This morning I’m reading through Genesis 22 where Abraham sacrifices Isaac. This is an interesting passage. It clearly states that God tested Abraham in his sacrifice of Isaac. When the prophesy of Isaac came, there was a long season of testing Abraham in his faithfulness. Now, God asks him to sacrifice the only heir to his legacy, the promise of God’s provision for the legacy. Is God contradicting himself? Even though Abraham faltered, his faith is now deeply rooted. He knows that the Lord has provided his son Isaac as the offspring that will start the legacy of Abraham being the father of many nations. There is wavering no longer. When the word of the Lord comes, he gets up early in the morning. He saddles his donkey, cuts the wood, grabs two of his men and Isaac, and off they go.
I’m trying to imagine the scene. I’m trying to imagine the time frame. I’m trying to imagine what sort of thoughts are going through Abraham’s mind as he is riding with Isaac. Is he worried? Is he still confident that he’s hearing God’s voice? Is anxiety and fear welling up inside of him? Is he being tormented? This passage doesn’t say. All we know is that on the third day, he sees Moriah from afar. He ditches the two men he brought with him, and immediately Isaac starts putting the puzzle pieces together. Abraham attempts to calm the young boy’s concerns and again states his faith in the Lord’s provision of a sacrifice. Abraham builds the altar. He lays the wood down. He begins to bind the young boy. I’m trying to picture what this looks like: a youth, (maybe 10–15 years old) probably of greater strength than Abraham (who is over 100 years old at this point), is struggling with his dad as his dad attempts to strap him down to what is clearly an altar of sacrifice. “No, father! NO!!!” He takes the knife to slaughter Isaac. He reaches up to kill his heir, and, “ABRAHAM! ABRAHAM!” beckons the voice from heaven. He stops.
Three days of intense obedience. He could have turned back at any point during those three days of travel. He could have allow his son to “escape”, but there is no questioning whatsoever in Abraham’s heart that the Lord will provide. Surely, the Lord would have questioned his motive if there was any lack of faith in him, but God was patient. Maybe there was some doubt and fear in Abraham, but he knew at the end of the day his call was to be faithful. The Lord saw the cry in his heart to be faithful regardless of the cost. He kept riding his donkey. There was a resolve in him. This resolve was forged in the furnace of trusting the Lord to provide Isaac in the first place. This resolve allowed him to keep going.
Will I be found faithful to the Father? Will I hear his voice from heaven as I’m about to sacrifice what I hold dear? Will I even sacrifice? I pray that I would. I want to be found faithful to all that he has for me. When I stand before him, I do not want to have a long list of “would haves” from heaven. May grace abound as I journey toward faithfulness in the eyes of my God and King, Jesus.