Sunday, June 12, 2005

Here I AM!

Intro.: Pull out a mental sheet of paper.

  1. List the 10 most precious things in your life.

  2. It might be people – at least the first few.

  3. There might be a few really expensive things

  4. Maybe an artifact or two of your childhood that you have clung to

  5. Maybe a special gift or two

  6. Now take your list, look it over and using your virtual pen, write, “I give it all to God – no questions asked.”

  7. Did you hesitate? Did you have to think about it? Did you wonder what I was getting at? Did I have something up my sleeve? I don't -

  8. But I want to spend a few minutes today looking at a moment in the life of Abraham when he was asked to give it all.

Read: Genesis 22:1-11

Pray

Trans: I only read half of the story. Let me read the other half.

Read: Genesis 22:11-19

T.S. Two times Abraham responds to God's call by using the same three words: “Here I am”. It was the same words used by Samual when he was called by God. The Psalmist writes:


Then I said, “Here I am, I have come— ...
I desire to do your will, O my God;
your law is within my heart.”

Psalm 40:7-8

  1. The first word is “Here”

    1. It was going to be a difficult day for Abraham. It started out easy enough, “Abraham!” I don't know how God said it, softly, “Abraham.” Or perhaps it came as a command, “Abraham!” I really do not know.

    2. But it is pretty obvious that there was no hint of what was to come.

    3. It was almost as if God was looking for Abraham - “Abraham, where are you?” If the simple, one-word question asked by God

    4. Isaac was a real, unexpected gift. And now, today, God gave him the strangest it of instructions - "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about."

(Ill.) Jerusalem is not yet a city. But 1200 years later Solomon is going to build the first the temple on a small hill called Moriah – Abraham is called to offer his son at the same spot that will eventually the site of the Jewish temple.

(Appl.) During a typical day, I can find myself in five or six different places – home, work, restaurant (or two), store or mall, a ball game, or even here at church. And I am left asking the same question that I am going to ask you – can I, any place that God may find me, honestly and willing answer, “Here I am”.

    1. Abraham had no idea what was to come, but he could willingly answer “Here I am.”

  1. The second word is “I”

(Ill.) Not to many years ago there was a contemporary Christian song called “Please don't send me to Africa.” The underlying message was send anybody but me!

    1. I would have understood if that had been Abraham's answer to God. It may have gone something like this:

      God ... Yes ... Unh, I have a question ... Yes ... Don't you think it would be better if you sent somebody else? ... Oh, you want me to send Bennie with your son ... No, I guess what I mean is, wouldn't it be better if you sent Bennie with his son.

(Ill.) Substitutes never are quite good enough. A professor at the Univerisity of Wisconsin put together a rubber monkey. It provided bottled milk for the baby monkeys, it was heated on the inside so it was source of warmth, it never pushed the babies away and allowed them to claim as much attention as they desired. The researcher then went on to state that a similar model could serve as a substitute mother. Maybe – but something might be missing. This stuffed animal cannot love its young charges. They cannot hug, they cannot comfort when there are tears. Substitutes are never quite good enough.i

    1. Though Abraham never asked for a substitute, it really is too easy to ask somebody else to do the job God has for you or to wait for somebody else to do it.

    2. Can we say with Abraham, “Here I am.”

  1. am”

    1. I know where, I know who.

    2. Abraham last word to his reply hints as to when he is willing to be obedient.

    3. There are any number of ways that Abraham could have responded to God's call for obedience.

      1. He could have said, “I did that yesterday.”

      2. He could have said, “I'll be available tomorrow at noon.”

      3. He could have said, “I'll do it later.”

    4. Perhaps Abraham's had the thoughts in this poem in his heart.

      Just For Today

      Lord, for tomorrow and its needs,
      I do not pray;
      Keep me, my God, from stain of sin,
      Just for today!

      Now, set a seal upon my lips,
      For this I pray;
      Keep me from wrong, or idle words,
      Just for today!

      Let me be slow to do my will,
      Prompt to obey;
      And keep me, guide me, use me, Lord,
      Just for today!


    5. Abraham was willing to give it all if that is what God demanded.

    6. It wasn't – but he was willing.

Conclusion: Here, Now, I will obey God.

  1. That is a summary of Abraham's response to God that day

  2. I pray that it will be my response when ever God asks me to do his bidding.

  3. I also pray that it will be your response when God calls on you.

  4. Here I am.

Pray

iTan, P. L. (1996). Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations. Bible Communications: Garland, TX.

1 comment:

curious servant said...

Thank you for your notes.

I have been thinking about servanthood quite a bit lately.

I appreciate your insights here.

http://jobstale.blogspot.com/

(Job's Tale)