Questions for Littles: Who was tested in v17? What did he do when tested? What did v17 refer to him as having received? Whom did he offer up? What does v17 call his son? According to v18, what was said of Isaac? What did Abraham conclude (v19)? From what did Abraham, in a figurative sense, receive Isaac?In the sermon this week, we heard about the testing of faith. If faith was something that we produced in ourselves, that would be a scary idea: God testing our faith. But we don’t produce it in ourselves. Faith is a gift of God. And, of course, God already knows exactly what is in us.
Taken all together, those truths mean that God’s testing us isn’t for Him to see if our faith is good enough. Instead, it’s for Him to show us what He has done in us. And that’s a great blessing, because part of the weakness of our faith is that we have a difficult time seeing the genuine work that He is doing in us.
So, it is with great interest that we see what the Lord brought out of Abraham as a demonstration of his faith: love that mirrors the Lord’s and confidence in the resurrection.
We love Him because He first loved us. And in these three verses, we see that Abraham’s love of God is a lovely reflection of God’s love. The Holy Spirit uses a very special and specific word for the son who was offered up: “only-begotten.” Nowhere else but Christ is this word used. And, although figuratively, the verse takes pains to use the phrase “raise from the dead” to talk about Abraham receiving Isaac back from the dead.
See what the Lord was doing in Abraham? See what the Lord is doing in you, dear Christian? We know that we don’t have it in us to love Him like we wish we did. But that’s just the point: it’s not in us. It’s in Him. He works His own love in our hearts!
This is just part of His keeping the promise that He would be our God, and that we would be His people. Behold what manner of love—that we should be called His children! And He is working in our hearts to give us that family resemblance.
Yes, there are times of testing when we stumble. But His work is ongoing and incomplete. There are also those times of testing where He surprises us with how much He has already done. And then, there is that glorious promise which must be fulfilled: although what we will be has not yet appeared, because we will see Him as He is, we can be sure that… at the last… we shall be like Him (1Jn 3:1-2).
How are you being tested right now? To whom must you look for what you need inside you to pass? How do we go about looking to Him for that?Suggested Songs: ARP191 “I Love the Lord” or HB239 “Come, Holy Spirit, Heavenly Dove”