in the world and as you're observed by the world and you go through the problems of day in and day out life, working with people, misunderstandings. Even if you blow it before people, over time you can outlive your critics. Just show them that the Lord is with you. Just show by a consistency over time as they observe you. You know, I've been watching you. I think I've had you wrong. I think God really is with you. So rather than Abraham trying to make it all better and fix it and promote himself and argue about how really good he was at heart and really didn't mean all that, he just let it go. And over time, Abimelech recognized that.

Now watch this: "Abraham said, "I will swear. Then Abraham rebuked Abimelech." Now it's his turn. Now because he sort of has the moral high ground regained, "Abraham rebuked Abimelech because of a well of water which Abimelech's servants had seized." Now of course in those days when you're a nomad, I don't mean somebody who's not angry, I mean a guy who's traveling around in tents, a semi-Nomadic lifestyle, wells of water are absolutely important. You don't have water, you don't have life. So obviously he had a well that he had dug seized by Abimelech's servants. He didn't know about it as you'll see. "Abimelech said, "I do not know who has done this thing; you did not tell me, nor had I heard of it until today."

So Abraham took sheep and oxen and gave them to Abimelech, and the two of them made a covenant. And Abraham set seven ewe lambs [female lambs] of the flock by themselves. Then Abimelech asked Abraham, "What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs which you have set by themselves?" And he said, "You will take these seven ewe lambs from my hand, that they may be my witness that I have dug this well." Therefore he called that place Beersheba, because the two of them swore an oath there."

Beersheba is a word that means one of two things or it could be a double entendre and actually mean both. That's what I think it does. Beersheba could mean well of the oath, since sheboa is the Hebrew word for oath. But the word sheba is the Hebrew word for seven. Seven is the Hebrew word, sheba, for seven. So it could be either the well of the seven, i.e. the lambs that I gave you for this well as a witness, or the oath that we made. Since the words are very similar to each other or a double entendre. This is the well of the oath that we made with these seven sheep. So Beersheba is still there today. We've been there before on tours to Israel. We're not always able to make it because it's way down south. But you can still see the well that has dug in Beersheba.

"Thus they made a covenant at Beersheba. So Abimelech rose with Phichol, the commander of his army, and they returned to the land of the Philistines. Then Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba." Now you see them all over the place down there. It's an evergreen tree. To plant a tree meant that you had the desire and the indication that you were going to stay in that place for awhile; you're going to remain in the area. It's a shade idea. They "called on the name of the Lord, the Everlasting God." Elohim. "And Abraham stayed in the land of the Philistines many days. Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." I love the conversations that he has with God.

Now go back to that whole wedding analogy that I started with. How that so many couples just think of better, richer, and wealth, or health. Every couple that gets married has in their minds a picture of a perfect marriage. This is what it's gonna be like. Here's the problem. They marry an imperfect person. They have the picture of the perfect marriage but they marry an imperfect person. So now they're confronted with the choice, either tear up the picture and accept the person or tear up the person in favor of the picture that's in your mind. Now that same idea between a married couple is in our walk and our faith with God.

Many people have a picture of coming to Christ and what God's gonna do, expectations that they're going to have from the Lord. And many times what they picture is like for better, richer, health, so that if the Lord allows any other circumstance or situation that is troubling or painful or inconsistent with the little picture they have in their minds of what it's supposed to be like, you see some of these people fall away. And it's troubling. You wonder, they were here one week at church, worshiping, getting involved, quoting Scripture. And then you see them months later and no Bible. And you mention the Lord and they're not too excited anymore. And you probe a little bit deeper and what they thought would happen or expected God to do He hadn't done. So they've taken their spiritual football and gone home.

Jesus predicted there were people like this. He talked about the seed that was sown upon the soil where the weeds grew up and choked it and He said the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, or the desire for other things, choke out the Word, or the seed, and it becomes unfruitful. Unfruitful. And He talked about the seed that was sown on the ground that didn't have much earth but it was rocky soil and the sun came and beat down on it. And He spoke about the trials and tribulations. And many people fall away during that time.

