“Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”
A few weeks ago, I attended a really neat country church. That Sunday, the Pastor talked about Abraham and Isaac, and his main theme was the Christian walk and how we need to be willing to give our desires and dreams up for His calling.
In Genesis 17, God had promised Abraham that He would establish His covenant with Abraham’s descendants through a son that would be born to his wife Sarah. Despite Abraham and Sarah’s old age, the Lord kept His promise, and a son named Isaac was born to them.
Now, in Genesis 22, God is testing Abraham and telling him to offer his son. At this point, Abraham had a choice…God had told him that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars, and that His covenant would be carried through Isaac. Abraham could trust God that He knew what would happen, or he could take matters into his own hands. But, Abraham obeyed the Lord.
“So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.” (verse 3)
So, Abraham and Isaac went up to offer the sacrifice. But, Isaac noticed that they didn’t have the sacrifice yet…notice what Abraham says, that “God will provide the burnt offering Himself.”
“But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!”
And he said, “Here I am, my son.”
Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”
8 And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together.”
So, Abraham raised his hand and the knife to sacrifice his son, but an angel of the Lord told Abraham to stop, and when he looked up, a ram had been provided by God for the sacrifice (verse 13).
Through all of this, it’s important to see that Abraham was willing to obey God’s command, knowing that God would either bring his son back to life or provide another sacrifice (verse 5b). He had no idea what happen, and what the Lord was doing, but he trusted God. What was he willing to give up? He was willing to give up what he thought was happening, what he wanted to happen, and how he wanted it to happen, in order to obey the Lord.
In Matthew 16:24, Jesus told His disciples that if we want to follow Him, we need to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him.
What desires do you need to give over to the Lord? How about actions or thoughts?
Following Christ…it’s all about giving up what we want. What are you willing to give up?