Discipleship Minute: Promise #2

Read Genesis 21:1-5, 22:1-14.

Many of us may think that we are beyond tests because we are not in school anymore or because we are adults. But, we still face tests, especially in our Christian walk. Some of these tests involve our response to temptation or living out our obedience to God. One of the most extreme sounding tests in the Bible is the account of Abraham and Isaac. God had promise several times that Abraham and his wife, both in advanced years, would have a child. After many years of waiting, it finally happened. God gave Abraham a son, Isaac. We can imagine their emotions at this blessed event. God had shown that He kept His promises and gave them the son “at the appointed time.”

Sometime later, a test came. Abraham received a command from God that he was to offer Isaac as a burnt offering to God. There were times that Abraham was disobedient and unfaithful to God, but this time he and his son packed their supplies and went to the mountain for the sacrifice. Abraham demonstrated faith toward his servants by saying that he and his son would return after the act of worship. He also demonstrated faith in replying to Isaac’s understandable question about what they were to sacrifice on the mountain. God would provide was Abraham’s answer. We cannot imagine the father’s emotions as he bound his son and placed him on the altar. The writer of Hebrews in the New Testament, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, indicated that Abraham believed that, even if he had gone through the sacrifice of Isaac, God was able to raise the boy from the dead (Heb. 11:17-19).

It must have been a great relief as the angel of God told Abraham to stop and put down the knife. Abraham had acted in faith at God’s command. And, as He had in each instance, God provided. Abraham looked up and saw an animal that would become the sacrifice that he believed God would provide.

This incident is a foreshadowing of the sacrifice made by Jesus Christ for the sins of humanity. As He did for Abraham, God took the initiative by providing a way for us to have forgiveness of sins and a relationship with God through the death and resurrection of Christ. Since we have faith in Christ, it does not mean that tests will not come into our lives. It does mean, though, that God will provide us with the resources to meet each test faithfully.

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