Then God said " Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love. Then bring him to the mount of Moriah, and sacrifice him there, as a burnt offering".Vs 6. "And Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering, and placed it on his son Isaac". Vs 7. "The fire and the wood are here, said Isaac. But where is the lamb for the burnt offering ?".Vs 8. "The Lord Himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son".
I read this account for seemingly the hundredth time, one of Scriptures most compelling stories. But this time I thought for a moment, confounded by its ramifications. I imagined what it might be like for me to be commanded by God to take my daughter and put her life on the line; to slaughter her as a burnt offering to God, an overwhelming consideration. Even when juxtaposing this Biblical scenario with current situations that may harm my children under any possible circumstance, pales in comparison to the audacity of what Abraham faced. The Word says that God will never ask us to do something that we are incapable of doing. ( 1 Corinthians 10:13 ). The fact that God told Abraham to do the unthinkable, is a testament to Abrahams commitment to obedience. And more significantly, the incredible confidence that God had in Abraham. *. *. *.
Young Isaac had been asked to do something that was not uncommon to him. It was certainly not the first time that he and his father Abraham, had gone deep into the mountains to offer a lamb as a burnt offering to God. Isaac was young but not naive and certainly not stupid. He would have realized that there was no lamb the minute they left the property without one. But it wasn't until Abraham handed him the wood to carry that Isaac finally spoke up. Abrahams response bordered on deception excepting what was truly in his heart. For at that moment he could have been nothing but convinced that his son Isaac was destined to be bound and placed on the makeshift altar.
But that was not Abrahams focus.
His beloved son whom he surely doted on, a child maybe 15 years old, was not the centerpiece of his motivation:Obedience was.
Obedience to God always pays off, whether here on earth, or later in eternity. Until the birth of Isaac, Abraham and his wife Sarah, had been unable to bear children with the exception of Isaac. Ultimately God rewarded Abraham with the honor of being the father of all the coming generations.
* *. *. *Obedience is the Believers greatest challenge; belief our greatest gift.
We don't necessarily choose to believe. But we most certainly choose to be obedient. The story of Isaac employs 2 fathers, Father God and Father Abraham.
But it only employs one son, the beloved Isaac. Young Isaac is presumed to be 11 -15 years old according to most historians. On the other hand, Abraham was more than a hundred years old when Isaac was born. ( Genesis 21:8 ). It doesn't take mathematical ingenuity to conclude that Abraham was at least 110 years old, when God told him to sacrifice his son. Isaac would surely have been a a very robust youngster, considerably stronger and more agile than his aging father. But still there Isaac lay, bound upon the altar. Scripture records no struggle or defiance on Isaacs part. He doesn't question his father, and ultimately more significant, doesn't question the Lord, whom his father had said would provide a living sacrifice.Isaac would have been laid on the cold base of the makeshift altar, bound and hopeless, while he awaited his certain death. But he doesn't ask 'why'. He doesn't challenge his father physically, in an effort to save his own life. Even as the knife was raised above him, preparing to strike his flesh, Isaac was silent, acceptant of his fate. But why?
There is no record of Abraham having explained himself to Isaac. And what could he have said? *. *. *. Here Isaac becomes the sacrifice. At a young age, and by the grace of God, Abrahams life obedience is seemingly visited upon his son. Isaac held an unwavering respect for his dad. That respect was borne of his fathers obedience. And now Isaac in the tradition of his father, would lie there prepared to die and offer no resistance. Instead he trusted his father knowing that whatever his father asked him to do, would ultimately be in his own best interest.
* *. *. There are untold benefits, even miracles, that are at our virtual fingertips, a by-product of our relationship with The Father.
And they are hindered only by a lack of obedience, to The One that is the Author of our success as Believers.