총 게시물 601건, 최근 0 건

From Haran to Canaan

글쓴이 : 관리자 날짜 : 2019-10-07 (월) 10:43 조회 : 28
설교일 : 2019.10.06
설교자 : Rev. Eungyong Kim
본문말씀 : Genesis 12:1-9

October 6, 2019

Abraham Series #1

 

From Haran to Canaan

Genesis 12:1-9

 

Rev. Eungyong Kim’s sermon at the KUMC of Metro Detroit

 

When we had the Q.T. Meditations on Genesis in January, we learned these two things about Abram.

1)  The story of Abram is the story of my life.

2)  The story of Abram is how God molded Abram of Haran into Abraham of Canaan.

 

Who are the people of Haran?

Haran was the place where Terah, father of Abram, lived and worshiped other gods, without knowing God and without hearing the Word of God. Abram had lived there until God called him. He had never heard any Word of God before, nor known about the land of Canaan.Still, God called Abram to go to Canaan and become a person of Canaan.

 

Who are the people of Canaan?

The people of Canaan are not the people who live in the land of Canaan. The people of Canaan are those who have relationships with God and walk with Him and whose lives are meaningful to God.

I think all of you are familiar with the story of a rich man and Lazarus, a beggar. What did Lazarus have that the rich man didn’t have? It was his name. Why didn’t the rich man have any name, while the beggar had one? The rich man lived a meaningless life, while the beggar lived a meaningful life in the eyes of God.

 

At my former church, there was a member who was working for an NGO in Nepal and he told me this story. Nepal has the Himalayan Mountain range and there are many mountains over 8,000 meters above the sea level including the famous Annapurna Mountain. Therefore, in Nepal any mountain under 6,000 meters above the sea level does not even have a name. And any mountains above 3,400 meters but under 6,000 meters are just called as ‘hills’, because they are too common to be meaningful.

 

On the other hand, in Israel there are so few rivers that any body of water that has flowing water throughout the year is called a river. The famous Jordan River has the width of only 1 meter in dry season. Any stream in Israel can be called a river.

 

It all depends on how meaningful anything is.

 

God is calling Abram of Haran to a meaningful life that has a relationship with Him. And the story of Abram is the story for all of us.

 

Let us meditate upon the person of Canaan whom God has called. Abram’s three special characteristics tell us how we can also become the people of Canaan.

 

 

1.  Through the Word of God

 

Abram of Haran became Abraham of Canaan through the Word of God.

 

One of the special characteristics of Abram was that he heard the Word of God, which began the story of his new life.

 

In today’s passage of Genesis 12:1, ‘The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.”’ We notice that it was so important that Abram paid attention to His word, when God was talking to him. The people of Canaan are those who pay close attention to the Word of God, and now a person who paid attention to His Word appears here.The Bible tells us that for the first time, there is this person who pays attention to the Word of God.  

 

In chapter 2 of Genesis, God created Adam, and we have learned that ‘God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being’ (Genesis 2:7), so Adam was a ‘living soul’ who had been breathed ‘the breath of life’ after being formed from the dust. Therefore, the humans were created to have relationships with God with their living souls.

 

But the corruption of the humans made them lose their souls, so they lost the relationship with God and then lost the Word of God. Consequently, the humans became the people without the Word of God, and they are the people of Haran.

 

Now, in order to begin a new creation through Abram, God appeared to Abram of Haran and gave him His Word. God was planning to change Abram into a person of Canaan.

 

Abram paid attention to the Word of God and his life began to change. He used to live without God in Haran with his father Terah who had been selling pagan idols.

 

Abram obeyed God’s command and left ‘his country, his people and his father’s household’. How difficult the decision must have been for Abram! As immigrants to this country, we are forever burdened with the feeling of ‘insecurity’, which is caused by our anxiety that this country may not be our permanent home. You and I have left ‘our country, our people and our father’s household’, and we would have been a lot more insecure, if we didn’t hold onto the Word of God.

 

The story of Abram in Genesis tells us two distinctive things about him.

1)  He heard and followed the Word of God.

2)  He made some decisions without considering the Word of God.

 

Even though Abram followed the Word of God to the land of Canaan, he easily lost the Word of God and went back to his old self of being a person of Haran. Consequently, he made the mistakes of almost losing his wife and begetting Ishmael. But when he became a person of Canaan later with the Word of God, he even went all the way to Sodom and Gomorrah to rescue Lot, his nephew.

 

I want to ask you, are you a person of Haran or a person of Canaan? Are you paying close attention to the Word of God and following God’s command and then experiencing the works of God? Or are you just going through your life relying on your own plans, judgments and knowledge only?

 

 

2.  By leaving familiar circumstances

 

When we read the story of Abram carefully, we learn about his life. We are very surprised at the amazing call of Abram by God and then at his subsequent failures. Why did he fail so often, even after the amazing calling by God?

 

You know the word ‘calling’, and this word is usually used when one is called by God to work for Him. When I was a freshman at the Theological Seminary, I attended a retreat for the whole student body, and each student shared his or her own calling by God. I was extremely surprised and amazed that so many students had been called by God just like me and that I was not the only one who had been called.

 

Abram received the calling, as well as so many theological students, but what happened to them afterwards?

 

According to Genesis 12:10, when there was a famine in the land, Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe. Even though he had followed the Word of God to become a person of Canaan in the land of Canaan, at the time of famine, Abram acted just like a person of Haran and left the land for Egypt without having any word with God.

 

Then, what happened to Abram? He almost lost his wife who would later bear the offspring of the covenant with God.

