Most of us probably know the story of Abraham and Hagar, Sarah’s Egyptian maidservant. She became Abraham’s second wife and bore his first son, Ishmael. Conflict and jealousy arose within the family which led to Ishmael’s banishment, not only from Abraham’s household but also from his father’s inheritance.
“Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham…” (Genesis 22:1, NKJV).
This verse provides a rather puzzling question. If God is omniscience, meaning that He is all-knowing, why does He need to test Abraham? And, if He already knows the outcome of the test with Abraham then why is the test even necessary? To discover an answer we will turn to Midrashic commentary; Genesis Rabba 55:2.
“Now the Lord had said to Abram: Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you” (Genesis 12:1, NKJV).
In this opening chapter in Genesis we see that God has chosen Avram (Abram), yet it gives us no indication for what motivation? Noah’s election in previous chapters is obvious for the Lord said that Noah was a righteous man, perfect in his generations. He had found favor in God’s eyes and was chosen to save a remnant of humanity.
Many are saying they are under increased spiritual attack. I have watched some respond with warfare, and others fall into a state of despair. Neither one is necessarily correct until we understand the reason for an attack. Many questions therefor arise: Am I doing something wrong? Am I living in sin? Am I being disciplined by God? Is my armor incomplete? Should I be praying more? Is my faith lacking? Am I doing something right, therefore the enemy is trying to thwart my efforts? Or, am I simply being tested by God? These are all valid questions from a human perspective, but they may or may not necessarily be God’s perspective.