God asking Abraham to sacrifice Isaac - podcast follow up question

I really enjoyed your recent podcast about Abraham and God’s command to sacrifice Isaac. I have a follow-up question.

You highlighted how many times Abraham wavered in his faith and even disobeyed, however, in Romans 4:19-20 it says 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God.

How does this connect with the many times Abraham wavered?

Thank you for your ministry!

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@SuburbanLuchador Great question :slight_smile:

I believe there is actually a common Biblical pattern of describing someone based upon the general character of their life without holding specific examples to the contrary against them. For example, in Numbers 12:3 it says that Moses was the most humble man on earth, yet he was unable to enter the promised land and in 1 Samuel / Acts 13:22 David is described as a man after God’s own heart, yet we know that David fell short in many ways. These descriptions describe the general direction of an individual’s life and do not exclude the need for repentance before God.

This description of Abraham’s faith appears to clash with two elements in the Genesis narrative about Abraham. (1) According to Genesis 17:17, when told that Sarah would bear a son, Abraham “fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, 'Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?”… Probably Paul is making a generalization about the whole course of Abraham’s life. (2) A second problem with Paul’s description is the fact that Genesis 25:1-2 indicates that Abraham later produced children through another wife, Keturah. The best solution is to assume that God’s gift of procreative power to Abraham remained after the birth of Isaac. Zondervan Illustrated Bible Background Commentary

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