SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
15:7 The Lord said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess.” 8 But Abram said, “O Sovereign Lord, by what can I know that I am to possess it?”
9 The Lord said to him, “Take for me a heifer, a goat, and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon.” 10 So Abram took all these for him and then cut them in two and placed each half opposite the other, but he did not cut the birds in half. 11 When birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.
12 When the sun went down, Abram fell sound asleep, and great terror overwhelmed him. 13 Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a foreign country. They will be enslaved and oppressed for 400 years. 14 But I will execute judgment on the nation that they will serve. Afterward they will come out with many possessions. 15 But as for you, you will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16 In the fourth generation your descendants will return here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its limit.”
17 When the sun had gone down and it was dark, a smoking firepot with a flaming torch passed between the animal parts. 18 That day the Lord made a covenant with Abram: “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates River— 19 the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and Jebusites.”
16:1 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had not given birth to any children, but she had an Egyptian servant named Hagar. 2 So Sarai said to Abram, “Since the Lord has prevented me from having children, please sleep with my servant. Perhaps I can have a family by her.” Abram did what Sarai told him.
3 So after Abram had lived in Canaan for ten years, Sarai, Abram’s wife, gave Hagar, her Egyptian servant, to her husband to be his wife. 4 He slept with Hagar, and she became pregnant. Once Hagar realized she was pregnant, she despised Sarai. 5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “You have brought this wrong on me! I gave my servant into your embrace, but when she realized that she was pregnant, she despised me. May the Lord judge between you and me!”
6 Abram said to Sarai, “Since your servant is under your authority, do to her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai treated Hagar harshly, so she ran away from Sarai.
7 The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring of water in the wilderness—the spring that is along the road to Shur. 8 He said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” She replied, “I’m running away from my mistress, Sarai.”
9 Then the angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her authority. 10 I will greatly multiply your descendants,” the angel of the Lord added, “so that they will be too numerous to count.” 11 Then the angel of the Lord said to her,
“You are now pregnant
and are about to give birth to a son.
You are to name him Ishmael,
for the Lord has heard your painful groans.
12 He will be a wild donkey of a man.
He will be hostile to everyone,
and everyone will be hostile to him.
He will live away from his brothers.”
13 So Hagar named the Lord who spoke to her, “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “Here I have seen one who sees me!” 14 That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi. (It is located between Kadesh and Bered.)
15 So Hagar gave birth to Abram’s son, whom Abram named Ishmael. 16 (Now Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar gave birth to Ishmael.)
17:1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am the Sovereign God. Walk before me and be blameless. 2 Then I will confirm my covenant between me and you, and I will give you a multitude of descendants.”
3 Abram bowed down with his face to the ground, and God said to him, 4 “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of a multitude of nations. 5 No longer will your name be Abram. Instead, your name will be Abraham because I will make you the father of a multitude of nations. 6 I will make you extremely fruitful. I will make nations of you, and kings will descend from you. 7 I will confirm my covenant as a perpetual covenant between me and you. It will extend to your descendants after you throughout their generations. I will be your God and the God of your descendants after you. 8 I will give the whole land of Canaan—the land where you are now residing—to you and your descendants after you as a permanent possession. I will be their God.”