Genesis 22:10 – And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
The greatest test of Abraham’s faith came after he received the promise of an heir. Isaac was born to Sarah and Abraham as God’s power proved that nothing is impossible with God. Now, God was asking Abraham to sacrifice his promised son. It is one thing to wait for the fulfillment of a promise; it is another thing to trust and obey after receiving the promise. First, Abraham had to trust God’s will, and now he would have to trust God’s word. Would he cling to his promised son or would he return him to the Lord in faith? Simply put, how far would Abraham go in obedience? Did he truly believe that God would still keep his word to raise Isaac as the seed of promise?
Abraham’s response was astounding. He instantly obeyed without question. He made immediate preparations to take the three-day, fifty-mile journey to Mount Moriah. All that Abraham knew was that God planned a future through Isaac and that God wanted Isaac to be sacrificed. He could not determine how both could be true, but he obeyed anyway. That is faith! Abraham affirmed his faith several times – by preparing for the offering, by taking the journey, by avowing that God would provide, and by taking up the knife (22:3-10). God intervened, revealing that he never intended for Abraham to complete the sacrifice (22:11-14). Abraham did indeed fear God (22:12), indicating that he reverenced God as his Sovereign, trusting him implicitly by obeying him without question.
People of true faith are those who hold back nothing from God. Faith leads us to give obediently because faith propels us to trust that God will provide. The point of the story is made at its conclusion: God will provide! God sees the needs of those who come before him, and he meets their needs.
The lessons of true faith are changeless: 1) Faith obeys God’s word completely, 2) Faith surrenders the best to God, even at great cost to oneself, 3) Faith waits on the Lord to provide for one’s needs. God proves that he will provide, but he is waiting for us to act first in faith and make a personal sacrifice.
Faith isn’t cheap. Obedience is costly. Provision takes sacrifice.
Do you wait for everything to make sense before you trust God? Do you follow willingly when you do not quite know what to expect? Are you willing to give up the very best that you possess in this life for the opportunity to demonstrate real faith in the God who sees and provides?
These are tough questions. They demand real answers. We will all face tests of faith. Prepare yourself now by making daily decisions to trust God’s word even at personal cost. There may come a time when the future of your family hangs in the balance. Be ready to make the right decision to live by faith.
Daily Reading: Genesis 22:1-14
Bible Reading Challenge: 21 Days on Faith