Imperfect Models All

By Not Known

When we read about Abraham we think of him as a Biblical super-hero – a man of tremendous faith who left his homeland to venture into the complete unknown, simply because God said so.  He also demonstrated great obedience ― when God tested Abraham by telling him to sacrifice his only son Isaac, Abraham promptly set out the very next morning. There is no bargaining, no questioning, no attempt to escape.

Again he was a conscientious father, instructing his servant to find a wife for Isaac from “my country and my own relatives” (i.e. similar culture and faith) and making him promise “you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites” (Gen 24:3f). He was also the first in the Bible to give a tithe after God gave him a resounding victory (Gen 14).

Abraham was certainly an exemplary man of faith but neither was he perfect. He lied about the fact that Sarah was his wife (twice!).  When God promised Abraham a son, he laughed and told God what to do (Gen 17:18). After a long time and no sign of a child for Sarah, she proposed a plan borne out of human wisdom, and Abraham foolishly agreed, forgetting God’s earlier promise. The point is this: Abraham was far from perfect. Nor were any other Bible characters perfect ― men or women ― except Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

It is great if we can find an older “brother or sister” in the faith to mentor us, or to be a role model for us, someone we can look up to and learn from. But beware that we do not put them or any leader on a pedestal to hero-worship them to the extent that we forget that they are all “cut from the same cloth” as we are. Without exception all believers are weak, sinful, prone to temptation and absolutely fallible (Romans 3:10… there is no one righteous, not even one…). Without the Holy Spirit’s ongoing protection there would be many more casualties. When there is failure, we can always count on God’s grace, which is greater than our sin.

Finally on another note, Swee Kheng and I would like to thank all who helped put together a lovely reception after last Sunday’s Induction Service. The yummy food was enjoyed by folk at both morning and evening services so thank you for your hard work. Praise God for a good spirit of celebration and fellowship.


Graham Ng