What would you do, I’m speaking to you parents, if God asked you to take your only child, the child you’ve longed to have all the decades you’ve been married and have tried to have a child but couldn’t, and take that child and bring him to a far mountain and sacrifice him to the Lord as a blood sacrifice? Like He asked Abraham in Gen. 22: 1-12
If it was me I think I’d either question my sanity, since God does not have His people do things against His doctrines, i.e., kill your children, or I’d wonder if it was the devil tempting me like Satin did to Charles Manson.
But the Old Testament times were different days, and Abraham had plenty of experience with God telling him to do things like leave his home and go to a land far away where He would make the land a present to him and his posterity. So I guess Abraham recognized his voice.
But, and this is a huge but, God was asking him to sacrifice his only son, the son He promised would be the heir and future of his hopes and his nation! But there is nothing in the text that gives us any insight at all about how he debated or mulled this proposal in his mind. Except that early in the next morning they set of on the journey. In other words, Abraham obeyed God.
But you have to believe he was freaking out inside, right? What father wouldn’t? But consider the relationship Abraham had with God. Think about the faith he had in the Lord. This was not just a casual belief in God. This was not a “Churchianity” like so many of us have today, where we let the impact of the Holy Spirit indwelling us barely register on how we live our lives and deal with our world. This must have been a full walk moment by moment in the knowledge of the Lord to have the faith the Lord “will provide for Himself the lamb” without explicitly being told. He must have known God would never have Abraham harm his son, so he felt completely confident that he could tie up Isaac, lay him on the alter, on top of the wood, and even raise the knife over his head ready to strike! And I feel certain that even if God did not stop him from killing his son, he knew God was able to raise him from the dead, as well. See Heb. Heb. 11:19
I’m not quite sure I’ve got that much faith! But Abraham spent a lot of time following God’s instructions wandering around the Promised Land. Sure he stumbled on occasion, telling some kings his beautiful wife was his sister because he didn’t trust God enough to protect his family. But the magnificent thing about the way Abraham did believe God was that it was absolute. He believed God and God awarded him with Righteousness because of it. Gen. 15:6 Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.
And the great thing about this is that it can happen to every human being in this same way – Jesus called it being Born Again. Just read John chapter 3. John 3:7 “Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.'” When He was talking to a renown Teacher of the Law this Pharisee didn’t realize Jesus was speaking out of that very Law, as He so frequently did to their blindness.
I don’t know if there was tremendous relief in Abraham when God called out to stay his knife and do not harm the boy. Maybe his faith just pegged a notch. Maybe he did break out in a sweat. Who knows. What a phenomenal relationship he had with God, to go through such a blind trail. I sure hope I can fair as well, because I these kinds of pressures don’t let up in these crazy days of ours!
[Scriptures taken from the New American Standard Bible © 1995]