Abraham “Sacrifices” Isaac • Devotion #2: Abraham’s Response
John Hubbard | Worship Leader
“After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, ‘Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ He said, ‘Take 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.’ So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.” Genesis 22:1-3
It is important to remember that Abraham’s story does not begin here. He had already been through so much with God, waiting year after year for God to give him a son through Sarah. When I see just this part of the story, I am shocked at Abraham’s willingness to, for lack of a better word, execute this command. Keep in mind that already Abraham has made mistakes in his walk with God. He had tried to do things his own way in the past when he felt God was taking too long for his wife, Sarah, to bear him a son. So, Abraham had a son through Hagar called Ishmael. This plan of Abraham and Sarah did not work out as well as they had hoped. How often do we make our own plans in place of God’s plans?
Whenever I read this chapter I cannot decide if Abraham knew God was testing him or not, Abraham had already been told that he would become a great nation through Isaac, so surely he will not have to kill him. Isaac is now old enough to comprehend and speak to his father about the process of building an altar.
Genesis 22:7-8 says, “And Isaac said to his father Abraham, ‘My father!’ And he said, ‘Here I am, my son.’ He said, ‘Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?’ Abraham said, ‘God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.’ So they went both of them together.”
Again, is Abraham lying to his son or is he sure that God will provide? Either way, I think the most important thing Abraham did was to respond immediately. He did not know how it would turn out, but he knew that he would do what God commanded. He did not just head out and rush through this command; he equipped himself to succeed in his task. He prepared his donkey, and he gathered and cut wood for the fire.
What has God commanded us to do now? In our day and age, we like to have the best-laid plans. We desire no surprises, no variables, and no failure. We love to prepare ourselves, but are we fulfilling our task?