Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living ©
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, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.”
Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled 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. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 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.”
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, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”
“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.
“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.
(Genesis 22:1-8 (NIV))
Have you ever truly taken an in depth look at the events that are portrayed in this passage?
It is true that God is testing the faithfulness of Abraham, but there are things going on that are much deeper than just the mere test.
Isaac was God’s promise fulfilled just as Jesus was God’s promise fulfilled. God asked Abraham to take his only son and sacrifice him. What is interesting is the place that God asked Abraham to take Isaac. The land of Moriah and the particular spot of the intended sacrifice are commonly thought to be the location of what would later be Jerusalem and the Temple.
After getting the command to sacrifice Isaac, for three days Abraham thought that his beloved son was dead. On the third day, they spotted the location and proceeded to prepare for the sacrifice. Abraham did not falter in his task. He did just as God had asked him. He was willing to give up his only son. Humanity, through Abraham, passed the test. As a result, God was willing to give up His only Son, in that very area, for us since Abraham was willing to give up his only son for God.
Take a look at the words that Abraham told Isaac when Isaac asked, “where is the lamb” for the sacrifice. Abraham never uttered more prophetic words than when he said that “God himself will provide the lamb.” Isn’t it amazing that he spoke those words while walking to the very spot where many people believe God sacrificed His Son for us.
It does not stop here.
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.
(Genesis 22:13 (NIV))
At this very spot, Jesus defeated Satan through His sacrifice. Isn’t it amazing that God provided an animal that many people actually say is symbolic of Satan? The ram was sacrificed and Satan was defeated at this spot. He was defeated because our father Abraham did not hold back from God. Because he did not hold anything back from God, God did not hold anything back from us.
We have an important lesson to learn from Abraham.
God’s plans often depend on how we respond. Faith releases righteousness. Doubt releases Satan.
What do you release?