APART FROM THE FAITH displayed by God's Son,
Abraham is the great pattern of obedient faith. There were
deflections in the course of Abraham's faith, but it had many
references and always moved into obedience out of its failures.
Starting, as it did, with the call to come out into a place,
which he was to obtain as an allotment, his faith came to focus
eventually on the promise of a seed, culminating, in the birth
of his son, Isaac. The years during which his faith was
exercised in this regard came to a total of twenty-five, ending
in the birth of Isaac, the LAUGH-causer. The climax of faith,
however, was not reached until Abraham had been probed, when he
was asked to take his only son to the land of Moriah, and there
sacrifice him as an ascent offering. In his faith obedience to
this, Abraham was reckoning that God was able to be rousing his
son from among the dead. Hitherto, his body, which was as good
as dead, had been invigorated by faith, and now Abraham's faith
is equally potent.
Many of those who think upon faith
rarely move away from that aspect which sees it as a faculty
within human capacity. From the Scriptures we ought to get a
much more vivid understanding of it. An illumined insight
realizes that a declaration of God must be the basis of one's
faith. This is the point made in regard to those mentioned in
Hebrews eleven. They are men who received a declaration made to
them by God. They acted on that declaration. To be without a
declaration of God would be fancy rather than faith. Nor could
faith be obedience unless related to God's declaration.
When God's declaration was heard, faith
followed that declaration. It was not that Abraham suddenly
discerned a matter, but rather that Ieue spoke. The lack
of correspondence between his own circumstances and God's
declaration Abraham learned to leave with Ieue. He let the
question of sight or seeing remain with Him Who had made the
declaration. This was the apt affirmation which Abraham made to
answer Isaac's question about the failure to bring a flocking
for the ascent offering. "Alueim is seeing to the flocking."
Abraham's faith had now become fully
intelligent, and this fact was enshrined in the name he gave to
the place. He called it Ieue-jireh, but the versions, by
rendering jireh, as "provide," preclude the point that Abraham
clung tenaciously to his faith, leaving the seeing to
Ieue. Jireh should be rendered as see, and not provide.
Ieue is the One Who during the eons is seeing. All others must
exercise faith, and its accompaniment, expectation.
This is a remarkable insight about
faith, made available to the English reader of the Concordant
Version of Genesis, yet originating in the words of Abraham,
spoken some forty centuries back. Its vitality is such that it
denies that blindness characterizes faith, for it leaves
the seeing entirely in the hands of Ieue, Whose word has created
the faith. So important is faith in regard to the evangel that
we read that it is God's oblation to us, whereby we come to be
His achievement. No one should be boasting in "his" faith but
rather be finding his joy and delight in the fact that all the
glory belongs to the God and Father of our Lord, Christ Jesus.
Faith triumphs in obedience. And
obedience is really the operation in us of the holiness afforded
in God's evangel. Each of these is the response to God's
claiming and delivering us in accord with His own declaration.
Faith relies on God to do everything
necessary for our salvation, and thus it allows Him to glorify
Himself. This was the outstanding glory of the faith of Jesus
Christ. Mature understanding of faith perceives that faith is
related to matters which are outside our will to effect them.
E. H. Clayton
to Martin Lee (GoodNewsGospel.info)
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