Monday, September 14, 2015


Genesis 22:5"...I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you." 

In Verse 2 of this same chapter God told Abraham to take his only son and offer him as a burnt sacrifice. In old testament times animal sacrifices were very normal for the Jewish people , but not human sacrifice. And in addition, God was telling Abraham to sacrifice the child that He had promised to him and Sarah, the child that was to be foundation for the Jewish people to be numbered as the sands of the sea. 

This would be the conversation had it been me in Abraham's place.  "I'm sorry, what???  You want me to take my child and kill him on the altar?  I'm sorry God, but one of us has lost their mind."  At which point I would have packed up and moved as far from Israel as possible.  Oh my friends, I'm afraid I could have never handled this like Abraham did.  

Lets observe Abraham and his actions after being told to do this.  First, he got up early the next morning!  (What? Early to go kill your child??)  He saddled up the donkey, grabbed a couple of men, got his son, loaded up a pile of wood and rope and they all took off for a 3 day journey.

When they came to the place God had told them to go, Abraham readied himself and told the spare men to wait while he and Isaac went and worshiped and then he said, they, let me repeat, THEY would return to them. 

I believe that Abraham fully intended to sacrifice his son in the manor in which he was told.  But, I believe he expected God to raise his son back up, because his son was a promise and Abraham knew God did not break His promises.  This makes me cry as I write this and see the power in Abraham's faith.  God never breaks His promises.  He will do what He says he will do,  He will keep what He says He will keep.  No matter how far removed He seems, no matter how dark and scary the times, God is faithful.  The altar here didn't represent death and the end of God's promise.  It was a place of hope and returning.

We all know that Abraham bound Isaac, laid him on the altar and was about to plunge the knife into his son when an angel stopped him.  And there, caught in the bushes was a ram for the sacrifice.  I am sure on the trip down the mountain Abraham's load was lighter, having burned the wood and the rope. But I can imagine his heart was much fuller having his son at his side and having seen God keeping His promise.

"Father, Your promises are faithful and true. As You lead me to lay things at the altar, help me remember that what I give totally to You, is safe with You.  As in this story, help me remember that what gets burned at the altar needs to stay at the alter and when the time comes to walk away from the altar, my load will be lighter and my heart will be fuller. Amen."