Participants: Shakeela Yasuf
Series Code: DOA
Program Code: DOA000002
00:40 As-Salaam-Alaikum, to our Muslim brother and sisters,
00:44 Shalom to our Hebrew cousins,
00:47 peace be upon you our Christian friends.
00:51 Welcome to "The Descendants of Abraham."
00:54 We're blessed with your presence here with us today.
00:58 Today we'll look at Abraham's journey from Mesopotamia
01:02 to the Promised Land, the land of Canaan.
01:06 In our previous program, we learned a little bit about
01:09 Abraham's call to leave his country and his relatives,
01:13 who were caught up in idolatry.
01:16 At that time in history, idolatry was spreading quickly
01:20 and was incorporated into the worship of the one true God.
01:25 But Abraham was not a participant
01:28 of this form of false worship.
01:31 While his own father mixed the true with the false,
01:36 Abraham refused to follow in his father's traditions.
01:41 Scattered around the landscape were altars that Abraham built
01:46 to worship the God, the one true God.
01:51 Abraham looked forward to the time when the Messiah
01:54 should come to this earth to save humanity.
01:58 He was remaining faithful to his God.
02:02 We'll pick up our journey with Abraham and Sarah
02:06 as they leave Haran, continuing on to Canaan.
02:10 Remember, Terah his father had died in Haran
02:14 and was buried there.
02:16 Let us look at the book of the beginnings, Genesis 12.
02:24 Genesis 12:5-6, "Then Abram took Sarai
02:31 his wife and Lot his brother's son,
02:34 and all their possessions that they had gathered,
02:37 and the people who they had acquired in Haran,
02:40 and they departed to go to the land of Canaan.
02:43 So they came to the land of Canaan.
02:46 Abram passed through the land
02:48 as far as the site of Shechem, to the oak of Moreh.
02:54 Now the Canaanites was then in the land."
02:59 Under the beautiful oaks of the valley of Moreh
03:02 was one of the first places that Abraham
03:06 and his household set up their tents.
03:09 And we read again in the Bible
03:13 we get a description of this land.
03:15 In Deuteronomy, the Book of Deuteronomy 8:7-8,
03:23 "For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land,
03:27 a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs,
03:32 flowing forth in valleys and hills,
03:35 a land of wheat and barley,
03:38 of vines and fig trees and pomegranates,
03:41 a land of olive oil and honey."
03:47 Even though the land was beautiful and fruitful,
03:51 this was not what Abraham expected.
03:54 The Canaanites were idolatrous people.
03:58 They had altars set up
03:59 in the groves to worship false gods.
04:03 And there were people that sacrificed
04:05 human beings on their altars.
04:09 This was not the way of the one true God
04:12 that Abraham worshipped.
04:15 Why would the Creator God have him leave his home,
04:20 his native land, his family and come to a place like this.
04:25 It did not make sense to Abraham.
04:27 But his faith was in his Creator.
04:31 It was at this time of great distress in the heart of Abraham
04:36 that the Lord God appeared to him.
04:41 We read in the book of the beginnings in Genesis 12:7.
04:49 "Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said,
04:53 "To your descendants I will give this land."
04:57 So he built an altar there to the Lord,
05:00 who had appeared to him.'"
05:04 What a merciful God we serve?
05:07 He is aware, aware of our fears and our sorrows.
05:11 He knew that Abraham needed comfort and assurance
05:16 and He revealed Himself to Abraham
05:19 reminding him of the promise.
05:24 His faith in his God was strengthened
05:27 and he knew that he would not be left alone
05:30 in this sinful idolatrous land.
05:34 The Creator God is good and great.
05:39 He knows what we need and when we need it.
05:43 He never leaves us to wonder aimlessly.
05:46 His eyes are honest all the time.
05:52 God called Abraham and He blessed and honored him.
05:57 Abraham's loyalty to God was like a beacon to the inhabitants
06:02 of the nations he journeyed to.
06:05 He was not one to isolate himself from anyone.
06:09 He had excellent relationships
06:12 with kings of the surrounding nations.
