Abraham, He Wasn't Perfect

Welcome to Real Life. Last week, we talked about Abraham’s amazing faith in sacrificing Isaac. This week, we see that his faith wasn't always amazing.

Abraham Series | Part 4 | Genesis 11-22

Abraham is an iconic figure.  He is a rock star of the faith to both Jews and Christians.[1] His faith was so strong that he was even willing to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, to obey God.  In the last few weeks, we've highlighted Abraham’s faith victories. But, sometimes, his faith was weak:

  • Abraham’s wife Sarah is gorgeous.  In Egypt, he’s afraid the Pharaoh will kill him to take Sarah.  Instead of protecting her, Abraham protects himself.  He asks Sarah to lie and say she’s his sister.  Fail.  Pharaoh takes Sarah.  God steps in and protects her. (Gen. 12:14-20)
  • Above all, Abraham wants a child.  Tired of waiting on God, they use Sarah’s maid Hagar as a surrogate. Abraham sleeps with Hagar. Fail. Ishmael is born.  Later, trouble erupts and Abraham puts Hagar and Ishmael out of his household. (Gen. 16;21:8-21)
  • When God first promises Abraham a son, Abraham believes.  But 24 years later, God renews the promise and Abraham laughs.[2]  He’s too old. It’s been too long. Fail. God names their son Isaac, which means laughter. (Gen. 17:17-19)
  • God had just promised that Isaac would be born within a year. Abraham’s caravan enters King Abimelech’s territory. Abraham again fears the king will kill him for his beautiful wife. He tells Sarah to lie. He allows Abimelech to take Sarah. Fail. Again, God protects Sarah. (Gen. 20)
Abraham was a real person. Sometimes he messed up.  He failed God and the people around him. But, those failures didn't disqualify him from a life of faith. Our God is a God of grace and second chances. 

I'm glad Abraham wasn't perfect.  Because, I've failed, too.  We began this series talking about surrender. Early in my Christian walk, God asked me to surrender my fiancĂ©. I did not do it. Fail. We married. A year later, he left me and moved in with another woman. I thought it was too painful to lose a fiancĂ©.  But, God saw my future.  He wanted to save me the deeper pain (rejection, unfaithfulness and divorce) of losing a husband.

Like Abraham, I’m not perfect. But, my God is a God of grace and second chances. He has since blessed me with a wonderful, faithful husband of 28 years. 

Sometimes, I still fail God and the people around me. I need his grace and a second chance and a third and a fourth and ... Yet like Abraham, failure doesn’t disqualify me from a life of faith. That’s Real Life.

Take it further:
  • Fail lately? You’re not alone. Come to Jesus.
We all fall down, we all need saving
Once in a while, you are not alone
We all lose faith and lean on mercy
But through our darkest night, He said He'd wait for us
Just come to Jesus

Chorus from “Come to Jesus
Written by Paul Allen, performed by Point of Grace

Aren't you glad that Abraham wasn't perfect?

[1] Romans 4:16
[2] Genesis 17:15-17


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