Real Faith- Day 1

Devotions for Thursday, August 4, 2011

Over the next couple of weeks we are going to look at some passages of scripture that explore some biblical examples of authentic faith. We will see people who trusted in God and be inspired by what He did through them and around them.

God wants to grow your faith…so let’s get going!

Genesis 22:1-14

1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.

4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.5 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.

7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? 8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.

9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. 11 And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.

13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah–jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.

Pastor Ben’s Commentary:
This is an incredibly moving story when read deliberately, and thought about seriously.
Here is some background information you need to know:
Who was Abraham? Abraham was a man who God had called to be the father of the nation of Israel. God chose Abraham to go to a land that God would show him. So Abraham believed God, and left where he was to settle in Canaan- the land that God had showed him. Abraham had been promised to be the father of this great nation whose number of people would be like the stars in the sky. But it took Abraham a long time to have a son. Finally, after a lot of trouble, time and heartache, God finally gave Abraham the son he had been promised- Isaac. Now that Isaac was here, God comes to Abraham again and asks Abraham to sacrifice Isaac for him.

Essentially the question is this- Abraham, do you love my blessings more than you love me? Are you willing to obey me no matter what the cost?

Abraham showed extraordinary faith in his actions. This faith was expressed verbally in verse 8 when he said, “My son, God will provide himself a lamb.” Abraham believed that He should obey God, no matter the cost, but most of all He believed that God knew what He was doing.

God ended up stopping Abraham from killing His son. He provided a lamb to be sacrificed in place of Isaac.

1. Faith in God means obeying Him.
You can’t say you have faith or trust in God, and not do what He says to do. God has called you and I to obedience, and if we trust Him then we will obey Him, no matter the cost.
2. God can be trusted.
God knows what He is doing. He has a plan for you. It may not look like it now, but He does.
3. Whatever you are willing to disobey God for is your idol.
Whether it is the approval of a friend, a particular possession, a buzz, a high, popularity, sex, or yourself (it really can be anything), if it comes before God it’s gnawing away at your ability to trust Him. You need to get rid of it.

Are you willing to sacrifice anything for God?