Jun 05, 2014 Words of Grace – Abraham’s Faith and Obedience
According to Hebrews 11:17, Abraham’s faith was tested when God told him to offer his son Isaac as a burnt offering (a sacrifice). You will want to read the account in Genesis 22. As I read it again today, I could feel the tension in my chest.
Abraham was enabled to obey God because he considered him able to raise Isaac from the dead. This short, simple statement of faith explains Abraham’s obedience.
Abraham did not bother himself with defending God’s reputation because he believed God could raise up what Abraham offered up. Rather than worry about what other people might think of God for giving the command that he did, Abraham obeyed the command and let God take care of himself.
Abraham did not make the apparent dilemma of God his problem. As New Testament scholar F.F. Bruce points out, the dilemma of the Genesis account is reconciling the promise of God to bring about a nation of people through Isaac with the command of God to sacrifice Isaac. Yet, Abraham treated this as God’s problem, not his. Abraham obeyed God because he considered God able to solve the dilemma by raising Isaac from the dead.
Abraham did not fear for his own well-being. He trusted God to take care of him. Abraham had much of himself wrapped up in his son. He loved him! But Abraham considered God able to take care of him by raising Isaac from the dead.
Very often we live less than obedient lives because we think we have to defend God for some of his “radical” commands, or solve apparent contradictions between God’s commands and promises, or simply take care of ourselves.
Abraham shows us how to live a life of obedience to God because we believe God is able.
Prepare for Sunday by reading Genesis 22, Hebrews 11:17-19, and James 2:21-23.