Great Is Thy Faithfulness (Genesis 16)

March 15, 2020 00:19:30
Great Is Thy Faithfulness (Genesis 16)
Covenant Words
Great Is Thy Faithfulness (Genesis 16)

Mar 15 2020 | 00:19:30

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Rev. Christopher Chelpka
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Episode Transcript

WEBVTT 1 00:00:02.160 --> 00:00:25.539 Let's turn our attention to Genesis, Chapter Sixteen. Let us hear God's word. 2 00:00:27.660 --> 00:00:32.859 Now. Sarah, I, Abram's wife, had borne him no children. 3 00:00:33.780 --> 00:00:37.929 She had a female Egyptian servant whose name was Hagar. And Sir, 4 00:00:37.969 --> 00:00:43.369 I said to Abram, behold now, the Lord has prevented me from bearing 5 00:00:43.450 --> 00:00:48.890 children. Go In to my servant. It may be that I shall obtain 6 00:00:48.969 --> 00:00:54.000 children by her. And Abram listened to the Voice of Sarah. So, 7 00:00:54.359 --> 00:00:59.159 after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Sara I took 8 00:00:59.320 --> 00:01:04.670 Abram's Sarah, Abram's wife, took her Hagar, the Egyptian, her servant, 9 00:01:04.989 --> 00:01:10.629 and gave her to Abram, her husband, as a wife. And 10 00:01:10.790 --> 00:01:15.790 he went into Hagar and she conceived, and when she saw that she had 11 00:01:15.870 --> 00:01:19.500 conceived, she looked with contempt upon her mistress. And Sarah I said to 12 00:01:19.620 --> 00:01:25.219 Abram, may the wrong done to me be on you. I gave my 13 00:01:25.459 --> 00:01:29.500 servant to your embrace and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked 14 00:01:29.620 --> 00:01:34.689 on me with contempt. May The Lord judge between you and me. But 15 00:01:34.769 --> 00:01:38.609 Abram said to Sarah, I behold, your servant is in your power. 16 00:01:38.650 --> 00:01:44.010 Due to her as you please. Then Sarah. I dealt harshly with her 17 00:01:44.569 --> 00:01:48.640 and she fled from her. The Angel of the Lord found her by a 18 00:01:48.760 --> 00:01:53.719 Spring of water in the Wilderness, the spring on the way to sure and 19 00:01:53.879 --> 00:01:57.760 he said, Hagi, Servant of Sarah, where have you come from and 20 00:01:57.959 --> 00:02:01.310 where are you going? She said, I am fleeing from my mistress, 21 00:02:01.349 --> 00:02:06.230 Sarah. The Angel of the Lord said to her, return to your mistress 22 00:02:06.549 --> 00:02:09.069 and submit to her. The Angel of the Lord also said to her, 23 00:02:09.509 --> 00:02:15.629 I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude. 24 00:02:15.300 --> 00:02:20.219 And the angel of the Lord said to her, behold, you are pregnant 25 00:02:20.539 --> 00:02:24.780 and shall bear a son. Shall call his name Ishmael, because the Lord 26 00:02:24.819 --> 00:02:30.289 has listened, been and he and he shall be a s he shall be 27 00:02:30.490 --> 00:02:36.409 a wild donkey of a man, his hand against everyone and everyone's hand against 28 00:02:36.409 --> 00:02:40.650 him, and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen. So she called 29 00:02:40.689 --> 00:02:45.199 the name of the Lord who spoke to her. You are a god of 30 00:02:45.319 --> 00:02:50.639 seeing, for she said, truly, here I have seen him who looks 31 00:02:50.680 --> 00:02:54.960 after me. Therefore, the well was called Beer Lehigh Roy. It lies 32 00:02:55.000 --> 00:03:00.469 between Kadesh and bread and Hag our Bor Abram, a son and Abram called 33 00:03:00.509 --> 00:03:06.750 the name of his son, whom Hag our boor Ishmael. Abram was eighty 34 00:03:06.830 --> 00:03:21.099 six years old than hag our Boor Ishmail to Abram. One of the patterns 35 00:03:21.219 --> 00:03:29.289 that we've been paying attention to as we've been hearing the history of God's dealings 36 00:03:29.370 --> 00:03:34.289 with Abram and Sarah and others in the world at this time is are the 37 00:03:34.370 --> 00:03:38.969 many ups and downs that come in this relationship of in covenant with God. 38 00:03:40.050 --> 00:03:45.919 Remember that it was just a chapter ago that we had this amazing