Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “All the nations will be blessed in you.” So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer. (Galatians 3:6-9)

How Abraham’s faith grew! God said, “Go to Canaan.” Abraham left the area of Ur and went with his extended family to settle in Haran (Genesis 11:31). When Terah died, God said, “Leave your family, go to a place I will show you, and I will take care of you and make you a great nation” (Genesis 12:1-3). The childless Abraham took his wife and his nephew, Lot, and became a nomad in Canaan. Though God said He would make Abraham a nation, Abraham begged his wife to say she was his sister because he feared the local people would kill him to obtain her (12:10-12). When strife arose between Lot’s herdsmen and Abraham’s herdsmen, Abraham told Lot to choose where he preferred to live (Genesis 13:8, 9). When Abraham continued to have no child, he doubted he ever would. He proposed a solution God rejected, and he trusted God’s promise (Genesis 15:1-6). Abraham’s faith grew to the point that he refused to withhold his promised son from God. When God asked him to sacrifice Isaac, he quickly made preparation to comply with God’s instructions (Genesis 22:1-19).

To this day he is known as our example of faith. Though he did many great deeds in obeying God, he is forever the example of trusting God. Though he likely was an idolater when God first called him (Joshua 24:2, 3), to us he is always the man of faith. Yet, how that faith grew from Ur to Isaac’s sacrifice! How small his faith was at Ur when compared to his faith at Moriah!

We are called to duplicate Abraham’s faith. We are nomads in this life headed to an eternal Canaan of permanent peace. To reach there, we need to trust God against what seems to us to be overwhelming odds, just as did Abraham. If we develop that growing, maturing trust in God, we through our faith become descendants of the man of faith.

We must learn a key lesson from Abraham. Abraham trusted the giver rather than the gift. So must we!

“All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them” (Hebrews 11:13-16).

Where is your country? To what country do you belong?

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 13 September 2007

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