Which Abraham are you?
That sounds like a weird question. I mean, after all, there was only one Abraham. Yes, but which one are you. There was one man named Abraham, but two different sides to him. There was the side that disobeyed God and didn’t trust Him and took matters into his own hands. Then there is Abraham, who not only obeyed God but trusted Him entirely to the point of being willing to sacrifice his own son.
Let’s look at the first, Abraham. When God first told Abraham (then Abram) to leave the land he was in and his relatives and go to a land that God would show him. Abraham took his wife and his nephew Lot and left. Abraham disobeyed God. He took his nephew with him, which we find caused trouble between Abraham and Lot’s herdsmen, and they ended up parting ways. (Gen 12:1-5 & Gen 13)
Abraham went down into Egypt due to a famine. He told his wife Sarah (then Sarai) to say that he was her brother and not her husband. Sarah was so beautiful that Abraham was scared that they would have him killed to get Sarah. Because of her beauty, the king took a liking to her and took her as his wife. God stepped in and made sure that no harm came to Sarah, and she went back to Abraham. (Gen 12:10-20)
I think we all know the story of how God told Abraham that he was going to have a son even in his old age, and Sarah was unable to have children. This causes Sarah to take matters into her own hands, and she gives one of her maidservants, Hagar, to Abraham and tells him, this is how you will get your son. Abraham agrees to it, and Ishmael is born. (Gen 16) God comes to Abraham and tells him that Ishmael will not be the heir I am talking about. It will come through Sarah. (Gen 18)
Now, Abraham settles between the land of Kadish and Shur, and once again, he tells Sarah to say, you are my sister, and once again, the king takes Sarah to be his wife. You guessed it, God intervenes.
Abraham struggled with doing what God said by taking Lot with him when he left. And fear was more powerful than trust when it came to his wife and life, and let us not forget taking matters into his own hands because Abraham lacked faith in what God said, and also it seemed to be taking God so long to make it happen.
I know that I tend to struggle with these same issues that Abraham did. I only half obey what God has asked me to do because I know better. I take matters into my own hands because I don’t believe and trust that God can do it, or I let that little voice of fear and doubt creep in and take hold of me. And let us not forget about the time issue when God shares something with you, and you decide that God’s timing is taking too long, and you take it into your own hands. I don’t know about you, but when I do these things, I lose what God was showing me and doing for me, and I know I have to deal with the consequence of these things. And sometimes, when I don’t let God handle things, it hurts others. Like Hagar and Ishmael, Sarah was jealous because Hagar had what she couldn't, so she sent her away after Isaac was born. Let me add that sometimes, the consequences of not obeying God fully or taking it into your own hands can affect generations to come.
This is who I have been for years, but that is not who I want to be. I want to be like the second Abraham, the one who obeyed God fully even though it would cost him his only son that he loved. God tells Abraham to go up on the mountain and sacrifice his son, who he loves. So, Abraham is with his son Isaac going up the mountain. Isaac asks where the sacrifice is that they will use, and Abraham answers that God will provide. God does, but only after Abraham binds Isaac, places him on the altar, and draws his knife to kill his son. God provides a ram in the brush to sacrifice instead. (Gen 22:1-11) God says this to Abraham, “Don’t harm the boy, for now, I know that you fear God since you have not withheld your son, your only son from Me.” (22:12)
God wants everything from us. He doesn’t like us to hold anything back. This includes more than just our heart, all of our finances, our family, how we approach things. God wants us completely. That is why I strive to be more like the second Abraham, who was called a friend of God. (James 2:23).
How about you, which Abraham are you?