“And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness,” Genesis 15:6.
Abraham’s faith was not a passive, motionless faith, it was constantly in motion. Abraham believed in God and he believed God. When God told him to pack his bags and leave the country he knew for an unknown country, Abraham did it. He did not fight with God, He did not drag his feet or slack in any way. He packed up and headed out.
Why do we lack faith in the promises of God? The Bible has the answer. “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:18, 20, 26). Had Abraham believed that God would make him a great nation and, yet, kept sitting in Haran, his inactivity would have exhibited his faith. Oh, how our churches and mission developments lack the faith of Abraham as evidenced by excessive amounts of money drawing interest in bank accounts, churchless communities and missionaries struggling to get needed funds. Large bank accounts do not demonstrate faith, rather the lack of it. Remember the Lord and the talents? (Matt. 25:14-30).
God tells us to go and to grow and yet, too often we sit idly by doing nothing but talking about what we should do, not acting in faith. Sadly, when Christ returns, He will find many church pews empty but their bank accounts full. God wants us to follow Him.To do this, we must put feet to the ground and depend on Him. He will bless our faith in Him and count it as righteous.
By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went (Heb. 11:8).
“And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.” Genesis 22:1-2.
One of the best loved bible stories is that of the offering of Isaac by his father Abraham. It is recorded in Genesis 22. It is a story of profound faith on display for the benefit of all succeeding generations. Truly, there is still much to be said about that monumental event, but comments are here confined to the test of Abraham’s faith in God, and its extrapolation to modern day saints.
Let it be noted that the arena of fellowship with God prepared the patriarch for it, and he was not totally blindsided by the divine command. In fact, that preparation underscores the nature and the value of daily awareness of, and personal implementation of, the Holy Word, which is the essence of faith: belief in the promises of God.
God had promised the lineage of Abraham’s seed would run through Isaac. Thus, Abraham did not just acquiesce to that, but believed it with all his heart. If Isaac were offered up to God, then God had already obligated Himself to raise him from the dead, restore him to his father, and give him children. Had the patriarch been lackadaisical in his relationship with God, and his awareness of His Word, he could not have been enabled to pass this profound test.
It is sad that in these last days when God’s people have access to the completed Word of God, a great many know less of it than Abraham did, who never owned a copy. Is it any wonder then that when adversity or some hard thing comes that so many are stopped in their tracks?
Every true Christian has an Isaac test. It is not like that of Abraham, but it is a test of faith just the same. Those who are familiar with the Word and in daily communication with the Lord pass their Isaac test as did the ancient patriarch. Those who do not read the Bible and even though profess to be born-again church members, but miss church meetings more than they attend, find themselves perplexed, amazed, and unable to cope with those tests that come…. and …..they will come! Please know that there is great reward and tremendous joy to those who pass their Isaac test, just as there was to our father, Abraham.
Happy indeed are those who welcome their Isaac test, because they know God’s promises, and are unshakable in “thus saith the Lord.” Can you identify at least one Isaac test in your life that you passed because you were without options, and you had to depended on God and the promises of His Word?
“Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations” (Deuteronomy 7:9).
God will always keep His word. He is “the faithful God.” He is immutable (unchangeable). Because He is the perfect God, He cannot change, nor can He ever lie. The writer of Hebrews reminds us that this truth should result in hope, like “an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast” (Hebrews 6:19). The faithful promises of God keep us secure, like an anchor, during the storms of life.
You can count on the promises of God. They are true and will be fulfilled, just as He has said. As Moses wrote, God will keep His commandments, even to a thousand generations. Most people believe that one generation is 20 years. If that is so, God’s promises are good for at least 20,000 years! Now that is a guarantee worth believing!
God is faithful for a lifetime and throughout eternity. Upon what promises of God are you building your life? Upon what word from our faithful God are you depending?
At times you may not be faithful, but you can depend on the faithful God!