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Hebrews 11:8-22, The Faith of Abraham

How beautiful! Abraham “set out for a place… not knowing where he was going.” I’ve found in my own life that those moments are the best moments of my life. At 21, while my parents were vacationing in Spain, I got a job 2 hours away, moved into an apartment, and started a new life with the man who is now my husband of 23 years. At 25 we moved from San Francisco to Minneapolis so I could attend seminary and have been here for 23 years. Five years ago I was stirred once again to make a major life change. I left pastoral ministry in a parish to start Clergy Stuff and write Bible-based for a living. It was a quick process, but it wasn’t uninformed. Over the course of a few months God stirred my insides like a beaten egg, placed all the right people in my path the encourage and educate me on the pros and cons of making such a dramatic move, and then gave me the courage to jump. Remember that scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where Indiana had to take a “leap of faith” and step off the precipice not knowing if he would plummet to his death? Yeah, it was like that. (Check out the scene here.)

In all the times God has egg-beaten my insides to follow, I’ve never regretted the move. (It hasn’t been all easy, holey moley! There have been many, many failures, rocky starts, and terrifying moments.) I have often regretted risks I didn’t take. But following God has always turned out to be worth the ride.

Hebrews 11:8-22

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. By faith he received power of procreation, even though he was too old—and Sarah herself was barren—because he considered him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one person, and this one as good as dead, descendants were born, “as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.” All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them. By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac. He who had received the promises was ready to offer up his only son, of whom he had been told, “It is through Isaac that descendants shall be named for you.” He considered the fact that God is able even to raise someone from the dead—and figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. By faith Isaac invoked blessings for the future on Jacob and Esau. By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, “bowing in worship over the top of his staff.” By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave instructions about his burial.