40 Days of Prayer – Day Six
The Testing of Faith
“To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.”
I Samuel 15:22 (NIV)
Abraham had to wait 25 years before the promised son was born. By then he was 100 years old; his wife, Sarah, was 90. Yet God superseded the laws of nature to allow the birth of a child to an elderly, barren couple. They named their son Isaac, meaning “laughter,” for he brought unspeakable joy to them.
After Isaac had grown into young manhood, the word of God came once again to Abraham. He commanded: “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. “The message continued: “Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about” (Genesis 22:2).
Still believing, Abraham obeyed the voice of God and took his boy on that long, agonizing trip to the bleak slopes of Moriah. Though he did not comprehend God’s purpose, Abraham’s faith was not shaken. He complied with the instructions, placing his dear son on the altar and raising a knife to plunge into the young man’s chest. In the very act of lifting the knife to slay his son, God stopped him. He commanded Abraham to kill instead a ram caught in a nearby bush.
Would he have gone through with it? Would the old man have actually killed his own beloved son? We need not wonder. Hebrews 11:19 provides the answer: “Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.” Yes, he would have done it, for he was already expecting God to raise his son from death!
What an extraordinary story, which causes us to wonder, what could we possibly have in common with Abraham? Many things! As God spoke to Abraham, He speaks to you. As God called Abraham to a life of obedience, He calls you. As God tested Abraham, He tests you. As God called Abraham to a life of faith, so God calls you.
Think on and discuss the parallels between yourself and Abraham. If possible, identify some specific ways these are revealed in your life.