God visits and tests His children

Sunday service, Dietmar Joosten, 19 Nov 2017

Genesis 22:1-3

1 “Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

2 Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”

3 Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about.”

God’s word is wonderful and we cannot get to the depths of it. I don’t think we can understand what went through Abraham’s mind and heart when he had to do this to his son. We only read how God’s child listened to God. In the previous chapter it says God visited Sarah. It was the first time God had visited Sarah in this way. God always visited Abraham. But the Bible says God visited Sarah. That visit changed her life.
There is a story about Father Martin and God said that He would visit him. Father Martin sat by the window waiting for God to visit him. He saw an old man sweeping the street and he felt sorry for him and gave him something to drink. Then he saw a woman with a child and he invited them in. He saw the child had no shoes and he gave him some. There were quite a few visitors and when the end of the day came, he was sad. The Lord said He would visit him and He hadn’t come. He said, “Lord, you promised me.” Suddenly the whole room lit up and all the people who had visited him came in and the child opened the Bible to the verse, “What you have done to the least you have done to Me.” The danger is that we don’t realise that. He comes in ways that we don’t expect.
Sarah had made many mistakes. She had lied not so long ago but the Lord is far above what humans are. We say that a person does this and that but the Lord sees it differently. He didn’t chastise Sarah. The Lord ignored all that. The devil wants to destroy God’s word through the mistakes people make. It is true that we cannot just carry on sinning but God is above all.
Zachariah was also promised a child. He was so to say punished for not recognizing what the Lord was doing. If God visits us, let us be obedient. We don’t know the consequences of our actions. You make your own assumptions because people talk. Paul says “I am convinced that the One who began the good work in you, will perfect and bring it to completion.” We must trust the Lord that He will complete it. When the Lord visited Sarah, her life was totally changed. We can imagine that she was an old lady and she experienced God’s promise. Maybe you have been here for many years but you won’t change if God doesn’t do it. I must prepare myself and say, “God, please prepare me,” and then something happens inside. Suddenly something that was far from her, was close to her. When the Lord Jesus is born in us, our life changes. It is a drastic change. Abraham and Sarah experienced this blessing. The child became very important in their lives. If you receive the Christ child, everything should revolve around that Child. Give Him that chance in your life.

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French translation

 

German translation