Victoria Fellowship Church
International & Interdenominational
Bible Study Worksheet – October 25th, 2015
Theme: Heroes of Faith
Topic: Abraham – Father of Faith – Part 1
Main Texts: Genesis 11:31 – 12:8
Key Verse: Key Verse: Hebrews 11:8 –“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later
receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was
Last Sunday continuing in our study of Heroes of Faith, we looked at “Noah – The Lonely Righteous”. We saw how Noah lived a life that was totally out of tune with the way those around him lived, because his allegiance was to a “Distant Drummer”.
Our key learnings include the following:
It takes an ear that listens to the Unseen, and an abiding faith in Him, to live in righteousness where unrighteousness is the norm around us.
When we choose to live in righteousness among the unrighteous, our righteous living continually makes the unrighteous ill-at-ease, even if they do not openly acknowledge it. The people of Noah’s day felt condemned by his righteousness.
The world in which we live is much like Noah’s, the warning about what is to come is just as present, and our calling is no different from Noah’s.
This Sunday, we will start a 2-part study of Abraham – The Father of Faith. Our key chapter on Faith – Hebrews 11 – says more about Abraham than about any of the other heroes of faith. In this first part we will be focusing on his calling out from his family, to a land he did not even know.
Key learnings should include the following:
God’s instruction to us will not always make sense to those around us. In fact, it could sometimes seem outright crazy. Nevertheless, we demonstrate faith in Him by our obedience.
When God tells us to step out in faith, He often does not tell us how the story will play out. Our faith is in taking the step He tells us to take now, even when we do not know how it will lead.
The land of Canaan that God eventually led Abram to settle in, and which He promised to give Abram, already had inhabitants. God will sometimes lead us in directions that are fraught with serious challenges. Nevertheless, he expects us to make audacious moves in obedience to Him. If we were given the Bible definition of faith without saying that it is “faith’ we are defining, it would read “… confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” If you gave this definition to an average psychologist and asked him to provide one word for such a condition, he would probably use terms such as “delusion”, “day-dreaming”, “unrealism”, etc. Also imagine that your son who lives with you with his wife wakes up one morning and tells you that God told him to take his wife and your grandson (who is not even his own son), leave your house to go to a place he did not even know.
a) What challenges would Abram have faced when he told his father that God told him he (Abram) and his wife and nephew must leave Harran and go to an unknown place? We can perhaps reason that there was nothing unusual in a man leaving his father’s house with his wife to go and live their lives elsewhere. Indeed, this is the right thing to do when a man gets married. However, it is unlikely that a man would take such a step without at least letting his parents know his forwarding address. But when he says he does not know his forwarding address but still insists on leaving, there would certainly be some concern.
b) As Abram stepped out of his father’s house with his wife and nephew, how did he know in what direction to head, since God had not told him his destination and what does this tell us about the nature of God’s guidance? One of the challenges of walking by faith is that our natural mind would want to see the full roadmap before setting out. For example, Jesus Christ, speaking of building a tower, says the developer would be expected to take stock of his resources before commencing the project – see Luke 14:28. Or, that a king planning to go to war would assess the strength and capability of his own troops before setting out – Luke 14:31.
c) As you seek to reconcile Abram’s move with the Lord’s analogies about building a tower or going to war – or even the very basic saving faith in Luke 14:26, what is the nature of faith? Abram and his family arrived and settled in the land of Canaan. This was not virgin land as the Canaanites were already there – Gen.12:6. But God told him (v7): “To your offspring I will give this land.” Abram went ahead anyway and demonstrated his faith in God’s word by building an altar to the Lord right there. Then he moved eastward to Bethel and built another altar to the Lord and worshipped there. Then he moved towards the Negev and settled there, essentially defining a triangular area of his possession.
d) Abram made some really audacious moves just because God spoke to him. How do we deal with the challenges we are bound to face in trying to be like Abram?
Father, there is so much you are teaching me about faith, through the life of Abram. Help me learn your ways
as Abram did, and obey you in full confidence that you stand by your word. In Jesus’ name. Amen.