Confirming Faith

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    It is chapter 22 of Genesis that Abraham finally reaches the peak of his faith. He knows that God has promised that he will be a great nation and he knows that the promise will come through his son Isaac. Yet here in Genesis 22 God commands Abraham to go and sacrifice his son Isaac. Abraham is now in a difficult situation. Does he obey God and possibly lose his son and the great promises that were to come through his son, or does he disobey God thinking he knows best?

    We all know how this ends. Abraham obeys God and in the last instant God stops Abraham and provides a ram for the sacrifice. When we read in Hebrews 11 about Abraham's faith, it tells that Abraham believed that God was able to raise Isaac from the dead to fulfill the promises to Him.

    Consider this. Did God test Abraham because God wanted to see what Abraham would do? We realize that God knows everything therefore the test was not for God's benefit...but Abraham. Did this test cause Abraham to suffer? Possibly...yet the suffering that Abraham endured would only be there due to his own lack of faith. If Abraham completely trusted God throughout the whole three days of this chapter, then there would be no suffering at all because he would know God would either provide or raise Isaac from the dead.

    Sometimes our trials make us stronger. Trials can be difficult and frustrating to deal with. Yet many times our trials cause suffering simply because we don't trust God. When we trust God...then there is very little we really need to worry about.

    GENESIS 22

    [22:1] Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” [2] Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” [3] So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. [4] Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off. [5] And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.” [6] So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. [7] But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” [8] And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together. [9] Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. [10] And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. [11] But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” So he said, “Here I am.” [12] And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” [13] Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. [14] And Abraham called the name of the place, The-LORD-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the LORD it shall be provided.” [15] Then the Angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, [16] and said: “By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son— [17] “blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. [18] “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” [19] So Abraham returned to his young men, and they rose and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba. The Family of Nahor [20] Now it came to pass after these things that it was told Abraham, saying, “Indeed Milcah also has borne children to your brother Nahor: [21] “Huz his firstborn, Buz his brother, Kemuel the father of Aram, [22] “Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel.” [23] And Bethuel begot Rebekah. These eight Milcah bore to Nahor, Abraham's brother. [24] His concubine, whose name was Reumah, also bore Tebah, Gaham, Thahash, and Maachah.