Gert Hijkoop – NL:
About 4000 years ago God called Abraham from his land, culture and religion to a destination he did not know, with the great promise of becoming the father of a great nation and a blessing to all the nations of the world. Because he responded in faith, obedience, and perseverance, overcoming the faith challenges that he met along the way, he became the father of all believers.
We have the privilege of knowing how Abraham’s journey and life unfolded, together with that of his descendants, reaching its most magnificent fulfilment in the birth, life, death and resurrection of his descendent (and God’s son) our Lord, Jesus Christ. He is the Lamb that God has provided to save the nations of the world. And He is pouring out the love of God in each believer’s heart enabling us to cry out in joyful response ‘Abba, Father’. What a wonderful privilege to live in the fulfilment of God’s promise to Abraham!
We may ask to what extent Abraham understood the magnitude of the promise. He only obtained a small piece of land as a burial place for Sara and himself. And he only saw his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob as heirs of the promise. When he died he could only see with the eyes of faith, the fulfilment of God’s promise. And that is what he did.
Amazingly, Abraham saw in faith more of what God had promised to him than he did in life (Genesis 12-18). We read that he was ‘looking forward to the city with foundations, whose designer and builder is God’ (Hebrews 11:10). Clearly this is not the earthly city of Jerusalem, built by men, but the heavenly city that will come down from heaven (Revelation 21).
As sons and daughters of Abraham, he is to us not simply a forerunner and example of faith as such; he is also an example in perspective. Abram looked far beyond the fulfilment of his own personal calling, towards the final destination of the pilgrimage that he undertook. We can follow in his footsteps by having the same focus and perspective, ‘because we (also) seek the city that is to come (Hebrews 13:14). We are on the same faith journey as Abraham.
This perspective saves us from the ‘despair of insignificance’. When we compare our accomplishments with our dreams, promises and the calling upon our lives, we can become despondent. But the gap that we see is not a sign of failure but points to ‘a legacy of promise’ to be imparted to our spiritual sons and daughters. We only walk a small stretch of this great pilgrimage to the heavenly city. We will only see a partial fulfilment of God’s promises in our lifetime. But if we grasp that our dreams, calling and ministry are part of the fulfilment of all that God has prepared for his people in Christ Jesus, we can rejoice in all that is still to come and so are able to say to others: come with us and it will do you good.