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Summary: Inspiration from Scripture when our faith is tested.

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A TEST OF FAITH

Genesis 22:1-14

It had been a day like any other day when Abraham heard those disturbing words. They were words that pierced his heart like a newly formed dagger. They were words that tore apart his insides like a lion feasting on a zebra. They were words that dug deep into the very essence of his soul. He was just minding his own business taking care of the old homestead when he heard the Lord speak to him.

"Abraham."

"Well, Lord, here I am. It sure is nice to hear from you today. It’s been a little while. How are things going in the heavenly realm?"

"Things are going just fine Abraham. How about you?"

"Well Lord, you know I can’t lie. You know all so there is no point in even trying. Things are going well. The crops are growing as expected, the animals are healthy. I heard from Hagar the other day and it appears that she and Ishmael are getting along quite well. I really messed up on that one didn’t I Lord. But, hey, thanks for being there. I hated casting them out but, it was them or me. After Isaac was born, Sarah was fit to be tied. But, like you said back then ’a man’s got to do what a man’s to do’ and you would take care of them, which you have. I thank you for that Lord. You have continued to come through for me. Things are happier at home now. Sarah is happy and Isaac is growing like a weed. I don’t know why, but you have always provided for me and for that, I praise you."

"Well good Abraham, I’m glad you feel that way because there is something I would like you do for me."

"Lord, you name it. I am your servant, you tell me what to do and I will do it. Me cassia Es Su cassia."

"Abraham, take Isaac your loving son and go to the land of Moriah and offer him there as a burnt offering to me. I’ll tell you on what mountain once you get there. You say you’re grateful for what I have done, now show me. I’ll see you there."

As quickly as the Lord’s voice came to Abe, it left. I can see Abe standing there in the middle of the field with his jaw dropped, a lump in his throat, trying to hold down the morning’s breakfast, in utter shock and amazement. What was God talking about? Was he serious? Was he joking? Was he nuts? Why would God do such a thing to his faithful servant Abraham? I bet Abraham was thinking something like, "Surely this wasn’t punishment for lying about Sarah’s relationship to me with Pharaoh was it? Surely God wasn’t sill mad about Sarah laughing at he when he told us about her pregnancy? Oh man, just wait until I see her tonight when I get home. That woman, I knew she was trouble when I …, wait a minute. I get it. I thought we put all this past stuff behind us, but, God you are really mad about this Ishmael thing aren’t you? Man I really did mess up. Okay God, I get your point. I don’t like it, but I’ll do it."

As he turned to walk back up to the house, he heard the voice one more time quickly say "No, Abraham, it’s not about any of those things. I have put the past behind me. The past is just that, the past. I’ve forgiven you for all of that nonsense. Just show me how much you love and appreciate me." And again, the voice left. With that, Abe retired for the rest of the day with the disturbing words echoing in his head, a pain in his chest, and a wish that he could chalk all of this up to a bad serving of coscoos. But it was hopeless. It was real.


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