It’s cool to think that the Bible is much more than a book of outdated “do’s” and don’ts” as some prescribe it. The Bible, God’s Story, tells a story of purpose – a story that tells us our purpose for being on this earth as well as God’s purpose for keeping us here.
So as we journey through what seems to be an insurmountable task, we will see the stories behind His Story – the Stories behind God’s Story that we will be able to pass on with time to countless generations.
But in order to pass it on, we have to know it, and know it well.
Well let’s begin with another illustration to set the stage for today’s message: On a table is a piece of paper and an envelope. Open the envelope, find the origami owl picture, and create it using the paper given.
Now if you were to be present for this illustration, you would find yourself frustrated with trying to create the image you had been given. And you would have been frustrated because I didn’t give you any directions to complete the project. I didn’t give you a plan of action. You would have been asking me, “How can I create this picture without the instructions to create it?”
And that’s my point: There needs to be a plan, and God’s Story gives us that plan – a plan that can be trusted to produce what God set out to produce from the beginning of time.
God’s Story shows us that He loves His creation and that He will always find ways to save Humanity from destroying themselves. And here are some ways He saved humanity in the beginning.
He kicked Adam and Eve from the Garden after their rebellion to keep them from eating from the Tree of Life.
- How did this save them? It saved them from having to deal with the tortures and struggles of life forever. Death would be a blessing that would keep them from experiencing a taste of hell forever.
He spared only Noah and his family through an Ark.
- Why only Noah and not more? God didn’t want to completely destroy His Prize Creation. But in order to start again, He had to start with the only righteous family left.
He confused the languages and scattered people throughout the entire earth.
- How did this save humanity? This act kept humanity from once again becoming as they were in the days of Noah. It kept them from working together to show their dominance and control over their Creator.
In every case, God saved His pinnacle from total annihilation and from destroying themselves, which is Satan’s curse on humanity – leaving us to our own miseries. Yet despite how many times God steps in and saves the day, humanity continues to rebel and seek what is best for themselves.
Therefore, God’s next plan of action in His Story is to build a nation that will showcase to all on earth what relationship with Him truly looks like. And He calls an unlikely couple to do and fulfill this plan to save His creation.
Genesis 12: 1-7 shows us who this unlikely couple is and the plan (aka the covenant) God intends to use.
Now the question to be asked is: What made this couple an unlikely couple in fulfilling God’s plan to build a nation? It is because Abram and Sarai had no children and they were beyond the childbearing age – He was 75 and she was 65. And to add insult to injury, Abram and Sarai had to wait another 25 years before they would see the start of this great nation.
But despite what naturally disqualifies them in our eyes, God sees as the perfect opportunity to showcase that He truly has power over all creation.
So the bigger story shows us that God’s plan for saving his Prize Creation is to build a nation that will bless all the peoples of the earth. But the smaller story within His Story shows us how God uses unlikely characters to fulfill His plan. And it took faith to fulfill this plan.
You see, Abraham and Sarah (names were changed) can be credited for hearing God’s voice and acting on His directions – this is called faith. If Abraham wanted to see to the land promised to him, he had to leave Haran (his hometown) and trust God to show him his final destination. If Abraham wanted to be the Father of a nation, he had to have relations with his wife when their bodies were as good as dead and trust God to conceive a son. If Abraham wanted God’s promise of a nation to carry on, he had to sacrifice his true son Isaac and trust God to bring him back to life or provide a substitute. In all cases, Abraham was called to act in order to see God’s promises come to be.
So how does this portion of the story apply to you and me? Well the application comes through reflective questions.
- Do you believe God has a plan for you as Part of His Plan?
- Do you see the plan now? If not, do you hope to see it?
- Do you want the plan?
- Do you have the courage to act upon the plan?
- Do you want to see what God has in reward for acting on the plan?
If this portion of the story is to interact with our portion of the story, then there is one thing for us to do: We are to hear God’s voice and act upon it.