Full Service Sermon Video Sermon Audio Scripture Verses Genesis 11- 20; Romans 4:19; Ephesians 1:3 Worship Playlist Call Upon the Lord by Elevation WorshipMorning by Morning by Pat BarrettCome Behold the Wondrous Mystery by Matt BoswellForever (We Sing Hallelujah) by Kari Jobe Study Questions 1. What have you been learning through the Genesis series so far? Who is Genesis most focused upon? 2. How well do you know your genealogy? Which relative(s) most stand out to you? Why? 3. What is humanism? How is Babylon (in Genesis 11) a type or metaphor for humanist cities, nations, and kingdoms today? 4. In the story of Daniel (see Daniel 1), how does the Babylonian king try to strip Daniel of religious and spiritual identity? 5. Read 1 Peter 2:9-10. How does Peter describe the church? How is the church the opposite of Babylon in Genesis 11? 6. Read Genesis 12:1-3. What is God’s promise to Abraham? How is that promise fulfilled in Christ? 7. Read Romans 4:1-25. Why is Abraham considered the Father of “Faith”? How would you characterize Abraham’s faith? 8. How does faith best achieve God’s 1 Peter 2:9-10 dream? 9. Read Ephesians 1:3-14. What does it mean to be blessed in Christ? Do you have the blessing of Abraham? Is that enough? Downloads & Resources Sermon Video Download Sermon Audio Download Madness of Fear Dr. Jon Morrissette - 10/24/2021 How many of you have ever done a Bible reading plan? One of the features of the Old Testament is endless lists of names and genealogies. For most people, these lists are flyover passages. It’s like, who cares whom is related to whom, right? God put these lists in there to give us a Bible plan breather. What we’ve shown is the Scriptures are not only Spirit-inspired, but they are God’s testimony that Eve’s Satan-crushing offspring would be Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus is the lone golden thread you can follow through the tapestry of endless genealogies from Adam. When we get to the New Testament, there are only two genealogies. One in Matthew, and one in Luke’s gospel. Luke takes us from Adam all the way to Jesus.… Matthew takes us from Abraham. After Jesus is born the Scriptures gives no further mention, and has no further concern, with genealogies. In Genesis, chapter 10 shows how, after the Flood, we get from Noah’s three sons… and Shem in particular… to all the nations. Genesis chapter 11 shows how after the tower of Babel you get from the Shem to Abraham. Think about something. How does the writer of Genesis (presumably Moses), already know which lineage to pay most attention to and which to ignore? It’s like watching golf on TV. How do they keep the cameras on that golf ball flying through the air like a bullet? Is there a GPS chip in that ball? In Scripture, the ball is Eve’s offspring. The Old Testament cameras never lost focus of Jesus’ exact lineage from Adam to Abraham to Jesus. Isn’t that remarkable? The Spirit inspired Bible writers who to watch, what to write, so that when Jesus finally did come, it would be evident to all… and it was! In Genesis 10-11 we see the birth of cities and nations. Babylon as a city, as a nation, finds its establishment in Genesis 11. From Genesis to Revelation, Babylon is a symbol of all that stands opposed to God. So, in Genesis 11:4 the people of Babylon set out to build a city and tower that rises to the heavens. “Come, let’s build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the sky. Let’s make a name for ourselves; otherwise, we will be scattered throughout the earth.” Josephus, the historian has an interesting insight on Babylon. He says the purpose of their tower was to thwart the wrath of God. They would build a tower so high, they could escape any coming judgment. Instead of trusting God’s word, that he’d never destroy the earth with flood, the tower was their insurance policy! But the point is that Babylon is a symbol of humankind aligned against God. Genesis 11:6-7 God says, “If they have begun to do this as one people all having the same language, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let’s go down there and confuse their language so that they will not understand one another’s speech” I want to pause here and marvel with God at humankind. Humanism is a philosophy that expresses unbridled optimism in human capability and progress. When the pandemic struck, people put their great hope in science. By the way, this was the first (and probably not the last) global pandemic caused by a science experiment gone bad. But we looked to "good science" to save us from whatever our national governments were collaboratively funding and brewing from bat caves. We see countless examples of what great good, or what great evil, can be done when human beings mass collaborate. We can put a man on the moon. We can land spacecraft on comets. We can build hypersonic weapons of terror that have pinpoint precision to kill one another. We can cure diseases and with the same science cause pandemics. We can invent a tool like the Internet to help people be hyper-connected, but with that