What is faith if it is not tested? And when it is tested, isn’t God always there, ready to rescue us, in His divine timing, and provide an answer?
One of the greatest faith tests and rescues in the Bible occurred in the life of Abraham. In his hour of intense testing, the Lord appeared and provided an answer.
Years after the fulfillment of God’s promise of a son, Abraham experienced a test that squeezed his faith to the max in the most frightening of all ways. God told Abraham to take his long-awaited, beloved son Isaac to the land of Moriah and to offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains which God would tell him.
Gulp! Did Abraham run in the other direction or pretend he didn’t hear God? No! He listened to God’s instructions and obeyed. When Abraham, Isaac, and the servants reached the mount of God’s choosing, Abraham spoke out of the abundance of a faithful heart, for he told his servants at the bottom of the hill, (one of my favorite faith-filled verses), “The boy and I will travel a little farther. We will worship there, and then we will come right back.” (Gen 22:5 NLT)
Up the hill of sacrifice, they went to worship! Abraham’s faith started at the bottom of the hill while the rescue plan was yet to be unfurled. Once they reached the top, Abraham laid all on the altar, all that was valuable and precious to him, his only son, trusting that God would raise him up again.
In answer to Isaac’s question of the whereabouts of a lamb, Abraham said to Isaac, “God will see the lamb for Himself,” (Gen. 22:8 Mas) or “God will provide for Himself a lamb.” (Gen. 22:8 NKJV)
The Hebrew word for ‘provide’ means to see, appear, to present oneself, perceiving or ascertaining something apart from seeing it with one’s eyes, and so on. The English definition comes from the Latin ‘providere,’ which means before seeing, to take measures with due foresight, to get ready beforehand, and so on.
Can you imagine it?
Abraham held his dagger high in the air, his hand quivering as the dagger glistened in the sun. Sweat poured down his forehead. He held his breath in anticipation of committing the most horrifying act for a parent and, instead, heard, “Abraham! Abraham!” The Angel of the Lord commanded him to stay his hand of destruction.
Then, God said, “For now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” (Gen. 22:12 NKJV)
Abraham raised his tear-filled eyes, turned, and saw the ram in the thicket. God presented a sacrificial replacement, a male sheep with its horns entangled in the bushes, as the foreshadowing of a crown of thorns upon the head of the Lamb of replacement.
Abraham then called that place “The-Lord-Will-Provide.” (Gen. 22:14 NKJV)
On our refrigerator is a marker board, an advertisement from some company. Some time ago, as financial woes hounded us, I wrote this on it:
Faith is not moved by what it sees.
“There is a sound of abundance…” (1 Kings 18:41 NKJV) $
Elijah spoke it…
and after the drought, the rains came!!!
Then, up in one corner, I wrote:
There’s a ram in the thicket!
After I wrote all that, I made up a simple, little chorus to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It, Clap Your Hands.” It goes like this:
“There’s a ram in the thicket just for me,
There’s a ram in the thicket just for me,
There’s a ram in the thicket that’ll be just the ticket,
There’s a ram in the thicket just for me!
And there has been!
Abraham passed the faith test. His hill of sacrifice became his pinnacle of obedience and his summit of provision. All Abraham did, the Bible says, he did by faith, and the promises of God were, thereby, fulfilled.
* Has God asked you to sacrifice some “Isaac” in your life? Have you obeyed or held it tight?
* Do you have some hill of circumstance before you? Do you mount it with praise and worship?
* Do you have the same unfaltering, Abrahamic obedience and belief that God will work out your faith tests, even when you see no way of escape?
God provided the lamb of rescue for Abraham. And He will do it for you.
Bio: At a time of physical upheaval in 2000, Lynn Mosher felt led of the Lord to take up her pen and write. With this new passion, she has embraced her mission to reach others through Christ-honoring literature, encouraging them in their walk and offering comfort through the written word. Lynn lives with her hubby (since 1966) in their Kentucky nest, emptied of three chicklets, and expanded by three giggly grand-chicklets, and an inherited dog. You can find out more about Lynn by visiting her website, Heading Home.