25rd January 2023
Read - Hebrews 11:8-10 Genesis 12:1-20 and 22:1-19
Message Alan Burke
Let’s summarise where we were on Monday, just to jog your memory. Abraham by faith obeyed, he heard and followed the word of God, faith is seen in obedience. Now things weren’t plain sailing for Abraham when he tired to do a bit of DIY and instead of looking to God took things into his own hands and his own decision saw Pharaoh and his house greatly afflicted because of Abraham. Instead of being a blessing Abraham became a curse. The reason why I wanted to take you through this is so that we understand that Hebrews isn’t be like Abraham, rather it is to “trust in the promises of God”. And Abraham’s indiscretions actually look quite tame to many of those who are listed here in Hebrews 11 but we will get to that at a later stage.
It was by Faith Abraham none the less, through the many highs and lows, obeyed. Abraham went as God had called him, by faith he went as God had called him. To the ‘Promised Land’. Though when he got there what we are told is that he built an Altar to the Lord (Gen 12:8), and when he came back from Egypt he went to the place where his tent had been in the beginning (Gen 13:3). He didn’t start building a city to live in, nor did he go of like Lot and live in a city which worked out so well for Lot. No, Abraham lived in the Promised land as one who was a sojourner, who was a nomad a pilgrim, an alien, a stranger, one without a place to call home.
The reason why he lived this way is a wonderful one, as we are told, that Abraham was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God (Heb 11:10). Abraham had been given a wonderful promise by God, but his focus was not set on his earthly destination, what he would attain or accumulate over his life time for Abraham new that this world was not his home. The promised land was not his final destination, he understood more of the wonder of the promises of God than many of us do or want to. Abraham knew the hope of the one who followed God and how it was far greater than any fulfilment in this life. It was far greater than anything in this world has to offer. The hope of God’s people, those who by faith are His is of a Heavenly city. That is what we look forward to, the city whose foundations will never be shaken for it has been designed and built by God.
You know the grand total of the promised land that Abraham received in this life? Well it was his tomb where he was buried. He had flocks and servants, he had wealth but he lived as one without a place to call home because he lived by faith and knew its not where he lived, what he owned was what mattered. How many of us live like this? We may not want to hear it but there is an application here for us one that we often miss, our lives here are but temporary, we are strangers, aliens in this world, it is not our home. As surely as we come into this world we are going out of it. What matters is more than what we will attain or accumulate over this life time. By faith instead we are to look to what lies ahead more than we look and long for the things here, let’s stop building our own little kingdoms and look to build the Lord’s all the while looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.
Q59 Which day of the seven hath God appointed to be the weekly Sabbath?
From the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, God appointed the seventh day of the week to be the weekly Sabbath; and the first day of the week ever since, to continue to the end of the world, which is the Christian Sabbath. (Gen. 2:2–3, 1 Cor. 16:1–2, Acts 20:7)