Abraham has been described as the ‘friend of God’ and the ‘Father of all who believe’ It is written “Abraham believed God and it was credited to Him for righteousness” (Rom 4; 3 NIV)
There are two essential elements of Abraham’s faith that I would draw your attention to
- Obedience to God was the hallmark of this patriarch’s faith. When God said to him to leave his home, probably the place where he was in his comfort zone, the place that was familiar and where he felt secure, and ‘go to a place I will show you’ He obeyed and went out ‘not knowing wither he went’ Later, having been told that in his seed ‘would all nations of the earth be blest’ God told him to take his only son and offer him as a sacrifice. Was God going to take from Him the very one in whom the promise was to be fulfilled? He obeyed right up to the point of taking the knife when God stopped him.
- Patience is the second element in this man’s faith… he never saw the day except with the eye of faith when all nations would be blessed from his seed, but he died believing. Yet even Abraham was not perfect! When Sarah had given him no son and on account of her age it seemed she never would, he didn’t wait for God but did as his wife had suggested and took her maid servant Hagar to himself. He should have patiently waited for God to fulfil his promise through Sarah which in His own time He did giving her Isaac.
God always keeps His promises and faith should respond in obedience and patience. Men and women of faith often have to wait in sure and certain hope for God to answer their prayers but take heart and remember the words of the prophet Habakkuk, if God has given you a promise or a vision he says “though the vision tarries, wait for it… it will surely come”