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GENESIS 11:27-32 - THE PREPARATION OF A SAINT - Part 1
How many of you are as computer illiterate as I am? I know some people who seem to be masters at computers. And let’s not even discuss the stupid amazing talents of those who make computer software, programs and apps. Talk about miracles.
And ya certainly don’t wanna be close when I attempt to sing! But look at the gifts of some of the amazing kids and adults who sing at school programs, church services and even at home, or professionals like Sarah Mcglocklin or Carrie Underwood.
The careers of the people who have these talents don’t just happen, they usually begin early in life, often in childhood. Making it to the top and being good at something demands sacrificing a lot that others take for granted; while others play, they must work. Without those years of preparation, they would never be able to do what they do. As a matter of fact, it would be unfair to expect a top performance at the highest level from a beginner. Only those who have matured through long and tedious years of preparation are equipped to undertake things at a high level.
And this same principle holds true in God’s service. God prepares His saints for the tasks to which He has appointed them before He uses them! And this Is what I want to focus on in the next couple messages.
Let’s take Moses for example; he spent 40 years in the desert herding sheep, before God called him to lead his people out of Egypt. What better preparation in patience could there have been for his assignment of leading an equally stubborn flock of people through the wilderness for 40 years?
David learned courage from his own experience as a shepherd. Later, the one who had learned to take on wild animals in the defense of his flock would be called upon to take on the biggest wild animal of all - mighty Goliath, in the defense of God’s flock!
God knows how to prepare His people for the tasks to which they are assigned. And this principle for preparation for service is very evident in the life of Abram! I think we miss this aspect of Abraham’s story because we typically start our reading of it at Genesis 12 when God speaks to Abram for the first time, but that’s not where his story begins.
Genesis 11:27-32 - As we’ve seen already in the book of Genesis, the beginning of a major new section often starts with the formulas: “These are the generations of, or accounts of...”
And as I have said more than once, we tend to skip over these verses in order to get into the exciting stuff. After all, these are only obscure genealogies which may be of interest to Old Testament experts, but they got nothing for me. But as we’ve seen with the other lists we’ve covered, the reverse is true. These verses here give us some pretty important information and background to the calling and career of Abraham.
Ya see, God’s dealings with Abraham didn’t start with him as a 75 year old man about to set out on a journey to Canaan. God didn’t just drop down one day and look for a suitable retiree to act as a father for his people. He had been preparing Abraham for quite awhile even though Abram was unaware.
We find out in this text that it was actually Abram’s father, Terah, who first set out for Canaan, taking Abram with him. The Scriptures don’t tell us why he wanted to make the move. But they never made it to Canaan, they stopped at Haran and settled there. Yet the idea of going to Canaan had been planted in Abram’s mind. Through his experience of moving once from home and family in Ur, he was being prepared by God, so that when the call came to get up and move to Canaan, he was ready. God had fitted him to hear His call and answer it.
And Terah himself was not picked at random either. The last genealogy we covered in Gen. 11:10-26 shows us that he came from the line of Shem, the son of Noah. He was a descendant of the very line in which God had been working for many generations.
God’s plan from the beginning was to preserve for Himself a godly line through whom the promise of a redemptive offspring of Eve would ultimately be granted (Gen. 3:15). And through all the happenings and sins in the people’s lives we have covered so far, it still continued, and now Abram is the next in line.
With Abram the time has come for the next phase in the history of redemption.
And Sarah (or Sarai, as her parents named her) was being prepared as well in the school of hard knocks for women. Gen. 11:30 tells us: “Now Sarai was barren.” And then Moses repeats himself (just in case you missed it the first time): “She had no child.”
Not being able to have children in a society where a woman’s value was measured by her fertility was one that was hard to live down. She must have shed many bitter tears over the fact that she couldn’t bear children. But her inability in this area was a crucial part of God’s preparation of her for her role in His plan. In order for her to be the mother of the child of promise, it was necessary for her to be unable to bear children without the direct intervention of God.
Join us next wee as we continue with “Our Preparation and God’s sovereignty.”