Preacher : Rev James Muriithi Kaniaru
Message : Trials as a test to our faith
Readings : Genesis 22:1-14, James 1:2-12
Abraham had waited for his son to come as a promise from God and as a blessing too.
After the son came, God directed Abraham to do what was being done at that time by the people.
People were following the Canaanites practices of sacrificing their sons on alters to seek blessings. This was a noble thing according to the Canaanites practices.
God therefore instructed Abraham to follow the same practices and sacrifice his son Isaac.
At times I think if I was Abraham I would have defied that command considering that the son had been awaited for many days.
Abraham was obedient to God and sought for firewood together with his son, Isaac ready for the sacrifice .
Isaac asked Abraham where they were going to get an animal for sacrifice . Abraham responded by saying that God will provide.
Let us look at the faithfulness of Abraham and emulate it.
The God who we believe in and who made us brave enough to withstand this chilly weather is the same God saying He is going to provide for you.
When Abraham was about to sacrifice his son, God provided a ram for the sacrifice .
That is how God works, when you are just about to give up, God provides.
I had a case where my brother. . . . . .
I had a case where my brother had recently been jailed and was required to pay Kshs. 6 million. The whole family was looking up to me to provide this money and I didn’t know where to get it from. He is a school principal and risked losing his job. It was a civil case where his car had caused an accident and the insurance had refused to pay and thus he was required to pay or remain in jail. By God’s grace I managed to raise Kshs. 2.1million and got him out.
When we wait upon God he provides because He is a God who provides, just as Abraham found our.
The second reading tells us to consider it pure joy whenever we face trials as they strengthen our faith in God.
22 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”“Here I am,” he replied.
2 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.”
3 Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about.
4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5 He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”
6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together,7 Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”
“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.
“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
8 Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.
9 When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altarthere and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.
11 But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns.He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”
Trials and Temptations
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
9 Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position.
10 But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower.
11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.
12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
Credits to: Elder Wamagata (Writer) and Kamoche (Publisher)