Minimalist Bible: The Covenant—Abraham's Faith Test Part 2
|Written by Chad -|
God has given me the idea to pursue a personal design project of creating minimalist posters to share the awesome stories of the Bible. If you missed out on previous posters, don't worry, I have created a landing page where you can easily catch up. Check it out here.
This poster series comes from the book of Genesis. It is a story filled with tests of faith, promises and miracles. I'm excited today to reveal The Covenant: Abraham's Faith Test Part 2, part ten of an eleven part series.
The Covenant: Abraham's Faith Test Part 2 continues in Genesis 22:9-12 (NLT) which says, "When they arrived at the place where God had told him to go, Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood on it. Then he tied his son, Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood. And Abraham picked up the knife to kill his son as a sacrifice. At that moment the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, 'Abraham! Abraham!'
'Yes,' Abraham replied. 'Here I am!'
'Don’t lay a hand on the boy!' the angel said. 'Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son.'"
The COURAGE inside of us.
What do you think of when you hear the word courage? For me, I instantly think of Hollywood movies. One movie that pops to mind for me is Gladiator (2000). If you haven't seen Gladiator, I encourage you to get out from under the rock you have been living and watch it because it's AWESOME! In the opening scene of this early Roman era movie, General Maximus (Russell Crowe) gives an inspirational speech to prepare his soldiers for battle against the barbarian horde. The line that sticks out to me the most is at the very end when Maximus says, "What we do in life echoes in eternity."
That movie line makes me wonder what my life echoes. Do I live a life of fear (as outlined in my last post)? What's the opposite of fear? Thanks to my handy, dandy thesaurus, I learned that "courage" is an antonym of fear. THEN, I looked up the meaning of the word courage. According to Dictionary.com, courage is defined as "the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc. without fear; bravery." BOOM! There it is in black and white, people. Many smarties out there may have already known this definition, but not all of us are in the habit of memorizing dictionaries. My question is, if we know the definition of courage and understand that it beats fear, why is it so hard for us to put it into practice? For example:
- Ask that really cute girl out on a date
- Stand in front of the class to give a speech
- Ask for a raise or a promotion from your boss
- Quit your job to start something that you are truly passionate about
- Share your faith with someone who doesn't believe
We can quickly point out the fears and hesitations that are associated with each of those events. Approaching them with fear leads to rejection, failure, heartache and frustration—to name a few. But when we approach these types of events with courage, we experience joy, exhilaration, relief and excitement, which are way better than the outcomes on that previous list.
Abraham and Isaac could have acted with extreme fear over the grave situation they were in, but both of them faced it head on, with courage instead. I truly believe they both loved God so much that they were willing to do whatever it would take to please him. For Abraham, he was going to lose his one and only son, his only descendant after God had promised him thousands. For Isaac, he was going to lose his very life! At just the right moment, God spoke to them because of the courage they were using to fight the fear.
Isaac and Abraham were willing to give up everything. Am I willing to give up everything to achieve the passions that are stirring within me? Do I truly believe that God will meet me there when I get to the mountain top? True courage comes only from God. We must continue to believe in the promises God has given us through his word. He says he will be a light for our path, strength when we're weak, the encourager and the giver of grace. Choosing to be courageous in this life might be challenging, but the rewards will be worth it—here on earth and in eternity.