Twelve Tests of Abraham
Twelve Tests of Abraham
Abraham's faith was tested at least twelve specific times. Some of them were not what we might call big tests, but together they establish a picture of Abraham as a person whose faith was genuine. After the last of these, God said, "Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son" (Genesis 22:12>). Each of Abraham's tests can have applications for us:
(1) Genesis 12:1-7>
- Test: Abraham left Ur and Haran for an unknown destination at God's direction.
- Application: Do I trust God with my future? Is his will part of my decision making?
(2) Genesis 13:8-13>
- Test: Abraham directed a peaceful separation from Lot and settled at the oaks of Mamre.
- Application: Do I trust God with my interests even when I seem to be receiving an unfair settlement?
(3) Genesis 14:13-18>
- Test: Abraham rescued Lot from the five kings.
- Application: Does my faithfulness to others bear witness to my trust in God's faithfulness?
(4) Genesis 14:17-24>
- Test: Abraham gave a tithe of loot to the godly king of Salem, Melchizedek, and refused the gift of the king of Sodom.
- Application: Am I watchful in my dealings with people that I give proper honor to God and refuse to receive honor that belongs to him?
(5) Genesis 15:1-6>
- Test: Abraham trusted God's promise that he would have a son.
- Application: How often do I consciously reaffirm my trust in God's promises?
(6) Genesis 15:7-11>
- Test: Abraham received the promised land by faith, though the fulfillment would not come for many generations.
- Application: How have I demonstrated my continued trust in God during those times when I have been required to wait?
(7) Genesis 17:9-27>
- Test: At God's command, Abraham circumcised every male in his family.
- Application: In what occasions in my life have I acted simply in obedience to God, and not because I understood the significance of what I was doing?
(8) Genesis 18:1-8>
- Test: Abraham welcomed strangers, who turned out to be angels.
- Application: When was the last time I practiced hospitality?
(9) Genesis 18:22-33>
- Test: Abraham prayed for Sodom.
- Application: Am I eager to see people punished, or do I care for people in spite of their sinfulness?
(10) Genesis 20:1-17>
- Test: Abraham admitted to wrongdoing and took the actions needed to set things right.
- Application: When I sin, is my tendency to cover up, or confess? Do I practice the truth that an apology must sometimes be accompanied by restitution?
(11) Genesis 21:22-34>
- Test: Abraham negotiated a treaty with Abimelech concerning a well.
- Application: Can people depend on my words and promises?
(12) Genesis 22:1-12>
- Test: Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac.
- Application: In what ways has my life demonstrated that I will not allow anything to come before God?