I’ve always been terribly in awe of Abraham’s faith.
After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I shall tell you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.”
// Genesis 22:1-3
Granted, we’re not all parents. But it’s easy to put this into perspective. Just imagine God has given you your heart’s desire after years of waiting and asking Him for this thing. Maybe it’s a job, a relationship, a travel opportunity, a scholarship, a house, a vacation, fill in the blank. Then imagine shortly after He has given you this thing, He asks you to give it back to Him.
I can’t quite wrap my brain around how painful it must have been for Abraham to receive this command from the Lord. The doubts, the initial confusion and perhaps even anger. God had just asked Abraham to kill his only son, given to him after 100 or so years of waiting. We are not told if Sarah knew about this – if she did not, imagine how much more Abraham was risking by taking his wife’s only son and going to sacrifice him because the Lord told him to.
Yet Abraham trusted the Lord, and he took the necessary action to sacrifice his son as a burnt offering back to God. He obeyed in faith, not seeing why God was doing this, but trusting Him nonetheless.
Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.
When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son.
// Genesis 22:6-10
As he prepared to kill his son, Abraham trusted, was perhaps praying fervently, that God would provide another way. Yet still he continued to obey, even as he waited for some sign from the Lord.
And the Lord came.
But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham! Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.
// Genesis 22:11-14
When God called, Abraham responded in obedience, and as a result of his faith he encountered God in a beautiful and powerful way.
I long to have a faith like Abraham’s, to believe fully that “every good and perfect gift comes from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17). With this truth in my heart, I shall not be afraid when something is taken away from me, or when I am told to wait a little longer. We receive and we sacrifice in God’s perfect timing, knowing that He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). We are reminded that we are His, we are precious in His eyes and honored, and He loves us (Isaiah 43:1-4).
God has provided in the past, He is providing now, and He will continue to provide. It may not always be the provision we expected, but He will always provide for us in ways we never knew we needed. God will provide. We must trust Him.
Song recommendation: “Holy is The Lord (2014 Version)” by Andrew Peterson