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Genesis 12:6-10 - Homiletics

The promised land.

I. WANDERINGS . Entering Canaan from the north, the Chaldsean emigrant directs his progress steadily towards the south, removing from station to station till he reaches the furthest limit of the land. This wandering life to the patriarch must have been

II. TRIALS . Along with ceaseless peregrinations, more or less exacting in their nature, trials of another and severer sort entered into the texture of the patriarch's experience in the promised land. The peculiar circumstances in which he found himself were such as to make a vehement assault upon his faith.

1. His childless condition seemed to render all but impossible belief in the mighty nation of which Jehovah talked. And so are saints sometimes tempted to indulge a suspicion of the Divine goodness and veracity, because of the absence of certain creature comforts which they see God bestowing upon others.

2. The occupation of the land appeared to negative the idea of its ever becoming his; and not infrequently because a saint cannot discern how a promise is to be fulfilled, he begins to challenge the Divine resources, and ends by impeaching the Divine faithfulness.

3. The prevalence of famine was calculated to excite doubts in his mind as to whether after all the land was worth either having or desiring; and in this life the saints are not unacquainted with temptations, arising from the pressure of outward circumstances, such as extreme poverty or long-continued affliction, to admit the apprehension that after all the blessings of religion and the glories of the future life may not be worth the sacrifices made to secure them.

III. CONSOLATIONS . If a field of wanderings and a scene of trials, the promised land was likewise a place of consolation. Abram enjoyed—

1. The comfort of the Divine presence . Though unseen, the companionship of Jehovah was understood by the patriarch to be a grand reality on which he might depend; and so says Christ to his believing people, "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world."

2. The joy of Divine manifestations . As Jehovah appeared to Abram, probably in the form of a man, so already has God appeared to his Church in the person of the man Christ Jesus; and so does Christ promise still to appear spiritually to his people, and to disclose to them the treasures of his grace and love ( John 14:21 ).

3. The consolation of Divine worship . Wherever Abram wandered he built an altar and called upon the name of the Lord who had appeared unto him; and without any altar may the saint at any moment enter into closest communion with the Lord Jesus Christ, who in the fullness of the times was manifested to take away our sins, and who is ever ready, through the medium of his Holy Spirit, to interpose for his people's aid.

Learn—

1. That a saint's wanderings are of God's appointing.

2. That a saint's trials are of God's permitting.

3. That a saint's consolations are of God's sending.

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