Abraham’s Test Genesis 22
Scripture tells us that God tested Abraham. And what a test it was! God called Abraham and instructed him to take his beloved son Isaac to a mountain in Moriah and to sacrifice him.
Isaac was Abraham’s miracle child. His answer to prayer. A promised son from the Lord. A son who wasn’t born for 63 years after Abraham had prayed for a child.. Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 90 when God finally gave them the baby He had promised them. We may have had the experience of waiting a long time for our prayers to be answered. But have you ever kept praying and waiting for God to answer for over 60 years? Abraham was learning to wait on God.
“Who would believe that we could have a baby in our old age?” Sarah laughed when their promised son was finally born. They had a great party – a celebration and named their baby “Isaac” which means “laughter”. There’s always much to celebrate – much to laugh and enjoy – when we learn to wait and trust in God.
But now when little Isaac was only 12 years old, God was asking Abraham to give this special boy back! Why is God doing this? What can this mean? Scripture tells us that when God ask to sacrifice his son Abraham didn’t hesitate. He obeyed immediately. The very next morning he got up early and chopped wood for the burnt offering and headed out. He took his son Isaac, two of his servants and a donkey with him.
The trip was to take three days as it was about a 50 mile walk. And we can only imagine what was going on in Abraham’s mind as he trudged along. Hebrews 11:17 tells us that Abraham reasoned that God could raise Isaac back up from the dead. So as usual good old Abraham trusted God and obeyed.
On the third day of the trip Abraham asked his servants to stay with the donkey and wait while he and Isaac went on ahead to worship. “Wait here and we will both be back soon,” Abraham told his servants. He seemed confident that Isaac would return with him – that God would work things out.
Abraham and Isaac continued along the trail to Mt. Moriah. “Father, the fire and wood are here, but where is the lamb for the sacrifice?” Isaac asked his father. “God will provide the lamb for the sacrifice, my son,” Abraham answered.
When father and son reached the place for the sacrifice, Abraham built an altar and put the wood on it. Then he tied Isaac up and laid him on the altar. Isaac seemed to have complete confidence in his elderly father to allow this to happen. Abraham took the knife and just as he was starting to stab his son, the Angel of the Lord showed up and stopped him. “Abraham, Abraham, don’t kill your son. Now I know that you fear God. You have not withheld your son – your only son from Me.” Abraham had never wavered. His amazing faith in God had held fast through his deepest temptation. Abraham had passed the test
With his hand trembling and still holding the knife, Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught in the nearby thicket. Abraham took the ram and sacrificed it in place of his son. And Abraham called this place where God had told him to sacrifice his son--, “The Lord will Provide.”
This amazing Bible story from antiquity is rich with lessons and treasures for us today. Because Abraham had a strong faith in God, God blessed him and named him as the patriarch of the nation of Israel and the father of all who have faith in God. Abraham’s amazing faith was very precious – very pleasing to God. Like Abraham, does our faith measure up? Is our faith a joy to our Lord?
Child sacrifice was a common practice among the heathen cultures in Abraham’s time. God forbade this practice in Scripture. We would never be tested by God in this way today in our culture.
Since God gave Abraham a test, does He perhaps test all of His children? And if He does, do we pass the tests that we are given? When trials come do we keep trusting our Lord? Scripture tells us that faith comes by hearing the Word of God. We need to ask God for more faith and built up our faith by studying the Bible. Let’s try to please the Lord with our faith in Him.
Abraham believed that even if Isaac was sacrificed, God could bring him back from the dead.. Abraham looked beyond death and still trusted God. Do we trust God even beyond death? Can we believe that God can take our worst messes and work things together for good ?
Abraham firmly believed that God would provide for him and for his son. Scripture tells us that God valued his faith and counted it to him as righteousness. Do we believe that God will take care of us in our problems? Can we like Abraham move ahead and obey without hesitating?
God provided a lamb to be sacrificed in Isaac’s place. And God provides His Son – Jesus --the Lamb of God—as a sacrifice in our place. We, like Isaac, can be untied and taken away from our sins and our death sentence. And the Lamb of God will take our place. And just like Abraham we can shout out, “The Lord will Provide.” We have such a marvelous God. Let's be like Abraham and honor God with our faith.