Think of all that Abraham and Sarah had gone through, as I mentioned, as a married couple. And keep that in mind as you get into this chapter. Because he's about to be tested like he has never been tested before. This is not what he signed up for; this is not what he expected. There was an author years ago named Ann Kimmel. She married somebody. Now her name was Ann Kimmel Anderson. But she had a lot of great literature, books that she wrote. She said something interesting. She said, "Living by faith in God is sort of like jumping out of an airplane at 10,000 feet. If God doesn't catch you, you'll splatter on the ground. But how will you know if God will catch you if you don't jump?" Abraham is about to jump out at 10,000 feet. Sort of being kicked out of the airplane. If God doesn't come through, he's toast. It says, "it came to pass." You read that a lot; one of the great little phrases of the Bible. There was one woman in the country she said, "That's my favorite Bible text. It came to pass." She says, "Because whenever I go through a trial I know it hasn't come to stay, it's come to pass." Take that to the bank. "It came to pass after these things." After what things? Well, about fifty-some years of things. After all of the things that we read about. Now we'll get back to that phrase in just a minute. "That God tested Abraham."

Now the Old King James said, "tempted Abraham". And so this and other translations have put tested in it. That's a better translation. Because James chapter one says God cannot be tempted by evil nor does He tempt any man. And yet, we face both temptations and testings. Satan tempts us to ruin us. God tests us to demonstrate His faithfulness and to develop our faith. So Satan tempts to destroy; God tests to develop.

Here's the problem. We can't always tell the difference. And that bothers some people because they want to say, well, the devil's really after me. Well, is that the devil or could it be the Lord is developing something? So does it really matter? Absolutely not. It doesn't matter. Because you handle it exactly the same way, whether you're being tempted by the devil or tested by the Lord. Example: when Joseph was sold into Egypt and he went into Potiphar's house as a slave and he went to prison and all of that had happened, was that the devil or was that the Lord?

Well, there's a case that could be made that it was the devil. I mean, after all, the brothers could have been instruments of the enemy to really bring him down and destroy his life. However, it didn't really matter in the end because Joseph said to his brothers, ‘As for you, you meant it for evil but God meant it for good to save many people as it is this day.' So whether it was from the devil or from the Lord or both, it was something God allowed and the devil could've tried to use it to destroy him. But God used it to develop him. Same with Job. Was Satan after Job? Uh-huh. did God allow it? Yes. Satan wanted to destroy Job; God knew it would develop God. It was all by God's sovereign hand.

So how do you treat it? You treat it by recognizing God is sovereign, the Romans 8:28 principal: all things, all things, all things work together for good to those who love God. It's a hard Scripture to believe. Some of us wish it said some things, or most things. But it's sort of tough for us to get our hearts really around all things. Joseph believed that. Job came to believe that. And Abraham is coming face to face with it.

The Lord tested him but notice he tested him "after these things". Now to me, men and women of God this is so important and so precious. There was a period of time where God prepared Abraham for this test. God didn't give him the test until he was ready--until he was prepared for it. Now we don't know how many days. It says in verse 34 of chapter 21, ‘Abraham stayed in the land of the Philistines many days'. We don't know how many days. We don't even know how old Isaac is at this time. Some believe he's about ten years of age, so that would be about a seven year time difference. Seven or eight. Others say he was a teenager.

Josephus, in his writings, said he was 25 years old. Isaac was 25 years old. Some even push him up into the 30's. 33 some suggest, when this happened. But enough time had passed, and I don't know what the days were like, but since they were down in Beersheba, I can only imagine the child was weaned, there was now peace in the family as he grew up and the child, probably Abraham, and Sarah, and Isaac took walks. I don't know how long they could walk, being 100 years of age, 120 now, 110, whatever. But they talked about God's goodness and about God's faithfulness. It was a period of rest and it was a period of preparation before God pulled this heavy test. Keep that in mind because some of you are afraid of what the Lord might allow. And you see somebody else going through a trial or you read about Abraham and you think, I could never do that. I could never have that kind of faith. I could never handle it that way.

Well maybe not now because you're not prepared. Abraham could and he did because he was prepared. God prepared him for that. There's an old Yiddish proverb that says, ‘God sends burdens but first God sends shoulders to bear those burdens.' He had prepared Abraham for this and it was a test. So he said, "Here I am." Now here it is--verse two. Boy, I don't think we'll finish this chapter. "Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you. So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with men, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him."

