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TITLE:  4 Stupid Things Believers Do
TEXT:  Genesis 16:1-4
PROPOSITION:  When we ignore the counsel of God we will do stupid things.
KEY WORD:  Alternatives


  1. Even heroes do stupid things.
  2. Our text talks about Abraham and Sarah
  3. They did 4 Stupid things.

Let fleshly desire overrule good sense (1b – 2b)

  1. Our personal desires get in the way of common sense.
  2. I want it – no matter what – Sarah wanted a child!
  3. In our disappointment or frustration we say, God will understand.
  4. Or we say, I don’t care what God thinks, this is what I want.
  5. Abraham and Sarah are making plans according to the flesh, not God.

Listen to those who are unfamiliar with the Word of God (2c- 4a)

  1. We often go to the wrong sources for our information and decision making
  2. Do you go to: Banker for legal advice, Math teacher for medical problem, Preacher for auto repair, etc.
  3. Many seek moral or spiritual advice from the WRONG sources
  4. Why ask non-Christians how to live your life?

Blame others for problems they bring on themselves (4b)

  1. Everything that happens to me is some else’s fault
  2. Sarah “despised” Hagar
  3. Maid is now 2nd wife – younger, can have children – Fear of losing Abraham now creeps into the picture.
  4. Matthew 7:5 – take beam from own eye, first
  5. Genesis 3:12 – Adam – That woman you gave me – her fault – God’s fault

Shirk responsibility for sake of keeping peace (6)

  1. Abraham is the head – patriarch – leader – Take the lead
  2. He should have set things back as they should be.
  3. He shirked that duty – Sarah do what you want
  4. Misplace the remote or lose my tools – scream and get things straight
  5. BUT on important matters – let it go, just to keep the peace


  1. See illustration below.
  2. We must learn that Abraham and Sarah were not perfect.
  3. We must learn from their mistakes.


Closing illustration

In an earlier day a certain young man was seeking a job as a Morse code telegraph operator. He found an advertisement in the want ads and went to the address that was listed. When he arrived it was a large, busy, noisy office. In the background he could hear the chatter of a telegraph key. A sign instructed applicants to take a seat and wait until they were summoned to enter the inner office. Eight candidates had gotten there ahead of him; they were seated along the wall. This was discouraging, but still he sat down to wait.

After about two or three minutes the young man stood up, stepped over to the door of the inner office, and walked in. Naturally all of the other applicants started looking at each other and muttering. Within about three minutes the young man came back out the door with the employer who said, "You gentlemen may go now. The position has been filled." Several of them began to grumble. One spoke up and said, "I don't understand. He was the last to come in. We never even got a chance to be interviewed, and he got the job. That's not fair."

The employer said, "All the time you've been sitting here the telegraph key has been ticking out a message. It said, 'If you understand this message, come right in. The job is yours.' None of you heard it. He did. He got the job. "


Thanks to Dave Redick for the ideas of this sermon.

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