Genesis 22:1-11 – Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2 He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.”3 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and Isaac his son; and he split wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. 4 On the third day Abraham raised his eyes and saw the place from a distance.5 Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go over there; and we will worship and return to you.” 6 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 the two of them walked on together. 7 Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” And he said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” 8 Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together. 9 Then they came to the place of which God had told him; and Abraham builtthe altar there and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.”
I have been under attack the past few days; in my mind, in my heart, physically, emotionally, spiritually. And I know why. It’s because I am being obedient. I am making a few sacrifices in the next few weeks and my body is not happy about it. The old me wants to complain and rip a new one into anyone who gets in my way. The new me wants to see the blessings that are just around the corner. Satan is trying to stop me from doing what I am doing any way he can so that I don’t get closer to God, and in turn I won’t receive my blessings, and in the aftermath, that I don’t bless people around me. I need to remember that God is IN CHARGE all the time and He knows what I am going through, what I will continue to go through, and how I will come out on the other side. I am going to be still through this and remind myself that I don’t have anything to complain about. I was reading recently about Abraham and Isaac in Genesis 22. That story took me to an ENTIRELY different level. There are so many different ways of looking at obedience. Sometimes obedience feels like sacrifice, and it is to a degree. But for me obedience may be painful at the moment, but it ALWAYS brings joy, peace, happiness, a feeling of succeeding at something, satisfaction, and rewards!
God called out to Abraham and told him to take his only son, Isaac (the son Abraham had been waiting for more than 25 years) up a mountain to offer Isaac as a burnt offering to the Lord. AND HE DID! I can actually picture this. I can feel the range of emotions the man must be feeling; everything from fear to trust, confusion and doubt to love and respect. I empathize with Abraham as he carries his son up a mountain. I can feel his pain. He is even comforting his son as they travel to their destination. And THEN….an angel of the Lord comes in to save the day at the very last minute!
Genesis 22:12-18 – “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.” Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide “Jehovah-Jireh”. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.” The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 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, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, BECAUSE YOU HAVE OBEYED ME.”
I want to be someone who goes beyond the expected. If I give to God what He asks, then He will return to me far more than I could dream! It doesn’t matter what we give Him, for you, it could be caffeine for a few weeks, certain foods, relationships, habits, other fleshy desires, attitudes, or full control of the circumstances surrounding your family. He just wants us to be obedient!! The biggest part of my Christian walk is going to be in the waiting. But I am willing to wait. I can put up a fight, or I can trust the Lord. I can offer up a little, or I can offer up a lot. He knows my heart, and He understands my motives. So I will keep pressing on. I will continue to be obedient regardless of the fight around me, and I will praise Him in the storm!! I will not give up 5 minutes before the miracle. Peace will then reign.
God offers Peace when restlessness surrounds me. Peace with God is confident assurance in ANY and ALL circumstances. It is irreplaceable confidence!! How is your character being tested today?
You can read Genesis 19-27 about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the birth of the long awaited son, Isaac, to Abraham and Sarah, the story of Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob, and Esau at www.biblegateway.com. What a story of faith and obedience, joy and reward! Join in the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Genesis
To further your reading, and to dive a bit deeper, consider this from Hebrews 11:1-19 – Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. 4 By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead. 5 By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. 7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith. 8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11 And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore. 13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance,admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one.Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. 17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced 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 even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.
The writer is expressing that FAITH is the engine that drives our obedience. Faith is always rewarded when it is put in God. Is your faith leading you to a personal and powerful relationship with God? Are you believing in the things that still have yet to be seen? Are you following the example of our fore fathers who knew without a shadow of a doubt that God would fulfill His promises? We all experience rejection, doubt, insecurity but when God calls you, He will equip you! Most of these people of faith lived and died without seeing their promises fulfilled, but they never lost their vision of their Creator and their heavenly home! Genesis 18:14a – Is anything too hard for the Lord?