1. After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.” 2. 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.” 3. 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. 4.On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. 5.Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.” 6.And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. 7.And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here am I, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” 8. Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.
9.When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10.Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son.
This passage of scripture has come back to my mind over and over again this past week. Having grown up in the church, I have heard this story in Sunday School, in lessons, in sermons…but this week God showed it to me in a different way.
Abraham’s sacrificial obedience….God said “Abraham go kill your son.” Abraham did not question, “Are you sure?”, he did not run to his friends to ask their opinion of what God had said, he did not spend time in counsel with his priest, or even ask his wife. The scriptures say, the next morning, he got up, gathered the supplies to do what God had asked of him, and he started out, he walked up the mountain, he built the altar, he bound his son, and raised the knife.
My battle this week has been learning to walk in that sort of obedience. I am pretty selfish. I want what I want; and what I do not want I will find a way out of. So when God asks me to do something that I do not necessarily like at that moment….even with the head knowledge that is for my good and His glory….what is my response? I will confess that rarely (if ever) has my response been to get up the next morning and get to it. Rather I usually go round and round and analyze and try to find the logic, seek the counsel of friends and godly men and women, then if I can find no way around it…I will obey God.
Now I am not saying to never seek the counsel of another, but there are some circumstances in which cousel is not needed because the voice of God is loud and clear as to what it is He is asking me to do.
So this week I have had to learn a very difficult lesson of sacrificial obedience. Learning to raise the knife on the thing I love and desire, with faith that according to His promise there will be a “ram in the thicket” that will be revealed in God’s perfect timing, within His perfect will. My walk of obedience is not to look for this ram, to seek all possible alternatives, it is simply to in faith, gather the supplies for what He has asked of me, to walk up the mountain, build the altar, bind that which He has called me to sacrifice, and raise the knife.