Summary: Abraham’s faith is tested by God by asking him to sacrifice his son, Isaac, to the Lord. This message examines the testing and how we can learn from it.
Discovering Genesis, Part 17
- Go with me to Genesis, Chapter 22
- This evening we are going to look at the testing of Abraham
- Abraham desired nothing more than to have a son; an heir to inherit everything
- Genesis 15:2-3, “But Abram said, “Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.”
- But God had a very clear response to him: Genesis 15:4, “Then the word of the LORD came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.”
- Many know this story but the revelation of who God is becomes very clear
- We see clearly from Abraham’s response how we must respond
- Testing from God is always done to refine us and grow us spiritually
- It is in the testing that we learn how to lean on Him fully
- Sometimes, during an honest testing we see God’s true sovereignty and grace
- Stand and Read Genesis 22:1-18
Point 1 - Give first place to God (Genesis 22:1-4)
- Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born.
- He and his wife were childless for many years.
- However, God told Abraham, that He will use Isaac to bring forth a great nation
- This is God’s promise and the truth of God’s Word is 100% reliable
-- When God gives us a promise; we can take it to the bank and stand on it
-- Phil 1:6 (he who began…); Phil 4:13 (I can do all things…)
-- Matt 11:28 (“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
- Abraham had to make a choice: To obey God or disobey God
-- Obeying God will cost Abraham his son (and any hopes of God’s promise).
-- Protecting his son will be disobedience to God. (What will he tell his wife Sara when she inquire about their son?)
- But Abraham gave first place to God.
- APP: When your faith is tested give your first priority to God. Remember, it involves a cost.
Point 2 - Obey the Lord (Genesis 22:5-10)
- Abraham was a human; he was filled with all the same doubts we have
-- I am sure that God’s command took Abraham by surprise.
- Isaac was Abraham’s only son.
- He couldn’t express his grief in words.
- But Abraham obeyed God’s command unconditionally.
- Abraham had to learn to obey unconditionally.
- Do you obey the Lord when you are told to do the seemingly impossible?
- Do you give excuses why you can’t obey the Lord’s command?
Point 3 - Use faith to face the test of faith (11-18)
- Notice how Abraham demonstrated faith throughout this situation; why???
- Abraham knew that God keeps His promises; he was totally certain of it
- For example, here was the son that God had promised, and Abraham didn’t doubt
- Hebrews 11:17-19, “By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.”
- In times of testing we must remember the promises God has given already given
- A promise from God is like an anchor
- God’s anchor helps us to stand firm in stormy times of life.
- Hold fast to God’s promise.
- God will put our faith into test at each stage of our Christian life.
- Our goal should be to pass every test of faith.
- Testing of faith always precedes promotion.
- Self-blessings and human blessings can’t replace divine blessing.
- Just as a product is never used until it’s tested – So it is with us.