"Abraham: Test of Obedience"
September 12, 2004Email to a FriendPrint
“Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love … Sacrifice him there …” Genesis 22:2
Whom do you hold dearest in life – a husband or wife, a child, a friend? Imagine being asked by God to give this person up at a moment’s notice as evidence of your loyalty to Him.
That’s precisely what God asked Abraham to do when He spoke to him the words of our text. Yes, Isaac was Abraham’s only son from his marriage to Sarah. For years they had been childless. What a special joy when Isaac was born in their old age! But beyond that, Isaac represented the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham that he would have many descendants and be a blessing to the world through the promised Messiah.
Now God tests Abraham to the limit, asking him to take Isaac up on Mount Moriah and offer him on an altar as a human sacrifice. How does God test you? He knows the most vulnerable part of our lives – health, family security, financial stability. Problems in these areas become tests of obedience for us.
How does Abraham respond to God’s test? He obeys without question. With heart pounding, he saddles his donkey, cuts enough wood for the offering, takes his son to the offering location, binds his son, places him on the altar, and raises the knife. What obedience! An obedience based on Abraham’s God-given faith. He had told Isaac, “God Himself will provide the lamb” (Exodus 22:8). God did spare Isaac and supplied a ram for the burnt offering. He then reaffirmed His promise to Abraham.
God likewise provides for our needs in the time of testing. He sent His Son Jesus to be the Sacrificial Lamb in our place. He died for our sins so that we might live forever. God gives us faith in His promises so that we might be able to obey Him in the midst of trials.
PRAYER: Thank You, Lord God, for providing for all our needs. And thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus, to die for our sins so that we might live with You forever. Amen.
(Devotions from “My Daily Devotion” by Dr. Stephen J. Carter, copyright 1988 CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For ordering information, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit www.cph.org.)