God Tests Abraham’s Faith

The Bible in Art: God Tests Abraham’s Faith

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Verses for Consideration: Genesis 22:1-14

Some time later God tested  Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”

“Here I am,”  he replied.

2 Then God said, “Take your son , your only son, whom you love-Isaac-and go to the region of Moriah.  Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering  on a mountain I will show you. ”

3 Early the next morning  Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. 4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5 He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you. ”

6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac,  and he himself carried the fire and the knife.  As the two of them went on together, 7 Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”

“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.

“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb  for the burnt offering?”

8 Abraham answered, “God himself will provide  the lamb  for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.

9 When they reached the place God had told him about,  Abraham built an altar  there and arranged the wood  on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar,  on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife  to slay his son.  11 But the angel of the Lord  called out to him from heaven,  “Abraham! Abraham!”

“Here I am,”  he replied.

12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son. ”

13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns.  He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.

14 So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”


What is your most prized possession? One way to decide is to ask yourself, “What do I fear losing the most?” Perhaps it is your job, your house, your grades, or your friends. Perhaps it is losing a child.
One missionary’s wife in Africa feared someone breaking into her family’s house. Her fears were realized; it happened. But when it happened, the Lord protected her family, and from that point on, she was no longer afraid.

Making us face our fears is often the Lord’s way of helping us overcome them. This is surely what God did for aged Abraham who had waited 25 years for his son, Isaac, to be born.

Can we blame Abraham if his greatest fear was losing Isaac? Was that Abraham’s greatest fear, though? Remember, his own salvation was connected with the life of his son. If Isaac were lost, the promised son would die and so would the world’s hope of a Savior.

Abraham’s faith stood firm. If God wanted him to sacrifice his one and only son, then God would also raise Isaac from the dead so the line of the Savior would not be broken. (See Hebrews 11:17-19.) When Abraham raised his knife above the outstretched body of his son, the Lord stopped him. “Do not lay ahand on the boy,” God said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not with held from me your son, your only son.”

Abraham displayed the true fear of the Lord. Abraham obeyed God out of deep respect-the kind a loving son has for a loving father. As a result of Abraham’s faith, God renewed his promise and continued to bless him richly.

What a comforting assurance for life’s most difficult choices! When we truly fear the Lord and choose him first, we can be confident that he will continue to bless us.

Prayer: Dear Lord, you have given me your one and only Son. Help me place my trust in you and follow wherever you want me to go. Amen.


Title: The Sacrifice of Isaac (1603)

Artist: Caravaggio