When I obey the Lord before I even understand why or how things will work out, I am walking by faith, not by sight. Abraham did not argue or appeal (as he had in other interactions with God–see Gen. 17:18; 18:23) but he rose up early in the morning and left for the land of Moriah. He made preparations for the sacrifice of his only son, Isaac, even though he didn’t know exactly how everything was going to happen. (I think I would have conveniently “forgotten” to pack the knife and wood!) Two servants and Isaac went along with Abraham. (NO mention of Sarah at all–can you IMAGINE what she would have said if Abraham had told HER of God’s command??!!) Abraham simply “went unto the place of which God had told him.
It took 3 days of walking, but finally Abraham could see the place “far off.” He clearly instructed his servants to stay where they were with the animals. By faith, he said, “I AND THE LAD will go yonder and worship and COME AGAIN unto you.” His own words reveal that Abraham believed Isaac’s burnt offering sacrifice would NOT result in his death. Hebrews 11:19 tells us that Abraham was thinking that he would kill and burn his only son (Absolute GRIEF!) BUT that God would “raise him up, even from the dead.” What faith! This man had NEVER seen or heard of anyone coming back from the dead, but he was surely walking by faith. I have the Word of God, with details of people raised from the dead by Elijah, Jesus, Peter and the apostles, and, of course, the account of Jesus’ own resurrection. But would I have the faith the obey a command from God to kill and burn my child, knowing that God would raise him up? ONLY if the Holy Spirit enabled me…unthinkable!
So Abraham and Isaac carried the wood, a knife and a torch of flame toward Mount Moriah: “…and they went, both of them together.” Abraham was obeying his Authority without understanding every motivation or detail. Isaac, too, obediently carried the wood, not understanding what was going to happen.
For me, this amazing account has a couple of obvious applications:
*I MUST “sacrifice” my children and grandchildren to the will of God, believing that God will make everything right in His time and according to His perfect will.
*I demonstrate faith in God when I obey His Word without questioning: “Why? How? But God….”
*Proverbs 21:3 says that “to do justice and judgment is MORE ACCEPTABLE to the Lord than sacrifice…” The choices I make to walk in God’s ways are MORE ACCEPTABLE to the Lord than what Abraham did when he offered Isaac! Romans 12:1 says it–I am to offer my own body to God, a living sacrifice, holy, ACCEPTABLE to God.