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Hebrews 11 describes a hall of fame for people throughout the Bible that had extraordinary faith in God.
This is the 4th devotional of a series I've entitled "Walking in Faith" that will take a deep dive look into each of the people who earned a place in the hall of fame described in Hebrews 11. We'll look at the lives of each of these people, what earned them a spot in the Hebrews 11 hall of fame, and what that means for us thousands of years later. (Listen to Last Week's Devotional Here) - Walking in Faith Series - Noah - Faith that Saved the World – SimplyHealthyHome (shopsimplyhealthyhome.com)
This week's account is about a man named Abraham whose faith led him to obey God and usher in the line from which Jesus would be born.
Who Was Abraham?
After God has caused men to speak different languages at the tower of Babel in Genesis 11, we see the line of Shem's descendants introduced (Shem was one of Noah's sons), and a man named Abram listed as one of those descendants. Abram, who was later renamed, Abraham was the man that God chose to establish an everlasting covenant with that would open the door for the birth of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
Below are a few additional quick facts about Abraham -
- Abraham had a wife named Sarai, who later was also renamed to be called Sarah.
- God called Abraham to leave his father's land in pursuit of a new land that would be given to Abraham and his descendants.
- Abraham obeyed God and left in pursuit of this land.
- Abraham and Sarah experienced infertility in their marriage. But, God promised Abraham that he would have as many descendants as the dust of the ground, and the stars in the sky.
- At the age of 100 years old, God fulfills His promise to Abraham and at 90 years old, Sarah bears Abraham a son, who they name Isaac.
What Earned Abraham a Spot in the Hebrews 11 Hall of Fame?
Below is the description of Abraham's faith found in Hebrews 11 -
Abraham demonstrated his faith in God when he went out in search of the land God had promised him, and also, when he offered up his son Isaac as a sacrifice to God.
"By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them. By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,” concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.” Hebrews 11:8-19 (NKJV)
What Does This Mean for Us?
Below are a few key takeaways from the story of Abraham's faith that I believe also apply to us -
1. Abraham demonstrated that he honored and feared (respected) God.
- Throughout the description of Abraham's life in Genesis, we are shown that Abraham paused many times to build an altar and call upon the name of the Lord. This demonstrates that Abraham honored and feared God and His sovereignty.
- Genesis 12:8 / Genesis 13:3-4 / Genesis 21:33
- Our faith should stem from a love for God and should produce God honoring works.
2. Abraham's faith in God led him to deal kindly with others.
- The Lord appears to Abraham in Genesis 18 and reveals His plan to destroy Sodom for the outcries against her and the graveness of her sin. Abraham intercedes for Sodom and asks that God save the city if only 10 righteous are found living there.
- Because Abraham had faith in God and that God would do what He says He will do, Abraham took the opportunity to intercede on behalf of the men and women in Sodom. When we have faith in God, we also have the ability to pray and intercede on behalf of others. We have the ability to go before God and pray for the safety and prosperity of those around us.
3. Abraham's faith led him to put God first, in all things, always.
- When God told Abraham to leave his father and home, Abraham left. When God told Abraham to sacrifice his son, Abraham prepared a place and took action to complete God's request. There was nothing and no one more important to Abraham than God.
- Genesis 12 and Genesis 22
- Our faith is also demonstrated in how we prioritize God in our lives. We should ask ourselves - Do we put God first, or last? Is our will and plan more important than His? How do we demonstrate that God is a priority in our lives? Do we spend time with God? Do we do what God says even if it's not what we want to do?