"God Holds the Future"
Pastor Laura Guy
June 10, 2012
Here's an instant replay of what happened in worship:
- We reviewed how The Story began - God created the world in beauty and order. We broke all that and humanity began to descend into disorder and violence. God tried to redeem, to cleanse the earth and start over, but we continued to choose sin over God.
- We saw how God decided to do a new thing in Genesis 12:1-4. God decides to build a nation to tell the world about this one true God who created them and loves them. If we were looking to build a great nation, we would probably start with a power couple - young, healthy, strong, influential and fertile. But God chose a couple in their seventies, a couple who had never had any children and who didn't even live in the area God wanted this nation to grow. Everything about them seemed wrong. But they believed in God's promise, so they left everything they knew and followed where God led them.
- We sympathized with Abraham when he grew tired of waiting on God. In Genesis 15:1-5 he complains that a servant will have to be his heir since God has not given them a child. God renews the promise and tells Abraham that his descendants will be more numerous than the stars in the sky.
- We marveled that Abraham and Sarah had to wait 25 years for the promise to be fulfilled. During that time, they tried to force God's hand by having Abraham father a child with his servant Hagar. But that child, Ishmael, although loved by God, was not the child of the promise. Finally, Isaac was born and God's promise was fulfilled.
- We saw how this story is important to keep in mind when we struggle to understand the story of why Abraham would take his son up the mountain supposedly to sacrifice him to God. We need to remember that God's promise said that it would be through Isaac that this great nation would be born. So this scene was as much a test of God's trustworthiness as much as it was about Abraham's faith.
- We briefly heard how the next generations included people who deceived and fought and eventually reconciled. Isaac's son Jacob was renamed by God, calling him Israel. He had 12 sons who became the 12 tribes of Israel.
- We thought about how God chooses unlikely people, people like us, for bigger purposes. We thought of how long we sometimes must wait for those promises to be fulfilled.
- We listened to the song "Who But You" sung from the perspective of Abraham and Sarah.
- We prayed to be people with a faith that would trust in God.
- We celebrated communion around the table of love.