What is Faith?
Faith is defined by online dictionary as:
1.complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
2. strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof.
The Bible defines faith as, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1 KJV).
There are so many accounts in the Bible of great men and women, who exercised their faith and saw great things happen as a result.
Starting with our father Abraham, who followed God without fully understanding who he truly was. He was told to leave his father’s house and his kindred to an unknown land and he did.
“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 shew thee: 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”. (Genesis 12:1,4. KJV).
Abraham who was called Abram at the time obeyed God.
The journey was not easy for him at all, but he remained faithful to God, and was rewarded with God’s promises.
His wife Sarah conceived in her old age and gave birth to the child of promise, Isaac when Abraham was a hundred years old.
“And the Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did unto Sarah as he had spoken. For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him. (Genesis 21;1-2,5.KJV).
Abraham believed God so much that when he was told by God to sacrifice Isaac this same child of promise, he agreed to do so.
I once had a course mate who is an unbeliever and she referred to Abraham as “schizophrenic Abraham”.
Not many people who are not Christians belief the Bible, but that is not surprising because they don’t know any better. We don’t argue with such, rather we try to lead them to the truth if they are willing to listen. Even some Christians don’t believe the whole Bible, some try to choose the part they feel comfortable with, but it shouldn’t be so, because the Bible is the inspired Word of God.
Back to our topic, faith, Abraham believed God, almost sacrificed his son Isaac and God called him and said, in Genesis 22,
“And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of”. (Genesis 22:2 KJV).
I wonder if there is any one in this our day and age that will willingly agree to sacrifice his son.
Abraham waited twenty five years from the time of promise to the actual birth of Isaac, and God told him to sacrifice him as a burnt offering. Who would believe that it was actually God speaking at the time. God in his infinite mercy did not allow Abraham to carry out such. It was a test of his faith and Abraham passed the test. We were not told if Abraham argued with God or tried to reason with him. What we were told was that Abraham rose up early in the morning and took his son Isaac and two of his young men and embarked on a journey to sacrifice Isaac his son.
I’m almost convinced that he didn’t tell Sarah his wife what he was going to do. He might have told her later but not before.
Remember Sarah who tried to help God bring the promised child when she gave her maid Haggai to sleep with her husband Abraham, which led to the birth of Ishmael which has caused so much havoc in the world today. She felt she was too old to conceive and since God had promised them a son, she felt it could happen through her maid.
Could you imagine that after Sarah eventually conceived and gave birth to Isaac in her old age, that Abraham would wake up one morning and say to her that God told him to sacrifice their only son as a burnt offering to Him, and Sarah would say, Yes! by all means, go ahead.
I personally think she would have taken Isaac to hide him or run away with him, or she might say, sacrifice me instead. She would say you are mad, you didn’t hear from God. God cannot give us a child after so many years of barrenness and then turn around and have him killed.
From all indications, Abraham did not even tell the young men that were with him.
“And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you”.(Genesis 22:5 KJV).
When you seriously want to obey God, you don’t reveal any information to people who will talk you out of it. As long as you are convinced that you heard from God and you are determined to obey him by his grace, you will do what he says, unless he stops you on the way and provides you with an alternative as he did with Abraham.
“And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.” (Genesis 22:10-12 KJV).
The Bible says in Romans 4:3, “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” (Romans 4:3 KJV).
From human point of view, I can say that this obedience was not easy for Abraham at all. Even if he had ten sons, each one would be unique, to ask him to sacrifice one would not be that easy.
From the question Isaac asked his father it would seem he understood a lot about sacrifices.
“And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” (Genesis 22: 7 KJV).
Again Abraham’s answer to his son portrayed great faith. He told Isaac that God will provide and God did indeed provide. And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. (Genesis 22 :13).
Our God is an awesome God. All He wants from us is obedience and total surrender to His Divine Will. He said He will never leave us not forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5).
Prayer: Heavenly father, thank you for your love and mercy towards us. We praise you, we worship you. We surrender our lives and our all unto you. Help us oh Lord to be obedient to your Word, increase our faith in you in Jesus mighty name. Amen.