Abraham Risking It All
By Mark A. Finley
Abraham’s story is in a sense your story and my story. It is the story of a man who was committed to God, but whose faith wavered. He made mistakes; but in each instance he recognized his lack of faith and continued growing through each life experience. Unyielding commitment to do the will of God characterized his life. In his humanness he failed, but he never turned his back on the God he loved and served. In this lesson we will study Abraham’s growing faith in the midst of extremely challenging circumstances.
What vision guided Abraham’s life? Read Hebrews 11:8-10 to discover what kept Abraham faithful to God in the face of life’s challenges.
Abraham looked beyond the challenges he faced to the God who was the divine ruler of the universe and had an eternal city prepared for Abraham and his family. It’s been said, “You can endure almost anything if you know there is the hope of a bright future.” Abraham’s heart was filled with hope.
Although Abraham was deeply disappointed when God’s promise was not fulfilled in the birth of Ishmael, what reassurance did God give Him? Read Genesis 17:18, 19.
What do you discover about Abraham’s character in Genesis 18:1-8? Compare this passage with Hebrews 13:1, 2.
Abraham had a caring heart. He greeted three strangers with utmost courtesy and provided for their physical and emotional needs. This gesture of hospitality is a call for us to offer random acts of kindness to meet the needs of those with whom we come into contact.
As time went on, Abraham and Sarah’s faith continued to be tested. The child of promise had not yet been born, and they were aging. How did God respond to their lack of faith? Read Genesis 18:11-14, 16-19.
What seemed impossible to Abraham and Sarah was not impossible to God. God’s question to Abraham, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (verse 14), echoes through the centuries. It speaks to us of a mighty God fully capable of solving our problems and causing us to triumph in the face of life’s greatest challenges.
How did Abraham reveal his true character in Genesis 18:20-26?
Abraham’s concern to save Sodom is apparent in his discussions with God. Abraham reverently argues with God as if he is appealing to a friend. In 2 Chronicles 20:7 Abraham is called God’s friend forever. There is no higher calling than that of being a friend of God.
What expression did God use at the birth of Isaac that is similar to an expression used to describe Jesus’ birth? Compare Genesis 21:1-3 and Galatians 4:4.
In the significant events of salvation history, God accomplishes His supreme will on a divine timetable. We can be incredibly thankful that the plan of salvation is not in human hands, subject to random changes; it is in the steady hands of God.
What was the greatest test Abraham ever faced, and how does God’s solution apply to each of us personally? Read Genesis 22:1-14 and compare it to John 1:29 and Revelation 5:1-6.
Abraham’s faith was tested by his willingness to offer Isaac. In this supreme act of faith Abraham demonstrated his absolute trust in God. God provided a substitute sacrifice. We too come in faith to God’s altar, trembling, wondering if we stand alone. But through Jesus a sacrifice has been provided, and we praise God for the Lamb sacrificed in our place. Jesus is all we need.