Putting God's Word into Practice…

Hebrews 11:17-19 By Faith Abraham…Part 2

on July 10, 2013

By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it is was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.”  He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. Hebrews 11:17-19

God is a tester of faith.  Like a heavenly school teacher, he is allowed to test us anytime He chooses; and we do not know how we will be tested, when the test will come, or what will be asked of us.  Testing of our faith is for our good and God’s glory.  It produces steadfastness in us and perfects our character (James 1:3).  When our faith is tested and proven genuine, it results in praise, honor and glory when we finally see Jesus face-to-face (1 Peter 1:6-7).  However, tests also show us where we are falling short–where we have more to learn, and they reveal our true spiritual condition and on who/what we have been depending apart from the Lord.

Abraham’s test seems drastic to my earthly understanding–to be asked to sacrifice his only Son–his promise–on an altar.  As a mother, I can imagine how I would respond.  I picture myself saying, “That’s not fair.  Why would you promise me a son, then take him away? How dare you ask this of me!”  But not Abraham!  We see no arguing, no resistance, only faith-driven obedience.  Abraham recognized that when God made a promise to him to give him a son and innumerable offspring through his son, that He would do it, no matter what it took!

The phrase that stuck out to me in these verses is, “In the act of offering up.”  That means giving up something for the pleasure of someone else. Just like 14 years ago, I gave up smoking cigarettes to please my husband because I love him, how much more should I be willing to give something up to please my Lord, Savior and Treasure, Jesus Christ.  

I can vividly remember a night over a decade ago that someone I know was preparing to leave to be a missionary in North Korea.  I asked her mom, “How can you let her go into such a dangerous place, knowing you may never see her again?”  The mother’s response was, “She doesn’t belong to me; she belongs to God.”  Maybe the reason we don’t want to make sacrifices and offerings to God is because we forget to Whom we and the gifts we’ve been given truly belong.

If Abraham had not embraced the test, he would not have experience the supernatural provision and presence of the Lord!  Faith strengthens faith, and obedience brings blessing!  God provided a ram for the sacrifice in place of Isaac, and Abraham offered the ram to the Lord, naming the place on the mount, “The Lord will Provide.”  

Lord, increase my faith!  Give me supernatural obedience and more sacrificial love for you!  You are worthy!

P.S. There are a ton of gospel foreshadowings in the story of Abraham and Isaac from Genesis 22. I recommend reading that chapter with Jesus in mind.


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