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Rob Stroup
Written by Rob Stroup

“This is just a test” EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE….(irritating buzz for thirty seconds)
“This has been a test of the Emergency Broadcast System.”

Do you remember hearing that announcement? What was the reason of that test? Was it just to annoy us? According to the FCC website, a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System was performed on November 9, 2011. This was the first time it was tested nationwide, not just locally, so they issued the following statement to explain why:

“…we need to know that the system will work as intended should public safety officials ever need to send an alert or warning to a large region of the United States.”

Isn’t that the reason we test things or people? We test the brakes after driving through standing water to be sure that they are not going to slip when we approach the stopped car in front of us at the next intersection. Teachers test their students to see if they have learned the material they have been taught, to demonstrate they have learned the subject matter. A parent tests their child, “Did you make your bed?” They are demonstrating to the child whether or not they have been responsible.

Sometimes we don’t know that we are being tested. Remember the old TV show, Candid Camera? I recall one episode where a large overstuffed chair was set in a lobby and it was rigged so that it would slowly sink as someone sat in it. The studio audience really enjoyed seeing folks react as they were slowly “eaten” by the chair. This test was just to see how different people would react to an unforeseen circumstance.

Abraham did not know he was being tested when God told him to sacrifice his son. Genesis 22:1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt (test) Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. Isaac was the only son born to Abraham and Sarah, and was a cherished gift from the LORD. We can imagine the thoughts and emotions Abraham must have experienced on the three day journey to Moriah. “Why would God give me this dear boy only to have me kill him? How am I going to have descendants that cannot be numbered if God takes away my only son? What am I going to tell Sarah when I return having taken his life with my hands?” The Bible doesn’t record the struggle that Abraham experienced in his mind, only that he passed the test God gave him. When Isaac asked about the lamb for the sacrifice, Abraham chose his words carefully. “God will provide Himself a lamb.” No doubt the ram caught in the thicket was just as much a surprise to Abraham as it was to us the first time we heard the story. God was testing Abraham’s faith, not so that God would learn something about Abraham, as He knows the end from the beginning. Isaiah 46:9b-10a … I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning… God was testing Abraham so that we would see what God already knew, that Abraham trusted Him completely. Hebrews 11:17-19 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure. Abraham trusted that God would bring Isaac back to life after he sacrificed him! God demonstrated to Abraham that He had a perfect plan and was faithful. God also demonstrated to us the extent of Abraham’s faith. We marvel at Abraham’s faith and our trust in God is strengthened as we contemplate his response to this challenge.

God may test you as the “Abraham” in someone else’s life. A faithful response to a difficult circumstance in your life may be the catalyst another person needs to bolster their trust in God.

Though my eyes can’t see, help my heart believe You are always, only good.
– You Are Always Good (Majesty Music)

I believe you will enjoy this encouraging recording of the hymn we have been learning at Berean: