“BY FAITH ABRAHAM...”
Abraham is remembered in Hebrews 11 as an outstanding example of faith. In studying “By faith Abraham...”, let us be inspired to follow Abraham’s example, and put our faith to work in obedience to God’s every command.
Went Out, Not Knowing Where He Was Going. “Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you.” (Genesis 12:1). If you had been Abraham, what would have been your reaction to God’s call? What brought Abraham to leave his country and his people? Hebrews 11:8 gives the answer: “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.” Abraham operated by faith!
Sojourned in the Land of Promise. Abraham resided in the land of Canaan, that had been promised to him and his posterity, as if he were a stranger and sojourner. Abraham was satisfied to live in moveable tents, feeling assured that, according to “the promise,” he was the heir of a better inheritance than any that was to be found on this earth. The Hebrew writer spoke concerning Abraham, “By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise” (Hebrews 11:9). Abraham did so because “he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:10). May we have faith to recognize that this world is not our home, we are strangers in a foreign land, just a passing through (1 Pt. 2:11).
Offered Up Isaac. God posed a challenge to Abraham’s faith by calling upon him to offer his only son, Isaac, as a sacrifice (Genesis 22:2). This sacrifice would threaten the fulfillment of God’s promise to bring about an entire nation through the descendants of Isaac. How would you have responded, if you had been Abraham? The writer to the Hebrews records, “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son” (Hebrews 11:17). Here Abraham gave proof of his faith in God (Genesis 22:12).
One cannot sincerely study the faith of Abraham and conclude that he operated by faith only. His faith was the compelling force that moved him to obey God (James 2:21-24). Only precious is our faith when it is “working through love” (Galatians 5:6).