Wednesday - Confidence In Times Of Testing



Lesson Scriptures: Genesis 22:1-14


Key Lesson Theme: “Confidence in Times of Testing”


Today's Lesson: Wednesday, November 24


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Genesis 22:3-10


3 So Abraham got up early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took with him two of his young men and his son Isaac. He split wood for a burnt offering and set out to go to the place God had told him about.

4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance.

5 Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go over there to worship; then we’ll come back to you.”

6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and laid it on his son Isaac. In his hand he took the fire and the knife, and the two of them walked on together.

7 Then Isaac spoke to his father Abraham and said, “My father.” And he replied, “Here I am, my son.” Isaac said, “The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”

8 Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” Then the two of them walked on together.

9 When they arrived at the place that God had told him about, Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood. He bound his son Isaac and placed him on the altar on top of the wood.

10 Then Abraham reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son.


Commentary


The test had been administered. “Now the question is, Whom does Abraham trust? Does he trust the gift and cling to Isaac? Or does he trust the Giver, God, and believe that God knows what he is doing?” 2 The actions recorded in verse 3 indicate the direction of his answer. Abraham had given up his past by obeying the Lord’s command in Genesis 12:1. He was apparently ready to take an action that would require him to give up his future if that is what would be pleasing to God.


We may only speculate what the journey was like. Did they share much conversation? Did Isaac inquire about the destination and purpose of the trip? How heavy was Abraham’s spirit; how labored were his steps, each one taking him one step closer to do what he would never have thought possible? Even though Abraham had acted decisively and continued in faith, that does not mean his emotions as a man and a father were completely in check. If we make Abraham less than a real human being, we will not be able to identify with him when we face our own time of testing. After all, faith does not require us to be less than human, but leads us to act in spite of it because we believe God is greater than what we know. Even Abraham, whom we admire as the paragon of faith; sometimes doubted God.


Worship and sacrifice would require an altar, so in that isolated place, Abraham built an altar there, probably using the rocks common to the region. This was not the first altar he had constructed, but surely the emotion he felt while doing so was unlike any other time. He took the wood from Isaac and laid it in order or “arranged the wood” on the altar. The description of the work suggests he acted systematically and deliberately. Nothing suggests any conversation took place between the two.


Only one thing remained to do. He bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. Abraham had laid the wood on Isaac when they had begun the journey. Isaac apparently had carried the wood without resisting. Now it is reversed; Isaac is laid on the wood. Yet, he appears to submit himself without resistance to being bound and being placed on the wood. He probably would have been agile enough and strong enough to flee or resist his father. After all, Abraham was well over 100 years old. Yet, from all indications, the son obeyed his father.


What are some lasting truths from Genesis 22:3-10?


· Faith in God is a serious matter, not an easy path.

· Faith is the readiness to answer God even when we do not completely understand.

· We can trust God to do what is right.

· The tests God brings to us are not mere games but opportunities for us to prove our devotion to Him with no limits.


Until tomorrow Saints...

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