06:15 And many treated him with great respect.
06:19 His integrity, unselfishness, his valor and his benevolence
06:25 represented the character of his God.
06:30 In Mesopotamia, in Canaan, in Egypt
06:35 and even to the inhabitants of Sodom,
06:38 the God of heaven was revealed
06:41 through the one He chose to represent him.
06:47 Abraham's life was a life of prayer and worship.
06:52 Wherever he set up his tent, he also set up an altar.
06:58 He would offer the morning and evening sacrifice.
07:01 And when he moved on from place to place,
07:04 the altar remained behind him
07:07 as a witness of his devotion to his God.
07:13 Many of the Canaanites learned about
07:15 the one true God from Abraham.
07:18 And in their travels around the land of Canaan,
07:21 they would come upon one of the altars and knew
07:25 who was there before them.
07:27 They would repair the altar and worship the God of Abraham.
07:33 God still wants each of us to represent Him
07:38 as father Abraham did.
07:42 Abraham continued to travel southward
07:44 when his faith was once again tested.
07:49 A drought came upon the land.
07:53 Abraham did not understand
07:55 the events taking place in his life.
07:58 He was obedient to the God's leading.
08:01 Here he is in the land that God promised him.
08:05 But the flocks and herds could not find pasture and Abraham
08:10 and his people were facing starvation.
08:14 The members of his household were watching and waiting
08:18 to see what Abraham would do in this situation.
08:22 After all he was known as the friend of God.
08:27 And they had put their trust in Abraham and his God.
08:32 Abraham would not allow doubts
08:35 and discouragement to overtake him.
08:37 He remembered the promise of God and held fast to it.
08:42 Again, in the book of the beginnings
08:45 in Genesis 12:2 we read, "I will bless you
08:51 and make your name great, and you shall be a blessing."
08:58 With heartfelt prayer to his Creator,
09:02 he wondered how he could save his people and his flocks.
09:07 His faith in the promise of God
09:10 would not let him return to his Chaldean land
09:14 where food was plentiful.
09:17 And he would not turn away from Canaan,
09:20 the land that was promised to him and his descendants.
09:25 Even though drought and famine was ravaging the land.
09:31 So he traveled to Egypt where he could find food
09:35 and water for his people and his flocks.
09:39 This was a temporary refuge for Abraham.
09:43 He and his people would return to Canaan.
09:47 As we will see Abraham needed to learn
09:51 some very important lessons.
09:53 And God was showing him where he needed to improve.
09:58 He needed to learn about total submission to God,
10:02 about patience and faith.
10:06 These things are written for us today also.
10:09 We are to learn the same examples,
10:12 the same lessons of submission, patience and faith.
10:18 The life of Abraham is an example
10:21 for all of us, his descendants.
10:26 Sometimes the defects of our character
10:29 are hidden from our own knowledge.
10:32 Our merciful God will help us to form a right character
10:37 by bringing eccentric trials and conflicts.
10:42 When you're facing these times of trials,
10:45 when you're facing these times of testing,
10:48 it is because God loves you.
10:51 And He wants to mould you and use you
10:55 in His work for His purpose.
10:59 He sees in you what no one else sees.
11:02 He sees your heart.
11:07 He gives you the opportunity to work
11:09 on these defective character traits and get yourself ready
11:14 to be used by Him in a very powerful way.
11:19 He wants you to lean on Him.
11:22 He will help you through
11:23 the difficult times of your life.
11:25 He is your only safeguard.
11:29 Abraham was not without the same weaknesses and defects
11:34 of character that we face today.
11:38 When Abraham and his people were close to Egypt,
11:42 he became afraid and took matters into his own hands.
11:47 Let's read in the book of the beginnings
11:51 again in Genesis 12:11-13,
11:59 "And it came to pass,
12:01 when he was close to entering Egypt,
12:04 that he said to Sarai his wife,
12:06 "Indeed I know that you are a woman
12:09 of beautiful countenance.
12:11 Therefore it will happen, when the Egyptians see you,
12:15 that they will say, 'This is his wife,
12:18 and they will kill me, but they will let you live.
