“(as it is written, ‘I have made you a father of many nations’) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did” (Romans 4:17).
No novel or play has more frequent or more amazing foreshadowing than the Scriptures. Its types and shadows are distinctive proof of the Bible’s inspiration.
For Abraham’s faith to be sufficient in God’s eyes, he had to believe God’s promise of a miraculous conception in Sarah’s womb. Later, when Isaac was a lad, his faith required him to believe God had the power to give life from the dead. Isaac was born 37 years before his mother died at the ripe old age of 127 (Genesis 23:1; 17:17). With the onset of menopause, her barren womb was dead (Romans 4:19). Conception was clearly a scientific, natural impossibility.
Isaac’s conception in Sarah’s barren womb foreshadows Jesus’ conception in the womb of a virgin named Mary. When questions about this happening arose from Mary’s lips, the angel’s reply was so true: “with God nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1:37). Just as Abraham’s faith required him to believe God had the power of a miraculous conception to fulfill His promises, the faith which justifies today requires the same concerning Jesus.
Abraham’s obedient faith which compelled him to travel for three days to reach Mount Moriah (Genesis 22:1-4) necessitated his belief in God’s power to give life to the dead. His servant was explicitly told to “stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you” (Genesis 22:5). Abraham would obediently attempt to plunge a knife into his son’s heart because he had concluded “that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead” (Hebrews 11:19).
Abraham’s faith in Isaac’s resurrection foreshadows our need for faith in Jesus’ resurrection. The sacrifice of Abraham’s only-begotten son on Mount Moriah was divinely aborted; the sacrifice of God’s only-begotten Son on Mount Calvary was not. Jesus died for our sins according to the Scriptures, was buried, arose again the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3-4), declared to be the Son of God with power (Romans 1:4). Just as Abraham’s faith required him to believe God had the power to give life to the dead, the faith which justifies today requires the same concerning Jesus.
The just live by faith in the God who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they do.