When Abraham was ninety-nine and Sarah was ninety, God spoke to them and said they would have a son by that time the next year. They were to name him Isaac. Through Isaac, God would establish his covenant.
Within the year, Isaac was born.
God promises Abraham and Sarah over and over that through Isaac he will make their name great. Through Isaac, he will make them a great nation. Through Isaac, they will have as many offspring as their are stars in the sky.
Then one day, God speaks to Abraham and he has a strange message.
He wants Abraham to kill Isaac.
Abraham’s only son. The son he waited so many years for. The son that God has promised over and over to establish the covenant through.
God asked Abraham to go to the land of Mt. Moriah, and offer Isaac there as a sacrifice. Abraham brought a donkey, two of his men, and Isaac along for the journey. When he could see his destination wasn’t much further, he told his men to stay behind with the donkey. Him an Isaac were going to “worship” together. (Genesis 22)
He tied the wood on Isaac’s back, and Abraham carried the fire and the knife. As they got closer Isaac asked his dad,
“Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the offering?”(Genesis 22:7). Good question, Isaac. I’m not sure how old he is here, but I can tell he isn’t three. Otherwise he would have noticed way sooner and asked about a hundred more times.
Abraham simply says, “God will provide for himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.”
Interesting side note. This was the same mountain Jesus later had to walk up with wood on his back to be sacrificed. Coincidence? I think not.
They arrive at the top of the mountain and Abraham builds his alter and laid Isaac on top of the wood. I’m imagining Isaac has to be a little confused and thinking his dad is just sitting him there while they wait for an animal to show up. Abraham then reaches for his knife. And things start getting real.
Just in time, an angel calls to Abraham and tell him not to harm Isaac. Abraham looks up and sees a ram caught by its horn in a thicket. Abraham takes the ram and offers it as a sacrifice to God instead of Isaac.
There have been times when Tim and I have said yes to scary things we knew God was calling us to do. Times when we needed God to provide. We always want God to provide as soon as we say yes. However, we usually have to take some kind of first step. Then God would provide.
This is a tough story to think about. Did God really want Abraham to kill Isaac? No, I don’t think so. I think God was testing Abraham’s faithfulness. Saying yes wasn’t the hard part. Making the journey up the mountain was. Once Abraham was there, God provided.
Question to think about: Is God asking you to do anything scary that you can only do if he provides?
***Thanks to everyone who is playing along with the trivia game! Today is the last day to guess the trivia question and be entered into the drawing! Your name will be entered for each day you made a guess! You can always go back and answer Day 2-4 if you missed those days!***
Trivia question: Later on we are going to talk about the Wise Men. Name one gift the Wise Men brought to Jesus.