by Norman Grubb
In his two-tape series on Abraham’s life, Norman shows how God develops Abraham into a man of great faith. In situation after situation Abraham learns valuable lessons about how to rely on God, instead of the material resources of man.
At one point in the tape, Norman begins talking about how faith works in our lives. He contrasts the faith in which we live spontaneously, knowing it is Christ living His life through us, with those times when we are confronted with something beyond our capacity to figure out. This is our opportunity to believe for God’s supply for what appears to be a hopeless need. It is this second type of faith that Norman illustrates in his talk on Abraham.
Beginning in Ur, God took Abraham through different stages, in order to deliver him from being dependent on outer things. Abraham’s first step of faith was responding to God’s call to leave both his culture and his home in Ur to go to an unknown land. Although he was obedient to this call, Abraham then fell back on reliance upon his own reasoning when he fled to Egypt in order to escape the famine. This decision landed him in quite a sticky situation with the Pharoah, but God, who means all for good, used this to reveal Himself to the Egyptians.
Again, Abraham faced an awful dilemma when Lot was captured by some warring kings. Abraham believed in God’s deliverance and routed the kings with only 318 farmers to save Lot, and, in the process, became the wealthiest man in the area. When Melchezidek came out to bless him after the battle, Abraham again saw through the material world to recognize that He needed only God and it was God who provided all things.
Knowing that God was providing all his material needs, Abraham was again put to the test when God promised him a son through Sarah. How could such a thing happen with Sarah barren and both of them biologically too old to have children? At first Abraham and Sarah faltered in faith by devising their own plans. But despite the problems they created, Abraham and Sarah found God true to his promise with the birth of Isaac.
Even though I’ve heard the story many times, I was impressed with Norman’s explanation of how Abraham could willingly sacrifice his beloved son, Isaac. It appeared that the fruition of Abraham and Sarah’s many long had years of faith was now going to be taken away. But by this time, Abraham so trusted in God’s goodness and faith-fulness that despite what would seem to bring him great despair on the soul level, Abraham did not waiver. He saw through in faith that God would fulfill His promise, even if it meant raising Isaac from the dead. Norman also says that Abraham saw that what made Isaac special was not that he was his son, but that he was an expression of God Himself. He saw through to the only real Person there is.
This is only a brief outline of this wonderful series. I must mention one thing which meant a lot to me: seeing how much care God took to bring Abraham along in his faith. In that same vein, Norman makes the point that God was not only concerned with Abraham’s faith, but also Sarah’s. It is reassuring to know God takes that same care with each of us.
You really must listen for yourself to catch so many of the gems that Norman has found about this great man, the "father of faith." After all, as Norman says, we might be able to learn a few things from "ol’ Dad."
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 12 No 4
- It All Depends On God
- Editor’s Note
- Fooled By Our Souls
- Moments with Meryl
- A Look at a Book
- Free At Last
- Who Will Me Deliver Me?
- Questions & Answers
- Faith Defies Difficulty
- The Mailbox
- Irish Conference Report
- One Requirement
- Tape Talk
- Summer Camp 1996: The Adults
- Summer Camp: The Youth
- See Ye First
- Excerpt from The Intercession of Rees Howells
- Words to Live By…