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Gen. 25:1-18 - Remembering Abraham - Part 3
We left off last week looking at Abraham being in the “hall of Faith” in the book of Hebrews. The author of Hebrews also praises Abe for another high point: What he promised he believed. “Even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith - for he was like a foreigner living in tents.” (Heb. 11:9).
His life was a life of difficulty, but he didn’t whine, moan and complain like so many today. Even when it came to their issue of infertility.
Paul commented on Abraham’s ability to endure difficult circumstances and to remain obedient through years of waiting in Rom. 4:19-21 - Abraham didn’t focus on his own impotence and say, ‘It’s hopeless. This hundred year old body could never father a child.’ Nor did he survey Sarah’s decades of infertility and give up. He didn’t tip toe around God’s promise asking cautiously skeptical questions. He plunged into the promise and came up strong, ready for God, sure that God would make good on what He said.”
Whether living in a tent in a foreign land or defying the odds of having a child, Abraham believed the promise. He took the Lord at his word.
Do you believe in God? If He says something in His Book, do you look for ways to dodge the issue and rationalize your way around it. Or do you see His commands as a personal opportunity to live by faith?
We could go on and on about the awesomeness of Abraham and his faith, but I think the thing that stands out the most and what we should be very aware of is that this great man, Abraham was far from perfect!!! The Bible never paints its men and women as anything but people with real flaws.
Like all real people, he had weaknesses. And those weaknesses help us learn how to regard our own, and allows us to have the confidence that, regardless of them, if we remain faithful, God will still use us.
Abraham’s story is our story. In our own way, each of us is a nomad. Like this great man of faith, we have been called to go on a great spiritual journey towards a destination God will show us.
Abraham’s eulogy can also be ours if, like him, we choose to be “fully convinced that God is able to do whatever He promises.” Then, like our father in faith, we will be declared righteous on the basis of our trust in Him.
Abraham’s faith stands as a challenge for us today. It’s true that we have received greater and more precious promises than Abraham did.
We have received nothing less than the promised Holy Spirit, poured out upon us and our children, upon all types of people and classes in society, in a way that the O.T. saints and prophets could only dream about (Acts 2:17, 38-39).
Yet we know too what it is to see in part, to know in part, to experience in part. Even the fullness of the Holy Spirit that we have received is simply a down payment on what we will one day receive (Eph. 1:14).
Like Abraham, we too must live by faith and die by faith, receiving in part, not yet receiving in full, what God has promised. We live in a real world of joys and sorrows, of success and failures, of ups and downs. We live in a fallen world, where things and people fail and fall apart. That’s reality - and reality is often painful, especially when those who suffer and die are our loved ones.
But the Christian recognizes a reality beyond this reality, a world beyond this world, a story beyond history. We know, by faith, that the painful reality that we see and experience all around us will one day pass away. It will be replaced by a world in which God will dwell with His people, in which He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and where there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain (Rev. 21:3-4).
Then we shall see Him face to face and this current reality will be gone.
As Augustine puts it: “There we shall rest and see, see and love, love and praise. This is what the end shall be in the end without end.”
In the meantime, we live, like Abraham, by faith - The faith of those who know that the light at the end of the road is not the endless sleep of death, but rather, the welcoming presence of Jesus leading us on to our new home.
The call to saving faith in Jesus Christ is simple. Just call out to Him: Jer. 33:3 - “Call unto me and I shall answer...” Get into His word, get hooked up with a Church and be discipled by someone. If you need help or guidance in this process please feel free to contact me anytime. I can be reached through the information provided here on DrydenWire.
Blessings to you all.