Through Abraham, God promised that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky and through them, all nations would be blessed.
When I think of Abraham, I am typically thinking of a man in perfect reverence towards God who completely obeyed Him in everything and therefore God kept His promise to him. But as we read the account of his life in the book of Genesis, we can see that Abraham was not nearly as perfect as we think he was. Yet, here in Genesis 26, God says He will bless Isaac “because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.” Why is this?
Isaac didn’t fall too far from the same tree. I don’t know the whole picture here, but maybe he heard of some of the follies of his father Abraham and so when living in the land of Gerar and asked about his wife, he said, “she is my sister.” There goes the faith of Isaac, huh? He did the same thing as his father when he was scared for his life. He didn’t trust that God would protect him in those circumstances.
When Abimelech found out that Rebekah was Isaac’s wife, he was scared of what might happen to him and his people if another man slept with her because he knew Isaac was a man God had blessed. A liar? Yes.
In this set of posts I have been doing on Genesis, I’m only pointing out these fails of Abraham, Sarah, and Isaac because we typically have a picture of them with perfect obedience. That’s what we learn in Sabbath School or in Sunday School, right? We always have this picture of the people of God in Scripture as perfect in obedience.
In case you are wondering if I am implying that sinning is just fine, it is the furthest from the truth. Sin causes us to sin more. When we fall deep into sin, it completely separates us from God. You can’t have a relationship with God while living in sin and heaven will not be a place you would want to live if you like to live in sin.
The point I am making here is that this picture of perfect obedience that is painted by others, or by our own selves, describes a false perception of the lives of the people of God and therefore we have a hard time living up to the same standards that are set before us. So when we fail in our faith we have a difficult time getting back on track. This is where the Christian typically starts a downward spiral in their faith. We become aware of our failings and we feel less than adequate to be children of such a wonderful Father. However, Jesus tells us, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” -2 Corinthians 12:9.
We are to use His strength to get back on track and to have power over sin. We do not have the right tools within ourselves to fight sin. We need Jesus to do it for us. This is why Paul wrote, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10. His workmanship, not ours.
As I mentioned in this post, when you become faithful to God, He looks at that example of faithfulness instead of where we have failed in our faith. Isn’t that amazing? We don’t have to look down on ourselves in what we lack. We can look up to Jesus in what He has to offer us. When we fail in our faith, let’s look to Him to help us overcome our failings with accomplishments because Jesus loves to look at our accomplishments rather than our failings. In this we can learn to have the same faith as those that were before us.