GERALD COWAN’S PERSONAL PERIODICALS
Number 593 • December 13, 2020
THE FAITH OF ABRAHAM – Part Two of Two
INITIAL QUESTION: Did Abraham believe everything God said to him and do everything God told him to do? If Abraham actually disbelieved or disobeyed any part of God’s commands and promises it could seem to disqualify him to be the example of faith and obedience that he is portrayed as in scripture. Six examples of possible disbelief or disobedience were suggested. We have shown that the first four of them do not disprove the faithfulness of Abraham. We will continue the discussion of that list of six objections and show that nothing invalidates or disproves the claims made for Abraham – at the end he is perfectly vindicated and proved in God’s estimation.
(4) continued. When Hagar saw that she was pregnant the spiteful girl reproached Sarah (Genesis 16:1-6). Sarah of course blamed the whole fiasco on Abraham, but he told her to do whatever she wanted with her servant girl – Sarah made her life miserable, until Hagar ran away. A meeting with the angel of the Lord convinced her to return to her place in the household and name the son who would be born Ishmael, which means God heard or hears me. One might wonder how Sarah and Abraham felt – guilty and ashamed? – whenever they heard or spoke that name knowing that “God hears the boy and his mother, and not us in this matter.” For thirteen years Ishmael was the only blood son of Abraham.
“So this is what the Lord, the one who delivered Abraham, says to the family of Jacob: ‘Jacob will no longer be ashamed; their faces will no longer show their embarrassment.'”
“The Lord redeemed Abraham from his idolatrous past and called him to covenant service and promise” (C.M. Woods, Isaiah, 127).
Abraham’s redemption is a guarantee for those who are his spiritual children. He will do for them, and us, what he did for the great patriarch.
#votd #Isaiah #Abraham #redemption
Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.
Here are the topics you will find:
- Noah: Obedient Faith in a Wicked World! (Mike Bonner)
- Abraham: He Who Staggered Not in Unbelief (Cody Westbrook)
- Barnabas: He Who Met the Need (Don Walker)
- John the Baptizer: The Most Humble Disciple (Carl McCann)
- Peter: From a Pebble To a Rock (Clay Bond)
- Joshua: The Courageous Leader (Bill Burk)
Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.
You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions.
Copyright © 2017 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.
Are you the kind of person who has the faith that Abraham had? Are you the kind of saint that is deferential as Abraham was? When Lot and Abraham gathered much in material possessions, it was Abraham who deferred to his younger nephew for a decision to be made (Genesis 13:8-9). In truth, it should have been Lot who deferred, but Abraham was more interested in unity with his family member than he was with regard to protocol. In God’s spiritual family, let us take a lesson from this. Are we (am I) more interested in my way than I am in taking the “lower” position for my brother’s sake? Paul addressed this in Philippians (Phil. 2:3-8). I do believe we know what the lesson is we should make. RT
Why do people listen to what God says at first, but not last? “Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?” (James 2:21-22 NKJV). God told Abraham, “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice” (Genesis 22:18 NKJV). That “seed” was NOT the Jews, but Jesus Christ. “Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, ‘And to seeds,’ as of many, but as of one, ‘And to your Seed,’ who is Christ” (Galatians 3:16 NKJV). Everyone who teaches the Jews were Abraham’s promised “seed” are denying God’s inspired Word in the New Testament!
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.
The biggest put you on the edge of your seat movies have them. The most drama filled novels are replete with them. And those situations can actually pale in comparison to what happens in real life! What is it? It’s the twist that changes how everything up to a certain point gets viewed. And such a twist gets revealed in Galatians 4.
While talking to the church(es) in the Galatia region about the damage that had been inflicted by false Jewish teachers upon the believer’s faith in Jesus’ work, Paul drops a twist in the plot line of the age-old story concerning God’s promise to Abraham in more ways than one.
The Jewish people prided themselves upon their physical heritage in Abraham (rightly so, but wrongly done), and they used that heritage to “lay claim” to the path that leads to salvation; a path that wrongly included various adherences to the Law of Moses after the Law of Christ had been given by God.
So to make his point clear when it came to the difference between the Law of Moses and the Law of Christ, Paul uses two different mountains, two different women and two different children to show how the people who prided themselves on being the sons of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were in reality more like the sons of Abraham, Ishmael and Nebajoth because of their attitude toward the faith delivered by God through Jesus. Paul says those who boast of Abraham and Sarah outside of Christ find themselves sitting in bondage at the foot of Sinai instead of enjoying the freedom that flows from Mount Jerusalem. At the end of the of day their circumcision had actually cut them out of the promise to Abraham through Isaac. Paul says that the false teachers were children of Abraham alright – but they were the wrong child.
What a twist in the story!
“Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise, which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar—for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children—but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written: “Rejoice, O barren, you who do not bear! Break forth and shout, you who are not in labor! For the desolate has many more children than she who has a husband.” Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise.” (Galatians 4:21-28)
It is not unusual for a family member to do battle with another family member over the silliest of things. It could be a fuss over politics, over who is better in baseball (the Cubs or Cardinals), or even over who bought the last dinner. As quickly as one might fuss over such things, one will be just as quick to defend the other when someone outside the family is fussing with kin. Sometimes, it does not matter if the family member is in the wrong. There is this “implanted” notion that one needs to defend kin.
Abraham (Abram) was a great man; he was (and is) considered to be the father of those who are faithful to the Lord. As well-known as he is in this regard, it is not as well-known that he had a deferential spirit. Rather than do battle with his nephew (kin), he deferred to him concerning a place of residence. When he was in position to take preeminence, he gave it up for the benefit of family.
However, when his family was threatened, he gathered his forces and went out to relieve them of the pressure applied against them as they were taken into captivity. When Abram returned from “doing battle for his brother,” he conducted himself in such a way that the King of Salem (Jerusalem) recognized him for being the great man he was (Genesis 14:17-20). To the king of a wicked city, however, Abram would take nothing that did not belong to him; he returned all to where it belonged. Abram did right by his kin, but he wanted nothing to do more than was necessary with a wicked king and its people.
There is a lesson in this for us. We need to do right by our brother (and all people) all the time, but we never want to have anything to do with evil than is absolutely necessary. We live in a society that slaughters innocent children and promotes sexual immorality; our association with such evil may not always be avoided, but we need to do what we can for that which is right. The Lord will judge our country for such evil deeds, even those who support of those deeds. If we are not careful evil influences can influence adversely godliness. RT
Found floating on the Internet.
Concerning God’s call of Abraham (Hebrews 11:8; Genesis 12:1-2): “There was an immediate response. The participle ‘called’ is in the present tense, suggesting that no sooner was the call given than it was obeyed. ‘He obeyed the call while…it was still sounding in his ears.’”
Neil Lightfoot, Jesus Christ Today: A Commentary on the Book of Hebrews, page 209.
Just one? 🙂 One of the first thoughts that came to my mind was concerning Abraham, who was commanded to offer up his only son, Isaac. Though the specific word “obey” is not found, the concept permeates the account, found in Genesis 22. When Isaac questioned Abraham about the offering, Abraham replied “God will provide…”(Gen. 22:8). Hebrews 11:17-19 further reveals the thoughts of Abraham: he had faith that God was able to raise Isaac from the dead. Abraham obeyed, knowing that he could place complete trust in God to work out what seemed to be a most difficult situation. Are we willing to obey Him in all things, with complete trust in Him to provide, in spite of our limited view?