Personal Devotions Series: Test of Faith

Continuing with my personal devotions series, here we have Abraham being asked to sacrifice his son, Issac.  The passage is taken from Genesis 22:1-19.

1 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.

How many of us would be as quick to say “Here I am,” to the voice of God?  You may not think God speaks to you, but he does.  Are you willing to obey if you do realize he’s speaking?

2 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.”

Ok…. do you still want to obey God?  Even when God says something this harsh? Personally, I know I’d be like, “Yeah, that can’t be God.  He wouldn’t tell me to do something like that, would he?”  (Mighty prophet of God, huh? ha!)  I feel like I’m sorta in that place right now, actually.  What I’m having to walk through … I have to lay down a lot of things that I held dear to me. I just realized that I have to make the same choice – obey, or not.  Not easy…. then again, this must not have been an easy choice for Abraham, either.

3 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. 4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5 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.”

I don’t know if Abraham agonized over this, but he decided to obey.  The next morning speaks to me of immediacy.  He set out the next morning.  Creflo Dollar has said that ‘delayed obedience is disobedience; partial obedience is disobedience.’  So he obeyed – totally and immediately.  WOW.  Lord, help me to be like that….

6 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, 7 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?”

8 Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.

What a statement of faith. “God himself will provide the lamb…..”  I’ve heard somewhere that in this story Issac wasn’t a little boy, but a man;  nowhere in the text does it say, either way. But was Issac worried?  I think he trusted his father implicitly, even as Abraham trusted God – his Father – just as implicitly.

9 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. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.

He’s able to hear God even in the midst of his obedience to God – in the very act of raising the knife he could hear God say his name – and again, his immediate action is to listen and obey.  How many of us can say that we are able to hear God, even when in the middle of obeying what God has previously said?  Me? I feel I have ‘tunnel vision’ and I’d be like, “Not now, God, I’m in the middle of obeying you. When I’ve finished let me hear what you’re saying….”

12 “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.”

Now, I know me.  I would have probably been like, “God what was all that about?  Man what are you doing?”  (Yeah, I know… I need to learn respect 😆 – but trust me, God knows I’m like that; he hasn’t ever bowled me over for being honest in my feelings before…)  Personally, I don’t like tests.  But I’m challenged by his ability to hear God even while he’s obeying him – like, with split second timing he’s able to hear God and say, “Yes Lord?”  I want to be like that too…

13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram [a] caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”

Now, I have also heard that this story is prophetic in its symbolism as well – Mount Moriah here is said to be the same mountain Jesus died on in the New Testament.  Talk about God’s planning…. Jesus really was the Lamb given for sacrifice….

15 The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies,18 and through your offspring [b] all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”

So God honoured Abraham’s obedience.  And blessings immeasurable (descendants as numerous as sand on a seashore…) will follow him.  WOW.  Stirring me as I meditate on it.

Father God, I have not been very good at obedience lately. Help me to have greater faith and greater trust in you, and help me to be like Abraham, able to hear and obey the voice of the Lord, on a dime!  I ask that you help me to be inspired by this story and may it transform my mind into the image of Christ’s, who obeyed you TOTALLY, without sin.  I ask that you will continue to be my light in the dark.  Help me as I trust you.  In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

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4 Responses

  1. That is encouraging. Things are hard now for us too, things seem to keep going wrong and I just need to keep choosing to trust God, like Abraham and Job and Joseph.

    Thanks for your comment. You really know how to encourage me! 🙂

    Jenny

  2. Well look who it is! I’m glad to see you!

    Yeah … trusting God is hard when things are rough. Will pray for you…. 🙂 Rob

  3. Amen to that brother. I’m not sure I could give up some of the little things I’ve grown so attached to, I could hardly imagine what I would do if God has asked as much of me.

    • I know! That’s exactly what I was saying to myself… I’m asking God to help me be as obedient….

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