Let’s talk about Abraham’s story.
Genesis 22: 1-2 NIV
Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”
In case you’ve read a little bit about Abraham’s story, he waited for a very long time in order to have a child with his wife Sarah. He prayed and waited for God’s promise, and God made him have Isaac. Abraham loved Isaac so much and Isaac was exactly what Abraham had expected all these years. However , God asked Abraham to sacrifice his only legitimate son for love of Him. By the way let’s be clear about this , God can’t ask you to do something He can’t do/ hasn’t already done. If He could ask Abraham to sacrifice his only legitimate son, it was because God had also prepared to sacrifice His Son.
At times , we are just like Abraham. We want something so much, and we’re sad for not having it. We ask God to answer us by giving it to us , and we wait for a certain time before He grants it to us , but finally , when we have what we thought we had always wanted , God asks us to give it up for Him. At times it’s a job, at times a relationship….etc not because those things are bad , but because God wants to see who we love the most , Him or what we had been praying for , Him or our parents, Him or our friends etc, The Creator or the creature .
What did Abraham do when God asked him to give up Isaac out of love for God?
Genesis 22: 3,6,9
Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, 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.
It wasn’t easy for Abraham at that moment , as well as it isn’t easy for us when we have to take very important decisions out of love for God , or when He asks us to obey Him but what He asks from us looks really hard to us and demands a huge sacrifice in our sight . Nevertheless, we must follow Abraham’s example and obey God, no matter how heartbreaking it is. We must keep in mind that God is The One who gave it to us and God is The One who can ask it back from us.
What would you have done if you had been in Abraham’s position? What do you think God did with the fact that Abraham obeyed Him? If we read the following verses, we shall see how God reacted to his obedience.
Genesis 22:10-18 NIV
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.” 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.”
That was just a test that God made in order to see Abraham’s fear of The Lord . In the end ,
- God didn’t even let Abraham sacrifice His Son, rather , He provided a ram to be sacrificed
- God handed him back his beloved son/ God let him remain with his beloved son
- God blessed him for his obedience
God’s will isn’t to make life hard for us but His plan is to bless us. For sure He may permit hard times in our lives to see whether we really fear Him and will really serve Him above all , but when we go through those periods with faith in Him ,and with obedience , He blesses us more than we can imagine.
This reminds me of the testimony of a couple (they’re married now). They started a relationship which they intended to be a courtship. They both feared The Lord and had known themselves for a certain time , however, when they just started their relationship, the lady had a certain period in her prayer life where she felt like God didn’t want the relationship to pursue . It wasn’t easy for her to give up on the relationship because she had feelings for the guy, however ,when she told him about it , he understood and they both surrendered to God’s will. For a certain number of days they said goodbye to the relationship. They testify that it wasn’t an easy period for them , but it was like God made them interrupt the relationship to test their faith and obedience, and to see if they loved God more than they loved the relationship. When the test period ended , God brought them back together, they had a very nice courtship by God’s grace and they got married . I am not trying to say that this story applies to every relationship, but the lesson in it is that we shouldn’t be afraid to give back to God what He gave to us in the first place, because we know He will bless us even more . This couple sacrificed their relationship at God’s altar, and God in His time brought them back together. What He wanted wasn’t their separation but their obedience and trust in Him.
Father Lord God Almighty, help me put You at the center of my life and obey You no matter how hard it seems to be . No matter what I have to sacrifice at Your altar , give me faith that Your plans are to prosper me and not to harm me, in Jesus Christ’s Name I pray . Amen
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