and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore.”
- Genesis 22:16-17a
Abraham was tested when God had asked him to sacrifice his beloved son, yet without argument or hesitation, he obeyed and followed the request. Although the story has a happy ending when the angel from God stopped Abraham just as he was about to kill his son, and provided a ram as an alternate sacrifice, the fact that Abraham was ready to go through with the sacrifice can feel wrong and unfathomable. After all, Abraham had longed for a son with Sarah and he truly loved Isaac. How can a father give up his son so easily?
As we study this tale, what we must remember is that Isaac was only possible through the miracle of God. Abraham and Sarah were already passed their prime for child bearing according to the Word and it is because of Abraham's faith and God's covenant that Isaac was made possible. Given that Abraham had such great faith, he has seen God do the impossible, it can be understandable then that he also trust that God has a plan for this request (and He did). Abraham showed complete trust in God and in turn, he was blessed many folds in return. The lesson here is that when we trust in God when we are tested, God will show that He has the best plans in mind for us.
This is a lesson I have to remind myself often, especially when I feel tested when trying to plan my finances. I believe in the practice of tithing and yet with rising prices, inflation, and various priorities, it can feel difficult to give a tenth. I worry -- will I have enough for the future? Am I saving enough for my family and myself? There are so many other things I should do with my money. Yet, this story about Abraham being tested reminds me that everything I have and hold value to I have because of blessing of God. He can give, and He can take away. When I am tested and I lean into trusting God, somehow, my prayers are answered and everything turns out fine. These trials are reminders that can help strengthen my faith.
Reflection: When do you feel tested in life? When tested, how do you respond through your faith?
How does the story of Abraham and Isaac help us learn about relying on our faith when being tested? Join us for this week's devotional study, while you enjoy various Christian worship music channels on Calm Christian Music.