Summary: Abraham’s final test - and he passed with flying colours
The Ultimate Test Genesis 22:1-22:19
The Ultimate Test
This week I want to look at Gen 22: 1-19
1. The test (Gen 22:10-12)
Here the Lord speaks to Abraham and tells him to offer that which he holds dearest to God, his son Isaac.
This reminded me of the first commandment in Ex. 20:
You shall have no other gods before me.
It reminded me also that this is also a foreshadowing of what God the Father Himself ultimately did. Sacrificed his own Son for our sins.
Note here God does not TEMPT but TESTS.
TEMPTATION appeals to man’s lower nature and TESTING appeals to his higher nature to overcome his natural inclinations.
In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary you have been distressed by various trials, that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable even though tested by fire may be found to result in praise and glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Story: I read in a book called: Who dares wins The Story of the Special Air Service by Tony Geraghty: that if you want to join the SAS, you have to go through a rigorous training.
One particular test was an endurance test. Early in the morning when the soldier was not fully awake he is set down with sparse instructions to reach Pen Y Fan. Usually the soldier would get lost once or twice and land up having to jog much of the time to get to his destination on time. In the rain his pack would get heavier. On route near to his destination he would "accidentally" meet the trainers drinking tea apparently totally complacent. These instructors would often say: "You all in mate, hop in the back of the truck and put your feet up".
If he wavered and took his back pack off he was automatically failed.
You see the test was to find out what his RESOLVE was. Could they rely on him to get the job done. Would he complete the job under pressure. Why because SAS troops are sent into seemingly impossible situations and they cannot afford to have people who are not 100% on fire to get the job done and are not sidetracked.
We are in a war. God Himself is our commander in chief and Satan and his minions are our sworn enemies. It is a "no holds" barred fight.
Our ENDURANCE TEST is the TEST of our FAITH. Can the enemy highjack us from Canaan to Egypt or do we remain faithful troops seeking and remaining in the Promised Land.
Satan will tempt us. God will allow us to be tested, but not beyond that which we can endure.
Are we "Crack Troops" or "Raw Recruits"?
God wants SAS troops not SOS troops?
Back to Genesis 22: Let us look at the two characters in the story here:
I am sure, though it is not recorded, that he must have gone from the presence of the Lord with a heavy heart.
I’m sure he went through conflicts: He was, let’s face it, a man like us.
a) Conflict between his love for his son and his love for God.
God emphasises the attachment in verse 2.
Take your son your only son whom you love.
The Lord is testing us is there anything more important than Him.
Jesus in Luke 22:42 as He saw the Cross before Him asked the Father to take the cup away from Him. He did not want to go through with it.
Yet nevertheless not my will but thine be done: Perhaps we need to ask ourselves the question:
Do we love ANYTHING or ANYONE else more than the Lord.
b) The seeming conflict between God’s goodness and His demand.
It was a battle in his intellect.
God in His goodness can’t really be asking for the death of my son my dearest son can he?
Abraham was not some kind of robot.
He CHOSE to believe God and it was credited to him as RIGHTEOUSNESS. He made God LORD.
The word Lord means “loaf giver” because the lord of the servant provided the servant with the bread he needed for his daily existence
Do we mean that if Jesus is Lord HE is the one who provides. That is He is the loaf giver as the name Lord suggests.
If so we are to obey him TOTALLY.
Story: There is a saying that God made man in his own image and ever since then man has tried to return the compliment.
In other words we try to make God into the image we THINK he should be rather than trying to find out WHO he REALLY is.