Abraham believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
As I grumbled over my credit card bill this morning, I thought that I well deserved every charge on it. I had received something, and the bill reflected what I must pay for it! But in my Bible Study today, I see this concept of credited righteousness, and I wonder why this wording is used three times in Scripture for Abraham. What is the big deal?
Abraham was no perfect gentleman. Yes, he believed God. But on several occasions, he looked at God’s promises and thought that God needed a little help in getting the job done. Twice, he lied to region-kings to keep himself safe (Hadn’t God promised him safety and a future?). He fathered a child by his wife’s servant (Hadn’t God promised him children?). Yet, he is still acclaimed as a great man of faith because of his belief that God would do what he said he’d do.
In the balance of his life, Abraham indeed showed great faith by leaving his home and obeying God even when he didn’t know where God would take him. He tied his own promised son to an altar as a sacrifice believing that God would supply a ram or raise Isaac from the dead. He accepted less than prime property when his nephew chose the better land...knowing that God had promised to bless him. The list goes on.
Abraham’s righteousness (his right-standing with God) was not based on his obedience, his sacrifice, his choices. Nor was his righteousness tainted by the failures of his life. His righteousness completely rested in his faith…his belief that God would do what he said he would do.
And so it is with me. My right-standing with God is not a weighing of the good side of me against the not-so-good. It is gloriously, completely, and eternally found in my faith in who God is and what He has promised.
Thank you, Lord, for the gift of faith. I do believe. Help me overcome by unbelief (Mark 9:24).