Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Abraham's faith and God's promise of a Savior

While reading Genesis last night I stopped at the story of Abraham, Sarah and Isaac. There is one verse that brings a parents faith to the forefront. "Then He said, 'Take now your son, your only son Isaac, who you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you." Genesis 22:2

There is another verse that brings this one to light for me. As a parent I am thinking how is this possible? How can you give the life of your only child? But see, Abraham didn't just have one child. Isaac was special because of Abraham's and Sarah's age. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16 God was not asking more of Abraham than what He was willing to give.

Did Abraham know everything would be okay? Was he sure? Did he doubt or was his faith so strong he knew God would provide? In Genesis 22:5 I believe we have our answer. "And Abraham said to his young men, 'Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and WE WILL COME BACK TO YOU.'" God provided a ram in the thicket. God provided the sacrifice and Isaac would return with his father. But there is even more.

Isaac could have ran away. Isaac was a strong young man and could have over powered his father. Isaac made a choice and it was a choice of obedience. There was another who made that choice out of obedience and love. It was our Savior. "And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center." John 19:17-18  Jesus did not have to carry His cross. He did not have to die for you and me. He chose to. He gave all willingly.

Remember when Abraham and Sarah knew they would have a son? "And He said, I will certainly return to you according to the time of life, and behold, Sarah you wife shall have a son. (Sarah was listening in the tent door which was behind him.) Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; and Sarah had passed the age of child bearing. Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying ; After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?" Genesis 18:10-12

There would be another woman to come that would also question having a Son. "But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.'" Luke 1:29-33

"By faith Abraham was tested, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of who it was said, 'In Isaac your seed shall be called,' concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense." Hebrews 11:17-19

"Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, 'Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.' And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, not by faith alone." James 2:22-24

See, Abraham had faith, but he put his faith into action. By placing his faith in action it was made perfect. We can't just simply say we believe, we must live it out as Abraham did. He believed God would provide a sacrifice and He did. He knew he would be bringing his son back with him. Just as God knew the plan of His Son, Jesus Christ. He knew His Son would raise again and be with Him. It was the only way for us to see. It was the only way for us to understand the sacrifice of a Father and His Son for the world. As I sit before you I cannot say I what I would have done in Abraham's place or even Isaac. What about Christ? Would I be willing to give my life? God's love is big. God's love knows no limits. He was willing to go all the way for those He loves. His will is perfect. His arms are filled with grace. The grace that covers us all. He had a perfect plan to show us a perfect Savior.

"But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, 'Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, 'The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.'" Luke 24:2-7

Don't you love how God brings His word together? In the Old Testament they looked forward to the Messiah coming.  In the New Testament we look to our Savior who has come and will come again for those who love Him. My friends, seek Him today. Search His word and find yourself within His love.
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