Genesis 22:1-3, 6-14
A butcher tests his knife’s sharpness by either using it or by gently rubbing his thumb along the knife’s edge. He is always aware of the knife blade’s condition and whether or not it needs to be sharpened to make it most effective and usable.
He tests the blade since it is unable to do so for itself and if it were capable of making such a decision, the blade would avoid the abrasive whetstone.
In Genesis 22 we find God testing Abraham by telling him to offer Isaac as a burnt offering. God tested Abraham, not to draw him into sin, but to bring out the best in Abraham for the glory of God.
God told Abraham to take his only son, his beloved son, and go to the land of Moriah where he would offer up Isaac on a mountain that God would show him. Abraham, without delay, “rose up early in the morning.” There were other things to which he might have given his attention, but nothing was more important that morning than obeying God.
With Isaac and two servants, wood was split for the fire, and they left for the land of Moriah, a journey of about three days. Abraham had time to consider what he was about to do and what his wife would say, making his trust in God even more commendable.
At the mountain where the sacrifice would occur, Isaac carried the wood, and Abraham took the container of fire and a knife. As they set out to the place appointed by God, Isaac asked, “Where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham told his son, “God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering.”
They came to the place appointed by God, and Abraham bound his son. He picked up Isaac and laid him on the wood. Holding the knife firmly in his hand, Abraham raised his arm in the air to kill Isaac, but suddenly the Lord interrupted him.
“Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him,” the angel of the Lord said. “Now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.”
Nearby, there was a commotion and Abraham saw a ram had become entangled in some bushes. He took the ram, and offered it as a burnt offering instead of his son, Isaac. Abraham called that place, Jehovahjireh, an attribute of God that we remember to this day.
Jehovahjireh is translated in several ways, all of them with the same basic meaning, but the one I like best is “the Lord will see to it.” Sometimes people ask us to do something, and we say “I will see to it.” In an infinitely better way, the Lord sees our needs and He will provide.
When God allows testing to come into your life, always remember He is doing it for your own good. He already knows your heart and the faith you have, but there are times when we need to know our faith. In the darkest, loneliest hours of testing, we find our heavenly Father and cling so tightly to Him. Those are the times when we say, “the Lord will see to it.”
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
The Sunday school lesson is written by Ed Wilcox, pastor of Centerville Baptist Church. He can be reached at [email protected]