How Far Do We Obey?
Author: F. Duane Lindsey
Week of March 2, 2014
Abraham’s spiritual journey consisted of steps of faith, weak at first but becoming stronger as the Lord renewed the promise and made it more explicit. That journey included several major sidetracks from the pathway of faith, but God faithfully brought Abraham back to continue the trek. Then God’s promise reached its initial fulfillment in the birth of the heir (Isaac).
But that was not the end of Abraham’s struggles in becoming the father of faith. For the first time in those struggles “God tested Abraham” (Gen. 22:1). The test was whether he would obey a clear command from God: “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and...sacrifice him...as a burnt offering” (v. 2). Would Abraham revert to some scheme of his own to retain the son of promise? Or would he obey God in spite of the apparent unreasonableness of the command?
When Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery was called in to remedy the continued Allied loss of battles in North Africa in World War II, he expected his commands to be carried out. He later described how he turned defeat into victory: “Orders no longer formed the basis of discussion, but for action.”
For Abraham, God’s orders were not the basis for discussion but for action. Abraham’s commitment to obey God is immediately evident: “Early the next morning Abraham got up and...took...his son Isaac” (v. 3). There is no hint that Abraham doubted God or wavered in faith. Abraham had matured in faith to the point of trusting God to fulfill His promise. Abraham’s task was only to trust and obey God.
Be reminded: The tests God allows in our lives may differ from Abraham’s test. But some of them may seem as unreasonable. Our proper response must be to trust and obey Him.