12:22 Please say you are my sister, that it may be well
12:26 with me for your sake, and that I may live because of you."
12:33 Abraham made a choice that puts Sarah in danger.
12:38 She was taken to Pharaoh's palace
12:40 and was there to be made his wife.
12:44 Pharaoh treated Abraham well,
12:48 believing that he was Sarah's brother.
12:52 He gave him many gifts, sheep, oxen,
12:56 male and female donkeys, male and female servants.
13:01 But Abraham committed a sin by lying about
13:04 his relationship to his wife Sarah.
13:07 And as we see in the same chapter
13:11 Genesis 12:17 God had to intervene.
13:16 Genesis 12:17, "But the Lord
13:22 plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues
13:27 because of Sarai, Abram's wife."
13:33 God in His infinite mercy protected Sarah
13:37 by sending judgments upon pharaohs household.
13:43 God made sure that pharaoh learned the truth about Sarah
13:47 before he ignorantly committed a sin.
13:52 We're told again in the same book Genesis 12:18-20
13:59 "And Pharaoh called Abram and said,
14:03 "What is this you have done to me?
14:05 Why did you not tell me that she was your wife?
14:08 Why did you say, 'She is my sister'?
14:11 I might have taken her as my wife.
14:14 Now therefore, here is your wife,
14:16 take her and go your way."
14:18 So Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him,
14:21 Abraham, and they sent him away,
14:25 with his wife and all that he had."
14:30 Pharaoh knew that Abraham was greatly favored by God.
14:34 And he did not want to keep him in his kingdom.
14:38 At this time laws were prohibiting,
14:42 laws were made that prohibited the Egyptians
14:44 from forming any kind of relationship
14:48 with foreign shepherds.
14:50 There could be no eating or drinking with them.
14:53 So by allowing Abraham to depart from Egypt,
14:57 pharaoh was being kind and generous.
15:01 But why did Abraham lie to the Egyptians?
15:05 What happened to his faith in God?
15:08 Did he think that God would allow any harm
15:11 to come to him and his people?
15:14 Did God not prove His faithfulness to Abraham?
15:21 In the Book of Ecclesiastes we get a little glimpse
15:26 of why something like this could happen to any one of us.
15:30 Ecclesiastes 7:20, "There is not a righteous man
15:37 on earth who does what is right and never sins."
15:44 No one in this world is righteous.
15:47 We have all sinned.
15:49 We're all born in sin.
15:53 At this moment Abraham's fear became stronger than his faith.
16:00 He might have convinced himself that he was telling the truth.
16:04 After all Sarah was his half sister.
16:08 She was his father's daughter from another mother.
16:13 Even though what he said was partially true,
16:17 it was partially untrue.
16:20 It was deception no matter which way we want to look at it.
16:25 Our Creator God expects from us the strictest integrity
16:30 and no slight deviation
16:33 from that is acceptable in His sight.
16:39 We are expected to always be truthful and trust in our Lord
16:45 that He will make all things right.
16:48 Abraham committed the sin against God by lying.
16:52 He still had much to learn and the loving and forgiving God
16:57 who continues to teach him.
17:01 When we fall, when we do sin
17:04 and Abraham did so, so many times.
17:08 We can be encouraged by the fact
17:10 that we have a God that understands.
17:12 The psalmist writes in Psalm 103:11-14.
17:23 "For as the heavens are high above the earth.
17:26 So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him.
17:30 As far as the east is from the west,
17:33 So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
17:38 As a father pities his children,
17:41 so the Lord pities those who fear Him.
17:45 For He knows our frame, He remembers that we are dust."
17:52 Our father in heaven is full of compassion and forgiveness.
17:57 He is a God of love, not a God of condemnation.
18:02 Abraham knew this God.
18:05 He did not live in fear of this God.
18:10 Abraham who was called a friend of God was in training.
18:15 God was showing him character defects.
18:18 Abraham needed to get to a point in his life
18:21 where his faith in God was unquestionable.
