In the 22nd Chapter of Genesis is the story of when God told Abraham to get his son Isaac, the ‘Son of God’s Promise’, and take him up on a mountain, and “offer him there as a burnt offering.” The very next verse in the story says, “So Abraham got up early the next morning and started out.”
It really is clear in the Bible, that from the beginning, God’s preferred means of reconciling Himself to men (really His only method and means) is by grace through faith; and this episode is but one of many examples of that message found in the Bible.
Toward the end of the passage it says that Abraham called the place, “The-Lord-Will-Provide” (in Hebrew that’s ‘Jehovah Jireh’); which means, “God will take care of us” (if we’ll just trust Him); which is the message that God has been sending us all the time, throughout history, in the Bible and out. Maybe this is also part of God’s purpose for devising this ‘test’ for Abraham.
But, toward the end of the passage, in verse 12, it gives the published reason why God tested Abraham, when it says, “And [God] said, “Stop; don’t hurt the boy, for now I know that you fear (trust and obey) God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” So that’s the reason. But you know what I think? This may have been a reassurance to God about how much Abraham feared, reverenced, trusted and obeyed God. But I think God already knew that. He already knew that Abraham loved and trusted and obeyed Him more than anything else or anybody else in the whole world. I really think this test was to let Abraham know how much he loved God. And when the test was over, Abraham knew. Praise God! That’s trust and obey, humble, love, serve, and most of all surrender, all rolled into one.
You know, the epilogue to this story is in Hebrews 11: 17-19. It says, (Tex’s paraphrase) “Abraham was willing to sacrifice Isaac, because he believed that God would raise him from the dead.” Praise the Lord!