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ABRAM AND SARAH WERE MIRACLE PEOPLE—that is, God did a miracle for each of them, giving them the ability to bring forth a child in their old age.
“Accounting that God was able to raise him (Isaac) up, even from the dead; from whence also he (Abraham) received him in a figure” (Heb. 11:19).
Abram, AKA, Abraham, is claimed by Christians, Muslims, and the Jews. He is called “the father of faith”, and rightly so, for he was an obedient man, a man of faith in God’s spoken Word. God even calls him “my friend” (Isaiah 14:8). I believe that the Qur’an speaks of him some 188 times.
Withheld Not His Son
NOT only did Abram leave his home town at the command of God, but later in his life, after the miracle child Isaac came forth, Abraham was even willing to sacrifice that child. That is LOVE for God! (Read Gen. 22:12.) Genesis 22:16-17 says, “Because thou (Abraham) hast done this and have not withheld your son, your only son: that in blessing I will bless thee...” God was pleased with His servant. Friends, would not the Lord be well pleased with each of us if we would just walk by faith and walk in obedience?
Look At His Record
1) “TEST OF SEPARATION”—Genesis 12:4
Abraham passed this test to “GET OUT” of his own country—something most have a hard time with—breaking with the past, our former lifestyles and family. Herein lies the great sin of the modern Church—NO SEPARATION!
2) “TEST OF PROSPERITY”—Genesis 13:7-11
Abraham was not greedy for more personal wealth (as too many church leaders are today) but preferred Lot above himself. There was no strife when it came to earthly wealth. Abraham was generous in yielding, and humble, looking after others first.
3) “TEST OF FRIENDSHIP”—Genesis 14:14
After hearing that Lot and others were taken captive by pagan kings, he risked his own life in order to rescue his friends. He brought Lot and friends back with the help of “318 trained men born in his household”.
4) “TEST OF TRUE LOVE”—Genesis 21:14
Abraham sent away his son Ishmael, who was born by the Egyptian, Hagar, because it would be through Isaac that his “offspring will be reckoned” (Gen. 21:12). It was in love for God’s perfect will that Abraham sent away both Hagar and her son. This was a painful decision, but Abraham loved God’s will more than his own feelings.
5) “TEST OF SACRIFICE”—Genesis 22:2
As already mentioned, Abraham passed the test to offer up his only son of the promise. As one Bible teacher well said, “He (God) wanted the nearest and dearest!” (Read Genesis 22:12.)
Is God Calling You?
ARE you just a dull church member? or have you been tested and tried by the Holy Ghost? Are you still an “old way of life” dweller or a pilgrim on the pathway of faith who seeks the unseen city of God?
The way God took Abraham is no different than the way that He takes us in New Testament times. He still raises up men and women for His good pleasure. Look at II Corinthians 6:16—“I will dwell in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” God’s people! Not some church’s people or some church leader’s people, but GOD’S VERY OWN PEOPLE!!
OH, yes, Abraham had some of these too; don’t we all? But failures can become stepping-stones if we persist in our faith-walk.
Prosperity too often causes failure. Too often Christians fall in love with money/materialism rather than the will of the Lord. And we, like our father Abraham, can fail in our patience—the lack of it. He got ahead of God and brought forth a son whose seed (the Muslims) would become an enemy to God’s people—even to this very day. Ishmael was not the LORD’s chosen. Ishmael was the result of Abraham’s failure to wait upon God.
Let us wait upon the Lord, yet be careful not to lag behind either. Amen.
~General James Green, Sept. 2006~
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