After the fall of Adam and Eve, we continue to read in Genesis about the depravity of humanity. It was so bad that God cleansed the entire earth with water to effectively "start over" with Noah's family. As time continues to pass by, we begin to see the story of Abram and Sarai to emerge. One might ask, "How could the broken relationship between God and man ever be restored, especially in such a sin-sick world?" Is it possible for humans to live a righteous life in a fallen world? Abram and Sarai reveal that it is possible if we live by faith (Hebrews 11:8-19).
Adam and Eve became unrighteous because they disbelieved God’s word (Genesis 3). In contrast, Abram believed God’s word and was declared to be righteous. Since humanity’s ejection from the Garden of Eden, salvation has always been by faith. What sin changes, faith overcomes. Faith is the “substance” of things hoped for (Hebrews 11:1) because it is impossible to please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6). It is at that time we begin our walk of faith with God.
Abram was 75 years old the first time God called him (Genesis 12-14). God asks Abram to leave his present home, along with his family, and go to an unknown place that He would show him. This is a true leap of faith! Therefore, in faith Abram gathered some of his family and some of his belongings for Canaan. God’s relentless pursuit of humanity becomes more evident in the Abram and Sarai’s narrative. Because Abram did not follow God’s directions perfectly. He took many possession, his nephew Lot, and a possible heir named Eliezer on the trip. He also chooses to lie about his relationship to Sarai. However, this was just the beginning of the story.
Abram worried that he would have no children of his own (Genesis 15-21). He expressed his concerns to God, who promised that an heir would come from Abram’s own body. Abram and Sarai used Hagar to produce a child, Ishmael, but this was not in God’s plan. Instead, Isaac was the child of promise and would come from Sarah’s womb. Their faith was tested, and weakness is seen in both of them, but their names are changed and God gives them another chance. Again, this is not the end of the story of Abraham and Sarah.
Genesis reveals another great act of faith (Genesis 22). Approximately forty years after Abraham’s first encounter with God, God called him to sacrifice his son Isaac. Abraham took Isaac, two servants, and some wood for the journey. Abraham prepared to sacrifice Isaac, but God stops him. God provided a ram in the thicket to sacrifice instead. This time Abraham was rewarded for his unwavering faith.
If we learn anything from Abraham’s story it is that faith overcomes the brokenness in humanity’s relationship to God. Do you have an overcoming faith? I hope so. Because it is the only cure for sin-sickness. And, an active faith is the first step toward salvation.
You are loved!
Dr. Ray Reynolds
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