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When Unexpected Tests Rattle Our World, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
October 12, 2022 7:05 am

When Unexpected Tests Rattle Our World, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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October 12, 2022 7:05 am

Clinging to Hope


The biggest struggles in life seem to show up when we least expect them noticed.

Without warning, the doctor finds a suspicious lump or one of your children announces out of the blue that he's chosen an alternative lifestyle today on Insight for living Chuck Swindoll turns to the Old Testament to recount a dramatic story about a man and his son, the unthinkable happened in their response to a crisis provides a model for anyone who is reeling from an unwanted surprise, Chuck titled today's message when unexpected tests rattle our God's word together in Genesis chapter 22 you have a Bible, please turn to the first book chapter 22. I'll reinforce the first 14 verses I'll be reading from the new living translation.

Yours will perhaps read a little differently but basically it's the same.

This is just a little more simple to listen to for those who come without a Bible. So Genesis 22 beginning at verse one.

Because of our respect for God's word and the God of the word may we stand together for the reading sometime later God tested Abraham's faith Abraham, God called yes, he replied, here I am, take your son, your only son. Yes, Isaac, who you love so much and go to the land of Mori going to sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I will show you the next morning Abraham got up early, he saddled his donkey took two of his servants with him along with his son Isaac. Then he chop wood for a fire for a burnt offering and set out for the place God told him about on the third day of their journey. Abraham looked up and saw the police in the distance, stay here with the donkey. Abraham told the servants the boys and I will travel a little farther, we will worship their and then we will come right back. So Abraham placed the wood for the burnt offering on Isaac's shoulders while he himself carried the fire and the knife as the two of them walked on together. Isaac turned to Abraham and said father yes my son, Abraham replied, oh, we have the fire and the wood but where is the sheep for the burnt offering, God will provide a sheep for the burnt offering, my son. Abraham answered and they both walked on together. When they arrived at the place where God had told him to go. Abraham built an altar and arrange the wood on it.

Then he tied his son Isaac and laid him on the altar on top of the wood and Abraham picked up the knife to kill his son as a sacrifice. At that moment the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, Abraham, Abraham, yes Abraham replied here I am totally a hand on the boy. The angel said do not hurt him in any way. For now, I know that you truly fear God, you have not withheld from me. Even your son, your only son. Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a thick so he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering in place of his son, Abraham named the place. Yahweh unit, which means the Lord will provide to this day people still use that name as a proverb on the mountain of the Lord. It will be provided to study the Bible with Chuck Swindoll. Be sure to download his searching the Scriptures. Studies by going to and now the message from Chuck titled when unexpected tests rattle our world.

I want to begin with several statements regarding epochal moments, nobody expected. I never brought the series before, though I have spoken often on the individuals involved at this particular series is designed to take us to a place where no one at that particular time in the story even imagined it would happen something so extreme, so extraordinary, so unexpected. What occurred must've taken their breath away. You will be a somewhat serious series in that epochal moments are like that. Not only are they unexpected their unprecedented so there is no way we can be prepared for them specifically because when they come often.

They cut our legs out from under us the moment they happen. We can't imagine anything could ever coming from them. It looks as though the time, all is lost. Now why would I speak on the subject like this actually three reasons came to my mind when I was preparing. The first is more epochal events await us, even in this lifetime, because we would not expect them. They will be a surprise. More on that later. Second, even today, you would never imagine the things that could happen you can sit there and try hard to do so. But the plan of God is so incredible. You would never guess what he has in mind. Third, each story will remind us that God has his way in life's storms and shocking moments when we are so stunned in disbelief. Nothing of God is surprised or at a loss. Knowing what to do.

As a matter of fact, his plan is unfolding perfectly.

There are no surprises in heaven now, unfortunately, you and I most of us, or rather familiar with each of these epochal moments. So some of the suspense is gone, so we must rely on our imagination as we returned to those ancient days when these things occurred to enter into the world. The person in question was going through. Unfortunately, we also know the outcome. I say unfortunately because when that outcome is a result of an event like that. And God is infinite, it is always so great you could never be expected that.

