Sovereign God, I’m thankful that when all is said and done, You are the beginning because You are the end.
Read GENESIS 22:9–19
9 When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram[a] caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”
15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring[b] all nations on earth will be blessed,[c] because you have obeyed me.”
19 Then Abraham returned to his servants, and they set off together for Beersheba. And Abraham stayed in Beersheba.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Worship God for His love and grace, which enable and prepare us in our journey to pass the daily tests that prepare us for exam day.
You may not be called literally to slay your flesh-and-blood relatives on an altar of wood, to be burnt by fire. However, as part of your calling, God may instruct you to sacrifice something that you consider precious and important. It may be a relationship, activity, tradition – or even a ministry that you offer in service to the Lord. If you were instructed by God to make that sacrifice, would you, like Abraham, be prepared to lay it down in humble obedience? Would you lay it down without any prospect of being able to pick it up again? This is what Abraham must do. He does not know an angel would prevent the sacrifice (11,12). Abraham’s obedience is more than a routine exam. Abraham’s obedience and faith are now character traits of who and what he has become. Gone is the deceiving, fear-filled, insecure man. What now stands on Mount Moriah, poised with knife in hand, is a God-fearing, righteous, faith-filled worshipper of the living God.
The book of Hebrews teaches that Abraham believed that if God wanted him to slay Isaac, He could fulfill His promises through Isaac’s life by resurrecting him from the dead.1 Abraham passes his exam with first-class honors and graduates to the masterclass of faith (12–18).2
Meditate on what Abraham’s reflections may have been in verses 9 and 10. The text portrays solid, unswerving faith. Would you have been as ready as Abraham? God is calling us to lay our all upon the altar of sacrifice. He wants everything! In your faith journey, thank God that He has been preparing you for this moment of sacrifice. His grace will have empowered you.
‘Great is thy faithfullness! / Great is thy faithfullness! / Morning by morning new mercies I see. / All I have needed, thy hand hath provided: / great is thy faithfullness, Lord, unto me.’3
“All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided……”. Thank You Lord, You are my provider.
1 Heb 11:19 2 See Gen 17:1 3 TO Chisholm, 1866–1960, ‘Great is thy faithfullness’