The more I reflect upon the nature of Abraham’s faith the more remarkable it seems to be! God has promised Abraham that his descendants will number as many as the stars of heaven and yet Abraham is willing to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, to the Lord! This willingness on the part of Abraham demonstrates an almost blind belief in the Word of God! It does not seem to matter to Abraham that such an act would seemingly leave him without descendants. Abraham knows that God knows what He is doing and so is willingly obedient to God’s call to sacrifice his only son.
It is somewhat ironic that the sacrifice of Isaac does not go ahead, whereas, about 4000 years later, God Himself will sacrifice His Son Jesus, in order that our sins might be forgiven. The faith of Jesus is this time evident in that He trust His Father’s will so completely that He knows that He will be vindicated in the end. And He is when God raises Him from the dead.
Just as Jesus’ faith and trust in His Father is somewhat responsible for His resurrection, perhaps we can also say that the faith of Abraham contributes to the ‘second life’ given to his son, Isaac. Both initially, when Isaac is born to Sarah who is beyond her child-bearing years, and now a second time is Isaac truly a child of God’s promise and Abraham’s faith. Abraham is thus called the Father of our Faith with good reason. His totally trust in God’s promises is certainly worthy of our imitation.
I am sure that one thing that made it easier for Abraham to trust in the promises of God was the certainty with which he believed in God’s goodness and trustworthiness. Abraham left his country in obedience to God’s call upon his life. You do not do that unless you are certain that what you are doing is right. Abraham did not have the benefit of the Scriptures as we do to convince him that to follow God’s call was the right thing to do. And yet, so Christians are not fully versed in the Scriptures. Theoretically it would seem almost impossible for such a situation to make sense! But practically speaking it is true! Perhaps we need to listen to the voice of St Jerome who once said, “Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.”
How well do I know the Scriptures? Have I read through them at least once? You can read the Scriptures in a year if you read 4 chapters a day. If that is too difficult why not try 2 chapters a day?
Jesus, cause to grow in me a deeper love and desire for your Word. Help me to realize that the Scriptures are the food that will sustain me on my earthly pilgrimage to your Kingdom.