“Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:” (Gen. 12:1)
“Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” (Gal. 3:6)
Yet this same man, twice, told others that his wife was his sister in an attempt to save his own life.
Proved through trials, faith my friends needs to be tested, both by us and in a way that is difficult to describe, to the one who is outside of time. Not to the Lord, not for the furtherance of His knowledge.
“Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” (Heb. 4:13)
But in a way that proves to us that the Almighty can be trusted in every avenue of our lives.
Sometimes He steps in and alters the lives of men, sometimes He allows us to return on our own.
“Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way.” (Gen. 12:19)
“And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her.” (Gen. 20:6)
Abimelech moved with integrity, not knowing that Sarah was Abraham’s wife, yet Abraham doubted the words of the Lord, and if in your mind’s eye you can see him at the door of his tent while he says, “She is my sister,” if you can envision the look in Sarah’s eyes as her husband, the man who says he loves her, watches as she is taken away from his side, while he is more concerned with his own life, then you will think twice the next time you are put to the test.
Not once, but twice this happened.
It is no wonder that the Lord looked at the disciples and said “Where is your faith? (Luke 8:25a)
When He said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me.” (Mark 9:19)
If Abraham received the promises in faith and faltered, do not think that you will stand in every trial that the Lord brings into your life.
“For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.” (Prov. 24:16)
Our faith must be put to the test, and that often, not to prove that the promises are true and he is faithful who has promised to the Most High, but to us, for we have not only a tendency to forget, but can begin to doubt or take for granted those promises.
My friends, we need reminders.
That is a shame, but it is truth, for I fear that many of us start to harbor doubts, even very small ones, in the most minor of circumstances. So, sadly, and again to our shame, the tests must arrive frequently.
The same man who said, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: (Job 13:15a) Said, “I would order my cause before him, and fill my mouth with arguments.” (Job 23:4)
We do not need to question why these tests of faith arrive, we already know, we just will not admit it to ourselves. Because we doubt, and if it truly is your heart’s desire to seek the face of God, to be conformed into the image of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, then expect those tests to intensify. Right up to the point where you yourself may say, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matt. 26:39)
In the mind of every married man who loves his wife with great fervency, what Abraham did was inexcusable, but that same man needs to take heed and hear the only words of Satan that held at least partial truth. “Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.” (Job 2:4)
“And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.” (Gen. 22:2)
Three days and nights with inconsolable thoughts, of a million glances at the son of promise, of a thousand questions of “Why?”
The promises are true, and He is faithful who promised, but you will doubt, I will doubt. And sadly, and again, to our shame, those doubts will remain until we meet our Lord face to face.