same social media we can destroy delicate young psyches. From the perspective of Scripture, the arc of human nature is always toward sin and death. In Adam all died. But after Noah, there was this great reset. God flooded the earth and reestablished humankind. But in Noah, through his sons, all sin and die. From Noah you get a Babylon! In Genesis 11, God would have been just to hit the big red button of judgement again, and destroy world in fire, etc. But in Genesis 12 God doubles down on his promise to Eve. God is going to bring forth a “seed or child or offspring” through whom Satan will be crushed. So we go from Adam, to Eve, to Able, to Seth, to Enosh, Enoch, to Noah, to Shem… and we go right down to a man named Abram. So Abram, and the offspring of one of his sons, are going to be the godly lineage through with the golden thread, the Messiah or Christ, Jesus of Nazareth, emerges! Do not miss the juxtaposition of Genesis 11 and 12. How will God counter the evil city and nation-people Babylon? God calls a man named Abram (a descendent of Noah and Shem). Genesis 12:1-3 God says, “Go from your land, your relatives, and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make you into a great nation, I will bless you, I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, I will curse anyone who treats you with contempt, and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you [your seed or offspring].” Genesis 11:3 is the golden thread of Christ. It connects back to God’s promise to Eve that her offspring will crush Satan. Jesus wasn’t God’s backup plan—Jesus was God’s "Plan A" from the foundations of the earth. God hasn’t been blindsided or cheapshot by evil. His sovereign plan has moved from Noah… through Flood… through Babel… and now through Abraham. The nations will be blessed. But in Genesis 11:30 were told “Sarai was unable to conceive; she did not have a child.” Meanwhile, Abram’s brother Haran had a child named Lot. This is a major issue. If Abram and Sarai don’t have any offspring, how could the golden thread be women through their genealogical lineage? Sarai couldn’t conceive. In Genesis 12:4 we get more backstory. “So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran.” Not only are Abram and Sarai childless, they are getting up there in years. Lot’s nephew is the only beloved family Abram and Sarai have. In Romans 4:19 we're told that Abraham was so old he considered his own body to be “dead,” and Sarah’s womb to be dead as well. But then here is God, who keeps promising Abram and Sarai, “all nations will be blessed through your seed… your child… your offspring…” In Genesis 12:7 Abram builds an altar to commemorate God’s promise, “The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him.” At some point, you are going to just have to pick up the Bible and read it for yourself. The story of Abram’s journey of faith is utterly remarkable. Abram and Sarai face every possible obstacle you could imagine having. In Genesis 12, they are childless. Their nephew Lot, whose father Haran died, is their only family, but Lot is not their own child. Abram regards his body as dead, and Sarai her womb as dead. They are commanded to leave everything familiar with them and go to new, strange land God promises them. But then, as they begin to settle down a famine strikes! They have to take a detour and go down to Egypt for food! In Egypt, Abram was afraid for his life, so he lies to Pharaoh about his wife’s identity. He tells Pharaoh that Sarai is his “sister” and he offers Sarai to the Egyptian in marriage! He pulls this same basic stunt several times in Genesis. Nice husband! But when Pharaoh's household is afflicted with disease and plagues, Pharaoh realizes he’s been duped and confronts Abram. In Genesis 12:18 Pharoah says, “What have you done to me? Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife?” Last week we explored the uncomfortable subject of “Who was Cain’s wife?” Go back and take a listen. But here in Genesis 11 and 12 we have the same problem. Who is Abram’s wife Sarai? In Genesis 20:12 Abraham describes his relationship with Sarah this way: “Besides, she really is my sister, the daughter of my father though not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife.” God isn’t bringing forth Jesus from a pristine, pure humanity. There is no such notion in Genesis. The Christ, Jesus will emerge from corrupted humankind. In Genesis 13, Abraham and Lot have a huge fallout, they have to separate. This is devastating. Abram and Sarai have no blood relative. The golden thread is not going to flow through Lot! Abram and Sarai have a theological crisis—how will Abram be father of nations without Lot? Well, it wasn’t ever going to be Lot… it was going to be Abram's seed. In Genesis 13:16 God reiterates this truth, “I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust of the earth, then your offspring could be counted.” In Genesis 14 we read how Lot gets tangled in Sodom and has to be rescued by Abraham and his trained army. In Genesis 14:19-20 Melchizedek appears to bless Abram and says, “Abram is blessed by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, and blessed be God Most High who has handed over your enemies to you.” In gratitude, Abram tithes a tenth of everything he owns! Tithing preceded the Law! Through Genesis, Abram’s struggle is constant. Every time God reiterates this promise that the golden thread flows through Abram and Sarai’s “seed”, he is perplexed. Genesis 15:1-3, “After these events, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield; your reward will be very great. 