Heb 11:8, 17-19. Genesis 22 is a powerful story of faith, when Abraham brings Isaac to offer him as a sacrifice. His journey of faith starts in chapter 12 and is not a story of a constantly high pinnacle of faith. He is like us, as David and Peter were. They are human. These are men we can emulate. Abraham’s life was a series of highs and lows, like ours is. He doubted at times, he lied at times. But he also went out at God’s command not knowing where he was going. And he accepted God’s plan to offer Isaac. Chapter 22 really hinges around his statement “here am I.” The first time he says it is when God wants him to go take his son he has waited for for years and offer him as a burnt offering. There are times when things hit us hard - loss of a loved one, loss of a job, health issues. We need to learn to respond in faith as Abraham as does here. Then the second “here am I” when Isaac calls out to him and asks his Dad where is the burnt offering...you have to love Abraham’s answer of total faith - God will provide. He is completely prepared to offer Isaac, knowing he is the child of promise. And when he’s about to lower the knife and kill his son, again he answers “here am I” when the angel calls out to him. God then reaffirms His promise to Abraham now that he knows Abraham is a man of faith. What can we learn? What lessons of faith?
1. Walk with God through the unknown. When we don’t know how things will turn out, we have to have the faith to follow God regardless. Abraham always came back to God and relied upon God even though there were times in his life when he sinned and made poor decisions. He trusted God even when he didn’t know how things were going to work out. Remember the song “He leadeth me.” He is leading me beside still waters.
2. Walk with God though the cost is great. Abraham was told to offer his long waited for son, this son of promise, as a burnt offering, a particularly gruesome task. We can learn the real power of faith when we go forth knowing we will suffer as a result. God asks us to walk by faith, whatever the results.
3. Faith brings blessings. The cost may be great but the reward is greater. Like Paul in Phil 4, we need to learn to be content no matter the circumstances.God is the God of life, not death. Abraham knew God loved him. He knew who God was. As do we. Even though Jesus died on the cross, God raised Him up. When we died in the waters of baptism, God raised us up to walk in newness of life.
God loves us, as He loved Abraham. We can walk with faith as Abraham did, no matter the challenges we face.