By Rev. Dr. Jerry Schmoyer email@example.com
1. LEAVE UR: Am I willing to leave home to follow God?
2. LEAVE HARAN: Will I move when God want me to move?
3. STAY IN CANAAN: Will I stay put & trust God until He moves me?
4. ATTITUDE TO WEALTH: Am I content with what God provides?
5. SEPARATE FROM LOT: Do I trust God with my future?
6. RESCUE LOT: Am I willing to take a risk to help others?
7. MEET MELCHIZEDEK Do I treat my things as belonging to God?
8. AGING BUT NO SON: Can I trust God with my fears?
9. SON BY HAGAR: Am I willing to be patient and wait on God?
10. SEND HAGAR AWAY: Do I give in to pressure?
11. PROMISE OF SON: Can faith persevere when seems God not answer?
12. VISITORS ARRIVE: Am I willing to be a servant?
13. SON NEXT YEAR: Do I believe and act on God’s promises?
14. PRAY FOR LOT: Am I faithful in praying for others?
15. SODOM DESTROYED: Trust God when don’t understand happen?
16. SARAH’S MY SISTER #2: Have I learned from past mistakes?
17. ISAAC BORN, CIRCUMCISED: Do my actions show my faith?
18. ISHMAEL SENT AWAY: Am I willing to face the consequences of sins?
19. SACRIFICE ISAAC: Have I given my children back to God?
20. ABIMELECH COVENANT: Is my daily life faithful witness God?
21. SARAH DIES: Do I find peace in God when a loved one dies?
22. SARAH’S GRAVE: Have I committed to God’s plan for my life?
23. A WIFE FOR ISAAC: Do I trust God to do what is best for my children?
24. ABRAHAM DIES: Am I trusting God concerning my own death?
25. WHOLE LIFE: Is my life lived in faith and obedience to God?
– God stretches our faith (won’t break us)
-trials, difficulties, tests, etc.
-opportunities, decisions, choices
faith gets stronger (muscle, not rubber band)
My life consisted of one test after another – about 25 major
many minor ones each day
tell you about a few
maybe you can see some of the tests in your life
1. LEAVE UR
Am I willing to leave home to follow God?
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 11:24-12:9
Gen 12:1 The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.
BACKGROUND: one chosen nation
TEST: leave top city of its day (Ur, moon worship)
RESPONSE: had to step our in FAITH, give up all
RESULT: In Haran 15 years until Terah, father, died
2. LEAVE HARAN
Will I move when God wants me to move?
2 “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
Then 300 miles further into Canaan (Palestine) – 75 yrs old – remembered God’s word 15 yrs ago
Ur to Haran easy, Haran to Canaan – more difficult – 400 dry mi
lived in Tents
Built and altar – to worship, praise God
Test 2: leave haran
3. STAY IN CANAAN
Will I stay put & trust God until He moves me?
TEST FOLLOWS TRIUMPH! Famine!
A FAITH THAT CAN’T BE TESTED CAN’T BE TRUSTED
God TESTING man – develop strength
Satan TEMPTING man – bring destruction
RESPONSE: I decided to help God out – FEAR!!!
MAPS TO EGYPT
RESULT: Sarah to Pharaoh, Rich, found out, Sarah no longer trust Abraham
BACK to Canaan
1. God will allow His people to be tested with adversity.
2. Even those who have proven faithful in the past will be tested.
3. it is far better to walk by faith in God’s promises than it is to walk by human sight
4. Build an altar wherever you go
5. If you can’t build an altar its not by faith
6. TRUST & TRUTH
Test 3: don’t leave Canaan – did get wealthy (next test)
4. ATTITUDE TO WEALTH
Am I content with what God provides?
TEST: $, things always a temptation – faith in them instead of God
On a scale of 1 to 10, HOW CONTENT ARE YOU? de, self-centeredness
CONTENTMENT = attitude of satisfaction
RESPONSE: knew they came from God – trusted him, not things first
RESULT: God continues to prosper me – Before: stepped out in faith, trusting God
I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in what. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Phil 4:11-13
TRANS: Abraham content, Lot NOT – Lot: problem with greed!)
5. SEPARATE FROM LOT
Do I trust God with my future?
