We will be tested by god (Jeremiah 17:10) And Abraham was not the exception. Now, what does it mean to be tested by God? F.B. Meyer once said; “Satan tempts us that he may bring out the evil that is in our hearts; God tests us that He may bring out all the good.” Tests are unwarned (Genesis 22:2). What was God really testing? God tested Abraham’s love. Love is not measure by feelings but by what we are prepared to do for the one to whom we profess love (John 14:21). God tested Abraham’s faith. How could God keep His word and let Isaac die? Abraham felt sure that somehow God would keep His word (Hebrews 11:17–19). It was not for Abraham to figure it out but simply to obey. Oh, what a faith!
God tested Abraham’s obedience. It was late at night that God spoke with Abraham and instructed him to take Isaac to the land of Moriah and sacrifice him there. (22:2). He could have delayed obeying God by claiming he was going to have a busy day or trying to schedule it for another day but he got up early in the morning and did just what he had been instructed to do (22:3). He probably couldn’t sleep all night thinking about the extent of the Father’s command; what it meant. He could have questioned if it was God indeed who spoke to him but, this wasn’t a new experience: God had spoken to him before and he knew God’s voice.
He could have questioned God’s request to sacrifice a human but why? Human sacrifice was acceptable in many of the other religions of his time and God had never told him that it wasn’t acceptable to Him! Abraham did not question; he obeyed! Do you tend to have a religious cow when God ask you to do something like raising your arms as an act of worship and surrender, or clapping when you sing, praising the Lord out loud, praying in the hallway or praying on the phone? How many times have you read God’s word where you found a command for you to obey and chose to leave it for later or ignored it all together? How many times have you heard that inner voice of the Holy Spirit commanding you to do something God and excused it or, worst, ignored it? How are you doing in this area? Are you ready to obey Him at all cost? Are you ready to move on His queue, regardless of your schedule? If not, admit it, confess it and repent; change your thinking process.
God tested Abraham’s perseverance (22:4). God sent him to a place three days away from his camp. Can you imagine his agony? To walk in the wilderness for three days was miserable enough but to walk in the wilderness with the constant thought of his mission had to be agonizing! But, something happened in these three days. I believe his trust in the Father grew and it was in these three days that he totally surrendered his life to God. How do I know it? See what he said to his men (22:5). He knew he and Isaac would come back! The writer of Hebrews agrees with me (Hebrews 11:19).
Getting to any conclusion in life require time and insight. I believe Abraham spent these three days meditating in God’s promises and in his personal relationship with Him. As he meditated in God’s promises and evaluated his personal relationship with God he concluded that Isaac would be spared giving him the strength to continue in obedience to God’s command.
Sometimes God’s testing lasts more than we would like for it to last. Our reaction is often one of despair, anger, disbelieve; we question God and His motives, sometimes we resent Him. But if what Abraham experienced is any indication of God’s process to strengthen our faith and obedience we should welcome it. Long periods of testing helps you mature in your faith and makes you more complete as a Christian (James 1:3–4). It makes you genuine in your faith and whole in your walk in Christ.
God tested Abraham, Moses, Job, Daniel, Peter and Peter. The greatest of all tests was endured by Christ (Matthew 26:39; Philippians 2:8). He did it in obedience to the Father and for your benefit; all because He loved you. Would you receive His gift of forgiveness, salvation and eternal life with God today? Will you commit to be obedient to Him and to trust Him even in times of testing in your life?