But we know both ends. However, I beg of you during our time in these messages try to enter into the story as if for the first time try to put yourself in the sandals of the individual in question. To begin with an older man will be on 100 years of age, named Abraham, who by now has a son, probably in his mid-18 or older use.

I've seen pictures of the setting, and invariably, it's a picture of an old man holding the hand of a little boy but if I read the story correctly that the firewood was placed on the shoulders of the boy he certainly was no little boy. He's old enough to carry a pile of firewood on the shoulders. I suggest he is now 1618. Perhaps early 20 years of age, which means it the old man is 115, 18, perhaps 120 or more.

God graciously fulfill his promise to Abraham and his wife Sarah a chain-link in their lives, but he fulfilled it.

He had told them you will have a son. You two will have a son. When the child was born, Abraham was 100, which means Sarah was 90. Genesis 21 five tells us Abraham's agent at the birth of Isaac.

Such a surprise was that they laughed when they were told they would have a child. They named him just sound like a sleaze doesn't have it. It literally means laughter or he laughs, but there was no laughing matter about Isaac. It would be through this son that the nations of the earth would be blessed.

This was a child of promise, not only did he mean much to Abraham because of Abraham's age, but he was the fulfillment of the wonderful promise of God, so their lives became inseparable. The affection, the intense love between father and son cannot be put into words, not just an old man loving a little baby. This is a son of promise finally arrives. However, all the way through the life of Abraham's faith is tested, he must rely on God when he leaves and sets out for a land that God would show him he must rely on God during days of warfare, as well as dealing with a lot in all of those crazy days related to Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham all over the years is being reminded again and again that God will give him a son he will give him a son. A decade past two decades past. On their way to three decades before God finally said you'll now have a son. Abraham had waited in faith, trusting in his God, and along came the boy. The child of promise were not given many conversations between father and son but you can be sure they were intimate and they were endearing that dad love that boy out of the blue with no time to prepare, not even having had a premonition that such would occur.

God broke the silence and spoke to Abraham and the epochal event was initiated. We are told why.

But Abraham is not the reader is given insight into this test but not even Abraham is given all Abraham goes is the command to sacrifice his son were told why. At the very beginning of the 22nd chapter of Genesis, God tested Abraham's faith. It wasn't a test between the love of a father and a son. It was a test of faith between a man and his God. God came to the place where he needed to have proof or he chose to have proof of Abraham's faith in him with his faith in me be greater that his love for his boy. God chose to put it to the test in an epochal event that is unthinkable and in fact it is unprecedented. Read it for yourself, Abraham, Abraham, God called yes, he replied, here I am, he did not know what God was going to say next. Please don't rush ahead. He has no idea why God calls to him out of the blue. Here I am, take your son Isaac, whom you love so much and go to the land of Moriah go and sacrifice him as an old.

The Hebrew word means a whole burnt offering. If it were of an animal that would be from the smell.

All the way to the end of its tail.

Every part of the animal was to be consumed in the fire.

That's the word used offering him as a whole burnt offering on one of the mountains which I will show you, doesn't even tell him which mountain it. That's all. Abraham knows that command is an ethical moment. No one expected, least of all hundred and 15-year-old or more. Father, who adores his son at the risk of being the overly literal I want you to enter into what the sacrifice meant Isaac was to be tied up. The wood was to be stacked on and all as an altar. Isaac was to be laid on top of the altar. His throat was to be slit like the throat of an animal. The fire was to be that the torch was to be put under the wood. Isaac would be consumed in fire as an offering.

Like he had been an animal Abraham.

It often sacrifice animals that wasn't anything new.

This is unbelievable before I go further, you must put yourself in play in the place of Abraham.

What would be your response.