 

This was not the only occasion for Abram to have a crisis in his life, and God must have decided to do something to bring changes on him so that he would become a person of Canaan.

 

What should God do? The calling of Abram by God and then the failures of Abram! What was God’s secret to change Abram from a man of Haran to a man of Canaan?

 

What did God do with Abram? According to the Bible, every time Abram failed, God made him leave the familiar circumstances.

 

That is why there are many instances of Abram’s departure in the Bible, and in today’s passage, he began his first journey at the command of God. Why did he have to leave his country, his people and his father’s household? It was not just a matter of going to a different place, but a matter of spiritual departure.

 

Let us go back to Genesis 12:10. Isn’t this a typical failure of Abram who was not following the plan of God?  God had called him to the land of Canaan, but now he went down to Egypt. Because of Abram’s wrong decision as a man of Haran, God’s plan was now in jeopardy and ready to collapse.

 

But, according to the Bible, God appeared to him to intervene and commanded him to leave.

 

So, Abram left Egypt and headed for the land of Canaan. Every time Abram made a wrong decision in his life, God appeared to him again and made him leave his current circumstances.

 

< The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard

 

What is the divine conspiracy? That is how God makes the person He has in mind be irresistibly eager to do the work that God wants him to do. Unlike other conspiracies of the world, God always succeeds in His conspiracy. >

 

God commanded Abram to leave and he obeyed the command. And without realizing it, he was being molded into a person of Canaan, in accordance with the divine conspiracy.

 

In our life of faith, we should always be ready to leave the familiar circumstances, in order to become the people of Canaan. I hope you and I will reflect upon the departures God has in mind for us. Through today’s sermon, God is trying to move all of us from Haran to Canaan.

 

 

3.  By worship Abram was changed

 

The third thing that changed Abram was his worship.

 

The most special characteristic of Abram was that every time he experienced the workings of the living God in his life, he built an altar right there and worshiped God.

 

This action by Abram was the secret of his successful transformation from a man of Haran to a man of Canaan.

 

This transformative journey took a long time, almost all of his life, and he couldn’t accomplish it by himself and he needed help.

 

When we read the story of Abram’s failures, we wonder how he could so easily forget God, soon after meeting Him personally. What we have to keep in mind is that the story of Abram is the story of us. We forget God so soon after experiencing Him. What we need the most is the remembrances.

 

In the chapter 4 of Joshua, right after all the Israelites crossed the Jordan River and entered the land of Canaan for the first time, God commanded the leaders of the twelve tribes to take up twelve stones from the middle of the river and then later erect them at Gilgal, so that they could explain to the later generations what God had done for them.

 

This shows how important our remembrances are. We tend to forget very easily what God has done for us, so we need to have the remembrances of God’s works. The secret of Abram’s successful transformation in spite of his many failures was his remembrances and his worship. He erected altars everywhere he went and he worshiped there.

 

What is a worship? Worship is the holy remembrances of what God has done for us, and with our faithful worship, we can be transformed into the people of Canaan. During your worship, are you remembering what God has done for you in your life?

 

When a member said to me, “My faith is strong enough, so I don’t need to attend services on every Sunday for the sake of formality”, I was really shocked and dismayed. For that person, worship may have seemed like a formality, but it is a lot more. If our faith could ever be so strong as to save ourselves, perhaps Jesus would not have needed to come down to earth to save us.

 

Worship is our confession to acknowledge the workings of God and to admit how fragile we are. And our confession to God has to go on continuously. Through our confession, we are released from being the people of Haran, so as to become the people of Canaan.

 

After erecting the altar to God, Abram worshiped at every place he went. And worship was a new thing for him who used to be a person of Haran.

 

How is your worship? 



 

 

 

 


   

총 게시물 601건, 최근 0 건
번호 설교일              제목 본문말씀 설교자
601 2019.10.13  'Divine Yes' Genesis 13:1-13 Rev. Eungyong Kim
600 2019.10.13  Divine Yes 창세기 13:1-13 김응용 목사
599 2019.10.06  From Haran to Canaan Genesis 12:1-9 Rev. Eungyong Kim
598 2019.10.06  하란에서 가나안으로 창세기 12:1-9 김응용 목사
597 2019.09.29  The Life-giving Authority (5) Luke 20:19-26 Rev. Eungyong Kim
596 2019.09.29  생명 권세 (5) 누가 복음 20:19-26 김응용 목사
595 2019.09.22  The Life-giving Authority (4) Mark 7:31-37 Rev. Eungyong Kim
594 2019.09.22  생명 권세 (4) 마가복음 7:31-37 김응용 목사
593 2019.09.15  The Life-giving Authority (3) 1 Samuel 17:17-27 Rev. Eungyong Kim
592 2019.09.15  생명 권세 (3) 사무엘상 17:17-27 김응용 목사
591 2019.09.08  The Life-giving Authority (2) Malachi 3:7-12 Rev. Eungyong Kim
590 2019.09.08  생명 권세 (2) 말라지 3:7-12 김응용 목사
589 2019.09.01  The Life-giving Authority John 4:10-14 Rev. Eungyong Kim
588 2019.09.01  생명 권세 요한 복음 4:10-14 김응용 목사
587 2019.08.25  The Gospel of God's one and only Son John 3:16 Rev. Eungyong Kim
 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  다음  맨끝

제목 : 'Divine Yes'
설교일 : 2019.10.13
본문말씀 : Genesis 13:1-13
설교자 : Rev. Eungyong Kim
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