Summary: Faith is validated by our obedience
Faith and Obedience
By: Rev. Joel T. Sumagaysay
The BIBLE STORY teaches us how Abraham displayed great faith and obedience to the Lord during one of the most difficult tests of his life.
Read Gen 22:1-8
The story is actually quite shocking. Here God asks for a human sacrifice. Abraham has waited over 25 years for a son and has finally God has fulfilled his promise.
Abraham has much to be thankful for – God has provided him with a Son, an heir, a promised one.
Now we get to 22:2 and God says to Abraham “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.”
sacrifice was a common thing in the period of the patriarchs and even into the kings. I think what was hardest for him to accept was the fact that this was his only Son, the son he had waited for 25 years. And this is the son he loved. The precious one.
A well-to-do businessman stood on the dock watching as final preparations were made for a ship to sail. As he stood there, he was joined by a man whose clothing revealed his poverty. Finally the man spoke up. “You seem pleased about watching this ship sail,” he said. “Yes,” replied the merchant. “I have seen many ships leave this harbor, but this one gives me more satisfaction than any other I can remember. You see, on this ship I am sending $10,000 worth of equipment for a mission hospital in China. I just had to come down and see that it got off safely.”
“Then we have something in common,” said the stranger, “for I, too, have a gift on that ship.” “And what is that gift?” asked the merchant who was somewhat antagonistic.
“My only daughter is on that ship. She’s going to China as a missionary.” “Then my gift is nothing compared with yours,” came the merchant’s humble reply.
Like this merchant, Abraham was a man of great wealth. His faith was so strong that he would readily have given any or all of his wealth to God. However, Abraham’s material wealth was nothing compared with the gift God asked of him — his son Isaac. Yet Abraham passed even this test of faith and obedience in noble fashion.
Gen. 22: 2 Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”
A man by the name of Heratio Spaffard was an American businessman, and he was scheduled to travel by boat with his wife and four children to Ireland. At the last minute, a big business deal kept him from going, so he sent them on and told them he would follow shortly.
Halfway to its destination, in the middle of the ocean, the boat his family was on sank, killing all aboard.
When Mr. Spaffard received word of the accident, he immediately chartered another boat and went directly to the place the other boat had sunk. As he leaned against the railing, staring at the spot he lost his wife and children, with as much grief as a man can bear, words began to come into his mind. With tears flooding his eyes and sobs making it impossible to talk, he went to his cabin and began to put those words down on paper.
Those words are found in the hymn, “It Is Well With My Soul.” Now, Mr. Spaffard was not happy that he lost his family, but knowing they were all Christians gave him peace in his heart, and made his soul feel peace. History shows from that point on, Mr. Spaffard included the Lord in every aspect of his life, more than he had ever done before.
l. Abraham’s Faith Was Tested 1-2
1 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied.
2 Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”
Today we look at the extraordinary story of Abraham’s obedience. Was it blind obedience or an awesome act of faith? As we look we will see that there is a pattern that Christians can learn from. In our Christian walk there are often tests to which we respond and then there are rewards.
Abraham’s test. (Verses 1-2)
When God spoke to Abraham, he knew who was speaking to him. The same God who called Him out of Haran. The same God who had blessed him with material wealth.