“Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied.“
As in the case of Abraham, God tests our faith in many ways. God demands great sacrifice on our part, and the road of obedience to God is sometimes long and hard. However, as we are obedient to His direction for our lives, these tests can be very beneficial to our spiritual life. He leads us into difficult circumstances: <Deut.8:2>. He gives opportunities for making right choices: <1 Kings 3:5>. He proposes difficult undertakings: <John 6:5-6>. He allows suffering in our lives: <Acts 16:23-24>. He allows the devil to test us: <Jas.1:2-3>. Throughout all of these difficult tests God has His reasons and purposes: <Ex.20:20>. God tests by demanding that we relinquish the thing or things that are very important to us, and our response demonstrates how deep is our faith in the Almighty God.
“Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.”“ <22:2; cf 2 Sam.24:24; John 12:3; Mal.1:13NIV>
A close walk and fellowship with God will affect my worship of Him and my willingness to be obedient to His demands upon my life. “He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”“ <Gen.22:5-6; Heb.11:19>. In this act of Abraham, and the willingness of Isaac his son to go with his father, even though Isaac must have suspected what was going to take place, we see the faith of Abraham in action and how it influenced his son Isaac.
There is also another picture painted for us in this narrative; it is the picture of another son in obedience to his father’s will; it is a picture of the Son of God on His way to Calvary bearing our sin and reproach. “Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.“ <Isa.53:4 NIV> “This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.” <Matt.8:17 NIV> “Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha).“ <John 19:17 NIV>
In the words of Abraham, God did provide Himself a lamb for the sacrifice: “Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.“ <Gen.22:8 NIV; cf John 1:29; 2 Cor.5:21; 1 Pet.2:24>. Abraham did pass his test even as God provided in response to his faith. God always provides for us if we like Abraham are willing to follow His commands, even when everything seems so dark and we cannot understand His ways. This is the type of faith that influences our children.
“So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide.( Jehovah-jireh: …. (K.JV)) And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.” <Gen.22:14 NIV>
Abraham’s life so far was one of test after test, this one being the greatest, and now he had been approved of God. As God completes this test He rehearses the blessings for Abraham one more time and adds a little more information. Let us examine each one of these statements and note the progression as Abraham completes each step of faith.
“I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” <Gen.12:2-3 NIV>
“The LORD said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted.“ <Gen.13:14-16 NIV>
“He took him outside and said, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars– if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates-“” <Gen.15:5, 18 NIV>
“I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.” (Gen.17:6-8 NIV>
“I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.” <Gen.22:17-18 NIV>
God never reveals all His will for us at one time. As we are obedient to Him and step out in faith, each step of faith brings to us a little more revelation of His will.