Genesis 12:2-3, NIV
“I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
How would you like such a prophecy declared over your life?
Of course you need to remember that you have already left your family home, your job and all the familiar comforts you are used to, and even your native country!
Oh, and your years are advancing, you have no children and your wife is barren. And now you are in a foreign land!
You’ve got to be kidding. How can you fulfil that destiny without a child? Take heart. Abraham did! And it is still being fulfilled.
Abram heard the word of the Lord clearly. He has given up his past in order to walk into his future. He knew not to trust in any visible power but in the voice of an invisible God. It has been said of him, ‘Abram was to leave behind the things that make most people and peoples what they are, and lay the foundations for a land, a Jewish home and a family structure, responsive not to economic forces, biological drives but to the word and will of God.’
Barren, disgraced, Sarah was to give birth to a son in her old age. Now, there was hope that Abram could be the father of many nations, so his name was changed to state just that. But that hope was cut short when God required Abraham to sacrifice his only son. They walked the valley of doubts, troubled by their decision to use a surrogate mother to fulfil God’s promise of a son. A disaster.
Up on top of Mt Moriah, as his hand, clutching the knife, was about to strike Isaac dead, a compelling voice shouted, ‘Stop! You’ve successfully passed the obedience test. I can now use you to establish my expectation to call a unique nation into being and bless everybody on the planet. I can move a step closer to fulfilling my covenant.’
Abraham was a unique man, the first to challenge God on a point of justice. How can you destroy the righteous with the wicked? Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?’ And God finally agreed to save the unrighteous if there were found ten righteous people in Sodom.
When Sarah died, he who had been promised land for his promised nation, still had none but had to buy a plot from a nefarious Hittite landowner. Completely humiliated, this friend of God pleaded, ‘I am an alien and a stranger among you. Sell me some property for a burial site here so I can bury my dead.’(Genesis 23:4)
Abraham never saw any evidence of what he was promised by God, except of course his promised only son. His epitaph reads: ‘He was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God,’ and ‘Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead.’(Hebrews 11:10,19)
How are you progressing with those unexplained issues in your life? Especially those that seem to go against all you believe? Perhaps you are frustrated with plans that aren’t working out as you hoped: you’re shot through with disappointment? Maybe you’ve been wronged? Could it be that life isn’t fair? Is it time to re-look at your life from an eternal perspective, using the heavenly model of values?
Abraham was a man of integrity and faith and made mistakes, some of them we are left struggling with today. Nevertheless, his hopes are being fulfilled even in our lifetime. He modelled a life of faith in the unseen God. How about you?
Prayer: Father, thank you for Abraham who modelled faith amidst the disappointments and failures of life. Thank you that you allow me to fail, but that you intend me to learn from my falls and inspire me to push on ahead with the dreams you have given me. Thank you for our children, inspire me to model the life of faith to them that they might join the adventure of seeing dreams fulfilled. Amen.