1.Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”…
9. When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. 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. But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. “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 22:1-12
As I read the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit gave revelations of details I had not noticed before.
- Perhaps the most striking was Abraham’s timeline. The Bible did not say what time of day God spoke to Abraham, but it says that he got up “early the next morning” and started his preparation.
- The next thing that crossed my mind, was that Isaac was a strong, young man. He likely had more physical strength than his father. Why did he allow himself to be bound and laid on an altar, knowing what happens on an altar?
- The third thing He revealed to me was that Abraham went away from his servants. He asked them to mind the donkeys, then he went off to be with his son…
- The fourth thing was that Abraham was keen to hear God’s voice despite all the thoughts he may have been having at that time.
If God calls me at midnight and asks me to hand over something I have no use of, or wanted to get rid of, I would likely immediately rise and give it to Him. I do not know that I would rise “early the next morning” to give Him what seemed the dearest thing on earth to me. Still, Abraham trusted God to unfold a plan known only to Him.
The sermons I have heard on this passage have all focused on Abraham’s faith. What of Isaac? Why did he not try to break free and escape? Something tells me that Isaac likely believed because he saw his father’s faith. He likely would have heard the story how God opened Sarah’s womb and gave her a gift. He trusted his father’s word even to the last second and lived to see God’s deliverance fulfilled in his own life.
Abraham walked away from his servants. They had journeyed together for three days, but he left them behind at the crucial moment. What is the request God has made of you? Are you ready to leave close relationships behind so you can draw closer to Him? Joseph shared his dreams with those who didn’t get it and that landed him in a pit. Not everyone will understand the command He has given to you. Be careful to step away, if needed, when you seek to fulfill His will, lest others try to talk you out of it.
Abraham heard from God at the eleventh hour… Sometimes it seems as though we wait and wait and nothing happens. He is still there and still speaking. May our hearts and ears be attentive to His voice even in the midst of what we are facing.
The same God who provided a substitute for Isaac is able to deliver you from whatever you face. Keep your mind and heart on Him.
Personal Application: Today I will ask Him to examine my life and see what living or dead sacrifice I need to lay on His altar.
Inventory/ Introspection: What good is my word? When I say I trust God to do the impossible, do I really believe it? Will those around me be able to know God through the way I live?
Father, I do not look forward to the things that stretch me physically or spiritually, but I know they are necessary for my growth. I do not always go as a willing sacrifice, but I pray You will break my will until I become what You want me to be.
I pray that my heart will be willing to rise early to the requests that you make of me and that I will be willing to trust You and not doubt. All I have was given by Your hands. I would rather not hang onto anything You ask me to give up.
Help me to discern your voice above all others, and that, if necessary, I will walk away from what is nearest and dearest so that Your perfect plans can be fulfilled.
I am thankful for the relationships and material possessions You place in my life to help me over the difficult patches. Help me to trust that You will take care of what You ask me to lay on the altar, and that I would not fight Your purpose.
May Your name be glorified.
Except where indicated, Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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