|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:13-22 The promise was made to Abraham long before the law. It points at Christ, and it refers to the promise, Ge 12:3. In Thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. The law worketh wrath, by showing that every transgressor is exposed to the Divine displeasure. As God intended to give men a title to the promised blessings, so he appointed it to be by faith, that it might be wholly of grace, to make it sure to all who were of the like precious faith with Abraham, whether Jews or Gentiles, in all ages. The justification and salvation of sinners, the taking to himself the Gentiles who had not been a people, were a gracious calling of things which are not, as though they were; and this giving a being to things that were not, proves the almighty power of God. The nature and power of Abraham's faith are shown. He believed God's testimony, and looked for the performance of his promise, firmly hoping when the case seemed hopeless. It is weakness of faith, that makes a man lie poring on the difficulties in the way of a promise. Abraham took it not for a point that would admit of argument or debate. Unbelief is at the bottom of all our staggerings at God's promises. The strength of faith appeared in its victory over fears. God honours faith; and great faith honours God. It was imputed to him for righteousness. Faith is a grace that of all others gives glory to God. Faith clearly is the instrument by which we receive the righteousness of God, the redemption which is by Christ; and that which is the instrument whereby we take or receive it, cannot be the thing itself, nor can it be the gift thereby taken and received. Abraham's faith did not justify him by its own merit or value, but as giving him a part in Christ.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He staggered not at the promise of God,.... There is no reason to stagger at, or hesitate about any of the promises of God, since they are made by him that cannot lie; his faithfulness is engaged to perform them; with him all things are possible; every promise is in Christ, yea and amen, and never did any fail; and yet so it is, that some of God's children,
through unbelief, do stagger at the promises of God; thinking either that they are too great for them, or demur upon them through difficulties which attend them:
but so did not Abraham, he
was strong in faith; nothing moved him, no difficulties discouraged him, he made no demur upon the promise, nor had the least hesitation in his mind about the accomplishment of it; but was fully assured that so it would be, as God had said; and thus he was
giving glory to God; ascribing to him the glory of his veracity, faithfulness, power, grace, and goodness, as all such who are strong in faith do; such persons bring the most glory to God, and are the most comfortable in their own souls. This phrase, , "to be strong" or strengthened, or strengthen themselves "in faith", is to be met with in Jewish writings (u), and is particularly used of the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; all the tribes of Israel are not said to be , "strong in their faith"; only the tribe of Levi, when Moses stood in the gate and said, "who is on the Lord's side, let him come unto me", Exodus 32:26, whoever is , "strong in his faith" (w); and there were none in all Israel but the tribe of Levi, who were "strong in their faith".
(u) Zohar in Gen. fol. 83. 4. (w) Tzeror Hammor, fol. 87. 4.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
20. He staggered—hesitated
not … but was strong in faith, giving glory to God—as able to make good His own word in spite of all obstacles.
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