testing, trials, trust, temptation genesis 22

As I suspected there is more than one blog from this highly explosive and ‘punch-in-the-stomach’ chapter.  As I have been mulling over these words from Genesis 22 it seemed good to me to return to my exegetical roots and work my way through the chapter.

Hence verse one ~ Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”  “Here I am,” he replied.

Tested: the Hebrew is (nis·sāh) which occurs here and in 1 Samuel 17:39 and is translated into English as Test/Prove.  The KJV wrongly translated the Hebrew as Tempt.

What can we learn from this?

1/ God will always choose the time and place of our testing.  I caution against putting God to the test as some believers are prone to do citing Gideon and the fleece narrative in Judges 6.

2/ The testing of our faith is a condition of our covenant agreement brought by the blood of Christ.  Testing of our faith is a purifying process, for faith without being stretched is no faith at all.  Therefore expect God to take us into the ‘faith gym’ to build up our faith.

3/ When we hear the call of testing we have to make a decision and act on the call.  In Abraham’s case he had to prepare for a journey, prepare the wood and proceed on a long lonely journey not knowing how it was going to ‘pan out.’  Many time we fail to act due to pride, fear, anxiety etc.

4/ Often the fire of purifying and refining is a lonely time with the silence of Gods voice and presence overwhelming.  For three days Abraham carried the weight of his proving in silence.  The number three is significant – Jonah 3 days in shut up in the whale; Jesus three days separated from his Father.

5/ Coming through the refiner’s fire with perseverance is pleasing to our Fathers heart for he will provide and in Abraham’s case the blessings were multiplied.  See verses 17-18  But again this provision is determined by God’s timing. 

Here am I  this was Abrahams reply to Gods call.

What can we learn from this?

1/ Gods call/voice will come clearly to those who are in constant fellowship with him for as Jesus said my sheep hear and know my voice.  Hence it behooves us to be in a good space to hear Gods voice.

2/ There was no running away and hiding when Abraham heard Gods voice as Adam & Eve demonstrated.  No he instantly obeys and replies.

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Will there be more blogs from this chapter?  I am not sure but Watch this space

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 John Knox+ (@watchmanjohn)

a bond-slave of Christ who has been called to this site by the Holy Spirit to minister as directed

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Joyce Bethy Ferguson

I honestly believe that testing in my life can produce two things.
1: It shows me that I need to lean on God to get me through
2: It shows me that with God, no matter the trial, with Him I CAN do.
3: That in our weakness he is shown to be strong... . now thats three things isnt it. I imagine there is a whole lot more too.

K Reynolds+

This is excellent!

As someone who was apt to "put out a fleece" in my youth, I couldn't agree more with your first point. That being said, I also think sometimes there is a time and place for it. God knew Gideon's heart and motivation as well as the heart of Moses (who basically did the same thing).

I love what you said about the "faith gym" as well as responding to the call by making the necessary preparations. I think sometimes we don't do that. We just dash off and end up in trouble because we failed to prepare ourselves for the journey or we sit at home unwilling to prepare.

Deepa N

good learnings and nice message. thank u.