vision and 39 00:03:46.120 --> 00:03:53.159 which God put Abraham to sleep and promised him and reaffirmed his promises to him 40 00:03:53.199 --> 00:04:00.150 through this very amazing sign, the cut animals and and all of that. 41 00:04:00.229 --> 00:04:11.379 God has just, in this wonderful a powerful visual way, demonstrated that Abraham 42 00:04:11.699 --> 00:04:15.779 can have certainty about the things that have been promised. So, for example, 43 00:04:15.860 --> 00:04:19.420 in verse thirteen of the previous chapter we have then the Lord said the 44 00:04:19.540 --> 00:04:25.370 Abraham know for certain that your offspring will be so journerous in a land that 45 00:04:25.529 --> 00:04:29.490 is not yours and will be servants there and they will be afflicted for four 46 00:04:29.529 --> 00:04:32.610 hundred years, but I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve and 47 00:04:32.730 --> 00:04:40.759 afterward they will come out with great possessions. As for you, you shall 48 00:04:40.800 --> 00:04:44.399 go to your father's in peace, you shall be buried in a good old 49 00:04:44.480 --> 00:04:47.199 age, and they shall come back here in the fourth generation. For the 50 00:04:47.319 --> 00:04:53.870 igniquity of the AM rights is not yet complete. God had promised that all 51 00:04:54.230 --> 00:05:00.350 was in his sovereign plan. Even Abraham and his children's affliction would be under 52 00:05:00.389 --> 00:05:06.379 his sovereign control and out of it God would bring his people. These promises 53 00:05:06.459 --> 00:05:12.939 of course, involved Sarah I as well. But Sarah I is frustrated, 54 00:05:13.620 --> 00:05:18.699 as we all get from time to time when we see God's promises delayed, 55 00:05:19.939 --> 00:05:25.050 and they have been delayed for some time, as this chapter tells us, 56 00:05:25.050 --> 00:05:32.129 they had been in Canaan for ten years. Ten years. Try to think 57 00:05:32.209 --> 00:05:36.639 in your life something that has gone on for ten years, maybe a job, 58 00:05:38.920 --> 00:05:44.600 maybe a relationship. Imagine a ten year period of living in the land 59 00:05:44.720 --> 00:05:51.230 of Canaan without the fulfillment of this child. Ten years ago, God had 60 00:05:51.350 --> 00:05:56.029 promised to Abram and to Sarah I. He said, come out of earth, 61 00:05:56.149 --> 00:05:59.870 Kelde's, I will give to you a son, give to you offspring, 62 00:05:59.910 --> 00:06:05.939 and this offspring will create many nations, you'll many children, you will 63 00:06:05.939 --> 00:06:14.500 be a blessed father and mother as well. Makes Sense, perhaps. Why 64 00:06:14.819 --> 00:06:16.980 Genesis, at least from a human perspective? Why, in Genesis Fifteen, 65 00:06:17.060 --> 00:06:23.649 Abraham saying, where's The Sun? How about this son? How about Eliazar, 66 00:06:24.250 --> 00:06:28.689 my my servant from Damascus? He maybe I he is going to be 67 00:06:28.850 --> 00:06:34.040 the heir of my house. You have given me no offspring. He suggests 68 00:06:34.120 --> 00:06:41.319 a possibility and God tells him, no, it will be from your yourself. 69 00:06:41.759 --> 00:06:46.629 will be your own child. Well, Sarah I finds herself frustrated. 70 00:06:46.670 --> 00:06:53.949 Abram's wife. The word wife is mentioned many times in this passage. Sarah, 71 00:06:54.110 --> 00:06:59.189 Abram's wife, had borne him no children. That's how this chapter begins. 72 00:07:00.750 --> 00:07:04.019 She had a female servant, however, a female Egyptian servant whose name 73 00:07:04.139 --> 00:07:13.180 was Hagar. Possibly Hagar came with those that many possessions and people that Abraham 74 00:07:13.259 --> 00:07:20.689 left Egypt with. And Sarah I can Cox a plan. Sarah I says, 75 00:07:20.889 --> 00:07:29.329 how about you? Abraham Takes Sarah, my servant as a wife and 76 00:07:29.529 --> 00:07:39.240 let her bear, for bear us this child. Abraham passively goes okay, 77 00:07:40.079 --> 00:07:48.750 and he goes into her and she conceives. And then what happens? Well, 78 00:07:49.350 --> 00:07:59.180 unsurprisingly, the