Have you been going through a time of testing? I hope my latest blog post will encourage you.
Genesis 22:1-2, “Sometime later God tested Abraham. He said to him, ‘Abraham! Here I am,’ he replied. Then 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.” The spiritual history of Abraham was marked by three great crises, each of which involved the surrender of something which was naturally dear to him. He was called on to separate himself from his native land and kindred (Genesis 12:1). He was called on to give up his plans for Ishmael (Genesis 17:17, 18). God spoke to him about offering up Isaac as a burnt offering (Genesis 22:1, 2).
The life of the believer is a series of tests, for only by discipline can Christian character be developed. It is not our intellect, our talents, our money, but our heart, God wants first. God's demand is “My son, give me your heart….” (Proverbs 23:26, NIV). The Lord must prove the genuineness of our response. God requires truth in the inward parts and not just on the lips.
What is the meaning of the words, “God did tempt Abraham?” The word “test” better expresses the intention of God toward Abraham. God tests us to bring out the good. Satan tempts us to bring out the evil (James 1:12-18). God's testing does not mean that He stands by, watching how His child will behave. He gives strength during the time of testing. 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (NIV).
He responded to this test in submission and trust. Hebrews 11:17-19 tells how Abraham trusted that God would even raise Isaac from the dead to fulfill His promise. Abraham trusted God before Isaac was born. He trusted God when laughing, happy boy stood before him, the child of promise. He will trust God now when the lad lies still in death on the sacrificial altar. Abraham believed that God would not fail him (Romans 4:18-21).
Abraham was rewarded with a revelation of God's willingness to provide. The place was called, “Jehovah Jireh.” God always provides a way of escape.
“Our times are in thy hand:
Why should we doubt or fear?
A Father's hand will never cause
His child a needless tear.”