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 13:5-18 Now Lot, who was moving about with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents. But the land could not support them while they stayed together, for their possessions were so great that they were not able to stay together. And quarreling arose between Abram’s herdsmen and the herdsmen of Lot. The Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in the land at that time.
TEST: Wealth both a blessing & a curse! Who gets the best land? (God gave it to ME!)
RESPONSE: Let Lot choose favorite (best!) Humbly give up own rights
RESULT: God prospered me even more
PARADE – our viewpoint only see part that is in front of us at the moment
If up in sky could see whole thing, start to end, better perspective (how GOD sees things)
Lot’s greed, worldliness, got him into trouble -happens when follow world, not God
heard @ X-rated Sodom (“God gae up” Rom 1)
6. RESCUE LOT Am I willing to take a risk to help others?
TEST: Invaders take LOT – What am I to do?
RISK in trusting God
RESPONSE: Gathered own servants, neighbors, friends, trusted God, overcame fear
RESULT: Attacked at night, God gave us victory, Lot, people of Sodom/Gomorrah freed
TRANS: Tried to give me credit & riches, tempt my ego – next test….
7. MEET MELCHIZEDEK
Do I treat my things as belonging to God?
TEST: Take credit myself for the victory, Take $ not mine (Ki Sodom say he made me rich
RESPONSE: God helped me out, sent Melchizedek help me remember who really did it
After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the King of Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh. Then Melchizedek, king of Salem.. Gen 14:17-24
PICTURE OF JESUS
Priest of God & King
King of Salem (peace) – Melchizedek = ‘righteousness;
NEED OR GREED God first or self first
RESULT: Turned it all down – God provided all I ever needed or wanted
TRANSITION Except a son . . .
8. AGING BUT NO SON Can I trust God with my fears?
WONDER where God is, why promises not being fulfilled, if prayers heard – 10 YEARS!
Abraham’s solution: Eliezar, his steward (as was done in that culture)
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 15:1-21
After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.”
RESPONSE: believed, but harder again as time went on
TRANS: When God not answer right away, faith fails…
9. SON BY HAGAR
Am I willing to be patient & wait on God?
PATIENCE a big problem today – impatience, stress, hurry, rush today
THE PROBLEM; Abraham 85, Sarah 75, past menopause
TEST: son by HAGAR
STUPID THINGS BELIEVERS DO WHEN IMPATIENT
1. Take things into own hands – Sarah impatient with God
2. Blame others for results – Sarah blames Abraham
3. Avoid consequences – Ab impatient with Sarah, Sarah impatient with Ab
RESPONSE: I caved in “Yes dear, anything you say, dear”
RESULT: Ishmael born – Arab-Israel problem today!
TRANS: bickering women in home (Sarah & Hagar) – 13 yrs pass – home a turmoil
10. SEND HAGAR AWAY
Do I give in to pressure?
TEST: HAGAR pregnancy, nasty to Sarah,
RESPONSE: I caved in “Yes dear, anything you say, dear”
RESULT: delivered by Jesus, birth of Isaac put off
TRANS: retested on obedience – thought I was in God’s will these 13 years
11. PROMISE OF SON
Can my faith persevere when it seems God doesn’t answer?
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 17:1-27 hen Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless. I will confirm my covenant between you and me and will greatly increase your numbers.
TEST: Keep faith in God’s promise of a son & descendants
New names: Ab/Sar = remember promise of son whenever name said!
RESPONSE: obeyed, believed & did it
RESULT: peace, confidence in God
Faith doesn’t grow without struggle
TRANS: patiently awaiting His timing in this
12. VISITORS ARRIVE
Am I willing to be a servant?
SERVANTHOOD – not popular today
Luke 22:26-27 But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.
3 men to Abraham, got up in hottest part of day served them
TEST 12: Serve God by Serving Others
TRANSITION Came to give an important message to Abraham
13. SON NEXT YEAR
Do I believe and act on God’s promises?
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 18:1-15 Then the LORD said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”
TEST: Believe God’s word of a son within next year – Ab 99, Sarah 89
RESPONSE: Put obedience to God before Sarah – not let her manipulate me, but take a stand
sometimes harder to trust God with our CHILDREN than anything else!
RESULT: Good, being man God wanted me to be – example to Sarah, believed, too (Heb 11:11)
TRANS: God, at same time, revealed something else:
14. PRAY FOR LOT
Am I faithful in praying for others?
