Devotional: Day 2
Read Genesis 22: 1-17
Wow. What a story here. Abraham, a man who loved God deeply and had trusted God in everything he did (he still made human mistakes, though!) was asked by God to sacrifice his son, who we are told that he loved very much.
There are many interesting things about what God did here. The first is what God asked.
He said in verse 2 “Take now you son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah…”
When God said this, what He said was ‘take this precious life.’ Now this may not seem significant in when we read it, but remember that the word was originally written in Hebrew. The ‘only son’ phrase is used in only two other places in the Bible—Zechariah 12:10 and John 3:16—and in both places refer to the coming Messiah.
The other thing of interest here is that Moriah is in an area near Jerusalem. It is a hilly area that contains one specific hill called Golgotha. God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac in the same area that He would later sacrifice Jesus!
God wanted to test humanity. He asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac to see how he’d react. Abraham, while saddened that his son (whom he’d waited many years for and now loved very much) was about to die, he wholeheartedly was willing to obey God.
The question that comes out of this story is: are we willing to obey God, no matter what He may be asking?
Many times, the things that we don’t want to do are the very things God is calling us to. Our flesh resist Gods will because in order to do what He wants, we have to mature. That means that something inside of us will change. We’ll put behind us a part of the life we had been living, allowing our old self to be forever buried in the past.
God wants to know what you’re willing to do for Him. I would almost guarantee He is not going to ask you to sacrifice your child. However, He may be asking you to do something big that you may not want to do. But remember that He wants to bless you through your willingness and obedience (See Isaiah 1:19).
It has been speculated that God tested Abraham to see if He could find someone willing to do what He wanted to do with Jesus. Some scholars say that if Abraham had resisted and said no, that many of the blessings He received would never have come. And even more importantly, that God would have waited even longer to send Jesus.
While I won’t speak to the validity of that teaching, I do think there is a degree of truth to it. The story of Abraham’s faith directly parallels that of Jesus’ death in many ways. But the important part here is the part about faith. Even though what God asked seemed outside logic, Abraham was willing and obedient.
God was looking at Abraham’s heart. He wanted to know the same thing of him that He wants to know of us: “are you willing to give Me your all?”