This is a Test

Ester
It’s easy to skip over. It’s just one word at the beginning of a story, but it is one word that makes all the difference to what follows.

Some time later God tested Abraham” (Genesis 22:1). It was a TEST. God knew His man. He also knew that from this test would come one of the most graphic illustrations of the grace of God delivered to us on the cross by Jesus Christ that the world would ever see.

Abraham was to take his only son to Mount Moriah and there sacrifice him as an offering to God. Of course, we know what happened. When Isaac asked his father where the lamb for the sacrifice was, Abraham replied: “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son” (22:8). God knew His man, and Abraham knew his God. When the test was over, Abraham named the spot “The Lord will provide” (22:14) because that was exactly what the Lord did.

It was a TEST. As I read the story this morning I thought of some dear friends who are sitting by the bed of their newborn daughter. The prognosis is grim; the first surgery to repair a life-threatening problem, a failure. This is a test. I know them, and I know that if anyone has the faith in God to pass this test, it will be them.

Most of us are not tested to these extremes. But all of us are tested. Each test is part of our learning process, part of our journey toward becoming the person God wants us to be, toward becoming more like His Son, Jesus, who faced the pressures of the world, the weakness of the flesh, the temptations of the devil, and did not sin. Someone said that God never wastes pain and we can be sure that Abraham felt pain as he walked up that mountain, as he stood over his son with his knife in his hand. I am sure Marjorie and Wilcar are feeling pain as they remain vigilant, but powerless, at the bedside of their only child.

It’s a TEST.

Whether the tests of life be huge or small, we need to understand that God will be what He was for Abraham. God was, and is, the provider. And He will be One who provides for us in whatever the test is that we have to face today, tomorrow, and for all the tomorrows to come. Believing that is part of the test, no matter what the outcome.

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