“Some time later, God tested Abraham’s faith. ‘Abraham!’ God called.
‘Yes,’ he replied. ‘Here I am.’
‘Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you’” (Gen. 22:1-2 NLT).
Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? God is asking Abraham to kill his own son! But love is sacrifice, not control. Don’t be surprised when God asks you to sacrifice what you love. Because God can’t fully bless what you’re unwilling to let go of.
The fact that God is asking Abraham to kill his own son is crazy enough. But there’s another reason why God’s request is downright ridiculous. You see, Isaac is the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham. It makes absolutely no sense for God to kill the very source of His promise.
God says, “‘… Sarah, your [Abraham’s] wife, will give birth to a son for you. You will name him Isaac, and I will confirm my covenant with him and his descendants as an everlasting covenant’” (Gen. 17:19 NLT).
How can Isaac have descendants if Abraham slaughters his young life? But, even still, Abraham obeys God’s ridiculous request.
“The next morning Abraham got up early. He saddled his donkey and took two of his servants with him, along with his son, Isaac. Then he chopped wood for a fire for a burnt offering and set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day of their journey, Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. ‘Stay here with the donkey,’ Abraham told the servants. ‘The boy and I will travel a little farther. We will worship there, and then we will come right back’” (V. 3-5 NLT).
Imagine traveling 50 miles to sacrifice your son. A 3-day journey of anxiety and bewilderment.
“When they arrived at the place where God had told him to go, Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood on it. Then he tied his son, Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood. And Abraham picked up the knife to kill his son as a sacrifice. At that moment the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven, ‘Abraham! Abraham!’
‘Yes,’ Abraham replied. ‘Here I am!’
‘Don’t lay a hand on the boy!’ the angel said. ‘Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son’” (V. 9-12 NLT).
Love is sacrifice, not control. Abraham sacrifices Isaac in his heart, surrendering control to God. As a result, God’s promise finds an even stronger foundation (V. 15-18).
But today, let’s focus on God’s provision. After sparing Isaac’s life, God provides a ram.
“Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a thicket. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering in place of his son. Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means ‘the LORD will provide’). To this day, people still use that name as a proverb: ‘On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided’” (V. 13-14 NLT).
I started to call the story of Abraham and Isaac the most ridiculous story of the Bible. But then, I remembered another story. Another story about a Father sacrificing His only Son. Except this time, there’s no ram caught in the thicket. There’s no replacement. Just Jesus.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16 KJV).
Yahweh-Yireh. The LORD will provide. And He has.
“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (Rom. 5:8 NLT).
And this, my friends, is the most ridiculous story of the Bible. But it’s completely true. God’s love for us is so strong—so far beyond our wildest dreams—that it’s downright ridiculous. Have you allowed it to embrace you?
After all, Jesus is your ram caught in the thicket. He’s your provision. Be reminded of God’s unconditional, amazing love for you. Jesus has truly provided a way for you to experience Him!
“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Rom. 10:9 NLT).
Isaiah Pauley is a senior at Wahama High School. He can be followed at www.isaiahpauley.com, or on Facebook at Isaiah Pauley Page.
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