After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.” And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.
When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”
Abraham had committed his life to the Lord, so when the Lord called to him in verse 1, he answered right away. God told Abraham to offer his only son as a sacrifice to the Lord. During this time, pagans were sacrificing their children to their pagan gods and God is testing Abraham to see if he was as committed to the Lord as the pagans were committed to their gods. God also wanted to see if Abraham would trust Him. Isaac was the son that God had promised Abraham many years earlier and He wanted to see if Abraham trusted Him. Abraham obeyed God fully, without hesitation. He knew that God would provide for them, as he tells Isaac in verse 8. As they made their way up the mountain, Abraham knew that God would take care of everything because he was obedient to the Lord. When living a life of worship, you have to trust God to take care of your needs. If you do not trust Him with everything, you cannot live a life of true worship. Abraham obeyed God every step of the way. All the way to the point of having the knife raised to kill Isaac. God was testing Abraham to see if he would be obedient through the whole process, and he was. God also wanted Abraham to see that He would provide for him. It is God’s desire to provide for our every need. Often, we have to learn that the hard way. When God brought the ram up the mountain, He was showing that He always provides for His children.
God wanted to see if Abraham would offer anything and everything as a sacrifice to Him. This is the type of sacrifice that God wants us to have. God wants us to have an obedience to Him that holds nothing back, even our most prized possession. When we trust God for everything, we will see Him do amazing and wonderful things in our lives. God wants us to trust Him. In living a life of trust, often He will ask us to give Him everything, even what we value most. But He is so good, so loving, and so faithful to us. He will not bring us harm when we are living in obedience to Him. God blessed Abraham’s life in an incredible way. He never would have done that if Abraham had refused to offer Isaac as a sacrifice on the altar. God saw Abraham’s love and obedience; Abraham saw God’s provision. What an awesome time of worship they must have had on the top of that mountain as the ram was being sacrificed. What a time of praising God for His love and for His providing!
1. Would you be willing to give God anything that He asked you to give to Him?
2. What is the thing in life that is you most prized possession? Would you be willing to give that up if God asked you to?
3. Have there been times in your life where you have seen God provide for you at the last minute?
Today, remember the ways that God has provided for you. As you spend time with things that are important to you, decide if you would give them to God if He asked you to do so.