God’s Test Time

“And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am” (Genesis 22:1). Unbelievable? God tempted His friend and follower. Not quite. God doesn’t tempt anyone (James 1: 13-14). He tests to prove us.


Any instructor knows one of the greatest motivational teaching tools and techniques available is to say, “That will be on the test!” Students perk up. Notebooks fly open. Pens are grasped. Notes are scribbled. Highlighters underline.

It was a test that God gave to Abraham, not a temptation to sin. God didn’t want Abraham’s life. (Or should I say, God didn’t want Abraham’s promised son’s life). He wanted Abraham’s heart. He wanted to prove what was already there. Without tests we wouldn’t know what we are made of. Without tests we wouldn’t know what God is made of.

What’s the difference between temptations, trials, tribulations, and tests? I will take a little peek at temptations, trials, and tests.


  • Designed by Satan to draw us away from God.
  • Comes from the flesh.
  • Typically attacks a weak spot.
  • Commonly come from within.
  • Designed to bring out the worst in us.
  • Usually money, sex, power. Girls, gold, and glory.
  • Biblically divided:
    • Lust of the flesh
    • Lust of the eyes
    • Pride of life

The bottom line: Satan tempts us to bring out the worst in us.

Test or Trial:

  1. Usually test our strengths.
  2. Bring out the best in us.
  3. Usually come from outside/without.
  4. Designed by God to draw us closer to Himself.
  5. Regularly is a God-given opportunity for you to practice and test your spiritual relationship with God.
  6. Sent from God
  7. All of life is a test. Always being tested. God watches your responses (Rick Warren).


  1. Character is both developed and revealed by tests.
  2. True faith is tested.
  3. Trust is not necessarily spoken it is demonstrated.

Here’s the bottom line: God tests us to help bring out the best in us.

In the first few chapters of Job there is this conversation in heaven concerning him. He has no idea. In fact, you have no idea the conversations that may be going on in heaven about you.

We can pass the test, with flying colors, and get the gold star/seal just like Job (and Abraham): “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined. Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:10-12).

God’s test will bring out the best in us!

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The God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and YOU

Jacob received and passed on a tremendous legacy. His grandfather, Abraham, was the father of the faithful. Jacob was born a “supplanter” or one who takes the place of another. But, he eventually found his own place in God’s plan. He was chosen by God for greatness. He had a truly overcoming nature. He became father of twelve sons from which the twelve tribes of Israel descended.

Jacob passed his heritage to his children. They could serve the same true God their forefathers served; the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, would be their God as well.


“The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers” (Acts 3:13).

“Saying, I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Then Moses trembled, and durst not behold” (Acts 7:32).

“Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” (Luke 20:37).

“Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God” (Exodus 3:6).

He was their God. Now, ours too! Thanks, Jacob, for passing on the legacy! I’m sure he would want us to remember that we can progress and prevail throughout all of life’s circumstances.

Prayer: The Short and Sweet of It

“And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the Lord which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee: I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands. Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children. And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude” (Genesis 32:9-12).


Jacob provides one of the earliest examples of prayer in God’s Word. Here’s what I noticed:

  • It is short, sincere, and straight (focused on getting an answer).
  • It is considered one of the greatest prayers in Scripture.
  • It was prayed by a man weak in faith.
  • It was prayed in desperation and fear. Both should drive us to our knees.
  • It was an appeal to God as standing in a covenant relationship.
  • It rested totally in God’s character.
  • It exposed his knowledge of God’s ways.
  • It encouraged him through remembering what God had already done.

One of the merits of pleading the promises is “the best we can say to God in prayer is what He has said to us.” God’s promises “furnish us with the best petitions, so they are the firmest ground of our hopes” (Matthew Henry).

Looking at the Wishing Well

“And Isaac digged again the wells of water, which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham: and he called their names after the names by which his father had called them” (Genesis 26:18).

“And the Lord appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham’s sake. And he builded an altar there, and called upon the name of the Lord and pitched his tent there: and there Isaac’s servants digged a well” (Genesis 26:24-25).


Water is essential for life. In ancient days people either lived near a river or a lake or dug a well. Wells provide for a man, his family, and his livestock. But, it also indicated he was going to stay in that location for some time.

Well Name – Geror
Well Meaning – “Dragged off.”
Where has God dragged you to? Do you feel lonely, lost, helpless and hopeless? Isaac went back to the proven wells his father had dug.

Well Name – Esek
Well Meaning – “Contention.”
What contentions are you facing? Instead of moaning and groaning keep traveling on knowing that God is with you.

Well Name – Sitnah
Well Meaning – “Strife.”
Are people mistreating you and you don’t know how much more you can take? Don’t allow these distractions to blind you from what God can do for you.

Well Name – Rehoboth
Well Meaning – “Wide Places.”
God has a place of rest for you.

Well Name – Beersheba
Well Meaning – “Well of an oath.”
Build an altar and offer your sacrifice. Spend time with God. Call on Him. He will answer you. Pitch your tent. Realize you are right where God wants you. (Same well as below).

Well Name – Shibah
Well Meaning – “Oath.”
God will be with you and bless you. (Adapted from a study on Genesis 26:14-33 by David Humpal.”

The wells Isaac and his servants dug were symbolic. From them we can learn lessons of how to survive through life’s circumstances; especially adversity. They show us that we should be willing and ready to move on to new areas of our lives.

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The Lord will Provide

Abraham was not lying to his servants when he said, “I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.” He firmly believed that the two of them would come again. He spoke words of faith and exemplified obedience.

As Abraham and Isaac climb the mountain a ram climbs the other side of the mountain. Someone has said, “For every step Abraham takes toward the top the ram also takes a step. And it was God’s plan all along that they meet in the same place at the same time for the same purpose.”


Isaac was not a little boy. He was a full grown man. According to Josephus he was about twenty-seven. It seems he shared his father’s confidence and faith in the promises and provisions of God. He willingly allowed his old father to tie him there. After all, Isaac’s very existence was a direct result of God keeping His word.

“And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood” (Genesis 22:9).

Of course, God did not allow Abraham to take the life of his beloved son. With the knife raised, positioned to come down, God stopped him. God doesn’t require a burnt, human sacrifice from us. But, he does asking us to present ourselves a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1-2).

This story is also prophetic that the Lamb of God would provide Himself a sacrifice. Perhaps, it is a glimpse of Calvary when the Lamb would take away the sin of the world (John 1:29).

“And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen” (Genesis 22:13-14).

God tests us so that we can learn to trust Him. You may feel like you are climbing a mountain alone, struggling with each step, worried about what the summit will bring. Remember, God’s provision is already on its way. The Lord will provide. The ram will be at the top. As “Jehovah-Jireh” God provides our needs.