Last night at church, one of the pastors preached on the story of Abraham and Isaac. Remember when God told Abraham to take Issac up to the mountain and sacrifice him? It's found in Genesis 22.
1 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, "Abraham!"
"Here I am," he replied.
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."
Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took
with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough
wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him
about. 4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5
He said to his servants, "Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy
go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you."
Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son
Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of
them went on together, 7 Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, "Father?"
"Yes, my son?" Abraham replied.
"The fire and wood are here," Isaac said, "but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?"
Ok, so God tells Abraham to sacrifice the son whom ALL the covenants God promised are supposed to come from. He's not only told Him to sacrifice, but look at verse 4. "On the third day." Can you imagine what that must have been like?
Abraham is walking his son up to the mountain to literally kill him as an alter sacrifice to God. After a three day hike, he finally gets the directive from God…"There's the place."
Three days he had to hear, "Dad, where we going?"
Three days he had to walk in torment, "Is this the only way?"
Three days he must have been wondering, "God are you serious?"
I think about the times in my life I feel like God has called me to something, something that doesn't make sense. He calls me to something that when calculated according to the world's standards, it just doesn't add up. But then, out of no where, He shows up and smooths out the situation.
8 Abraham answered, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." And the two of them went on together.
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.
"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 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."
Now, it doesn't mean God always provides a way out. Sometimes we have to go through the storm before He shows up. Sometimes we have to walk through the fire like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. (Daniel 3) Sometimes we have to endure defeat like Joshua. (Joshua 7). Sometimes He asks us to walk all the way to the end.
But one thing we can rest assured…He will never leave us or forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5)
May we be a people who recognize God will eventually pull through.
May we see our hope is in one who makes all things new.
And, in the middle of the storm, May we be content not to look at our surroundings, but rather; keep our eyes focused on the one who can provide.