He's not told it on testing your faith, he simply told take Isaac and sacrificing I find here are three responses in the verses that follow. The first response is immediate notice in verse three. The next morning Abraham got up early this nothing said about the night before were not told of any complaining any pleading bargaining discussion with God in prayer were not told of any wrestling any reluctance were told only got up early. He got up early settlers donkey took two of her service with him along with his son Isaac probably had to awaken Isaac. There was no clinging there is no clutching. There was no crying he awakens Isaac come with me Isaac gets up comes along with his father. The test continues. There are no words of explanation in the narrative. There was no dialogue until later.

The second thing I notice about the response. It is based on faith alone. He chop the wood he got the torch he set out for the place God had told him to go. It was a long ways away three days journey along the way and it's all based on faith in his God. Abraham you that his God has never done anything wrong. Nor would he ever be cruel, though he will be filled with mystery and surprise you. Remember that if you're clinging to something and you cannot figure out why you can't hang on to it because it is slipping from you.

Abraham knows it's only a matter of time before his son will literally go up in smoke. There was no hesitation. Please observe the first one to break the silence, is the son Isaac on the third day of their journey. Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance, stay here with the donkey.

Abraham drove a servant. The boy and I will travel little farther. Please read carefully the next words we will worship their and then we will come right back.

When you observe what he calls the sacrifice worship and we also notice the pronoun in the return not, I will come back, but we will come back he was told to sacrifice his son but he says we are going to worship and we will return. How could he do it.

It's called we will worship we will return many of us are familiar with this dramatic scene in the Old Testament when Abraham offered his son Isaac as a sacrifice. But most of us haven't heard the story told quite like this. Let me urge you to keep listening as Chuck Swindoll continues his message called clinging to hope when unexpected tests rattle our world you're listening to Insight for living. To learn more about this ministry, we invite you to visit us right now are pleased to offer Chuck's brand-new book is the one that complements this teaching series. It's called clinging to hope. The subtitle gives you an idea of what you can expect to read what Scripture says about weathering times of trouble, chaos and calamity will obviously were living in chaotic times.

It's hard to watch the news without feeling our emotions rise in this book brings us back to the solid foundation of God's timeless word you see the chaos in our world may seem like a new phenomenon, but there's really nothing new under the sun, and Chuck helps us view our disappointments, our setbacks and the scandals that shock us through the comforting lens of Scripture again. Chuck's new book is called, clinging to hope you can purchase a copy right now by going to by calling us if you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888. These daily programs that are many other Bible study resources are made possible through voluntary donations from people like you were especially grateful for those who get on a monthly basis as a monthly companion through their consistent giving our monthly companions are helping countless listeners around the world who may not be in a position to give regularly to become a monthly companion today. Thomas if you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888 or to give a donation online, go to companion.

You've heard him teach about the holy land using word pictures to make us feel like were actually strolling through the old city learning about Jerusalem is fascinating for sure but see the land of Israel with your own is his life-changing.

In fact, is absolutely magnificent. And now you can see Israel with Chuck Swindoll and the gracious hosts and experts assembled by Insight for living ministries.

Join us on an unforgettable 12 day tour March 5 to the 16th 2023 at special sites along the way, I will teach from God's word will worship at the Mount of Beatitudes and share the Lord's table at the garden to in fact will sale the Sea of Galilee together and will visit places where Jesus walked and talked to learn more, call 1-888-447-0444. Just imagine walking along the sacred sites and seeing the Bible come to life before your very eyes. Mark your calendar for March 5 through the 16th 2023 and make your reservation by calling 1-888-447-0444 or go to Insight for living ministries toward Israel is paid for and made possible by only those who choose to attend my bill Meyer join us. When Chuck Swindoll explains what to do when unexpected tests rattle our world.

That's Thursday on Insight for living.

The preceding message when unexpected tests rattle our world was copyrighted in 2019 and 2022 and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2022 by Charles R. Swindoll. All rights are reserved. Will blind duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited

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