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4. Abraham and Sarah, The Couple Who Believed God for The Impossible

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What is your favorite story about Abraham and Sarah? When God called him to leave his home and family? When God promised to bless him with descendants too numerous to count? When he and Sarah decided to “help God out” and provide a descendant through Ishmael? When they laughed at God’s promise to give them a child in their old age? The lives of Abraham and Sarah are full of lessons from which we can learn much. But will we? Because Abraham believed God was faithful to His promises, he stepped out in faith and followed God’s leading. Because Sarah believed God was faithful, she gave birth to a son well past her childbearing years. They believed God would do what He said He would. It was not always easy for them to believe, but, in the end, God honored them for their faith. Looking at their lives causes me to search my own heart. How will I respond when God calls me to step out in faith and follow Him? Can I wait on God’s timing in my life? Am I able to trust Him for the impossible? Am I looking forward to my heavenly home or am I settled into my temporal one? My prayer for you as you study the lives of Abraham and Sarah is that you would give your complete heart to God. I pray that you would trust Him in obedience to do whatever He asks of you, that you would believe He is faithful, and that you would look ahead to your eternal home while just passing through this temporal one.

Lord, teach me from the lives of Abraham and Sarah. Give me a willing heart to step out in faith and trust You. Help me trust You even when I cannot understand what You are doing. Help me believe You for the impossible. Show me what temporal or earthly things are entangling me and keeping my focus off of the eternal. Give me the faith to believe that nothing is impossible with You.

DAY 1: Abraham’s Calling

Looking to God’s Word

Genesis 11:26-32

1. Let’s begin by looking at Abraham’s background:

Abraham’s father:

His brothers:

His nephew:

His wife and her childbearing situation:

His birthplace:

Where did Terah and his family set out to go?

How far did they get?

His father’s spiritual background (Joshua 24:2)

Genesis 12:1

2. What did God specifically tell Abraham to do?

3. Why would this be a step of faith for Abraham?

Hebrews 11:8

4. How did Abraham respond to God’s leading?

Looking Upward

5. How do you know when God is leading you to do something?

6. Abraham was asked by God to leave everything he knew behind and step out in faith. What would be the hardest thing for you to leave behind and why?

7. Would you be willing and able if God asked you to step out of your comfort zone in a step of faith? What would enable you to obey and follow wholeheartdly?

Looking Deeper

  • How do these verses encourage you concerning God’s path for you?

Psalm 32:8

Psalm 37:23-24

Proverbs 16:9

Proverbs 20:24

  • Which verse most spoke to you and why?
  • How would you know if your steps are in line with God’s leading for you?

Looking Reflectively

When we step out to follow God’s leading, all that matters is that He knows our path. We just need to keep our hand in His so that we will not lose our way

Even though we make our own plans, God is the One directing our steps

  • Is God leading you to step out in faith today in a specific area? How are you responding?
  • How do you see evidence of God’s hand leading you?
  • Meditate on one of the verses under Looking Deeper.

DAY 2: God’s Promise and Abraham’s Response

Looking to God’s Word

Genesis 12:2-9

1. List the seven things God promised Abraham.

2. What does this tell you about God’s relationship with Abraham?

3. Whom and what did Abraham take with him? Did Abraham completely obey God or not?

4. Was God’s promise dependent on whether or not Abraham obeyed God? Explain your answer.

Looking Upward

5. In what ways can we rationalize our disobedience or refusal to follow God’s leading?

6. How has obedience to God been costly in your life?

Looking Deeper

Looking further at Genesis 12:4-9, trace Abraham’s journey and what occurred at each location.

Looking Reflectively

When God calls us to step out in faith and follow Him into unknown and
unfamiliar territory, it requires us to trust Him one step at a time.

  • Are you willing to step out in faith and trust Him one step at a time? Journal your thoughts.

DAY 3: Abraham’s Journey

Today’s reading is lengthy but important to the story of Abraham.

