Chronicled in Genesis; referenced throughout the Bible
I have never been asked to kill anyone. I have never been called upon to end someone’s life. I can’t empathize with that. Not only did it happen to Abraham, but God told him to sacrifice his own son, the son that had been promised by God to Abraham and his previously barren wife. Genesis 22:2 says it like this: Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” Think of the agony that Abraham must have been going through. This was his blessing from God, his promise, his flesh and blood kid, and he had to kill him! I cannot imagine it.
Nevertheless, Abraham was a man of faith. After all, he had done all that God had asked previously and there had been positive results. God told him to leave his home and he did, not knowing where he was going, and God led him to a new land. Abraham literally walked by faith, trusting that God would show him the home He was promising. And He did. God promised that his ninety-year-old wife would have a son. And she did.
God had taken care of everything else, so Abraham had to believe that God would take care of this as well. Even in his pain and tumult, Abraham knew it would be all right. Somehow, it had to be all right. So, he and Isaac walked up that mountain on what the boy thought was any other day. Isaac even asked along the way where the sacrificial lamb was. It would be a bit suspect knowing that you’re going to make a sacrifice and your dad brings no lamb to kill. Abraham stood strong. How did he answer? “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering” (Genesis 22:8). Abraham continued on. He built the altar, then bound up his son and placed him on it. Abraham drew the knife over his head to consummate God’s request.
Can you see the tears in his eyes as he prepared to do the unthinkable? Can you feel Isaac’s heart pounding out of his chest? Can you sense the lad’s despair as he tries to conceive that his own father is about to end his life? I’d wager that the knife shook violently in Abraham’s trembling hand. Just before Abraham drove his blade into Isaac’s heart, God stopped him. In the nick of time, God stopped him. As Abraham suspected, the Lord did indeed provide a sacrifice, a ram caught by its horns in a nearby thicket. It was all a test. Abraham passed with flying colors.
His reward? Simply this: “…blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice” (Genesis 22:15-18). Pretty cool, huh?
So, how do we triumph in the midst of trial? Never waiver in your faith. You shall be blessed!