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Those Arabs


Genesis 16 & 25:18 and Galatians 4:21-31

One bright, beautiful Sunday morning, everyone in tiny Jonestown wakes up early and goes to their local church. Before the service starts, the townspeople sit in their pews and talk about their lives and their families.

Suddenly, at the altar, Satan appears!! Everyone starts screaming and running for the front entrance, trampling each other in their determined efforts to get away from Evil Incarnate. Soon, everyone is evacuated from the church except for one man, who sit calmly in his pew, seemingly oblivious to the fact that God’s ultimate enemy is in his presence. This confuses Satan a bit. Satan walks up to the man and says, “Hey, don’t you know who I am?” The man says, “Yep, sure do.”

Satan says, “Well, aren’t you afraid of me?” The man says, “Nope, sure ain’t.”

Satan, perturbed, says, “And why aren’t you afraid of me?” The man says, “Well, I’ve been married to your sister for 25 years.”

*******

There is a very simple application in this section of Scripture. I’m assuming that you’ve already read the scriptures Steve is wanting to cover. I’m going to bullet point the key items below:

· God Promised Abraham and Sarah a son

· Sarah and Abraham try it their own way

· Ishmael is born to Sarah’s servant lady from Egypt

· God has huge compassion on Hagar and Ishmael because of Sarah’s treatment of them

· God’s promise comes to pass with the birth of Isaac…to Abraham and Sarah

· Isaac receives the blessing and is considered a “father” of the Jewish nation

· Ishmael is considered the father of his nation of 12 tribes.

· The promises of God continue even when humans don’t think they are.

Have you ever been impatient? Have people you are leading ever become impatient with you? It’s a tough spot to be in either way. First, most people don’t have a ton of patience to begin with. And in our world today, with convenience as a god, ‘fast’ is king. And to then lead people who are like that becomes an even bigger task. Abraham could have said, “No, Sarah. We wait and keep trying to have a baby.” But he didn’t, and here we have a nation that is built, and as many believe and as the Bible alludes to, have come to be a long standing opposition of Jewish people.

The point is, if God has something in mind, whatever you or I do is not going to get in the way of it. I used to hear that God needed us to do things, and that if we didn’t do them they might not get done. Well, from this story, I see that when God says something is going to happen, it happens. How do we rate when being asked to stand on his promises? Hmmmm, a hymn comes to mind:

        Standing on the promises of Christ my King, 

through eternal ages let his praises ring;

glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,

standing on the promises of God.

Standing, standing,

standing on the promises of Christ my Savior;

standing, standing,

I’m standing on the promises of God.

Standing on the promises that cannot fail,

when the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,

by the living Word of God I shall prevail,

standing on the promises of God.

Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord,

bound to him eternally by love’s strong cord,

overcoming daily with the Spirit’s sword,

standing on the promises of God.

(Refrain)

Standing on the promises I cannot fall,

listening every moment to the Spirit’s call,

resting in my Savior as my all in all,

standing on the promises of God.

Do we stand on the promises of God? Do we run in front of Him and try to do things ourselves? How do we lead and teach this? This is a simple answer…we do it ourselves. We can teach this all day from the front of a class, but it takes people watching us being patient, then recognizing God’s work, then praising Him for it.

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