Looking to God’s Word

Genesis 12:10-20

1. What insights do you gain about Abraham from the incidence in Egypt?


Genesis 13:1-18

2. What additional insights does this passage give concerning Abraham in the way he dealt with Lot?

3. What does God promise Abraham in verses 14-17?

Genesis 15:1-21

4. God made a covenant with Abraham. What do Abraham’s questions and responses in this chapter reveal about what was going on in his mind and heart?

5. God had already promised Abraham land, blessing, and seed. Why did He need to make a covenant with Abraham?

Looking Upward

6. In what area(s) is your faith weak, and how do you respond when your faith wavers?

Looking Deeper

Genesis 15:6 tells us that “Then he believed in the LORD; And He reckoned it to him as righteousness.” Was this the point of salvation for Abraham? If so, why does his faith continue to waver? Explain your answer.

Looking Reflectively

When God makes a promise, He is true to His word. Why do we doubt?

  • Are you struggling with believing God for something? Can you take Him at His Word?

DAY 4: Wavering Faith?

Again, today’s reading is lengthy, but we cannot overlook these chapters as they give us great insight into the lives of Abraham and Sarah.

Looking to God’s Word

Genesis 16:1-16

1. Why was Sarah’s idea to give Hagar to Abraham wrong when it was acceptable according to the custom of that time?

2. What do you learn about Sarah from this passage?

3. How did Abraham respond to Sarah each time she “confronted” him (vv. 2-6)?

4. What was the result of their decision to take things into their own hands and what can we learn from this?

Genesis 17:1-22

5. God appeared again to Abram when he was 99 years old to remind him of the covenant he had made, and he changed their names to Abraham and Sarah.

  • What is Abraham’s response when God tells him “I will give you a son by her” (v. 16)?
  • What does his response indicate about his faith?
Genesis 18:1-15

6. How does Sarah respond when she hears the promise that she will have a son within a year (Vv. 10-15)?

  • What does her response indicate about her faith?

Looking Upward

7. Why do you think God included them in the chapter of men and women of faith (Hebrews 11)?

Looking Deeper

It is helpful to look at a timeline of the events in Abraham’s life to understand why he might have had trouble waiting on God to fulfill His promises. Trace the timeline through the key events from these passages.

Age of Abraham when God called him: Genesis 12:4 ____

Age of Abraham when Sarah gave Hagar to him as his wife: Genesis 16:3 _____

Age of Abraham when Hagar bore Ishmael to him: Genesis 16:16 ____

Age of Abraham when God revisited him, changed his name, and established the covenant of circumcision: Genesis 17:1–14 ____

Age of Abraham when Isaac was born to him: Genesis 21:5 ____

Looking Reflectively

God’s timing is perfect. It is never too late in His timing. Don’t give up on something because God has not answered yet. Trust His timing.

How long we wait on God is directly proportional to how much we trust Him.

  • How have you tried taking things into your own hands when you’ve had trouble waiting on God’s timing? What happened?
  • Is there something you have given up hope of happening? Be honest with God, but be willing to wait on His timing and His answer.

DAY 5: An Eternal Perspective

Looking to God’s Word

Hebrews 11:9-16

1. Why was Abraham considered to be an “alien” or foreigner in the land of promise?

2. What evidence do you see in these verses that he had an eternal perspective?

3. How are Abraham and Sarah examples of lives lived by faith in this passage?

4. Which of the promises made to Abraham did he see fulfilled before he died?

Looking Upward

5. How do you balance making this your home but realizing it’s not your permanent home?

6. If you truly have an eternal perspective, what would characterize your life?

Looking Deeper

Romans 4:13-25
  • What observations about Abraham’s faith can you make from this passage?

Looking Reflectively

The more comfortable you are in this temporary home, the harder it will be to look forward to your heavenly home.

The impossible situations in life cause us to exercise our faith.

  • How have you seen God do the impossible in your life?
  • Is there something God is asking you to believe Him for that seems impossible? What is your response?

Related Topics: Faith, Curriculum, Character of God