“By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.” Hebrews 11:17-19
What joy there was when Isaac was born to Abraham and Sarah. The long years of waiting had been worth it all and now God had kept His promise. They watched him grow into a toddler and eventually a teenager. He was their pride and joy. They looked forward to the future when he would have a family of his own and they would begin to understand fully God’s promise.
Then, unexpectedly, God appeared to Abraham with another strange request. There were probably questions in Abraham’s mind about what God was asking. How could God ask him to take his beloved son and offer him as a sacrifice? Surely, he had heard wrong. But because of his life-long faith and trust in God, he prepared for the journey to the mountain God had shown him.
Abraham’s heart must have been heavy as they journeyed. At the base of the mountains, he left his servants, telling them to wait because he and Isaac were going up the mountain and worship. His faith stands strong as he tells them, “We will come again.” He had complete trust that if God allowed him to sacrifice his son, He would raise him again. How else could the promises of a great nation ever happen?
Picture the scene on the mountain as Abraham binds his son and places him on the altar. Abraham was old, and Isaac was young. No doubt he could have overpowered his father easily. But he submitted. What a picture of Christ surrendering to death on the cross!
God was testing Abraham, knowing that he would pass the test. At the last minute, as Abraham raised the knife, God spoke again and revealed the ram in the thicket. What rejoicing there must have been as Abraham and Isaac together offered their sacrifice to the Lord.
God will never ask us to offer our children’s lives as sacrifices because this would go against everything we know. When we bring our babies to the Lord and dedicate them, we are laying them on the altar. It is our responsibility to raise them to love and serve God. We put them completely in God’s hands, knowing that He has a plan and purpose for their lives. We support them in their decisions as to their careers and other aspects of their lives. Our faith lets us know that He will be with them every step of the way.
Just as the Lord had a backup plan for Abraham, so the Lord will be with us in all the trials and battles we face. Sometimes we may think what we are going through is strange but as we walk in faith, He will reveal His way before us.
I Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you, but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
Prayer: Jesus, give us a faith like Abraham that we might be willing to lay everything upon the altar, knowing that you have a plan and a purpose, and you will give us the strength for whatever you may request of us.
Devotion by Anne Johnston