“By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, ‘It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.’ Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death” (Hebrews 11:17-19).
“Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about” (Genesis 22:1). This is the first time that the word love is used in the Bible. It is used to express human love to another and includes the meaning of affection and friendship. Isaac and Abraham had a close father/son relationship. The Word makes it clear that this was indeed a great sacrifice for Abraham. Isaac was his only son from Sarah. God told Abraham to offer his son on the altar. Up to this point, this Hebrew word for burnt offering was used only one other time (see Genesis 8:20) when Noah placed clean animals and birds on an altar as a sacrifice to God, after he was able to exit the ark. “The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma” (Genesis 8:21). We see that God was pleased when he received Noah’s sacrificial burnt offering. The account of Noah and the ark was passed down from generation to generation, so Abraham was aware of the practice of offering animals on an altar to please the Lord.
As we begin meditating upon this story of Isaac and Abraham in Genesis 22, try to put yourself in Abraham’s shoes. This was probably the most difficult and emotional time of his life. God was asking Abraham to do the toughest thing he had ever been asked to do. Did you ever think that when the Lord asks us to trust Him through a very challenging time that this can be a form of worship?
The word offer or some translations say sacrifice implied ascending up to the heavens. When we offer sacrifices of praise to God, when we sing or give thanks, the words and melodies ascend into heaven and exalt God, bringing great pleasure to Him. But singing is not the only form of worship. God is telling Abraham that placing his son on the altar is an act of worship. In what ways are you bringing offerings of worship to the Lord? Is the Lord calling you to some form of worship that requires sacrifice?
Today’s Bible Reading: Genesis 22:1-18