Here recently, I have been thinking a lot about Abraham and his trial. The man went through a lot while on Earth including a name change, inheritance, and the ultimate test of faith. Most of us know about God’s test for Abraham as it was a major request from anyone. Abraham had been waiting so long for a son and when he got finally got one, God was now asking him to sacrifice his beloved son but what I don’t think most of us realize is when the test took place.
That is, when the actual testing began. Most people will probably say when Abraham decided to go forth with the request and while this is the answer I used to give, it was not until I did Biblical study and serious thinking did I realize that the true test of Abraham began not when he put Isaac on the cross but when he grabbed his knife and started the process of sacrifice. When Abraham decided to go forth with the sacrifice, this was the actual test because at any moment prior, he could have decided not to go through with the request but when he took the knife and was ready to go through with the sacrifice, the test was finished.
James 2:23 reads “And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.” God’s testing of Abraham was not a game to see how far people would go but rather, a way for Abraham to grow. In order for a person to be changed, they must go through something that changes and transforms them and most times, it requires them to go outside of their comfort zone. Although we know that Abraham was faithful, he needed to know just how faithful he was.
As believer, we know that nothing is going to stop the plans of God regardless of how big the enemy may see or how limited we may be. “I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee” (Job 42:2). This is significant because Abraham and Sarah both laughed at God when He said He’d make them parents. Both Abraham and Sarah were nearing one-hundred years old and thought this was highly unlikely and God heard them: “Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” (Genesis 17:17).
There was genuine disbelief among both Abraham and Sarah and God knew the disbelief in their hearts. Therefore, God needed Abraham and Sarah both to be changed from doubting to knowing that God would do all things that He promised. God never intended for Abraham to kill Isaac but He did want Abraham to not only understand God but He needed Abraham to see something much bigger about himself: “And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham” (Matthew 3:9).
Without the proper testing, Abraham may never have become what God needed but despite whether or not we believe or not, God’s plans never change: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11).