Tag Archives: Abraham

Abraham’s Faith

He was promised a son. He was promised from this son would come many descendants. Then Abraham was called to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice. Genesis 22 records:

22 Some time later, God tested Abraham’s faith. “Abraham!” God called.

“Yes,” he replied. “Here I am.”

“Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.”

Abraham’s faith is being tested. How far will he allow his faith to take him? Genesis 22 goes on:

The next morning Abraham got up early. He saddled his donkey and took two of his servants with him, along with his son, Isaac. Then he chopped wood for a fire for a burnt offering and set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day of their journey, Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. “Stay here with the donkey,” Abraham told the servants. “The boy and I will travel a little farther. We will worship there, and then we will come right back.”

So Abraham placed the wood for the burnt offering on Isaac’s shoulders, while he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them walked on together, Isaac turned to Abraham and said, “Father?”

“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.

“We have the fire and the wood,” the boy said, “but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?”

“God will provide a sheep for the burnt offering, my son,” Abraham answered. And they both walked on together.

Notice Abraham tells his servants he and Isaac will return. Like Isaac, Abraham knows the Lord is in control. Abraham’s faith compels him to trust the Lord.

In Hebrews 11:17-19, the writer says:

17 It was by faith that Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice when God was testing him. Abraham, who had received God’s promises, was ready to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, 18 even though God had told him, “Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted.”[c] 19 Abraham reasoned that if Isaac died, God was able to bring him back to life again. And in a sense, Abraham did receive his son back from the dead.

By faith, Abraham knew the Lord would keep his promises. Therefore, he fully trusted the Lord. The Bible encourages us to fully trust the Lord. In Proverbs 3, Solomon suggests we trust the Lord and seek him in everything we do.

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Faith That Climbs A Mountain

Where would you let your faith take you? How far do you think you could trust it if it was pushed? These are questions a 17-year-old young man had to answer.

The Bible records Isaac’s faith taking him up a mountain to be a potential sacrifice. Genesis 22 records the Lord asking Abraham to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice. While Abraham’s faith was being tested, so was Isaac’s. Think of the scene for a moment.

At a certain point on their journey, Abraham and Isaac leave everyone else behind. It is just the two of them. As Abraham is carrying the fire, Isaac is carrying the wood, so he knows they are going to offer a sacrifice; however, there’s no lamb. Isaac knows something is up.  Abraham is around 120 years old, while Isaac is in his late teens. Isaac could have easily overpowered Abraham and refused to go any farther, but he doesn’t. His faith takes him up the mountain with Abraham.

Genesis 22:9-12 records what happens on top of the mountain:

When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

Isaac’s faith takes him all the way to the altar. He is not sure what the Lord is going to do, but he knows the Lord has it under control. Isaac’s faith pushes him up the mountain.

Where is your faith taking you? Is it pushing you to trust the Lord in your life? Is it calling you to follow the Lord’s leading to achieve a dream or accomplish a goal? Are you trusting your faith to help you fulfill your purpose in life? We may not be sure what the Lord is going to do, but we can trust that he is in control.

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That’s Impossible

Abraham and Sarah were well advanced in years. He has reached the century mark, and she is not far behind at 90. They had been promised a son, but the promise still hadn’t come true. Some visitors stopped by one day, and one of them brought a message to Abraham and Sarah.

The visitor told Abraham and Sarah he would return in a year and they would have a son. Funny, right? At least Sarah thought it was. She, who was well past child-bearing years, was going to have a son. Genesis 18 says she laughed to herself, and goes on:

13 Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, ‘Can an old woman like me have a baby?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”

Things which seem impossible to us are very easy for God. The Bible teaches there’s nothing impossible for God.

  • Matthew 19:26 says, 26 Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.”
  • Mark 10:27 says, 27 Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.”
  • Luke 1:37 says, 37 For the word of God will never fail.

Like Sarah, hearing of the seemingly impossible may cause us to laugh. Partially because we don’t see how it can be done, and maybe our laughter is a result of the slightest feeling of joy as we think of it happening. It has been said God smiles in these moments also. He smiles with joy as he goes about doing the work he does best – the impossible. How have you witnessed the Lord doing the impossible?

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Responding to Change

One key to getting through change.

Raise your hand if you like change. My hand is not up. In fact, I have it tied down just in case you thought it could possibly be going up. I have a strong dislike for change. I’m happiest in routine; a daily routine that fits into a weekly routine. Everything is better when it fits into the routine.

I imagine you’re the same. No one cares for change. We like to have the “when” and “where” of life. Change is unsettling; however, it is a requirement of life.

Change is inevitable; it will come. Our routine will be disrupted much throughout life. Illnesses, lost jobs, financial struggles, heartbreak, and many other disruptions will occur. The change may even force us into uncharted territory. It’s unnerving and we can’t control the change, but we can control how we respond.

The Bible gives us the example of Abraham to help us understand how to respond to change. Abraham was called to leave everything he knew. Abraham was to leave home and go into uncharted territory. This was a huge change for Abraham.

With his family and belongings, Abraham left his routine and headed into the unknown. He was uncertain of the path. He was unsure of the destination. His routine was fluctuating. For Abraham, this one change unsettled everything. The only certainty Abraham had was the Lord.

Abraham knew the Lord was with him. He knew the Lord would guide him, so he responded to the change with faith.

“It was by faith,” Hebrews 11:8 says, “Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going.”

Abraham’s faith allowed him to focus on what was to come rather than the change.

Hebrews 11:10 says, “Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations. A city designed and built by God.”

Right now, our routines are being disrupted. Many of us are scrambling to adjust in an evolving situation. It can be unsettling. While we may be uncertain of everything else, we can be sure of one thing. The Lord is with us.

The Lord will guide us in this uncharted territory. The Lord will get us to our destination just like he did Abraham. Like Abraham, we need to remember change is only temporary. The Lord has something better for us on the other side.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 says, “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green and they never stop producing fruit.”

You and I may hate it, but change is inevitable. Abraham’s story reminds a faithful response is best in these moments.

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