A Test of Faith

By Teena Myers

Observations as I follow God through the Chronological Bible

Genesis 22[1]

Abraham never found the city designed and built by God that he looked for when he left Ur of the Chaldees. Instead, God appeared to talk about a son. The birth of Isaac 25 years after Abraham arrived in Canaan began the genealogy that led to the “one seed” on God’s mind. Abraham spent most of his life learning the only way to live in the city was through the son God spoke about.

At some point, Abraham understood that he would have to be resurrected from the dead to partake in the things God promised him. God tested the sincerity of Abraham’s faith when he told Abraham to sacrifice his “only son”. The three-day journey to Moriah gave him plenty of time of contemplate offering Isaac as a burnt sacrifice. When they arrived at the mountain, he spoke his faith that God can and would raise the dead. He told his servants to stay with the donkey and said, “We will worship and then we will come back to you.”[2] Clearly, Abraham expected to return home with Isaac.

It is important to note that Abraham could not have obeyed God without Isaac’s willing compliance. Thirty-three-year-old Isaac understood his father planned to sacrifice him, and burn his body. Isaac also believed God would raise the dead. That agreement gave Abraham the strength to obey God. He could not have done it any other way.

When Abraham and Isaac’s actions proved their genuineness of their faith, God stopped them and swore an oath he would fulfill everything he promised. Yet neither Abraham nor Isaac saw the promises fulfilled. Abraham lived another forty-two years. Then he buried Sarah and married Keturah, who gave him six sons. Isaac married a barren woman. After 40 years of marriage, divine intervention gave them two sons.

Many years later, the Apostle Paul wrote, “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.”[3] They did not receive the things promised. They only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. They looked for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had the opportunity to return. Instead, they longed for a better country–a heavenly one. Therefore, God was not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.[4]

Abraham’s life teaches us the only faith that pleases God, imparts salvation and justifies us. This kind of faith requires you to “believe in your heart that God raised him [Jesus] from the dead and you will be saved. For it is with your heart that we believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.[5]


[1] All scripture quotes are from the NIV Bible unless otherwise noted.

[2] Genesis 22:5

[3] 1 Corinthians 15:19

[4] Most of this paragraph is a paraphrase of Hebrews 11:13-16

[5] Romans 10:9-10

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