At this time of year, my Bible reading plan takes me back to the beginning. I have revisited the story of Abraham, or Abram as he was first known. The great thing about starting at the beginning is that God gives you fresh insights, and the story of Abraham is no exception.
In Genesis, chapter 15, God makes an awesome promise to our Father Abraham. He tells him that just like the numerous stars in the sky, so will Abraham’s offspring be. (Keep in mind that at this point, Abraham doesn’t even have a child yet.) Abraham believes God and all is well. But then in the following chapter, we find Abraham and his infertile wife Sarah trying to help God out. Sarah suggests that they try to have a baby through her Egyptian maidservant, Hagar, and Abraham agrees (Genesis 16:2). (Hmm…so much for trusting God.) Then in the next chapter, God even changes Abram’s name (“exalted father”) to Abraham (“father of many”) to prove to him that he will have a son through Sarah, and what does Father Abraham do? He falls facedown and laughs! (see Gen. 17:17). Fast forward to chapter 20 and we now find Abraham lying to protect his life. He tells his old, but still beautiful wife, Sarah, to say that she’s his sister. Long story short, God delivers them both, proving to Abraham yet again who He said He was from the beginning, “I am your shield, your very great reward” (Genesis 15:1). God could meet Abraham’s needs better than Abraham could.
I don’t know about you, but I find it pretty shocking what this great patriarch did despite God’s clear and sure promise to bless him. But Abraham’s story is the story of every believer to this day. No matter how many times God assures us of His promises in Scripture, we believe in our hearts but doubt in our finite minds and even have the nerve to laugh at His Word. Yet God, who is true to His Word, proves us wrong every time.
Abraham eventually learned to truly trust in God. When his faith was put to the test, he passed (see Gen. 22). Like Abraham, our faith in God will get tested too. Will we pass the test?