God’s Test of Faith and Obedience
By: Alan Smith
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,