“I am God Almighty, walk before me and be blameless, that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.”
Then Abram fell on his face.
And God said to him, “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations.
No longer shall your name be called Abram,
But your name shall be Abraham,
For I have made you the father of a multitude of nations.
I will make you exceedingly fruitful,
And I will make you into nations,
And kings shall come from you.”
Abraham was one hundred years old when his son, Isaac was born.
Can we pause there for a second?
The average life expectancy worldwide as of 2016 is 76. If most of us had to wait one hundred years to have a child, we wouldn’t make it. Even in ancient times when life expectancy was much longer, no one was bearing children at 100 years old.
Can you even imagine?
What would’ve happened during this iconic moment in history if God were to have mentioned to Abraham something along the lines of:
”Oh yeah, by the way, in a few years I’m going to ask you to sacrifice your son, but don’t worry, I’ve got a plan.”
But He didn’t.
Instead, God fulfilled His promise and for years Abraham and Sarah celebrated the son they’d always wanted.
Sarah, a woman that spent her life craving a child to her core, was now a mama, and had someone to call her own.
Abraham, a proud papa, had someone that he could show the ropes too; someone from his own seed to carry on his legacy. Isaac was the lynchpin in God’s promise to make Abraham the father of many nations. With Isaac, Abraham had it all.
And then one day,
in one moment,
with one command,
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.
Abraham wasn’t warned that this was going to happen.
No heads up.
No countdown timer to the big question.
God’s test began, and Abraham answered.
While I would like to say, I would’ve answered the same way, as in, saddled up my donkey and headed toward the land of Moriah, I don’t know if I can.
The night before he was set to sacrifice Isaac, I can only imagine the internal dialogue between Abraham and God.
Lord, you know my heart. My heart is for You, yet I am a father, and I have a job to protect my children. You gave me no warning. What about Sarah? Oh, God, how do I explain this to her? Is his sacrifice worth it all for this test? Have I passed yet? I’m so afraid, Lord, I’m so, so, afraid.
Yet You know that I will do anything for You, even sacrifice my only son, because You and I are in this covenant together. I still believe Your Word, and that You said that I will be the father to many nations. I know that You will fulfill this promise. I know You will provide. I don’t want this, Yahweh, but You are Almighty, and I am not. You have taught me to trust You, and though it cost everything I have, I choose trusting You over me.
Most of us know the ending of this story, as God provided a ram that was caught in a thicket by his horns the next day as Abraham was about to sacrifice Isaac. That mount is forever called “the Lord will provide” as testament to what the Lord God did that day.
Centuries later, on a hill that could be seen in the distance from the terrain of Mount Moriah, another man wrestled inside with the same questions as Abraham surely did.
Abraham had no idea that his sacrifice was a foreshadowing of Christ Himself.
Abraham had no idea that one night, Jesus Christ, the God who emptied Himself to take on our sin with His perfect life, would show His humanity most vividly that night as He struggled in the Garden of Gethsemane, “I don’t want this Abba, take this cup from me! Yet… Yet, not my will, but Yours.”
Abraham relinquished his treasured Isaac.
He gave up his inheritance, because He had come to trust His God.
It didn’t happen all at once, this whole-life trust. Rather, one step at a time, Abraham saw more of God’s heart, and learned that He was good.
Jesus’ humanity was tempted to honor Himself, but His Godhood knew that submission to the Father He loved was worth any price. He knew the heart of Abba was good.
Where each of us land when it comes to relinquishing and trusting is a litmus test of how deeply we know this Abba Father God. One step at a time, keep your gaze fixed on His as He faithfully leads you into more. We can’t know “tomorrow”, but we can know our God.
We can trust Him now, in the Eve, because He Is Our Good!
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