“Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.”Genesis 22:2 (NLT)
You’ve heard it said that God works in mysterious ways. While this is a cliche, it is true. In fact God tells us:
“‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the LORD. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.’”Isaiah 55:8–9 (NKJV)
There have been plenty of times in my life when I have been unable to make sense of things. I don’t know what God is up to. I don’t know His will in a situation. All of this leads me to trust the Great One whom I cannot fully comprehend.
Abraham had become a great man of faith. Isaac had grown and was likely now a young man. But one day God asked Abraham to do something that must have been utterly shocking: “Go and sacrifice Isaac as a burnt offering.” Imagine what must have been going through Abraham’s mind. “Why would God wait so long to give me a son and then take him from me? How could God require such a thing? Have I sinned by loving Isaac too much?” But Abraham did not hesitate to obey. Early the next morning, he took two servants and Isaac, saddled his donkey, and went to the land of Moriah.
Why would God ask Abraham to do such a thing?
First, it showed to Abraham (and to us) what God was prepared to do to save us, for everything about this story points to Jesus. On that same mountain God would offer His own Son as the sacrifice for sin.
Second, it tested Abraham’s loyalty and proved his faith. Did he love God more than Isaac? Did he trust God enough to obey Him, even when he didn’t understand why?
God will never ask us to literally sacrifice our child, but He will test our loyalty and prove our faith. Is there anything He is asking you to “put on the altar”? Is there anything He is asking you to sacrifice because of your love for Him? Do not hesitate to submit to Him, and He will certainly bless you for it.
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