Abraham “Sacrifices” Isaac • Devotion #1: “God Tested Abraham”
Richie Henson | Production Director
Life is lived on a vast spectrum of emotion. For some of us, we experience certain emotions more than others. For instance, I struggle with anxiety. For those of you who may be less familiar, simply put, I worry all the time about everything. Often, this worry can be crippling. Being that anxiety is a very real part of my life, I think my favorite feeling is relief. There is little as sweet as walking through a period of anxiety only to reach a resolution and gain a sense of relief.
Although not everyone deals with such strong anxiety, I know we all can think of times in our lives when we felt overwhelmed in our circumstances. As we finish Genesis chapter 21, Abraham is coming to the end of a very challenging portion of his life. Abraham made the terrible mistake of not trusting God for a son and had a child through Sarah’s handmaid. Now, at the age of 100, Sarah is finally bearing a son, and it seems that things are getting back on track and Abraham can finally have some relief from the stress of his situation.
We then come to the next chapter, and the very first verse says, “After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, ‘Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here I am’” (Genesis 22:1). Abraham has just come through a very difficult time in life, and God turns around and decides to test Abraham. What would the purpose of this be? Why would God choose to test Abraham right after Abraham just completed a test?
This seems like a difficult question, but I think there is a simple answer. God is not content for us to stay the same. God wants us to continue to grow and become the people He desires us to be. The best way to grow is to be tested and stretched. As imperfect people, we always want things to be easy, but if we are willing to embrace the difficult, God will work to make us more like Jesus.
I think at this point in his life, Abraham understood this as he immediately responds to God’s call. My prayer for us is that we would be willing to answer the call of God even when we would rather take the easy road.