Opting between Faith and Doubt

The Bible is the story of people responding to God in faith but also of those who doubted him.

Genesis is the book of the beginnings of many things. The origin of the created order, human life, sin, and the list could go on. But it also records the origin of faith and doubt.

Sin originated with Adam and Eve who disobeyed God (Gen 3:1—19). However, their sin was doubting God which led to disobedience. The serpent did not ask them to eat the forbidden fruit. He only made them doubt God’s command. It was Eve who found the forbidden fruit attractive, plucked, ate, and gave it to her husband. The sequence of sinful actions was triggered by doubt.

Faith also begins in Genesis. Abel, the first martyr in the Bible knew how to please God and found his place in the Hall of Heroes of Faith. “He still speaks to us by his example of faith” (Heb 11:4, NLT). The son of the parents who invented sin by doubting God, returned to the same God in faith.

The story does not end there. The third son of Adam, born after the death of Abel was also a worshipper of God (Gen 4:26). The 39 books of the Old Testament present an array of people who believed in God. They are paraded in the long list of heroes of faith in the Book of Hebrews (Heb 11:1—40).

However, the list of heroes of faith has purged the masters of doubt we find in the narratives of the Bible. Though the Biblical narratives have people of faith scattered in it, we have huge crowds who did not believe God. Noah was a lonely figure of faith amid people who doubted God’s call to repent. In Lot’s Gomorrah, none of his townsfolk trusted his counsel about God’s wrath. Jesus nor the apostles could not lead all whom they taught to accept the Gospel of salvation. The majority not only doubted them but hated and hurt them. It seems that for every hero of faith there were hundreds who perfected the art of doubt.

There is the long, crowded line of doubters and on the other side the thin short line of those who trust God. It is for us to decide which line to join.

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