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Thought for the Day – 084 Why is Abraham so faithful?

June 25, 2017 | Permalink

Faith, we often believe, is a matter of our reckoning.  And that's true to the extent that if we don't have faith, (in the sense that we don't actively live it out), then that is our issue, and no one else's.  Based on that premise we might, then, think of certain people who have faith, such as Abram, as really special people.  Further, we might think that we "could never be like that".  But, is that really the case?  Do certain individuals live out faith more than others and, if so, doesn't that say something about how God made individuals?

In part, I think that certain individuals, as we experience their lives, do, in fact, seem to "have" more faith.  Jesus even proclaimed that he had not found such great faith in a Roman soldier (Luke 7:9), more faith than any other in Israel.  However, all these type of questions have an underlying premise... that we some how are the originators of our faith.  And given such premise, some are better than others.  Two issues spring from such thinking.  First, that God made some better than others; some were made with more capability for faith.  Second, it relegates God from the equation.  If it's solely up to the individual whether they have faith or not, then God becomes some distant irrelevance; it's up to us to have faith.  Clearly, God, however, is not distant, nor irrelevant, and, I don't believe that God made some with more capacity for faith than others.

Let's look again at the Scriptures, specifically to help understand whether Abram was just special, whether he was the one who initiated his faith.  What we are looking for is something that might tell us if God Himself set the scene for faith to occur or whether Abram instigated everything himself. Once again we'll look at Genesis.

'When Noah awoke.... he said, "Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be to his brothers."  He also said, "Blessed be the Lord , the God of Shem; and let Canaan be his servant.  May God enlarge Japheth, and let him dwell in the tents of Shem, and let Canaan be his servant."'  from Gen. 9:24-27.

And that, I believe is strong evidence.  A blessing has been bestowed on the line of Shem and that's the line that bears Abram.  And, again, we could go back, as we should, to God's earliest promise to creation.

"I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”
 Gen. 3:15

God's promise sets the scene, the environment, for all.  No one is excluded.  All can be, by faith, recipients of God's first promise; of blessings bestowed.  It's not about our capacity, it's about His initiation.

Why is Abram faithful?  Because he responds to what God has already initiated.  And such faith is possible by all... for God Himself seeks that all have faith.

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