Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: The Weighing of God

Abraham, a man of Challenge, Faith and Promise

The Weighing of God

Reading Genesis 22:1ff

In the course of these studies we have seen the way in which our Lord has over many years has developed in Abraham, not just a sense, but also the reality of what his Lord was going to do through him and his decedents. There was also the revealing of many principles and the practical outworking of them in the course of life of Abraham. The years of hungering for what had been promised and then the arrival of the heir. Now the issue of whom and what was going to be the focal point of Abraham’s worship, was to be settled. Not that the Almighty did not know, but the had now to be the settling of this issue in Abraham himself.

We are told, "God tested Abraham." That word "Tested," holds the sense of something being PROVED, something being subjected to an ASSAY. The substance of what it is made of being discovered and proven. In this country any precious metal that has been tested and proven to be of a certain quality, has a hallmark of the testing assay office stamped upon it. The hallmark of the testing officer is saying, "I have tested this object, and what it is along, with the quality of that substance, complies to the standard to what it has been marked." Anyone may now look at this item, they can see by the fact of the mark, not only what it is, but what quality it is as well. The hallmark is the proof and the guarantee of the claims made for that item.

Here is God saying to Abraham, "I have made promises to you, I have brought you to this point and place, now the issue of what is more important to you, Me or the promise is to be resolved in you." God knew the outcome, but Abraham did not. God knew what Abraham would do, but Abraham did not, God knew that Abraham would take his hands off of the promise and walk in faith knowing that the promise was secure and sure, but Abraham knew no such thing. A man who was over a hundred years old now, a man who had over twenty five years earlier left his home in Ur of the Chaldeans and entered the land of promise. For over twenty five years had had the promise of his God that there was to be an heir, for over twenty five years waited, made his mistakes, but always returned to the point of trust and faith. Abraham had proved God so many times in so many circumstances; the test was not of God to Abraham, nor Abraham to God, but what was to Abraham the focal point of His trust and the object of His worship? What is the most important thing in my life? What hallmark will I take, the promise, which is mortal, or God himself who is immortal?

From the reception of the call to offer Isaac as a burnt offering, to the arrival at the chosen site in Moriah, was a two to three day. In that time this conflict was going on inside of Abraham, he quite possibly eat and slept little. To those who were with him, he in all probability seemed withdrawn, preoccupied, and quite morose. The outward manifestation of the inward conflict going on. Two to three days of this, and quite possibly it was not resolved until the knife was raised over Isaac. There are issues that we struggle with that do not respond to the level of cliché, nor do they respond to a point of resolution by things we may have learnt many years ago. Things that are tried, tested and proven to work, but they only find a resolve as the issue of who is my focal point of worship, who is my God, is resolved. Until that is resolved there will always be that inner tension, until the axe is laid to the root of that particular issue, then there will be moodiness, there will be sullenness, even running away from the issue. These things have the disturbing habit of catching up with you and demanding that you confront the issue.

The fulfillment of Abraham’s confidence in the provision of God, and the further affirmation and confirmation of God’s blessing, was to only come after this issue was resolved. The same is true for some here, what quality of hallmark will I have stamped upon me?

It has become an issue of faith:-

Hebrews 11:17-20; "By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 of whom it was said, "In Isaac your seed shall be called," 19 concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense."

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