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Seeing Beyond the Now
by Gary Sims
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The Scriptures
Genesis 22:1-14 - Seeing Beyond the Now

Key Verses:
  • 2: "He said, 'Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on the one of the mountains that I shall show you.'" - Unaware of God's intent and purpose, Abraham faithfully listens to God's instructions.

  • 7: "Isaac said to his father Abraham, 'Father!' And he said, 'Here I am, my son.' He said, 'The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?'" - Abraham's love and devotion for his son is revealed by the way he responds to Isaac's call in the same manner that he had responded to God's call. "Here I am" your loyal and faithful servant.

  • 8: "Abraham said, 'God Himself will provide the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.' So the two of them walked on together." - Abraham answers with a simple statement of faith - 'God will see to our needs.'

  • 10: "Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to kill his son." - With his heart filled with anguish and pain, Abraham never falters or hesitates to follow God's instructions.

  • 12: "He said, 'Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.'" - This truly was a test as God reveals that He was uncertain of the outcome.

  • 17: "I will indeed bless you, and I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of their enemies…" - Obedience to God reaps the promises of a life filled of rewards and blessings.
Points to Contemplate:
  • Have you ever been tested by God? Why and in what way? Why does God continue to test you even though you have already proven your faithfulness? Is He simply trying to make you fail? Is He trying to make your pathway difficult? Or is He testing to see if life's situations have changed your heart? Abraham had repeatedly proven his faithfulness to God; but things had changed. He had a son which he loved and adored. Do you see how God may have wanted to know if Abraham's love for his son had grown beyond his love for God? Is there anything in your life that has possibly come between you and your love for God?

  • Do you trust that God will provide? Do you have faith that God sees beyond your present circumstances and continuously lays the foundation for your needs? Do you accept as simply as Isaac accepted the assurance of God's promise to provide? Or do you find you self constantly questioning, worrying, and fretting about what lay in store? Do you doubt the blessings and rewards that God has in store for you?

  • How well you are passing God's tests? Do you wonder why He would do something so extreme to test Abraham's faithfulness? What if Abraham had failed to put his heart on the altar? What if he had failed to hear God's voice and had completed the sacrifice? Do you struggle with the 'what ifs' in your life? Do you wonder if you are hearing God correctly? Do you wonder if you have the faith to do whatever He asks you to do? Or that you may find there are limitations to your faith? How will you or God know the answers to these questions without tests? With this in mind, are you eager for more of God's tests in your life?
Promises of the Gospel:

It is shocking to think that God would ask Abraham to sacrifice his only son and then quietly sit by to see if he would really do it. It is shocking to think that God did not know how Abraham would respond. Without thinking, it quickly becomes our prayer that God will never test our faithfulness in this manner. We do not want to be pushed to our limits. We do not want to know how far we will have to go to prove to ourselves and to God the extent of our love. It seems to be a simple step of faith to accept that God will provide for our needs in life, but the truth of the matter is that we crave to be in control - we want God to act in certain ways, loving, protecting, forgiving, and blessing us. We do not want to be tested. However, life is filled with circumstances that test our faith and as we learn to be as faithful as Abraham in all circumstances we will find that our relationship with God grows beyond our imagination. When we pass the tests of life, we grow in our love and appreciation for God, and as He comes to know of our growing faithfulness His love for us will abound with a bounty of blessings and rewards for the world to see.

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