Wow! Pause on that for a moment. I'm a dad. I have just one son. This speaks to me in a very unique way. I look at this and I thought I couldn't do this. See there's a dilemma Abraham has and here it is. The promise that God made to Abraham and Sarah required that Isaac live. I'm gonna give you a son and it's gonna be the son of a promise and I'm gonna make you the father of many nations. And it was the promise not only of a son but of nations that would come and a population like the stars of the sky and the dust of the earth. So the promise of God, that God had made, required that Isaac live. But now the command of God requires that Isaac die. It was a contradiction to him; it didn't make sense. But it says in verse four, he went up to do it.

Now don't get hung up on the whole idea of God commanding human sacrifice and how could God do this. First of all, I'll say this. God is not requiring anything of Abraham that any of the other pagan religions required. Number two, God didn't let him go through with it. He stopped him from doing it. So he didn't want a human sacrifice. And number three, when the Law is finally developed under the Mosaic economy, it will be strictly forbidden to offer a child. The real issue is whom do you love more. Now You trusted me before you had the child and you loved Me, Abraham, before you had the child. I made you the promise and you believed Me. Now you have the child. Now do you love that child more than you love Me? Are you willing to love Me and demonstrate love for Me if it costs you this? It's a heavy issue.

When I was dating, I'll just say this. When I was single I was a flaky young man. Wishy-washy in my decisions and my commitments and I had asked Lenya to marry me and she said yes and we were planning our wedding and then I had second thoughts and I got cold feet and I wasn't sure. And so one night she could see that something was ailing me. And like the angel from heaven, Skip, what ails you? And I said to her, now we're already engaged, to be perfectly honest, I don't think I can go through with this. I'm not quite sure that I have a love for you that would be the kind of commitment that this would require.

That was very difficult for her to hear. Because I said I loved her and now it sounds like I'm saying, I don't love you, I don't think. She looked at me and said something I'll never forget. She said, let me tell you something. If I'm not God's best and highest for your life, I don't want to marry you. I love you so much that I want whoever is God's best and highest to be your wife and if I'm not that one, I love you enough to not do it. And I looked her and I thought, wow! I want to marry this girl! What a flake I'd been. But she was, in a sense, with her own Isaac doing the same thing. If God wants me to give you up even though we're engaged, I want God's best and highest for your life and if I'm not the one, then go.

Abraham got up, saddled his donkey, took his entourage with him. Now verse three and verse four, it says on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place afar off--Mount Moriah. There's nothing said about the emotion of Abraham. I can only guess. You don't need to write about it. He was heartbroken; he was grieved. I'm sure he didn't get sleep the night before. He tossed and turned and he was thinking on his bed, I don't get it, all those years waiting and the promises, and what am I gonna tell Sarah? But he goes in obedience. "On the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you."

Did you hear that? We're going to go and we will come back. Not we're going to go and I'm going to come back alone because he's going to be dead. He said something by faith, didn't he? Even though God said take your son, your only son, and offer him up. He says we're going to go and we will come back. The night before, something happened in Abraham's mind, in his heart, on that bed on which he was lying in that tent. He was thinking it through. He was calculating, thinking it logically through and his mind hit upon something, gave him the answer. He thought through the logical premise of the character and power of God.

You say, Skip, it didn't say that. How do you know that? Well, we're told the answer to that in Hebrews chapter 11. I've marked it. You can turn to it or I'll just read it to you--it's only three verses. Now listen to this. Here's the book of Hebrews in the New Testament giving comment on the Old Testament: "By faith," this is Hebrews 11 verse 17, "by faith Abraham when he was tested offered up Isaac and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son of whom it was said, ‘In Isaac your seed will be called.' Here it is: "Concluding that God was able to raise him up even from the dead in which he had also received him up in a figurative sense" You see the word, or do you hear the word, concluding? It's the word in Greek logicimae. It means to compute, to calculate, to logically reason through to a conclusion. The night before, all I can imagine based upon this, in Abraham's mind he was thinking this through. And he was thinking, God gave me a promise. He made a promise to me and my wife that we're going to have a son. It was impossible. Here's the son. God has been faithful. Now God is requiring that I kill the son. Either that means that God is erratic, fickle, false, and can't be trusted and yet I have never known in my experience God to be fickle or false or erratic or unable to be trusted.

