Abraham was a city man, born and bred in Ur of the Chaldees, the finest city of his day. So why did he leave Ur?
Because he was promised a place in an even better city.
Did he get that place? Did he find that city?
Not in his lifetime.
In fact, that city is nowhere to be found on earth even today.
But one day, more than a thousand years from now, that city (a holy city resplendent from every point of view) will discend out of heaven, from God.
So what held Abraham to his course all his life long? Had he given up on his vision?
No. He saw the city by faith. That sight was so glorious, even from that distance, that he was willing to live in temporary structure (a portable tent) while he waited for his new citizenship!
And what did he give up?
A place in a city, splendid in his time, that would have been completely forgotten if modern archeologists had not got busy excavating its ruins!
And what did he gain?
A place in a city constructed by God, with eternal foundations, and great eternally unfading glory!
Despite his walk of faith, Abrahm needed a friend. Just as we too need friends.
Amazingly, God also wanted a friend, and He found one in Abraham! God was Abraham's friend!
God is our friend too.
Equally amazing however was that Abraham could be God's friend! (Isaiah 41:8).
He showed himself to be God's friend in relation to Lot and Sodom. He argued with God about His impending judgment of Sodom.
His argument showed no lack of respect. It was designed to bring out the greatness of his friend's character.
Abraham was a good friend to his nephew Lot, but, even more, he was a loyal friend to God.
Was this the pinnacle of Abraham's life?
No. That pinnacle was yet to come.
God gave Isaac to Abraham by a miracle. Isaac was the son of God's promise.
But the day came when God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son!
One would have thought, :"If God's promise of children and generations of descendants through Isaac was to be fulfilled, surely Isaac must live, and not die prematurely! Not without having children of his own from whom descendants could come!"
But Abraham was made of different stuff.
He knew that the birth of Isaac was like a resurrection for Abraham. Abraham's body was as good as dead. But he was brought back to vigorous life. He not only had Isaac by Sarah, but many others through Ketubah after the death of Sarah! (Abraham, of course, did not know this at the time God asked him to sacrifice Isaac. I mention it as evidence of Abraham's physical rejuvention.)
Knowing that a miracle had been wrought in his own body, he was prepared to trust God for Isaac. If Isaac was to be placed on the altar of sacrifice, and if Isaac was truly God's gift to him, and if Isaac was truly to be the progenitor of many descendants, then Abraham was willing to trust God to raise Isaac from the dead if need be.
Abraham did not argue with God (as he did over the matter of Lot and Sodom). He was willing to let Isaac go, and rely on God's faithfulness.
What an inspiration and example for us.
Are we prepared to trust God for everything, in life and in death, trust God for our children and our children's children, trust God in all the vicissitudes of life?
At this point in history, as we see the signs of a great coming economic desolation, are we willing to trust God that our children, will be supplied with all their needs according to God's riches in glory by Christ Jesus?