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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

THE FAITH OF ABRAHAM

Hebrews 11:8-10 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: for he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

Heb 11:17-19 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, that in Isaac shall thy seed be called: accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

Born in the Mesopotamian city of Ur of the Chaldees, Abraham (known then as Abram), moved with his wife Sarah (Sarai), his father, Terah, and other members of the family, toward the northwest along the Euphrates River until they came to an area known as Haran. There they settled until the death of Abraham's father, Terah. With his brother, Nahor, and his family remaining at Haran, Abraham received this message from God: Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee: and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran (Gen. 12:1-4). What a agreat example of faith was demonstrated by Abraham, to obediently follow God's direction, and be led into another country not knowing whither he went. It was into the land of Canaan that God directed Abraham, and by obedient faith in God, into the land of Canaan they came (Gen. 12:5).

By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country. Trusting in the will of God, Abraham, and his family came into the promised land of Canaan. Without searching for a permanent dwelling place, they lived in tents, still assured that the land to which they came would, one day, be their inheritance. What a demonstration of faith in God is found in Abraham! By faith Abraham was content to wait for the time that God would choose to give him a permanent dwelling place in the land of Canaan. But Abraham's faith in God was even stronger than seeking a place on earth to dwell. More importantly, Abraham looked for a city, which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God - he looked for the eternal city of heaven. So it is with Christians today. Be assured, God will guide the footsteps of every faithful Christian here on earth. But more importantly, He will lead them in every step they take on their journey into His heavenly abode.

Most of us know the story when God tested Abraham's faith by commanding him to offer his only son as a sacrificial offering (See Gen. 22:1-14). No doubt this was one of the sternest tests ever experienced by any man on earth. Isaac was the only son of Abraham and Sarah; he was the promised son of Abraham; he was to be the heir of all God's promises to Abraham. Yet, God told Abraham to take his life and make him an altar offering. Abraham's faith remained steadfast. He knew that, by faith,God would keep His promises, that through his Seed all families of the earth (would) be blessed. The faith Abraham had in God brought him to the point of taking the life of his only son. Abraham passed the test of faith. God intervened, provided a sacrificial animal, and spared the life of Isaac, the child of promise.

As it was with Abraham, when one recognizes God's calling, they must, without hesitation, be moved by faith to obediently do His will. This is what God expected of Abraham, and He expects the same obedience from you and me. We are all called by His gospel message (2 Thess. 2:14) from a life of sin into a life of obedient faith. It is a heavenly calling (Heb. 3:1), a holy calling (2 Tim. 1:9), and God urges all that obey His calling to walk worthy (Eph. 4:1) in obedient faith. There is nothing that demonstrates our faith in God more than implicit obedience to His commandments. The faith of Abraham is a lesson to all Christians!