The Youth’s Instructor


March 4, 1897

God's Representatives



Abraham was a bright and shining light. His faith, his piety, his devotion, were to keep the knowledge of God alive in the age in which he lived. “The Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee: and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great: and thou shalt be a blessing.” Abraham would have greater influence with strangers than with those who were connected with him. He was therefore required to leave his kindred, and the Lord's promise to him was, “I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” YI March 4, 1897, par. 1

Abraham obeyed the voice of God. No sooner did he have an indication of God's will than he was ready to obey. He did not stop to consider whether it would be for his financial advantage to do this. In faith, putting his confidence in the guidance of God, he left his home and his kindred, and “went out, not knowing whither he went.” YI March 4, 1897, par. 2

In that age, idolatry was fast creeping in and conflicting with the worship of the true God. But Abraham did not become an idolater. Although his own father was vacillating between the true and the false worship, and with his knowledge of the truth false theories and idolatrous practises were mingled, Abraham kept free from this infatuation. He was not ashamed of his faith, and made no effort to hide the fact that he made God his trust. He “builded an altar unto the Lord, and called upon the name of the Lord.” YI March 4, 1897, par. 3

Everything like idolatry is abhorrent to God; and he gave special directions to those whom he accepted as worshipers of himself, that they should not mingle with other nations, to do after their works and forget God. He forbade them to intermarry with idolaters, lest their hearts should be led away from God, and there should become mingled with the worship of God the customs and practices of idolatrous nations, and thus his service become corrupted. YI March 4, 1897, par. 4

But it was not the design of God to keep his chosen people exclusively to themselves. He did not intend that they should build up a wall of partition between themselves and the rest of mankind. The banner of faith must ever be held aloft; his people are to be as the salt, to preserve the earth from moral corruption. When men thought to build a tower that would reach unto heaven, the very talents that were given them of God were perverted to a wrong purpose, to carry out plans that would be in opposition to the purposes of God. It was their design to confederate together, to separate from the world at large, and to become an independent community. But this was not God's purpose. He spoiled their plans, confusing their language so they could not understand the words or plans of one another. YI March 4, 1897, par. 5

God designed that Abraham should be a channel of light and blessing, that he should have a gathering influence, and that God should have a people on the earth. Abraham was to be in the world, reflecting in his life the character of Jesus. When he received the divine call, Abraham was not a man of renown, neither a lawgiver, nor a conqueror. He was a simple herdsman, dwelling in tents, but employing a large number of workmen to carry on his humble employment. And the honor which he received was because of his faithfulness to God, his strict integrity and just dealing. The Lord said of him: “Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.” YI March 4, 1897, par. 6

Abraham's unselfish life made him indeed a “spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.” And the Lord declared he would bless those who blessed Abraham, and that he would punish those who misused or injured him. Through Abraham's experience in his religious life a correct knowledge of Jehovah has been communicated to thousands; and his light will shed its beams all along the path of those who practise the piety, the faith, the devotion, and the obedience of Abraham. YI March 4, 1897, par. 7

Abraham had a knowledge of Christ; for the Lord had enlightened him in regard to the world's Redeemer. And he made known to his household and his children that the sacrificial offerings prefigured Christ, the Lamb of God, who was to be slain for the sins of the world. Thus he gathered converts to believe in the only true and living God. YI March 4, 1897, par. 8

The Lord accepted Abraham's faith and his unquestioning obedience. While as yet the patriarch had no child, when the Canaanites dwelt in the land, and when he could only claim a place in it as a stranger and a sojourner, the Lord welcomed him to the promised land, and assured him that the land would be given to him and to his posterity for a possession. YI March 4, 1897, par. 9

As Abraham and other holy men of old were a light in their generation, so must God's people be a light in the world. The beams of heaven's attractive loveliness are to shine forth from us, showing the only good and right way, and ever showing the superiority of God's law above every human enactment. Bible religion is not to be hidden away in the dark. It delights to be examined. Every additional ray of light that shines upon our pathway is, in God's plan, a fresh element of strength, an added power by which to draw the world to God. YI March 4, 1897, par. 10

Mrs. E. G. White