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God's Big Picture: Genesis 20

God's Big Picture: Genesis  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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CIT: Humanity has a sin problem, which not only affects individuals but also those around them. Therefore, we need an intercessor to give us hope for a new life.

Abraham still had a sin problem (Gen. 20:1-2, Rom. 7:15, 22-23)
Individual sin can affect other people (Gen. 20:3-16)
We need an intercessor (Gen. 20:17-18, 1Jn. 1:8-9, Rom. 7:25-8:1)
We have hope for life change in Christ (Jer. 31:31-34, Ezek. 36:26-27, Rom. 8:2)

Abraham still had a sin problem

Abraham leaves the promised land and goes to Gerar
After God had just promised Abraham and Sarah a child, and destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah Abraham leaves the promised land.
The last time he did this was in Genesis 12:10-20, the only problem is that back then there was at least a famine in the land. This time when he leaves there’s nothing wrong, he just does it.
When Abraham left to go to Egypt in Gen. 12:10-20 he left because of a famine, which is like when we wander away from God during difficult times because we think we need to fix things on our own. When Abraham leaves the promised land to go to Gerar he leaves when everything is going well, which is like when we wander away from God because we forget that God is the one who is providing for us in the moment.
He pulls the same trick he did in Genesis 12:10-20
When he comes to Gerar he tells people that Sarah is his sister instead of his wife.
Why? Because he is selfishly looking out for his own protection at the cost of another.
This parallels Lot willingness to give up his daughters in Genesis 19:8.
He won’t even fess up to his sin, he keeps trying to cover it up with excuses in Gen. 20:11-13
We also have a sin problem
Paul makes it very clear in Rom. 7:15, 22-23 that we have a problem with sin. He is describing his life before becoming a Christian. He knew the OT law front and back, he knew all the right things he was supposed to do, but he says that he doesn’t do what he wants, that is keeping the Law, and he does what he doesn’t want to do, that is disobeying the law. Further down he says that in his mind he knows that he should obey the Law, but his sinful flesh keep him captive to sin.
Abraham still had a sin problem because even though he had believed in God, that God would keep his promises, there hadn’t been a full change of heart. People under the Old Covenant in the Old Testament struggled with obeying God because even though they had been given the Law there wasn’t true heart change.
For you tonight, you may know all the right things to do, and you may check all the boxes, like Paul did. But there is still a problem, if your heart you know that you still have a sin problem, there hasn’t been true change. And we’ll see here what that sin problem begins to do.

Individual sin can affect other people

God tells Abimelech that he will die for taking another mans wife
Abimelech is given a warning by God that if he does not return Sarah to Abraham he is going to die.
Abimelech right says that he is innocent because he was told that Sarah was Abraham’s sister, not wife.
So, now Abimelech has to meet with Abraham to give back Sarah, so that he doesn’t die, and in order to prevent people from thinking that Sarah had committed adultery he had to give a lot of money and livestock to Sarah in Gen. 20:16
God had prevented Abimelech’s wives and servants from becoming pregnant because of this sin
God had punished Abimelech for taking Sarah, by preventing his wives and slaves from becoming pregnant, a sign of judgement at the time.

We need an intercessor

Abraham, as God’s prophet had to intercede for Abimelech
Through the entire text it has been clear that Abraham has been the one who is wrong, but God tells Abimelech to go to Abraham for him and his household to be healed.
Why? Because Abraham is God’s prophet and will be the one to intercede for Abimelech.
What does it mean for someone to intercede for someone else? It means that someone is standing before God on another's behalf. In this case it is Abraham, God’s prophet (the one whom God has chosen to speak his very words), standing before God on Abimelech’s behalf so that Abimelech might be healed.
Even if we think we are without sin, we are broken people in need of an intercessor
1 John 1:8 tells us that if we say that we have no sin we are deceiving ourselves, how? because we are all fallen sinners because of the fall in Genesis 3.
But 1 John 1:9 gives us hope, that, “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us from all unrighteousness.”
How is it that Jesus can forgive us of our sins if we just confess them? Because he was our intercessor!
Jesus is our intercessor
1 John 2:2a says, “He is the propitiation for our sins,” meaning that God’s wrath for sin was poured out of Jesus instead of us!
Paul understands this glorious truth because right after the text that we looked at earlier in Rom. 7 he says this in Rom. 7:25-8:1, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Paul gives thanks to Jesus because he has interceded for us and now there in no condemnation over us, we have been healed, because Jesus took the punishment on our behalf!
So what is the outworking of this truth, that Jesus is our intercessor?

We have hope for life change in Jesus

God promised that one day we would be able to obey him because we want to
Jeremiah 31:31-34 promises us that God is going to make a New Covenant with humanity, one in which he won’t be giving us a new law, he is going to write it on our hearts
Ezekiel 36:26-27 tells us how that’s going to happen, that God is going to put his Spirit within us and will give us a new heart that wants to serve God. How will our new heart want to serve God? Because God is going to make it want to do just that!!!
The Holy Spirit has set us free in Christ
We as Christians are part of that New Covenant!
Paul tells us in Rom. 8:2 that the Spirit has set us free in Christ!
And John 8:36 tells us that if Jesus sets us free then we are truly free indeed!
So, do you want to truly obey God? Do you want your relationship with God to be truly healed? Do you want to experience real life change? Then confess your sins to God and believe that Jesus had paid the penalty for those sins on your behalf and you will be saved!
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