Thursday, September 18, 2008

The life of Abraham - Genesis 15

Abraham’s faith is what drew me to study his life in closer detail. Faith is something that is easy at times, but difficult in others. We have the advantage of knowing about Christ’s life when it comes to our faith. We can study the texts about Him. We have the living word of God with the Bible. We have countless examples of heroes who have lived and died for their faith, therefore giving us hope.

What is amazing about Abraham is that he did not have these advantages. In a way, however, that is what makes his life such a great example of faith. His was so simple. It was based merely on this relationship with his Creator. He couldn’t see God. He doubted at times whether God had abandoned him or not. Still, his faith was very simple because he completely trusted God every step of the way. Even when he took matters into his own hands he trusted God because he was often just trying to make God’s plan happen because of his own actions.

1 After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision:
"Do not be afraid, Abram.
I am your shield,
your very great reward."
2 But Abram said, "O Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?" 3 And Abram said, "You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir."
4 Then the word of the LORD came to him: "This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir." 5 He took him outside and said, "Look up at the heavens and count the stars—if indeed you can count them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be."
6 Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness. – Genesis 15:1-6

What is it that set Abram apart from everyone else except for his faith? Remember, at this point Abram was in his seventies and his wife Sarai was advanced in age as well. In human terms, it was absurd to think that he would have an heir. Not only that, but we will see that it will be some time before Isaac is born to him. Still, Abram had faith that God would provide. I see Abram’s life and wish that I had his faith. At times, it seems like he simply sat back and said, “Okay Lord, you know what you’re doing.”

We’ll see another instance tomorrow of Abram trying to take matters into his own hands, but the point is that he still had faith that God’s plan would be fulfilled. God rewarded him countless times for this faith, just as we are rewarded for our own faith. It is proof that the only true way to salvation is by grace through this faith.

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