Persecution & Suffering: 36

Hebrews 11:17-19 tells us, “By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, ‘It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.’  Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.”

The entire chapter is full of examples like this. Of course, we know that at the last moment, God stopped Abraham, and provided a substitute sacrifice. Abraham didn’t know that, however. He trusted that God was good, even though God’s command seemed cruel and heartless and senseless. He was obeying God despite the fact that God’s guidance seemed ridiculous. He assumed it was a test of His love for God, and he was correct.

Jesus said the greatest commandment was to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30) He also said, “If you love me, keep my commands.” Thus, our love is demonstrated by our obedience. If we love the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, then we will obey Him no matter what the cost. It is no test for the Lord to ask things of us that cost us nothing. The test is in His instructions when obedience will result in pain and loss. He often tests us in these ways. Will we obey?