servant turns on her mistress. She we read in verse 79 00:07:59.259 --> 00:08:05.939 four that when she saw that she had conceived, she looked with contempt upon 80 00:08:05.139 --> 00:08:11.930 her mistress. If we have any experience in the world, this doesn't surprise 81 00:08:13.009 --> 00:08:18.970 you. And we find on proverbs in God's word pointing to the kind of 82 00:08:18.089 --> 00:08:26.439 frustrations that happen in a household when there is when things are falling apart in 83 00:08:26.560 --> 00:08:33.960 these ways. What Sarah's reaction? Sarah I just gets really, really mad. 84 00:08:35.240 --> 00:08:39.639 Sarah I goes to Abraham and points the finger at him and says, 85 00:08:39.720 --> 00:08:43.629 Look what you've done to me. I gave my servant to your embrace and 86 00:08:43.710 --> 00:08:46.309 when she saw that she had conceived, she looked on contempt with me. 87 00:08:46.629 --> 00:08:52.909 May God judge between me and you. She Calls Down God's judgment on on 88 00:08:52.190 --> 00:09:00.779 Abram, accuses him of faithlessness. Abram and a another kind of passive move, 89 00:09:00.940 --> 00:09:03.659 says she's in your power, do with her as you please. This 90 00:09:03.659 --> 00:09:07.940 isn't my fault, I have nothing to do with this. What do we 91 00:09:09.019 --> 00:09:16.690 see in all these things? One of the main things that we see is 92 00:09:16.850 --> 00:09:22.529 sin and a fall. It is very similar to that of Adam and eves. 93 00:09:24.169 --> 00:09:28.840 We have a situation in which the people of the Lord have decided to 94 00:09:28.879 --> 00:09:35.720 take things into their own hands, even though God has explicitly told them how 95 00:09:35.919 --> 00:09:39.230 the child is to be born. He would give the child it would be 96 00:09:39.870 --> 00:09:46.950 of Abram and Sarah's own offspring. They don't understand. They're frustrated. They 97 00:09:46.950 --> 00:09:50.070 don't know why they have to wait. It's been a long time. He's 98 00:09:50.149 --> 00:09:58.100 eighty six years old. Sarah I might be around seventy five here. Surely 99 00:09:58.220 --> 00:10:01.940 God will not fulfill his promises, they think so. It's time to act, 100 00:10:01.980 --> 00:10:05.299 it's time to do things in our own way. You can almost hear 101 00:10:05.500 --> 00:10:15.490 Satan in the background saying has God really said? Interestingly, there's a lot 102 00:10:15.529 --> 00:10:20.769 of language here that similar and parallel to that of Adam and Eve. For 103 00:10:20.889 --> 00:10:24.320 example, when Sarah deals with HAG are, the same verbs are used as 104 00:10:24.480 --> 00:10:31.039 eve when she takes the fruit and gives it to Adam. We have here 105 00:10:31.279 --> 00:10:33.840 that HAG are the Egyptian, or sorry, Sarah, Abram's wife. This 106 00:10:33.960 --> 00:10:37.549 is in verse three. Took how are, the Egyptian, her servant, 107 00:10:37.669 --> 00:10:41.269 and gave her to Abram, her husband as a wife. Notice all that 108 00:10:41.350 --> 00:10:46.389 language her husband as a wife. It's emphasizing that this is not how things 109 00:10:46.429 --> 00:10:52.500 should be and yet this is what's happening and, like Adam, Abram takes 110 00:10:52.460 --> 00:10:56.620 what has been given to him, when he should have refused, when he 111 00:10:56.659 --> 00:11:01.500 should have reminded his wife and said no, these is not what the Lord 112 00:11:01.539 --> 00:11:05.370 has said. The Lord has made these promises to us. Stand firm, 113 00:11:05.570 --> 00:11:13.210 stand fast. Instead, instead, he gives over and in to sin, 114 00:11:16.730 --> 00:11:22.840 and the fallout from this is very similar to that that happens with Adam and 115 00:11:22.000 --> 00:11:28.519 eve. We have blame shifting. It's your fault, it's your fault. 116 00:11:28.519 --> 00:11:35.470 We have the dissolution of the family, husband and against wife, servants against 117 00:11:35.950 --> 00:11:41.070 masters. The household is falling apart. There is argument, there's affliction. 