September 26, 2023
Everything in the life that God has designed for man is about faith. We were made to live on God and no other. Drawn away from this dependency, we flounder in useless pursuits, our lives missing the whole point of our existence.
THE FATHER OF OUR FAITH
Abraham was a man uniquely chosen by God to teach us this. God took his beloved servant through various faith tests so that Abraham would grow in his belief in God—His nature, character, and goodness. God was developing a father for us, a model of unwavering faith, illustrating for all time how we must live.
Abraham was told to go into a land he did not know. In faith, He obeyed, and God prospered him beyond comprehension. To this day, thousands of years later, the land stands intact, filled with the descendants of Abraham, and the whole world has been blessed by his seed, just as God promised. David came from this line, and most beautifully, Jesus.
God told Abraham he would have a son in his old age. He “wavered not” in his faith, even though he and his wife were in their 90’s. And at the age of 100, his son, Isaac, was born.
THE GREATEST TEST
The final exam came when God told His old warrior to take his son and sacrifice him on a hill called Moriah. (The same hill upon which the temple would one day stand and where, outside the gate, his descendant, Jesus, would be crucified.
Now it came about after these things that God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.” (Genesis 22:1-2)
Almost as if it were a familiar step on a normal day, without a word of objection or doubt, the Bible records that “Abraham rose early in the morning” and headed there.
THE QUESTION OF THE UNBELIEVING
On the way up Mt. Moriah—fire, wood, and knife in hand—Isaac asks his father the ultimate question of faith, to which Abraham gives the ultimate answer.
Isaac spoke to Abraham his father, and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” And he said, “Behold, the fire, and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” (Verse 7)
Isaac wanted to see the lamb and then he would believe. Abraham already saw the provision by faith and answers without pausing a step.
Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” So, the two of them walked on together. (verses 7-8)
The word “provide,” at its root meaning, is “see.” “God will see for Himself a lamb,” Abraham replied. The salty believer knew God. He had come to a seasoned faith that believed his loving, faithful Father had everything perfectly prepared. God saw ahead, and Abraham saw it by faith.
Perhaps, as he sacrificed his son, God would resurrect him (see Hebrews 11:17-19). Or perhaps there would be another provision. But Abraham knew God too well to doubt him now. His faith strengthened his every step up the hill to bind his only son, the son of promise, lift the knife, and prepare for the offering.
SEEING WHAT GOD SAW
And then, as Abraham raises the blade to offer the greatest sacrifice, we see the promises of God unfold in glorious beauty.
But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” (verses 11-12)
Christ Himself comes in pre-incarnate form and stays Abraham’s hand. He had passed the test. Abraham was unwavering in his faith. Notice the words that Christ uses to describe Abraham’s devotion. “You have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”
Seasoned faith withholds nothing from God. It is willing to give every possession, every sacrifice, every gift back to the God from which it all came. Faithful men have given their tithes and offerings, their time, their future, their occupations, their future, their reputations, their very lives, and the lives of their families to God when He asks because they know the One-Who-Asks and the One-Who-Sees.
Abraham knew God. This is why the surrender of his most precious possession was so instant, untainted by reservations. One could argue that this step was now easier for Abraham because of God’s faithful provisions through the years—perfect in timing. And by faith, Abraham now saw too as never before. He knew God … and He trusted Him.
ISAAC AND THE WORLD SAW
Suddenly, a ram appears in the thicket, unnoticed or perhaps not even there until that moment. Now, even Isaac saw what God had seen all along and what his father had seen by faith. Abraham named the place after God’s character ...
Abraham called the name of that place The Lord Will Provide (see), as it is said to this day, “In the mount of the Lord it will be provided (seen).” (Verse 14, additions mine)
God saw what Isaac could not yet see. Abraham saw it with eyes of faith, for faith is the “assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).
God once again reaffirms His promises to Abraham and assures him that His faith will be rewarded “because you have obeyed my voice.”
Hold nothing back from God. Hear His voice and follow His every instruction, surrender all to Him to the smallest details. The more you know God, the more you realize He sees what is ahead. He has every provision in place … more than you can think or dream. He may ask for increasingly challenging steps of obedience but see this for your good and His glory. He's trying to build another father or mother of faith for those who come behind. Your trusting obedience will be rewarded beyond measure. He is the God-Who-Sees.
Father, make me a man who believes. Take me through every test you’ve designed until I am unhesitating in my faith, unwavering in my belief in The-God-Who-Sees.” Let my heart rest by faith in whatever test you bring, knowing who You are. Help me see ahead and obey with unwavering faith and abiding joy.
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