The Righteous Shall Live by Faith

Bible Study

If we put perfect trust in someone, our eyes and gestures reveal our heart of trust. Even if the person says or does something that is not understandable, we don’t misunderstand or get it wrong but try to understand the person from his standpoint. But if you don’t trust the other, even if you and he might seem close, you and he hurt each other’s feeling with trivial matters and end up being driven apart. The relation between God and His children may differ depending upon how they accumulate trust in Him with integrity.

  1. The trust that causes one to give even one’s own life

While living on the earth, we sometimes ask a favor of others or are asked a favor by others. If others’ request is of evil intent, we must not consent to or support it since God won’t take delight in it. On the contrary, when we are asked a favor that belongs to goodness, we should help others giving everything we can without sparing even our lives. Then, how beautiful that would be!

The typical example is Esther in the Bible. As a Jew, she became the queen of Persia. One day, her cousin, Mordecai, asked her a favor. He told her to go in to the king to implore his favor and to plead with him for her people because Haman, an evil man, planned to destroy all the Jews. But Esther was not in the situation where she could readily accept his plea. At that time, she had not been summoned to come before the king for thirty days and any man or woman who came to the king who was not summoned had to be put to death. But Mordecai gave her advice again, saying, 밯ho knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this??
Now Esther fasted for three days and saved her people from the danger of destruction by going to the king at the risk of her life. Esther didn’t seek her own benefits or her own life due to goodness in her and she did the favor of Mordecai. God caused all things to work for good and it resulted in a blessing.

Esther had no parents so Mordecai took her as his own daughter. Esther followed and trusted him as though he was her father. That is why she could do him the favor that might put her life at risk. As said, we should realize how important trust and love are in our relations with people.

  1. Abraham completely trusted God

Abraham was a righteous man who had a heart that God accepted with joy. But God gave him a test so that he could be made more perfect. In the test, we can feel how deep the trust between God and Abraham was.

In Genesis 12, God told Abram (later called Abraham) to go forth from his country, and from his relatives and from his father’s house to the land which He would show him. God didn’t let him know the destination and just told him to go forth to the land which He would show him. But Abram completely trusted God, so he left for the land without giving any excuses though he didn’t know where to go.

When he got to the land which was Canaan, there were the Canaanites living there. Then, God said to Abram, 밫o your descendants I will give this land?and Abram believed the word without any doubt. Later he had to move to another place because there was great famine in the land enough to make His promise seem nothing, which is 밒 will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing.?
Nevertheless, Abram didn’t doubt God’s promise at all and waited quietly for the right time with faith. He went to Egypt avoiding the famine in the land of Canaan, but the king took his wife. If another person had met with the same thing, he might have blamed this on God. But Abram didn’t.

God gave a great disaster to the king, so that God made the king send Sarah, his wife, back to Abraham. He also let the king give him sheep, oxen, and male and female servants, and a thousand pieces of silver, and allow him to settle wherever he pleased. God caused all things to work together for good for Abraham, who acted only with faith.

  1. Abraham unchangingly believed God

Since God blessed Abraham, his nephew Lot, who was with him, also received the blessing. Their possessions were so great that there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock to gain pasture and water for the livestock. So, Abraham gave the right of first choice of land to Lot, saying, 밣lease separate from me; if to the left, then I will go to the right; or if to the right, then I will go to the left.?And when Lot was taken captive, Abraham saved Lot while putting even his own life at risk.

Abraham had no son. He wanted to have Eliezer his servant whom he had raised as the heir of his house. Then, God said to him, 밢ne who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.?And He promised that his descendants would be as innumerable to count the stars in the sky.

Abraham believed the word itself. He and his wife were too old to bear a child, but he didn’t see the reality. He believed God the Creator who is almighty. God was pleased with this Abraham’s faith and considered it his righteousness.

As they were still childless ten years later, his wife, Sarah, couldn’t wait for God’s promise to be fulfilled and used a human method. She asked Abraham to lay with her maid Hagar and have a son. Finally, Hagar bore Abraham a son, Ishmael.

As time passed, Abraham turned 99. God said that he would have a son the following year. As He promised, Abraham gained Isaac, ‘the seed of God’s promise’, at the age of 100. One day, Sarah saw Ishmael mocking Isaac. She asked Abraham to drive out Hagar and Ishmael.

Abraham felt distressed over it because Ishmael was also his son. But God told him to follow Sarah and promised that He would form another nation through Ishmael. Then, Abraham obeyed just as God said. In this way, Abraham obeyed without being blinded with greed if it was the will of God.

  1. God believed that God can revive the dead

In order to give blessings to Abraham who only obeyed, God allowed him to pass through the last test. It was to give his loving and only son Isaac as a burnt offering. With human thoughts, this command was nonsensical, but Abraham didn’t hesitate at all because he had faith (Hebrews 11:19).

Abraham obeyed immediately and took his son Isaac to the mountain God had told him early in the morning. He finished all the preparation and bound his son. It was the moment when he took the knife to slay his son. The angel of God called to him from heaven and said, 밃braham, Abraham!?Some in a fleshly way of thinking might say, ‘Didn’t Abraham wait for God to call him to stop in some way?’ He never did and he never had the thought, ‘Isn’t God going to call for me to stop this at some point?’

He was really about to obey and slay his son because he completely believed God can revive the dead. By showing perfect faith and obedience to God till the last moment, he passed the test. Then, God said, 밆o not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.?He acknowledged Abraham’s love, faith, and reverence for God completely.

God, who by foreknowledge knows and preplans everything, already knew how Abraham would pass the test and He also knew his reverent heart for God. Nonetheless, God gave him the test so that he would not receive any accusations from Satan. By this, the faith of Abraham, who is the father of faith, was clearly proven even in front of Satan.

If you become righteous by faith, you can receive answers to whatever you ask for and there is nothing you cannot achieve. As your souls prosper, everything will go well and you will receive the blessing of good health and fulfill your hearts’ desire.

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