Read Genesis 21:1-34
God had pulled through on every single promise He’d given to Abraham. Blessing after blessing, God had not only provided sufficiently, but with absolute abundance.
So when the God Who Provides asked Abraham to sacrifice the fulfillment of the most meaningful promise he held, it’s hard to imagine how it really went down.
Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about” (Isa. 22:2).
I wonder about the hike up that mountain. Did Abraham and Isaac talk as they walked? Was it just another day in the eye of Isaac’s mind, or could he sense his dad’s growing tension? Was Abraham sick, wondering how in the world God would make him sacrifice his one and only son?
When Isaac asked about the lamb for the burnt offering, did Abraham think about how God had provided Isaac? Did he truly believe God would provide an actual lamb?
When the angel stopped the slaying and God gave His approval, was it Abraham’s faith that led Isaac to worship? When he saw the ram in the thicket, did Isaac’s own faith grow while he climbed off that altar, convinced that the LORD will indeed always provide?
I wonder if, fifteen hundred years later, in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus thought about Isaac. Did He remember him laying on that altar his dad had built as He sweat drops of blood and begged His Father to remove His wrath-filled cup? Did He talk with the Father about it as He walked those promise-fulfilling steps of obedience, even with the cross tied to His back and the weight of mankind’s sin thrust upon His shoulders?
Did Jesus recall Abraham’s faith made sight even as the Father provided the real sacrifice? Did Jesus realize at that moment that He was the One True Sacrifice?
The story of Abraham’s obedience points to Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. God offered His only Son, whom He loves as Abraham loved Isaac, as a sacrifice on a cross-shaped altar. Slain so that, by faith, you and I can be part of Abraham’s promise.
We are part of the blessed that God planned for way back when He promised Abraham that through him, all nations would be blessed.