By George Feldman
"Abraham, Abraham...lay not thine hand upon the lad. Neither do thou any thing unto him for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, from me" (Gen. 22:11,12).
It was not that God did not know what Abraham would do, but here is the proof. This was a test, such as a test of gold by fire. Job also had a testing and he came through without faltering. In his case it was a controversy between God and Satan. We do not know whether Abraham had been accused by the adversary, but it is very likely that he was. For Satan is the accuser of all that are good.
Abraham had been in the land 40 or 50 years and long before this had been justified by faith. Now he has a chance to prove his profession of faith and so he is justified here by works. It may be that this is what James had in mind when speaking of faith being dead without works. If it is genuine faith, the works will come in due order. They are the natural result.
No doubt many will not like to have the lesson applied, but what good is the Scripture going to do us if there is no application? But have we not seen many who seem to have faith and make a loud profession, but fail when a time of testing comes along? In past years many have made a profession of faith in truth as it is found in the Word, only to compromise or draw back when they found that it would cost something to stand up for the truth. And the test was never to sacrifice a son or daughter as in the case of Abraham, but more often it was bread and butter, social position, a troublesome family, or a hundred and one small things one could mention. They failed the trial.
And how many times have you and I failed? How many opportunities to speak did we pass up and let slip by?
Now can you tell me why that Abraham said to the servants to wait, and that he and Isaac would come back to them (verse 5)? We find the answer in Heb. 11:9. He believed the promise concerning Isaac and the seed after him, so he was sure that if he killed Isaac, God would raise him from the dead so as to fulfill the promise. Now that is faith! And faith is a matter of believing so strongly that we can act on it. Using Abraham's faith here as a measure, just where do we stand?
(Reprinted from Truth For Today, Vol. 16, No. 9.)