Perhaps one of the most prevailing views regarding faith is that it has little or nothing to do with logic. Faith is often seen as something intangible which really cannot be explained. One either has faith or one does not. And when all fail and we run out of advice, we say…”Brother, just have faith…just have faith in Jesus”. But what does this really mean? And is that what the scriptures teach?
In Romans 4:11, Abraham is called the father of all who believe. Therefore, it should be clear to us that much can be learned from Abraham regarding faith. Is it really devoid of logic, or does faith actually embraces logic?
We hope that you will join us in our study, by slicing, dicing and examining this article, as we seek answers to some very important questions. We look forward to your comments based on your own study of the scriptures, telling us whether or not we have misinterpreted the verses we are using in this study.
[Note: We are using the New King James Version of the Bible]
We shall look at a key event which demonstrated Abraham’s faith: His willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac when God tested him.
Genesis 22: 1,2 – Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2 Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”
The following verses (verses 3 to 9) of Genesis 22 then recounts how Abraham took his son, the wood and the fire necessary for the sacrifice, and went to the place God told him about. Then, right at the moment he was about to slay his son, an Angel of God intervened to stop him.
Genesis 22:10-12…And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” So he said, “Here I am.” 12 And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”
The question is: How did Abraham become so ready to actually slay his son?
The author of the book of Hebrews tells us that it was because of his faith.
Hebrews 11:1,2 – Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.
But the author gives much more details about the faith of Abraham in verses 17 to 19.
Hebrews 11:17-19 – By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,” 19 concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.
This passage contains several interesting facts: 1) Abraham was fully aware of the promise God gave him that he will be the father of many nations through Isaac, 2) Abraham knew that dead people cannot procreate. We then see that 3) Abraham concluded that since God cannot lie, the only logical conclusion is that He was be able to raise his son from the dead.
And in fact, the Greek verb translated “concluding” in verse 19 is the word “logizomai” which means “to reason to a logical conclusion”. The very essence of the faith of Abraham is that it is was a logical reasoning which originated from key, indisputable facts regarding his God (such as His Love, His sovereign power and His inability to lie) and to which all his human reasoning had to submit. For instance, while human reasoning clearly dictates than a dead person cannot come back to life, in the case of Abraham, this reasoning did not submit to the greater reality that God could not be lying when He promised him to be a father of many nations through Isaac. Therefore, it must be that God could bring a dead person back to life. While the natural man may not see much logic in this, the spiritual man will because it is a logic which recognizes that the spiritual supersedes the natural.
What Abraham taught us therefore is that our faith rests in us knowing God personally and intimately. As we endeavor to know Him more, His key and indisputable attributes will be the origin of all our logical reasoning, and therefore, of our faith. Faith is not blind…faith is very logical indeed. What our God states in Jeremiah must really then be true….what counts is to know Him!
Jeremiah 9:24 –
23 Thus says the Lord:
“Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom,
Let not the mighty man glory in his might,
Nor let the rich man glory in his riches;
24 But let him who glories glory in this,
That he understands and knows Me,
That I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth.
For in these I delight,” says the Lord.
My very dear brothers and sisters in the Lord. Let us live our faith, ever seeking to know and understand our Father in Heaven.
Glory to His name, and may His Son live forever. For Him I live.
Enjoyed and agreed. God, being “God” then it is logical to believe His every word despite the limits of our understanding. Obedience does not always follow a complete understanding. Sometimes our understanding is limited by biases, etc. Obedience is truly the witness of love.
Even Abraham’s logic was limiting. God could have ensured the performance of His promise in a number of ways other than Isaac being raised from death. The passage shows one of those ways when God chose for Isaac not to experience death at all.