Faithlife Sermons

Genesis 12:4-20 // Dangerous Faith

A Journey of Faith  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  42:16
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“So Abram Went” (v4)

The brevity of Abraham’s response to God’s invitation is the point here.
God called and Abraham went.
This is the type of faith that is noteworthy.
Hebrews 11:8 ESV
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.
God doesn’t mind questions. But when you know what God desires, then the questions stop, and action starts.

“And Abram took” (v5)

We see that Abraham wasn’t like,
“I think God might be calling me to something”
“Stay here and I’ll go check it out.”
Abraham took everything with him…he was all in on God’s calling.

Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem.” (v7)

Moses notes, “At that time the Canaanites were in the land.”
THE PLACE” at Shechem
That’s important looking backward
Abraham didn’t yet know the significance of that place yet.
“Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.”
Lesson about faith: Don’t worry about what you see, believe what God says.

“So he built an alter to the Lord who appeared to him.” (v7)

This was both a sign of worship to God, acknowledging His promise
Also sign that Abraham believed in God’s promise.

“From there he moved.” (v8)

God showed Abraham the land. but it was for his descendants.
In fact, the only part Abraham would own was a field that had a cave made into tomb. (chapter 23)
Sometimes (most of the time) God’s promises are to invite you to join Him at his work.
Church Mission vs Kingdom Mission
Church mission: personal, get things organized and functional, benefits the local body. Focus is on winning souls to Christ, adding to the church.
Kingdom mission: Focuses on the Big Picture”, may not directly benefit the local body, should be the end goal of every local church. Focus is on what God is doing in the world.

“From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent…” (v8)

Still traveling looking for resources to live on.
He does something noteworthy.
1. “And there he built an altar to the Lord…”
2. “…and called upon the name of the Lord.”

“Say you are my sister.”

We have seen tremendous faith so far from Abraham and then this happens.
So what changed?
We have a choice. We can condemn or we can learn.
Because the Bible is honest about its “heroes” we get a chance to learn.

What can we learn from this sudden change in the story that will help us develop a more durable faith in our own life?

Abraham showed faith when (without question) Abraham went (v4)
Abraham showed faith when standing in an occupied Canaan, God proclaimed the land to be his. Abraham responded by building an alter (acknowledging the promise)
Abraham showed faith at Bethel when he built another alter & called on the name of the Lord.
Then Abraham faced a real (personal) threat and tried to solve it himself through deception.
This was actually a systematic pattern for Abraham (read Gen 20:1-13)
Reason: Because I thought, there is no fear of God in this place.
“I thought” vs. “I believed
“There is no fear of God” – That kind of faith thinks that:
“God doesn’t rule the world, only those who believe in Him.”
Sinners logic: “Technically I didn’t lie”
o Genesis 20:12 – “Besides, she is indeed my sister …”
1. God can and will bust you out!
2. Your “street smarts” are no match for God’s sovereignty.
3. Faith in God is asking you the same question Jesus asked His disciples.
“Who do you say that I am.”

What did we learn from this story?

Go when God calls
Claim the promises God gives you.
Resolve in your heart, “Who do you believe God is?”
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