Summary: An Expository Message On How God Test Our Faith And Commitment To Him. Genesis Series #45
Genesis Series #45 April 28, 2002
Title: Abraham Earns An “A+”
Welcome to New life in Christ. Today we continue with message #45 in our verse-by-verse study of the book of Genesis.
Read Genesis 22:1-19
There will be times in your Christian life when it will be very difficult to trust and obey God. There will be times in your life when the things that are happening will seem to make no sense. There will be times when the direction God is taking you seems to be the wrong way. There will be times when the things that God is telling you to do or to give up will be very costly and demanding. It will require great trust and commitment. It will be very difficult to trust and obey God during these times. It is during these times that we can look at the story from Genesis 22 and be reminded of what God expects of His people.
Summary Sentence: God Expects His People To Trust And Obey Him Even When Doing So Is Very Confusing And Costly.
This is what Abraham did faithfully and God was pleased with him and rewarded him accordingly. He serves as an example to all of us on how to respond to God in difficult and demanding times.
Read Verse 1
Everything was going very well for Abraham up to this point. He and Sarah finally had the son that God had promised them. They were settled down and at peace with their neighbors. (Genesis 21:32-34) For many years Abraham was simply enjoying God’s abundant blessings. Then out of nowhere comes the greatest challenge to Abraham’s walk with God that he had ever faced. Sometimes the most difficult and challenging test of our faith and commitment to God come after many years of following God faithfully. There never comes a time in our life when we have earned an exemption from faith challenges. At whatever point we are in our Christian walk, God still has the same expectations.
God Expects His People To Trust And Obey Him Even When Doing So Is Very Confusing And Costly.
The text in verse one says that, "God tested Abraham." A test is used to prove something. A driver’s license test proves your ability to safely operate a vehicle. History tests in school prove or disprove your knowledge of history. A screen test proves your ability to act. Every test is meant to prove something. What is this test of Abraham meant to prove? His test was meant to prove that he trusts God in every situation and that he is committed to God above all other things. This is made clear in verse 12 in which the Angel of the Lord says; "Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son." His spiritual test had proved his trust and commitment.
Abraham, in essence, had earned an “A+” on his spiritual test. What will you receive on your spiritual test? Will you show that you are fully trusting and committed to God above all other things? I hope so! One thing is for sure; if you truly trust in God and are committed to Him it will show in how you respond to your spiritual test.
You will be tested, just like Abraham was, to see how complete your trust and commitment really are to obeying God. Is He really first in your life? Do you really believe that He will keep His promises even when it seems impossible? Your faith will be tested like God has always tested the faith and obedience of the people that belong to him. God tested Abraham, Gideon, Noah, The Centurion, Peter on the stormy seas, etc and he will certainly test your faith.
Abraham responds to God’s call with, "Here I am." This is the response of a servant, which indicates that Abraham recognized that he was there to serve God and not vice versa, which seems to be the popular conception of our relationship with God today.
Read Verse 2
God calls Abraham to surrender what is dearest to him - his beloved son. The test of faith and obedience can be very hard! Often times we think anything really difficult or demanding in our lives cannot be God. Abraham’s life certainly dispels or disproves that thought. He has been called to leave his family, wander in a strange land, send away his son Ishmael, and now to sacrifice his beloved and only son Isaac. Certainly God does require radical trust and obedience to Him.
Not only was what God asking of Abraham very costly but also it was also very confusing. It was confusing because Isaac is the very promise that God had given him and Isaac was the one through whom the covenant would be reckoned. It would make no sense for God to take away the very thing that He had promised Abraham. After all, how can Isaac be killed and still be these things? It just makes no sense and seems totally unreasonable but this is part of the walk of faith for Abraham and for us.