Abraham and Sarah Biography

Abraham is known as a mighty man of faith. In Hebrews 11, faith’s great hall of fame, more is written about Abraham than any other person. Is there some mistake? When Abraham and his wife, Sarah, travelled down to Egypt, Abraham was so afraid that someone would kill him for his beautiful wife, he lied and claimed she was only his sister. Not exactly an act brimming with implicit trust in God. Then when God delayed giving him a son, Abraham offered Eleazar, his servant, as the heir. When God delayed still longer, Abraham’s doubts compounded. He took Sarah’s suggestion, wed his wife’s servant girl, and had a child through her. But as the elderly patriarch reached the century mark, God again repeated his promise of a son. At this point, Abraham laughed inwardly at God. He knew that old men like him simply didn’t father children. Sarah laughed too. She was 90 years old, and, besides, she couldn’t even get pregnant when she was a young bride.

God promises that Abraham will have descendants as numerous as the stars

God promises that Abraham will have descendants as numerous as the stars

How is it that the Scriptures proclaim Abraham as a living monument to faith in God? Over and over he seems to have drifted into doubt regarding God’s promises. Abraham’s humanness should pose sweet consolation to us who cave in to doubt too easily and too often.
However, if we take a closer look at Abraham, there does appear to be a deep vein of faith pulsing underneath the surface. Here is a man who had none of the powerful Scriptures upon which we base our faith today. Yet when God indicated he should leave his hometown, he left immediately, not knowing his final destination. When Abraham’s nephew, Lot, chose the lush valleys and left the dry plains to Abraham, he didn’t complain or grow combative. He trusted God to provide and to bless him. Though Abraham had moments of grave doubt about having a son in his old age, obviously he believed to the point of making love to his 90-year-old wife. And God gave the couple a son.

Abraham and Sarah with baby Isaac

Abraham and Sarah with baby Isaac

But finally, we come to the ultimate, the supreme test of Abraham’s faith. It seems tragically unfair–God, asking a man to give up his own son. Any father would find the idea detestable, and here was a father who had to wait one hundred years for a son. Now he was being commanded, not only to give the son up, but to exterminate the son himself.
In light of God’s promise to make of Abraham’s offspring a great nation, the patriarch didn’t believe he would actually bury his son up on Mount Moriah. The author of Hebrews writes that Abraham believed, if he actually had to sacrifice his son, God would then resurrect him. What amazing faith had finally grown in Abraham’s heart. Evidently he was not trekking up the mountain, 100 percent confident that God would stop him before Isaac was harmed. Abraham trusted God, though the Almighty asked perhaps the hardest thing any person could ever ask. In the end, God spared Isaac, but this one act of faith nullifies any possible criticism regarding Abraham’s earlier doubts. In this one act, Abraham proved that he trusted God implicitly and did not now worship young Isaac in place of God Himself.

 

God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac

God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac

Someone has said that true and lasting intimacy is formed as a result of what two people have been through together. Throughout the decades a warm and solid bond was forged between God and Abraham. It was not a fearful relationship between cold deity and groveling mortal, nor a flippant relationship between jovial Godhead and carefree human. It was a beautiful, mutually respectful friendship, for Abraham is the only person in Scripture who is actually called the friend of God.

What can we learn from Abraham and Sarah?

Abraham stands as a monument of faith for us. Lest our trembling faith discourage us, the Scriptures show clearly that, in moments of weakness, even this patriarch’s faith wavered. Faith involves inevitable risk. However, if we begin by believing God for small miracles, like Abraham, we will initiate a relationship with God that can eventually grow into the most wonderful of trusting friendships.

 Bible Verses about Abraham and Sarah

Genesis 11-25, 2 Chronicles 20:7; Nehemiah 9:7; Psalm 105:6; Romans 4:1-3; Galatians 3:6-9; Hebrews 11:8-10, 17-19; James 2:21

 What questions does this help to answer?

  • Who was Abraham?
  • Who was Sarah in the Bible
  • What does Abraham teach us?
  • What were God’s promises to Abraham?
  • Was Abraham faithful to God?

Author Info

Steve Fortosis served for six years as youth minister in several parishes.  Meanwhile he was also working toward his masters, then his doctorate in religious education.  Through the years he has enjoyed teaching on the college and seminary levels and writing professionally.  He has published a number of books including story and prayer compilations, missionary biography, Biblical character biography, devotional lit, children’s lit, and even stories of Bible translation. Presently he resides in Florida with his wife, Debra, where he teaches part-time and writes on a free-lance basis.

Sreve Fortosis