Tests of my faith force me to rely on God
After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” (Genesis 22:1–2)
Fortunately, there is no test to become a military wife. Can you imagine the questions: Fill-in-the-blank rank structure? Match letter groups to the correct acronyms? Multiple choice answers for military protocol or history? An essay question on “why I want to be the best military wife ever”? Yes, I’m glad there were no tests because I doubt I would have passed.
The reader of Genesis 22 is let in on a secret: there is going to be a test. Abraham was not aware of the upcoming examination—much more than a spiritual pop quiz. Finally, the promised child Isaac had been born. The Scripture jumps from his miraculous birth to the potential nation he represented, now in jeopardy. How could God ask for such a sacrifice?
We watch the father-son trek up to Mount Moriah. God’s instruction to Abraham was to go. It was the same word used when God first called Abraham to leave all he held dear in his homeland and go to a place God would show him. Now the word required him to go and offer the Lord what he loved most. This time it was not home or land. This time it was his son—his only son. God had met him at each turn in the road. Would this time be any different?
The journey to Moriah meant Abraham had to lay his expectations and hopes on the altar along with his son. He had to ask if his faith was focused on the hope wrapped up in his only son, or if his faith was focused on God.1 Was Abraham willing to follow God if there was nothing in it for him? I must ask the same question when tests come to me. Tests of my faith force me to rely on God. Abraham’s experience with God thus far allowed him to go to a most difficult place with the trust that God would provide exactly what was needed at the exact time.
None of us gets an exemption from the tests of life. The question Abraham had to answer is the same one each of us must answer: Will you serve God regardless of your circumstances?
Prayer for the Journey
Lord, help my relationship with you to grow stronger in the midst of challenging circumstances that test my faith. Amen.
1 John H. Walton, The NIV Application Commentary: Genesis (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2001), 518.