Reading: Genesis 22:1-18
"Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears" (1 Sam 3:9)
Abraham is an excellent model for faith and obedience. What is special about him is that his obedience to God was consistent. He obeyed God in small matters as well as big affairs, whether it was easy for him or not. He was God's yes-man always!
God said, "Get out of your country," and he departed from there straightaway (Gen 12:1,4). —Difficult obedience!
After Lot separated from him, God told Abraham, "Look northward, southward, eastward and westward.... Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width." He unhesitantly "moved his tent" (Gen 13:14-18). —Daring obedience!
God commanded Abraham to circumcise all male children. That "very same day" he circumcised Ishmael and all the male members in his house. That "very same day" Abraham was also circumcised (Gen 17:9-14, 23-27). —Delayless obedience!
God said to Abraham to listen to Sarah and send away Ishmael. He rose "early in the morning" and sent away Hagar and Ishmael though it grieved his heart (Gen 21:8-14). —Devoted obedience!
God commanded Abraham to offer his only and beloved son as a sacrifice. If only the angel of the Lord had not stopped Abraham, he would have slain Isaac (Gen 22:1-12). —Delightful obedience!
Because Abraham obeyed God, God blessed him with a new name — "The father of many nations" (Gen 17:5). He entered into a new relationship with God and was called "A friend of God" (Js 2:23). He received a new honour — "The father of all believers" (Rom 4:11).
This is what God expects from his children — a "spirit" or an attitude of obedience. The prince of the power of the air is vehemently at work in and through those who disobey God and defy His Word (Eph 2:1,2). We are warned, "The terrible anger of God comes upon all those who disobey Him" (5:6). As the people of the world go down from disobedience to disobedience... let us, the people of the Kingdom, grow up from obedience to obedience. The Tamil language word for the "first step" of a stair and that for "obey" are the same!
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