Becoming a Blessing to Others through Faith

 

:And said, "I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me." (Genesis 22:16-18)

 

As a result of Abraham・s faith in God, he and his descendents were blessed. He also became a blessing to others, and this blessing spread to all nations on earth. His faith in the Lord attained its zenith when he passed God・s test by unreservedly and willingly offering his only son Isaac as a burnt offering to God. Abraham believed in God. So he responded to the Lord・s request by getting up early in the morning, saddling his donkey, cutting enough wood for a burnt offering, and bringing his only son to a mountain in Moriah. Carrying fire and a knife in his hands, he reached the place that God had told him about. There he built an altar, bound his son and laid him on it, and reached for the knife to slay his son as a burnt offering for God. Abraham・s belief in God incorporated action, and so it conveyed the consequence and model of faith. :Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.; (Romans 4:3) As the author of the Book of Hebrews said, :Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.; (Hebrews 11:19) This verified the state to which he believed in God: after offering his son, God could still bring his son back from death.

 

Abraham・s willingness to offer his only son to God was a concrete demonstration of his love for God. At first, since he had no son, he put his hope on his nephew Lot. Later on, Eliezer of Damascus and then Ismael became his heirs. But God said to him, :Your wife Sarah will bear you a son.; (Genesis 17:19) Because Abraham got his son in his old age, and Sarah conceived and bore her son after losing her period, this progeny was very precious to them. Therefore, by willingly bringing the son he received after a protracted yearning to God・s appointed place and preparing to slay him as a burnt offering, he proved that he loved God more than his son. He was willing to give up his son because of his devotion to God. Abraham・s love for God embodied action. This point seemingly touches on the intent of God the loving Father in offering His son for sinners. Therefore, the blessing that God promised to Abraham also extended to the deepest and widest level. God said, :And through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.; The :offspring; indicated by God here is in the singular, not in the plural. It points particularly to the Son of God who would one day come and save mankind. Because of Abraham・s faith in, and love for the Lord, God・s plan of salvation for mankind is revealed, so that just like him, all nations on earth would be credited as righteous through belief in the Son of God.

 

The relationship between Abraham and God was founded on faith and love, and was displayed through solid action. Dear brothers and sisters, can your relationship with God also be manifested through faith and love that embody action? In the matter of the building of the church, have you been touched and exhorted by the Holy Spirit to willingly make some offering to God through your faith in, and reverence for Him?

 

:And without faith it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.; (Hebrews 11:6)

 

By: Daniel To