From a journal entry of Isaac Ben Abraham
It’s been a strange time for me, that not only challenged my faith but filled me with awe. One night when I was a young lad, my father said he had heard God call him by name. He said he was given specific instructions and we would be leaving in the morning to go on a journey. It was difficult to sleep that night, as I restlessly twisted and turned in my bed. On what mission was God sending us and where were we going?
It seems I had just fallen asleep when father was standing over me, shaking me gently and calling my name. Already his donkey was saddled and two servants were waiting to travel with us. Wood had been chopped and was loaded on the animal.
“Father,” I asked. “Where are we going?”
“The LORD will show us.” Abraham responded.
On the third day of a sixty-mile journey to the land of Mariah, I noticed my father was staring intently at a distant mountain. Soon he stopped and said to the servants, “Stay with the donkey. The boy and I will travel a little further. We will worship there and then we will come right back.” Then father placed the wood for the burnt offering on my shoulders as he carried the fire and the knife.
As we walked together, he was very quiet and in deep thought. “Father?” I asked.
“Yes, my son.” Abraham replied.
“We have the wood and the fire,” I said, “but where is the lamb for the sacrifice?”
“God will provide a lamb, my son.” He answered.
So, we continued on together.
I was feeling a bit confused, but I trusted my father. He knew what he was doing and my responsibility was to obey. Had I known what was coming, maybe I would have run screaming back to the others. Soon, at just the right place, he began to build an altar and to place the wood on it. He then told me to stand still and he tied me up. He laid me on the altar over the wood. I lay there as if in a trance…surly this must be a dream. As I watched, he took his knife and lifted it up to kill me as a sacrifice to the LORD! How could this be happening?
At that moment the angel of the LORD shouted to him from heaven.
Yes,” father answered, “I’m listening.”
“Lay down the knife.” The angel said.
“Do not hurt the boy in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not
withheld even your beloved son from me.”
We looked up and saw a ram caught by its’ horns in a bush above me. So father took the ram and released me. Then he sacrificed it as a burnt offering on the same altar in my place. My father named the site “The Lord Will Provide.”
Again the angel of the LORD called to my father from heaven
“This is what the LORD says: Because you have obeyed me…I swear by my own self that I will bless you richly. I will multiply your descendants…They will conquer their enemies, and through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed—all because you obeyed me.”
Then we returned to the waiting servants and donkey and began our trek home.
I’ve thought often about what had transpired in that place. Once I even asked him how he could have offered me as a sacrifice. He responded, “You were the child of promise and I knew that if your life was taken, God would raise you up again.”
I’ve also come to understand that tests and trials are God’s way of ascertaining and examining the quality, value and character of his children. And God don’t make no junk!
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