Men of the Bible Series - Abraham (Hebrews 11:8-10) – PART 1
Hebrews 11:8–10, “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”
“Waiting for God is not laziness. Waiting for God is not going to sleep. Waiting for God is not the abandonment of effort. Waiting for God means, first, activity under command; second, readiness for any new command that may come; third, the ability to do nothing until the command is given”. G. Campbell Morgan. Some of the greatest missionaries of history devotedly spread the seed of God's Word and yet had to wait long periods before seeing the fruit of their efforts. William Carey, for example, labored 7 years before the first Hindu convert was brought to Christ in Burma, and Adoniram Judson toiled 7 years before his faithful preaching was rewarded. In western Africa, it was 14 years before one convert was received into the Christian church. In New Zealand, it took 9 years; and in Tahiti, it was 16 years before the first harvest of souls began.
Abraham’s faith is a wonderful example and pattern that we need to follow (Genesis 12:1-4). Faith does not wait until it fully understands how things will work out before it begins to act. Rather, faith obeys and believes that God will fulfill all of His promises. The conversation that Abraham and Sarah had when God told Abraham to leave Ur must have been interesting. I picture it going something like this. “Honey, God has told me we’re going to move.” “Okay, where are we going?” “Uh...I don’t know. God told me He would let me know when we get there.” Why did Abraham leave behind his homeland without knowing his destination? Because of faith. Abraham could have questioned God. “God, if You will tell me first the destination or direction, I’ll go.” Abraham could have delayed his faith. He could have said, “It’s not a good time for me to move right now. I’ll definitely move later, God, as soon as I see how Your plan plays out.” Abraham chose to obey and follow the Lord.
Abraham’s Faith involved the following:
1. It involved listening.
Abraham would need a tender heart toward the things of God to hear what God had to say to him. If one is ignoring God, or has no interest in God, then they will miss what God has for them. We must be sensitive to the voice of God in our life (I Kings 19:12-13).
2. It involved leaving.
God wanted Abraham to leave the heathen land he was in behind and go to a place he had prepared for him. Abraham obeyed God even though he had no track record with God at this time. He had faith in God. Sometimes God gets us out of the environment we are in so he can strengthen us and help grow our faith.
3. It involved learning.
Abraham would learn more about God as he followed him by faith. He would become a friend of God as he sought to live for him. What a testimony to be known as the friend of God and may that be said of us.
4. It involved longing.
God had special promises and plans for Abraham. I do not think Abraham, at this time, understood the fullness of all the plans that God had for him, but he had a desire to diligently seek them. Never lose your desire to serve God and keep your heart warm with the love of God (Jude 21).
In relation to God, faith and obedience are inseparable just as unbelief and disobedience are inseparable (Hebrews 3:18-19; John 3:36). Abraham knew that the earthly promised land was not the end of his journey of faith. Rather, God’s promise pointed beyond everything on earth to the heavenly city that God has prepared for his faithful servants. Abraham serves as an example for all God’s people, reminding us that we are only traveling through this world on our way to God’s city and His home for us in heaven. We are not to look for everlasting security in this present life or be attached to this present world (Hebrews 11:14, 16; 13:14). We must consider ourselves as strangers and foreigners on the earth. This is not our homeland; the end of our journey will be “a better country” (Hebrews 11:16), “the heavenly Jerusalem” (Hebrews 12:22) and the “city that is to come” (Hebrews 13:14).
Sometimes we think that it would be pretty easy to do what God says if we could see in advance exactly how all the details would come together and how our course would run...but that is not what living by faith is. Instead faith trusts God enough to obey even without understanding what all the details are. Someone said, “Faith is starting out before you figure out how it’s going to turn out.” A simple definition of faith would be taking God at His Word.
II Corinthians 5:7, For we walk by faith, not by sight. Too often believer’s fail to walk where God instructs them to go because the way is unfamiliar to them. Spurgeon said, “Faith’s eye sees in the dark.” When a believer walks by faith, the believer says with their faith, “God is in control, His way is best, with Him there are no accidents, I’m taking Him at His Word.” The life of a child of God is to be a life lived by faith in God. The question is, what is our measure or degree of faith? It’s either: No faith (Mark 4:40), little faith (Matthew 6:30), or great faith (Matthew 15:28).
Prayer, Lord, I confess that it’s so natural for me to rely on what I see rather than what You tell me in Your Word. Increase my faith to believe what You say. Increase my courage to obey You without delay. Help me to follow Abraham’s example of living by faith and seeing life through spiritual eyes. Thank You that following You is the path to abundant life. I trust You, Father. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If this post in any way, has blessed you,
please share this website and its articles with others:
Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.