TODAY’S SCRIPTURE Genesis 22:1-14
Genesis 22 is one of the most incredible and potentially troubling passages in God’s Word. This is not a passage be taken lightly.
How could God possibly ask Abraham to offer his own son Isaac on an altar? What must have been going through Abraham’s mind? Does he waver in his devotion to God, wondering if it might actually be better to disobey God and spare the life of his only son? Does he so much as dare to entertain the thought that if he goes through with God’s instructions, God might stop him before he has done this terrifying act?
Hebrews 11:19 tells us one of Abraham’s considerations. “He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead.” But even if God does raise Isaac back to life, would Isaac remember what his father has done to him? How would Abraham be able to explain something that he himself surely could not understand? And when the moment actually comes and Abraham has no choice but to do what God is asking, how could he possibly find the strength to go through with it?
Perhaps Abraham is a man of greater faith than you or I, but I imagine that for most of us, to actually have to consider these questions would be nauseating, excruciating, and exhausting.
I wonder if Abraham carries this burden when Isaac asks him the obvious question, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” (Genesis 22:7). Is Abraham filled with anxiety and anticipation as he says, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering”?
What an immense relief Abraham must feel when God does in fact provide a ram that is caught in a nearby thicket in the place of Isaac. Do we feel the weight of that? Do we realize that we, and our sons and daughters, have all been spared by God’s provision of Jesus, the Lamb of God? What an incredible relief it is to know that God has provided the Lamb that died in our place! This is a cause for unceasing gratitude.
Today, I will…sacrifice to God something that I have been holding back, having realized that my very life has been spared by His provision of the Lamb.