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.
Our world desperately needs models worth following. Authentic heroes. People of integrity whose lives inspire us to take God seriously, to follow His Word obediently, to pursue Christ passionately.
Thankfully, the Bible places before us a spiritual "hall of fame"—raw, uncensored, gritty stories of men and women sometimes soaring, often stumbling, through the incredible life of faith. They wrestled with sin, experienced God's grace, struggled with weakness, and overcame by faith. Their inspiring biographies have been memorialized in Scripture, not simply because of their faith in God but because of God's faithfulness to them.
These great lives from God's Word not only provide realistic portraits for appreciation but also relevant principles for application.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.