Thursday, January 12, 2006

Fearing God and Faith

In Genesis 22 is the scene where Abraham is tested to sacrifice Isaac. (I think this is the same Michelangelo rendition of that hangs in the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg, Russia. In the summer of 1991 when I was there on a summer project, our tour guide said this was a painting of a myth about a crazy old man trying to kill his son. I had the priveledge of telling her it was in fact a true story from the bible.)

The angel of the LORD says to Abraham, "Do not lay a hand on the boy... Now I know that you fear God because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son."

We know in Hebrews 11 that Abraham is commended for his faith demonstrated here. James in his letter to the church relates it as an example of faith and actions working together. So it makes me wonder how does fearing God and faith relate?

The writer of Hebrews tells us that Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead because he knew that God had promised that through Isaac the covenant of blessing the whole world would be established. I personally believe that even though he had never seen or heard of someone being raised from the dead, he believed God was able because in essence God had taken what was dead - he in his old age and Sarah's womb - and made it alive (Heb. 11:12).

Now saying that it still is beyond amazement to me that Abraham fully believed God and His character. I look at my three little boys and can't fathom walking up Mount Moriah taking one of them to sacrifice to God even believing that we would both return (Genesis 22:5).

Abraham feared God and this led him to obey and demonstrate unbelievable faith. May I fear God in such a way to fully believe Him in the impossible knowing that without faith it is impossible to please Him.

1 comment:

Jane said...

Amen, Andy. That is my prayer too.
Give Robin and your boys a hug.