The Covenant and Obedience Back to all sermons

Genesis

Date: September 30, 2018

Speaker: Sean Grossman

Series: Genesis

Scripture: Genesis 17:15–17:27

  • Genesis 17:15-27
  • Further Blessing and Obedience
  • Genesis 17:15-17

15 And God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. 16 I will bless her, and moreover, I will  give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.” 17 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?”

  • Genesis 17:18-21

18 And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before you!” 19 God said, “No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him. 20 As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I have blessed him and will make him fruitful and multiply him greatly. He shall father twelve princes, and I will make him into a great nation. 21 But I will establish my covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this time next year.”

  • Genesis 17:22-27

22 When he had finished talking with him, God went up from Abraham. 23 Then Abraham took Ishmael his son and all those born in his house or bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham's house, and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskins that very day, as God had said to him. 24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 25 And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 26 That very day Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised. 27 And all the men of his house, those born in the house and those bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.

  • Main Point
  • The covenant is solidified
  • The covenant promise will be fulfilled through the blessing given to Sarah and therefore Isaac
  • Those belonging to Abraham and Isaac will be blessed with the covenant
  • Ishmael is still promised progeny
  • We also find Abraham’s obedience
  • Application Points
  • Obedience
  • Faithfulness goes hand in hand with obedience
  • We find individuals chosen by God who are declared righteous by their faith, and who still seek obedience
  • For Noah the ark, for Abraham circumcision
  • Abraham obeyed immediately
  • Noah entered the ark, on that day it rained
  • Something began…God’s people have begun to exist
  • It stems from obedience
  • Something as simple as following the Word of the Lord can have such consequences…something like circumcision
  • Application Points
  • Obedience (2)
  • Yet this is exactly what we find throughout history
  • When we are most faithful in our obedience to God things happen
  • We change the world through faithfulness to God in what He has called of each of us
  • We can think of Noah and Abraham and think, we’ll never be called in that way
  • That doesn’t mean our obedience is any less
  • When we are obedient to God we challenge the order of the world
  • In its immorality, injustice, sin
  • But when we walk in step with the Spirit, living as God desires, that is when the world is undone by obedience
  • Application Points
  • Obedience (3)
  • Obedience does not necessarily mean a long happy life as did with Abraham
  • Noah’s obedience led into a long storm, a season of wondering if the world would ever come again
  • Obedience to God does not focus on a reward
  • Obedience to God focuses on glorifying God
  • Obedience itself is the reward because it glorifies God
  • Let’s learn not to delay in obedience
  • Let’s like Abraham simply do, simply obey without delay
  • Application Points
  • Obedience (4)
  • Let’s start today to seek obedience to God
  • Begin today for living for Him in all manners of life
  • Devote every day to His glory
  • Because this is how we each have been called to be obedient to Him in our faithfulness to Him
  • Application Points
  • Sovereignty of God
  • God is sovereign, Lord of all the cosmos
  • He is entirely able to fulfill every one of His promises
  • Our God is to be trusted
  • He is El Shaddai
  • He is to be trusted in what occurs in human history
  • Why Isaac instead of Ishmael?
  • He has a goal and it is His glory
  • Application Points
  • Sovereignty of God (2)
  • Some might think that sounds egotistical!
  • We can look at this with enthusiasm because we know God
  • He is just, loving, moral, all the things this world needs
  • Thus, when God chooses individuals, we can be sure that there is a reason for that, and it is His glory
  • Through these choices He is bringing about the most possible good
  • Unfortunately we have human freedom which often leads to evil (as per all of Genesis thus far!)
  • God has given us freedom to do evil, or good
  • Application Points
  • Sovereignty of God (3)
  • Does this mean we can inhibit the will of God?
  • No, because God knows what we would choose before we choose it
  • He also knows, then, what we will not choose
  • To know what is true, is to also know what is false
  • Thus, God knows our responses to certain events
  • God is a sovereign God, and we are responsible with moral freedom given to us
  • Our freedom does not impinge on God, instead God uses our freedom by bringing about events which only we would respond to in our particular circumstances
  • Application Points
  • Sovereignty of God (4)
  • God chooses individuals because He knows them, and the circumstances, and what they will do
  • Does that mean Isaac has done anything? No, because God chose Isaac before his birth
  • Does that mean that because God has a plan, we should step back and do nothing?
  • By no means!
  • He knew us, and knows us, and we have a purpose to live for Him everyday
  • We are able to be used by God in marvelous ways
  • We are Jars of Clay
  • Application Points
  • Sovereignty of God (5)
  • It’s not the vessel, but what is in the vessel that matters
  • We have God inside of us, we have the Spirit of God in us
  • Do not be dismayed by the sovereignty of God
  • Instead, when we see God making choices of serious consequence, we should not doubt
  • Only He is omniscient, all knowing, and fully aware
  • He, alone, is El Shaddai
  • Trust in Him, then, because He is able
  • God has a better plan than we do, He understands and knows more than we do
  • Find peace knowing this God
  • Our God is great, and our God is for us through Jesus
  • Application Points
  • Blessed Women
  • There tends to be a misconception about the Bible…all patriarchal with women being meaningless
  • Women are given more credit, and are given promises more than in other ancient texts
  • First we saw Hagar, and now Sarah
  • Both were given promises of blessing, similar promises given to Abraham
  • It is 100% true that men and women are different
  • Neither is better nor higher than the other
  • Men are not above women, women are not above men, both are esteemed, both valuable, both significant, and both needed
  • Application Points
  • Blessed Women (2)
  • So it should be of no surprise how Sarah is blessed here, even part of the covenant
  • Through her would come a people
  • Through her, eventually, Christ comes
  • Women, though different than men, are not inferior
  • Through Christ, women are daughters of God Most High
  • Women should be respected, loved, and cherished for who they are in their personhood and identity
  • Something further to consider is that Sarah had made a major mistake
  • She made mistakes that led to severe consequences, yes she made mistakes
  • Application Points
  • Blessed Women (3)
  • That does not disqualify her from the blessing
  • Through this woman God is going to bring about an event no one thought possible
  • She reminds me of you and I
  • So many individuals who have made mistakes
  • Who have failed
  • God doesn’t let our failures get in His way
  • He still brings us the blessings despite our failures
  • Application Points
  • Blessed Women (4)
  • So take the yoke off your shoulders
  • If you are in Christ, you are forgiven
  • You are blessed
  • You are a child of God
  • Remind yourself of Sarah, so that you would know the love, the grace, the mercy of God
  • He is wonderful, giving, despite our sins, His Son Jesus Christ
  • Application Points
  • The Gospel of Christ
  • Origins
  • Fall
  • Redemption
  • Glorification