118 00:11:43.029 --> 00:11:46.750 We read in Verse Six that Sarah I dealt harshly with her and she fled 119 00:11:46.789 --> 00:11:50.980 from her. This is the same word that is used of the Israelites when 120 00:11:50.980 --> 00:11:56.700 they are in Egypt, and they were afflicted, dealt harshly with. Here, 121 00:11:56.299 --> 00:12:01.769 with the Egyptian Servant, God's people are dealing too harshly with her, 122 00:12:03.690 --> 00:12:09.169 so much so that she flees and receives a very, very special visit by 123 00:12:09.250 --> 00:12:16.200 the angel of the Lord. And here's where we begin to see some striking 124 00:12:16.399 --> 00:12:26.080 differences between these two things, between the the fall in early part of Genesis, 125 00:12:26.200 --> 00:12:31.509 and now this falling apart of this family. We remember that with Adam 126 00:12:31.549 --> 00:12:35.629 and Eve a covenant was given. It was a covenant of Works and which, 127 00:12:35.950 --> 00:12:41.870 if fail, if obedience was not given on life would not be given. 128 00:12:41.070 --> 00:12:43.779 In fact, they would receive death, and that is what they received. 129 00:12:45.580 --> 00:12:50.340 A curse was brought upon the world. But now, within the Covenant 130 00:12:50.379 --> 00:12:56.539 of Grace Having been established after the fall and more firmly with Abraham, notice 131 00:12:56.620 --> 00:13:03.970 what happens. The Lord, through the Angel of the Lord, comes to 132 00:13:03.529 --> 00:13:07.970 Sarah I, who's on her way to sure probably a reference to Egypt, 133 00:13:09.250 --> 00:13:11.850 on our way back home, trying to get out of this mess that she's 134 00:13:11.879 --> 00:13:18.159 found herself in, and he says to Hag, Our Servant of Sarah, 135 00:13:18.200 --> 00:13:20.840 I where have you come from and where are you going? I am fleeing 136 00:13:20.879 --> 00:13:24.879 from my mistress, Sarah. I to return to her, your mistress, 137 00:13:26.000 --> 00:13:28.629 and submit to her. The Angel of the Lord also said to her, 138 00:13:28.629 --> 00:13:33.029 I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered. A multitude 139 00:13:35.070 --> 00:13:39.909 promises that are very similar to that which are given to Abraham. And here 140 00:13:39.070 --> 00:13:46.379 we are reminded of God's deep care for the world, even those who are 141 00:13:46.539 --> 00:13:52.059 not on his elect people. We see that God is sovereign over not just 142 00:13:52.220 --> 00:13:56.370 a individual person or a family, but of her all things, and in 143 00:13:56.570 --> 00:14:03.649 his sovereignty overhaul things he extends great, great grace. His common grace here 144 00:14:03.850 --> 00:14:09.730 is expressed not only in his care for Hag are, but in the promise 145 00:14:09.809 --> 00:14:16.919 that she will bear fourth a great multitude through this son. So wondrous this 146 00:14:18.279 --> 00:14:22.559 is that she says in verse thirteen, you are a god of seeing. 147 00:14:24.110 --> 00:14:31.149 One commentator said this is the only place in scripture where someone gives a name 148 00:14:31.429 --> 00:14:35.149 to God in this way. The amazing thing that she says you are a 149 00:14:35.309 --> 00:14:39.899 god of seeing. Truly, here I have seen him who looks after me, 150 00:14:41.019 --> 00:14:48.860 a confession of faith, of truth that surely ought to be our own 151 00:14:48.899 --> 00:14:56.490 as well. In all of this, in both Gods Continuing Care for Sarah 152 00:14:56.610 --> 00:15:03.970 and Abraham, despite their sin, despite their falling apart, despite their taking 153 00:15:05.009 --> 00:15:07.759 all of these things into their own hands. And it's not going to be 154 00:15:07.840 --> 00:15:13.320 until several chapters later that the sun is finally born. What we are reminded 155 00:15:13.480 --> 00:15:22.269 of is God's continuing promises, his continuing care. God is faithful. He's 156 00:15:22.309 --> 00:15:28.309 faithful to Abram and Sarah I. He is faithful to Hagar, he is 157 00:15:28.389 --> 00:15:35.509 faithful to her son. When we find ourselves in the afflictions of this world 158 00:15:35.549 --> 