Gen 22:1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.
Gen 22:2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
Gen 22:3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.
Gen 22:4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.
Gen 22:5 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.
Gen 22:6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.
Gen 22:7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
Gen 22:8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
Gen 22:9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.
Gen 22:10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
This chapter is tied to the last. Abraham had been told by God to send his other “loved” son away from the family, and now he was being directed to sacrifice his son who had been promised to him for 25 years.
What must he have been thinking?
Did he really believe that they both would return to their servants?
I think he did. After all, Isaac had been the son of promise. Surely, if God had given him a son after 25 years of waiting, then He would not have taken him away or he might have believed that God would bring his son back to life if he had followed through with what he had been called to do.
Yet verse 1 tells us that God tempted Abraham, or better yet, tested him.
Perhaps Abraham needed a reminder of how far God had brought him in his walk of faith.
He had stumbled at first, trying to help God bring His promise to light.
He had sent his nephew Lot away, he had also sent his other son away, and now he was being called upon to do something that as a father, I couldn’t begin to contemplate.
He had also acted in a manner that I wish to emulate.
- He was more courageous in his walk.
He had shown much more courage in his dealings with others.
This probably had to do with the birth of Isaac, and the renewal of his understanding that God was with him.
- He had more faith in his prayer life.
When God told him what to do, in a vision or a dream in the night, he rose early, without seeking council, and he set out to do what he was called to do.
- He had more belief in the Word of God.
He knew that Isaac was his promised son, and that God was going to bless the world through his son.
Yet, was he now trusting in the promise of God more than the Promiser?
We can do that sometimes. We can also put other things before the One who gives them to us, even blessings and we begin to place them where they should not be.
I knew someone once, who had been blessed by the Lord with a good bit of money. They had also accumulated a lot of “stuff.” Eventually, the money went away and they were, for the most part broke, or a lot less financially sound as they once were. This person couldn’t pay rent or buy groceries, but they had a storage shed filled with nice furniture and other things that, if sold, would have probably helped them financially for a long time.
The problem for them was, in their mind, selling all of these “blessings” from God would have been wrong.
What do you think God wanted them to do?
Where was faith?
In God or in the “stuff?”
Have you had a similar situation?
I know I have.
We can feel it is our responsibility to bring the promise to pass, just like Abraham did, and we forget that the One who made us the Promise can take care of it without our help.
We need to remember that all of this material “stuff” no matter how good it is, or if it has been a blessing from God, is temporary, and we need to focus on the One who gives.
Money, things, life, are all temporary and what matter is what and how we react when we are called by God to give them up if need be, because our hope should be in only One.