Sometime later God tested Abraham
The period of time is not recorded but it is a reasonable to assume that Isaac was a teenager when the events of this chapter took place.
Abraham and Sarah rejoiced in the child of promise and we can only imagine what a joy he was to them seeing that he had been born when both of them were way past childbearing age. How they must have protected him as they surely knew that if anything happened to him they had no chance of another son and further God had said ‘my covenant I will establish with Isaac.’ Genesis 17.21
In the light of this the test which Abraham now faced was massive. How would you or I have reacted with such a challenge? It is a hypothetical question but the answer we give, if we can even get our heads round it, will reveal much about us.
Let’s note five things about Abraham’s response.
There is no recorded questioning or objection
The response was immediate – early the next morning.
We are not told if the servants knew what was at stake but note Abraham’s word to them Stay here …. I and the boy will go over there. We will worship and then WE will come back to you.
When answering Isaacs question ‘but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?’ His reply was ‘God himself will provide’.
He was obedient to the point of raising the knife to slay his beloved son.
At which point the test was complete. Hear God’s words to him. ‘Now I know that you fear God because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son’ which was then followed by yet another statement of the Covenant that he had established with him v.17-17
Abraham’s faith in God was unwavering under this most severe of tests. But I suggest that this says more about God than it does about Abraham. Abraham believed God because he knew God to be absolutely faithful. If we think first of Abraham’s faith then we could be tempted to put the emphasis on him but faith in anyone else would have been worse than useless.
Isn’t that a glorious truth to take into this day and indeed everyday of our lives. What God has promised he will do. Do we believe that? Are we demonstrating it in the face of all that the world may throw at us. And also perhaps more important the tests that God puts before us in order to sharpen us and equip us for his service.
Oh, for a faith that will not shrink,
Though pressed by every foe,
That will not tremble on the brink
Of any earthly woe!
That will not murmur nor complain
Beneath the chast’ning rod,
But, in the hour of grief or pain,
Will lean upon its God.
A faith that shines more bright and clear
When tempests rage without;
That when in danger knows no fear,
In darkness feels no doubt.
Lord, give me such a faith as this,
And then, whate’er may come,
I’ll taste, e’en here, the hallowed bliss
Of an eternal home.