Faith and Families on the Move

MEMORY SELECTION: “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.” —Hebrews 11:8

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Hebrews 11:1, 8-16

FAITH is defined by the Apostle Paul in Hebrews 11:1 as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

In applying this definition of faith to the life of Abraham we find that he, in the first place, believed that there was a God; then, he believed what God said; and finally, Abraham believed that God would perform that which he had promised to do.

So when God promised Abraham an inheritance in a far-off country, Abraham did not hesitate to obey, but packed his belongings and with his family started for that distant land. Abraham had many experiences, all of which were designed to fortify his faith in God and his promises.

The most severe of these testing experiences is recorded in Genesis 22. God visited Abraham and told him to take Isaac, his precious child of promise, to the land of Moriah, and there offer Isaac as a burnt offering. Abraham passed this most severe test, for we read in Genesis 22:10, “And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.” The angel of the Lord stayed Abraham’s hand and provided a ram for a burnt offering instead of the lad.

Because of Abraham’s obedience in this supreme test of faith, God made an unconditional covenant with him. This covenant is the foundation and basis for every Christian’s hope for blessings in a future life, and for the world’s also.

The angel of the Lord said to Abraham, “By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand which is upon the seashore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.”—vss. 16-18

The Apostle Paul, in Galatians 3:16, tells us that the seed of Abraham which was to bless all the families of the earth is Christ, and in verses 28,29 of the same chapter we are told that the faithful footstep followers of the Master are counted for the seed also. Therefore the seed of Abraham is Christ and his church.

In Hebrews 11:18,19 the Apostle Paul emphasizes the faith that Abraham had in the promises of God: “Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.” Abraham had such faith that God would keep the promise made to him that he knew God would resurrect Isaac from the dead. God read Abraham’s heart and therefore stayed his hand so that Abraham could receive Isaac back from the dead in a figure.

This wonderful demonstration of faith was a figure of the death and resurrection of Christ. We realize that in the same way it was necessary for Jesus to die and rise from death in order that all the wonderful promises of the kingdom made to the world could be fulfilled. These promises will be fulfilled through the operation of the New Covenant that will have as its Mediator the seed of blessing, the resurrected Christ. The Apostle Paul states that the resurrection of Jesus from the dead is a surety to all men that the blessings of the kingdom are certain. “Because he hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.”—Acts 17:31

Dawn Bible Students Association
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