Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountaintops I will tell you about.”
Would God ever ask us to do something wrong? Of course not but He will test us to confirm the strength of our faith and commitment to Him. The story of Abraham and the sacrifice of Isaac is such an incredible story of faith and trust in God. As a mother of five I often wonder if my faith could withstand the same testing.
God commanded Isaac to sacrifice his one and only beloved son. In order to understand God’s test of Abraham we have to know that the promises of God to Abraham would be specifically fulfilled through Isaac.
Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.”
But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your maidservant. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.
The reason for this command was so that Abraham could demonstrate his faith and trust in God completely. God of course already knew that Abraham had faith in Him, but it was necessary for Abraham to prove it through the very act of faith. Through his actions, “His faith was made complete by what he did” (James 2:21-23 ) because not only God, but Abraham, his family and his future generations knew that he trusted God. This trust was important because it showed that Abraham’s relationship with God was one of obedience and faith.
Abraham’s obedience through this whole ordeal never ceases to amaze me. He loads up his donkeys, gathers some servants, gets Isaac and they begin their journey to the mountaintop. Not once along the way do we hear of Abraham bargaining with God trying to find a way out of what God has commanded him to do. I believe that he agonized over what God was telling him to do just like any parent would. He clearly could not have wanted to sacrifice his son, but because of his faith in God, he had the peace of knowing that God would provide. He states more than once that “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering”. (Genesis 22:8) I believe that Abraham probably thought that God would bring Isaac back to life once he sacrificed him. Abraham knew that his son would not be gone forever because he knew the promises that God had made to him. He knew that God would be faithful in those promises.
Imagine living a life where you never questioned what God did because you so trusted the plan He had laid out for your life. What a peace there would be in our daily living. Abraham never faltered. He prepared the altar with the help of Isaac and then he “bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.”(Genesis 22:9-10) Wow. He did not hesitate but totally trusted God to be faithful. Think of the emotions that flooded his mind as he is laying his only son on the altar. Can we say that our faith is that strong? Do we trust God that completely? Do we trust Him with the lives of our own children? It is such an incredible picture of obedience when you are talking about the sacrifice of your child and the one you waited for 100 years at that!
As Abraham raises the knife above Isaac, he hears an angel of the Lord call out his name, and he answers with “Here I am”. In the middle of this emotional act, he hears this angel and is able to answer. The angel says “do not lay a hand on the boy”, he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” (Genesis 22:12) Abraham looks up and in a thicket, sees a ram that he then sacrifices in his sons place. Once again, the Lord provided. Abraham was obedient and God provided the sacrifice. He was faithful just as He promised and because Abraham did not withhold his son, God promised that He would bless him and make his descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky. Because Abraham obeyed, God promised that all nations would be blessed. WOW!!
What blessings are we missing because of our lack of obedience and faith? When we try to live life on our own accord and merit, we are missing a life full of blessings from the One who has it all written and planned out to the very number of hairs on our head. In order to know the abundance of His blessings, we must put our full faith and trust in Him and turn over every aspect of our lives to Him.
“Father, help me to relinquish the hold I have over my own life, the lives of my children and the things that I do. Let me not doubt when you speak or move in my life. Make me Your servant, righteous and faithful, ready to say “Here I am” when You call.”
Written by Nicole