Hello my dear friends, sometimes ago I have wrote a series of “Woman of faith” Few days ago my husband said that seems incomplete if I don’t write about “The Man of faith” So this post and the following posts will talk about some bible figures who known as “Man of faith” Anyway, all of you have to know that this post isn’t a bible commentary, bible study or something. It is just my thought based on what I have learned. So, if you find some wrong perception or misinterpretation, I am so honor you give me critics or suggestion.
When we talk about faith, I strongly believe our mind will directed to one of great bible figure named Abraham. As we all know Abraham called “The father of faith” I knew and learned this great figure when I was teen. At the first time, I was so curious how Abraham could be called as “The Father of faith” If his faith not experienced ups and downs at all throughout his life? After I read and learn seriously about His life, although the Bible explains that there were times Abraham experienced faith struggling like us, at least I found two big things happened along his life so he deserved to be called as “Father of faith” I prefer to call these big things as two big test of Abraham’s faith. Now I would love to take all of us to look at the first test. God said to Abraham:
‘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” (Genesis 12:1-2)
When I read these verses, my mind focused to the word “That I will show you” God didn’t says, “That I showed you before” This means that Abraham totally didn’t know where he will go. There was no certainty and Abraham hasn’t received any further explanation from God. It also means that Abraham had to wait. Dear friends, I imagine one day my father give me an order to go to a place that I never know before and my father don’t tell me any description and direction about that place. Well, I will definitely refuse and I don’t have big courage to go. But what was Abraham do? The author of Hebrews tells us:
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. (Hebrews 11:8)
At that time Abraham certainly didn’t know what will be happen but he remained obey to follow God’s command and set out according to God’s command. Abraham did it because he looked by the eyes of faith. Abraham trusted and believed that God will guide him into the uncharted territory. There was no questioning and no wavering! He still went and dwelt in the foreign land that God promised to him.
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; (Hebrews 11:9)
What a great and profound example of faith! What underlies Abraham‘s faith? What is the vision that he saw through his faith? Let us take a look to the following verse:
For he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
It turned out, Abraham had a vision about the future, something that he hadn’t seen in real but he had a proof through his faith. Others may not see it but Abraham was able to saw it with his eyes of faith.
Now we come to the hardest test of Abraham’s faith (In my opinion). I remembered one of my friends who were really disappointed and angry to God because God called home her one and only daughter. Thing that made him upset and angry was, she had wait for 7 years to have her daughter and the doctor have stated that she will very difficult to have a child again and not recommended for some reasons. She once said to me, “I have been waiting for 7 years to get the answer of my prayer to have a child. God gave but God himself took my daughter back. What is actually God wants from me? It would be better He didn’t give me a child at all if eventually He took my daughter back!” My dear friends, now let’s compare my friend’s story and Abraham’s story.
We all know that God promised Abraham to have a child at the impossible time because they had become grandparents. The story wasn’t ended up there, evidently there was another thing. Turned out, Abraham needs time for 25 years to get the fulfillment of God’s promise. But again Abraham was using his eyes of faith. He truly believed that God will fulfill His promise though seems impossible. Then was born Isaac. Was it the happy ending? Not really. One day, God commanded Abraham: “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…” (Genesis 22:2) What was Abraham reaction? If he complained, disappointed, and angry to God like my friend? Yes maybe! Although not mentioned in the bible, I do believe as a human Abraham could feel sad, disappointed, and even angry to God like my friend. But the fact was, he remain obey and he did what has commanded by God. I found one important thing that shows how great Abraham’s faith at the time. Let’s pay attention to this verse:
And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.” (Genesis 22:5)
I outlined to the word “We will come back to you” Wasn’t Abraham should have come back alone because Isaac will be offered as a burnt offering? This is what I mean how great Abraham’s faith. He knew that God was faithful, God can make miracles. Abraham believed so strongly in God, even though at the time he hadn’t seen what will happen in the next. Seeing or not, Abraham believed and obeyed God wholeheartedly, without protest, without complaining, without a doubt. Was written in Hebrews 11:19:
Concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.
Abraham believed that God had a very good reason for asking him to sacrifice Isaac, and that somehow Isaac would have to be raised from the dead to fulfill the promises God had made concerning him.
My beloved readers, what about us now? How far we put our faith as a substance of our lives, how far can we believe in something that not seen as written in Hebrews 11:1:
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”
How far we are able to obey to do the God’s command though we haven’t seen the results? How far we are willing to do all of God’s will though seem unreasonable? If we say we have faith, whether our faith has been accompanied by deed? Because:
In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. (James 2:17)
This evening I encourage all of us to learn from Abraham’s life as “Father of faith” Abraham chose to obey when God commanded him to go out from his country and when God asked him to handed his one and only son as a burnt offering. Abraham chose to believe when God promised him a child in his very old age. Abraham can did all of that because he put his faith as a substance. Let’s do the same thing like Abraham. By having unwavering faith then we will be able to obey without any doubt, and questions. By having a strong faith we will be able to believe the fulfillment of God’s promises. Maybe this time we are waiting for God’s answer, let us wait it with the strong faith. Maybe right now God commanded us to do something impossible, let us do it faithfully because all things are possible to him who believes. (Mark 9:23) and for with God nothing will be impossible. (Luke 1:37)
Maybe right now we are in the very hard time. We are hit by so many hard troubles and challenges and we are in the uncertain situation. Once again allow me to encourage all of us face it all by strong and unwavering faith. Let’s learn to have great faith, faithful, and obey like Abraham. By faith let us completely believe that God already has beautiful plan for all us.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
And by strong faith let us totally believe that God will never leave us as He said:
For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5)
Let’s keep hold God’s promises with the unwavering faith. By great faith Abraham received all the God’s blessing right in His time.
Blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. (Genesis 22:17) Amen.
Karina – Living by faith
Image source: jamespoitras.com