Genesis 21 records Isaac’s birth. Genesis 22 records God’s TEST of Abraham by demanding Isaac’s sacrifice. A point of emphasis, however. A vast difference exists between satan’s temptations and God’s tests. James 1:13-15 makes it clear that temptation comes from satan, appeals to our fallen nature leads us from God. Testing comes from God, appeals to our converted nature and intends to PROVE, in order to FORTIFY to INVINCIBILITY, our commitment to God. In a sentence, then, temptation seeks to lead us from God while testing aims to increase our dependence on God.
On my walk before daylight a few mornings ago, two bright stars—Venus, the Bright Morning Star the brightest—appeared in the southern sky. They seemed no farther apart than a jet plane couldn’t cover in a few hours. In reality they were millions of miles apart. Our mental measure and celestial distances account for the difference. Just so does God’s perspectives and ours differ, with his eternal and ours only historical. And, as Isaiah 55:8-9 says, never shall the twain meet; and never, ever will ours be equal to or superior to God’s.
Thus, God tested Abraham’s faith in order to build and increase it. His specific instructions left no doubt. Abraham would TAKE his son, his only son, Isaac, whom he loved. He would GO to the region of Moriah. THERE, on a mountain God would identify, Abraham would offer Isaac as a sacrifice.
Remember, God loathed human sacrifice as satanic. He never had, and never would, order it. He used the figure only to test the depth of Abraham’s faith: how far would the 121 year-old prophet go without questioning or disobeying God?
In addition, 121 years before, and Isaac not yet conceived, God had established circumcision as the basis of his covenant with Abraham and his descendants Genesis 17. On the very day God established the covenant, Abraham at 99, Ishmael at 13 and all males in Abraham’s camp, were circumcised. That would seem the end of God’s conditions since Abraham fulfilled every one. End Part II