"Yes, my son?" Abraham replied.
"The fire and wood are here," Isaac said, "but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?"
Abraham answered, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." And the two of them went on together.
Pause here and consider what this loving father must have felt. How Abraham's heart must have ached as he carried the fire and knife that would soon be used to kill his own flesh and blood. Oh, what faith!!! Through this horrifying realization, we must admire Abraham's obediance to follow through with God's direction - never once questioning his Master's intention. No, not one negative comment is uttered against his Lord.
With his mind set on worship, Abraham confidently believes his God will remain true. He is so secure in this belief that he is prepared to willingly submit the life of his son to a sentenced death, decreed by the Almighty Himself.
Equally, let's pause and look at the character of Isaac. Before this time, Isaac had undoubtedly participated with his father in worship through sacrifice. As they went on together, he inquisitively noticed that the lamb was missing. How could they perform a sacrifice without their best lamb? Abraham assures Isaac that the Lord would provide for them. With only that statement to go on, Isaac asks no more questions. Not a peep. He trusts his father and he trusts God. Period.
A faith such as this, passed on from generation to generation, must be exalted! How it must have pleased God Almighty to see Abraham's heir respond in like fashion to his father's own belief. What a legacy... a promised line of generations who would ultimately see The Lamb respond in total obediance and unwaivering faithfulness to His own Father for our eternal security. (Oh, AMEN!!!!)
When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.
But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!"
"Here I am," he replied.
"Do not lay a hand on the boy," he said. "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son."
Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided."
Abraham had already reached a spiritual maturity that we can only dream of, or he would never have gone through with God's unthinkable request. God knew this maturity. Ultimately, He did not require Abraham to give a human sacrifice, nor would He allow it. Rather, God wanted Abraham's faith to be tested. His obedience was in turn the ultimate act of willingness, love and trust that His Creator desired. Once Abraham's submission and devotion were offered, God provided the ram needed to fulfill the task and progress forward with His covenant.
The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, "I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me."
This chapter is so powerful to absorb and so important to teach us how to respond to God's calling with faith and unquestioning devotion. When I read Genesis 22, I struggle to get past the image of Abraham with tear-filled eyes, knife poised in the air, standing over the body of his son strapped to an altar! That image takes away all words.
In parallel, I must envision my Almighty Father with tear-filled eyes, death poised in the air, reigning over the life of His son who was face-down in prayer soon to face imminent death on the cross. Read Matthew 26:39. Jesus asks his Father, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."
How great is the love of our Father in Heaven to be faithful to save me and accept me as His own... "lifting the knife" and following through with the ultimate sacrificial Lamb, Jesus Christ, who came to follow His Father without question to pay the penalty for my sin! There are truly no words to express my gratitude... only to sacrificially give my life in return.
The Lamb was provided and hope is alive! Praise God for our Messiah and His faithfulness to the Father above! My life is in His nail-driven hands! My faith is secure in His promises! Hallelujah to My King! Holy Holy Holy is the Lord Almighty. All nations will bow to Him and declare Jesus Christ is Lord of Lords.
Here I am, Holy Father. Not my way, but Yours alone. Hallelujah!
© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson
© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson