Summary: Abraham Tested. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: email@example.com)
True faith is always tested:
• For it is only through testing that we discover what kind of faith we have.
• Tests of faith are opportunities for growth and victory.
Sport: Squash you only improve if the game is difficult.
Tests of faith are opportunities for growth and victory.
• Satan tempts us to bring out the worst in us,
• But God tests us to help bring out the best.
• Abraham has experienced many tests by the time chapter 22 opens,
• But none of them compare to what he is about to face.’
Quote: Warren Wiesbe:
Abraham had his share of tests right from the beginning………..
First was the “family test,”:
• When he had to leave his loved ones and step out by faith to go to a new land,
• Chapter 11 verse 27 to chapter 12 verse 5.
Next there was the “famine test,”:
• Which Abraham failed because he doubted God and went down to Egypt for help,
• Chapter 12 verse 10 to chapter 13 verse 4.
Once back in the land, Abraham passed the “fellowship test”:
• When he gave Lot first choice in using the pastureland,
• Chapter 13 verses 5-18.
He also passed the “fight test”
• When he defeated the kings
• Chapter 14 verses 1 to 16.
And the “fortune test”
• When he said no to Sodom’s wealth
• Chapter 14 verse 17-24.
But he failed the “fatherhood test”:
• When Sarah got impatient with God and suggested that Abraham have a child by Hagar
• Genesis chapter 16.
When the time came to send Ishmael away, Abraham passed the “farewell test”;
• Even though it broke his heart
• Chapter 21 verses 14-21.
• Has experienced many tests by the time chapter 22 opens,
• But none of them compare to what he is about to face.
• This test would make demands on Abraham,
• And these demands would run contrary to human reason and to God’s promise.
• Passenger on an airplane;
• When suddenly the reverse thrust of the engines is used to bring the plane to a halt.
• Abraham was about to experience a major shock,
• Everything that God had promise to him was about to be put into reverse gear.
• After all those years of looking forward to the birth of Isaac,
• It now seemed he was about to lose him.
This test would make huge demands on Abraham:
• These demands would run contrary to human reason,
• And to God’s promise.
(1). Gods command (verses 1-2).
“Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
2Then God said, “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.”
(a). It was a personal test for Abraham
• Notice he was called by name.
• As far as we know this was a one off.
• It never happened before,
• And it would never happen again.
(b). It was a lonely test:
• Abraham received his instructions from God,
• And they were not even for sharing with his wife Sarah.
• She was of course the mother of Isaac,
• But she was to play no role in this test, Abraham would bear the full force of it.
(c). It was a confusing test.
• Although the command from God is clear.
• It was also confusing.
• As mentioned already this did not make sense from a human perspective,
• And it did not make sense to Abraham from a heavenly perspective.
Notice the threefold description given to Abraham (verse :
• “Your son”, “Your only son”, “Isaac , whom you love”.
• The threefold description rules out any possibility of misunderstanding.
• It is important to remember that faith is not reckless,
• This was not Abraham’s idea to prove a point.
• This was a clear command from God,
• So Abraham’s has an agonizing choice to make.
• Does he do what God asks him to do,
• Or does he choose to ignore Him, refuse to obey?
True to say that:
• There are times in life when your future seems to balance on a single decision?
• Abraham is at that point.
• Whether you look at Joseph in prison,
• Moses and Israel at the Red Sea,
• David in the cave,
• Or Jesus at Calvary,
• The lesson is the same:
• We live by promises, not by explanations.
(e). It was an emotional test.
At this point in time:
• Abraham the proud father has a special relationship with his son.