Faithful People, Faithful God
Abraham's faith enabled him to obey, but God's character enabled him to have faith.
Published November 21st, 2016
Ἀβραὰμ ὑπήκουσεν (reordered)
being called to go
into a place
ὃν ἤμελλεν λαμβάνειν εἰς κληρονομίαν,
which he was about to receive for an inheritance,
καὶ ἐξῆλθεν μὴ ἐπιστάμενος ποῦ ἔρχεται.
and went out, not knowing where he went.
παρῴκησεν εἰς γῆν τῆς ἐπαγγελίας
he sojourned in the land of the promise
as belonging to another [land]
ἐν σκηναῖς κατοικήσας μετὰ Ἰσαὰκ
dwelling in tents with Isaac
τῶν συγκληρονόμων τῆς ἐπαγγελίας τῆς αὐτῆς•
joint heirs in the same promise,
ἐξεδέχετο γὰρ τὴν τοὺς θεμελίους ἔχουσαν πόλιν
for he was waiting for the "foundation-having" city,
of which the craftsman
καὶ δημιουργὸς ὁ θεός.
and artisan is God.
"Faith was to the patriarch his authority for starting upon his strange journey, an authority that enabled him to defy alike the worldly wisdom that advises and the worldly folly that scoffs." - Charles Spurgeon Defiance of worldly wisdom: 1. He was called to leave the familiarity of land and nation he knew, the love and protection of his family and friends, and the established certainty of his father's house (Genesis 12:1), all for a destination he did not even know. 2. Even when he did get to that destination, he was not immediately made into a great empire, but instead lived in tents like a foreigner and sojourner. The author of Hebrews tells us that Abraham was willing and able to endure these trials through faith. But it is not faith in itself that helped him, as though he had a Joel Osteen "can-do" attitude. One must ask, "Faith in what?" He was called. By whom? Given promises. By whom? The end of verse 10 gives us the answer, God, the one who builds the everlasting city. "If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly on. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city." - Hebrews 11:15-16