We’ve been studying God’s Sufficiency for godly living. Last time we looked at New Covenant promises in the Old Testament, and how Old Testament saints were able to tap into God’s sufficient resources through faith. Man was as helpless without God back then as we are today. We saw how Moses knew the Israelites were insufficient to win their battles and he taught them to trust in God. And we also saw the prophet Jeremiah’s strong words to those who trust in men.
Today we’re going to look at the lives of two other men in the Old Testament: Abraham and David.
Abraham’s life is a significant example because he lived before God had given His laws to Israel. Abraham’s relationship with God was built entirely on faith and obedience. God spoke to Abraham, and he took God at His word. When God told him to look at the stars in the heavens as a measure of the descendants God would give to him, Abraham believed God at His Word, and then God accounted it to him for righteousness. This is how man relates to God and follows God–by faith. Abraham was our example, so that all who walk in faith after him, become the children of Abraham (Galatians 3:29).
“And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:6).
The natural thing for a man who has abilities or wealth, is to trust in his own resources.
We are tempted this way, in our society, into being a “self-made man” or woman. Abraham had to learn to walk in faith as he was faced with new decisions and scenarios in his life. I think sometimes we forget that Abraham was a great man with great abilities. He had great wealth, great influence, and was even skilled in warfare.
There is a temptation to trust in these things in our service to God–to just use our own abilities or the resources that are readily at hand. But God calls us to trust in the unseen.
Abraham needed to seek God and His leading, and follow through with the things God told him to do. We see times of falling short, as in Hagar and Ishmael, and the times he lied in Egypt. But we also see many times of mighty faith and fulfilling the work of God. The same is true for us. Life is a step by step walk of faith with the Lord.
Sometimes we will fail. Other times we will walk in victory. Along the way, we will have opportunity to see how great God is, and that He is truly sufficient for life, godliness, and service unto Him.
Abraham’s life became an example for his descendants, all the way down to David. Like Abraham, David sought a personal relationship with the Lord, and he grew in faith as he walked in obedience. We can see how David trusted the Lord to be sufficient in all areas of his life when we read through his story. But the Psalms give us an additional glimpse into David’s heart.
God was his stronghold (Psalm 18:1-2) the strength of His life (Psalm 27:1), the fountain of life (Psalm 36:7-9), and a source of sustaining faithfulness (Psalm 37:3-5).
Let’s remember some of the challenges David had to face: he protected his sheep from predators, he killed a giant that no one else could kill, he was hunted by the king and forced to live a life on the run for many years, he fought battle after battle against Israel’s enemies, and in later life his own son tried to kill him. David made mistakes, just like Abraham. And there were times when he relied on himself. But he always returned to the Lord, recognizing it was God who sustained his very life.
The only way to live an abundant life of victory in Christ is to follow these men’s examples and depend on the Lord. We are not capable of producing that victory in our own lives.