Summary: How does God meet our needs in crisis times if we trust Him
"The Lord Will Provide"
Text - Genesis 22:1-19
"Where’s God in all of this?" The question was thrown down like a challenge, almost defiantly, by the person who had come to visit me. Knowing the circumstances of that person’s life over the last couple of years, I could understand the attitude and context of their question.
I’ve found myself wondering where He is and what He’s doing on more than a few occasions in my life, too.
When I pulled the limp body of our little foster son from a farm pond in 1985, I spent 24 hours in the most incredible anguish unable to discern the voice of the Father.
When I lost a coveted position and went for months without any responses to my inquiries to many churches, I wondered if God had judged me unworthy!
I remember watching the TV video two years ago seeing the Trade Towers in NYC crumbling and wondering how such evil could be allowed to exist in a world that God says belongs to Him!
If we had time, I’m am certain each of you in this room could relate a time - a death, a divorce, a job loss, a rough time with a child, .... when you asked, "where is God in all of this?"
Life doesn’t come wrapped in neat packages with easy assembly instructions! Hard trials, difficult decisions, encounters with evil spirits and evil people, moments when God doesn’t make sense - all these come our way. In these moments of seeming madness there are two questions we must all answer -
Do I believe that God exists?
Since I am talking to a group of Christians, I am not going to spend time on this question today. There is evidence all around us - in the created World, in the revelation of Scripture, and in the testimony of Believers over the centuries to convince us that God exists. For most of us the more vexing question raised by the trials and/or disappointment in life is:
Can I, will I, trust God?
I invite you to renew your faith in Him today as we go again to to the a story from the life of Abraham, the father of the faithful. We continue our exploration of the book of Genesis. Today we will see evidence of the tremendous faith of Abraham as he trusted God through a time of testing that had to seem like madness to him as he passed through it. It tested the depth of this man’s faith like no other test in his life.
The great news? HE PASSED THE TEST! His example for us is flawless.
I invite you to open your Bible with me to Genesis 22:1-19
READ - Genesis 22: 1-4
When his promised son, Isaac, was about 15 years of age, after years of delight and raised expectations in this true son, God speaks once again to Abraham. This time the words are not words of comfort or promise. They are words that seem, at first hearing, to be madness.... sheer insanity -
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.
Can you imagine what a blow this was to Abraham? Nothing in the Scripture tells us what is in his mind, what emotions he struggled with. But it is not hard to imagine.
Did he wrestle with shocked bewilderment?
"God, I know Your voice. I have walked with You, worshiped You, listened to You for years now. How could You ask this?"
I think the impact of God’s demand of Abraham is somewhat lost on us, because we know the whole story. We know that God never had any intent to take this test to its ultimate end... but Abraham did not! He only knew that he was faced with the most difficult test of his entire life!
"Take your son, your only son whom you love so much--and go sacrifice him!
Why would God put a man to this kind of test?
I asked that question this week. God is omniscient, that is, all-knowing. What could He possibly learn from subjecting Abraham to this test? I know the immediate answer you’re making -- God didn’t do it for Himself. He did for Abraham. That’s not entirely true! In v. 12, the clear indication is that God DID this for Himself!
"Now I know," the angel of the Lord says, "that your fear God because you have not withheld your only son!"
I am sure that you agree with me that God knew well in advance of this event what would happen. One of the attributes of God is His ability to know ALL things including the future! But there is also ample teaching in the Bible that there is a difference between "knowing" cognitively, that is, in terms of a thought or an idea and "knowing" in terms of EXPERIENCE!