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Gen. xv, 6, " A nd he believed in the Lord."

Gen. xv, 6, " A nd he believed in the Lord."

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jun 26, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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FAITH.BY I . L. MOCATTA.Gen. xv, 6, " A nd he believed in the Lord."I perusing the life of the noble patriarch ABRAHAM, wofind that his implicit trust in God never wavered, from thetime when, as narrated in Gen. xii, he quitted his father'sroof at the command of the Lord, and journeyed with hisbeloved wife through an unknown land, inhabited by idol-aters, until he attained a wondrous climax of faith, as mani-fested in the last sublime act of his old age, the offering upof his much loved and only son at the first expression of God's high Will.ow assuredly no such glorious consummation could haveresulted, had not the youthful Abram, through force of will, triumphed over the adverse circumstances which besethim. Although living and moving in the midst of anidolatrous and benighted people, he nevertheless contrivedto cultivate the habit of observation and train his mind tocontemplation. As he conned the book of ature, whichlay open before him, and became imbued with the spirit of love which breathes throughout its glowing pages, hereadily learnt to ascribe the marvellous and glorious worksof creation to an unknown but wise and gracious Author ;and no sooner did the feeling of an Overruling Providenceripen into a settled conviction, than faith, love, and grati-tude, sprang up spontaneously in his breast, colouring everyafter action of his life. Pure and excellent must have beenthat mind which, of its own free-will, earnestly sought, and,through the thick darkness of general unbelief, arrived at aknowledge of the existence of a Great First Cause. Indeedit is evident Abraham must have attained a high degree of FAITH. 63
moral excellence when under his father's roof, and have somoulded the disposition of his heart as to render its homageacceptable to the Omniscient, since even at the very outsetof his career the most gracious promises were vouchsafedhim from on High. ow this especial manifestation of favour would assuredly only have been accorded to such. superlative merit as every subsequent event of the greatpatriarch's life proves him to have possessed. Mark hisprompt and implicit obedience on receiving the first injunc-tion of the Supreme to go forth into a strange land ; andagain, when shortly after the Lord "appeared unto him"renewing past promises, what a truly devout and thankfulspirit did he display, for he "built an altar unto the Eternaland called on the name of the Lord."Such acts prove how firm from the very first was histrust in a heavenly Father, and how resolute he was to dothat Father's will ; while the severe trials he afterwards soheroically encountered give undeniable evidence that hisfaith must have grown with his growth. Though yearspassed away and Abraham remained childless, he never re-pined nor doubted the fulfilment of God's promises ; forwhen the assurance of a numerous progeny was renewed,we are told " Abraham believed in the Lord, and it wascounted to him for righteousness."* But the test beforewhich all others pale into insignificance was reserved forhis old age, when his faith reached its culminating point.On receiving the command of God, which ran as follows," Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest,and get thee into the land of Moriah, and offer him therefor a burnt offering" f he complied with the heavenly in- junction without a murmur or the faintest show of hesita-tion ; for it is related in the very next verse that " Abrahamrose early in the morning and took Isaac his son, and wentthree days' journey to the place of which God had told him."To part with the cherished one, the promised boon whose* Gen. xv, 6. t Gen. xxii, 2.
64 FAITH.advent he had awaited during long years, would alone haveseverely taxed his fortitude ; but even more than resignationwas demanded of him, for he was called on to sacrifice thatbeloved one with his own hand! Surpassingly severe wasthe test, for how could he reconcile this command with hisreason, his natural affections, and the attributes of the Deity?All events that demonstrate the goodness of God are easyof credence ; not so, however, those pains, trials, and griefs,in which we discern nought but evil ; these indeed requirethe most entire resignation and perfect faith, virtues emi-nently displayed by the God-fearing Abraham, who couldattribute nothing but wise and beneficent designs to theOmnipotent, and, whatever the probation, it was enoughthat the Lord had willed it. Thus, in all submission to theDivine behest, he set forth resolutely, marching onwards forthree long days, with the dearest object of his past hopesand aspirations at his side ; and, finally, he was about tofulfil the dread decree without a murmur, when his handwas miraculously stayed. He had " obeyed the voice of theLord." Faith had gained ascendency over the masterpassion of his soul love for his only child. God's will washis will. The Lord spoke, and the proved servant was allobedience. Great had been his self-conquest, and greatwas his reward. A glorious mission was entrusted to him,and the richest blessings promised ; but far above all wasthe renewed gift of his dearly-beloved son and the smile of approving heaven. Thus faith triumphed, for his heartwas with his God. Admire we must, imitate we may.Faith, which has its birth in the soul, yet draws itsvitality and receives its development from reason and feel-ing. ot until it has taken a firm seat in the mind andheart will it become a fixed and permanent principle of action. Religious trust should, therefore, be inculcated fromearliest youth, and so made to blend with our very being asto become the mainspring of each thought and deed. It

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