“After all this, God tested Abraham. God said, ‘Abraham!’


‘Yes?’ answered Abraham. ‘I’m listening.’


He said, ‘Take your dear son Isaac whom you love and go to the land of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I’ll point out to you.’ Abraham got up early in the morning and saddled his donkey. He took two of his young servants and his son Isaac. He had split wood for the burnt offering. He set out for the place God had directed him. On the third day he looked up and saw the place in the distance. Abraham told his two young servants, ‘Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I are going over there to worship; then we’ll come back to you.’


Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and gave it to Isaac his son to carry. He carried the flint and the knife. The two of them went off together.


Isaac said to Abraham his father, ‘Father?’


‘Yes, my son.’


‘We have flint and wood, but where’s the sheep for the burnt offering?’


Abraham said, ‘Son, God will see to it that there’s a sheep for the burnt offering.’ And they kept on walking together.


They arrived at the place to which God had directed him. Abraham built an altar. He laid out the wood. Then he tied up Isaac and laid him on the wood. Abraham reached out and took the knife to kill his son. Just then an angel of God called to him out of Heaven, ‘Abraham! Abraham!’


‘Yes, I’m listening.’


‘Don’t lay a hand on that boy! Don’t touch him! Now I know how fearlessly you fear God; you didn’t hesitate to place your son, your dear son, on the altar for me.’ Abraham looked up. He saw a ram caught by its horns in the thicket. Abraham took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. Abraham named that place God-Yireh (God-Sees-to-It). That’s where we get the saying, ‘On the mountain of God, he sees to it’.” Genesis 22:1-14 (MSG)




Abraham had waited and longed to have a son. When he reached one hundred years old, God’s promise was fulfilled in his life through his son Isaac. Even after the promise had been fulfilled, God had a test for Abraham. Was Abraham willing to lay everything down to follow Him? God directed Abraham to travel to a mountain and sacrifice his son. So, he got up early, not late, to follow God’s instructions. The road to that mountain was probably the longest road in his life. There would have been questions and trying to figure out how God was working. Even though it was a tough road, Abraham kept traveling for three days. Abraham was about to have a mountain top experience with God, but he could have missed it if he had held on too tightly to God’s blessing. As they climbed the mountain and his son asked him about the sacrifice, Abraham’s words reflected his heart. God would provide. God had provided for him when he had left his homeland and traveled to a foreign place. God had provided for him when he traveled to Egypt to avoid the famine. God had provided him with a son even though it seemed impossible. Over and over again, God had been faithful to Abraham. During one of the most challenging experiences of his life, Abraham was confident that God would be faithful again. Even as Abraham laid his son on the altar, his faith was evident, and God did come through by providing a ram. Abraham had developed a sensitivity to God’s presence, so he was able to hear and respond when God provided a different solution. Abraham saw God come through in a great way because Abraham was willing to hold the blessings in his life in open hands and walk in obedience.


Some might consider waiting one hundred years to see God’s promised fulfilled in their life a little delayed. Even greater, it is difficult to imagine God testing Abraham’s faith in this way. Yet, Abraham’s obedience to God is noteworthy. In our lives, we face situations where we have to decide if we will walk by faith.  Sometimes God brings blessings or provision into our life, and it can be tempting to hold on to it very tightly. We can become so focused on the blessing that we lose sight of the One who gives blessings. When we hold on to things too tightly, it can be easy for them to take a higher precedence in our life than our relationship with God. As we learn from Abraham’s life, God is faithful as we walk in obedience to His leading. God wanted Abraham to hold the gift He had given him with open hands. I believe God is asking the same thing of us. No job, dream, plan, or family can ever bring us the fulfillment that God brings. When we live with this understanding, it is reflected in our priorities and our obedience. Even when the test comes, a person who holds tightly to God instead of people or things is available to experiencing God’s faithfulness in a new way.

Scripture taken from THE MESSAGE. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002.  Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.
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About Hona Amer

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