Therefore, the only conclusion I can come up with logically is that if I put a knife into that young boy's heart, there's going to be a resurrection. If God is able to miraculously give my wife and I a son, if I kill him, since all of the hope, all of the promise, everything is predicated upon the life of this child, according to God's promise, there's going to be a resurrection. God's going to raise him up from the dead. That's what it says: "Concluding that God was able to raise him up even from the dead."

Here's what I want to point out to you. What do you do when you're faced with something illogical? Here you have a command of God, or you're faced with something and it just, the way things are going in your life, it just seems so illogical? You put it together logically based upon the character of God and what you know to be true about God. And then, like Ann Kimmel said, how will you know unless you jump? Jump. Jump!

I love the story about the grocer who had a son. Now in those days in the South, the grocery stores had a basement, a cellar, a trapdoor. And so the trapdoor was open, the ladder was down, it's dark down there, the grocer, the man was getting some supplies and his son walked in the store and saw the door open. Now from where the grocer was down below looking up with the shaft of light, he could see his son because of the ambient light in the room. But the son, because of the light where he was, he couldn't see in the dark cellar his father, but he could hear his father's voice. Hello, son! Hello, dad! I'm up here! I know, I can see you. Well, I can't see you. Well, that's ok, just come on down, just jump--I'll catch you. I can't jump, Dad, I can't see you! Doesn't matter. I can see you and you know me and you know I love you and you know I can catch you. So jump. So the boy finally did, but it was not based upon what he could see but what he knew about his father. It was logical; it was smart. So Abraham concluded God is able to resurrect my son from the dead and so he goes and he says, ‘Um. We're gonna go yonder and worship and, like, Arnold used to say, we'll be back.' Because he believed God would resurrect his son. Isn't that beautiful?

There's another key here. It says, "We will go yonder and worship." This horrible experience and sacrifice became an act of worship. You know, if we could learn to turn the hard situations of our life into altars of worship, where you just pause. Oh, this is so difficult, what a horrible day I'm having. Pause right there. Lord, You give and You take away. Blessed be Your name. Too often we gaze at our circumstance and we glance at the Lord. If you could learn to gaze at your Lord and glance at your circumstance, it won't overwhelm you. You get overwhelmed when you just glance at the Lord but gaze, look at that, it's impossible, can't afford it, it's horrible… ok. Fooom! Do that.

In fact maybe that's a good definition of worship--being preoccupied with God. We're going to go worship, we'll be back. "So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, "My father!" And he said, "Here I am, my son." He gets that a lot. "Then he said, "Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?" He didn't know anything about that. "And Abraham said, [notice the faith again] "My son, God will provide for Himself [or as some translations say, simply God will provide Himself] the lamb for a burnt offering." So the two of them went together.

Then they came to the place of which God had told him. [That's Mount Moriah.] And Abraham built an altar there and placed wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" So he said, "Here I am." And He said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me." Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. And Abraham called the name of the place, [Yahweh; or as we often say, Jehovah-Jirah, as we mispronounce those words] The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, "In the Mount of the Lord it shall be [seen or it shall be] provided."

This is strikingly similar to another incident in the New Testament. A drama that took place on exactly the same mountain. Where Abraham offered his son--almost--is where God offered His Son--not almost, but in reality and in totality. Same mountain peak; same place. Exactly. Now we get hints of that in verse two, God says, take your son, your only son. Now wait a minute. How many sons did he have by now? Yeah. We've counted two. But here God says, take your only son, because he was the son of promise, not the son of the flesh. In fact, what does it say in Hebrews? He's called his only begotten son. Take your only begotten son, that's what God is recognizing, the son of promise, not the son of the flesh. He says, take your son, your only son, whom you love.

