We see sacrifice and provision in the life of Abraham. We can learn much about the sanctity of human life from his perspective and the Lord’s as we come to Genesis 22. Tests happen in life…they may not necessarily be direct, personal tests from God, but they can be. Sometimes our own disobedience causes pain or disappointment, and at other times tests are just circumstances in life that affect us. When tests come our way, our first response is often, “Why, Lord?” And this may be followed by “why me, Lord?” We want explanations immediately. This simply does not always take place. Yet, the question could just as well be, “why not me?” We are not always going to miss these opportunities for growth…which is what they truly are. Indeed, the fact that we ask for an explanation may suggest that we have plenty of room to grow.
Isaac is the miracle child – the gift of God to Abraham and Sarah, and they both love him very much. And now, God asks Abraham to offer him in sacrifice? The request is a test of faith, hope and love…not only for Abraham, to whom the request is made...but also for Sarah. What would she think? How would she feel? She wasn’t going to be making this stressful journey. The key to life and godliness is found in Abraham’s response. He has heard God’s word, and immediately he obeys by faith. In his heart, Abraham knows that God’s will can never contradict God’s promise…so he holds on to the promise (21:12). Abraham tells the two servants that are with him, “I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come to you again” (22:5). He has no intention of bringing back his son, dead, but alive...amazing! Even as he pulls the knife above his head and gets ready to drop it…and indeed begins to do so…the angel of the Lord yells – “Stop!” Then, Jehovah Jireh, "the Lord will see to it" or "provide," steps in and provides the ram to take Isaac’s place. In his heart and by his obedience, Abraham offers Isaac as a sacrifice as the Lord requested. And this is all a type or sign of the Son of the Heavenly Father, Jesus, who would come. Even then, as Abraham was making the sacrifice in his heart, the Lord would be thinking – I will not be able to stop with my Son, but will allow Him to die!
Testing develops our faith and matures our character…and may even protect us from sin. When we are faced with disadvantages, let us allow the Lord to help us to turn them into advantages. God will be Jehovah Jireh to us…He will provide for us! We may not understand right away, but we can understand that the Lord has our own good right at the center of it all. He helps us to learn and to grow…to be better, stronger. One day, as Abraham believed that Isaac could be resurrected from the dead, and as our Lord was resurrected…likewise, we who are alive in Christ will one day be raised from the dead to eternal life. We have everything to hope for and to live for…so, let’s live for Him today! Blessings,