Do you and I know anything about an ‘excruciating’ test? Yes, many of us actually do-(well at least we think so), where we were tempted to ‘lose our head’ but the one thing we knew we had to do was to ‘keep our wits about us!’
Actually, we get the word ‘excruciating’ from the cross. And I have thought many a time, “How did Jesus endure so much pain and so much suffering with a broken heart as well, being rejected and so misunderstood? How did He ‘pick up His cross’ and obey the will of His Father, even to the point of death, and even be able to pray for us all in the end: “Father, forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing.” Jesus knows everything about ‘excruciating’… and He went through it because – His Father loved…
the world.(John 3:16). Do we ever think how ‘excruciating’ this must have been for Father God as well as Jesus? They went through this together.
Well, in Gen. 22, we have a look at an ‘excruciating’ test for father Abraham. To think that this father had to wait 25 long (excruciating!) years after he was promised to have a son – for it to finally come to pass! Twenty-five years earlier the father was given a promise, but it wasn’t a promise from just any one. It was by ‘The One’ -the All Caps LORD- the I AM:
“I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing… in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Gen. 12:2,3.
To think that this father had his whole life recorded in The Book for all to read and see the ‘whole truth’ about his life and marvel that he would be called ‘the father of faith’. Anyway, THIS father was put through an ‘excruciating’ test where God seemed to be cold and mean. Where God didn’t make sense at all. Where God seemed to be…
so ‘unloving’. But did you know, that the very first mention of the word “love” is not in reference to a ‘husband and wife’ or even a ‘mother and her child’, but the word “love” is first mentioned in the whole of the Bible right here in regards to a ‘father and his son’. Here is the test: “Now it came to pass after these things,” Gen. 22:1. (about 12 chapters worth of things! A story worth reading if you are going through a ‘test’.) “…that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said,”Here I am.” And He said, “take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love,
and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.” Gen 22:2.
And we read, that this father who had waited so long for this son of promise whom he loved, rose up early in the morning with 2 young men, a donkey, his son Isaac, and some wood and traveled for 2 days, and on the third day of the journey, he told the two young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship and we will come back to you.”Gen. 22:5.
What is going on? This is even hard to read. This must have been an excruciating walk for the father, but also for Isaac, because now it says: ” So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together.” Gen. 22:6.
The “two of them went together…”
What were they thinking?
Certainly Abraham was thinking of all of the promises. And certainly Abraham had told his son of promise all the promises as well. The promises, the promises, the words of the Lord: “…you will have a son to inherit everything you own.” Gen. 15:4.
“Look up into the heaven and count the stars if you can. Your descendants will be like that – too many to count!” Gen. 15:5
“I am changing your name. It is no longer ‘Abram’ (‘Exalted Father’), but ‘Abraham’, (‘Father of Nations’) – for that i what you will be. I have declared it…” Gen. 17: 5,6.
I am sure Abraham was also thinking of these words from the Lord, “Next year I will give you and Sarah a son!”Gen. 118:10.
and Abraham was remembering these powerful words that the Lord Himself spoke, “Is anything too hard for God?” Gen. 18:14. Abraham remembered that God had told him specifically, “…for Isaac is the son through whom my promise will be fulfilled.” Gen. 21:12.
Abraham had been through so much with God through the many tests of time, that Abraham believed God no matter what and ‘he learned obedience through the things he suffered.’ And Isaac was willing to obey his father. Abraham loved his son, and he believed God was going to do something amazing… “Father,” Isaac asked, “we have the wood and the flint to make the fire, but where is the lamb for the sacrifice?”
“God will see to it, my son,” Abraham replied.Gen. 22:7,8.
and… God did.
Father God had provided a ram caught in a bush. But this was not until Abraham had laid his son Isaac on the altar, upon the wood, and before it was too late – the Angel of the LORD called from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” Gen. 22:11.
We have not gone through anything like this, but our Father in heaven has. For Him, His only begotten Son whom He loved suffered and died. You see, the first mention of love in the Bible is between father and son. God loved His Son, To think that God loves you and me so much that He was willing to give the most precious gift ever, His own Son.
Please know this forever – God loves you. And if you and I ever have to go through an excruciating test, you can be sure, that if you call on Your Father in Heaven – He’ll be with you, He will give you a Comforter to remind you of all the promises that you have in His Son, Jesus Christ.
Abraham got through an excruciating test by remembering the word the Lord spoke to him, and by experiencing God’s faithfulness in the past. What has God spoken to you? What are the promises given? Search, ask, seek, and find because we’ve got to keep our head through some tough, ‘somewhat’ excruciating tests -we’ve got to know and remember the promises! We’ve got to remember His word –
then, ‘the God of hope’
He ‘fills us with all joy and peace – in believing,(Romans 15:13)
and by keeping our wits about us because of His promises, ‘we abound in hope’ ,(just like Abraham did) ‘by the power of the Holy Spirit’ Romans 15:13.
power of the Holy Spirit!’ Romans 15:13. It’s supernatural! ‘Is anything too hard for the LORD’