We are about half way through Genesis in our Sunday morning messages, and I want to ask you something: What have you learned? What have you learned from the lives of Adam and Eve? What have you learned from the life of Cain? From Noah? The Tower of Babel? From Abraham? From Lot? From Sarah? From Hagar and Ishmael? From Isaac so far? From Rebekah? There’s a lifetime of lessons in the first two dozen chapters in the Bible, and the next half of Genesis will be just as rich. While I don’t want to ruin the surprise as we begin to study the last half of the book of Genesis in a couple weeks, let’s take a look at the lessons that David learned from the book of Genesis. Go to Psalm 105. Read the entire Psalm then we will focus on a few verses.

When you read this, what came to mind? What was God speaking to you?

Go back to verse 5 and read through 15.

When God makes a promise, He does everything He can, despite our actions, to bring about His purpose.

God’s promise to Abraham being a father of a great nation was despite

  • Abraham’s & Sarah’s age thought to be past the childbearing years
  • that Abraham & Sarah had no children yet
  • that Abraham & Sarah took matters into their own hands and tried to fulfill this promise of God on their own with Hagar & Ishmael
  • that Sarah was taken as a wife by two kings but protected by God
  • that the promise of Sarah being pregnant with Isaac wasn’t fulfilled for more than a decade after the promise was made
  • that mini wars and major destruction of cities near where they lived could have swallowed Abraham and his family

David in Psalm 105:12- 15 makes note that God’s purposes came to pass despite these things:

  • Abraham’s family being few in number
  • Abraham’s family being of little standing in the land where they lived
  • they weren’t even in their own land – they were nomads, sojourners, foreigners
  • (not only were they not even in their own land but) that they wandered and wandered around in it from one kingdom to another
  • all those kingdoms trying to oppress them

And David doesn’t even mention the majority of impossibilities that God lead his people through, all the way back to Abraham’s time to David time now, in order to keep His promise just to Abraham and his family and Abraham’s descendants. Verse 42 says “For He remembered His holy promise, and Abraham, His servant.”

But let’s not be fooled here. God was directing all this. Turn to Proverbs 21:1.

Solomon wrote this. I am sure Solomon had read or heard Psalm 105 that his father David wrote. A few verses prior in Proverbs 20:24 it says “A man’s steps are from the Lord.” And prior in Proverbs 19:21 it says “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” God back to Proverbs 21:1 and read it again.

From Matthew Henry’s Bible commentary on Proverbs 21:1

Even the hearts of men are in God’s hand, and not only their goings, as he had said, [Proverbs] ch. 20:24. God can change men’s minds, can, by a powerful insensible operation under their spirits, turn them from that which they seemed most intent upon, and incline them to that which they seemed most averse to, as the husbandman, by canals and gutters, turns the water through his grounds as he pleases, which does not alter the nature of the water, nor put any force upon it, any more than God’s providence does upon the native freedom of man’s will, but directs the course of it to serve his own purpose. 2. Even kings’ hearts are so, notwithstanding their powers and prerogatives, as much as the hearts of common persons. The hearts of kings are unsearchable to us, much more unmanageable by us; as they have their arcana imperii (state secrets), so that they have great prerogatives of their crown; but the great God has them not only under his eye, but in his hand. Kings are what he makes them. Those that are most absolute are under God’s government; he puts things into their hearts.

Abraham went through some major life stuff.

  • He moved far away from His family because he obeyed God.
  • He had to rescue his nephew with a small army of his own servants.
  • He had to wait years for his son that God promised. Even though he fully trusted what God said, which was credited to him as righteousness, did Abraham and Sarah get the impression that they would have numerous children in order to fulfill this promise of being the parents of a great nation, not thinking just Isaac alone would fulfill that promise?

If someone gave you a list of the trials and testing of Abraham without the promises from God, would you jump up and down to volunteer for what God was telling you to do? Most of us, first of all, would never even do the first thing God asked us to do: move far away. And we have cars and moving trucks and light boxes now – we do not have to walk all our possessions and people and livestock that far away.

But that’s what God wants our hearts to be like. He chooses to need us. Isn’t it an interesting concept that God needs anything? He chose us to bring the hope of the Gospel to all nations. He needs us to carry out His purpose. So, are you ready to be tested, to go through trials like Abraham, to be part of fulfilling God’s purpose? God’s purpose will be fulfilled, despite us, anyway. Proverbs 19:21b: but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. God needs you to be his conduit to reach people, to bless people. Allow yourself to be used by God. Is your purpose His purpose? Is your time His time?

As we get back into Genesis in two weeks, we will see more of God’s purpose fulfilled in Isaac and Jacob and Joseph. And if you think Abraham’s life couldn’t be better than a Hollywood script, Joseph’s life might pale that because no one could believe a slave then prisoner could be Vice President of the most powerful nation on earth within minutes.

But we believe it, because it’s written in His book.