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 January 24, 2009 10:49 PM

Dearly Beloved,


“It was faith that made Abraham offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice when God put Abraham to the test. Abraham was the one to whom God had made the promise, yet he was ready to offer his only son as a sacrifice” (Hebrews 11:17, TEV).

There is a popular chorus in my area that goes thus: “Abraham’s blessings are mine. Abraham’s blessings are mine. I am blessed in the morning, in the noon, in the evening. Father Abraham’s blessings are mine.” The song aims at claiming all the good promises that God made to Abraham. However, most people that sing that chorus or have such concept do not pay attention to the travails and trials of faith of Abraham, and it is unlikely if they would be ready to claim such travails and trials for themselves.

At a time when Abraham should be enjoying his “retirement benefits” in his native land, God called him out of his relatives to leave the certainty for uncertainty. Here was a man who did not have a child of his own at his old age. He became a wanderer in a foreign land with his old wife and a nephew. God promised him a son who would come from his own body, but the promise was delayed. In spite of this, he believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness. At the age of ninety-nine, Abraham underwent the surgical operation of circumcision in order to fulfil his own part of a covenant that was humanly speaking not certain with God. At God’s appointed time (an interval of twenty-five years!), the promised son came. When Abraham was taking delight in the son of his old age, God instructed him to go and sacrifice the son! Abraham did obey. The Lord was impressed and renewed His blessings thus: "I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me" (Genesis 22:16-18, NIV). These are part of the blessings that some are apportioning to themselves today.

How many of us today can, or is ready to, undergo all those experiences that Abraham underwent? God has different ways of dealing with each of us. He is ready to bless us even more than how He blessed Abraham. However, are we ready to diligently trust and obey Him in His dealings with us? That hymn writer said, “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy with Jesus, but to trust and obey.”

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

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