1 ¶ And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. 2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
The word tempt is carefully defined in the Bible based on the context. It means to provoke when used of man tempting God. This is clear in the word’s usage in many verses talking about how mankind angers God thereby incurring His wrath.
Psalm 78:56 Yet they tempted and provoked the most high God, and kept not his testimonies:
It also means to prove or to test to see if a promise or the power of God is real, to put God to the test.
Psalm 95:9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.
With regard to God tempting man it is about a test, proving man’s faith or faithlessness, with God already knowing the answer but the person learning the lesson, the reality of his own faith. It is a test or proving something as in proving a sword to make sure it is properly sharpened or strong.
Here, Abraham’s faith was tried, proved, or tested.
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,
Now, God never tempts, tests, tries, or proves His people with the express purpose of making them fall. That is what Satan does. Notice the phrasing of the following verse in James.
James 1:13 ¶ Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
The key phrase here, which defines the verse, is tempted with evil. As God is the standard of all good an evil it is an impossibility for you to provoke Him to go against His own will. And, God, never tempts you, if you are His, to do evil. He proves your faith. If a temptation specifically regarding your faith confronts you by His permissive will He will provide an escape.
1Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
The context of that verse in 1Corinthians is idolatry, not refraining from drinking a beer or smoking a cigarette although you might make it so.
The key question for a Christian has to do with whether or not you are willing to die for Christ. This is the main question for believers all through the final book of Revelation. You say you believe and you say you trust in Christ but when persecution comes, are you assured enough in your trust to die for Christ?
Revelation 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
The one that overcomes is the one that holds that Christ is and was God in the flesh to the very end.
1John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
And there are great things awaiting that one that overcomes the world. Read Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21 & 21:7.
This is very relevant here, because as we believe in Christ’s resurrection and in our resurrection because of His, so Abraham, too, believed in a resurrection and was able to overcome at the order to offer up his son of promise because of that faith.
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, 18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: 19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.
He believed God’s promise that in Isaac his seed should be called and believed that God would raise him from the dead. So, the willingness to offer Isaac up and God’s order not to go through with it, which we will see, is a type, a figure, of death and resurrection. Abraham will receive his son back in a type and literally.