Abraham: Faith in God's Plan
Abraham put his faith in God. Completely. Unequivocally. Without question. Without worry. Without reservation. Can we say we have the kind of faith that Abraham had? In Rom. 4:11, Abraham is described as the “father of all those who believe.” He proved his faith throughout the course of his life; there was a pattern in his life of trusting God (Gen. 12:1-9, 13:8-9, 18).
Isaac is born to Abraham and Sarah in Gen. 21:1-7. In the very next chapter in Genesis, the greatest test of Abraham’s faith occurs when God tells him to offer Isaac as a sacrifice. Again, Abraham demonstrates total trust in God. This was a test of devotion to God, and Abraham passes with flying colors.
But what do you think may have been running through Abraham’s mind? “I finally get a son. I love him greatly. What kind of plan is this?” So great was Abraham’s faith that the Hebrews writer says that Abraham believed God would raise Isaac from the dead (Heb. 11:17-19). In this test of faith, Abraham showed he was willing to put God before Isaac. Abraham didn’t allow anyone or anything to get between him and God (Matt. 10:34-38). We must do the same. God expects all of us to put Him first in our lives (Matt. 22:37-38). Abraham also eliminates a potential distraction when he tells the young men to stay back (Gen. 22:5). Abraham didn’t want any outside interference. Nothing got in the way of Abraham’s love for God. Do we allow anyone or anything to get in the way of our relationship with God?
God provided for Abraham, and God will provide for us. In Gen. 22:8, Abraham tells Isaac, “God will provide.” Then in v. 13, Abraham’s words come to pass. God, once again, provides Abraham with what he needs. We don’t read of any worry or anxiety displayed by Abraham; only supreme confidence that God will provide. Worry is a demonstration of unfaithfulness and lack of trust (Matt. 6:25-34). God knows what we need and will provide what we need, if we seek Him first.
In James 2:21-23, we read of four things that were accomplished when Abraham passed this great test of faith:
*He was justified
*His faith was perfected
*He proved himself to be righteous
*He was called the friend of God
We, too, can be friends of God if we obey: “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you” (John 15:14).
-- Steven Matthews