18:26 This lesson is not for Abraham only,
18:28 this is a same lesson that our father,
18:31 the Creator God is trying to teach you and me.
18:36 When you chose to follow God, you must expect and allow Him
18:41 to be active in your life.
18:44 He will love you, He will forgive you,
18:47 He will protect you.
18:49 He will supply all your needs and even some of your wants.
18:55 But He will also expect perfect obedience from you
18:59 and He will give us all the help
19:00 we need to be loyal and faithful to Him.
19:05 Our God knows that we are born in sin.
19:08 He knows that we can do nothing good except
19:12 He works it in us.
19:14 He does not ever leave us alone in our struggles.
19:17 He just waits for us to yield to Him.
19:21 Abraham's life is written in the holy book
19:24 for us to study and learn about loving and forgiving Creator.
19:28 A God that asks us to cal Him Abba, father.
19:35 We'll continue to study Abraham's life
19:37 and we will see how God was teaching and training him.
19:41 So that he could dwell with holy beings in heaven.
19:45 Join us next time to learn more about
19:48 Abraham and his descendants.
19:53 When you get to the Descendants of Abraham,
19:56 you can be sure that you're lighting the way
19:58 for all in search of the Creator God
20:01 and His message of love and forgiveness to all nations.
20:04 Thank you for your support and for your prayers.
20:08 All contributions are tax deductible.
20:11 Please visit us online today at www.descendantsofabraham.org
20:16 or write to us at the address you see listed on your screen.
20:20 All correspondence will be kept confidential.
20:45 [Singing in foreign language]
23:48 Today I would like to say a prayer with you.
23:51 Won't you join me?
23:53 Let's bow our heads.
23:56 Abba, thank You for the privilege
23:59 of being able to call you our Father.
24:03 Thank You for Your mercy and kindness,
24:06 shown to us each day even when we are so busy.
24:11 To be aware of Your care for each of us.
24:15 Open our eyes that we may see your blessings in our lives.
24:21 Open our ears that we may hear Your voice as You speak things
24:26 that are meant for our ears.
24:30 As each flower and snowflake is different Father,
24:35 You have created us, your children as individuals
24:41 not to be controlled by men or traditions.
24:46 You have rescued us from the bondage of sin
24:50 and originator of sin Satan himself.
24:55 For this we owe You our life and our gratitude.
25:00 Bless us as we continue on our journey to learn Your truth
25:05 for each of us individually Your children, amen.
25:14 Our Father is missing you.
25:17 He is calling you back to Him.
25:20 He wants you to come home.
25:23 Everyday He raises the sun to keep you warm
25:27 and to supply you with food to eat.
25:31 He sends the rain and in its season
25:35 so that your vegetables and fruits will grow
25:38 and your animals will be watered and fed.
25:43 Won't you acknowledge Him?
25:45 Won't you make a decision today
25:48 now to turn back to your father Abba
25:54 and allow him to direct your ways.
25:58 Only by following the God of Abraham can we find peace
26:03 and joy in a world ful of wickedness,
26:07 wars and corruption.
26:11 There is no one on this earth
26:14 that you can trust with your life.
26:16 But you can trust the One
26:18 who gave you life, the God of Abraham.
26:25 We would like to invite you also at this time
26:27 to go to our website, to check the website.
26:30 It's www.descendantsofabraham.org.,
26:37 www. descendantsofabraham.org.
26:44 And you can email us, please we would like
26:47 you to email us or write to us.
26:50 Our address will be shown on the screen
26:53 and you can take that address and write to us.
26:55 But email us also with any questions you have,
26:59 with any prayer request that you have.
27:02 Our email address is email@example.com.
27:09 info @descendantsofabraham.org.
27:14 All the correspondence will be kept confidential.
27:19 We would love to hear from you.
27:21 We would love to know if this program
27:23 is bringing the blessing to you.
27:26 We want to find out what you are looking for.
27:30 We want to know what you are feeling.
27:34 Share with us.
27:35 This program is here to meet your needs,
27:39 to answer you questions.
27:41 Please do that, contact us.
27:46 Next week we will be exploring the true son of promise.