Remember the rule of first mention? We've gone through it a lot in Genesis. This is the very first time in all of the Bible the word love is used. And what kind of love is it? The love of a father for his son as he is about to sacrifice him on Mount Moriah. Ooooh. Very interesting. If you go to Jerusalem today, Mount Moriah still runs through the old city of Jerusalem, and it comes to a peak just outside the gates of the city and then it goes back down slowly. The very peak of the mountain itself, just outside the city gates, was known 2,000 years ago as Golgotha. The place of the skull. The place where Jesus Christ died for our sins on the cross. Not only that, but verse four, something else: on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off. On what day? The third day. The third day he walked up and the third day he was about to kill his son and the third day the Angel stopped him. So for three days in the mind of Abraham, his son was dead. For three days he believed, I'm gonna kill my son, I'm gonna kill my son. Three days he was dead. It wasn't until the third day that he was stopped. Third day there was, in a sense, a whole new lease on lease because the Angel stopped him. Very, very, very interesting.

And then again, oh yes, "In the Mount of the Lord," verse 14, "it shall be provided." I see that as a prophecy. Now here's the difference. You have Abraham, almost putting his son to death. You have God, definitely putting His Son to death for the sins of the world. One is the shadow of another. One is the shadow of another. I'm sure that when Abraham lifted up that knife it's as if all of heaven paused in awe. Look at how a man loves God! But when God killed His Son on Mount Moriah, all of heaven gasped, see how God loves mankind--to do that! His Only Begotten Son, whom He loves. We don't have time to go on. Wish we did. In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided. In the Mount of the Lord it shall be seen. The cross of Jesus Christ did not take God by surprise. It was the plan of His from the beginning, from the foundation of the world. Christ is called the Lamb that was slain from the foundations of the earth.

It is interesting that what God does in His Word gets twisted as time goes on by other groups. For instance, the Muslims believe that it was on Mount Moriah where Abraham almost killed his son Ishmael. Not Isaac. They insert that into the story. Not only that, but on this very Mount, the very temple Mount itself, it is the third holiest site this day to the Muslims. After Mecca and Medina comes Jerusalem. Mecca is where the kabbah is, the sacred stone. That's where the pilgrimage takes place. That's number one. The mosque of Mohammed in Medina, that's number two. Why Jerusalem number three?

Well, in the Koran, in their chapters, called suras, in suras 17 verse 1, it says, "Blessed be Allah who has taken his servant [that is Mohammed] by night from the sacred mosque to the farthest mosque." That's all. And so, over time, people said, that must be Jerusalem. Even though Jerusalem is never mentioned in the Koran. Did you know that? Because it says the furthest mosque. Over time they thought, I wonder if that could mean the place where the Jews worship in the temple and later on the Christians, Jerusalem. So there's a mosque on the temple Mount today called Al-Achsa. The distant or the furthest mosque. And there, they say, is where Abraham was transported by Allah in that night vision according to sura 17 verse 1. And so today, on top of the temple Mount, where the temple once stood, is a mosque. And it is under Islamic occupation at this time. Even though Jerusalem is under the occupation of the Jewish nation. So it's a very interesting tension and when we're there in eight weeks, you'll feel some of that interesting tension. But you'll also be able to stand on and see the peak of that Mount Moriah, where Jesus Christ died for your sins and my sins. On that very mountain, the Mountain of the Lord, it shall be provided. And it was provided. God provided the Sacrifice once and for all to save anyone who would believe in Him by faith.

