BEING TESTED BY GOD
Holy Spirit, You work in unexpected ways and in unusual places. Forgive me for trying to domesticate and tame You.
Read Genesis 22:1–8
22 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
2 Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”
3 Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. 4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5 He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”
6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, 7 Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”
“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.
“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
8 Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow challenging are your circumstances? Can you discern that God is testing you to trust Him more?
In Genesis 12:1–4 God came to Abraham for the first time with clear instructions to give up his home, go somewhere new, somewhere unspecified. God would show him where. Abraham did exactly that (12:4).
God was testing this man in an extraordinary way. Something in Abraham meant that he responded. But God wasn’t finished. He tested Abraham again. What similarities and differences can you see between the previous testing and the testing in today’s reading? For over 30 years Abraham had been in a relationship with the living God, had known God’s guidance and protection, had seen the fulfillment of the promise of an inheritance. He discovered God could be trusted. But at this point he must have wondered what God was up to.
Nonetheless he obeyed – and his answer to Isaac’s simple and obvious question (7) demonstrated just how much he trusted God (8). God was indeed testing him… but God would also provide. In the Lord’s prayer we pray ‘Lead us not into temptation’ as though we expect to be tested but might be found wanting. If we respond to God’s testing by continuing to trust Him, our faith will be deepened.
How ‘stuck in a rut’ are you in your relationship with God? Does God need to dig out some tough roots in the soil of your heart? Give Him permission to do whatever He needs to do in your life today.
Father God, when tests come my way, as I know they will, may I be found faithful to You.
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