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Summary: Abraham Tested. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

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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.

Ill:

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.

So Abraham:

• 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.

Ill:

• 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).

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.

Note :

• 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.

Ill:

• 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.

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