Genesis 22 - God tested Abraham
1 Later on God tested Abraham’s faith and obedience. "Abraham!" God called.
"Yes," he replied. "Here I am."
2 "Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will point out to you."
3 The next morning Abraham got up early. He saddled his donkey and took two of his servants with him, along with his son Isaac. Then he chopped wood to build a fire for a burnt offering and set out for the place where God had told him to go. 4On the third day of the journey, Abraham saw the place in the distance. 5"Stay here with the donkey," Abraham told the young men. "The boy and I will travel a little farther. We will worship there, and then we will come right back."
6 Abraham placed the wood for the burnt offering on Isaac’s shoulders, while he himself carried the knife and the fire. As the two of them went on together, 7 Isaac said, "Father?"
"Yes, my son," Abraham replied.
"We have the wood and the fire," said the boy, "but where is the lamb for the sacrifice?"
8"God will provide a lamb, my son," Abraham answered. And they both went on together.
9 When they arrived at the place where God had told Abraham to go, he built an altar and placed the wood on it. Then he tied Isaac up and laid him on the altar over the wood. 10And Abraham took the knife and lifted it up to kill his son as a sacrifice to the Lord. 11 At that moment the angel of the Lord shouted to him from heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!"
"Yes," he answered. "I’m listening."
12 "Lay down the knife," the angel said. "Do not hurt the boy in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld even your beloved son from me."
13 Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a bush. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering on the altar in place of his son. 14 Abraham named the place "The Lord Will Provide." This name has now become a proverb: "On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided."
God is testing us in the same ways today
God tested Abraham in a number of ways. The circumstances may be different today but God may be testing you in the very same areas He tested Abraham on. Will we be able to pass the tests like Abraham did?
Rewards of passing God's test in great
Genesis 22:15 Then the angel of the Lord called again to Abraham from heaven, 16"This is what the Lord says: Because you have obeyed me and have not withheld even your beloved son, I swear by my own self that 17I will bless you richly. I will multiply your descendants into countless millions, like the stars of the sky and the sand on the seashore. They will conquer their enemies, 18and through your descendants, all the nations of the earth will be blessed—all because you have obeyed me."
Will you give to God the thing that matters to you most?
Abraham waited until he was 100 years old before he had a son. The son must be very precious to him and his most treasured possession. But one day God wanted him to give that up - the thing that mattered most to Abraham.
God must be the number one in our life. It is easy to claim that God is number one but Abraham proved it. He proved it by being willing to give up anything for God - even his precious son.
What are the important things in your life? Is it your career, your wealth? If you were asked to give up these things to God, would you?
If God asked you to give up your career to serve Him, would you? If God asked you to give your wealth to His ministry, would you?
Will you obey God without fully understanding?
It must surely have crossed Abraham's mind why God would ask him to do such an "evil" act. Human sacrifices are practiced by pagan religions. Abraham must have wondered how God's promise to make him a great nation would be accomplished if Isaac dies. Didn't God specifically say that the nation would be through his son? Why would God take away Isaac only just after giving it to him after such a long wait?
There must have been so many things that Abraham could not understand. But he obeyed God anyway. God may also be telling us to do things that we cannot understand. He may be asking us to take on a ministry that had little history of success. He may be asking us to do His work with a method that we thought would never succeed. Would you still obey God without fully understanding?
Will you love God more than you love anybody?
Abraham must have loved Isaac dearly. But even so, he was prepared to sacrifice him for God's sake. He loved Isaac but he loved God even more.
Jesus also taught that while we are to love others, there should not be anyone we love more than God, not even our closest family members.
Matthew 10:37 If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine.
This test of love becomes real when there is a conflict of interest. When God demands one thing and our loved ones demand another thing, who do we listen to?
The amount of love we have on God verses other people can also be seen in the time spent with God and our loved ones. Do we spend time with the people we love but fail to spend time with God?
Will you obey God even for the most difficult tasks?
The most difficult thing Abraham did in his life was probably to sacrifice Isaac. Yet he obeyed God. Jesus also showed us an example of obeying His Father even for the most difficult thing - to die on the cross.
Some things God calls us to do will not be easy. The test is whether we will obey God even in these difficult things.
What are some of the difficult things God may be calling you to do today? Is it to evangelize to someone? Is it to go into full time ministry? Is it to give of your money? Is it to spend your valuable time serving Him? Is it to give up some habitual sin? Is it to forgive someone?
Will you trust God to provide?
While Abraham fully intended to obey God and offer his son as a sacrifice, there is also something in his heart that tells him that perhaps God will provide. This is clear from what he told his son in verse 8. It is also clear from how Abraham named the place as "The Lord will provide" in verse 14.
God may be testing us to see whether we trust that He will provide. You may be facing a problem at the office. Will you trust that God will provide a way out. You may be in some financial need. Will you trust that God will provide? You may be tempted to lie to come out of a difficult situation. Will you refrain from sin and trust God to provide a way out? You may have been bondage to a particular sin for a long time? Will you trust God to provide a way out of this temptation?