Inspired by Abrahamís Faltering Faith

(Taken from a book Iíve written)

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Take heart from the man exalted as Scriptureís prime example of faith (Romans 4; Galatians 3:6-9; Hebrew 11:8-19; James 2:21-23). In an early chapter of Genesis, God tells Abraham on two separate occasions that he will give him the land and descendants (Genesis 12:2,7). Just four verses later we find Abraham humiliating Sarah, denying that she is his wife. In cowardly deceit, he stands dumbly by as Pharaoh marries Sarah and takes her into his harem (Genesis 12:10-16).

Next chapter, God yet again details the promise of land and descendants (Genesis 13:14-17). Nevertheless, two chapters on, we find Abraham expecting to die childless. For a fourth time God insists he will give Abraham descendants. At last the old fossil believes. The Lord, thrilled with Abrahamís refound faith, repeats his vow to give him the land. In disbelief, Abraham asks for a sign (Genesis 15:2-8).

With divine patience God dramatically shows the mighty man of faith not only his future descendants, but what will happen to them.

In the next chapter we find our faith model throwing away any hope of a miracle from God. He resorts to dubious natural means to forcibly accomplish what God seems unwilling to do. He bypasses his wife and turns to her maid for a baby (Genesis 16:1-3).

Years later, the Lord yet again reaffirms his promise to Abraham and declares that Sarah would conceive. Abraham laughs. He is sure his wife has more potential as an Egyptian mummy than as a Hebrew one. ĎSheís too old. Just bless Ishmael,í is the crux of his reply (Genesis 17:17-18). Yet the Lord persists. One more time our hero gropes for that slippery fish called faith. Before long, he is again passing off Sarah as his sister, showing more faith in his powers of deception than in Godís integrity. This time it is King Abimelech who almost has a go at impregnating Sarah (Genesis 20:2-3). Just weeks later, (assuming Genesis 18:10 to 21:2 are in chronological order) she conceived Abrahamís baby.

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