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Dr. Gene Scott Ph.D
Stanford University



had enough Faith, by this definition, in God’s promise of a place to which he was called that he would grab-up his family—he didn’t forsake them as he should’ve to follow the full order—and he travels out of Ur 3–4 months across desert land, settled at a place that got its name because he halted there, Haran, which means ‘halting.’  Then his dad died.  With the death of his father, he moved on but he still took a relative named Lot with him.  He came to a place, much in the news this past week now, called Nablus, sometimes called Luz in the Bible, renamed by Jacob in later years Bethel, ‘House of God.’  Because the record of these goings-on is written after the name Bethel comes in view, it’s projected back to the place.  It’s between two mountains that subsequently would be named Mount of Blessing and Mount of Cursing, Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal.  Ebal—blessing and cursing on each side of this valley where Abram came—uplands of Samaria, not very attractive at its best.  God said to him, if you believe the record, “This is the place.”

Immediately after that promise Abram had the Faith for the big effort to leave his home not knowing where he was going, now that he got the promise “This is the place.”  Now I really wanna put flesh and blood on this story today because this Church is characterized as always being willing to make the big sacrifice, and then when victory’s in our hand and a little bit of pressure comes we fade out.  That’s not new. 

In my judgment—and if you think about it and put flesh and blood on these Bible characters instead of that corner of your brain that we normally park them in so we can think about something else—it took a lot more courage which is 90% of Faith—and tenacity which is 9%, and 1%’s all that other stuff—to uproot himself on the promise of God that he was being called to a place he didn’t even yet


know where, to go across those desert lands, than it did to stay in the place at the first hint of trouble that God had said “This is the place.”  But immediately after God said “This is the place,” famine hit the land.

Now you remember a few months ago when I started preaching on giving God’s way I pointed out to you—as my answer to those that say “You give a dollar to God and He’ll make you rich”—the first giver that God approved, Abel, who brought his offerings the right way and Cain brought his the wrong way, he got killed for his efforts?  We get a lot of fairytale stuff in the name of God in current peddled Christianity.  What’s gonna happen to Abram is norm for the course.  The moment that God consummated His first promise—gonna take him to a place that he didn’t know where he’s going—when he got there God let him know: God says at Bethel “This is the place”—immediately he was tested.  Famine came; hit the land.  What have I told you, if you start believing God’s Word and acting on it, gonna happen to you?  Huh?  Huh?  Now all these preachers tell you “Walk down that aisle, kneel here, blubber 5 minutes, heaven gets rosy, your bank account goes up automatically—and if you got warts they fall off and you get the skin of a baby—you get into a fight whether you get on the ball of your foot or not, God will help you win.” 

       What do I tell you?  You come to God and start practicing His Word all hell’s gonna break loose on you.  There’s only one legal tender that will spend in eternity: Faith tried in the fire.  How many times have you heard me say if you want a simple definition of Christianity ask yourself—don’t listen to these people that tell you God’s a resident policeman trying to find you having a good time so He can stop it—ask yourself what do you want from your kids, trust or perfection; what do you want from your loved one, your wife or your

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