Abraham is known as the man of faith, the father of all who believe. Yes, he grew in faith, but something else which characterized his life which we see from the beginning is his obedience. Abraham obeyed God.
I was struck yesterday at just how promptly Abraham obeyed God. A life of faith is a life of obedience. We obey to the extent that we have faith, and we have faith to the extent we obey. They work hand in glove. Romans speaks of “the obedience of faith.”
Yes, Abraham obeyed right through the last great test when he was commanded to sacrifice his son Isaac. He didn’t argue, setting out right away to fulfill what God had commanded him. A three days journey. The knife poised, perhaps moving to kill his son before the angel stopped him. We read in the book of Hebrews that Abraham had reasoned that God could raise up his son from the dead. God had promised, after all, that it was through Isaac that God’s promise to Abraham would be fulfilled, that he would become the father of many nations, that through him and through his offspring all nations would be blessed.
Are we growing in faith? Another way to put that, are we growing in obedience? Out of a growing love of God to be sure. Faith and love are tied together in scripture. But we show love by trusting and obeying. Often not easy, in fact counter to us in our weak, sinful selves. And yet by the Spirit can become second nature to us, just as was true of Abraham. In our walk together in and for the world, in and through Jesus.