Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.
“Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.”
Abram (later changed to Abraham) lived about four centuries after the Flood, in Ur of the
Chaldees, in the southern part of ancient Babylonia.
Genesis devotes several chapters to Abraham’s life, and St. Paul highly commends his faith in
Hebrews, chapter eleven. “Father of the Faithful” is one of Abraham’s titles in the Bible.
Abraham was the first person to whom God revealed the Gospel – that in and through his seed
all the families of the earth should receive a blessing. The Apostle declares that God preached in
advance the Gospel to Abraham, and thus all who believe that Gospel, of which redemption by
Messiah is vital, are called “the children of Abraham,” and he is spoken of as their father
(Galatians 3: 7-9).
But in still another sense Abraham was the father of the faithful, in that he typified the Heavenly
Father, as Isaac typified our Lord Jesus, and as Isaac’s bride, Rebecca, typified the elect Gospel
While living in Haran, at age seventy-five, Abraham’s faith was first tested, when God
commanded him to leave his native country to wander up and down Palestine as a shepherd,
dwelling in tents without any permanent home, and without attempting to take possession of the
land. The promise was that at some future time God would bring his posterity to this land and
give it to them for a possession.
The promise went further and declared that if obedient, the Lord’s blessing would continue and
that the seed of Abraham would become great and influential and that through it all nations
would receive a blessing. It required great faith to believe all this under the circumstances. And
the test continued, as, year by year, Abraham’s wife grew older, until the time of motherhood
was past. But still Abraham’s faith did not waver.
Still later, after Isaac the son of promise had been born and had grown to manhood, the Lord
gave Abraham a most crucial test, by telling him to offer his son as a sacrifice. The father love,
the hopes of years, and apparently the Divine Word and Oath were all about to be wrecked. Yet
his faith did not falter, for he accounted that God was able to raise his son from the dead and that
surely God would fulfill His every promise to which He had bound Himself, not only by His
Word, but also by His Oath (Hebrews 11: 17-19).
But Abraham was not perfect. On two occasions he was reproved by heathen kings for claiming
that Sarah was his sister and not his wife, although she was his half-sister (Genesis 12 and 20).
Nevertheless, God did not reject Abraham because of those imperfections.
Hebrews 11: 10 states that Abraham “looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder
and maker is God.” A city, in olden times, stood for and represented a government, a rule of
authority. Abraham realized that the earth was full of sin and violence and out of harmony with
God. He longed for that righteous government whose foundations would be deeply laid, and that
it would be an everlasting kingdom.
Abraham was looking for the Kingdom of God’s dear Son – the Millennial Kingdom. His eye of
faith looked down and beheld Messiah and the exaltation of Israel and the blessing of all the
families of the earth during the Millennial day. Our Lord Jesus said, “Abraham rejoiced to see
my day: and he saw it, and was glad” (John 8: 56). The Ancient Worthies, of which Abraham
will be one, will be the earthly agents through which this heavenly city will send forth its
blessings to Israel and to all the families of the earth.
What wonderful faith Abraham possessed! Faith was the very quality which specially
commended him to the Almighty as his particular friend. And it is faith, the channel through
which we may also have the friendship, blessing and fellowship of the Lord, as we read,
“Without faith it is impossible to please him” (Hebrews 11: 6). The more faith we have the more
pleasing we shall be in the Lord’s sight, and the more we may be used by Him as channels of
blessing to others – however imperfect we may be in other respects.
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