Most of you are familiar with the story of Job. He was a man who feared God and he was very wealthy.
There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil. There were born to him seven sons and three daughters.He possessed 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, and 500 female donkeys, and very many servants, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east. (Job 1:1-3)
Satan claimed that Job served God not out of sincerity but because God had made him wealthy. God allowed Satan to test Job by taking away his wealth. Job lost his wealth, his children, and his health. His wife urged him to curse God and die. He was also afflicted with three “friends” who claimed that Job had brought his misfortunes on himself by sinning.
Job insisted he was innocent and wanted God to explain the reason for his suffering, but his faith in God never wavered. In the end God did appear to him but rather than explaining the reason for what had happened he asked Job a series of questions that revealed his superiority to Job. As a result Job came to know God better than he had before. Read the rest of this entry
Have you ever experienced a time when your life was so messed up you wanted to ask God what was going on? Job did.
Today also my complaint is bitter; my hand is heavy on account of my groaning. Oh, that I knew where I might find him, hat I might come even to his seat! I would lay my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments. (Job 23:2-4)
If you read Job 1-4 it is easy to see why he felt that way. He feared and obeyed God and God had blessed him with great wealth and with ten children. For a long time he had lived a prosperous and happy life, and then suddenly everything began to go wrong. Read the rest of this entry
Abraham’s faith was tested many times. The first test that we are told about came when God told him to leave his home in Ur and go to an unknown land. (It is likely that he faced tests while he was still living in Ur. If his faith hadn’t previously been strengthened by exercise he wouldn’t have been willing to leave his home at God’s command.) When he entered the new land God told him he would become the father of many nations and he continued to believe this promise even though it was 25 years before Isaac was born.
His greatest test came after Isaac was born.
After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!”
And he said, “Here I am.”
He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”
So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.
God tested Abraham.
God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.
Abraham obeyed but God stopped him from carrying out the sacrifice.
Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!”
And he said, “Here I am.”
He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.”
And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son.