Wednesday, August 17, 2005

It's All About Him: Hebrews -- Lesson 45

To start at the beginning of this series, click here.

Abraham and Isaac

The Writer is still not done with Abraham:

By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; it was he to whom it was said, Â?In Isaac your descendants shall be called.Â? He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type. (Hebrews 11:17-19, NASB 95)

Abraham is the perfect Father of Faith.

  • He heard and obeyed when the Lord asked him to leave his country and walk the length and breadth of a foreign land.
  • He heard and believed the covenant promises and righteousness was added to his life's ledger.
  • He found favor with Goin spitete of debilitating weakness. He had a fear that his wife's beauty would lead to his death at the hand of a city-king. Twice that we know of, he allowed his wife to be taken into another man's household. His fears show that his faith was not always perfect.
  • He reasoned with the Lord over the destruction of Sodom and the status of Ishmael. His faith made God personal and close.

The incident with his son Isaac shows Abraham's faith perfected. It has driven away fear and brought forth a stalwart confidence in the promises of God's word.

  • Isaac is the link to all the promises God had made and on which Abraham had based his life.
  • For Isaac to die childless nullifies everything that Abraham had lived for.
  • Abraham was going to unhesitatingly slay his son, because this God whom he had followed commanded it.

The Writer of Hebrews tells us that Abraham believed that the Lord would raise his son from the dead. The Genesis account does not say this--the Writer is drawing a conclusion. But what other belief would sustain and drive Abraham to carry out such an act.

Paul and James both refer to Abraham. Paul uses an earlier account wherein Abraham believes God and finds salvation. Paul uses this early story to promote justification by faith. James uses the offering of Isaac wherein Abraham shows the man that hhashs become. He uses this later story to say that Abraham's faith was perfected. Between both tales is the history of God's faithful actions in Abraham's life--teaching him about who God was and teaching him to trust.

I have written at length on this. See Thdynamicscs of Abraham's Faith

Test everything. Cling to what is good.


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