In the book of Genesis we can witness that God was searching for a man who had great faith through which He could do magnificent and great things. He found Abram, later changing his name to Abraham or Father of Nations. By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God (Hebrews 11:8-10).
Abraham can easily be seen as a model of faith. At different points in Abraham’s journey, God would reaffirm His promise, “…To your offspring I will give this land” (Genesis 12:7). At first, Abraham was given promises about a future of blessings. But later, His promise continued to unfold in more detail as Abraham journeyed through the land faithfully. Though at times, Abraham seemed doubtful and impatient to the promise: “…Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless…” (Genesis 15:2), God continued to reaffirm the promise.God fulfilled His promise and gave Abraham his son, Isaac. In Genesis 22, we witness God asking Abraham for the ultimate sacrifice in giving up his beloved son who he waited and longed for. But Abraham was willing to sacrifice this promise because he believed in God’s infinite strength and truth.
Before Isaac was born, God had always emphasized the promise to multiply the problems in Abraham’s life in order to test his faith. “…
God tested Abraham… ” (Genesis 22:1).Abraham loved Isaac with all his heart but throughout this journey, Abraham was willing and able to prove to God that he can obey Him and trust in Him, believing wholeheartedly in God’s promise.
Ultimately, Abraham proved that he loved God even more than his beloved son and God spared Isaac. With this final test, Abraham’s journey of faith was complete. The climax of Abraham’s sacrifice is when he was willing to give Isaac to God, and God’s response was the final judgment of Abraham’s journey: “…for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your only son from me…” (Genesis 22:12).This is a significant truth because for the first time Abraham was able to trust God for the upcoming future. This truth connects us to the reading in Hebrews 11.
The future that God called Abraham to depended on his eagerness to have faith in the Lord to fulfill the promise. This shows that God remained faithful to Abraham as well in spite of his shortcomings and doubt. In Hebrews 11:17-19, we can observe that Abraham’s journey of faith and the fulfilling promise that he waited his entire life for was not for him but for his children and their future.Abraham having been given Isaac was only the beginning and not the end of the promise. And when God asked him to give Isaac up and go back to trusting God with nothing left was the greatest accomplishment in faith.
“He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which…he did receive him back” (Hebrew 11:19). It is interesting to point out how the author compares Isaac’s escape from death as a resurrection. Because of faith and obedience in the Lord, God was able to do something miraculous.We witness that God uses these methods to make us more fruitful. How will we be blessed if our faith does not increase daily? It will increase through the struggles that God gives us. This is not to say that we wait patiently for the things we want in life, the way Abraham hoped for a son, but to give up what has been given to us, the way Abraham sacrificed that beloved son.
Our journey to faith leads us to our promised Savior, Jesus, who gives us the greatest challenge to follow His path in the world we live in today.