May 7 – Trials’ Lessons: Right Priorities

“For now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”

Genesis 22:12

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Trials from the Lord will reveal to believers what they love and appreciate the most.

A big part of the reason for the Lord’s testing Abraham at Moriah was to show him what he valued most in life. The question God wanted Abraham to answer was, “Do you love Isaac more than Me, or do you love Me more than Isaac?” And the Lord was prepared for the drastic test of taking Abraham’s son’s life if that’s what was necessary for Abraham to give God first place in everything.

God also tries the sincerity of those today who claim to love Him (see Deut. 13:3; Matt. 22:36–37). Jesus was so concerned that we have our priorities right that He made this radical statement: “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26). Christians must love Christ so much that by comparison they will seem to hate their families and themselves. In order to test this first love, God might in some dramatic fashion ask us to renounce the many tugs and appeals from family and place His will and affections first in our life.

That kind of radical obedience, which is what Abraham had, always leads to God’s blessings. Jesus Himself was a perfect example of this principle. Because He was fully human as well as fully God, our Lord did not escape ordinary pain and hardship while on earth. As the Suffering Servant (Isa. 53), He learned completely what it means to obey through pain and adversity, all the way to His crucifixion (Heb. 5:7–9). As a result, the Son was exalted by the Father (Phil. 2:8–9).

God sometimes makes our path of obedience go through the experiences of trials and sufferings. But if we are faithful to His Word and will, those difficulties will teach us to value and appreciate God’s many blessings.

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Suggestions for Prayer: Pray that your priorities each day would stay in line with God’s.

For Further Study: Read Deuteronomy 6:1–9. What must be the top priority for all believers?[1]


22:12 now I know. Abraham passed the test (v. 1). He demonstrated faith that God responds to with justification. [2]


22:12 now I know that you fear God. Abraham’s action confirms his faithful obedience to God. While Abraham’s faith was earlier the means by which God counted him as righteous (15:6), that faith is now “active along with his works,” and the faith is “completed by his works” (James 2:21–23), so that his faith resulted in obedience, which is its expected outcome. On God’s knowledge, see note on Gen. 18:21.[3]


22:12 now I know The identity between the angel and God is blurred. The angel speaks in the first person as God, but also refers to God in the third person.[4]


22:12 you have not withheld. Abraham’s faith is confirmed by his obedience (Gal. 5:6; Heb. 11:17; James 2:21 note).[5]


[1] MacArthur, J. (1997). Strength for today. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[2] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Ge 22:12). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[3] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 88). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[4] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Ge 22:12). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[5] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2015). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (2015 Edition) (p. 48). Orlando, FL: Reformation Trust.

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4 thoughts on “May 7 – Trials’ Lessons: Right Priorities

    1. Truth2Freedom Post author

      No, I’m using the Logos program – copy & paste devotionals and commentary.

      Reply

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