Saturday, December 14, 2019

God Tested Abraham

After these things God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Mori′ah, and offer him there as a burnt offering upon one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” (Genesis 22: 1-2)

It would be normal for one to begin to have their doubts about God or perhaps even their own sanity after hearing such a command, and yet Abraham trusted the Lord to the extent that he was duty bound to comply. Who of us could possibly even begin to understand such trust and faithfulness?

So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; and he cut the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place afar off. Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the ass; I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.” And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here am I, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood; but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together. (Genesis 22: 3-6) 

Abraham’s action is a picture of a future time when the Creator himself would enter the world in the person of Jesus Christ and he himself would carry a wooden cross upon which to be sacrificed for the sins of the world. Who among us would sacrifice our own son’s life in order to save the life of another? This passage portrays the innocence of this father’s son Isaac, just as God’s son Jesus was innocent and sinless under the law. Abraham was so trusting of God that he said to his son, “God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” His comment reveals a supernatural faith and it is what God wants us to see in Abraham and try to emulate in our own lives.

When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. Then Abraham put forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” (Genesis 22: 9-12)

This was an incredible testing of Abraham’s trust and loyalty to God, which along with Abraham’s acting on God’s command gives us a shining example of what faith is in action. It’s like a stool, without three legs it would be incomplete and would not be a stool. Trust, loyalty and action are the three legs that make faith complete and valid before God. 

And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called the name of that place The Lord will provide; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.” (Genesis 22: 13-14)

As a response to Abraham’s show of trust and loyalty through his action the Lord provided for Abraham’s immediate need at an extremely stressful moment. We should keep that in mind and draw close to the Lord, we are living in very stressful times.

And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven, and said, “By myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this, and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will indeed bless you, and I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore. And your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies, and by your descendants shall all the nations of the earth bless themselves, because you have obeyed my voice.” (Genesis 22: 15-18)

This will be the last of this series on Abraham. There was much to be gleaned about what it takes to have a perfect relationship with God as we looked into this incredible man’s life!

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