Day 4: The Greatest Test

"Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, 'Abraham!'

'Here I am'. he replied.

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.'

Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey."

Genesis 22:1-3, NIV 


It's hard to know where to begin on this one. Can you imagine being commanded by God to sacrifice your son as a burnt offering? I cannot fathom how this must have confused and devastated Abraham. The God who had shown Abraham nothing but love and mercy was now asking him to kill his son.


What's amazing about this was Abraham's willingness to obey. We know that Abraham loved his son, but it was to become very clear that Abraham loved God more. We are told that Abraham got up early the next morning to do that difficult task which God had commanded. As we continue reading we see that Abraham not only got up early, but he cut the wood for the sacrifice before he left in case there was no wood to be found in the region he was going to.


Then he actually bound his son, laid him on the alter and raised his knife to carry out God's command. Then, God stopped him. Of course He stopped him because God would never have let Abraham actually kill his son. But the fact is that Abraham did not know that. In Hebrews 11:19 we are told that Abraham had reasoned that God could raise people from the dead, so he thought that must have been God's plan. After all, God had told Abraham that all nations would be blessed through the lineage of Isaac, and Isaac had not yet been married or had children.


Can you imagine the trust and faith that Abraham had for God? I honestly cannot. I also honestly cannot understand the full reasoning behind God's test, but I do know this: God was going to build a nation from whom the Messiah would come through this man Abraham, and God wanted to make sure that this man would prove faithful.


So He provided the ultimate test of that faith and Abraham passed the test with flying colors.


And God - the same God who so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son - stopped Abraham from making that sacrifice of his son and provided another sacrifice in his place.


That's the very thing that God has done for us, when you think about it. And when you think about it, you honestly may not be able to understand that, either. But we love Him for that sacrifice and we need to make sure that sacrifice was not in vain.


"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son..."

John 3:16, KJV 


Today is day 4 of the 30 day challenge to read through the books of Moses. Today's reading is Genesis 22-28. May God richly bless your efforts as you seek His will to serve Him better!