Fabulous faith #04
Abraham; a faith that satisfies
Hebrews 11:8-19. 11/13/05
The story goes that this man was in the desert and had been there for some time. He was hungry but he was especially thirsty. He stumbled upon this old house where no one lived. The house had only part of a roof and the doors were hanging sideways. He walked in and sat down to rest. He saw this old hand pump in one corner of the house. He went over and starting pumping as hard as he could. All he got was squeaking sounds and dust. He walked back over and sat down. He then saw a jaw and a note attached to it. The note read you have to use the water in the jar to prime the pump. He then had a decision to make. Should he drink the water in the jar that possibly had been in there for some time or should he take a chance and do as the note asked. He decided he would do as the note read but only part of the water. He poured in some of the water and began to pump. All he got was the familiar squeaking but one drop of water. He quickly poured in the rest of the water from the jar. He began pumping again and soon there was all the water he could want. He filled the jar back up and added to the note, it really works but you have to give it all away.
That would just about describe the life of Abraham. At one time he had it all but his faith-life called for him to give it all away. As we continue our walk through the faith chapter found in the book of Hebrews, we want to look at the man Abraham. Abraham’s faith is an example of a faith that satisfies.
The first point I call your attention to is, HE BELIEVED GOD WHEN HE DIDN’T KNOW WHERE.
There is more said about the faith of Abraham than any other of the Old Testament characters. He strikes me as the father of faith. In verse 8 we read that God told Abraham to leave his household and go to a place that he would inherent. God said go and Abraham said where God and God said I will tell you when we get there.
Most of the time we travel roads that are familiar. Most of the time you take the same route to work, to school and to see your family. Even when the conditions aren’t so good, we can travel those roads because we are familiar with them. But you know I have found that if I am going to a place that isn’t familiar, the weather and other things make a deference in my decision to go or not.
Imagine waking every day traveling on a ground that you know nothing about and every day has its on troubles. Not only that but you have family that are asking why did we have to leave and where are we going.
I want you to see that in the life of Abraham we see he believed God when he didn’t know where but also HE BELIEVED GOD WHEN HE DIDN’T KNOW HOW.
In verses 11-12, we come to the second stage of Abraham’s life of faith. These verses depict God’s covenant promise to Abraham of a seed, or a son.
In Genesis 12, as a 75-year old man, Abraham receives a word from God. In Genesis 16: 11 years after God’s initial promise, Abraham, apparently impatient, obtains permission from his wife Sarah to lay with his handmaiden Hagar. Hagar bears a son, and his name is called Ishmael, the father of the Arab people.
In Genesis 18, 13 years later; and, 24 years after the initial promise, God reminds Abraham that He is going to give him a son. However, now, Abraham is 99 years old, and his wife is 90 years old. Therefore, he is forced to believe God, concerning a son, when he didn’t know how God would bring it to pass. Abraham did not know how concerning their age.
In verse 12, the phrase "as good as dead" is a medical term referring to the ability to reproduce an offspring. In other words, medically, scientifically and physically speaking, Abraham and Sarah were "as good as dead" when it came to the matter of child-bearing.
Did you see that? God not only promised Abraham a son, but that the offspring of his son would be as "many as the stars of the sky" and "the sand by the sea shore." However, this would be the fulfillment of Genesis 12: 2, where God promised to Abraham, "I will make of thee a great nation." Thus, although it was unnatural, unreasonable, and unbelievable; yet they believed God.
I want you to see that Abraham believed God when he didn’t know where; he believed God when he didn’t know how and HE BELIEVED GOD WHEN HE DIDN’T KNOW WHY. Look at verses 17-19.
In this scene, we find ourselves atop a place called Mount Moriah. It is at this place that we find Abraham going through the greatest trial of his life. It is on this mountain that the faith of Abraham’s faith is going through the ultimate test. It is here that Abraham was called upon to sacrifice his only son to the Lord. This is the son he had been waiting for 24 years.
I can see Abraham now as he lays the wood on the altar and binds his son and lays him on the altar with the wood. He must be thinking in his mind; God this makes no since. You promised me this son and that the world will be blessed by him and now you want him back.
Let me tell you what this teaches me. It teaches me that obedience to God is to be done even if it makes no since. It doesn’t make any difference if we know why God wants us to do something; He does and that is enough. I can tell you this, God is working and obedience is for us to receive a blessing and also be a blessing to others. Do you know Jesus?