“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, 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.” 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.” – Genesis 22:1-3
There are times when people get so blinded by the world that they stopped focusing on the Word – or they just twist its meaning to fit it to their wants. We often pray to God during our times of great need but most of us tend to forget about Him once prayers are answered. We tend to forget about giving and tithing to spend on luxurious cars and houses. We tend to forget praying and fasting with the excuse of being busy with our jobs. We tend to make business deals with our offerings to missionaries instead of just giving our help knowing that we have been blessed with enough finances to help them preach the Word to the world… a thing they were tasked to do.
In the story of Abraham and Isaac, we see how God tested Abraham’s heart. We can remember in Genesis 12:1-2 how Abraham was promised to be the father of God’s nation. In Genesis 21:1-3 we also saw how God fulfilled that promised amidst Sarah’s (Abraham’s wife) old age. Now, in the verse above, you may think that God is a sadistic one by asking Abraham – who has so loyally served Him – to sacrifice Isaac, his son. This is one cruel joke! But it wasn’t a joke. God was certain with His instructions and Abraham’s love for God led him to agree to it.
Countless times we forget that all that we have is a test and a trust. Yes, the Lord is faithful to fulfill His promises to us, but are we faithful in serving and glorifying Him? While we often preach how we should be faithful during our times of dryness, we should also remind ourselves and our brethren to BE FAITHFUL in times of harvest. What we have is all from God and all He asks is just a tenth of it, although He deserved more than that. How do you spend the 24 hours of your everyday? How do you spend your income? How do you serve your family? How do serve God?
When Abraham was about to sacrifice Isaac, an angel appeared to stop him from what he was about to do (Genesis 22:8-12). He had passed God’s test and has assured that his love was on God and not on His promise (Hebrews 11:16-17). Other than Abraham, Job was also one of the memorable personalities in the Bible. He had praised and loved God through his harvest season, and loved and praised God even more when all was stripped away from him. In the end, Job was given more than what he once owned.
Like Abraham, let us remember to focus our sights on the Lord and not just on His promise. Yes, we can be very confident on the fact that the Lord is faithful to His promises; however, we tend to lose focus on Him even on a single sign of an affirmation that He will fulfill it.
All that you are now and all that you have is because of Him. Merely saying “thank you God” is not enough. Remember, it is not of your own efforts that you have been saved from sin (Ephesians 2:8-9) neither are all the properties and relationship because of how talented or dedicated you are (John 3:27). You are merely a steward.
A person who acknowledges and loves God is a gracious person: able to give and sacrifice because he knows how the Lord has blessed him; able to manage his properties because knows that the Lord has anointed him… it may be difficult but to follow the Word instead of the world – to turn away from all the convenience it offers – but knowing that God is always with you and that you have pleased Him makes all of it worth it (Proverbs 16:3).