The Old Man Whose Belief Became a Blessing for us All

He was so old “his body was as good as dead.”

Ages ago, or so it seemed to him and his menopausal wife, he’d left the land of the Chaldeans and led servants and livestock on a journey to a land God had promised to show him.

“I will bless you,” God revealed to his star-gazing soul. “In you all nations of the world will be blessed.”

Abraham believed.

Long after believing made any sense at all, the old man (Abram initially, renamed Abraham by God himself) believed God would fulfill his promise of blessing.

St. Paul, descendant of Abraham and self-described “Hebrew among Hebrews,” would surmise centuries later that Abraham had become our father in faith. The Hebrew story is about the belief of one man and how that belief leads to blessing for all the nations of the world.

Abraham believed through his dusty travels to the land God finally showed him.

He believed three mysterious strangers who announced, as they ate with him outside his tent, that he would have a son.

Paying the price for the fearful, faltering mistakes that followed, he named Isaac laughter (the reaction of his wife on overhearing the visitors’ announcement) when he finally kissed his newborn son.

Trusting the heart of the God who accompanied him through faithfulness and failure, Abraham believed that if God would ask for his boy’s life, then God could raise him from the dead.

Abraham believed.

God stayed Abraham’s hand in that desert land. He provided a ram, foreshadowing the sacrificial Son who would be raised from the dead for all the souls who ever lived or would ever live, we believe.

Abraham’s line became a blessing for you and me.

“They are ever full of sap and green,” the psalmist, a descendant of Abraham, would write of aging, faithful souls.

It’s never too late to trust God’s faithful heart.

It’s never too late to become a blessing.

It’s never too late to believe like Abraham.

This post is part of an Advent series, “The Call of the Small.” 

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Related post: Choose Something Like a Star: A Christmas Contemplation Inspired by Robert Frost.

Photo by Mariam Soliman on Unsplash. Abraham Contemplates the Stars by Ephraim Moses Lilien (1908) courtesy of Wikipedia.

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