Ancient Accountants (Part 1)

The Scriptures contain examples of those who were given to accounting in the spiritual realm. In this short meditation we will consider four such men: Abraham, Moses, Asaph, and Paul.

Abraham (Hebrews 11:17-19)

“By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, that ‘In Isaac shall thy seed be called,’ accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead: from whence also he received him in a figure.” Abraham was marked by unhesitating obedience in offering up Isaac his son. He knew that the Lord could raise Isaac from the dead although there was no example of such a thing happening up to that point in time. In the case of Abraham we can see the importance of taking God at His Word. That is how we received salvation in the first place and the way by which spiritual progress is made.

Abraham has the lovely title, “The friend of God” (Isa 41:8 ). There are a few features we can see in a brief overview of his life. First, he forsook his home (Heb 11:8, Gen 12:4). People can leave home for a great variety of reasons and for many it is a big step. Stephen tells us what it was in Abraham’s case. “The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham… and said unto him, Get thee out of thy country” (Acts 7:2-3). Abraham obeyed and went out in faith. Some time later, when he was coming up out of Egypt, strife broke out between his herdsmen and those of Lot who had gone with him. In this crisis situation we again see the caliber of the man. He made a loving appeal to Lot. “Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee… for we be brethren.” That would be a bad testimony before those who were in the land. In Chapter 18 of Genesis the “memorable countdown” of Abraham is recorded from 50 down to 10 righteous in the city of Sodom. Abraham responded with the logical conclusion “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right” (v 25)? “Shall not the Judge of the whole earth perform justly” (Spurrell)?

In Genesis 22, in the great trial of offering up his son Isaac, we see his lively faith as he said to his young men, “Abide ye here with the ass, and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you” (v 5). In Genesis 23:6, we see his living testimony as he spoke with the sons of Heth about a burial place for his wife. They said concerning Abraham, “Thou art a prince of God among us” (Newberry). The right impression was made by the friend of God as he lived before the people of the land. The final feature we would consider about this great man was his looking forward. “He looked for a city” much superior to any city of earth, “whose builder and maker is God” (Heb 11:10). Abraham had good long-range vision and this is referred to by our Lord when he stated, “Abraham rejoiced to see My day: and he saw it and was glad” (John 8:56). May the Lord enable us all to manifest those positive qualities, taking God into account, as did Abraham, “the friend of God.”