"The Friend of God" (Genesis 18)

THE FRIEND OF GOD

Genesis 18

Introduction:

A.  Did you have a best friend as a child?

            My best friend was Hal Triplet

            We ate many meals together, fished together, listen to

music together, got in trouble together

 

B.  Who is your best friend now?

 

            1.  Adults don’t always have a lot of best friends.

            2.  Church people are friends.

            3.  Spouse is a friend.

            4.  Your best friend now should be the Lord.

 

C.  It is an Amazing Thing that God wants to be our Friend.

            We are a Creation.  We are to be Servants. 

We are His Children.  But we are also to be His Friend.

 

D.  One man in the Bible who was known as the Friend of God

was Abraham.

“And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.”  (James 2:23)

“But thou, Israel, art My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham My friend.”  (Isaiah 41:8)

 

E.  No better passage shows how Abraham was the Friend of God

     than Genesis 18.  This passage also tells us how we are the

     Friend of God through Faith.

 

I.  God has Chosen to have a Relationship with Us.

 

A.  God Chose a Relationship with Abraham.

 

            1.  He called him.  (Gen.12)

            2.  He communed with him.  (18:1)

                        Who are these three “men” who came to Abraham?

                        Two are angels (see 19:1)

                        The other is repeated called LORD.  (18:1,22)

                        This is a theophany—a meeting with the

pre-incarnate Christ.

 

B.  God has Chosen Us for a Relationship.

 

            1.  God created you for Relationship.

                        made in the image of God.

 

            2.  God came in Christ for a Relationship.

                        “…when we were enemies, we were reconciled to

God by the death of His Son”  (Rom.5:10)

 

            3.  God calls us for a Relationship.

                        God didn’t make heaven for an eternal resort.

                        God made heaven for an eternal relationship.

 

            4.  God communes with us in a Relationship.

                        “In the Garden”

                        “And He walks with me, and He talks with me,

                        And He tells me I am His own.

                        And the joy we share as we tarry there

                        None other has ever known.”

 

II.  God has Chosen to Make a Revelation to Us.

 

A.  God told Abraham some things about the Future.

 

 

            1.  He told Abraham and Sarah they would have a child by

this time next year.  Only God could know that.

Both Abraham and Sarah laughed.

Abraham laughed for joy.  (see 17:15-17)

Sarah laughed in doubt.  (see 18:12-14)

They named the child, Isaac=”laughter”

 

            2.  He told Abraham that Sodom would be destroyed.

                        He shared this news as a friend.  (18:17-22)

                        He shared this because of Abraham’s faith. (19)

B.  God has Revealed many things to us.

            He didn’t have to.  He chose to.

 

            1.  He has revealed us His Word.

            2.  He has revealed us His Will.

            3.  He has revealed us His Wonders.

            4.  He has revealed us what Waits ahead.

                        EX:  Revelation

 

            Why does God reveal so much to us?

            Because He wants that relationship. 

He is a Friend to the Faithful.

 

III.  God has chosen to Hear the Requests of Us.

 

A.  God listened to Abraham’s pleas.

            Wasn’t Abraham audacious?  Repeated asking God?

            Abraham got down to 10 people.

            Lot+his wife+two unmarried daughters+two married

daughters and husbands = 8.  Surely Lot could win 2 more.

 

The Lord listened even though He knew the outcome.

God really answered Abraham’s prayer.

 He saved Lot and his family, even though the city was

destroyed.

 

 

B.  God listens to our pleas.

 

            1.  Our pleas for ourselves.

                      We can pray for our physical needs and God hears.

                      We can pray for our emotional needs and God hears.

                      We can pray for our spiritual needs and God hears.

 

                        In fact God wants us to pray for our needs.

                        (Lk.11:2-4)  It shows our dependence on God.

 

 

 

            2.  Our pleas for others.

                        We are to pray for the healing and hurts of others.

 

                        We must pray spiritually for others. 

                        (Lk.11:5-8)

 

            3.  Our pleas may save many from disaster.

ILL:  In his book Sit, Walk, Stand, Watchman Nee describes a preaching mission to an island off the South China coast. There were seven in the ministering group, including a sixteen-year-old new convert whom he calls Brother Wu. The island was fairly large, containing about 6,000 homes. Nee had a contact there, an old schoolmate of his who was headmaster of the village school, but he refused to house the group when he discovered they had come to preach the Gospel. Finally, they found lodging with a Chinese herbalist, who became their first convert. Preaching seemed quite fruitless on the island, and Nee discovered it was because of the dedication of the people there to an idol they called Ta-wang. They were convinced of his power because on the day of his festival and parade each year the weather was always near perfect.

"When is the procession this year?" young Wu asked a group that had gathered to hear them preach.

"It is fixed for January 11th at 8 in the morning," was the reply.

"Then," said the new convert, "I promise you that it will certainly rain on the 11th."

At that there was an outburst of cries from the crowd: "That is enough! We don't want to hear any more preaching. If there is rain on the 11th, then your God is God!"

Watchman Nee had been elsewhere in the village when this confrontation had taken place. Upon being informed about it, he saw that the situation was serious and called the group to prayer. On the morning of the 11th, there was not a cloud in the sky, but during grace for breakfast, sprinkles began to fall and these were followed by heavy rain. Worshipers of the idol Ta-wang were so upset that they placed it in a sedan chair and carried it outdoors, hoping this would stop the rain. Then the rain increased. After only a short distance, the carriers of the idol stumbled and fell, dropping the idol and fracturing its jaw and left arm.

A number of young people turned to Christ as a result of the rain coming in answer to prayer, but the elders of the village made divination and said that the wrong day had been chosen. The proper day of the procession, they said, should have been the 14th. When Nee and his friends heard this, they again went to prayer, asking for rain on the 14th and for clear days for preaching until then. That afternoon the sky cleared and on the good days that followed there were thirty converts. Of the crucial test day, Nee says: The 14th broke, another perfect day, and we had good meetings. As the evening approached we met again at the appointed hour. We quietly brought the matter to the Lord's remembrance. Not a minute late, His answer came with torrential rain and floods as before.

The power of the idol over the islanders was broken; the enemy was defeated. Believing prayer had brought a great victory. Conversions followed. And the impact upon the servants of God who had witnessed His power would continue to enrich their Christian service from that time on. 

Conclusion:

Today many people like to claim friendship with the famous.

EX:  movie stars, pro athletes, singers, Anna Nicole

 

We as Christians have the greatest claim of all.

We are the friends of God.

 

  February 2020  
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