TEST: Lot and family there, will die, too – Do I care enough to intercede for him?
RESPONSE: Interceded for Lot & family – God not destroy Sod/Gom if 10 bel there
Abraham responded in intercession – prayer for them, 45, 40, 30, 20, 10 – God said yes
Lot, wife, 2 unmar dau, 3 mar dau & husb)
RESULT: Not 10 believers there!
Sod & Gom destroyed, Lot saved, wife salt (Incest with daughters!)
TRANS: God had RETEST for me!
15. SODOM DESTROYED
Do I trust God when things I don’t understand happen?
Sodom & Gomorrah by Dead Sea
VERY prosperous, great cities
LOT WARNED by angels because a believer, Abraham prayed
COMPROMISE with sin that there in the first place!
Result: FIRE & BRIMSTONE on whole area, Lot wife & 2 dau alone escaped – God couldn’t judge with them there – no judgment on believers
TRANS: learning to trust God – retested!!!
16. SARAH’S MY SISTER #2
Have I learned from past mistakes?
TEST: Same as test 2 – NEGEV, Abimelech, she’s my sister
RESPONSE: compromised, lied @ Sarah (‘sister’)
RESULT: Embarrassedby Abimelech – God bailed out again
TRANS: sure enough, Isaac born soon after
Another RETEST, too
17. ISAAC BORN, CIRCUMCISED
Do my actions show my faith?
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 21:1-21
Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him.
WHY DID GOD MAKE THEM WAIT?
1. Learn patience
2. Faith grow
3. Trust increase
4. Closer to God
5. See God’s power
God’s promises always come true!
Miraculous birth – similarity/type Jesus and Isaac
TEST: circumcises, dedicate to God, recognize he is God’s gift
RESULT: God took care of them, blessed them – “Isaac” = “laughter” much in family now!
TRANS: One final retest necessary – using people as security blanket (not give up to God)
18. ISHMAEL SENT AWAY
Am I willing to face the consequences of my sins?
TEST: Ishmael mocking, Sarah said get rid of him
19. SACRIFICE ISAAC
Have I given my children back to God?
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 22:1-19 Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.”
TEST: Give Isaac back to God – kill him! – seems contradictory
RESPONSE: Obeyed, did it (didn’t tell Sarah, too much) – God would bring back to life (Heb 11:19)
TRANS: This important victory helped me ‘turn the corner’ and completely trust God
20. ABIMELECH COVENANT
Is my daily life a faithful witness for God?
21. SARAH DIES Do I find peace in God when a loved one dies?
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 23:1-20
Sarah lived to be a hundred and twenty-seven years old. She died at Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham went to mourn for Sarah and to weep over her.
TEST: Sarah dies at 127 years – Without mate life empty
Ps 55:22 Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.
Absent from the body = present with the Lord Phil 1:21-23
RESPONSE: Nice burial (buy land – all mine, but own none)
RESULT: First land ownership
Special closeness to God, meet needs Sarah met
TRANS: Where to bury Sarah significant decision
22. SARAH’S GRAVE
Have I committed to God’s plan for my life?
23. A WIFE FOR ISAAC
Do I trust God to do what is best for my children?
TEST: Importance of godly wife – bel or unbel? Trust God to pick right wife? His choice?
RESPONSE: Trusted God to provide believing wife
Sent servant Eleazar back to Ur area for wife
RESULT: God provided Rebekah for Isaac
TRANS: Isaac took over, own rel with God
New wife, Keturah, children = MIDIANITES
As my death near had to trust God with that, too
24. ABRAHAM DIES
Am I trusting God concerning my own death?
TEST: Trust God with Isaac, rest of family
Trust God with my soul through last enemy – death! 175 YEARS OLD
RESPONSE: Trusted God, lived last days in peace MUCH God taught me over the years . . .
Isa 26:4 Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.
Ps 9:9-10 The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.
RESULT: Died in peace
TRANS: death last test – no more after that!
25. WHOLE LIFE
Is my life lived in faith & obedience to God?
RESPONSE: By end of my life learned to trust God
RESULT: Used by God as father of faithful since
LESSON: YOUR turn, YOUR tests, YOUR time to pass or fail