How Far Would You Go To Obey God?

   How far would you go to show God you fear him? To what extent would you go in obeying God? I ask this because I read about Abraham and Isaac. God blessed Abraham with Isaac, his son, at hundred years of age and through Isaac God established the covenant spoken to Abraham. But what happens when God tests you with the child you have waited for, prayed for and desired your entire life?
    God instructed Abraham to take his only son, Isaac, whom Abraham loved, to the land of Moriah and offer Isaac as a burnt offering (Gen. 22:2). What did Abraham do? Genesis 22:3 explains that Abraham gathered the firewood and all that was needed to do as God had asked, and left for the land God had told him. What happened? Just as Abraham was getting ready to take the life of Isaac, an angel of God stopped Abraham and God provided a sacrifice. In the world today Abraham would have been considered as mentally unstable and arrested for attempted murder, then thrown into a mental institution for life.

Question #1 - Why would God test Abraham by asking him to do such an act in the first place?
Answer #1: To see if Abraham feared God.
  When the angel of God stopped Abraham from taking the life of Isaac, he told Abraham the reason to which he was tested - to "know that you fear God", according to Genesis 22:12. The Hebrew word for fear here is 'yare'. It is an adjective, and it means afraid or fearful. So, God tested Abraham to know if Abraham was afraid and regarded God with fear.

Answer #2: To know that Abraham loved God supremely.
   Now the text does not say anything regarding this point, but upon meditating on this verse, I felt very strongly in my soul that this is right. Why? When I read this text and chewed on it, my heart was reminded of Jesus' words in Matthew 10:37, "Whoever loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." 
   Abraham was tested to determine if Abraham's love for God was supreme to his love for his only son, Isaac. For, if it was not, Abraham would prove to be unworthy of God. It is a common occurrence, I have witnessed, that man loves what has been given more than the Giver.

Question #2 - Why is it important to know that Abraham had these two emotions towards God?
Answer #1: To determine Abraham's obedience.
    Looking at Genesis 22:16-18, God told Abraham, "because you have obeyed my voice" God would then do as He promised Abraham. This also implies that God would not do to Abraham as He promised less Abraham proved his fear of God was greater than his love for Isaac. If our fear of God is less than our love for those closest to us, we will not live obedient lives to God. And God will not do as He promises for those who do not fear Him supremely.
    This is the same for love. Jesus said in John 14:15, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." This is conditional. So this verse works like this: if your love for Jesus is supreme to your love for others, you will obey Him, but if your love for others is supreme to your love for Christ, you will disobey Him. Our obedience will be to who we love supremely.

Question #3 - Is it fair of God to test Abraham with the life of his son, Isaac?
Answer #1: God is the giver of life and we have children only because God permits us to.
   Ultimately the children born to us are not our own, they are God's, put in our lives and entrusted to us to help them know the Father. For God created the child and you did not. My wife and I have never been able to conceive, I propose that if we were in control of having kids, then, all we would have to do is make the decision and the result would be a child born. But my wife and I are out of that control, man does not create life - God does. We as man act as though we created our children, all we really do is go through the act God has ordained for the multiplication of humanity, but we are far from the being the creator.

Answer #2: God would never have us murder a child, or anyone for that matter.
    When Moses was given the ten commandments one of them were "You shall not murder" in Exodus 20:13. Now Moses was the receiver, God was the giver. It is against the character of God to ask you to murder your child and actually go through with it. God may test your character with the life of your child, to determine if you fear God and love God supremely, but God will not ask you to take the life of your child.

Question #4 - Why did Abraham go through with what God asked of him?
Answer #1 - Faith.  
     It is obvious to say that his fear of God and his love of God was superior to his love for Isaac. If we stopped there we would be missing the complete picture to Abraham's obedience. Hebrews 11:19 tells us that in faith Abraham "considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back." Abraham decided that if God had given him this child and now asking for the life of the child, that God had the ability to resurrect the child. Faith in God's ability permits us to live a life of fearless obedience.
   Without faith in God there is no nor can be obedience. One could make the point that without faith, Abraham, in fear of loss of his only child, would have disobeyed God. That, we will never know, it is only an assumption. But the point is that by faith Abraham obeyed, and without faith our obedience to God is as nothing. Without faith we will live in fear and in result, a life lived in disobedience to God.
   Where there is obedience to God, there is supreme love and fear of God. Faith in God's ability is what compels us to obedience in spite of fear. This is true for Abraham, and I believe, is true for us all today.


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