In session 13, I spoke about divine testing. Perhaps the most memorable test in all Scripture is God’s request of Abraham.

After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, ‘Abraham!’

And he said, ‘Here I am.’

He said, ‘Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.’

Genesis 22:1–2 ESV

Abraham passed this assay of God with top marks. However in other instances—notably in going to a foreign country and failing to trust God to protect him if he actually revealed Sarah was his wife—he couldn’t pass even with a second chance. This failure set the scene for Isaac to have another shot at an almost identical test, but he was no better.

Threshold testing is designed to reveal the true state of our heart. The choices we make determine whether or not we enter our destiny and, sometimes, if we keep it.  It was only after Abraham proved himself willing to offer Isaac—only after he showed that his identity was in God, not in his destiny as the father of a multitude—that God turned His conditional promise of descendants as uncountable as the stars into an unconditional oath.

The most difficult part of such testing is God’s silence. But a true test, such as that faced by Adam and Eve, requires God to be absent. Lest He unduly influence the choice. King Hezekiah, having been miraculously healed, faced such a challenge:

So when ambassadors of the rulers of Babylon were sent to him to inquire about the wonder that had happened in the land, God left him alone to test him, that He might know all that was in Hezekiah’s heart.

2 Chronicles 32:31 BSB

Hezekiah, despite being one of the ‘good’ kings, shows the hidden darkness of his heart when it’s revealed to him through Isaiah’s prophecy that his descendants will be enslaved eunuchs in Babylon.

This message you have given me from the Lord is good.’ For the king was thinking, ‘At least there will be peace and security during my lifetime.’

Isaiah 39:8 NLT

God had shown Hezekiah compassion when he pleaded for his life, but he wasn’t able to feel it for his descendants.

It’s normal for us to fail the tests God sets us. Like Adam and Eve, we’re apt to slink away in shame—and, when confronted, we tend to blame God for whatever went wrong. We accuse Him of not being there and not intervening to warn us about the tempter’s lies. We feel disillusioned, even angry, He didn’t help us when we needed Him most. We project our disappointment in ourselves for not passing onto Him.

God doesn’t punish us by testing us, but shows us great mercy. He is, in fact, pro-actively saving us from ourselves.

This is Grace Drops and I’m Anne Hamilton. May the Lord of Immeasurable Mercy bless you today.

Thank you to Lorna Skinner of for the background music.