Many know Abraham as both the father of faith, and as the father of a nation. But Abraham was also faithful. I believe that his faithfulness was not only the expression and extension of his faith, but the very reason he could be trusted with fathering a nation.
In Genesis 15:5 the LORD says to Abraham: ”
This was a serious promise. Abraham had to be a serious fellow to command such a blessing. The preceding chapter – Genesis 14 – gives insight into the character of the man, and why God would entrust such to him.
In chapter 14 we read that Lot, Abraham’s nephew, gets captured by a war party fighting against the king of Sodom, where Lot resided. Abraham hears of this, and sets off with the full compliment of his household – 380 trained servants – to rescue his nephew. Abraham attacks and pursues Lot’s captors and brings back Lot, his goods, all the goods taken from the city, as well as the woman and the people. The first thing Abraham does, post victory is offer a tithe of all to Melchizedek, the priest of God. Next in vest 21, the king of Sodom says the following to Abraham: “Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself”. Abraham declines His offer, stating that he will not take anything that belongs to the king, lest the king were to say that he made Abraham rich.
In Luke 16:11-13, Jesus makes 3 profound statements concerning faithfulness. They are:
1. If you are faithful in little, you will be faithful in much.
2. If you are unfaithful with money, how can God entrust true (Kingdom) riches to you.
3. If you are not faithful with another man’s treasure, how can God give you your own.
Abraham fulfilled all the “faithfulness” requirements set out in this chapter by Jesus. He pooled all his resources to go after Lot – a single soul. No wonder, that God gave Him an entire nation, since He was faithful with one soul. Second, Abraham was offered money, but He threw His lot in with God. He pursued Lot, for the sake of Lot and his soul, and not for the sake of prosperity. That is to say, Abraham sought first the Kingdom of God and its righteousness. Finally, Abraham had no allegiance to Sodom or their king, and yet he saved the people of Sodom as well as their property. He was faithful with the treasures belonging to another, when it had yet been entrusted to him. That is faithful! These are acts of direct faithfulness to God’s people. but there are yet two more examples of that in which Abraham was faithful to God Himself.
Abraham tithed a tenth of all to the priest of God. He was faithful with what God had entrusted to Him. He was faithful in recognising God’s hand in his blessing, and he faithfully honoured that. And finally, Abraham kept the promise he made to God in Genesis 14:23, namely that he would not take anything from the king of Sodom. He was faithful with his word. He could be trusted!
If I were to choose someone to father a nation, it would have to be one like Abraham. He was faithful not only with what was entrusted to him, but also beyond his sphere of responsibility. He considered God to be his reward and prize, and he never prized money above the souls of men. In fact, we see in Genesis 19, as Abraham intercedes for Sodom and Gomorrah, that Abraham always placed a premium on the souls of men. He was thus faithful with the pinnacle of God’s creation – man. Judging by the reward for Abraham’s faithfulness, our Lord must prize faithfulness very highly.
Faithfulness then is synonymous with expansion and multiplication. Faithfulness to one soul – yields a nation. Faithfulness with a tithe – yields God (all of Him) becoming your reward. I hear so many people say to me, “I wish God would give me more money; then I will build Him a home for orphans, and start a feeding scheme, and a facility for pregnant teens”, and, and, and. And yet, they are not faithful with the few coins God has already entrusted to them. Moreover, they are not faithful with their brother, or sister’s goods. Faithfulness is the key to the ministry, family, finances, business, car, house, dog, anointing you always wanted. And sometimes, like Abraham, you need to to throw everything you have into a fight that is not even your own. If God matters to you, then God’s matters will matter to you, because they matter to God. And as with the story of Abraham and Lot, we learn that most everything matters.