Hebrews 11:17-19, Genesis 22:1-19
I am skipping a little of Hebrews 11 and I will return to it tomorrow. I wanted to finish Hebrew’s account of Abraham today and talk about what I would consider Abraham’s most difficult act of obedience. Please read the section in Hebrews and then the section in Genesis if you have not already. This section of scripture can be confusing and difficult to read because it seems to contradict some of God’s law. Many people have also pointed out several parallels between this story and Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. While I am no theologian, I will try to explain what I felt God was pressing on my heart.
I will address as best I can what seems to be a contradiction. God asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son (his promised son), yet God is very clear to the Israelites that He finds human and child sacrifice detestable. In my simple way of thinking, I feel that God was testing Abraham to see if he would be obedient, but He stopped him and provided a ram to sacrifice instead. I feel that God did not intend for Abraham to physically sacrifice Isaac, but God wanted Abraham to emotionally sacrifice Isaac and trust Him completely. In Genesis, when Isaac asked Abraham where the sacrifice was, Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” Can I just say how prophetic Abraham’s words are? God provided the perfect sacrifice for all of us! Once again, Abraham’s faith in God was amazing!
We see the story ends well, but what was the point? God requires sacrifice as our faith grows. We sacrifice our human desires and learn to be content with what God provides. We learn to put God above everything else. We may have to learn to trust God with His provision; we may have to learn to trust Him with our time. Whatever our sacrifice is, we learn to put God first and our faith is grown.
What is in your life that may be coming before God? What is God asking for you to sacrifice?