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Sermon Notes from March 18, 2018

Pastor Troy Martin

Genesis 21:1-14

The Test

Chapter 22 begins by letting us know that God is testing Abraham.  We could think of it as the most important test of his life. After much ado, his heart's desire has been given him. Now, however, God places him in a moment where he must be willing to give it all up. This test is not against spiritual adversaries, nor is it against society and worldliness. When God brings Abraham to his big day, his sole adversary is himself.

 

Overview

v. 1-2    Before anything else happens, we are told that God is testing Abraham.  Everything else that transpires is based on that one fact: This is a test.

v. 3-4     Abraham obeys the strange instruction. But unlike other times, the narrative emphasizes the tension, by slowly recounting the events en route to obedience.

v. 5-10    Abraham’s words to his servants and then to his son show that he is acting in profound faith. Nevertheless,  the narrative’s pace slows even more.

V. 11-13    At the last instant, we see that God had already provided for Isaac’s safety. Abraham had not seen the solution till the end, but He had acted in faith. 

v. 14    Moriah had been a test. Abraham learned that when you are in test, God will provide: Jehovah-jireh

 

Application

Chapter 22 teaches us three important things. First, that we are our own worst enemy. Second, that God uses this world as a classroom to test us. Third, that these tests are so designed to help us overcome our worst enemy that we might walk out with new blessings. Therefore consider what this means for us...

 

Be warned about ________________________. Wait for the LORD and keep His way, and He will exalt you Ps 27:14 If sin nature is lethal, and if it’s in us, then we have desires that can destroy us. A sure fire way to harm ourselves, then, is to give into every want without reflection.

 

Be aware that test  _______________________. Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. Ja 1:3 If we are our own worst enemy, then our Savior’s work includes freeing us from ourselves. God’s tests, then, often give us something to do that doesn't please us.

 

Be inspired ____________________________. If God be for us, who can be against us?” Ro 8:31 We can go into every test knowing that God has prepared it for us.  In fact, we should go into it knowing that God will use it to kill the part of us that is killing us. His tests are kindness.

 

Questions for Household Growth

What are the three categories of a Christian enemies? Can you think of ways people struggle with each?

 

How did Soren Kierkegaard interpret Ch 22? What is lacking in with his understand?

 

What does 1 Pe 1:6-7 and Ja 1:2-3 teach us about testing?