January 9, 2012

Be like Abraham

By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice.
He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 
even though God had said to him,
“It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”  (Hebrews 11:17-18)

Consider Abraham, the "Father of Faith." He and his wife waited years to have a child of their own. In their old age, they were promised a child by God Himself. Miracle of miracles, Isaac was born... and now God wants him as a sacrifice. 

Then God said,
“Take your son, your only son, whom you love — Isaac —
and go to the region of Moriah.
Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”
Early the next morning Abraham got up
and... set out for the place God had told him about.  (Genesis 22:2-3)

Early the next morning. As soon as possible, he obeyed.

Did Abraham doubt the logic of all this, like Zechariah?
Did he demand an audience with God to debate the matter, like Job?
Did he deny his encounter with God, like Peter?
Did he demand proof before he can believe, like Thomas?
Did he doubt what he just heard, or forget completely, like the Israelites?

Nope. Abraham gave God all his trust, including the benefit of the doubt: "Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death." (Hebrews 11:19)

Of course this comes with the friendly reminder:

"Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world." (1 John 4:1-3)

And Jesus encourages us with:

"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand." (John 10:27-29)

Got a message from God lately? Test... then like the father of faith, act in faith and obey immediately.

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