Obedience and Faith Tested

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 7
We have now come to one of the most beautiful stories in the Old Testament. God had fulfilled His promise and given Abraham a son whom he loved very dearly. Undoubt­edly he did all he could to make Isaac happy, and I am sure they were always together, while Abraham told his son all about the true God and His prom­ises of blessing. Little Isaac learned to trust in God as his father did, with a real living faith.
Faith in Testing
One day a great test came to Abraham. God asked him to do some­thing very, very hard. He told him to take Isaac and go into a land a long way off and build an altar there on which he was to offer up his only son for a burnt offering. How could he do such a thing, and why did God ask him to do it? Abraham did not stop to con­sider such questions. He knew that God would never ask him to do any­thing which was not for his good, because God loved and cared for him.
Therefore, the next morning he and Isaac arose very early and started out. Abraham did not delay because he knew that the longer he waited the harder it would become. Don’t we often miss the path because we delay? We try to persuade ourselves that there is an easier way than just simple obedience, but the longer we wait the more confused things become. Let us learn to “obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:2929Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. (Acts 5:29)) and to obey at once.
Going Forth in Faith
Abraham was not left to choose the mountain he wished. His offering was to be made on the one which God told him of, and no other mountain would do. Moreover he had to walk for three days before God showed him where it was. He could not see it from his tent door; he had to “go forth” in faith in order to find it. God only gives us light for one step at a time, and when we take that step, He gives us more. Abraham did not do the work of the Lord negligently (Jeremiah 48:1010Cursed be he that doeth the work of the Lord deceitfully, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood. (Jeremiah 48:10), margin). He had everything prepared; the ass saddled, and the fire and wood were ready when the journey was started. Sometimes Christians forget, or neglect, to take their Bibles and hymn books with them when they go to the meeting place. We should always put forth every effort to do the Lord’s work to the very best of our ability.
When Abraham saw the place afar off, he left the two servants with the ass, while he went on with his son. This last part of the journey was the most difficult as Abraham and Isaac “went both of them together.” What a beau­tiful picture of God the Father, and Christ the Son, going on to the cross. How the Father’s heart found infinite joy in every footstep of that Blessed One as He went on to Calvary, there to finish the work He had given Him to do.
Further Meditation
1. Why didn’t Abraham question God’s instruction to offer his only son for a burnt offering?
2. Faith always obeys God’s clear instructions in His Word instead of arguing that they don’t make sense. What were the arguments against David’s fighting with Goliath in 1 Samuel 17? How do David’s words show how faith was active in his response?
3. The short book Abraham and the Life of Faith by C. E. Lunden would likely be a real encouragement to you in meditating on what it takes to live the life of faith.