Men and Women of Faith: ABRAHAM

Continuing on from our group Bible Study on the subject of Abraham, we were joined by Brian McCoubrey who also considered aspects of the life of 'Friend of God', who features so heavily in that wonderful chapter of faith, Hebrews 11.

It was in this chapter that Brian began, commencing at verse 8. As he considered also some of the other characters of faith, Brian pointed out that other individuals who appeared here do not feature too heavily in other parts of Scripture. What a wonderful reminder that God takes note of faithful actions of His children, no matter how small they may seem to us at the time.

The first thing that Brian considered about Abraham was that he was a saved man. In Matthew 11, Christ Himself speaks of the multitudes of people that will sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of Heaven. Abraham's faith in God was a saving faith, and as we read in Genesis 15, "Abraham believed in the Lord, and He counted it to him for righteousness".

As well as having a saving faith, Abraham also had a faith to follow. God called Abraham out of Ur, a place of idolatry and faithlessness, and asked him to move out for a land that would be shown to him. Even today, God asks us to turn our back on the sinful things of this world, and step out in faith to accomplish the great plan that God has for our lives. That is a challenge to every believer. Are we prepared to step out, in faith, and claim the promises of God? I will shew thee... I will make of thee... I will bless thee... I will bless them... Abraham received promises from God, tokens of grace and guidance that he could grab hold of when the challenges of the journey came upon him.

In dealing with these challenges, Abraham was not always perfect in the way he handled them. His appearance, however, in Hebrews 11, gives us the wonderful thought that failure is not final. What an encouragement, when we find ourselves constantly stumbling and falling in our walk with God, that even the 'Friend of God' had times of great failure in his relationship with His Heavenly Father. When the challenge of famine came upon Abraham his reaction was to find himself among the company of the ungodly, and in Egypt he made the unwise decision that could have brought danger and great shame upon him and his family. Spending too much time in the company of those who don't love the Lord will affect our decisions, our judgement and our wisdom. Abraham's fear of man caused him to falter in his walk with God. Likewise we must understand who it is that we serve, and strive to live a life that pleases God, rather than men. Failure is not final. God is faithful to forgive us our sins, if we just confess them to Him. He will forgive us and restore us.

As the promises of God began to be fulfilled in Abraham's life, God had a test for him to go through. God often tests us in our lives, not to try and bring us down, but to bring us through, stronger, bolder and closer to Him. This is why God tested Abraham when he asked him to take the son which was promised, which Abraham and Sarah waited 25 years to come to pass, and sacrifice him upon the mountains of Moriah. This was the moment we understand Abraham's reaction to his future that was promised. Rather than argue, he obeyed. Rather than delay, he rose up. Rather than question, he believed. Abraham's faith in God was so strong that in Hebrews 11:19 that he believed even that God could raise his son from the dead again. God had never yet demonstrated His power over death yet, in faith, Abraham believed in that power.

Abraham never did have to sacrifice his son, but his faith is a great lesson to us. Does God have a troubled path for you to follow, a path that you do not understand? Trust in God. Believe that He has a great purpose for your life. Believe that even in the deepest darkness, God can take your hand and lead you through to the fulfilment of the promised future.

Abraham believed in the Lord, and He counted it to him for righteousness - Genesis 15:6

Share | Download(Loading)