“And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt (test) Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.”Genesis 22:1-2
We have all faced tests in our lives, whether in school or the more important ones that occur in real life. The real life tests seem to be the ones I most struggle with, although I struggled with my fair share scholastically when I was growing up. For my last two jobs, I had to take ethical tests to see if I would pass the test in real life. We usually don’t get a dry run, and we often are faced with difficult tests in real time. If our hearts are not prepared for these tests, we will surely fail them. It seems life always has a pop quiz around the corner waiting for us.
I had just moved from Chicago to Phoenix in the summer of 1998, and I was getting acclimated to my new surroundings. I have a good friend who lived in Chicago, and I told him about the splendors of Arizona. He wanted to come out and visit, so I invited him to come out and explore the desert in the hottest part of the summer. My friend flew out in August, and he seemed to be melting the moment he got off the plane. He quickly got over the heat and wanted to see all the grand attractions of Arizona. We went all over the state and he was really enjoying his time. My friend is a brash guy and even once told me that I should be careful as he was going to steal Rebekah away from me. I never felt threatened by this, and Rebekah rolled her eyes and laughed when I mentioned it to her. He was a bit chauvinistic and was never afraid to speak his mind.
My friend and I were at my aunt’s house when Rebekah showed up there to meet us. She came into the house and asked me to go outside and helped her get some things out of her car. My friend scoffed at this and asked me if I was really going to get up and help Rebekah. I have to say his prodding gave me pause, but I get up anyway to go and help her. I could hear him scoff, “Man, you are whipped!” as I walked out of the door, but Rebekah meant more to me than his silly opinion. She asked me to open the front passenger door to grab the items, but when I opened the door, it was not what I expected. Draped across the front seat was an Arizona State Jersey with my favorite player’s number. My jaw dropped and Rebekah was smiling from ear to ear, delighted by my reaction. I was so excited and gave her a big hug and kiss. I wiped my brow and was glad that I passed that test. It could have turned ugly, but I am glad I made the right choice.
My silly test pales in comparison to what Abraham was facing as he was facing the test of a lifetime. He was being asked to give up his son – his son who would be the start of his offspring that would be so great it could not be numbered. I cannot imagine being at the crossroads of that tough situation, but Abraham did not make the “hall of faith” by taking the easy route. God was not asking Abraham what his opinion was, but He was giving him a direct command. It was quite simply a matter of obedience. The stage was being set for Abraham, but as he took this test, we see that he was not in it for the short haul but his faith in God was one that was well grounded.
Where are you today friend? Has God put a test in front of you? How are you doing in the daily tests He has given you? Are you trusting in Him for all things or are you leaning on your own understanding? What score would God give you on life’s pop quizzes? He allows people in our path who get under our skin as a test to see how we will react. Will you pass today’s test or will you fail? May we prepare our hearts for the tests that will come, and may we never lose faith in a God who cannot lie.