Sand and Stars – Sand
Pastor Stephen Hayes
Sunday April 2, 2017
Theme – Sand is plentiful on the earth. In the Bible sand is used to represent important parts of a Christian’s earthly journey through life. Sand can represent a means of travel, our mission, or our carnality.
Sand and the Abrahamic Covenant
- The Old Testament character Abraham is sometimes called The Father of Our Faith.
- God gave Abraham a powerful promise that many generations of God’s people would be his descendants.
- Genesis 22:17 reads, “blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.”
- God had made this promise to Abraham several times before this in Genesis. So, Abraham was well familiar with the promise by Chapter 22.
- Abraham – as all people of that region – knew all about sand.
- In Genesis 22:17 God used sand as a metaphor to demonstrate the number of Abraham’s descendants.
- Abraham was patient when the promise did not immediately appear evident. There was significant travel and time that transpired during the Genesis chapters dealing with Abraham’s story.
Three Biblical Principles about Sand
1. Sand is a medium; a means of travel. It can also be a source of provision.
a. Abraham walked on sand throughout his journeys in obedience to God’s promise.
b. Genesis 26 tells of Abraham’s son Isaac digging wells in the sand; redigging old wells and also digging in new locations.
2. Sand exists as part of our mission; shake the dust off your feet.
a. Part of our Christian mission is to protect our inner peace and shake off natural carnal elements in our lives.
b. In Matthew 10: 11-15, Jesus told his followers to “shake the dust from your feet” when they were rejected by people. This was a symbolic gesture that represented how they were to psychologically respond to people who were hostile to their message. Matthew 10:14 – And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.
c. We are in a spiritual battle every day. Ephesians 6: 12 says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
d. This spiritual battle requires us to shake off everything in the natural that is not part of God’s mission for us.
3. Sand is part of our make-up; we are made of sand.
a. Genesis 2:7 – “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”
b. Because we were formed from the earth, we sometimes do “earthly” things that are contrary to God’s laws.
c. We need laws to show us our shortcomings. Romans 3: 19 – “Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.”
Jesus satisfies the Law
- Laws demonstrate our shortcomings and are written to keep us on a proper path.
- But, we regularly resist and break laws.
- Christians know they have a God who rightfully judges, but also undeservedly displays love and grace.
- We all make mistakes, but God has a plan for us. Jesus is our means to accomplish God’s plan for our lives.
- When we make mistakes and fall short, Jesus absorbs those mistakes and guides us back to the path He originally designed for us.
Reflective Questions for Sand and Stars - Sand
- In Genesis 22 God used sand to emphasize a point with Abraham. What was that point? What modern day metaphor might God use to make the same point?
- What are some things you have had to “shake off your feet” in order to stay focused on God’s purpose for your life?
- Describe the process you use to communicate with Jesus when you need someone to help you keep a proper perspective in a confusing world?