Devotional by Ray Stedman – The hardest test of life – A daily devotion for June 24

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Topic:The hardest test of life
READ THE SCRIPTURE: GENESIS 22: 1-14

Then Abraham said to his servants, “Wait here with the donkey. I and the boy will go there, we will adore and we will come back to you.
Genesis 22: 5

Ray Stedman devotion
Ray Stedman

The story has kept silence about Abraham’s emotional reaction here, but just by putting ourselves in his place we can feel what he felt, how his heart must have been shattered, how he avoids telling Isaac the dreadful truth until the last possible moment, how surely he would be shaking inside him when Isaac asked him the question: “Where is the lamb?” We know that there is no real answer to the question asked by Isaac until we pass through the centuries that mediate and listen in the New Testament to John the Baptist before the people of Israel saying: “This is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! “(John 1:29).

Where would this aching father find the strength to carry on with such a frightening task? The answer is found here in a short sentence of verse 5: “Wait here with the donkey. I and the boy will go there, we will adore and we will come back to you “. Abraham is not trying to deceive these men, but somewhere in the quiet meditations of that awful night, when the word came to him for the first time, he would have the awareness that God could do something to lift this child from the dead, and Abraham believed in the resurrection. That is where he found peace to follow the command given by God. In the struggles of that night, he began to reason and count on God.

He must have thought something like this: “God has given me promises and I have lived with God long enough to know that, when God makes a promise, he fulfills it. God has said that in my son Isaac all the nations of the earth will be blessed. Isaac is necessary for the fulfillment of the promise. It can not be any other; He has said that this child will be the one in whom the promise will be fulfilled. So, if God has now asked me to give him as a sacrifice, there is an explanation, and that is that God intends to raise him from the dead. ”

Abraham had never had, as we have today, the experience or the constancy that no one had risen from the dead. In spite of which, his faith is so firm in the character of God that it reaches the realization of the resurrection. This is confirmed in Hebrews 11: “By faith Abraham … offered Isaac … because he thought that God is able to raise even from the dead” (11:17, 19a). Abraham risked everything that belonged to him and loved God’s character, and found that He was a resurrection God.

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Because of this wonderful triumph in his life, Abraham calls that place “Jehovah will provide.” And based on this miracle, a small saying emerged in Israel, a proverb: “In the mount of the Lord it will be provided.” God’s way of acting with people is such that it gives the impression that liberation never comes; it is as if liberation is never fulfilled. But if you go ahead, when you get to the mountain, there will be provision. The disappointments of the people are the appointments of God, because for God it is never too late. Although Abraham had been forced to go on with that bloody commission to its end, his father’s heart rested in quiet peace, because he knew that God would raise his son from the dead.

God, I thank you because, whatever you call me to put on the altar in obedience to You, You always know what is best and You always have a plan.

Application to life
Our world is full of corruption and suffering that give the impression of ensuring the triumph of the evil one. Do we see all this through the lens of God’s character and His sovereign power?

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