“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.”
~ Genesis 22:2
Hi James and Ellen,
Do you like to be tested? Has God tested you? What would be to you a test from God? Do you think that God gives easy tests? A test from God will invariably be a demanding test. God gave Abraham tests. Genesis 22 is about the hardest test that God probably had Abraham take. Verse 2 is a test that God gave Abraham on obedience, “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.”’ There is consensus among commentators that the temple mount in the city of Jerusalem was the location of Moriah. The Dome of the Rock occupies ‘Mount Moriah’ today. The Dome of the Rock is a magnificent Muslim structure that was built in 691 A.D. A large outcropping of rock inside the Dome of the Rock points to the traditional site where Abraham intended to sacrifice Isaac on an altar as a burnt offering. Over 4000 years ago – when Abraham was obediently doing what God had asked him to do by sacrificing on an altar his long awaited, promised kid back to Him as a burnt offering, Moriah was a scrub area of land that was probably covered with briars. Moriah was located three days away from where Abraham was living in the town of Beersheba with his wife Sarah and his kid Isaac. When God called out to Abraham to take the action test of sacrificing his kid on an altar as a burnt offering to Him, Abraham obediently set out the very next morning for the site where God had instructed him to go to to sacrifice Isaac. The kind of test that God was having His faithful and loyal servant Abraham take was a supreme test. Abraham really did think though that in the end – even though he was doing exactly what God was expecting him to do – which was to sacrifice his kid on an altar as a burnt offering to Him, that God would bring his kid back to life again.
Abraham knew that God was not tempting him; Abraham knew that God was testing him. Satan is who tempts. Satan tempts guys, gals and kids so that they fail. God is Who tests. God tests His specially elected guys, gals and kids to affirm their faith in Him and to prove their commitment to Him. The kind of test that Abraham had to take with his kid – Isaac, in which God expected him to meticulously and obediently go through the steps of sacrificing Isaac, foreshadowed the kind of test that God – as God the Father, would make with His Kid – Who is God the Son, when God – as God the Father, followed through on allowing His only Son – Who is God the Son, be hung on and nailed to a cross. Abraham would not have to make his kid – Isaac, be a burnt offering sacrifice to God. At the very last moment – after Abraham had built an altar and after he had tied up Isaac and laid Isaac on the wood that he had taken with him – which he had Isaac carry, and just as Abraham was prepared to kill his kid with the knife that he had taken with him, God had the angel of the Lord tell Abraham to immediately stop from going ahead in killing his kid as a sacrifice to Him. Abraham had passed a God action test. Abraham had his faith confirmed by God as he proved his commitment to God. When Abraham saw a ram snagged by his horns in a thick thicket, Abraham used the ram to replace his kid – Isaac, as a substitutionary sacrifice to God on the altar that he had built to sacrifice Isaac as a burnt offering to God. Abraham named the site where he was prepared to sacrifice his only kid ‘the Lord will provide’. Because of Abraham’s unconditional and complete obedience in Him, God rewarded Abraham with a promise that his descendants would become as many as the number of stars in the sky and as grains of sand on the seashore. God also told Abraham that because of his conclusive, faithful obedience to Him that his descendants would be a blessing to all nations and people groups of guys, gals and kids on planet Earth.
God rewards guys, gals and kids who pass His tests. The answers to tests that are given by God are obedience and loyalty to Him. The reward for passing a test that is given by God is stronger faith in Him. When your grandmaa and grandpaa – with your dad and Aunt Lynn, left for Chicago in the summer of 1974 – so that your grandpaa could study at Moody Bible Institute, they had only about $1000 to begin life in Chicago. It did not take very long for the $1000 to disappear. It was only after your grandmaa and grandpaa were down to a couple of squashes to eat and some liquid Jell-O to drink that an opportunity – that was divinely driven, was there for your grandmaa, grandpaa, dad and Aunt Lynn to move into a funeral home where your grandmaa and grandpaa would be the caretakers. Because your grandmaa, grandpaa, dad and Aunt Lynn were able to move into a funeral home to live – and where your grandmaa and grandpaa were paid $100 a week less taxes, your grandpaa could continue going to his classes at Moody Bible Institute. Your grandmaa and grandpaa have had God give them a lot of life tests. Your grandpaa is taking a test from God right now. Your grandpaa needs a lot of prayer right now to pass the test that God is having him take right now. Your grandpaa knows that he needs to continue to be obedient and loyal to God through his life which he sacrificed to God nearly 34 years ago for God to use for the sake of His kingdom. Your grandpaa is waiting for God to show him clearly ‘the ram that is caught by his horns in a thick thicket’ – which would be to clearly know whether or not God wants him and your grandmaa to continue to honor the call that God called your grandpaa to do 34 years ago – which is to be a missionary. Your grandmaa and grandpaa are very grateful that God has for 30 years allowed them to be missionaries. The past 30 years have taught your grandpaa that God is always going to be there for him. Your grandpaa has no doubt though that God is going to continue to test his faith in Him.
Genesis 22 (725)