Every time I read about Abraham’s faith being tested in Genesis 22, when God instructs Abraham to offer his only son, Isaac, as a burnt offering, I am in awe of each obedient step that Abraham took to follow God’s instruction. It was days of what had to seem like pure torment. We know that as a result of Abraham’s faithfulness and pure reverence, or fear of the Lord, God does not allow Abraham to go through with this request; and we will see in today’s passage the many blessings that God bestows upon Abraham for his unwavering faith. But, before we look at those blessings, I want us to try to put ourselves in Abraham’s shoes for a moment. I honestly do not think most of us would make it past request #1:
- God calls out to you tonight…“(Insert Your Name), tomorrow I will send further instruction, but go to this place and I would like for you to sacrifice your child or the person you love the most in this world.”
- The next morning you wake up early, get your transportation ready, ask two people to accompany you, you bring your most loved one with you, and set out to sacrifice this person for God.
- You get near the place, you chop wood, it has been 3 days, and you ask the two people who you brought with you to remain with your transportation.
- You and your most loved one travel a little farther and that person begins to question what is going to happen.
- You arrive at the place where God has instructed, you build an altar, you arrange wood on the top of the alter, you tie up your loved one, you lay that person upon the wood on the altar, then you take a knife and prepare to kill your loved one.
- Before you can hurt your loved one, an angel of the Lord calls out to you from heaven and stops you.
We know that all of this transpired within the Old Testament, under the old sacrificial law, and as followers of Christ, He is our One and only sacrifice that replaced the old law. But truly, Abraham’s immense faith should be a never-ending example for you and me.
Today’s passage picks up after God stops Abraham from killing Isaac and after the ram is sacrificed as the offering to God. The angel of the Lord calls out again to Abraham, only this time God offers Abraham many blessings and promises of reward due to his faithfulness.
God wants our faith to be obedient and steadfast as Abraham. Obviously, each of us is different and so how He calls us is going to be different, but we need to be ready to answer God’s call. We see here, and throughout God’s Word, that blessings come as a result of our faithfulness. May Abraham’s example be an encouragement to your faith today, I know it has done a number on mine.
Genesis 22:15-18 (NLT)
15 Then the angel of the LORD called again to Abraham from heaven. 16 “This is what the LORD says: Because you have obeyed me and have not withheld even your son, your only son, I swear by my own name that 17 I will certainly bless you. I will multiply your descendants beyond number, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will conquer the cities of their enemies. 18 And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed—all because you have obeyed me.”
Prayer: Jesus, thank You for placing Abraham, and every other brother and sister of faith, within my path. I learn so much from their examples of living lives that are faithful to You. Holy Spirit, please move within me so that I can continue to grow in my faith. Help to open my spiritual ears to hear what I need to hear in order to grow closer and closer to the Lord. May my spiritual eyes fixate on that which is of eternity and steer clear of that which is of this world. Stir within my heart to connect to the heart of Jesus. I ask all of this in Your Holy Name, Jesus. Amen.