Some time later God tested Abraham… “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.”
…When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.
But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” ~ Genesis 22:1-2,9-12
There is a wonderful couple with an inspiring legacy. Their lives paint a perfect picture of how God transforms imperfect people to become giants of the faith.
Even as they began to follow the LORD this chosen couple struggled for most of their married life with infertility. My wife and I tried for several years before we conceived our first son. Our short struggle pales in comparison with that of Abraham and Sarah.
If you sit quietly enough and listen into their world as recorded in Genesis 18 you can still hear the chilling echo of Sarah’s laughter. God had to be joking! How could they in their very old age conceive a son?
Yet the LORD was true to His promise. He gave them a son whom Abraham named Isaac, which ironically just happens to mean, “laughter”.
Abraham loved his only son Isaac like no other. And as the years passed his child became a fine young man. It was in Isaac’s twenties when God tested this aging father’s faith once again.
The stakes were raised as the LORD requested Abraham to carry out an unthinkable act.
He called him to sacrifice his only son, the one whom he loved. Could not Abraham sacrifice a choice sheep, as was custom? How could the LORD, the very one who gave him Isaac as a fulfillment of promise, now require Abraham to take his beloved son’s life?
The LORD wanted to see if Abraham’s faith was in his son or in his God as the one who would carry on his legacy.
Isaac trusted his earthly father Abraham even in the eventual realization that he himself was going to be the sacrificial lamb.
Abraham trusted his Heavenly Father in a most remarkable way. Abraham believed with great courage and faith that if the LORD required him to sacrifice his dear son Isaac that God would raise him from the dead. And figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from the dead (Hebrews 11:19) for just as Abraham had lifted up his hand to pierce the heart of his only son the angel of the LORD intervened and commanded him to stop.
“Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
We all have our Isaacs. It is with great courage that they must be laid on the altar of surrender so that our trust is in God and God alone.
~ Dr. Scott