Hebrews 11:17-19 By faith, Abraham, at the time of testing, offered Isaac back to God. Acting in faith, he was as ready to return the promised son, his only son, as he had been to receive him – and this after he had already been told, “Your descendants shall come from Isaac.” Abraham figured that if God wanted to, He could raise the dead. In a sense, that’s what happened when he received Isaac back, alive off the altar.
The very first two words stop me in my tracks. “By faith.” And in the next sentence, “Acting in faith.” I am convicted that I myself rarely “act in faith.” My default is to figure it out for myself – or worry first, pray later. Oh, to mature enough to “act in faith” first.
Abraham didn’t always act in faith first. He lied not once, but twice that Sarai was his sister – not his wife – to save his own skin! He was “afraid” since she was so beautiful, that the king or other men, would kill him in order to take Sarai. He agreed to Sarai’s idea to take matters into their own hands – out of a lack of faith – to have a child through Hagar instead of trusting God to fulfill His promise to give them a child.
Perhaps Abraham grew wiser after those times of a lack of faith – and when it really counted – when God asked him to sacrifice Isaac – Abraham had grown into his ability to act in faith and trust God to provide – even to the point of raising Isaac from the dead if necessary.
Even though Abraham is in the Hall of Fame as a great man of Faith --- Abraham isn’t the hero of the story – God is! God is always faithful – when we are not!
When we repeatedly do not act in faith – HE repeatedly is faithful. Abraham had times of faith, and times of a lack of faith. Don’t we, also? There have been many times in my life that I take matters into my own hands and “help” God out. So many times I have not acted in faith. But, there have been a few times in my life, when I actually did "act in faith". We are all “roller coasters” aren’t we?
But, our Almighty, Faithful, True, God is NOT a roller coaster of faith – He is constantly faithful – unwavering in His promises to us. I am forever grateful for this Faithful merciful God.
Finally, the sentence, “By faith, Abraham, at the time of testing, offered Isaac back to God” caught my eye. What is my “Isaac” that God has given me? What is my “Isaac” that God wants me to offer back to Him? And, do I have faith to do so?