From Genesis 22
1It happened some time later that God put Abraham to the test. “Abraham, Abraham!” he called. “Here I am,” he replied. 2God said, “Take your son, your only son, your beloved Isaac, and … offer him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I shall point out to you.” 9When they arrived at the place which God had indicated to him, Abraham… built an altar…, bound his son …put him on the altar on top of the wood…stretched out his hand and took the knife to kill his son.
11But the angel of Yahweh called to him from heaven…"12Do not harm him, for **now I know **you fear God.
15The angel of Yahweh called Abraham a second time from heaven. 16"I swear by my own self, Yahweh declares, that because you have done this, because you have not refused me your own beloved son, 17I will shower blessings on you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars of heaven and the grains of sand on the seashore. Your descendants will gain possession of the gates of their enemies. 18All nations on earth will bless themselves by your descendants, because you have obeyed my command."
On a straightforward reading of this passage it seems that God “tested” Abraham’s faith and as a result of the test *came to know *Abraham’s faith. I say this based on verse 1 “God put Abraham to the test” and from verse 12 “for now I know you fear God”. This discussion typically arises in the context of justification by faith “alone” and the often appealed to Genesis 16 “Abram put his faith in Yahweh and this was reckoned to him as uprightness (or righteousness). Im interested in hearing some opinions from both C and nonC’s on the meaning of “now I know” as revealed by the angel of the Lord.
Was this merely an angel speaking, and not God?
If so, did the angel promise the blessing which followed and not God?
Is there a sense in which our faith *becomes known *to God through testing?