Why Was Abraham Tested By God
KEY SCRIPTURES: Genesis 22:1-18; Hebrews 11:17-19
Hebrews 11:17 “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promised offered up his only begotten son.”
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God’s command for Abraham to sacrifice Isaac was a test of his faith. Faith is much more than an inner spiritual attitude, it requires words. Abraham who was regarded in the Bible as a friend of God was one of the Heroes of faith mentioned in the Holy Bible. He was called by God to leave his kindred and moved to a strange land. Abraham loved and obeyed God in all things and there is no place he stopped that he didn’t build an altar to worship God always. God so much had confidence in Abraham that he said in the Bible that Abraham will guide his family and household to serve God diligently. Abraham was consistent with God and through his consistency, he changed his name and made him father of all nations and that through his name, the world will be blessed. When God wanted to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, through Abraham entertaining his angels, God revealed to Abraham the plans to destroy the two cities. God promised Abraham a son who will uphold the name of Abraham through Sarah, his wife even when they were old in age. Even though Sarah forced him to take her maidservant as wife so she can have children through her when her own child wasn’t forthcoming, God still proved himself in the life of Abraham by giving him a son in his old age. Abraham named the son; Isaac and he loved the son so much.
God knew Abraham loved him very much and he also loved his son, Isaac but He needed to be sure that even if Abraham has no son again, will he still be faithful to him. God decided to test Abraham to see if he loved and trusted God enough to obey Him. Isaac grew up to be a fine young man who loved God and always obeyed his father. One day, God told Abraham to go to a place and sacrifice his only son. Despite the situation, Abraham still believed in God’s promises that God will make him fathers of all nations and was looking at the bigger pictures, went ahead to complete the deed until an angel of the Lord intervened and God provided a ram to be sacrificed in Isaac’s place. Why would God test Abraham in such an extreme way? This article will give a detailed explanation why Abraham was tested by God.
- GOD WANTED TO KNOW THE TRUE NATURE OF ABRAHAM’S FAITH: James 2:18-24
Strong faith is often exercised with strong trials. True faith of a believer is revealed when one goes through fire, and this will show the strong foundation in which the faith is built on. In Abraham’s case, he loved his son so much and might have even idolized him in his heart, so God needed him to completely give all to him which include his one favorite possession, his Son, Isaac. God needed to test if his loyalties have not changed after Abraham now had a son. We have seen cases of people who neglected God and their services to God after God had granted them their heart desires. They tend to complain of no time to serve God in spirit and truth due to the gifts given to them by God, their loyalties shifted from God to the gift given. God wanted to know that Abraham’s case wasn’t like others who love the gifts more than the giver. Abraham proved that his faith was built on a strong foundation and knowing the character of God which includes truthfulness and unchanging, he knew that even if he sacrificed Isaac, because God had promised his descendants to be numerous as the stars, God is able to save his son even if Isaac died on the altar.
2. TO REVEAL GOD AS A GREAT PROVIDER: Genesis 22:8
God tested Abraham so that he can reveal himself as a great provider which is another unique name of God that no matter what the economy of the country is, God is capable to provide all our needs in abundance. Just like Abraham told his son, Isaac when he asked him about the ram to be used for the sacrifice that God will provide. We as believers should always look unto God as our provider in all things. We should never depend on man for our daily needs but upon God.
3. TO TEACH BELIEVERS THE NEED TO FULLY TRUST IN GOD
Abraham was tested by God to teach believers the need to fully trust in God. Whenever we encounter difficult situations, as believers, we should look at the bigger picture and try to find out the message God is passing to us through the situation. We shouldn’t be so overwhelmed by the situation and neglect the place of God. We should learn to let any situation draw us closer to God. God tested Abraham to enable believers to understand the nature of tests and trials. God has a unique way of being able to locate where our loyalties lie. We must give all to him completely if we want to be committed to Him as believers, giving up something we have put on the same pedestal as God. We must be more focused on our relationship with God and nothing should take that place.
4. TO SHOW HOW GOD WILL SACRIFICE HIS OWN SON: John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 15:3
God tested Abraham to reveal God’s sacrifice of His own son. The story of Abraham revealed more of the New Testament teaching about atonement and the sacrificial offering of Jesus Christ on the cross for the sin of mankind. The ram provided for Abraham to substitute to save Isaac’s life was the representation of Jesus Christ used as a substitute for all of us in order to gain eternal life in God’s kingdom.
God needed to test Abraham to validate Abraham as the father of all who have faith in God. His response to the commandment of God helps believers to know what it entails to work in faith in God. Abraham was used as an example of the type of faith required for salvation which involved absolute obedience to God. Complete faith in God means no delay, no questioning or arguing about what God asked you to do because He knows the end from the beginning and great rewards accompanied complete obedience to His commandments.