Additional Messages in this Series

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9/23/2009
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Genesis 1
Genesis 1
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
The book of Genesis is foundational to the rest of the Scriptures. What a person believes about creation influences their view of the entire Bible. In this verse by verse examination of Genesis chapter 1 we'll uncover the origins of the universe and gain a greater appreciation of God's power, wisdom and care. Although many questions about the specifics of creation remain unanswered, we can rest assured that "In the beginning God."
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9/30/2009
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Genesis 1:24-2:25
Genesis 1:24-2:25
Skip Heitzig
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Mankind is confused about the origin of man. Sadly, many of the world's most intelligent minds embrace the lie of evolution. But man did not accidentally evolve from primordial soup. We are God's crowning creation, a result of His intricate design.
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10/7/2009
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Genesis 3
Genesis 3
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life are the oldest tricks in the book. Just as Satan deceived Eve into believing God was holding out on her, we too can be tempted to believe that what God has forbidden is the key to our fulfillment. Can God be trusted? In this message we learn that while the consequences of disobedience are disastrous, the Lord has a plan for our redemption.
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10/14/2009
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Genesis 4-5
Genesis 4-5
Skip Heitzig
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Though death was not God's original plan for His creation, through the sin of Adam, death entered the entire human race and has reigned ever since. As we explore the 1500 years of history covered in Chapters 5 and 6 of Genesis, the fruit of sin is evident. We'll discover that from the murder of Abel through the descendants of Cain, love of self ruled in the hearts of men, but those in Christ must rule over sin and let the love of God be our motivation.
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10/21/2009
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Genesis 6
Genesis 6
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
When Jesus told His disciples about His second coming, He said, "But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be." In this message we'll examine the world conditions at the time of the flood and see how the world has fallen back to similar depravity. We'll also uncover exciting parallels between God's plan of salvation of Noah through the flood and His plan to deliver His children from the coming tribulation.
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10/28/2009
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Genesis 7-8
Genesis 7-8
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After 120 years of diligent, obedient preparation for the coming deluge, Noah received God's invitation to board the ark. It must have been a difficult, yet exciting time for Noah and his family; the animals entered the enormous ship, the door was closed behind them, and the rain began to fall. Soon, floodwaters covered the entire planet, and eight souls and the animals on the ark were all that remained. Why is it important to understand the worldwide nature of the flood? How should this ancient cataclysm affect our lives and our view of the coming judgment?
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11/11/2009
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Genesis 9
Genesis 9
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Man is the crown of creation made in the image of God, but from the time of creation through the flood mankind was growing more and more corrupt. When Noah and his family stepped off the ark, God established human government and delivered four directives so that as society grew, it could function smoothly.
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11/18/2009
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Genesis 10-11
Genesis 10-11
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The listing of genealogies recorded in scripture is, at times, difficult. What is the significance of such a detailed account? How are we to apply this information to our lives? Through this meticulous record of the descendants of Noah, God demonstrates His interest in people, His faithfulness to His promise, and His isolation of the people group through whom Messiah would come.
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1/6/2010
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Genesis 12
Genesis 12
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The Bible presents Abraham is our example of justification by faith. Although his life was not easy and his walk was not perfect, Scripture refers to him as a friend of God. Let's take a look at the testimony and testing of Abram and learn important lessons about God's faithfulness in the lives of His people.
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1/13/2010
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Genesis 13-14
Genesis 13-14
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All of us make mistakes; we falter and fail in our relationships with the Lord and with others. Abram was no different, but by God's mercy he is the Father of them that believe. As we examine his life and the lives of those around him, we'll see that they encountered trials and temptations not so different from our own. Let's take a look at the differences between godly Abram and worldly Lot, and avoid the hazards of flirting with temptation.
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1/27/2010
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Genesis 15
Genesis 15
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The nation of Israel is the avenue though which the Lord has blessed the world with the Messiah. God's promise to Abram guarantees their ownership of the land, and provides a picture of His divine accomplishment, based on God's work alone. Join us as we uncover the doctrine of justification by faith from our text in Genesis 15.
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2/3/2010
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Genesis 16-17
Genesis 16-17
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It's a common problem; trusting our feelings rather than trusting the Lord. But feelings are misleading, and as we learn from Abram and Sarai, trying to help God fulfill His promises can be costly. Their spiritual detour from the will of God produced ramifications we are experiencing today. God is faithful however to fulfill His promises, His plan is perfect, and His will will be accomplished.
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2/10/2010
