Precious Jesus

"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan

Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Faith of Abraham

There is one aspect of Abraham's faith in his God that seems to get less attention that it should. When Abraham was instructed by God to offer his son, his only son, as a burnt offering unto God there was no hesitation, no wavering, no questioning, just simple, unabashed obedience. The detailed accounting of this is found in Genesis 22. God said to him, "Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you." [The parallels to Christ abound throughout this story and of special interest for now is the fact that Moriah was later found to be at Jerusalem (2 Chron. 3:1) and is the location of Solomon's Temple.] Abraham made the necessary preparations and left his home with Isaac the next morning. Never did he question how all this was going to work out given the fact of the promise God had made to him that his descendants would inherit the land promised to him. Perhaps he wondered how he could sacrifice his son, Isaac, and still be the father of a multitude with no other heir acceptable to God. How often do we try to figure out how God will answer our prayers, what will be the source of our needs being met, or the resolution of a difficult situation, and so on. We can guess 'til we're blue in the face and never figure it out and yet in the back of our mind---perhaps this should be in the front of our mind---we remember that He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, Eph. 3:20. So it seems was the case with Abraham as he tried to resolve the dilemma he thought he faced. But it was no dilemma to God, as He knew precisely what He was doing. Abraham seemed to have the solution as we see in Heb. 11:17-19 in that God was able to raise Isaac from the dead---another display of unfettered faith on the part of Abraham---but God, in His righteousness, had another plan, He would not allow his faithful servant, Abraham, to sacrifice his only son Isaac. [This is where the parallel to Christ stops, as the Father did sacrifice His Son, His only Son on the cross for the sins of the elect, and this with the full consent of His willing Son (John 10:17 & 18) as foreshadowed by Isaac as he lay totally submissive to his father, Abraham, on the alter made for the sacrifice.] In Genesis 22:6-14 we find the perfect mix of love, obedience, and faith. We see Abraham loving his Father more than his son by his unquestioned and unwavering obedience and knowing that God would still make good on His promise to him; Isaac in similar mode of complete trust and submission toward his father (did not Jesus exhibit perfected trust and submission?); and the Father in His everlasting mercy stopped Abraham in mid-stroke and provided a ram in the place of Isaac---a more perfect picture of the substitutionary atonement provided by the Father through Christ for us is not possible to imagine!

As the urgency grows to be pleasing to the Father in these last days remember the great cloud of witnesses that have lived and walked with God before us. Lift up the hands that hang down and the feeble knees and make your path straight to the Lord Jesus. Watch and pray---we shall see His Face soon enough!

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