THIS WEEK: Lead Me to the Cross…Find the Ram…Find a Substitute!
Abraham didn’t delay. God told him to take his son Isaac and give him back to him through sacrifice. From a human perspective a heart-breaking request from God, one that we perhaps would want to take some time to think about.
Yet Abraham moved forward with confidence. Here are three unquestionable statements of Abraham’s confidence in the command of the Lord and the conviction to carry out the Lord’s request.
- Early the next morning…
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. (Genesis 22:3)
There was no delay. There was no time for Abraham to tell Isaac to say good bye to his mother or his friends. Abraham didn’t argue with God, question God, or wonder if the voice was God’s or not. He was convinced the Lord’s commands are always to be followed, so he moved forward with confidence.
- We will come back to you…
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.” (Genesis 22:4-5)
The servants were there to help, but were witnesses to a man of faith. Abraham knew the LORD had asked him to sacrifice Isaac. Simple math would say, “Two people go to the mountain to worship. One is killed via sacrifice on the altar during the time of worship. How many return from the mountain?” This first grade math problem would demand the answer of “One!” Yet, Abraham’s answer was “Two.”
Why would he…could he answer this way? The writer to the Hebrews gives us the inspired insight into Abraham’s heart:
Hebrews 11:17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 19 Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.
Simply put Abraham had learned to trust the LORD and his promises. God promised Abraham he would have a son with Sarah…he did. He promised that through that son, he would become a great nation…that promise still stood. God told him to sacrifice his son…somehow God would stay faithful to his promise. Abraham was confident just as Isaac came from two “dead” bodies (beyond normal child bearing years), God could bring him back to life after his life was taken in sacrifice.
- God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering…
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. (Genesis 22:6-8)
God will provide. Abraham wasn’t privy to all the details, but he knew God would provide as he acted according to his promises.
We can have confidence to walk through life when we walk according to the promises of God. What does that look like? Here’s just a couple of examples:
“How come you’re not afraid?” “Because here’s God’s promise, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;…” (Psalm 23:4)
“How do you stay so calm?” Matthew 6:25-27 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
So move forward with confidence in the presence and promises of the LORD!
Apply: What promise of God will help you move forward in your day with confidence?
PRAYER: Thank you Lord for your promises and faithfulness to them. Lead me to always move forward in life confident in you and your promises. AMEN.