Abraham – The Father of Faith


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Sermon Notes

Gamblers for God

So as we continue looking at people who may have lived thousands of years ago, but they are not a whole lot different than we are, and we are able to look the situations they were in and gain some wisdom from them.

Today I want to talk about a guy named Abraham.  His story begins in a place called Mesopotamia, in a land called Ur of the Chaldeans, near present-day Iraq and Iran.

God said, “I want you to walk, by foot, all the way down into Israel. There I am going to give you a land that will be your inheritance.”

When I look at people in the word, I like to put them into a context I can understand; like put them into today for instance, so I imagine what they would be like today. I think of Abraham, I think of John Wayne, on a big cattle drive across the Wild West, thousands of cattle, rustlers, snakes, stampedes, the whole nine yards. And, like John Wayne, he has his orders and he just takes off and gets the job done; no crying or whining, get on your horse and get going!

Taking a gamble he starts, by faith, to go to a place he had never been before.

“By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going”  (Heb 11:8 NASB).

Sometimes God is going to tell us to go to a place we have not gone before or be a part of something that we’ve never been a part of before. Our willingness to do so is going to be

huge as it applies to faith.

C. T. Studd, a man who lived long ago, said,The gamblers for gold are many, but the gamblers for God are so few.”  

Where are the gamblers for God? There are all sorts of gamblers. We gamble on speculative housing; we gamble on stocks or overseas investments; we gamble on different things. By the plane loads, people head for Las Vegas. They deposit their money there and come back empty handed. We gamble all the time.

Abraham’s gamble didn’t stop with going to a place where he’d never been. He faced tons of challenges when he got to Israel. He had a nephew named Lot. Lot decided to split from his uncle and settle in a place called Sodom and Gomorrah – not a good idea!

God spoke to Abraham: “Go and speak to your nephew. Tell him My directions!” The next morning, with no hesitation, he went out. When that was resolved, the challenges still didn’t stop. God came to Abraham and said, “Abraham, you are going to be the father of many nations; you are going to have a son and he is going to be the father of those nations.

Abraham was 100 years old. He and his wife, Sarah, weren’t able to conceive and have any children. But at 100 years old, God said, “Now you are going to have a son.” Imagine the bewildered look on Abraham’s face and the look of disbelief on the face of Sarah – pregnant at 90!

When God gives us a promise, if we are a little impatient, we make mistakes. Abraham did the same thing. He figured fatherhood wasn’t going to happen – considering the age of both parties. So he visited a concubine, one of the servants of Sarah. In those days this was permissible. He then had a son through Hagar, the handmaiden. The son’s name was Ishmael. Ishmael became the father of the Arab nations.