The Story Begins: The Testing of Abraham
November 06, 2016 | Todd Cyphers
The Story Begins: The Testing of Abraham
Deuteronomy 12:31 - “You shall not worship the Lord your God in the (way the other nations do) …for every abominable thing that the Lord hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods.”
I. God required a special sacrifice to test His servant. Gen. 22:1-6
1. Testing confirms and matures our faith.
James 2:21-24 – “Was not Abraham our father justified (shown to be righteous) by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected (matured); and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, and Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,’ and he was called the friend of God. You see that a man is justified (shown to be righteous) by works and not by faith alone.”
2. Abruptness in testing creates dependence.
3. Conflicting desires are confronted in testing.
4. The Lord reveals Himself to those who wait on Him during testing.
Isaiah 64:4 - “For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, nor has the eye seen a God besides You, who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.”
II. God provides the substitute sacrifice and calls us to trust in His provision. Gen. 22:7-14
Hebrews 11:17-19 - “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac…He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.”
Mark 16:6 - “And the angel said to them, ‘…you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen…’”
Acts 3:15 - “You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this.”
Acts 4:33 - “With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all.”
1 Corinthians 15:3-4 - “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…”
Series Memory Verse - Genesis 1:26-27 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Monthly Verse - Genesis 22:18 - “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”
Weekly Verse - Genesis 22:18 - “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”
Reviewing This Past Sunday
The Story Begins: The Testing of Abraham - Genesis 22:1-14
1. How would you respond to someone who tells you “being a Christian” is basically the same thing as “being a good person”?
2. Abraham’s journey of faith and testing: First, God called Abraham to leave his country and family and go to a land God would later show him (12:1). Next it was required for Abraham to separate from his nephew Lot who was like a son to him (13:1-18). In chapter 17, Abraham administered the sign of the covenant, circumcision, on himself and his whole household. Abraham circumcised himself when he was 99 years old. (That is faith) Fourth, a crisis of faith involved the removal of Ishmael who for 13 years was thought to be the promised seed of Abraham (21:14). Fifthly, Abraham is asked to sacrifice his precious son in chapter 22. In what ways can Abraham’s story impact our obedience?
3. When was the last time God tested you in a way that surprised you and what was the result?
4. What are the benefits of being tested by the Lord?
5. Why is it important that God Himself provide a substitute for us?
6. How does your faith in the resurrection of Christ impact the way you obey God in times of uncertainty, troubles, or times of testing?
“The God who is there does not demand that we sacrifice our children; instead, in sovereign grace He provides a sacrifice.” - D. A. Carson
Preparing For Next Sunday
The Story Begins: God Reaffirms the Covenant - Genesis 25:19-34
1. Read the passages and ask the Lord to reveal Himself and His truth. (Genesis 25:19-34)
2. HIGHLIGHT a verse or truth that stands out to you and write it out.
3. EXPLAIN the text in your own words to make sure you see the big picture of God’s Story. (Who wrote it & why was it written? To whom it was written? What is the context? How does the text point to the Father, Son or Spirit? What is the text telling us about our new identity as believers in Christ or what we are to be doing?”)
3. APPLY a truth from the text to your own life. Focus on what God is saying to you and what is your act of obedience, confession, praise, giving thanks, etc.
4. RESPOND in prayer and apply what God reveals to you from the Scriptures.
“The Bible reveals that there is…anarchy in the heart of men against God…the need is strong that something should come into us from the outside to readjust us, to reconcile us, to turn us round, to put us right with God. The doctrine of the atonement is the explanation of how God does that.”
- Oswald Chambers (1874-1917)