“Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.”
Testing! Just the mention of the word creates anxiety in many people. Yet without testing, we truly cannot gauge growth. When God tested Abraham; He wasn’t looking for Abraham to answer with some sort of subjective soft response, but rather God was looking for obedience, understanding, genuineness, and readiness.
Over the last few days my devotional readings have had me in the first few chapters of the book of Leviticus learning about the variety of offerings God instructed Israel to bring. One of them was the burnt offering. When I read in Genesis 22 how God instructed Abraham to offer Isaac as a burnt offering, I could not help but think about the pattern given in Leviticus 1:4-8:
“You are to lay your hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on your behalf to make atonement for you. You are to slaughter the young bull before the Lord, and then Aaron’s sons the priests shall bring the blood and splash it against the sides of the altar at the entrance to the tent of meeting. You are to skin the burnt offering and cut it into pieces. The sons of Aaron the priest are to put fire on the altar and arrange wood on the fire. Then Aaron’s sons the priests shall arrange the pieces, including the head and the fat, on the wood that is burning on the altar.”
This passage drives home the gravity of what God asked of Abraham; and it makes many of the situations I have called “tests” in my life; seem only like pop quizzes in comparison.
What is a test?
One definition of a test is a procedure or series of questions intended to establish the quality, knowledge, ability, performance, or reliability of something; especially before it is taken into widespread use.
Tests are designed to do four primary things. They are designed to gauge our proficiency or reliability, reveal our understanding of truth, evaluate quality/genuineness, and communicate our readiness to move the next level of learning or promotion.
These four realities are evidenced in God’s testing of Abraham in Genesis 22.
Pastor Scott Burr