Summary: In order to pass the test of faith we have to trust God completely
Passing the Test of Faith
Text: Gen. 22:1-18
1. Illustration: A small boy came home from school and went straight to his room to pray. His mother had never seen her son do this, so she listened outside his door. She heard him praying softly and then saying, "Tokyo, Tokyo, Tokyo", loudly. She went into his room and asked what he was doing. He responded that he had taken a geography test that very day and was worried about one of his answers. He was praying to God asking the Lord to please make Tokyo the capital of France!
2. We all face various tests everyday, but the most important one is the test of faith (notice I didn't say that it is the only one that matters, so that no teenagers come back and say, "Pastor Mark said the faith test is the only one I need to pass!")
3. In order to pass the test of faith we need to...
a. Trust God Implicitly
b. Trust God's Provision (and if we do...)
c. Trust will be rewarded exponentially
4. Read Gen. 22:1-18
Proposition: In order to pass the test of faith we have to trust God completely.
Transition: In order to pass the test of faith we need to...
I. Trust God Implicitly (1-5).
A. Go And Sacrifice Him
1. There are lots of test in life.
a. Tests in school.
b. Driving tests
c. Patience tests
d. And the worst of all...the State Insurance License test!
2. The most important is the test of faith. We can see this illustrated for us in the life of Abraham. Our text begins with by telling us, "Some time later, God tested Abraham’s faith. “Abraham!” God called. “Yes,” he replied. “Here I am.” 2 “Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.”
a. It was a test for Abraham to leave his homeland, live among the Canaanites, separate from Lot, wait 25 years for the birth of Isaac, but nothing compared to this test of his faith.
b. The word translated "only" mean only in the sense of unique, one-of-a-kind, and special. Isaac was the child of the promise and represented all of Abraham's hopes and dreams (Horton, 185).
c. Abraham had no idea that this was a test. If he had known it would have diminished the validity of the test.
d. From Abraham's perspective God's request was totally incomprehensible.
e. Not only was God asking him to sacrifice a child, but he was asking him to sacrifice the child of the promise, the miracle child.
f. The long awaited child. What makes this such a staggering test is that is was totally contrary to God's character and would completely destroy everything that God was doing (Ross, 396).
g. Notice what God says to Abraham. He says, "Take your son, your only son-yes, Isaac, whom you love so much..."
h. He makes it clear to Abraham that he know exactly what he is asking. He is asking him to give up everything.
i. Not just his son, but the son through whom all of God's promises hinge (Ross, 397).
3. Now Abraham shows us what it really means to trust God. It says, "The next morning Abraham got up early. He saddled his donkey and took two of his servants with him, along with his son, Isaac. Then he chopped wood for a fire for a burnt offering and set out for the place God had told him about."
a. We need to pay special attention to how Abraham responds.
b. The text does not say one word about how Abraham feels, only about what he does.
c. He doesn't argue with or question God he simply obeys without delay (Ross, 398).
d. Abraham did not consult with anyone about this. He simply obeyed God, trusting in him (Horton, 185).
e. Faith is not about intellect, emotion, or rationale. Faith is about action!
4. Abraham further demonstrates his faith by what he says, “Stay here with the donkey,” Abraham told the servants. “The boy and I will travel a little farther. We will worship there, and then we will come right back.”
a. In this verse Abraham makes an incredibly powerful statement of faith.
b. He tells his servants that both he and Isaac would go ahead of them, worship the Lord, and they both would return.
c. Abraham knew that his task was to take Isaac there and kill him. However, he says that they would both return.
d. He believed God so much that he knew in his heart that some how, some way God would work it out.