Some time later God tested Abraham. Genesis 22:1
The first time I took my sons to hike a Colorado Fourteener—a mountain with an elevation of a least 14,000 feet—they were nervous. Could they make it? Were they up to the challenge? My youngest stopped on the trail for extended breaks. “Dad, I can’t go any more,” he said repeatedly. But I believed this test would be good for them, and I wanted them to trust me. A mile from the peak, my son who’d insisted he could go no further caught his second wind and beat us to the summit. He was so glad he trusted me, even amid his fears.
I marvel at the trust Isaac had in his father as they climbed their mountain. Far more, I’m undone by the trust Abraham had in God as he raised his knife over his son (Genesis 22:10). Even with his confused and wrenching heart, Abraham obeyed. Mercifully, an angel stopped him. “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” God’s messenger declared (v. 12). God never intended for Isaac to die.
As we draw parallels from this unique story to our own with caution, it’s crucial to note the opening line: “God tested Abraham” (v. 1). Through his test, Abraham learned how much he trusted God. He discovered His loving heart and profound provision.
In our confusion, darkness, and testing, we learn truths about ourselves and about God. And we may even find that our testing leads to a deeper trust in Him.
How do you believe you’ve been tested by God? What was that experience like, and what did you take away from it?
God, I don’t know if what I’m experiencing is Your testing or not, but either way, I want to trust You. I give my future to You.
Genesis 22:1, 15–18 make it clear that God tested Abraham to examine his heart. While God may test our faith and obedience (James 1:2–4), He never tempts us to do wrong (v. 13). The writer of Hebrews commended the patriarch’s deep faith: “Abraham reasoned that if Isaac died, God was able to bring him back to life again” (Hebrews 11:19 nlt). The apostle James said that “Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar. . . . His actions made his faith complete” (James 2:21–22 nlt).