Summary: After these things.. After what? In Chapter 21 Abraham had been forced to send his 'other son' Ishmael out with Hagar. Ishmael, though was not his child of promise, was still his son

Journey to Greatness- Genesis 22:1-18

After these things.. After what? In Chapter 21 Abraham had been forced to send his 'other son' Ishmael out with Hagar. Ishmael, though was not his child of promise, was still his son. Sending him out with the mother was a saddening experience for Abraham but he had to do it because God told him to. Ishmael represented that which Abraham birthed outside of God's will. Have you ever birthed something and you know it is not from God? Ishmael was good but was not from God! What is it that looks perfect in your life but down in your spirit you know it is not of God? I would not bother to tell you in details how for 12 years Abraham would have believed that God would change His mind about Ishmael. Some of you are living with your Ishmael hoping that God would change His mind and drop His standard someday.. Well!

After these.. Abraham was just recovering from the pain of losing Ishmael then..after these..Have you ever had an" after these" experience? You just survived a shipwreck and here comes the viper, Paul! After these! You have just lost your grand father, father, and your princely position and bang! you get dropped and become lame, Mepheboseth! After these! Ok maybe these were bible characters and you can't relate to them, how about you, yes you! Lost your job and you've got more bills than you've got money in your account, and then your house is about to be repossessed because you can't keep up with your mortgage and here comes your teenage son telling you they don't believe in the God you've taught them about for more than 16 years! After these!

And it came to pass after these that God did tempt Abraham.. ESV,NKJV and NIV says "God did test Abraham.." Whichever version you read from, the common factor was that it was God that supervised this examination. Now the difference between God's test and the test of the devil is that God test you to lift you or promote you whilst the devil test you to bring you down. I know new age Christianity has taught us that your troubles should disappear if you're in Christ but some of the things you're going through are not necessarily from the devil.

Take now your son.. Your OWN son! Not my own! Not another person's son! Your son, not your servant! Your son! It is easy to sacrifice another person's son. When it's my own son then he is useless, rude and a disgrace to the community and should be stoned to death but when it's your son then he is just misunderstood! He didn't mean to smoke, steal or stab! Your son!! Not your servants, your son!! Most of us would sacrifice everything else in place of what God is asking us.

.. Your ONLY son, Isaac.. It is easy to give one when you have ten but much more difficult to give one when that's all you've got. That was why Jesus said the widow who gave her mite was more blessed than all the other givers- she gave her ONLY! What is your ONLY? God has a way of asking for our ONLY. He is ONLY Himself (there's no other God besides Him) and any other ONLY in our life that we cannot give up is contesting with Him. Your only son, Isaac.. I must quickly point out that Isaac was a child of promise. God promised Abraham when he was 75 and the promise did not manifest until he was 99! He had to wait patiently for this son but just when he was about to enjoy the fruit of his patience.. Here comes God! Why didn't God ask for a sacrifice before Isaac was born? Have you ever had something God Himself gave to you and just when you're about to sit back, kick off your shoes and enjoy the fruit of your labour, here comes God! Mary had kept herself and been faithful to God. Just when her joy was about to burst out for all to see, here come God! Isaac means laughter. Laughter comes with a merry heart, satisfaction, fulfilment etc. These were feelings that Abraham had to sacrifice with Isaac. There are times when God would ask for those things that give you a feeling of fulfilment just to check where your heart is.

..Whom thou lovest.. Abraham apparently loved Isaac so much. God had to prove where Abraham's heart was. Who or what do you love? Is your love for your husband contesting with your love for God? Is your love for your children standing between you and God? Have you abandoned the giver and fallen deeper in love with the gift? Yes, God gave you the vision and the ministry but are you sure that the ministry is not taking over your love. Do you still sit quietly in His presence, not for a message but to love your first love? Who do you love? Thou shall love The Lord your God with all thine heart and all thine soul!

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