Abraham Tested and Refined
At 75, he enrolled in the “School of Faith.” Now at 100, he’s still having soul-stretching experiences. Genesis 22 is the Divine commentary on this and it contains a beautiful picture of Calvary. However the main lesson is obedient faith that overcomes trials. It’s how to face and handle the tests of life to the glory of God.
Consider five simple instructions.
Expect tests from God (Gen. 22:1–2). Abraham faced many:
A. First was the “family test,” (11:27–12:5).
B. This was followed by the “famine test” (12:10–13:4).
C. Once back in the land, Abraham passed the “fellowship test” (13:5–18).
D. He also passed the “fight test” (14:1–16).
E. And the “fortune test” (14:17–24).
F. But he failed the “fatherhood test” (Gen. 16).
G. Abraham passed the “farewell test” (21:14–21).
Not every experience is a test from God. Distinguish between trials/temptations.
Focus on promises, not explanations (Gen. 22:3–5)
Faith isn’t tested until God asks the unbearable, like with Joseph, Moses, David, or Jesus: We live by promises, not by explanations.
Consider how unreasonable God’s request was.
Our first response is usually, “Why, Lord?” or, “Why me?” We want explanations. God has reasons for sending tests—
It’s hard to see any use in it, but asking explanations suggests God goofed.
Abraham just obeyed by faith, counting on God’s promise (Heb. 11:17–19). Abraham believed God’s promises
1. when he did not know where (Heb. 11:8),
2. when he did not know when (11:9–10, 13–16),
3. when he did not know how (11:11–12),
4. and when he did not know why (11:17–19).
Faith does not demand explanations; faith rests on promises.
Depend on God’s provision (Gen. 22:6–14)
Two statements reveal the emphasis of this passage: “God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering” (Gen. 22:8); and “Jehovah-jireh” (22:14), which means, “The Lord will see to it.”
What did Abraham have to depend on?
1. Not his feelings. Not other people.
2. But the promise and consequent provision of God.
a. He experienced resurrection because of God’s promise (Rom. 4:19–21). So Isaac would certainly be resurrected.
b. And the provision of a ram, just what was needed (Gen. 22:13).
The statement “In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen” helps us understand some truths about the provision of the Lord.
* Where does the Lord provide our needs?
* When does God meet our needs?
* How does God provide for us?
* To whom does God give His provision?
* Why does God provide our every need?
Seek to glorify Christ
In times of testing we think, “Self.” But God is revealing Christ.
If ever two suffering people revealed Jesus Christ, it was Abraham and Isaac on Mount Moriah.
Jesus said to the Jews,
“Your father, Abraham, rejoiced to see My day;
and he saw it, and was glad” (John 8:56).
a. In Isaac’s miraculous birth-
b. In Isaac’s marriage (Gen. 24)-
c. on Mount Moriah-
Several truths about the atonement are seen in this event.
1. The Father and Son acted together
2. The Son had to die.
3. The Son bore the burden of sin
4. The Son was raised from the dead
5. He’s coming for His bride
All this for him and us came about cus Abe sought in trials to draw closer to God.
Look forward to what God has for you (Gen. 22:15–24)
There is always an “afterward,” God never wastes suffering.
A. He received a new approval from God (Gen. 22:12).
B. He received back a new son.
C. God gave Abraham new assurances (Gen. 22:16–18).
D. Abraham also learned a new name for God (22:14).
E. Back home, he heard another new name—Rebekah (Gen. 22:23
F. Finally, Abraham came away from this trial with a deeper love for the Lord.