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Genesis 18
Genesis 18
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Abraham experienced trials and failures and yet the Bible refers to him as the friend of God. As we examine Genesis 18 we'll witness Abraham's encounter with three heavenly visitors and gain further insight into his relationship with the Lord. Let's explore the privileges and expectations of those who desire a friendship with God as we study the life of Abraham.
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2/17/2010
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Genesis 19
Genesis 19
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The topic of God's judgment makes some people squirm. Believing that God is loving, gracious, merciful and kind often comes easier than viewing Him as Judge. As we investigate the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah we'll come to terms with the necessity of His judgment. We'll also be reminded that God is in the business of redemption, and that He dealt with the sin of those who believe at the cross of Calvary.
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2/24/2010
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Genesis 20:1-21:8
Genesis 20:1-21:8
Skip Heitzig
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As believers we are new creations in Christ, however, we still carry around our old nature; the battle between the spirit and the flesh is a struggle for all of us. As we consider the life of Abraham, we see him fall once again into a familiar sin. The consequences of his choices are damaging, hurting others and ruining his testimony before unbelievers. But as we'll see in our text, God is faithful, and causes all things to work together for good for those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose.
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3/10/2010
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Genesis 22:15-23:20
Genesis 22:15-23:20
Skip Heitzig
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Death is a fact of life; the statistics show that every one of us will die; the ratio is 1:1. Let's consider the suffering and sorrow Abraham endured through the near sacrifice of his son Isaac and the death of his wife Sarah. We'll discover that the path of sorrow can also be the road to deeper fellowship with the Lord.
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3/17/2010
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Genesis 24
Genesis 24
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In most parts of the world, the methods of dating and marriage have changed dramatically over the past 4000 years. Arranged marriages, family involvement and dowries are foreign to our culture where online dating is becoming the norm. As we consider the way Isaac and Rebekah were brought together, we will discover timeless principles to apply to the modern dating game. We'll also uncover a deeper spiritual message as we examine the foundations of their relationship.
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3/24/2010
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Genesis 25
Genesis 25
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It's been said, "He who dies with the most toys still dies;" a clever saying with profound insight.  Abraham died full, not merely in quantity of years and physical blessings, but in satisfaction and relationship with the Lord. As we take a look at his final years and the legacy he left behind, we'll be reminded of what's really important in life, and be challenged to consider our own priorities and our spiritual birthright.
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3/31/2010
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Genesis 26
Genesis 26
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As Isaac takes center stage in our study through the book of Genesis, we'll see that it's not always best to follow in our earthly father's footsteps. Partial obedience and compromising truth rear their heads in a plot reminiscent of Abraham's struggles. Join us as we peek into the life of Isaac and get another glimpse of our God who is rich in mercy and faithful to his promises.
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4/14/2010
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Genesis 27
Genesis 27
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Isaac's family was plagued by distrust and scheming, but a dysfunctional family is no match for the sovereign hand of God. In spite of the continuing battle between Jacob and Esau, and the deceptive habits that have been passed down for generations, the Lord's plan will not be thwarted. His ways are not our ways, and He causes all things to work together for good for those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.
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4/21/2010
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Genesis 28-29
Genesis 28-29
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Grace cannot be earned; as AW Tozer said, "As mercy is God's goodness confronting human misery and guilt, so grace is His goodness directed toward human debt and demerit." Though Jacob is not deserving of blessing, the grace of God was poured into his life. Though we may reap what we sow, God's grace is sufficient for us.
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5/19/2010
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Genesis 30
Genesis 30
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God uses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. Out of a dysfunctional family, and an oppressive workplace the Lord will ultimately accomplish His will. Let's take a look at Jacob's superstitious relatives and recognize God's powerful work in the midst of human failure.
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5/26/2010
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Genesis 31
Genesis 31
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How can we know God's will for our lives? Genesis 31 offers beautiful lessons for the child of God. We'll see God confirm His will to Jacob through circumstances and His Word as he packs up his family and leaves Padan Adam to head home.
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6/2/2010
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Genesis 32-33
Genesis 32-33
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During the difficult days following 9-11, our country experienced a deeper sense of community and spiritual renewal. The tragedy served as a wakeup call; in spite of our prosperity, we are not immune to pain. Often, the Lord gets a hold of us in the midst of suffering; we may endure steady adversity so that we always depend on Him. Let's look again at the life of Jacob as he comes to another turning point on his spiritual journey where he learns that when he is weak, he is made strong.
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7/7/2010
