What does it mean to have faith in God? We could simply say that faith is the same as trust. But what does that actually look like in practice? In exploring that question, we are following in the footsteps of Hebrews 11, we are busy making our way through the stories of different people of faith. As we do so, we will discover how faithful God is, and what it means to live in relationship with Him.
So far, we have looked at the story of Abel, and seen how trust treasures and glories in God rather than ourselves. This weekend, we jump forward to the story of Abram (later known as Abraham). Abraham is well known as a man of faith; Romans 4 even describes him as the father of those who believe. But what does that look like?
Genesis 1-11 is the introduction to the story of God and His creation. It sets the scene for our problems: sin leading to death, and a failure to know God. With Genesis 12, we see the start of God’s plan to set things right. Firstly by making Himself known, and secondly by defeating sin and death in the person of the Son.
And God chooses to use Abraham and his family to put this plan into effect. Abraham was nobody special; just another man from a pagan family chasing after false gods. But God reaches out to Abraham, commanding him to leave everything he had and to go to a new land that God would show him. God makes incredible promises to Abraham – enticing, and seemingly impossible.
It has been said that every story is like no other story, like some other stories and like every other story. Our lives are totally unlike Abraham’s. Abraham lived in an era where people had all but forgotten what God is like. We, meanwhile, have thousands of years of God’s revealing His character to His people – and have the ultimate Revelation of God: Jesus. But on another level, Abraham’s story is our story. The same God who dealt with Abraham deals with us. God still calls us to put our trust in Him. And although details might differ, the way we respond to God in faith will in some ways be similar to the way Abraham did.
So, as we explore some of Abraham’s story, let us think about how we might respond to God in our own lives.
Today’s texts: Hebrews 11:8-10, Genesis 12:1-9