“I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.” (John 10:14)
“And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.” (John 10:4)
The Bible says in Romans 4:3,
“For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” (Rom. 4:3)
Other than Christ, Abraham more than anyone else is to be our example of faith. What is so special about Abraham?
In the book of Genesis, we read of how God chose Abraham and told him to leave his idolatrous home and go to a land that He would show him. Abraham obeyed, and later God told Abraham that his descendants would be as the stars of the heavens for multitude.
In his later years, he and his wife Sarah had a son named Isaac. As Isaac grew into manhood, God told Abraham that in Isaac would his seed be called.
In other words, that his descendants through Isaac would be as the stars of heaven for multitude.
Then a strange thing happened. God told Abraham to take Isaac and go to a certain mountain and offer him as a burnt sacrifice.
Most, if not all, believers would not have believed that God spoke this to them and would not have gone. This was contrary to God’s promise.
How could Abraham have descendants through Isaac and they be as the stars of heaven if Isaac was dead?
Isaac had not yet married and had any children.
This was also contrary to God’s nature, for God forbade human sacrifice and said that it was an abomination to him. But yet Abraham took Isaac and went anyway. Why?
Over the years Abraham had become so familiar with God that he knew His voice and never doubted. Abraham had walked with God. He had sat in the door of his tent and ate with God.
The more time that Abraham spent with God, the more he knew His voice, His nature, His power, and His plan.
Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice and another they will not follow.” (John 10:27)
Abraham had learned that God always keeps his promise, so he knew that even though it seemed impossible for God’s promise to be fulfilled if he obeyed God, he still knew that somehow God would make his descendants through Isaac as plentiful as the stars of heaven.
Abraham knew that God would never require a human sacriﬁce, so he knew that something would happen to prevent it. Abraham knew that God’s power was unlimited, so that even if his son suffered death, God was able to raise him up in order to fulﬁll His word.
And Abraham knew that God does everything by design. He knew that God had a plan, and that everything was for a reason.
So he told his servants, “I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and WE shall come again.”
Even when Isaac asked him, “Father, here is the wood and the ﬁre but where is the lamb for the sacriﬁce?”
Abraham said, “God himself will provide a lamb for a sacriﬁce.”
After ascending the mountain, Abraham bound his son with cords, placed him upon the wood, and raised his knife. An angel immediately appeared and called to Abraham.
“And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.” (Gen. 22:11)
“And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.” (Gen. 22:12)
“And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.” (Gen. 22:13)
“And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.” (Gen. 22:14)
“And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,” (Gen. 22:15)
“And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:” (Gen. 22:16)
“That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;” (Gen. 22:17)
“And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.” (Gen. 22:18)
The word “Jehovahjireh” means, “The Lord will provide”, or more literally, “The Lord will see to it.”
Abraham believed God and never doubted because he had come to know the voice of God. He also trusted God. He had come to know the nature of God.
The Bible says, “God is love.” He knew that God would never do anything contradictory to his nature, and so he knew that everything would work out for his good.
Abraham never doubted, even though the circumstances seemed against him. And because he never doubted but had faith and obeyed, God was able through this situation to foreshadow the coming of the Messiah.
God was able to portray not only a beautiful picture of the Heavenly Father willing to sacrifice his only Son, but He also was able foreshadow Jesus Christ the Lamb of God slain for the sins of the world so that we might go free.
Because of his obedience, Abraham received a blessing from God which now the Bible says we have inherited.
How did Abraham have the faith that never doubted, the God kind of faith?
By knowing and hearing the voice of God.
Romans 10:17- “Faith cometh by hearing…”
How could Abraham have been so certain that it was God’s voice that he heard?
Because he had come to know God by spending time with Him. God’s voice might be imitated, but never His nature.
Romans 10:17- “…and hearing by the word of God.”
Abraham could sit in his tent door and spend time with God to get to know Him.
God has given us His written word so that we can read it, spend time with Him in it, and get to know Him even more so than Abraham did.
“Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,” (Psalm 40:7)
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)
As you daily read the word of God, you get to know Him and His nature. As you spend time with God in His word you develop spiritual hearing and learn to recognize the voice of God.
God has promised in His word that He will speak to His children.
“He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” (Mat. 11:15)
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” (John 10:27)
In the Book of First Corinthians chapter 12 the Apostle Paul explains the miraculous spiritual gifts that God has given to His children.
However, before he explains the gifts of the Spirit, he makes a simple statement.
“Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.” (1Cor. 12:2)
The Greek word in this verse of Scripture translated “dumb” means “voiceless” or “mute”.
Before Paul instructs us concerning miracles and Spiritual gifts, he contrasts the Lord we serve with the “mute” and “voiceless” gods the gentiles serve.
We are to believe and expect that God will speak to us.
There are times when God speaks to His children but they do not recognize that it is His voice. They have not spent enough time with Him in His word and in prayer to know His nature.
Like Abraham, when we spend enough time with God that we have unshakeable faith in His love, His power, and His will, then He will speak to us, we will recognize His voice and obey, and we will realize that God has chosen us to be a vessel through which He will manifest His miraculous power for His glory.