Summary: Passing Life’s Challenges
ABRAHAM’S MOST IMPORTANT TEST
*What was the most important test in your life? ACT? SAT? For some it would be passing the bar, getting into med school,
All of us would probably agree, except for a few, that we really don’t like taking tests. God tested Abraham A fact that comes with living in the School of Faith.
Planned tests & pop quizzes: no test is a pop quiz if you were expecting it.
1. Expect Tests in your life (1) Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, ‘Abraham!’ And Abraham said, ‘Here I am’.
SCOTT PECK: Life is difficult, once we truly know that life is difficult, once we truly understand and accept it then life is no longer difficult.
a. Life involves tests: marriage, parenting, work, world’s reaction to our obedience
1) Abraham’s test grades: leaving family – choice to Lot – refusing spoil –(A) trip to Egypt(f) – Child with Hagar(f)
b. Trials & Temptations are different:
1) God uses trials for a special purpose to fulfill in our lives – temptations come from desires within us.
2) Devil uses temptations to bring out worst in us while God uses trials to bring out the best.
3) Temptations seem logical while trials seem very unreasonable.
c. Trials & Tests are Tailor-made for our lives: unique.
1) God never asked Lot to face the tests that Abraham faced
a) Easy Life? 3rd grade seems easy after been there 10 years
(2) He said, ‘Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you’
2) God never sends a test until He knows that you are ready for it.
3) Imagine the heart of Abraham: God couldn’t be clearer: your son,
Your only son, the one your love, ISAAC.
2. When Tests Come Focus On Promises(not explanations)
a. Our faith is not really tested until God asks us to bear what seems unbearable, do what seems unreasonable, and expect what seems impossible.
1) How unreasonable was God’s request: only son(send Ishmael away and now kill Isaac?) What about the covenant? Whole future build around this boy: wear your coat son, don’t cross the street,
2) My problem with God(actually His with me) When God sends a trial he doesn’t always attach an explanation. What does Abraham do?
(3) So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and Isaac his son; and he split wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.(50 mile journey) (4) On the third day Abraham raised up his eyes and saw the place from a distance. (5) Abraham said to his young men, ‘Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go over there; and we will worship and return to you.’
b. Abraham’s obedience was not based on his understanding or his feelings but upon faith and trust in God.
1) FACT: God’s will never contradicts God’s promise: 21:12 ‘in Isaac shall thy seed be called’.
2) HEBREWS 11:17-19 Abraham believed that God could raise Isaac from the dead. Already experienced resurrection power in his own body in order to have this child. I and the lad…worship…come again to you.
Sight of God’s choosing: Place where in later years King David would buy the threshing floor of Ornan as a site to build the temple - place where Solomon would build his temple. Perfect place to demonstrate a heartbroken father offering his precious son.
Isaac & Jesus: both promised, miraculous, brought joy, persecuted by brethren, obedient unto death: old enough to run away, carry the wood as Jesus did cross.
(6) 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 the two of them walked on together.
3. Expect God’s Promises to Lead to God’s Provision
(7) Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, ‘My father!’ And he said, ‘Here I am, my son.’ And he said, ‘Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering’? (8) Abraham, said, ‘God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together.
a. Isaac’s curiosity was mixed with a simple faith. He had seen God speak to and work through dad before so his questions didn’t need complete answers.
1) GOD! What are you up too, I don’t understand, why me!
2) IS ANYTHING TOO HARD FOR THE LORD?(18:14) I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.(Phil 4:13)