Side note: I posted as a guest writer at A String Of a Pearls today with my views on mental health. You don’t want to miss that and comments are appreciated.
I’m sure by the time they made it to Genesis 30, Abraham and Isaac were telling this story and laughing so hard tears came from their eyes. But in Genesis 22 we see a very different story unfolding and it was nothing to joke about.
God has all these big plans for our lives, but usually they look nothing like what we have planned for ourselves. He directs us, but we have free will to do whatever we want.
Sometimes He tests our trust in Him for the purpose of fulfilling His plan.
So goes the moment between Abraham and God. Specifically the sacrifice God wanted Abraham to perform. Sacrifices in those days were just our way of saying to God “I love you and trust you.” One day soon God would send his own son as a sacrifice as His way of telling us how much He loved us. For now though He was content with the usual sheep or ram.
Except this one time God told Abraham to place his own son he had waited so long to have, the boy he loved so much, the boy he would have died to protect; on the altar and Isaac would be the sacrifice that day.
So the next morning (I wonder if Abraham slept in peace and trust that night or if he argued with God all night) they set off on the journey up the mountain.
Isaac pointed out a few times that they had the wood, the coal and the knife, but the sheep seemed to be missing. (I would have major warning bells going off in my head, but I have trust issues) Abraham simply replied that God will provide the lamb if that was wanted.
They got the altar built and with no sheep to be seen, Abraham told his son to climb on the altar. (I’ve tried to get kids to simply let me put them in a tree and seen the protests, so to get this kid on an altar; I can’t fathom)
But Isaac loved his father and trusted him, so he climbed the altar without a word and laid down. Abraham climbed on top with his knife and with pain in his heart, a shaky hand and tears rolling down his cheeks; Abraham raised the knife up to plunge it into his favorite son.
“STOP!!” God screamed out. “I want Isaac to live and not die. I know how deep you love and trust me. Because you would have given me your only son.”
Abraham got Isaac off the altar and held him as tightly as he could. (No hard feelings, right?!) He cried as his heart filled with joy and over his son’s head, he saw a sheep caught in some brambles. They sacrificed the sheep and gave thanks to a God who provides even when we don’t understand.
Sometimes God asks us to do the hard things and the impossible, but we have thousands of years we can look back and see that everything He has promised, He delivers. He doesn’t fail us.
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and hope.”
Our human minds try to make God so little and strip his power away, because we need to feel like we have control.
Are you willing to believe in a BIG God that has plans for you that aren’t to harm you, but to give you hope?
Would you be willing to give up your child if that is what He asks knowing it is for His Glorious purpose?
One day another beloved son would carry wood on his back and there would be no rescuing lamb at the last moment. A Father would watch as His only beloved son would be the sacrificial lamb for a hope and future for all his Earthly children.