Genesis 22:1 & 2
"Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, 'Abraham!' 'Here I am,' he replied. 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.'" NIV translation
In chapter 21, we saw that God kept His promise and gave Abraham his son. Now, time has passed and Isaac has grown into a young man. God initiates the test by telling Abraham to take his son and offer him as a sacrifice. This brings us to questions about this test. First of all, there are those who say that God does not test His children but they are wrong. They often confuse the concept of testing with tempting. As we see here, God tests faith while temptation is from the devil. So, why would God test the faith of His children? He knows our hearts and so the purpose is not to prove to Him that we have faith. The simple fact of the matter is that Abraham's supreme test of faith was for our benefit so that we might understand the principle of total consecration. Abraham had circumcised Isaac which was an act of setting him apart as a child of God. Now, the question was: Did he really mean that Isaac was set apart for God's use or was it just a religious act? Something that is consecrated is only for God's use and cannot be only part time. So, the ultimate test would be whether Abraham would obey even when he didn't understand or would he try to hold onto what he had already given to God. As Christians when we come to Christ, we are accepting Him as both Savior and Lord. The act of accepting Him as Lord is, in fact, consecrating ourselves to God. Like Abraham, we will go through some tests and some believers will be tested to the point of death (total consecration). The question is still the same: Will we try to hold onto what we have already given God or did we really mean it?