Friend of God, The Altars of Abraham: The Forgotten Altar
THE FORGOTTEN ALTAR
We have before us today what is probably the saddest event in the entire life of Abraham. We see him making a decision that will bring tremendous trouble into his life and into ours as well. Our text tells that during a time of famine in Canaan, Abram took his family and moved to the land of Egypt.
In the Bible, Egypt is always presented to us as a picture and type of the world. So, when Abram went down to Egypt…he was going back to the world. In a time of crisis…in a time of testing, rather than trust God…he turned to the world. Anyone have an idea why? That’s right…he forgot his altar! He chose the world instead of worship! It was where the children of Israel were held in bondage to Pharaoh for 400 years. And even after they were delivered by the power of God, they still longed for what they had left behind in Egypt.
There are times that we have all turned to the world…We have all turned to Egypt at some time or another. Think about the children of Israel – Even after God delivered them by His power from Egyptian bondage, they still longed for what they had left behind in Egypt. And we can be like that at times…No matter how the Lord blesses us, there is still a part of us that looks back to the world we have left behind.
And if you look long enough, it’ll look good to you. Many have walked away from the Lord’s Worship, Word, and Will for their lives and joined themselves to the world! Maybe you are here tonight, and you are teetering…looking at it, dabbling in it, playing around in it…eventually, you’ll be in the world neck deep!
You can’t be a friend of the world and a friend of God at the same time.
I. GOING DOWN TO EGYPT LEADS US AWAY FROM GOD’S WILL (vs. 10)
A. The land of Canaan represented God’s Best
Canaan was where he was supposed to be! God had promised to bless Abram in Canaan. Canaan was the place that Abram was supposed to be…it was the will of God for his life
B. The Land of Canaan Represented God’s Rest
Only there could he rest in the arms of providence and trust God to take care of him.
II. GOING DOWN TO EGYPT LEADS US INTO COMPROMISE (vs. 11-13)
NOTE: When a believer leaves Canaan (The place of victory and blessing) to go to Egypt (The world), it always leads him down spiritually. It will always lead to compromise…It will always have an effect on us spiritually.
A. He Lost His Spiritual Victory-Canaan is the place of the victorious Christian life…not Heaven
B. He Lost His Spiritual Vitality . . . he had begun to dry up spiritually. He had began to drift spiritually.
C. He Lost His Spiritual Vision-his scheme should’ve led him to turn around but instead he kept going!
III. GOING DOWN TO EGYPT LEADS TO CONSEQUENCES (vs. 14-20)
Note: When he arrives in Egypt, his worst fears come to a reality. They immediately had eyes for Sarai. They could’ve just killed him and moved on but consider what was at stake…
A. The Promised Seed was Endangered
B. The Precious Gospel is Hindered
C. A Powerful Testimony is Ruined
D. Sin’s Baggage is Too Heavy to Carry
1. problems with Lot b/c of bigger herd
2. brought back Hagar—BIG ISSUE
IV. GOING DOWN TO EGYPT DOESN’T MEAN IT’S OVER FOR YOU (vs. 17)
NOTE: Just b/c you fall doesn’t mean it’s over. God brought Abram back from Egypt…and He can bring you back as well.
A. Even When We are Unfaithful, God is Still Faithful
–God honored his Covenant
–God protected Sarai by punishing Pharoah
B. God Restored Abraham
C. Abraham Returned to Prayer 13:1-4
Are you camping in Canaan, firmly fixed in the land of blessing, victory and testimony, or have you gone down to Egypt?
All it takes to get to Egypt is a little compromise here and there and before you know it, you are miles away from the Lord.
So today, if you have gone back to Egypt…or if you’re considering going down to Egypt…you need to come to God & let Him help you today.
Maybe there are some areas in your life that you need to confess and make right with the Lord?
Maybe today you just need to come give all your burdens to Him?
4. As we close in song today, this altar is open for anyone who wants & needs to pray.