Faith in the greatness of God
It was by faith that Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice when God was testing him. Abraham, who had received God’s promises, was ready to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, even though God had told him, “Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted.” Abraham reasoned that if Isaac died, God was able to bring him back to life again. And in a sense, Abraham did receive his son back from the dead. Hebrews 11:17-19 NLT
Abraham’s faith was tested when God asked him to offer Isaac (see Genesis 22:1-10). God promised Abraham that he will have descendants through Isaac. What God is asking Abraham to do is in conflict to what God promised him. How can this be that the child of promise, Isaac, will be offered as a sacrifice? Yet, despite the difficult decision Abraham has to make, he obeyed God. He chose to believe God’s promise that He is able to raise Isaac from the dead. “Abraham reasoned that if Isaac died, God was able to bring him back to life again” (Hebrews 11:19). Though he may not have an idea how resurrection looks like, all that mattered to him is that Yahweh is a powerful God. He expressed his confidence when he told his servants, “Stay here with the donkey” … “The boy and I will travel a little farther. We will worship there, and then we will come right back” (Genesis 22:5). The writer of Hebrews said that “Abraham reasoned.” He made a mental calculation and did not indulge in exercising blind faith. He made a logical decision and he believed that God will raise Abraham from the dead. God had to bring back Isaac to life in order for God’s promise to him of having children as numerous as the stars and the sand to be fulfilled. “‘Then the Lord took Abram outside and said to him, ‘Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!’ And Abram believed the Lord, and the Lord counted him as righteous because of his faith’” (Genesis 15:5-6). Abraham already experienced a miracle when Isaac was born when it was impossible for him and Sarah to conceive a child at their age. So, the promise that he will be the father of all nations through his son, Isaac, will happen because God will keep His word. Abraham trusted in the greatness of God and he “believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). We are sinners saved by grace still plagued by weakness and shortcomings yet, called upon to wholeheartedly trust and obey God. Faith will be tested. And when it comes, there may be doubts, uncertainties, and despair but all God wants from us is to hold on to Him and His promises.