God tests Abraham – Genesis 22

Has God ever put your faith to the test by asking you to give something up? Something so precious or so important to you that you don’t know how you would go on living without it?
Sometimes God takes such things away from us – but I’m not talking about that. Have you ever given anything up voluntarily, of your own choice, because God has commanded you to do so. If so you will know a little of how Abraham felt that day when he climbed up Mount Moriah with his only son Isaac.
Verses 1-2
God sometimes calls us to give up the things we hold most dearly to show that we love and obey and trust Him.
A test of love –
v 2 – your son, beloved, only son – v2
This was a test of loyalty, a test of priorities, to love God with all our heart and soul and strength and mind.
Luke 14:25-27 – here is an agonising choice, but between love for family and love for God, God must take the priority
A test of obedience
Vv 9-11 obeying God when we don’t understand, even when what he asks of us seems impossible, incredible, unacceptable.
James 2:20-24 Our faith must show itself in obedient actions. It isn’t enough to believe the Bible – we have to obey the Bible.
Test of faith
Genesis 17:19-21 Isaac was the child of blessing, the heir of the promise.
Note the certainty of Abraham’s faith in verse 5 – we WILL come back.
Hebrews 11:17-19 –
God will sometimes test OUR love, OUR obedience, OUR faith. God will sometimes demand sacrifices from us too! But when we do come to times of testing we should remember
Verses 7-8, 13-14
God is Jehovah Jireh, God the Provider.
God provided for Abraham v 13
God provided a substitute, the ram in place of Isaac. Sometimes God DOES take away things we try so hard to cling on to – remember the story of Job. At other times God will let us keep such things so that we can use them for his glory. God WILL be there in our times of testing
1 Corinthians 10:13
God has provided for the world.
God himself will provide the Lamb John 1:29, 1 Peter 1:18-20
God was only demanding from Abraham the same sacrifice He himself would give for the salvation of the world. Abraham was challenged to give up His only son Isaac. God the Father DID give up His only Son Jesus Christ for the sins of the world. Jesus was the substitute. Jesus died not only in the place of Barabbas but ion the place of every sinner who truly repents and believes the gospel.
There is so much symbolism here. Abraham representing the Father willing to sacrifice up his only Son. Isaac representing Jesus the one would die as the perfect offering for sin. God has provided such a wonderful Saviour!
And God will continue to provide – even for us.
Verse 14. Look at the history of the church. Look at the history of world mission, and the history of revivals, and the lives of the great missionaries and saints of God who put their trust in God for their food and shelter and their very lives. Each proved in their own experience, GOD WILL PROVIDE Romans 8:31-32.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided – Great is thy Faithfulness Lord unto me! WE can all rely on the God who provides – whatever challenges lie ahead, whatever sacrifices God may call us to make, we can say “GOD WILL PROVIDE”.
And the consequences of Abraham’s obedience and faith?
Verses 15-18
Abraham’s love and obedience and faith released great blessings for the whole world. We can’t tell at the time the full significance of our service for God but I believe that often it has a much greater importance than we can imagine. Sometimes even OUR simple acts of sacrifice can have a COSMIC significance in God’s masterplan of redemption.
Blessings for Abraham
This experience built his character and deepened his relationship with God. It also brought Abraham blessings in the life to come. Matthew 19:27-28
Blessings for Isaac.
Verses 5-8. This was Isaac’s first encounter with Almighty God. Isaac learned his faith and obedience from Abraham. There will be other people whose lives have been influenced by YOUR faith. Your obedience is a blessing to THEM. Who are the people who have been touched by YOUR faith and witness and example?
Blessings for the whole world
Verses 17-18
We cannot know what the effects and results of our service for God in these days might have in years to come. When our love and faith and obedience tested, we can expect blessings to follow if we simply trust and obey – whatever the sacrifice God commands of us. And we can be completely confident that in our situation too, God will provide. Because this story gives us a wonderful picture of the sacrifice God was prepared to make for us and for our salvation.

This entry was posted in Abraham.

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