Faithlife Sermons

Testing Abraham's Faith

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Have you ever lost something you truly care about?
Has that affected your relationship with God?
We have talked about God promising Abraham that He would bless him with a son.
Abraham and Sarah have Isaac.
Genesis 22:1 ESV
After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.”
In our journey to faith, we need to be ready and listening for God’s voice at anytime.
Could Abraham have heard God if he was busy with other things?
His response showed that he was ready for whatever God had for him.
Genesis 22:2 ESV
He said, “Take 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.”
God promised that from Isaac that He would bless Abraham with many descendents
Now God seems to be taking that away
Not only that, he is commanding human sacrifice.
Genesis 22:3–4 ESV
So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar.
Notice that he did not delay, he went and even woke up early.
Imagine him trying to go to sleep with this in mind.
While he’s gathering wood to be thinking about this.
Then they didnt even arrive that same day. It was the third day so he slept on it some more.
Abraham had plenty of time to rethink or refuse God’s offer.
Q: Can you think of a time that you felt God moving you to something and you backed off?
Do you regret it?
Genesis 22:5 ESV
Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.”
Sounds like the other men didnt know about this. He is giving the impression that they will both come back
Why is that?
Considering that Abraham witnessed the miraculous birth of his son at such an old age, Im thinking that he may have believed that they would both come back.
Did he know how that would happen?
Q: Do you ever feel like you need to know exactly how God is going to work something in your life for you to trust in Him?
Sometimes we dont have to know how God is going to do things to trust in him.
Genesis 22:6–8 ESV
And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.
Q: Did God tell Abraham that He would do anything different?
Why would Abraham say that god would provide when he clearly hear God tell him to sacrifice Isaac?
Abraham knew the character of God, he knew that God would stick to His promises.
If God could give him a son at the ago of 100 and his wife at the age of 80, then He could do anything.
Again, did Abraham know what or how God would keep His promise?
That did not stop him from trusting.
Genesis 22:9–10 ESV
When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son.
Imagine this taking place. they set everything down.
Then he thinks, I have to tie my son up so he does not escape.
Son, please put your hands behind your back so I can tie them.
Think of what Isaac might start thinking.
Genesis 22:11–12 ESV
But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.”
Q: If God is all knowing, how did He not know that Abraham fears God?
There is a difference between theoretical knowledge and partical knowledge.
I knew that my parents loved me.
One day when I was 18 I was going out with my friends to see a movie after church. I was driving my parents car.
As I was on the highway I was behind a car, I tried to switch lanes and the guy in front of me hit the brakes.
I pulled the steering wheel hard to avoid hitting him and started swerving in traffic.
The car spun out and hit a light pole. The car was completely destroyed. My first though was “my parents are going to kill me for ruining their car”
I thought i was going to be grounded for the rest of my life.
When I called them, their first and only reaction was “are you hurt”
Even though I knew my parents loved me, seeing it in action is completely different circumstance.
Genesis 22:13–14 ESV
And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”
We see God’s blessing to those who do no hold anything back from Him.
Genesis 22:15–19 ESV
And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven and said, “By myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” So Abraham returned to his young men, and they arose and went together to Beersheba. And Abraham lived at Beersheba.
Notice again that this is the Angel of the Lord and that Angel is the one making the blessing.
Angels cannot bless, again this is another form of God himself. This is most likely Jesus.
I envy Abraham, I dont know why I am unable to trust God like that. I wish I could have that kind of faith.
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