1 After these things God tested Abraham… – Genesis 22:1
One of the more annoying aspects of my childhood was having my Saturday morning cartoons interrupted by the “E-B-S”. Do you remember this? It always seemed to happen right in the middle of my favorite shows. The screen would black out, multi-colored horizontal stripes would appear as a robotic voice would say, “This is a test. For the next 30 seconds this station is conducting a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. This is only a test.” Following that announcement, the most annoying sound in all the world would blare through the tv for what felt like minutes. Ugh! If you lived through it, you can probably still hear it. It was so annoying. You see, the point is, before I reached kindergarten the “E-B-S” was teaching me that tests are not fun and horribly inconvenient.
Tests were disruptive as a child, they were challenging throughout school, and they can be downright painful in adulthood. With this in mind, how does it sit with you to read that God tested Abraham? How does it feel to know God also tests you and me?
As we’ve studied through the life of Abraham, we’ve witnessed him endure a number of tests. Each test Abraham faced served to strengthen him for the next. And now as our Echoes of Promise series comes to a close, we are going to witness a faith-filled Abraham face the test of all tests. Frankly, God is going to ask Abraham to do the unthinkable. He’s going to ask him to give up the very thing he’s longed for… He’s going to ask him to give up his one and only son. As you read Genesis 22, I want to warn you that you are likely to feel very conflicted. As I studied it, there were a number of things that caused me to scratch my head and study harder. I can’t wait to share with you what I’ve learned.
Let me say, the key in it all is it to remember that God made a promise, and He is working out His purpose. As we prepare for Sunday perhaps this quote from Warren Wiersbe will help our perspective, “Our faith is not really tested until God asks us to bear what seems unbearable, do what seems unreasonable, and expect what seems impossible.”
Remember, God’s testing is always for the proving and strengthening of our faith. God’s tests are always for our good. While we will not face the same test as Abraham (Praise God) we can learn from his faith in the promise and purpose of God.
Take some time to listen to the worship set to prepare your heart.
Love you Church,