from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD
Read Genesis 22:1-19
I am deeply challenged by the faith of Abraham. What raced through his mind when God told him to offer Isaac as a burnt offering? What filled his thoughts and emotions?
- Surely he thought of his son’s face, his eyes, his mannerisms; how he looked when he slept; his simple, unquestioning trust in his father.
- How could he possibly tell Sarah? She had endured so much for so long to finally get this child as a precious gift from God. How could he take Isaac from her?
- Without Isaac, how could God ever fulfill His promise to make his descendants as the sands of the sea?
- How could he do it? How could he plunge the knife into his son’s chest? How could he light his body on fire?
But Abraham didn’t let his own fears or desires stop his obedience to God. He didn’t let the concerns of those around him affect his decision. Whether he understood or not, He would obey Almighty God because he feared Him and trusted Him.
By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death. (Hebrews 11:17-19, NIV)
For all of us, our greatest testing comes from those blessings that are dearest to us. In fact, it seems that every new blessing from God comes with new challenges as well. Those challenges are part of the blessing, for they exercise our faith. That faith is the substance of our relationship with the unseen God, and that relationship is the most precious gift in all creation. Our loving Father will do anything to strengthen His bond with us and draw us closer to Himself.
God stopped Abraham’s sacrifice at the last moment. It became only a foreshadowing, a dress rehearsal for another Father who would sacrifice His only Son on a nearby hill centuries later.