Kingdom Prophetic Society

Kingdom Prophetic Society

God’s Test of Faith and Obedience

By: Alan Smith

 

  • Gen 22:14: So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided." (NIV)

 

Have you ever felt like God has always been giving you tests throughout your life?  You know, you say to yourself “Well, God, did I pass this one today?”  It is amazing to me how much of our lives is spent in testing.  When I was in school, I always dreaded the tests.  Tests seemed to be a method in which a teacher could bring pain to her students.  I remember how I would study right before the test to cram as much data as possible into my small little brain.  When test time came, I would be nervous because I knew that my learning had not been etched upon my brain; instead, it was only memorized for a short period of time.  As I took the test, I would proceed to unload what I knew for only a short time.  My grades would make the acceptable marks, but sometimes the learning had no lasting impact upon my life.  Could this also be true when I am being tested by God?  Do I give him the correct answers, only to find myself taking the test over again and again?  Did I really pass the test with just the correct answers?  Could it be that God is looking for more?  Let’s look for this answer by reading about an episode in Abraham’s life from the Bible.

  • Gen 22:1-2: Later on, God tested Abraham's [faith and obedience]. "Abraham!" God called."Yes, Lord?" he replied. "Take with you your only son-yes, Isaac whom you love so much-and go to the land of Moriah and sacrifice him there as a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I'll point out to you!" (TLB)

 

Have you ever had this test from God: one where He asks you to trust Him with someone or something that you love very much?  One day Abraham found himself confronted with this request from God.  The Lord asked Abraham to kill his son, because He was testing Abraham to see if he really loved Him more than his son.  Abraham was being tested to see if his obedience to his God was greater than his love for his own son.  I can just hear what was going on in Abraham’s mind.  “Lord this is not fair.  You made me a promise and now you are asking me to let it die.  You are not really a good God.  Your requirements are just too painful.”  Have you ever said this to God?  Maybe you haven’t said it, but perhaps you have felt it.  God’s Word gives us the illustration of how much we can really trust God. Let’s read on a little further.

  • Gen 22:3-6: The next morning Abraham got up early, chopped wood for a fire upon the altar, saddled his donkey, and took with him his son Isaac and two young men who were his servants, and started off to the place where God had told him to go. On the third day of the journey Abraham saw the place in the distance.  "Stay here with the donkey," Abraham told the young men, "and the lad and I will travel yonder and worship, and then come right back." Abraham placed the wood for the burnt offering upon Isaac's shoulders, while he himself carried the knife and the flint for striking a fire. So the two of them went on together. (TLB)

 

It appears to me when God is asking me to sacrifice what I love unto Him, that I always have to go on a journey to make the sacrifice: just like Abraham.  The journey gave Abraham time to think and process the sacrifice that he had to make.  The journey to the altar of God seems to take time; but we see that Abraham was still walking toward this destination called by God.  Now, let’s look at the correct response of the loved one, Isaac, who was to be given.

  • Gen 22:7-10: "Father," Isaac asked, "we have the wood and the flint to make the fire, but where is the lamb for the sacrifice?" "God will see to it, my son," Abraham replied. And they went on. When they arrived at the place where God had told Abraham to go, he built an altar and placed the wood in order, ready for the fire, and then tied Isaac and laid him on the altar over the wood. And Abraham took the knife and lifted it up to plunge it into his son, to slay him. (TLB)

 

We see that Isaac’s obedience to his earthly father to climb upon the altar was as important as Abraham’s obedience unto his heavenly Father.  If Isaac had not cooperated, Abraham would have failed.  So we see that Abraham’s test results were determined by the obedience of the one that was being sacrificed.  Here is a look at the reward of the obedience of Abraham and Isaac.

  • Gen 22:11-14: At that moment the Angel of God shouted to him from heaven, "Abraham!  Abraham!" "Yes, Lord!" he answered.  "Lay down the knife; don't hurt the lad in any way," the Angel said, "for I know that God is first in your life-you have not withheld even your beloved son from me."  Then Abraham noticed a ram caught by its horns in a bush. So he took the ram and sacrificed it, instead of his son, as a burnt offering on the altar. Abraham named the place "Jehovah provides"-and it still goes by that name to this day. (TLB)

 

What a loving God we serve.  When we give God everything, we can see that even for that which we love the most, His reward is far more than anything we could imagine.  Abraham passed God’s test.  God also passed His own test.  He gave His only Son upon the cross so our Isaac’s could live.  Someone has to pay the bill and God has paid for all of our desires.  He just wants us to give them to Him so He can provide in His time and in His way.

 

Blessings to you this day,

Alan

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