Discussion on Hebrews 11:9-10
Great indeed was the faith of Abraham ... it was necessary to go beyond human reasoning ... to manifest also something more. For what was of God seemed to be opposed to what was of God; and faith opposed to faith, and command promise. I mean this:
He had said, 'Get out of your country and from your kinred, and I will give you this land' (Gen 12:1-7) Do you see how what was done was opposed to the promise? Again He said, 'In Isaac shall your seed be called' (Gen 21:12) and he believed: and again He says, Sacrifice to Me this one, who was to fill all the world from his seed. You see the opposition between the commands the and promise? He enjoined things that were in contradiction to the promises, and yet not even so did the righteous man stagger, nor say he had been deceived. For you indeed ... he promised rest and gave tribulation ... And he shows another thing too by saying 'God tempted Abraham' (Gen 22:1).
What then? Did not God know that the man was noble and approved? Why then did he tempt him? Not that He might Himself learn, but that He might show others, and make his fortitude manifest to all. And here also He shows the cause of trials, that they may not suppose they suffer these things as being forsaken of God.
St John Chrysostom. Homily XXV on Hebrews XI.