I believe that the written Word of God is an inspired and authoritative book.

I believe that it was masterfully crafted by various writers to unveil to later readers the truths that are important for life.

But that doesn’t mean there is no confusion to be found there either.

Hebrews 11 records the Chapter of Faith, basically a giant list of the heroes of old that believed and endured when their circumstances may have painted a rather bleak outcome.

People like Gideon, who led an army of a few hundred against untold thousands and won, believed that God could hand him the victory against unfathomable odds.

Other men, like Moses leading the nation of Israel out of Egypt, and Noah building an ark for the salvation of his family before rain ever fell on the Earth, are recorded and revered as men of faith.

But Abraham? Why is he listed here among the heroes of faith?

When I read his story, found within the pages of Genesis, I don’t see a man of faith.

I see a man of doubt.

Photo: Brendan Powell Smith
Photo: Brendan Powell Smith

Numerous times throughout the narrative something along the lines of this happens.

And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.” Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be. (Genesis 15:4-5 NKJV)”

Over and over this occurs in Abraham’s story.

Not once or twice does God have to remind him of His covenant, but six times, according to my count, before Abraham is given the son of promise.

 Why does God keep having to remind Abraham that this is going to happen?

Why does Abraham not seem to get it that God is going to bless him, make him a great nation and all that?

Why doesn’t Abraham display this great faith that will later land him in the Chapter of Faith?

Because all that I see, all that the text leads me to believe is that Abraham is a champion of doubt, not of faith.

 But this is where my confusion, my not understanding gave way to truth.

It was after I realized that Abraham sucked at being faithful that I was struck by this notion.

It doesn’t matter if you are a champion doubter, God doesn’t quit on you.

Photo: Paula
Photo: Paula

So what if God had to tell Abraham that he would be the father of many nations so many times?

So what if Abraham didn’t believe from one year to the next?

What was consistent, what was never failing in all those years of Abraham’s life was God.

No matter what Abraham’s faith condition was like, God was there.

When Abraham thought that God wasn’t going to bring about a child through his wife, Sarah, God was right there to remind Abraham of what was true.

When Abraham needed more convincing, more confirmation that these future events would one day become reality, God repeated Himself and repeated Himself.

Over and over again.

It made me stop and look at my life, and my faith.

How many times have I been told, been prophesied over, been given visions or dreams and I still didn’t believe?

How many times have I forgot or rejected the things that God has said, just like Abraham?

How many times have I had the same thing spoken to me, over and over again?

The truth is I have been told and reminded more than I would like to admit.

It has happened often.

But rather than beat myself up, the Spirit revealed this to me as well.

God didn’t get upset at Abraham for his disbelief.

God never called down from heaven and condemned him for not having faith.

God knows that we are weak creatures. God knows that we are prone to disbelief and doubt.

That is why He reminds us, sometimes over and over again.

But God doesn’t want us to remain in our doubt, as much as He doesn’t condemn us for it.

That is another reason that God kept calling Abraham to faith.

He kept calling him to believe that one day the miraculous would happen, that one day there would be children born of Abraham’s line that outnumbered the stars.

It doesn’t take much to see how that is encouraging, especially if you have ever had a doubt about something God has said to you.

God does not condemn you for disbelief. Rather God expresses His love for us and says, “Try again. Believe again.

Though I condemn Abraham for his doubt, and mock him by being a champion of the unfaithful, I know this.

I am just as worthy of that title. I have doubted just as much.

But whether it was Abraham, or it is me, or it is you that is found in a place where faith is required know this.

It doesn’t matter if you are a champion doubter, God doesn’t quit on you. So don’t quit on Him.

God doesn’t get upset at our disbelief, but He continually prompts us to keep trying and reminds us of His blessings and promises.

Shalom.

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One thought on “Abraham’s Screw Up and What It Taught Me

  1. Powerful. Especially that bit about the prophetic words. I’m only now walking into what was spoken over me in 1997. His patience knows no bounds.

    Like

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