Genesis 22:2, "Take your son, your only son-yes, Isaac, whom you love so much-and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you."
Years of waiting had gone by for Abraham. He had been promised a son years before, but God's timing wasn't fast. God did follow through with His promise, but He did it in His timing.
Finally, Abraham had the son God had promised him. Finally, he had the son he waited for for years!
Now, though, God told him, "Take your son, your only son-yes, Isaac, whom you love so much-and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you." Genesis 22:2.
I wonder what went through Abraham's mind in that moment. I wonder if he contemplated how Isaac would feel being tied to an altar as the sacrificial lamb. I wonder what he thought about as he tied up his son (whom he had waited for all this time) knowing that he was going to have to kill him.
The Bible doesn't say what went through Abraham's mind. All we read is this:
"The next morning Abraham got up early. He saddled his donkey and took two of his servants with him, along with his son, Isaac. Then he chopped wood for a fire for a burnt offering and set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day of their journey, Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance.
'Stay here with the donkey,' Abraham told the servants. 'The boy and I will travel a little farther. We will worship there, and then we will come right back.'
So Abraham placed the wood for the burnt offering on Isaac's shoulders, while he himself carried the fire and the knife.
As the two of them walked on together, Isaac turned to Abraham and said, 'Father?'
'Yes, my son?' Abraham replied.
'We have the fire and the wood,' the boy said, 'but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?'
'God will provide a sheep for the burnt offering, my son,' Abraham answered. And they both walked on together.
When they arrived at the place where God had told him to go, Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood on it. Then he tied his son, Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood. And Abraham picked up the knife to kill his son as a sacrifice." Genesis 22:3-10.
We don't know what went through Abraham's mind. What we do know is what he chose to do regardless of how he may have felt.
Abraham didn't know what the outcome would be. Abraham didn't know that God would tell him to stop right before he sacrificed Isaac. What Abraham did know was his God. Abraham had learned over the years that he could trust His God even when what God said didn't make sense to him. Abraham loved his son, but He loved God more.
Have you ever had to choose between God and what you wanted?
Recently I was faced with a choice. Recently, I had to choose between obeying God or having things go my way. I had a decision to make.
Thoughts ran through my mind wondering what to do. I contemplated turning my back on God to do what was going to fulfill me in the here and now. I contemplated taking the easy road.
As I thought of this, though, I realized that doing things my way really wasn't going to bring true fulfillment.
I went through turmoil. I went through a lot of internal battles between my flesh and my spirit, but God won out.
God reminded me of His character. God reminded me of why I'm really here. God reminded me of the bigger picture.
When I got my focus off of me, my dreams, my hopes, and even my fears; and I looked up to God, I realized that He is all I need. As I took a step back and realized just how short this life really is, I was reminded that where my treasure is, there my heart will be also.
Did Abraham love his son? Yeah! He loved him deeply! Abraham knew, though, that he couldn't love Isaac more than he loved God.
Tonight, I feel like I had to actually sacrifice what God told me to sacrifice, and I wasn't told "Stop!" like Abraham was. Today, I feel like I really had to lay down the life instead of being brought a lamb. The question is this: Do I still trust God?
Thankfully I know that God really is enough! No matter what else I have in life, as long as I have God, I have everything I need! As long as I have God, I have security that everything is going to be okay no matter what the outcome may be.
What is God asking you to lay down as a sacrifice? Maybe He is asking you to sacrifice the one thing you've waited for for years. I encourage you, though, to give that sacrifice and trust that God will in time bring you a lamb.
Dear Heavenly Father,
As I think about this story of Abraham and Isaac, I think about how difficult this command was. I think about the fact that Abraham had so much love for his son, yet he had even more love for You! Lord, today I feel like I was told to sacrifice my one dream. Today, I feel like I had my promise in the palm of my hand and I was told to lay it down as a sacrifice. Lord, I don't understand, but I do trust You. I trust that even in the most confusing circumstances, You still have a good plan for my life. I trust You, God, to know better than I know myself. I pray my love for You will always be greater than my love for anyone or anything else!