Abraham's Test - Part 1

by Dr. Ken Matto

(Heb 11:8 KJV) By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

I want to start a 4 part series on the testing of Abraham. As we look at these four tests we will be able to see how apropos these verses are for us today. What Abraham experienced is being experienced, in principle, by believers worldwide. In today’s verse we will look at the first faith test and we see that it was a test of trusting God for the unknown. Abraham was a dweller in Mesopotamia and was no doubt an idol worshipper until he was saved by the Lord. Since God had a great plan for his life, God had to implant the ability to have great trust into Him. We would know this as salvation. When Abraham was saved, he now had the Holy Spirit dwelling in him, and was capable of believing and trusting God, even in the worst of circumstances. Abraham had probably lived his entire life in the Fertile Crescent area and when God came to him, He asked Abraham to leave his home land and to go to a place that was unknown to him. You see God was testing the faith of Abraham every step of the way.

How many of us would pack up all our belongings and begin a journey on faith to a destination unknown. Many times this is the plight of the missionary as they may begin their training and then be assigned to a place in the world where they know little or nothing about. Even if they read books and see films about the place where they are going, they are still going into the unknown trusting God. When Abraham started his journey, he had no idea where he was going because God was going to guide him on his journey into a land that God would show him at the proper time. This is the essence of faith as God reveals His plan in small increments in the lives of His children. If He ever gave us the entire picture at once, none of us would want to leave home. If Joni Eareckson knew what was going to happen to her on that day when she went swimming and dove into the shallow water, do you think she would have kept that date? God has used her in not only sending forth the Gospel but also as an example that just because a body is hurt, does not mean that God cannot use it for the furtherance of the Gospel.

I am sure that many of us would be the same way. If we knew that something catastrophic was going to happen to us, then we would not keep our dates with those events, and according to human nature, why would we? You see, only when we trust God in the seemingly unknown situations in our life, is when we can really experience the abundant Christian life that the Lord Jesus promised us. We may not think that something is good for us simply because we view things from the human vantage point but we neglect to view things from God’s point of view. Each new 24 hours is a day of unknowns. Yet the day is clear to God and He knows exactly what He wants to accomplish through us though He may never reveal anything about those plans until we are right in the middle of them. This was the same with Abraham. His need to know future physical events in his life was not necessary, yet God revealed to him that his descendants would be as the sands on the seashore. God never told him how this would be accomplished but there is the essence of faith, to trust without knowledge and sight. I think we can learn a great lesson from Abraham and when we adopt the same essence of faith, we too will have many spiritual descendants. Obedient and Faithful Christians yield fruit.  (3/14/03)