Faith, as we all know, means much more than believing that there is a God. Faith means turning one’s whole life over to God with complete confidence. Abraham is set before us as the biblical man of faith.
God made some extraordinary promises to Abraham. He told him that he would be the father of a great people through his legitimate heir. Even after he and his wife were long past the time for becoming parents they were still childless. Then Isaac was born. Abraham’s trust in God was rewarded. But just when it appeared that God’s promises would be fulfilled, Abraham was convinced that God required the sacrificial death of Isaac. And that death would render impossible the promises made by God.
It was terrible enough for Abraham to think that he must kill his own son. What was almost unbearable was the thought that all the promises made him must now meet with failure. And so heroically and with blind faith, Abraham proceeded to carry out the sacrifice of his son. We know how the story ended. God didn’t require the death of Isaac, only a sign of Abraham’s faith.
God deserves our faith because he is all-powerful and all loving. Abraham believed that, for he was willing to accept the fact that God could do what seemed to be impossible. The scribes we hear about in the gospel didn’t have that kind of faith. They couldn’t believe that sin could be forgiven through the humanity of Christ. But God can do anything and he brings his almighty power to bear on us because he loves us and wants what is best for us.
Abraham is our father and our model in faith. Like him we are called to turn our lives completely over to God.