Last week, we began looking at faith. We started with the centurion – how he understood who Jesus was even more than the Jews of that day…probably even more than the disciples. Because of his faith, his servant was healed. Today, I want to look at what we call the “faith chapter.” It lists many of the heroes of the faith…those who stuck it out in faith.
Hebrews 11:8-12 (focus on Abraham)
Abraham is one of the people listed in this chapter because he stands as a figure of faith for us all
Let’s first look at some of the things that Abraham did to show his faith:
Abraham left where he was and went to a new territory, not knowing where God was leading, but willing to leave everything for the promise of God. Abraham was told that he would be the father of many nations, but at a very old age, past Sarah’s childbearing years, had no children. Because of his faith in God’s promises, Abraham was given Isaac. God told Abraham to do the ultimate…He told Abraham to take one of his greatest possessions, his son Isaac, and sacrifice him on the altar. Abraham faithfully agreed and was willing – knowing the promise of God would come through Isaac – EVEN THOUGH HE DIDN’T SEE ALL THE PROMISE!
Abraham did a lot right…faithfully following God and doing as He instructed. What makes Abraham even more of a hero of the faith for me is to see that he was human…he was not sinless
Let’s look at a few of the things he did wrong:
When there was a drought in the land, Abraham had to go into Egypt. He asked Sarah to pretend to be his sister so they wouldn’t kill him since she was so pretty…where was his faith? God had to fix the situation for Abraham because Pharaoh wanted Sarah for his own wife. When he grew old and didn’t have any children, he had a child with Hagar named Ishmael…Sarah thought this was a good idea and he did it…Ishmael caused problems in the lineage and descendents because that wasn’t what God’s plan was.
What can we take away today?
First, God asks us to have faith in His promises, even when we may not see the ultimate outcome. He sent Jesus who provided an atoning sacrifice on our behalf and allows us to live forevermore. If He can take care of us in death, how much more can he do in life
Second, having faith doesn’t mean we always get it right, but it means we always hold fast to the promises and continue to come back to God…not giving up b/c we messed up