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Sermon: Your Very Own Son (Genesis 15)

by PastorWilliams on August 7th, 2016

* Order of Service: Divine Service 1

* Hymns: LSB #801, 550, 744, 806, 798, 809

YOUR VERY OWN SON

SERMON TEXT: And behold the Word of the LORD came to [Abram]: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” (Genesis 15:4)

The three monotheistic religions promote Abraham

as a beacon of faith.

Almost even unwavering faith.

But Abraham had his doubts.

He received the promise,

but he didn’t always see

where God was taking him.

As we pick up his story,

several years have passed

since Abram left Ur of the Chaldees.1

Some time before Sarah’s brilliant idea

to have Abram hook up with Hagar.2

He has just left Melchizedek.3

He had sojourned through the Promised Land,

but he was still a stranger.

The promise still wasn’t fulfilled yet.

Abraham would die without receiving the promise.

But he remained faithful.4

But faithfulness does not exclude concern.

Abram was concerned about his situation.

Several years had passed

since God called him

from his pagan roots.

Several years with no child.5

The promise was looking bleak.

Eliezer of Damascus was Abram’s current beneficiary.

A slave born into Abram’s house

would inherit all his abundance.

Although he might have been the chief steward,

Abraham was promised descendants.

But the promise was looking bleak.

God comes to him with our sermon text.

This man shall not be your heir;

your very own son shall be your heir.”6

God uses very exclusive language

to narrow Abram’s heir down to one.

One who would grow into a nation.

A nation God has chosen as His heritage.7

A nation from the one promised son.

Several more years would pass

before the promised son was born.8

And Abraham’s concern would grow.

After the promised son was born,

God commanded Abraham

to sacrifice his only son, Isaac,

as a burnt offering.9

God’s exclusivity continues.

Although Abraham had fathered Ishmael,

God didn’t count Ishmael

as Abraham’s son.

He was given his own inheritance,10

but he was not Abraham’s only son.

He was not the promised son.

The promised son.

The heir who would bring Abraham

descendants as numerous as the stars.11

This son must die as a sacrifice.

Abraham’s only son.

The promise incarnate.

Abraham’s concern went through the roof.

Everything God had said was turning around.

God in whom “there is no shadow of turning.”12

Here, He seemed to be turning.

But Isaac is not Abraham’s only son.

He’s not the promised son.

Yes, his birth was prophesied.13

But he is not the fulfillment

of God’s promise.

Abraham’s only son would not be born

for some forty-two generations.14

He would be born to a couple

who hadn’t been married long.

A couple whose faith was tested

just as much as Abraham’s.

Two people tested by God’s Word

while it was being revealed to them.15

God tests the faith

of those who trust in Him.

The eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him,

on those whom hope in His steadfast love,

that He may deliver their soul from death.”16

Abraham had to wait twenty-five years

before God’s promise began to take shape.

Mary and Joseph had to wrestle,

internally and externally,

about Jesus’ conception by the Holy Spirit.

God tested their faith

to see whether they were sure in their hope.

Whether they were convinced

that things they couldn’t see would happen.17

He tested their faith

to see if their soul would wait

for Him to fulfill His promises.18

To those who believe in Him,

He counts their faith as righteousness.19

Jesus is Abraham’s very own son

who would be his heir.20

Jesus is Abraham’s only son

who would be offered as a burnt offering

for the sins of the whole world.21

And these facts test your faith as well.

But when I think that God, His Son not sparing,

sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in–

that on the cross my burden gladly bearing

He bled and died to take away my sin.”22

Your only Son, no sin to hide,

but You have sent Him from Your side

to walk upon this guilty sod,

and to become the Lamb of God.”23

Jesus came to earth

to bear the sins of the world.

That is His calling.

He is the fulfillment of God’s promises

made to Abraham so many centuries ago.

The blessing upon every family on the earth.24

The blessing Zechariah remembered

as he praised God for John’s birth.25

This blessing shields you

when you follow God

as He leads you through your pilgrimage.26

This blessing holds you up

with the heavenly promise of joy and peace

even while your flesh and heart fail.27

God’s great faithfulness leads you

into the Promised Land

just as it lead Abraham through his sojourning.

As it carried Joseph and Mary

to be the parents of their own Savior.

Faith in God’s promise brings you

to a point where you can wait for Him.

He will bless you

because “He has chosen [you] as His heritage.”28

You are His very own son or daughter.

You are in His only Son.

Faithful to Him,

everything you do is counted as righteousness.29

You are His heir.

The heir of a greater inheritance

than anything Abraham saw on this earth.

Because his inheritance wasn’t on this earth.

His inheritance was

the city prepared for him

and everyone else who believes in Christ.30

This inheritance sparked Abram to leave Ur.

It sparked Joseph to marry Mary.

It sparks you to keep close to Him as well,

knowing that “where your treasure is,

there will your heart be also.”31

With your treasure in the heavenly city,

your heart will be there also.

With your heart there,

you can walk in this world without concern

because God is in control.

He will shield you from every attack

because you are His very own child. Amen.

1Genesis 12:4

2Genesis 16

3Genesis 14:18-24

4Hebrews 11:13

5Genesis 15:2

6Genesis 15:4

7Psalm 33:12

8Genesis 21:1-7

9Genesis 22:2

10Genesis 21:13

11Genesis 15:5; Hebrews 11:12

12LSB #809.1

13Genesis 18:10

14Matthew 1:17

15Matthew 1:18-21; Luke 1:34-38

16Psalm 33:18-19

17Hebrews 11:1

18Psalm 33:20

19Genesis 15:6

20Genesis 15:4; John 8:56

21Genesis 22:2; John 1:29

22LSB #801.3

23LSB #550.1

24Genesis 12:1-3

25Luke 1:73-75; LSB #936.2

26Genesis 15:1; Psalm 33:20; LSB #744.2; #798.3

27LSB #744.4

28Psalm 33:12

29Genesis 15:6

30Hebrews 11:16

31Luke 12:34

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