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victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” Oh! for that faith in us which shall cause it to be said of us as of Abraham, “SO he departed as the Lord had spoken unto him.” But before faith can walk, faith must hear. Some do not hear God's call plainly. They think they can have Christ and leave nothing for Him,-have the “city to come,” and yet not be “strangers
strangers ” here. Let this be our first object, to know what the Lord would have
Pray that you shut not your ears to His demands, nay, pray that you may know them to the fullest extent. And then seek for grace to be obedient, for faith that shrinks not to follow wheresoever God calls.
Faith can do wonders for you, even as it did for Abraham. When it is divine in its origin, then it is wonderful in its working. As nothing is impossible with God, so nothing shall be impossible with him who resolves, leans, struggles, and acts in God's strength. With this faith, you may boldly bid farewell to the sin that most easily besets you. By this you will be ready to part with everything which is giving you most pleasure, or bringing you most profit, but which stands between you and your God. . For faith not only “endures as seeing Him who is invisible," but esteems the reproach of Christ'
riches, and has “respect unto the recompence of the reward.''
PRAYER O Almighty God, who didst call thy servant Abraham, that thou mightest bless him, and do him good in his latter end, and who dost now call thy people to leave that which is hurtful to their souls, that they may delight themselves in thee, I pray for grace to be obedient to thy heavenly calling. Give me the hearing ear, and the understanding heart, that I may know thy will. Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth ; what wilt thou have me to do?
Draw me, O my God, and I will run after thee. Let me not be kept back by any things of this world, from following close after thee. If there is any thing keeping me from close communion with thee, any fleshly lust, or friendship of this world, I only ask that I may know it, and have strength to crucify the flesh with the affections and lusts. Forgive me, for Jesus' sake, all my past backwardness and frowardness, and give me also, for His sake, a heart to love thee more truly, and more zealously to press forward toward the mark for the prize of thy high calling in Christ Jesus. AMEN
ABRAHAM A STRANGER IN THE
LAND OF PROMISE.
“And Abram passed through the land unto the
place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh.
And the Canaanite was then in the land. “And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said,
Unto thy seed will I give this land : and there builded he an altar unto the Lord, who
appeared unto him. “And he removed from thence unto a mountain on
the east of Beth-el, and pitched his tent, having Beth-el on the west, and Hai on the east : and there he builded an altar unto the Lord, and called upon the name of the Lord.” GEN. XII. 6-8.
We must not pass hastily over Abraham's history. God has given us full accounts, and many particulars of it; we must give much thought and consideration to it.
One striking point in God's dealings with Abraham is, the number of times He was pleased to repeat the promises He had made to him. No less than six times did the Lord appear to Abraham, and make some precious promise to him. This is instructive in itself.
So shall we ever find ; when there is required of us the greatest exercise of faith, then does God give us the greatest number of promises. His word will abound in such promises as shall tend to keep alive faith in that particular point in which our faith is tried.
Moreover, it is to be observed that each of God's promises were made to Abraham at most seasonable times. We have seen this in one instance, when Abram was called to leave his father-land. As he had to withdraw his eyes from his own home, so he needed some ground on which to fix the eye of faith. This he had in the promise of future greatness which God gave him.
The next time of promise (recorded in this same xii. chapter) was when he reached the land of Canaan, and it is said "the Canaanite was then in the land." Here then was a reason for the promise being repeated, “ Unto thy seed will I give this land.” the country covered with the cities and houses of many and powerful nations. Abraham might well wonder how these could be dispossessed, and that by his own descendants, when as yet he had no son.
But faith in the power and faithfulness of Him who promised was to satisfy his mind. When he saw the land, and saw the enemies in it, his mind might waver,
he might suppose he had mistaken God. Therefore when he stands on the very land, and sees the difficulties of the case, then God repeats His word, and says again, it shall be
The next occurrence recorded is, that Abraham built an altar to the Lord there. Then he went on to a mountain between Beth-el and Hai, there he pitched his tent, and there also made an altar to the Lord. The altars showed his habit of worship, and also proved how he bore witness to the inhabitants around him, as to Who he worshipped. His sacrifices on the altar, showed how he hoped for acceptance, and that like Noah when he slew the offering on the altar, he thereby confessed his worthiness to die, and shewed that he believed in God's mercy to accept another's death instead of his, even that of Him, the Lamb of God, of whom all other sacrifices were but figures.
Abraham's dwelling in a tent was also expressive of his character.
His building altars to God, showed faith in the appointed sacrifice for sin ; he “saw the day of Christ.” His pitching tents for himself and family, showed faith and hope in God's promises of something lasting and not moveable as a tent. So we are taught in