I. Abraham’s Challenge v.17
– By faith when Abraham was tested – Have you ever felt tested?
- * Challenges of faith are always a test – Why? Because we have to trust someone else with our situation
- * Tests seem greater when they involve the people we love
- * We must remember in all of life’s tests there is an opportunity for faith
– His test was to offer up Isaac – Imagine the enormous challenge Abraham was facing when God asked him to do this – Challenges:
- * Love for his son!
- * God’s promises?
- * The physical act itself
– He offered up his son – Past tense – Abraham had made the decision
– He who received the promises was offering up his only begotten son
- * What about Ishmael? – He wasn’t the son God promised, Isaac was
– Imagine the challenge of having to sacrifice your son in obedience to God
II. God’s Promise v.18
– Here we are told that Abraham is identified as the one who received the promise that, “In Isaac your descendants shall be called”
– So God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son thru whom his descendants would be called -Seems contradictory – Sometimes what God says to us can seem contradictory because we have limited understanding and power
– Faith requires that we trust Him because of who he is and not because it makes sense to us – Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to lean not to our own understanding. In all our ways to acknowledge Him – You can trust in the promises of God!
III. Abraham’s Confidence v.19
– For Abraham to move forward with obedience he had to have confidence in God
– He believed God is able to raise people from the dead – So in Abraham’s mind he thought that he was actually going to have to sacrifice his son, but that God would still fulfill His promises
– From which he also received him back as a type – This is where he saw Jesus Christ – Isaac was a type for Christ-The exercise of faith allowed Him to see spiritually
– Abraham’s confidence was totally in God to the point of absolute obedience
– Challenges to walking in faith:
- * We are control freaks – Many times our peace of mind is directly related to our ability to control a situation – Why do we have more confidence in ourselves than our God?
- * If we don’t understand something we won’t move – God has not given us a spirit of slavery leading to fear (Rom 8:15) – If we did fully understand everything where is the space for faith? – Knowledge mitigates risk, but it also undermines faith
- * Unfortunately at times we think we know better than God – Has God ever told you to do something you still have not done? – There you go! – You have an opportunity accept what God has asked you to do instead of trusting what seems to make sense to you