The Lord Will Provide: God’s Command a. After these things. Moses begins with some key phrases that we must stop and think about. After what things? To what is Moses referring? I think that we could safely include all of the story of Abraham here. From his calling out of Ur to the failure in Egypt to his saving of Lot. Those past events have brought Abraham to this point in time. The providence of God has directed Abraham to this moment in his personal history. But, I think we should take special notice of what has just come before this event that we are about to see. Isaac, the promised child had arrived. The one that they had been waiting for for decades had arrived. Abraham’s affections for Isaac began to grow. He threw a big party for him after he was weaned from Sarah. There was also the emotional break that occurred from Ishmael. When Ishmael mocked Isaac and God told him it was time for Ishmael to leave, Abraham had to take his attention off of his oldest son. God had taken Ishmael away as a potential distraction. Then came the situation with Abimelech. Would Abraham stand? Is his faith strong enough to stand in the face of a pagan king in a foreign land? Yes it was and he did and Abraham worshipped God publicly. The stage was now set. Abraham was ready for such a time as this. b. God Tested Abraham. The next phrase that Moses writes is, “God tested Abraham.” We are told right up front that this is a test, only a test. As we read through the story, we already know why this is happening. We are not left with the question as to why. We don’t have to scratch our heads and wonder why God would ask for a human sacrifice. Why is he making Abraham go through this whole ordeal? Moses takes the question off the table from the start. This should prevent us, the readers, from drawing conclusions about God that are not true. Octavius Winslow explains to us that, “God remembers that, even at best, how limited is our knowledge of Him; but how much smaller the measurement that is not gauged by the test of trial. We know Him revealedly in His Word; we know Him symbolically by His providence; but it is in the school of His direct and personal dealings with us, and of our direct and personal dealings with Him, that His character is the most experimentally unfolded, His perfections are the most distinctly made known, and His glory passes before our eye. To this end, God tries us. “Show me now Your ways, that I may know You.” Thus, in all our temptations and trials, we trace His wisdom in ordaining, His sovereignty in permitting, His power in controlling, His faithfulness in directing, and His love in soothing us. And Jesus, the tried Stone, becomes better known, and more intensely endeared, in one fiery temptation, in one severe trial, than, perhaps, in all the passing events of our history combined.”