Would God Ever Ask Us to Do Wrong?



(Genesis 22:2)

No. But he might push to the limit our ability to trust him. The first words of this chapter — “Some time later God tested Abraham” — suggest that God never really intended the sacrifice of Isaac to take place. The point was the test: Did Abraham really trust God?

We are shocked by this situation today because we know the Bible’s strong commands against child sacrifice (see Lev 20:1 – 5; 2Ki 23:10; Jer 32:35). That’s what pagan gods demanded, not the holy God of Israel.

Because the Biblical laws against child sacrifice came later, we can’t be sure what Abraham understood about the practice. Even so, God had shaped Abraham’s values. This request would not have been consistent with God’s character as Abraham had come to know him to this point, so perhaps Abraham was confused by the nature of God’s command. But even though God commanded Abraham to sacrifice the son promised to him, the writer of Hebrews states that “Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead” (Heb 11:19). The laughter of disbelief when Abraham had been promised a son with his aged wife had become a firm confidence in the God who had made — and kept — that promise.

God’s command was harsh (even for the ancients). But Abraham believed God would fulfill his promise through Isaac. It makes us ask ourselves, will we entrust our futures unreservedly to the God Abraham trusted?

Taken from NIV Starting Place Study Bible


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The Power of Prayer


By Shirley Dobson

“The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:16

I’ll never forget the evening that Jim and I, exhausted after a long day, collapsed into bed without completing our usual practice of praying about many things, but especially for our children. We were almost asleep when I remembered.

“Jim,” I said, “we haven’t prayed for our kids yet today. Don’t you think we should talk to the Lord?”

It wasn’t easy, but we crawled out of bed, got on our knees, and offered yet another prayer for our children’s well‐being.

Later we learned that at the exact moment we were praying, a strange‐looking man sought by the police tried to get into the parked car where our daughter, Danae, and a girlfriend were sharing a fast‐food meal. By the grace of God, the door was locked, and Danae was able to start the car quickly and escape.

Never underestimate the power of prayer. When your petition is also for God’s will, it will bring you closer to the heavenly Father, who loves you unconditionally.

Just between us…

  • Can you share a personal example of the power of prayer?
  • As a couple, do we usually rely on prayer and God’s power, or do we usually try to solve our problems ourselves?
  • Who among our friends and family needs prayer right now?
  • How can I pray for you tonight?

Lord, thank You for the awesome power You make available to us through prayer. May all our requests honor You and help release Your best in our relationship. Amen.

  • From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

Anytime, Anywhere


When I called, you answered me. Psalm 138:3

One rainy night, I (SMD) was alone and working in the kitchen. I suddenly had a strong urge to pray for my daughter, Danae, who was out with a friend. At first I ignored the impression, but it was so intense that I put down what I was doing and prayed right then for Danae’s safety, calling for a legion of angels to protect her.

A while later, a policeman came to our home and told me that Danae and her friend had been in an accident on a mountain road. The car she was driving had hit a slick mixture of oil and gravel and flipped over, sliding on its top within a few feet of a five-hundred-foot precipice—a sheer drop-off with no guardrail. Both Danae and her friend suffered minor injuries, but neither was seriously hurt. I am so thankful that I heeded that urge to pray—I can still picture those angels, standing wing tip to wing tip, providing a safe guardrail.

The Lord wants us to “pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). If you or anyone in your family feels even the slightest nudge to pray, I encourage you to set aside what you are doing and start talking to God—anytime, anywhere! The power of prayer is only effective when we use it.

Before you say good night…

Are you ready to pray anytime you feel a heavenly nudge?

Have you ever felt specifically prompted by God to pray? What happened?

Do you understand that “arrow prayers” can be sent without uttering even a word and that they are heard and received in heaven?

Dear Lord, thank You for Your love for us, Your interest in even the small details that make up our days, and Your desire to protect us from harm. Enable us to be ready to heed Your call to prayer, anytime, anywhere. Amen.

  • From Night Light For Parents, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.