Hebrews 11:17, “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son.”
Today I leave with you the words “he was tried.” There was nothing that excluded him from trial. He was old but he was tried. He was the friend of God but he was tried. He had faith but he was still tried. He was rich but he was tried. None in this world are excluded from trial whatever their standing or station.
The trial in the text was from God because God commanded Abraham to offer up his son Isaac. He was tried by God for God “trieth the hearts” of men. He was tried by the devil for Satan is the malicious tempter. He was tried by men because the devil uses men. He was tried by providence because the Lord uses providence.
There is a difference between God trying and Satan tempting. God improves the metal and brings us forth as gold. Satan maliciously aims at the destruction of the metal.
Notice the word “when.” It is not a question of whether we shall be tried or not, it is only a question of when. As Peter said, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.” (1 Peter 4:14). By this word Peter means that the trials that come to us are not some odd unlikely kind of events. If a trial was like a comet hitting the earth that would be some strange thing. But a trial is like being hit by rain. It rains everyday somewhere and we all get rained on eventually. We don’t think the rain some strange thing. Of course trials are far heavier to endure than rain. I am not saying trials are light, but they are frequent and universal.
While he was tried, he endured, that is he kept doing right and obeying God. He didn’t go off course. He was enabled to do this because he had true faith.
“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” (James 1:12).
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