On September 20, 2002, Abraham was featured in Time magazine. It says on the cover that Muslims, Christians, and Jews all claim as their father. A new book explores the challenge of turning him into their peacemaker.
His influence is still evident after thousands of years have passed. There is no debate that Abraham truly lived and existed on this earth. History proved his existence and most especially, his life and lineage are written in the Bible.
Father of Faith
Abraham is known as the Father of Faith. His obedience has earned him great honor. The Apostle Paul talks about how Abraham’s descendants are not just limited to those sharing his bloodline when he wrote to the Galatians 3:6-9
Just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”? Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
Blessing to the Next Generations
Another reference to Abraham as a Father of Faith is in Hebrews 11:17-19.
By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.
His obedience not only benefited him but all his descendants as well. This blessing is through faith.
When Terah had lived 70 years, he fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Now, these are the generations of Terah. Terah fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran fathered Lot. Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his kindred, in Ur of the Chaldeans. And Abram and Nahor took wives. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran the father of Milcah and Iscah. Now Sarai was barren; she had no child. Terah took Abram his son and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife, and they went forth together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go into the land of Canaan, but when they came to Haran, they settled there. The days of Terah were 205 years, and Terah died in Haran.
In this passage, it is clear that the biological father of Abraham is Terah. His brothers are Nahor and Haran. The Bible did not mention the name of his mother but his sister was named.
But the Lord afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. So Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife; take her, and go.” And Pharaoh gave men orders concerning him, and they sent him away with his wife and all that he had.
This is the first time Abraham referred to his wife Sarah as his sister. It could be a statement to say to the people in that place so that his life would be spared. But this statement further expounds in Genesis 20:10.
And Abimelech said to Abraham, “What did you see, that you did this thing?” Abraham said, “I did it because I thought, ‘There is no fear of God at all in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.’ Besides, she is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father though not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife. And when God caused me to wander from my father’s house, I said to her, ‘This is the kindness you must do me: at every place to which we come, say of me, “He is my brother.”’”
Sinful by Nature
As we have read and learned, Sarah was Abraham’s half-sister. The fact that Abraham’s marriage to his half-sister is not hidden away but rather left out in the open for all to see suggests that this story dates back to a time before Moses. This would explain why the author does not try to make Abraham look holier than he was by conforming to his later Biblical law, which condemns sexual relations with one’s half-sister, particularly in Leviticus.
The Bible is blunt in terms of telling us the story of what truly took place in the life of these men and women of God. It doesn’t only tell us the good side of their story but even their shortcomings and compromises. Know that they were also human like us who inherited sins from our first parents Adam and Eve. We are all sinful by nature. We have the propensity to commit sins.
What is Faith?
Abraham is the Father of Faith. Now, what is faith?
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith, we understand that the universe was created by the word of God so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
Faith is a commonly used word yet misunderstood so many times. Faith is not positive thinking, that whatever you have meditated on will happen. There is this hashtag called manifestation. By definition, it means to create something or turn something from an idea into a reality. In psychology, manifestation generally means using our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs to bring something to our physical reality.
We are all people of faith, we believe in something or someone. Some have faith in themselves that they can do anything if not everything. Some have faith in something, believing if they have that particular item, then their wish will come true.
Faith in God
The faith of Abraham has assurance and not just wishful thinking. Because true faith has a basis. Faith in God. Imagine, Abraham was already 100 years old and Sarah was 90 years old. Aside from the fact that they were already old to have a baby, Sarah was barren.
Their faith is anchored on God and definitely not on themselves.
Jesus was Amazed at Faith
The New Testament records two instances of Jesus’ amazement. In Mark 6:4-7, it is written that Christ was amazed by the lack of faith in Nazareth.
And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief.
The other instance where Jesus was amazed at someone’s faith is in Luke 7:9-10. The subject of his amazement was a Centurion.
When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” And when those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the servant well.
Importance of Faith
And without faith, it is impossible to please him (God), for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
Our faith in God pleases Him!
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