Follow Me: A Test of Faith

TestObservations as I follow God through the Chronological Bible

Genesis 22[1]

Abraham never found the city designed and built by God that he was looking for when he left Ur of the Chaldees. Instead God appeared to him talking about a son. The birth of Isaac 25 years after Abraham arrived in Canaan began the genealogy that led to the “one seed” on God’s mind. Abraham spent most of his life learning the only way to obtain the city was through the son God spoke about.

Three years after the birth of Isaac, God told Abraham to listen to his wife. Send Hagar and Ishmael away. If God spoke between the time he told Abraham to listen to his wife and the day he told Abraham to sacrifice his “only son”, his words were not recorded.

At some point, Abraham understood that he would have to be resurrected from the dead to obtain the city God is building. Many years later, the Apostle Paul came to the same realization and wrote “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.”[2]

God tested the sincerity of Abraham’s faith when he told Abraham to sacrifice his “only son”. Abraham teaches us the only kind of faith that pleases God, imparts salvation and justifies us. This kind of faith requires you to “believe in your heart that God raised him [Jesus] from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”[3]

Abraham believed God would raise the dead. He expected to offer Isaac as a burnt sacrifice when he reached Moriah. The journey gave him three days to think about it. When they arrived at the mountain, he spoke his faith that God can and would raise the dead. He told his servants to stay with the donkey and said, “We will worship and then we will come back to you.”[4] Clearly, Abraham expected to return home with Isaac.

It is important to note that Abraham could not have obeyed God without Isaac’s willing compliance. Isaac was 33 years old when he went to Moriah with his father. He understood that his father planned to kill him and burn his body. Isaac also believed God would raise the dead. That agreement gave Abraham the strength to obey God. He could not have done it any other way.

When Abraham and Isaac’s actions proved their faith was genuine God stopped them and swore an oath he would fulfill everything he promised. Yet neither Abraham nor Isaac saw the promises fulfilled. Abraham lived another 42 years. Buried Sarah and married Keturah who gave him six sons. Isaac married a barren woman. After 40 years of marriage, divine intervention gave them two sons.

They did not receive the things promised. They only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. They looked for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they longed for a better country – a heavenly one. Therefore God was not ashamed to be called their God for he has prepared a city for them.[5]

[1] All scripture quotes are from the NIV Bible unless otherwise noted.

[2] 1 Corinthians 15:19

[3] Romans 10:9-10

[4] Genesis 22:5

[5] Most of this paragraph is a paraphrase of Hebrews 11:13-16

About Teena Myers

Teena is the Vice Chairman of the Southern Christian Writers Guild, author of three books and a freelance writer.
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