Archive of Pastor Darby's Sermon Notes, transcribed from his original typewritten documents
A SMUDGE POT OR A BURNING LAMP
May 11, 1969 pm
ABRAM HAD ENJOYED A GREAT VICTORY; NOW HE FACED POSSIBLE DEFEAT FROM HIS FEARS
- Abram was afraid of retaliation by the kings he defeated
- There was the loss of money he turned down from the king of Sodom
- And he had no heir as had been promised by God
God gave him three ways to defeat his fears- the Promise, the Doctrine, & the Prophecy of the Word
I. THE PROMISE OF THE WORD v.1-7
Abram had tried to solve his own problems, and it brought him to great depression and fear
A. THE STARS ILLUSTRATE GOD'S ABILITY TO HELP ABRAM v.5
- Col 1:16,17 God created all things, and manages His celestial traffic without a collision
- If Jesus can hold the Universe in order, He can help you to direct your life in best ways
- The problem is whether or not we believe His promises and trust Him to do so. Do you?
B. THE SALVATION GOD OFFERS TO ALL IS GIVEN BY FAITH v.6
- On the cross Jesus did the most he could do for His enemies- He died for them.
- If Jesus died for His enemies, what will He do for His friends? Are you an enemy or friend?
- Let God save you the way He did Abram- by faith! Believe what God says, and act upon it.
C. THE FAITHFULNESS OF THE LORD TO GUIDE US THROUGH THE YEARS v.7
- Abram failed year after year, scheme after scheme - almost every plan of his brought failure
- But God never failed to use even Abram's bone-headed errors to advance him to place of blessing
- If God could do this for Abram so many centuries ago, can He not do it for you today?
But Abram asked, "How can I know?" v.8 He wanted visual proof of his inheritance
II. THE DOCTRINE OF THE WORD v.8-11
God entered into covenant with Abram- and Abram divided the animals to ratify the covenant
A. THE SACRIFICES OF GOD ALL HAVE THEIR PURPOSES v.9,10
- The sacrifice of the red Heifer- later given as a sin offering- the rebound from sin
- The she goat- Reconciliation- restoration of fellowship - propitiation- price paid- satisfied
- The turtle doves- 2-not divided - the symbol of the deity of Christ-God in heaven or earth
B. THIS SIGNIFIES THE IMPORTANCE OF OBEYING THE DOCTRINES OF ABIDING IN CHRIST
- John 15:10 "If ye keep My commandments ye shall abide in My love"
- 1. Public confession; 2. Baptism; 3. Church membership; 4. Stewardship; 5. The Word; 6. Prayer; 7. Testify to world
- Read the word, seek His commandments- and obey them in a practical way-
C. THE SATANIC COUNTERATTACK MUST BE EXPECTED AND MET WITH SPIRITUAL FORCEFULNESS v.11
- The fowls of the air are symbols of Satanic spirits that dive in to catch away your blessing
- Stray thoughts like buzzards await your inattention to take the good and leave a stench
- If you are going to search God's word, pray, and seek His leadership, you need a switch-
And Abram failed again- he went to sleep (deep like Adam) and had a nightmare v.12 Horror
III. THE PROPHECY OF THE WORD v.13-18
Verse 13 - "Knowing" -(perception), "though shalt know" -(application to life) Living prophecy
A. THE JEWS HAD TO BE PUT UNDER SLAVERY FOR 400 YEARS TO PREPARE THEM FOR THE PROMISED LAND
- Heb 11:22- Joseph had faith in this promise, refused to be buried in Egypt- build a monument
- This hope (doctrine of future- prophecy) helped them live normal lives in captivity -
- Exo 13:19 the bones of Joseph taken from Egypt- Josh 24:32 buried in the Promised Land
B. THE PROPHETIC VISION OF THE SMOKING FURNACE AND THE BURNING LAMP v.17
- In a covenant agreement an examiner would walk between the pieces to see that they were fair
- The Burning Lamp- bright light- the symbol of the victorious experience we can have in God's grace
- The Smoking Furnace - smudge pot - symbol of human good - trying, but now clean
C. ARE YOU A SMOKING FURNACE OR A BURNING LAMP? CLOUDS OF SMOKE, OR SHINING BRIGHT LIGHT?
- Smoking- add worry, frustration, temper, darkness, no testimony, just confusion (but fire?)
- Lamp- experience in God's grace, clean by the blood of Christ- letting light shine- Matt 5:14-6
- I Cor 4:7-9 only God's grace, and our submission to it, makes difference in our lives-
WE NEED TO AVAIL OURSELVES OF THE PROMISES AND RECOURSES AVAILABLE TO ABRAM AND CLAIM THEM
- The promise of the Word- Claim salvation by faith in Jesus Christ-
- The Doctrine of the Word- Learn to rebound from weakness and walk with the Lord Jesus
- The Prophecy of the Word- Become a burning lamp to light others' way to Jesus