March 19, 2009


I read Abraham's story again today. Ol' Abe, what a guy. Not only did he obey God, but he did it promptly and without questioning. He didn't ask why. He didn't dilly-dally around hoping God would change his mind. He didn't whine and cry about it. For three days Abraham traveled knowing what he was headed to do. THREE DAYS! But not once did he turn around, not once in those very long days did he chicken out and decide he couldn't do it. And I find it interesting that Abraham asked his servants to stay behind while he and Isaac went to the sacrificial spot. Surely he knew those men would not understand and would try to stop him. They would probably think he was a crazy old kook! So Abraham very intentionally left behind the things that might keep him from obeying God's command.

I do not by any stretch of the imagination believe this was easy for Abraham. If it were easy, it would not have been God's test of ultimate sacrifice. I can't even imagine the heartache and turmoil he must have endured, the countless times he must have wanted to cry out to God in question or plead for his son's life. But he didn't. He did nothing but trust and obey.

How can I be so faithful a servant? How can I obey? How can I stay the course? What am I being asked to sacrifice?

Abraham Tested
Genesis 22:1-14

1 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, "Abraham!"
"Here I am," he replied.
2 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 mountains I will tell you about."

3 Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled 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. 4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5 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."

6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, 7 Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, "Father?"
"Yes, my son?" Abraham replied.
"The fire and wood are here," Isaac said, "but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?"

8 Abraham answered, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." And the two of them went on together.

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. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!"
"Here I am," he replied.

12 "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."

13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided."

And because Abraham obeyed, God chose him, a man who was willing to sacrifice his only begotten son, to be the earthly father of His people. "and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me." (Gen. 22:18)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16


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