2 But Abram said, “Lord God, what can you give me, since I am childless and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 Abram continued, “Look, you have given me no offspring, so a slave born in my house will be my heir.” But NO, NO, NO. It’s not going to be Lot. It’s not going to Eliezer. And look at verse 3. Abram thinks, “Hey, Sarai’s womb is dead… I have an idea… maybe a this satan-crushing heir or Christ or Messiah could be born of a slave?” So along comes Hagar. Sarai offers Hagar to her husband Abram… she conceives and Abram and Hagar give birth to Ishmael. But sorry, the savior ain’t coming through Ishmael. The clock is ticking in Genesis 16:16 Abram is now 86 years old! In Genesis 17, God appears yet again to Abram and two things happen. First, Abram gets a name change. Second, Abram gets a permanent object lesson. Genesis 17:4-9 says, “As for me, here is my covenant with you: You will become the father of many nations. 5 Your name will no longer be Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I will make you the father of many nations. 6 I will make you extremely fruitful and will make nations and kings come from you. 7 I will confirm my covenant that is between me and you and your future offspring throughout their generations. It is a permanent covenant to be your God and the God of your offspring after you. 8 And to you and your future offspring I will give the land where you are residing—all the land of Canaan—as a permanent possession, and I will be their God.” Now the object lesson Abraham got was circumcision. God says, “Abraham, you seem to keep forgetting my promise. Here’s how I’ll make sure you remember. I am going to circumcise the most personal, private, intimate part of your body as a sign of the child I will bring forth through your seed.” Genesis 17:10-11, “This is my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you, which you are to keep: Every one of your males must be circumcised. You must circumcise the flesh of your foreskin to serve as a sign of the covenant between me and you.” In Genesis 18:10-12 three divine visitors visit Abraham and Sarah. “The Lord said, “I will certainly come back to you in about a year’s time, and your wife Sarah will have a son!” Now Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent behind him. 11 Abraham and Sarah were old and getting on in years. Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. 12 So she laughed to herself: “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I have delight?” There is much intrigue to the story of Abraham—the golf ball gets smacked into the woods, into the rough, into the bunker, into the water. Abraham gets like a thousand mulligans. Yet no matter what happens, the camera lens of Genesis is locked unto that ball, the Scripture is laser focused on the golden thread. No matter what the seemingly improbable odds may be… all nations on earth WILL BE BLESSED… through Abraham and Sarah’s child or offspring! In due time along comes Isaac.. whose name means “He laughs.” And not only that, but a city or nation or kingdom unlike Babylon will emerge. God will establish his own city on the hill, a people and nation and kingdom for his own glory! The Church of Christ Jesus, Savior, Christ, and Messiah! I can relate to Abraham. As many of you know, Lara and I have no children of our own. I have a nephew, and many nieces, but no sons or daughters. I know the feeling of watching time pass, but no fruit. Once a person at Lakeside told me I was cursed, because I didn’t have “the blessing of Abraham.” Exact words. By the grace of God, I maintained my composure and didn’t smack that man’s face. This person wanted me to feel sadness, discouragement, despair. He DID NOT SUCCEED because this preacher takes every flaming arrow of Satan and extinguishes it. But he was quite wrong, you know. I actually do have the blessing of Abraham—because Abraham’s son, belongs as much to me by faith as he belonged to Abraham. Ephesians 1:3 says, “Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavens in Christ.” If you have Jesus you not only have the very blessing of Abraham… you have the blessing that “most” matters. You have Abraham’s very precious promise and great reward—a Satan crushing Lord and Savior. You’ve not been left out of anything, but included in everything! God’s "Plan A" wasn’t to give me or you “a” son, but to give “the” son, his one and only Son, Jesus. So keep your eye on that golden thread, on Jesus. . . watch, God is faithful and good.