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Genesis 15

Can You Trust Gods Promises

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Genesis 15: 5-12           


1          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."


2          But Abram said, "O Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?"


3          And Abram said, "You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir."


4          Then the word of the LORD came to him: "This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir."


5          He took him outside and said, "Look up at the heavens and count the stars-- if indeed you can count them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be."


6          Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

there is a funny story about a man who took his film to a one-hour photo developing service in downtown Chicago.


He left his film and returned in an hour to discover that the place was no longer a one-hour photo shop.

Now it was a one-hour dry cleaners.


The confused man hesitantly entered the store, met the same clerk, and asked about his film. The gentleman behind the counter said, “Was that a suit or just shirts?”


The man replied, “It was 35-millimeter film.”

The clerk asked, “Was it to be pressed or just cleaned?”

The man said, “It was film to be developed.”

The clerk said, “Do you want to look through these suits to see if one of them belongs to you.”

The man, getting a little agitated by now, said with a bit of tension in his voice, “I didn’t HAVE A SUIT, I HAD FILM.”

The clerk asked the gentleman if he ever watched TV. He said, “Sometimes.”

Then the clerk announced, “Smile, you’re on Candid Camera!”


Do you remember the famous line as the shows goes off the air? Mr. Funt states, “Remember, when you least expect it, someone, somewhere may walk up to you and say, ‘Smile, You’re on Candid Camera.’”


Sometimes life is confusing, isn’t it? It would not surprise us at all to have someone say to us, “Smile, you’re on Candid Camera!”

Today’s wilderness story has a Candid Camera feel to it.


The Old Testament patriarch Abraham, or Abram as he was known at that time in his life, was seventy-five years old when God called him to leave his home and his extended family to go to a land that God would show him.


and some of you older ones say god has nothing for me because i am to old….. i know i quit preaching and started meddling…


At any rate, Abram did as God commanded. He did so because he was obedient to God. He also did so because God made him a promise--a promise that he would father a great nation.


This was quite an amazing promise considering that Abram and his wife Sarai were senior citizens when God first issued this call, and they had no children.


But this was the promise:

God promised Abram that he would father a mighty nation.


so we come to today’s message from God. many years have passed and Sarai is still barren. She is now in her seventies.


Children?...... Even if she had a child at this advanced age, how would she ever have the energy to keep up with it?

you ladies know what i’m talking about…amen?


What hope could there possibly be that God would ever grant Abram and Sarai their deepest and most significant dream, that of parenthood?


Many couples through the years have identified with Abram and Sarai’s predicament. Abram was troubled and he let God know it.

have you ever told god…… things could be different?


Did God strike Abram down and chastise him for doubting God’s word? Not at all. just like when you questioned god…


God took Abram outside and showed him the sky. It was night and all the stars had come out. we are not like the big cities where they never see the stars…


on nights here we walk outside and literly see billions of stars in Abram’s time. There would have been thousands and thousands of stars visible to the naked eye.


“Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them,” God said to Abram. Then God reaffirmed that all-important promise. God declared to Abram, “So shall your descendants be.”


GOD HAD NOT FORGOTTEN HIS PROMISE. THE ONLY QUESTION WAS THE TIMETABLE. Abram assumed that God’s promise delayed was God’s promise denied….you ever felt that way?


of course you have… know,  You’ve offered up a prayer to God, but seemingly no answer came, and so you assumed that God wasn’t listening, or didn’t care, or at least had said, “No.”


i know  you understand that God doesn’t measure time like we measure time? I don’t want to wax philosophical on you, but the creator God stands outside the constraints of time and space.


remember what the bible tells us?  “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” And that’s true! Time does not mean the same thing to God as it means to us.


God is timeless. God does not age. And when God looks at God’s creation, which is locked in by both time and space, God sees it all with one glance. therefore God knows our future as well as our past. It’s all the same to God.


do you know what god told me? he said , what seems to be a “no” is often simply a “not yet.” has he ever told you that?


We’re impatient people, aren’t we? We want what we want and we want it now. But there are some things that cannot be hurried. God’s timetable is not our timetable.


In a true Candid Camera moment, Abram and Sarai did give birth to a child, but it was not until Sarai was ninety and Abram was 100. Surprise!

can’t you see the headlines in one of those supermarket tabloids…. woman ninty has baby…father 100… we would laugh it off and go on…..amen?


We don’t know why God waited so long. Maybe it was to test Abram’s faith. Abram would be known later as a man of great faith. No one can have great faith at all times in all circumstances. We would have to be superhuman to do that.


Maybe God knew that Abram and Sarai, for one reason or another, were not ready for this blessed event. God’s understanding of our needs is far greater than our understanding.


God knows our needs, both those needs that we can discern and those larger needs that only God can discern. THE IMPORTANT THING IS THAT GOD CAN BE TRUSTED. God does hear our prayers and does answer them.


Millions of followers of Christ through the ages can testify to that one truth. God is faithful to God’s promises.


its been said.. ”If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of The Boat. boy, how true is that if you want to get in touch with god…..


many remarkable CHRISTIANS, who have accomplished great things for god, have said when their life was ending. “If I had it all to do over again—I would have trusted Christ more.”


many are folks who have trusted god for so much….and yet, if they could do one thing differently, They would have trusted God even more.

I wonder if, at the end of his life, Abram, or Abraham as he came to be known, would not have said the same thing.


Abraham did some stupid things in his life as most of you know. He passed his wife off as his sister, he fathered a son by a servant-girl, just to mention a couple. And both of these embarrassments occurred because he did not trust God enough.


God took Abram out and showed him the stars. “Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them. So shall your descendants be.” An amazing promise to make to two senior citizens with no children.


But think of it, today, literally millions of Christians, Jews, and even Moslems trace their spiritual heritage back to this old man who trusted God.


THE MESSAGE HERE: DON’T GIVE UP. GOD STILL KEEPS HIS PROMISES. God promised Abraham that he would father a great people, and that is exactly what he did. Isn’t it thrilling when someone is driven by a great vision or dream, as was Abraham?


people have done wondeful tihings because of the visions god has given them…. some are easy visions…. like seeing a loved one saved…. others are at first hard to swallow…like go to africa and be a missionary… mom hinkle seen herself walking again…


i have found that if you take the first step…god will take the next ten

visions not only come to church folk…they come to all of us…we have savings accounts because we see ourselves with a new home or a new car.


think about america and the dream our forefathers had and from that pitiful first year,  to where america is today….


todays christianity began with an old man standing out under the stars who heard God give him an unlikely promise.


whatever your greatest need is this day, whatever your discouragement, whatever the test to your faith, don’t give up.

if you don’t quit…you can’t lose.


God’s timetable is not our timetable. That does not mean that He does not hear. It does not mean that He will not answer.


It could be said of many, many people who lay on their death bed, what one thing they would have done differently: “I would have trusted Christ more.”


trust him today for the things he is giving you… for the things he has promised you, for the things you are dreaming about…


Verse of the Day

“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” -Romans 12:4-5 Listen to chapter Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica