God Uses Messed-Up People

—The Story of Abraham, Sarah & Abimelech

  • Andrew Fountain – July 12, 2015

Click on this slide and then press the spacebar to advance slides:

1. The Story

  • In Genesis 20 we read a rather strange story about Abraham
  • “Great man of faith”
  • Read the chapter: Genesis 20

Genesis 20

2. Fitting it into the BIG story

  • Promise to Eve of a descendent who would destroy evil
  • The history of this world is the history of this battle
  • Satan pictured in Revelation 12 as a huge red dragon
  • He is trying to stop the promised Saviour being born

Revelation 12:4–5

  1. …And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it.
  2. She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron,…

3. How Abraham fits in

  • Abraham had just had a visit (Gen 18) from two angels
    • Within a year Abraham’s promised son would be born to Sarah
  • If Sarah had got pregnant from Abimelech, it would have broken God’s promise
  • This is an attack of Satan—he puts fear into Abraham
  • But the very next verses are… Genesis 21

Genesis 21

  1. The LORD visited Sarah just as he had said he would and did for Sarah what he had promised.
  2. So Sarah became pregnant and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the appointed time that God had told him.
  3. Abraham named his son—whom Sarah bore to him—Isaac.
    • God did what he said he would, and kept his promise!
  • And the moral of the story is...

The story teaches us that...

  • God still uses really messed up people
  • Although we may relapse and fail, God is faithful
  • Peter (denied Jesus, but Jesus restored him)
  • King David
  • Samson

Hymns of Cowper

  • God moves in a mysterious way,
    His wonders to perform;
    He plants his footsteps in the sea,
    And rides upon the storm.
  • There is a fountain fill’d with blood
    Drawn from Emmanuel’s veins;
    And sinners, plung’d beneath that flood,
    Lose all their guilty stains.
  • Oh! for a closer walk with God,
    A calm and heav’nly frame;
    A light to shine upon the road
    That leads me to the Lamb!

4. What about You and Me?

  • God still uses really messed up people
  • Two kinds of people: those who know they are messed up, and those who don’t
  • Although we may relapse and fail, God is faithful (of course, this is not an excuse :)
  • Rev 12:17: “So the dragon became enraged at the woman and went away to make war on the rest of her children, those who keep God’s commandments and hold to the testimony about Jesus.”
  • How is Satan trying to stop you entering into God’s purposes right now?