Summary: We are tested by God so that we will mature in God, be complete, and not lack anything, so that we can be heroes!
God is looking for heroes!
The world is looking for heroes!
A few years ago, there was a story of a church in one of the communist countries. That church, secretly hiding from their atheist government, was one day visited by soldiers armed with machine guns. The soldiers asked everyone who will not publicly profess their belief in Jesus Christ to leave the church building!
As the Christians who remained waited for their fate in the hands of the soldiers, the soldiers locked the doors and said, “Okay, now we can really worship our Lord Jesus Christ!”
Would you stay inside a church building when your life is tested about your faith in Jesus Christ?
God will test our faith!
Please open your Bibles to Genesis chapter 22, page…...
How does the testing of Abraham’s faith relate to us?
Before hearing God’s Word, let us pray together our commitment to His Bible………….
I’ve asked Peg Hamby to read Genesis 22 for us this morning.
Many preachers will cite that Isaac was a “type” of Christ; the one and only son of Abraham, was to be a sacrifice, there were 2 servants beside Isaac, the sacrifice was on a hill, Isaac himself carried the wood for the sacrifice! Sounds fascinating doesn’t it? Why not preach it?
I will not preach it because I personally can not find directly in the Bible God citing Isaac as a “type” of Christ. Be careful of messages that may sound fascinating but can not be supported with Scriptures.
So, what’s the real message here?
There is no question, as we read in v1 of Genesis 22, God tested Abraham! And before we can talk about applying Biblical principles to our lives, there are 3 questions we should answer: How hard was the test for Abraham? Secondly, did Abraham pass the test? And thirdly, why was Abraham tested?
How hard was the test for Abraham? What do you think?
We can note 2 things from v2. Isaac was Abraham’s only son; Isaac was THE son of God’s promise. We also note that Abraham, the father, loved his son! Isaac was likely a teenager at the time and Abraham was told to kill his own son! For several days Abraham had to think about this. Then, Abraham had to climb a hill with his son questioning him.
Remember from Genesis 21 that Abraham was distressed with the thought of sending his first son Ishmael to the dessert. Can you imagine the emotional strain of Abraham as he thought about killing Isaac? Abraham was torn between the love for his child and obedience to God. This was a very difficult test for Abraham! Did Abraham pass the test?
We don’t read Abraham questioning God, do we?
What do we read in v3? Abraham, the following day, got up early! In spite of the agony, Abraham’s faith in God was strong enough to immediately obey God. Abraham is a hero of faith!
Now, this wasn’t always the case. Remember how Abraham lied in the past and how he took action without consulting with God? Abraham’s experiences with God made his faith in God stronger. We’ll talk more about this later; but don’t be too hard on yourself if you can not be a hero of faith right now. Abraham wasn’t always a hero! The point is, God tests to help people become heroes!
Now, Abraham, Isaac, and the 2 servants traveled for 3 days. Abraham must have thought of the possibilities how God could spare his son? After all, God PROMISED that many nations will come from Isaac. What did Abraham say when Isaac questioned him? Abraham said, “God will provide!” Abraham trusted God with the attitude that whatever he did, God would take care of it. God wrote Abraham’s type of faith through Solomon; Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Hebrews 11:17-19 confirms Abraham’s faith; By faith, Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received 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 raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.
Abraham passed the test by obeying God till God intervened!
Why did God test Abraham? Look again at v10-12……
There are many Hebrew words for fear. The word fear here is yare in Hebrew. Yare meaning reverence as a motive to be fully obedient! You see,
God desired Abraham’s full allegiance!
Today, does God have to test our faith in Him?
What does God say?