00:15:39.860 and we find ourselves looking around for a way out, something to do, 159 00:15:39.220 --> 00:15:45.659 something to change, sometimes there's not a way. It depends on what we're 160 00:15:45.659 --> 00:15:50.850 asking for. If we're asking for the Glorious Kingdom of God to be brought 161 00:15:50.129 --> 00:15:56.610 here and now, there's not another way, there's not a short cut, 162 00:15:56.129 --> 00:16:00.649 there's not a do these five things or read this book or execute this plan, 163 00:16:00.690 --> 00:16:04.240 or be a little faster, be a little smarter, and you can 164 00:16:04.279 --> 00:16:11.840 achieve it. The Kingdom of God is something that is received, and this 165 00:16:11.000 --> 00:16:15.159 is one of the things that God emphasizes in his faithfulness. He says, 166 00:16:15.440 --> 00:16:22.309 I will be faithful, but you must wait, because what would happen if 167 00:16:22.389 --> 00:16:26.789 God simply let us go about and have our plans? Would we give him 168 00:16:26.789 --> 00:16:30.750 the glory? Would we give him honor and praise when we say, oh 169 00:16:30.950 --> 00:16:33.340 good, I was smarter and faster and I accomplished it, and surely God 170 00:16:33.379 --> 00:16:38.139 has done this thing? Probably not. Instead, what we see over and 171 00:16:38.259 --> 00:16:45.220 over and over and over again in scripture is God calling us to set aside 172 00:16:45.460 --> 00:16:49.610 the things of this world, set aside the particular things of this world when 173 00:16:49.610 --> 00:16:56.450 it comes to the bringing into being the Kingdom of God and to simply receive 174 00:16:56.610 --> 00:17:04.119 it. To simply receive it. That is hard to do, and sometimes 175 00:17:04.240 --> 00:17:11.039 God even puts us purposefully in places where we find that we cannot do anything. 176 00:17:12.200 --> 00:17:18.670 Sarah and Abram find themselves barren, old, unable to do the things 177 00:17:19.710 --> 00:17:26.950 that to bring about the promise of that God had promised to them. My 178 00:17:26.069 --> 00:17:33.819 exhortation to you, beloved, is that sometimes we simply must wait, to 179 00:17:33.099 --> 00:17:40.420 be still and know that he is our God, and we can do that 180 00:17:40.740 --> 00:17:45.250 because we know that he has not abandoned us, he is not left us, 181 00:17:45.730 --> 00:17:48.930 and though we are called to wait from time to time, he remains 182 00:17:48.049 --> 00:17:53.730 with us and he is strong and he is sure. We know this because 183 00:17:53.769 --> 00:18:00.640 a son was in fact born and through that son, many sons were born, 184 00:18:02.599 --> 00:18:08.119 and eventually the son was born both from man and from God, who 185 00:18:08.240 --> 00:18:15.309 is our Savior, and he brings about all of these things and he accomplishes 186 00:18:15.390 --> 00:18:21.309 them perfectly. When Jesus Christ comes into the world as the son of Abraham 187 00:18:21.430 --> 00:18:25.549 to fulfill all of these things, when he dies on that cross, when 188 00:18:25.549 --> 00:18:29.579 he rises from the dead, when he sits at the right hand of God. 189 00:18:30.700 --> 00:18:37.500 Well, Father Almighty, we can know for certain that we can rest 190 00:18:37.539 --> 00:18:45.730 in him, that we don't need to Cajole and contrive our our own ways, 191 00:18:45.809 --> 00:18:48.369 we don't need to manipulate people or God into the things that he has 192 00:18:48.410 --> 00:18:55.170 promised to give us. All we need to do is trust him and he 193 00:18:55.329 --> 00:19:06.279 will fulfill everything. And so that's my admonition and exhortation to you this evening. 194 00:19:07.559 --> 00:19:11.109 Trust in the Lord, trust in his faithfulness. Look around you, 195 00:19:11.309 --> 00:19:17.069 look in history, look in the pages of God's Word and see his faithfulness 196 00:19:17.390 --> 00:19:22.950 proven over and over and over again. You can set your life in him 197 00:19:22.990 --> 00:19:27.420 and depend on him. Praise God. Let's pray.

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