Wednesday, January 8

Abraham’s faith…and lack of faith

Scripture: Genesis 20-22, Luke 8

Observation

In Genesis 20, Abraham fearfully lies to Abimelech, telling him that Sarah is his sister, not his wife.  (Evidently, even at 89, Sarah was still very attractive!  Enough that Abraham thought Abimelech might kill him to get her as a wife.  Sarah lived to 127.  For comparison sake, in an 80 year life expectancy, Sarah would have been 56.). 

This is a shocking lack of faith.  This action follows God’s promise to Abraham that Sarah would get pregnant and give him a son.  Abraham is so fearful that he jeopardizes the promise!  He gives away his wife through whom his son and his heir is to be born—the son through whom God will bless the world! 

Of course, God comes through, even in Abraham’s failure.  He speaks to Abimelech, and protects Sarah. 

In Genesis 22, Abraham displays an equally shocking depth of faith.  He obeys an order from God to offer his son—the son of promise and his heir—as a sacrifice.  It’s unthinkable—but he obeys, and God steps in and provides the lamb for sacrifice.  All of it is a remarkable foreshadow of God offering His Son for all of us on that very mountain centuries later.

Abraham is known as “the father of faith.”

Application

The Bible presents its heroes as real people, warts and all.  We see their triumphs and failures.  In these two stories, we see Abraham’s remarkable faith, and a stunning lack of faith that jeopardizes the whole promise.  And yet Abraham is the father of faith.  

This reminds me that God uses imperfect people (the only kind there are) with imperfect faith.  He uses us in spite of our failures and weaknesses.  I’m so grateful for His grace.

Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your patience and grace with me.  Help my faith to grow and get stronger.  And I’m so grateful that when my faith is weak, you don’t abandon or give up on me.  You come through!