Passing the test…


Hand completing a multiple choice exam.

Genesis 22:1 After these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; he cut the wood for the burnt offering, and set out and went to the place in the distance that God had shown him.

If you read the rest of this chapter in Genesis you’ll see that God did not ultimately ask Abraham sacrifice his son Isaac. Whew! It would appear this was only a test to see if Abraham truly trusted God. Why such a test? Verse 1 begins “After these things…” – meaning this story appears right after Abraham had failed to trust God with his safety, passing off his wife Sarah as his sister. His deception revealed a lack of trust in the Lord.

I suppose in some ways Abraham redeemed himself in this story. He was indeed prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac since God had asked him to. What the story does not tell us is Abraham’s emotional state as he prepared to put his only son to death. We can only imagine his agony.

The bible makes it clear that God will put people to the test from time to time.

Jesus put it another way. He said, “If any want to be my disciples, let them deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24) The way of Jesus is often the hard way, but it’s a way that leads to life nonetheless. Some questions for this morning:

(1) Can you name a time when you believe the Lord put you to the test? How did that go?

(2) If you’ve been tested before and fallen short, what did the experience teach you?

(3) Where are you being tested this very day?

(4) What would it look like for you to pass with flying colors?

Lord, following after you is hard, not easy. Give us grace to bear our cross and pass the test. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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