THIS WEEK: Lead Me to the Cross…Find the Ram…Find a Substitute!
If you don’t pass the BAR exam, you can’t be a lawyer.
If you don’t pass your driving test, you can’t drive a car.
If you don’t pass your final exams, you can’t advance to the next grade.
Passing a test at one level opens opportunity at the next.
God rewarded the faithfulness of Abraham who passed the test of faith by reaffirming the promise he had made:
Genesis 22:15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”
It’s hard to imagine “What if?” Abraham had wavered and run from being willing to sacrifice Isaac. It’s a question we’ll never know the answer to and that’s OK. The reality is God gave Abraham a heart of faith to trust and obey his promises. As a result? God affirmed the promise he had made.
“All nations on earth will be blessed.”
The test isn’t just about you. In the moment it may be because you just want to pass the test. However, passing the test maybe about the lives of hundreds or thousands more. Consider the justices on the Supreme Court. If they hadn’t prepared for and passed their BAR exams, became lawyers, then judges, their impact on the lives of others would be much less today. The passing of the test has impact on the people that you encounter after the test.
In this case, whether he realized it or not, the promise of God was resting on a passing grade from the heart of Abraham. Of course the Lord provided what Abraham needed, but the reality of him passing the test and being willing to give up Isaac had impact on every nation and person on earth.
Generations after Abraham, God’s promise was finally fulfilled in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Through him, a descendant of Abraham and Isaac, all the nations of the world would be blessed.
But Jesus had to pass a test too: Go through life without sin. Good news…he passed where we all had failed. Romans 5:18-19 says,
Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
At times we read Old Testament stories as if they were nice stories…which they are. However, each one is recorded because it has personal impact on your faith today. Any interruption in God’s plan of salvation and we would have no salvation. Same is true for the test of Abraham’s faith. He fails…salvation fails. He passes…God’s promise and plan continues to the reality of your heart today.
God’s promise to Abraham was fulfilled in the cross of Jesus…the cross of Jesus is at the heart of God’s promise to you today!
Apply: What test of faith has God put you through that now has blessing and impact in the life of someone else?
Prayer: LORD, thank you for your faithfulness to give your people the strength to pass the tests you present. We also thank you for being faithful to your promises to people of the past to give us your blessings in the present. AMEN.