Faith and Obedience

Read: Hebrews 11:8-12

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. (v. 8)

Would you like to know what the future holds? Yes and no! Some of it Christians do know, including the best things of all—the big things like the promise of heaven and the promise of the Lord’s unfailing guidance all the way there. But not knowing the details is a positive advantage, because that develops our faith in him. As the song says, we don’t know what the future holds, but we do know who holds the future.

Of the many portraits of people of faith in Hebrews 11, Abraham’s is given the most space. It’s worth remembering that of all the Old Testament details that go to make up this New Testament picture, Abraham knew nothing in advance except the promise of a family and a homeland at the end. At the beginning, he “set out” at the word of Yahweh, “not knowing where he was going.” Perhaps he was not even told in which direction to go, and had to trust God that his own decision would be the right one!

But what loomed largest in Abraham’s mind was the simple command that God had made crystal clear. He did what he was told, trusted God for the consequences, and “looked forward” to the fulfillment of the promises. That’s faith! —Michael Wilcock

As you pray, thank God for the Bible, which gives us all the directions we need.

About the Author

Rev. Michael Wilcock was formerly director of pastoral studies at Trinity College, Bristol, and vicar of St. Nicholas' Church, Durham. He is now based in Eastbourne, England, as a writer and speaker.