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Genesis 34
Genesis 34
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We take another look at the life of Jacob in Genesis 34 where the effects of his flaws become glaringly apparent. Jacob's passive parenting and dysfunctional family result in an ungodly reaction to the rape of his daughter, Dinah. Let's examine profound spiritual truths, learn important principles to apply to our own families, and renew our hope in the grace of God.
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7/14/2010
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Genesis 35-36
Genesis 35-36
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It's been said, "It's always darkest before the dawn." On the heels of a dark period in Jacob's life, the Lord works in his heart to bring about revival. As we dive into our text, we'll see that while Jacob lingered far away from God for a time, he renews his commitment to the God of second chances.
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7/21/2010
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Joseph Looks A Lot Like Jesus
Genesis 37
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We've all been told that we look like someone else. Often members of the same family carry a strong resemblance to one another. Joseph reminds us of someone else: Jesus. As we explore their similarities, we'll be challenged with two crucial questions. How much do we resemble Jesus Christ? Do we look like our Heavenly Father?
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8/4/2010
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Genesis 37:1-38:10
Genesis 37:1-38:10
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Joseph takes center stage in our study through the book of Genesis. His father's preferential treatment backfires and this favorite son ends up in the bottom of a cistern, and then sold into slavery. Let's take a closer look at God's providential hand and tuck away some important events that we'll pull out later as evidence of His faithfulness.
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8/11/2010
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Genesis 38:9-39:23
Genesis 38:9-39:23
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The contrast between Joseph and his brothers is great. Nothing bad is recorded about Joseph, but his brothers' lives are a mess. Joseph was faithful; his brothers were failures. Joseph had rock solid integrity; his brothers practiced wretched morality. Yet in the midst of it all, the Holy Spirit worked behind the scenes, using the most unlikely people to bring the Messiah into the world.
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9/1/2010
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Genesis 40-41
Genesis 40-41
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The account of Joseph's life has been a riches-to-rags tale thus far. While Joseph remains faithful in the midst of trials, the sovereign hand of God is fulfilling His purpose in Joseph's heart and in the world. Let's take a look at the dreamer of dreams as he takes his eyes off his circumstances and places them squarely on the Lord.
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9/8/2010
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Genesis 42
Genesis 42
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What things does God work together for good in the lives of those who love Him? Sold into slavery, falsely accused, forgotten in prison– these are troubling events in the life of Joseph. As we approach this text, we'll see the sovereign hand of God at work, fulfilling His promise and truly working all things together for good in the life of Joseph.
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9/15/2010
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Genesis 43-44:17
Genesis 43:1-44:17
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Love isn't always easy. The natural response to difficult people may be retaliation. After cruel treatment by his brothers, Joseph is placed in a powerful position--their fate is in his hands; however, rather than payback, Joseph chooses pardon. He sets a wonderful example for us of supernatural love for unlovely people.
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9/22/2010
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Genesis 44:18-45:28
Genesis 44:18-45:28
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How do you respond in the face of adversity? Do you see life's difficulties through the filter of God's sovereignty? Joseph had been sold into slavery, forgotten in prison, and falsely accused. When faced with the brothers who got him into this mess, rather than revenge, Joseph chose the high road of forgiveness. Let's uncover how his vertical relationship with the Lord equipped him to restore his horizontal relationships with his brothers.
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9/29/2010
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Genesis 46-47
Genesis 46-47
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Perspective can be everything. Do you view life's challenges and success through the lens of God's sovereignty? Joseph spent twenty-two years in Egypt trusting in God's faithfulness. As we witness the reunion of Joseph and Jacob, we should remember that the God who sees all things also has a perfect plan for you and me.
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10/6/2010
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Genesis 48:1-49:12
Genesis 48:1-49:12
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It's a deathbed scene; the end of Jacob's life is drawing near and there are things he wants to set in order. While the law of the firstborn requires the oldest son to receive a double portion, Jacob chooses to honor the younger grandson, Ephraim. We'll learn why, and how that is relevant to our own lives in this study from Genesis.
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10/20/2010
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Genesis 49-50
Genesis 49-50
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As the book of beginnings comes to a close we'll witness Jacob's final declaration of blessing and admonition toward his sons, his death, and his burial in Canaan. Let's glimpse into his faith, consider his testimony, and learn from his example.
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11/10/2010
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Genesis Q & A
Skip Heitzig
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Why did God place the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in Garden of Eden? Did dinosaurs and man co-exist? Was the flood local or global? These are some of the questions Pastor Skip addresses in our recap of the book of Genesis. Let's explore the answers to these common concerns and gain a deeper understanding of God's plan for mankind.
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There are 37 additional messages in this series.