Title: The Test of Faith
Text: Genesis 22.1-24
Introduction: Review to this point –
- 12.1-3 – Called from Ur – launched a life of faith
- 12.7 – worshipped the Lord in the midst of the land of promise
- 13.1ff – Abraham and Lot part ways; Lot chooses the more fertile property
- 15 – God’s promise restated with dramatic flare; see the stars; rd v 1-6;
- 15 – God’s promise demonstrated with dramatic flare; sacrifice; rd 7-17
- 17 – God changes Abram’s name to Abraham to reflect God’s promise to him; Sarah’s name is changed, too; A son is promised: Laughter will be his name; rd v 15-19; Circumcision was given as an external visual of the covenant promise and Abraham obeyed; rc v 23-27
- 18 – Sarah will laugh, too; rd 10-15;
- There were highs and lows on this faith’s journey;
The statement of God Promise and the multiple restatements came:
- When Abraham first set foot in Canaan
- When under the stars he believed the Lord
- When he saw the fiery presence of God glide between the flayed parts
- When he, Sarah and Isaac were given their names
- When the external sign of circumcision was given and he and his men were circumcised
- When he and Sarah held baby Laughter in their arms and he called the Lord The Everlasting God. rd 21.34; These restatements of the promise initiated Abraham’s long, secure stay in the land of the Philistines (the promised land). What a beautiful story it would be if it ended there. But it doesn’t!
Note how 22.1 begins; rd v 1a; it’s a good thing he tells us he’s being tested. If we didn’t already know that, we’d have a tough time with these verses! Let me ask: Can you grow in your faith without testing? Ok, then, when do you grow the most, the strongest? rd 1b; A call; an answer; it’s here in v 2 that we read the command of God: rd v 2;
- The Command of God (1-2)
- Take (2a) – your son, your only son, whom you love (3x’s);
- Go – to the land of Moriah (some distance away); to a mountain I’ll show you;
- Offer (2b) – him to me; as a burnt offering;
app.: Does God call us to offer him our children? All that we have?
- The Obedience of Abraham
- Abraham’s Obedience (3-8)
i. He rose
ii. He took
- Two young servants
- His young son (same word); they’re probably about the same age. Young man, probably a teen.
iii. He cut, enough wood to build and burn; ill.: to destroy a cow, rancher used a worn out tire;
iv. He went
- A three day journey
- His head lowered; lifted up his eyes;
- Belief in the resurrection: 22.5;
v. He offered (9-10)
- Abraham’s Offering (9-10)
i. He built the altar
ii. He bound his son
iii. He took the knife
- The Intervention of God (11-14)
- Called twice, instead of once
- I see
- God provides
- The Blessing of Abraham (15-24)
- As seen through the promise restated
- As seen through the descendants mentioned where God’s promises may find fulfillment.
Observation & Implications
- God is the ‘Enduring God’. He endures with us through thick and thin, always working his promises in our lives.
- Our faith is expressed through our obedience. Disobedience displays rebellion or a lack of faith.
- God provided a sacrifice for us, to take our place.