“After these things, God tested Abraham.”
I suspect that we can get no further with this reading until we deal with this whole business of God testing Abraham. What is this all about and what is God up to with Abraham?
The tempting answer is, ‘God wants to see what Abraham’s made of. How faithful is he REALLY?’ Because that’s what we would do.
Like when a teacher wants to know how much his students have learned from all he’s taught them he ‘tests them.’ How else is he / she to know what they know?
We’re all very familiar with testing and being tested. Nations test other nations to see how they’ll respond. Employers test their employees to see how much they can produce. Parents test their children to see responsible they are. Children test their parents to see if they can trust them. Spouses test their spouses to see if ‘you really love me.’ We all ‘test’ others and we are all tested and we know the pressure of being tested and always having to prove ourselves to someone else.
But none of that FITS when we hear that “God tested Abraham.” This is God. And God knows Abraham better than Abraham knows himself. There is nothing in Abraham that is hidden from God or that God needs to discover about him.
God is not ‘testing’ Abraham to see if He can ‘trust’ him or to determine if he has the right stuff for the job that God wants him to do. Continue reading