Summary: The testing of our faith brings perseverance and allows us to know where we are at on the obedience scale.
The Testing of Abraham
Genesis chapter 22:1-22:18
Turn to Genesis chapter 22:1-22:18
This morning I want you to see the testing of Abraham by God. That’s right, you heard me right, God was testing Abraham.
The Bible teaches us that God does not tempt us to do evil, that is done by the enemy of your soul, but God does test us in areas of our life.
He does not test us to know us better, He test us so we know ourselves better.
When you are given a test at school, work, by your parents, it lets you know if you have learned the lesson, or able to apply learned principals.
Now, scholars and historians are all over the board of when this could of happened, if it happened, at what age Abraham and Isaac were when it happened.
Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born.
Some believe that he was between 5-12 and some as old as 37 years old when he was offered on the altar. Even at 37, he would have been 137 years old and Abraham lived to be 175 years old. Factoring age of life to them, it is possible that Abraham was strong enough and able to put Isaac on the altar.
Don’t get caught up on that- learn and see the principal taught here of obedience and the blessings God gives us for our obedience.
Let’s back track a bit-
This is the same Abraham that was promised a son when he and Sarah were old. If fact Abraham and Sarah laughed at God and Abraham with Sarah’s blessing had relationship with slave girl Hagar and had a son. It is not the promised son and right after that Sarah became pregnant just like God said. Abraham’s disobedience then caused them a lot of problems and has caused us problems even today.
Christianity and Muslim communities both believe that Abraham is the Father of the Nation.
The Muslims believe his first son (not the promised one) Ishmael began the descendents.
Christianity believes that the son Isaac, the son of Abraham and Sarah was the promised son of God. Hagar the slave girl and Ishmael are sent away (Middle-East) and Abraham, Sarah, and Isaac remain
Believe that he was older because he carried the fire wood.
(2) “Take you son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.”
That is un-imaginable
God tested Abraham- not to trip him up and watch him fail but to deepen his capacity to obey God, and develop character.
God refines us through difficult times and difficult circumstances.
We have a choice of complaining or see how God can stretch us to develop character.
That morning, after God demands what seems like the ultimate sacrifice, Abraham travels 50-50 miles to the mountain of where he is to sacrifice Isaac.
If Abraham didn’t have a past with God, I don’t think he could have made it
Abraham learned some lessons from his past. He learned this time that he must be prompt and complete.
Obeying God is often a struggle because it may mean giving up something we truly want.
We should not expect our obedience to God to be easy or to come naturally.
I want you to see something-
Why would God want Abraham to sacrifice his Son?
Pagan nations practice this, and God had condemned it. God saw it as terrible sin (Lev 20)
God did not want Isaac to die, he wanted Abraham to sacrifice Isaac in his heart so it would be clear that Abraham loved God more than his promised and beloved son.
God tested Abraham
James says that the testing of our faith develops perseverenace , perseverance must finish its work so that we may be mature and complete- not lacking in anything.
How many would agree that society works basically on feelings and emotions?
If it feels good, I will do it, I have a right to do it no matter if it hurts anybodys feelings.
I am not happy-change it. If it is marriage, quick to abandon it.
Emotional, unrealistic feelings, impulse buying, made and told that you deserve it, wither you can afford it is not the issue.
Happiness without commitment- we see it in relationships. We see no job loyalty.
The feeling of quick gratification and emotional selfishness has crept into the church also. A mature Christian, being tested, going through trials and circumstances is the only way that they learn perseverance is facing trials and seeing how they react and respond.
Christians are like anyone else in so many ways because we are human, but a mature Christian learns the lesson that emotions change, feelings change, but we don’t live our lives on emotions and feelings. We are not governed by our feelings, we are to be people of principal- God’s principals!