How often have we looked at the patriarchs of the Old Testament with great reverence and maybe even wished we had just a modicum of the faith that they had? The Bible describes the great faith these men and women had and the great accomplishments they achieved because of it. The “Hall of Faith” passage of Hebrews points us to these men and women as examples of what true faith in God looks looks like. If you are anything like me, it is not uncommon to wish we were more like them when we see the struggles we deal with in our own walks. But, are the patriarchs really that special? Were they so much holier than you or I? Or do they have more in common with ourselves than we think? I’d like for us to look at a few of those patriarchs to answer this question. In fact, one family in particular, the one through which the Messiah would one day come. I believe we will learn a lot from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the God whom the served.
Abraham is considered the father of the Jews. He was so esteemed by the Jews in Jesus’ day that they often cited their lineage from him in their debates with Jesus. But what was it about him they were so proud of? True, he had great faith when he believed the promise of God that he and Sarah would one day have a child through which the nations would be blessed. But as time went by, Abraham and Sarah apparently figured God had forgotten his promise, because Sarah offers her handmaiden to her husband through which to conceive the child. Abraham doesn’t even feign an objection, he just does it. This is also the same Abraham that, not once, but twice, failed to believe God’s promise to keep him around long enough to produce this nation that he convinces his wife to say “I’m his sister” to keep from getting killed. Is he really so faithful and holy after all?