To truly learn from Abraham’s life, we must think what he thought, hear what he heard, feel what he felt, go where he went, and most of all, learn what he learned. Among the many benefits of studying the life of a man of God is the opportunity to discover truths about the God of that man.
Abraham: One Nomad's Amazing Journey of Faith
What does it mean to be “the friend of God”? Though he lived in a world at enmity with God, Abraham modelled an enviable walk of faith. When told to go, he went. When promised, he believed. When commanded, he obeyed—even when it seemed to make no sense at all. Abraham wasn’t “the friend of God” (James 2:23) because of his intellect, his pedigree, or his fortune. Abraham was God’s friend because of his faith.
Follow the great Patriarch on his epic adventure in Abraham: One Nomad’s Amazing Journey of Faith, and be challenged to answer life-changing questions for yourself:
- “Is God calling me to do something radical?”
- “Which of God’s promises apply to me?”
- “How can I lead my family in this godless world?”
As you witness an imperfect man’s transformation into a hero of the faith, you’ll be warned by his failures and inspired by his trust…and you’ll learn what it really means to be a “friend of God.”
Moving to the unfamiliar and unknown was what God called Abram to do. How could he do it? Why would he want to? The answer is found in one word: obedience.
When God promised to accomplish specific things for certain individuals and people groups in biblical times, those promises were unbreakable. God’s unconditional promises to a man named Abram stand as an enduring example of God’s faithfulness to His own word.
When we look more closely at Abram, we begin to see his imperfections. We realize this icon of faith had feet of clay. When a famine hit, rather than standing firm in faith and trusting his God to sustain him and his wife, he fled to Egypt. We can learn lessons from faithful Abram’s temporary and tragic slump into deceit and disobedience.
Throughout his life, Abram faced a variety of tests that stretched his faith and deepened his dependence on God. When faced with his next challenge, Abram followed the Spirit. This time, his nephew Lot, failing to learn from his uncle’s mistake, was the one who made a decision that led to disaster.
Sadly, in our fallen world, small-hearted people are the norm, making the few genuinely great-hearted people stand out all the more. Among their thin ranks stands Abram, who not only gave his short-sighted nephew the choicest land but also rescued him when his choice got him into trouble! We can learn a lot from Abram, the great-hearted.
By listening in on this chat between God and Abram and examining the dynamics of the relationship between these two friends, we can discover important dimensions in our own intimate relationships with the Almighty.
Impatience allows the enthusiasm of the flesh to eclipse the work of the Spirit. God often says, “Wait,” but our flesh always says, “Now!” This tension creates the perfect condition for believers to run ahead of God. God has a plan, but we struggle with His timing. Instead of waiting on Him, we take matters into our own hands.
After 13 years of silence, during which Abram had to learn to wait on God’s timing, the Lord finally appeared with changes and challenges. The Patriarch’s time in silence wasn’t wasted. Through his example, we can learn how to quiet ourselves, listen to God’s voice, overcome doubts, and step out in obedience.
“Upper” days lift our spirits and send them soaring. “Downer” days leave us sad and discouraged. As we face our own upper-downer days, we can learn from Abraham’s experience how to put things in proper perspective and find our balance.
In this message, we analyze Abraham’s passionate intercession on behalf of Lot and his family in the face of the imminent destruction of Sodom. We can understand the struggle that occurs between petition (what we ask for) and desire (why we ask) and gain insight into the important role prayer plays in our lives.
Scripture gives ample warnings and shocking examples of the effects of godly people who become contaminated by close friendships with the immoral world. The account of Lot’s behaviour on the night of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah provides a vivid example of the tragic consequences of such moral compromise.
The total annihilation of Sodom and Gomorrah reminds us that God’s gracious patience and merciful long-suffering have their limits. Though He delays judgment for the sake of the salvation of those who will believe and repent, He never dismisses His wrath against unrepentant wickedness.
The account of Lot’s dysfunctional family affair teaches us that the tragic effects of sin have been with us since the beginning. This embarrassing scene in Genesis 19 reminds us of just how deeply an immoral culture can affect our sense of right and wrong, prompting us to remember our weaknesses and God’s unwavering standard.
Abraham’s life presents a realistic picture of a saint instantly saved by grace but constantly struggling with repeat offences and carnal thinking, but the Lord was always merciful, gracious, and willing to pick up Abraham, brush him off, and help him learn through his experiences. The same loving God will do the same for us.
For a quarter century, Abraham and Sarah occupied God’s waiting room. When Abraham was 75 and his wife 65, God promised they would have a son. At just the right time in God’s providential plan, Abraham and Sarah laid eyes on the promised child and heard the words they had dreamed of all their lives.
When God forgives, He casts our sins as far as the east is from the west. He remembers them no more! However, Abraham’s life reveals another sobering truth: God’s merciful decision to not hold our wrongs against us doesn’t mean we won’t suffer physical, social, and emotional consequences in the present world.
Our earthly lives revolve around the people we love and the things we enjoy. However, someday the Lord may step into our contented, predictable lives and say, “Let go!” As we’ll discover in this message, that day came for Abraham…and then some.
The world in which we dwell focuses on the negative. Weather forecasters speak of a 30 per cent chance of rain. Why not a 70 per cent chance of sunshine? Movies and television delight in exposing the dirty, disgusting underbelly of society. Why not use media to paint a hopeful picture of how the world could be?
The longer Abraham lived, the more he learned to take God literally, trust Him thoroughly, and obey Him eagerly. As the aging Patriarch approached the twilight of his life, he turned his attention to finding a lifelong companion for his son, Isaac.
As Abraham neared the sunset of his life, he clearly didn’t waste his retirement years sitting around feeling sorry for himself. Instead, he lived his last years to their fullest. From his example, we can learn a lot about ending well and finishing strong.
As we look at Abraham’s life as a whole, we’ll be reminded that he was as much a sinner as he was a saint, and we’ll find both warning and inspiration.