Summary: God tests us in order to strengthen our faith in Him and our walk with Him.
“It’s All About Faith”
By: Rev. Kenneth E. Sauer, Pastor, Parkview United Methodist Church
Hebrews chapter 11 verses 1 and 2 read like this: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain
of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.”
And this act of Abraham is the supreme act of faith!
There can be no doubt about it!
Abraham had waited 100 years for Isaac to be born.
Sarah had waited 90.
Isaac’s name means “He laughs”.
Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.”
Isaac certainly brought a lot of laughter and joy into Abraham and Sarah’s lives.
But, “Some time later God tested Abraham.”
By this time Isaac had probably grown into adolesence or young manhood....and Abraham and Isaac must
have grown very close.
As Ben grows older, I find that our relationship is growing stronger.
We have a lot in common, and although I play the father role...we sure do have a good time playing tennis
together...Ben now beats me...and basketball....I still beat Ben at basketball.
He sure is growing up to be a fine young man!
And I look forward to finding out what God has in store for his life.
Now in verse 12 of Genesis Chapter 21, God told Abraham that “it is through Isaac that your offspring will
....so I would imagine that Abraham was looking forward to seeing what kind of man Isaac was going to
grow up to be!...
....but “God tested Abraham.”
It’s interesting to note that God does not tempt Abraham...not that this would be a temptation.
God tested Abraham.
If we look through the Bible we will find that God does not tempt anyone....this is just not in God’s
Satan tempts us in order to make us fall...
....God tests us in order to confirm our faith or prove our commitment.
But does not God already know our commitment?
I would think so....
I believe that God tests us so that we can prove our faith to ourselves....and this makes our faith
stronger....and through this we grow in our knowledge and in our walk with God.
We learn how much we really need Him, and how much we must rely upon Him....
....and this is grace!...
...this is a gift!
And when we come through a time of testing....having relied wholly on God....we see that God can be
trusted....that our faith in God is a very, very good thing!
Now the question arises....
...Why would God test Abraham in this way?
Is the aim of God’s testing to extol obedience to God as a general principle?
Well, that doesn’t really work here because Abraham had already proven his obedience to God 25 years
earlier when God told Him: “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will
Therefore, the meaning of God’s testing Abraham in this situation must have been more specific than that
of mere obedience.
So what was the meaning of Abraham’s supreme trial?
Because supreme it was!
As a matter of fact, this situation may very well be the most profound personal test in all the recorded
history of the patriarchs.
God was asking Abraham to sacrifice his very own son!
And this was the son through whom God had promised Abraham.... “I will make you into a great nation”!
Isaac was the sole heir to the spiritual heritage which would eventually lead us to the birth of Israel, and
then of Jesus Christ, and our very own spiritual births.
As the Bible says in Hebrews: “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.”
The process that has brought about our salvation as the chosen people of God through faith in Jesus Christ
was set in motion through Abraham’s obedience....but it was not going to be accomplished in a single generation.
It sprang from the call of God in Abraham’s life to leave Mesopotamia and make a fresh start in a unknown
.....but obedience to that call would have to be tested and validated over an incalculable span of time.....
....because it could only be accomplished by a singleness of mind and absolute faith!
So, how firm was Abraham’s faith?
That’s what it’s all about.
It is one thing to confidently start out for the Promised Land....
....but it is quite another thing to keep that confidence in the promise when everything appears lost!
Remember, “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
Hebrews goes on to say: “By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice....