“Early the next morning Abraham packed up his things and left with his son and two servants. He took with him wood to burn for the fire” (Genesis 22:3).
Obviously, Abraham had every intention of doing what God asked him to do. We do not know what was going through his mind the night before he left. Could he sleep? Did he lie awake wrestling with God? I could only imagine there was confusion, pain, sorrow, and fear in his heart. Yet, when morning came, he left for Moriah with his son. He arrived on the third day at the place God had told him to go. These must have been the hardest three days of his life. Abraham did not have an easy life. We have already walked with him through many years of faith-testing situations: not being able to bear an heir for many years; leaving his homeland; traveling to a land where he thought surely he would be killed, and thinking that some of his family members would be destroyed by the fires of God’s wrath. But nothing compared to the agonizing test he was being put through now.
However, here is a key verse to focus on: “He said to his servants, ‘Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you’” (Genesis 22:5). Somehow, Abraham felt that though he was to offer up Isaac, in the end the Lord would give his son back to him. When Isaac asked his father where the lamb was that they would slay for the offering, Abraham responded: “God Himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering” (22:8). It seems that Isaac had no idea what was about to happen. Again, this is an emotionally intense story as we see Abraham tying his son on top of the wood on the altar and then raising the knife to slay him. Did Isaac peacefully lie there? I cannot even imagine the pain that Abraham experienced as he heard and watched his son’s cries at that moment. It is not until the book of Hebrews was written hundreds of years later that we understand what was going on in Abraham’s mind. “Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead” (Hebrews 11:19). It seemed that Abraham felt he would need to go through this act of killing his son, but then God would bring him back to life.
This crisis was finally resolved when God told him not to slay his son and provided a ram for Abraham to sacrifice instead. What a lesson for Isaac to learn from his father! He knew his father deeply loved him and would do anything for him. And yet, he saw that the one thing he would NOT DO for his son was to disobey God. Is this the example that you give your children regarding your faith? Are you willing to pay whatever the cost in order to remain obedient to God?
Today’s Bible Reading: Hebrews 11:19; Genesis 22:1-18