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Bible verses about Abraham's Obedience
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Genesis 22:2

Notice how God phrases this: "your only son [the only legitimate son] . . . whom you love." It is not that Abraham does not love Ishmael, but Isaac is the son of promise, the son of his old age, a very special son. God is tender in His phrasing, for what he commands Abraham to do foreshadows Christ's own sacrifice later and so has special meaning to God.

There was absolutely nothing wrong in Abraham loving Isaac deeply, as long as his love did not become worship. We often say we "adore" those whom we love. The first definition of adore is "to worship with divine honors," while the second is "to love deeply," which is perfectly acceptable to do. It is important to understand the distinction.

God tells Abraham, "Go to the land of Moriah," and He promises to tell him exactly which peak he should ascend. "Moriah" refers to an area of land in what is now Jerusalem that contains several mountains or small peaks. Abraham lived in Beersheba, more than 40 miles from Moriah.

God also tells him to sacrifice Isaac "as a burnt offering." We can only imagine the thoughts that must have raced through Abraham's mind! How can the promises be fulfilled if Isaac is dead? Is this not human sacrifice, such as was practiced by the heathen nations? Would this not be murder? How will it look to Sarah, his servants, the Egyptians, and others? Even so, his obedience was absolute.

Mike Ford
Abraham's One God


 

Genesis 22:3

Abraham shows no hesitation in obeying God's order. He does not try to stall, but instead, he "rose early in the morning"! This is mind-boggling! Here was a man who understood his position relative to God. Though Abraham was a great man, he was just a man. He fully appreciated who and what God is: He is GOD!

Abraham then splits the wood for the sacrifice himself, no doubt his mind whirling the whole time. If we were in Abraham's position, what would our state of mind be like?

Mike Ford
Abraham's One God


 

Genesis 22:10

In Abraham, we see the very pinnacle of human obedience, humility, and faith. He exhibits very clearly that God is first in his life; Abraham has no other gods.

Mike Ford
Abraham's One God


 

Genesis 26:5

Abraham passed the test. What did he do? He upheld his end of the covenant: ". . . because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws."

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Covenants, Grace, and Law (Part 27)


 

Galatians 3:18

An inheritance is something that is given by a parent to a child. It is not something that is earned—a man does not inherit his father's estate because of his own character, but because the estate passes from father to son. While it is certainly possible for a father to intervene and exclude a son from inheritance because of the life he is living, as a general rule the inheritance is not earned but is freely given.

Likewise, if the inheritance of this earth and eternal life came simply by obeying the law, the covenant with Abraham would have been very different. God would have told Abraham, "If you are perfect in all of your ways and never sin, then I will give you these things." While the agreement with Abraham was conditional—there was a part that Abraham had to play—it was not because of Abraham's strict obedience to a moral code that Christ came to confirm the promises.

Christ came for precisely the opposite reason: Because of the human heart, human nature, and sin, we cannot have access to God. His sacrifice allows us to be justified before God, not because of works, but because God has decided to justify us. After justification and the receipt of the Holy Spirit, then we are able to follow the intent of God's instructions through a process of sanctification. If we make it through this process of God recreating Himself in us, we will be resurrected and given the promises that were made to Abraham and his spiritual children—not because we were perfect in this life, but because God is faithful to His word.

David C. Grabbe


 

Hebrews 11:8

Paul first draws attention to the fact that, when God called Abram, as he was called then, he obeyed without knowing where he was to go. His reference is to Genesis 12:1-3:

Now the Lord had said to Abram: "Get out of your country, from your family and from your father's house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."

He had to leave his country, which was essentially Babylon; his family, meaning his ethnic kindred, the Semitic people; and his house, his near relatives. Verse 4 implies that he did not dilly-dally around, waiting for further or more specific directions, but that he responded quickly. It is not said how the Lord appeared to him. Perhaps He appeared to him physically, which would explain his quick departure.

Maybe God prepared him beforehand by revealing His existence to Abram, and this brought about social circumstances that added to Abram's urgency. In other words, God provided proof of His existence, which led to Abram receiving a measure of persecution in reaction to what he was learning. This is not unusual for God to do; He often provides incentive by leading a person through experiences in preparation for a more formal calling later.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Christian Fight (Part Six)


 

Hebrews 11:9-10

Abraham left Ur by faith, and it was also by faith that Abraham left Haran. He sojourned in the Promised Land by faith as well. Nowhere does it say how Abraham knew that Canaan was where he was to remain or even that it was indeed the Land of Promise. We will pursue how he knew in a later article.

We are told that despite becoming quite wealthy, and with the exception of a burial place for Sarah and himself, never owning a piece of land, he lived the entire time in tents and that the Canaanites lived in the land with him (Genesis 13:2; 23:1-20). This establishes another general pattern for his faithful children. In every sense of the word, he was a pilgrim. No matter where he lived or what were his economic circumstances, he purchased no land—he never even built a house!

Beyond this, the Bible reveals little social interaction with others outside of his family. Except for a league made with his nearest neighbors, Abraham made no alliances, nor took any part in the politics or the religions of the people of the land. He lived this way for one hundred years. Isaac and Jacob shared the same pattern of life.

God shows us all of this so we might see that virtually Abraham's entire post-calling life was engaged in living by faith, focused on maintaining his relationship with God. He truly was in the world but not of it. He did not cultivate its friendship but used it as necessity required, though in a guarded way, lest he should in some way abuse his privileges with God.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Christian Fight (Part Seven)


 

 




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