God called Abraham ten generations after Noah and gave him a promise that his descendants would be like the stars of heaven. Abraham could not help but question God as to how this could possibly happen, as he had never fathered any children of his own flesh. He was already 99 years old, and Sarah was 90. God told him to prepare a sacrifice. When God would pass through the sacrifice, He would establish a covenant with Abraham. That would be a seal that the promise He gave him would come to pass. God changed his name from Abram, meaning “exalted father,” to Abraham, meaning “father of a multitude.” 1.
The Promise Realised through Faith
Romans 4:13 (NLT) tells us that “God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith.”
God’s promise to Abraham and his covenant with him was based on God’s grace that Abraham received by faith.
What can we learn here from the father of faith? We must never doubt the good work God has started in us. Even if our steps may falter, we should keep marching forward, trusting and loving God. (Philippians 1:6)
God called Abraham to leave his native country, his relatives and his father’s family, and to travel to a land He would show him. He took his wife, nephew, all his livestock and his many servants, to a land that was unknown to him. He was able to do so because he had faith in God to lead and guide him and watch over him. So many times, he put faith in action.
The Most Severe Test for Abraham
What is most significant about Abraham? Is it not that he is best known for his depth of faith and also putting his faith in action?
The morning Abraham received God’s devastating command, he obeyed God and set off to go to the land of Moriah to sacrifice his beloved and long-awaited son, Isaac. What a test of faith! He obeyed God without questioning Him. It was evident that God was first place in his life. Abraham’s faith was severely tested. He picked up the knife to kill his son as a sacrifice, but that very moment he heard the angel of the Lord calling him and saying – “Don’t lay a hand on the boy.” Isaac’s life was spared, and a ram offered in his place. (Genesis 22 NLT)
As a servant of Jesus, you are not called to an easy faith. We are required to sacrifice anything that God asks of us. It could be a relationship, a personal goal, a job that is not His best for you. Being a Christian means to lay down everything on the altar of worship, but God gives what is best for us in return.
1 Genesis 17:5 (Recovery Bible) meaning from the commentary below