Summary: This lesson will teach us the important blessing in being faithful even when we can not see the blessing in it.
My brothers and my sisters as we study this series on faith, I’m reminded of a bit of wisdom that my friend and golf instructor has given me. He said and I quote “When you make the motion, the motion makes the shot” in other words he is letting me know that when the proper mechanics are applied, the proper shot is accomplished. Likewise, when it comes to our faith, we can change the wording a little and we can say, “When faith is applied, your faith can make the unseen a reality.” As we study this series, we should consider the types of faith presented to us in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews. While we’ve seen faith’s description in the first three verses of the chapter, verse four showed us the Worshiping Faith of Abel. Verses 5&6 showed us the Walking Faith of Enoch and verse 7 showed us the Working Faith of Noah. But today, we will cover the Obedient, Hopeful Faith of Abraham.
While we saw the types of faith that Abel, Enoch and Noah had exhibited and what motivated them to do what was required, we will take a good look at Abraham’s obedient faith and witness what motivated his obedience to the Lord, first leave his homeland and kindred, then secondly to start out into a journey with God’s guidance, to seek a land that will be promised to his decedents. Now it might be true that some might not need motivation, but, for the rest of us, need something or somebody to motivate us to get the job done. But when it comes to the Father, our motivation should be toward pleasing him. So, if pleasing God means for us to be faithful, even when it is inconvenient to us, then pleasing God would mean that you are willing to deny yourselves, regardless of the out come. For Jesus said in Matthew 16:24, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.”
So in order for us to get the full picture of this text we need to venture back again into the Old Testament book of Genesis chapter 12 verses 4 through 8, there we can learn how to be faithful when the blessing is not ours. (Read Genesis 12:4-8)
As we can observe in verses 1 through 3, we can find Abraham or Abram as his name is found in the text, in the midst of a challenge that would lead him to leave his country, kinfolks, and father’ house, in pursuit of a land that God would show him. The challenge was multiple, first, he had to leave his comfort zone. And secondly, he had to go where God would show him. His major challenge was himself, because he did not have an idea of where God was sending him, so the challenge was for him to dependant on God and His Word. Even today we all have our own personal challenges. The challenge to meet strenuous work schedules. The challenge of nurturing our families according to the principals of the Bible. The challenge to please a husband or a wife. The challenge to be accepted by our peers. But whatever your challenge may be, the lesson in this text is to learn to trust God and His way of doing things and to depend on His love to guide us, even when we cannot view the direction that He is taking us.
In the study text we find Abraham following the directive of the LORD, by leaving the land of Haran in which he had been staying for the last five years. It was there in Haran that the LORD spoke to him and said “Get thee out of thy country” Now, Abraham did not leave the land alone, but with him was his nephew Lot, his wife Sarai, all his substance, and servants that he received in Haran. And they all went forth to go into the land of Canaan. Once they came to the land of Canaan they found that the land was occupied. Then something profound happened in verse 7. The LORD again appeared to Abram, and said, “unto thy seed will I give this land”; Now you like me is probably thinking, LORD if you are going to give this land to his descendants, why did you instruct him to leave his father’s house, his country, and kindred, to guide him into this land of promise, just to tell him that you are going to give this land to his seed? Now we might be thinking this but, it never crossed Abrahams’ mind, but what he did would help us to understand how to be faithful when the blessing is not ours.