In our last two studies on Abraham we've seen how God called a man almost from obscurity and began to mold him into a man of God. When we promptly and fully obey God's voice to our hearts then we too can be made into vessels "fit for the Master's use". We talked of the importance of separating ourselves from the things and people that hinder our walk with God, as well as the necessity to believe God absolutely when He gives His word to us about something.
God had given Abraham several promises but as the years had passed there was still no sign of fulfilment. Despite this test of faith, Abraham had now settled the issue of his heir forever. "He believed God..." that an heir would come from his own body. Yes, he would wait patiently. But God who knows our hearts draws Abraham out further to settle still another issue. Let's continue our study...
Day 1- What does God reaffirm to Abraham that draws out another question
on his heart?
Day 2 -Abraham at this time had waited with God concerning this promise
for many years. There was no encouragement in sight that it would ever be
fulfilled. He was restless and wanted something more definite than God's word!
He had not yet learned the substance of real faith.
Day 3- When God gives us His word about something for our lives we can
be sure He has His own plan and time in mind for its fulfilment. What are we
exhorted to do while we wait for it?
Proverbs 3:5 / Isaiah 50:10
Day 4- It is very touching to see how God stoops to our weakness and
answers our questions. In Abraham's story He does this in a very tangible way.
(In days when written agreements were yet unknown, men bound one another to their word by solemn religious ceremony. The contracting party was required to bring certain animals - divide them in two - and lay them out so that a narrow path was between them. The covenanting party would then pass up and down to ratify and confirm his solemn pledge).
Day 5- God spares us from undue anxiety by letting us see only one step
ahead of ourselves. Abraham in demanding to know more, was probably not
prepared for the "thick and dreadful darkness" that came over him (Genesis
15:12). What was going to happen in the years ahead?
What would happen to Abraham?
Day 6- Ten long years had passed for Abraham and Sarah in the new land
but they still had no children. Abraham had settled this matter with God and
believed Him that he would have an heir. Yet, at a weak moment he listens to
the voice of expediency and proceeds to fulfil the promise himself. What does
Sarah suggest which Abraham follows?
Genesis 16: 1-4
Day 7- Disobedience to God and His word is nothing less than sin. Sin
never leads to anything good - only misery and discord. Read the results of
Genesis 16: 5-16
Day 8- Thirteen years now pass from the time that Ishmael is born to the
time that God speaks again. What two commands does God give Abraham this time?
Notice that this same standard was later given to us by Jesus.
Day 9- Perfection and what it means for each of us is a study in itself.
But in studying various texts we can see that wholehearted devotion to God
involving the entire surrender of our being is what He holds very dear.
I Kings 2:4 / I Kings 8:61 / Deuteronomy 6:5
Day 10- It is to the ones who walk with God and are blameless that He
can trust His promises to. A covenant is a promise made with the most solemn
sanctions so that it binds the consenting parties together in a definite way.
What was God's part of the covenant?
Genesis 17: 2-8
Day 11- What was to be Abraham's part?
Day 12- Circumcision as a sign of this covenant goes deeper than just a
physical action. It was symbolic of a spiritual circumcision that believers in
Christ would all need to partake of.
Deuteronomy 30:6 / Romans 2:28-29
Day 13- SEPARATION. The physical ceremony separated Abraham and his seed
from all the peoples around him. If we are to know true friendship with God, we
must also be ready to be separate from the world.
II Corinthians 6:17-18
Day 14- PURITY. Circumcision, as a cutting away of the flesh, was to be
a sign for all times of putting off our sinful nature. We are meant to walk in
purity amidst a corrupt world.
Day 15- OBEDIENCE. Notice WHEN Abraham fulfilled God's requirement for
Genesis 17:23-27 (vs.23,26)
Who does Jesus say would be His friends?
Day 16- Within the same year Abraham has some visitors. Who were they?
Day 17- Abraham is not aware that God has come to his home. How does he
treat his three visitors?
Day 18- Abraham's example of hospitality is one for us to heed. For
Christ Himself may come to us in many disguises. In fact, this is one of the
surprise tests that He will use to separate the sheep from the goats!
Day 19- What did the visitor announce to Abraham that caused Sarah to
laugh to herself inside the tent?
Day 20- Notice that Sarah's laugh was to herself- inside the tent and
out of sight to her visitors. It was a laugh of incredulity. Her thoughts were
NOT spoken aloud. The divine nature of this visitor comes forth as he
immediately confronts Abraham with the unbelief he "hears" from inside the
Day 21- God knows when we don't believe Him. We may think we've "kept it
to ourselves", but we have no secrets from God.
Hebrews 4:13 / Jeremiah 32:27
Day 22- Then comes the Lord's question which He speaks in reality to
each of us.
Genesis 18:14/ Jeremiah 32:27
From the meeting with these three visitors to the next episode in Abraham's life, he and Sarah have moved on to Gerar in the region of the Negev. It is here that God exposes a great weakness in Abraham's character that was no longer compatible with being a friend of God.
Day 23- What secret agreement had Abraham made with Sarah years ago when
they first left Haran?
Day 24- Why?
Genesis 12:11-13 / Genesis 20:11
Day 25- What situation were they now in that required use of this
Day 26- This secret agreement between Abraham and Sarah exposed a
weakness of Abraham's faith in God's power to take care of him. How did God
prove Himself in this situation?
Genesis 20: 3-7
Day 27- It is heartbreaking to see a man like Abraham rebuked and
corrected by a godless ruler that had a higher standard than his own.
Day 28- God allows and uses this great humiliation to expose to Abraham
his sin of unbelief and distrust. Yet, God does not tear down without building
up again. Despite his failures, Abraham was still a prophet having power with
God. How does God exalt Abraham after his humbling rebuke?
Genesis 20:7a, 17-18
Day 29- TRULY REPENT. Turn completely away from sin and back to God.
Joel 2:12-13 / Acts 3:19 / Acts 8:22/ Luke 15:21
Day 30- Then, as a child, trust in the patience and forgiveness of God.
Let His love as a consuming fire totally cleanse and purify you from all sin.
Make this your prayer as King David did.
Psalm 51: 10-12
Day 31- Now, as your repentance is real and complete, count on God to
keep His Word.
I John 1:9 / II Chronicles 7:14/ Ephesians 1:7
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