“And he (Isaac) said, ‘ Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?’ Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” ~ Genesis 22: 7-8
Have you ever wondered what was going on in Abraham’s mind when his son asked him this question? While he was acting in full submission to God’s will, I’ve always wondered what was going on in his head. How could he remain so calm in such a difficult situation? The beginning of this chapter tells us that God tested Abraham. God did not want Abraham to fail, but wanted him to succeed and He wants the same for you and me. Abraham was quick to respond in full submission and his faith remained strong. I can never imagine what it would mean to take a leap of faith as Abraham did, but my prayer is that we can follow in his footsteps and tune our hearts to hear and be obedient to God’s calling in our lives.
Abraham had walked with God and knew His character. He was a man who was determined to listen and to obey God’s voice. Abraham’s commitment to God is what gave him the ability to quickly submit to Him. Abraham was filled with hope even though he did not know what would happen to his son. We see in Genesis 22 Abraham rose early in the morning, without any hesitation, and obeyed God’s request. Why was he so quick to submit and obey? If you look just a few chapters back, we see God make a covenant with Abraham.
“And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” ~ Genesis 12: 2-3
As I stated earlier, Abraham knew God’s character. In knowing God’s character, he understood that God could never lie. His promise to Abraham required him to have a son and Abraham knew that Isaac was this chosen seed from God. Abraham kept God’s promise in his heart and when it came down to obedience, he submitted and trusted that God would fulfill the promise He made to him.
One lingering question I always had when reading about Abraham, is why did God choose to test him in this manner? In a recent message this quote really helped me put things into perspective: “God wanted to distinguish what was good (Isaac) to what was ultimate (God).” God wanted Abraham to trust in Him and His promises and nothing else. It is Him alone who can satisfy! Abraham yielded to what God called him to do because he had faith in the One True King. If we are to trust as he did, we must constantly yield our hearts to His will. Yielding to God is essential in our walk with God. When we are in His Word and in constant prayer, overtime, we will find yielding to God much easier. If Abraham had not walked with God or trusted in His promises, I’m sure this period of testing would have been very difficult for him to accept. Similarly, in my own life, when I have trials and test that come my way, I find it easy to persevere and hold on when my eyes are fixed on Christ.
In Hebrews 11:17-19, we see Abraham reasoned that God would raise his son, Isaac from the dead. He had such great faith in God! He believed that God in His grace, would raise Isaac from the dead in order to fulfill His promise. Abraham was firm in His understanding of who God was, and had willed in his heart to be obedient despite his circumstances. Can we truly say that we are quick to respond to and obey God? How willing are we to give up something so precious in our own lives? Abraham’s whole-hearted obedience to God is a beautiful example of how we as believers must be. He held nothing back and neither should we! We should ask God to increase our faith in His goodness, so that when He calls us to act, we can obey with our whole hearts. Abraham took something that seemed so difficult and made it look easy, because he believed. We must trust that God always works for our own good in everything (Romans 8:28) and that He will give us the grace we need to bring Him glory in every situation He places us in.