Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1, NASB)
Today’s big question: is biblical faith blind?
Critics and skeptics like to mock Christians as having “blind faith.” Sadly, many Christians have fallen for the notion that our faith is blind, in the sense that we must take a leap of faith or a stab in the dark, and hope that our belief is correct. This view of faith is patently unbiblical.
Hebrews 11 has been described as the “Faith Hall of Fame” because it highlights Old Testament examples of great faith in God: Abel, Enoch, Noah, Moses, and more. The chapter spends more time on Abraham than anyone else, so let’s examine a few of the verses about him:
By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,” concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense. (Hebrews 11:17–19)
Abraham’s faith in God was put to the ultimate test. God instructed him to sacrifice the son he had waited so long for. Imagine being in Abraham’s “shoes.” What would go through your mind? Would you question God or think He was being unreasonable? Would you be willing to sacrifice your child or would you flat-out disobey?
Without Hebrews 11:19, this particular subject would be much more difficult for me to understand. After all, child sacrifice is strictly forbidden in Scripture (Deuteronomy 12:31) and so is murder (Exodus 20:13).
What was it about Abraham’s faith that allowed him to be willing to obey? Verse 19 reveals that Abraham concluded God was able to bring Isaac back to life. In fact, God would have to raise Isaac back to life because He had already promised to bless the world through Isaac’s offspring.
Abraham had a well-reasoned faith based on the character and nature of God. He had experienced God’s faithfulness and goodness. He knew God cannot lie and he knew of the blessings promised through Isaac. Consequently, Abraham passed the ultimate test of faith, and his well-reasoned faith stands as an example to us all.
God stopped Abraham from sacrificing Isaac, whose death could not pay for anyone’s sins. However, this entire account serves as a wonderful reminder of what God did when He sacrificed His Son, Jesus Christ, on the Cross for our sins.
We are not instructed to have a blind faith. God expects us to trust in Him because we know that He alone is good and He will always keep His Word. Abraham’s supreme confidence in God and His Word provides a great example of true faith.
Today’s big idea: the Christian faith is not blind.
What to pray: ask God to give you the utmost confidence in Him and His Word.