Abraham – The Man of Faith

Abraham is one of the most important individuals described in the Bible.  He was a man of great faith and was chosen by God to be the ancestor of Jesus, the Christ.

We first read about God coming to Abraham when he lived in Haran; at that time, his name was Abram.  Genesis 12:1-3 “Now the Lord had said to Abram: ‘Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you.  I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’”  God asked Abram to leave his relatives and travel many days to a land he knew nothing about.  It required faith on Abram’s part to trust in God and do as He asked.  Hebrews 11:8-10 “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.  By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” God promised to bless Abram and make him into a great nation.  He also promised that through him, all the families of the earth would be blessed.  I understand this to be a prophesy that all of us would receive salvation through Jesus who was a descendent of Abram.

But Abram grew old and didn’t have any children.  Genesis 15:1-6 “After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.’ But Abram said, ‘Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?’  Then Abram said, ‘Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!’  And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, ‘This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.  Then He brought him outside and said, ‘Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.’ And He said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be.’  And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.”  Abram believed God and His promises, even when he was old and had no children.  What great faith!

God eventually gave Abraham a son, Isaac.  Genesis 22:1-4 “Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, ‘Abraham!’  And he said, ‘Here I am.’  Then He said, ‘Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.’ So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.”  I like the fact that Abraham got up early in the morning to obey God; he didn’t delay or question God’s command.  Genesis 22:9-12 “Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood.  And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.  But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, ‘Abraham, Abraham!’  So he said, ‘Here I am.’  And He said, ‘Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.’” Hebrews 11:17-19 “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, ‘In Isaac your seed shall be called,’ concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.”  What great faith!

You and I should learn from the faith of Abraham.  Just as Abraham believed God when He told him that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars, we also are given truths and promises that we must believe.  From the Bible we learn about God and about His only Son that He gave for the forgiveness of our sins and our salvation.  We read about the miracles that Jesus performed, about His death upon the cross, and about His resurrection from the dead.  We read about the inheritance He has prepared for us.  These and many other truths and promises we must accept in faith and trust that they are true.  Romans 4:5 “But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness.”  God also commanded Abraham to leave his family and his father’s house and move to a far country.  God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his promised son.  In faith Abraham obeyed God.  James 2:21-24 “Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?  Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?  And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.’ And he was called the friend of God.” Just as Abraham obeyed God in faith, we also are given commandments that we are to obey in faith.

I encourage you to learn from the faith of Abraham.  Believe the truths that you are given in the Bible.  Obey in faith what God has asked you to do.