“Take your son, your only son Isaac, the one you love…” Genesis 22.2
There once was a man and his wife.
This man was told to leave his family and go out on an adventure to a different land far, far away. As an incentive, this barren couple was promised a child. Yet, seasons came, and seasons went. Still, there was no child.
But then, it came. A boy! A precious boy, the light of an old couple. The well of hope was nearly exhausted when a son was born. Then one day, this man was told to do something unthinkable in our mind. It was natural though in the ancient world, to sacrifice a child to a pagan god, even an only child.
“…offer him there as a burnt offering…”
How would you have felt? This God, the one who promised the stars and called you out of a comfort zone. He took you, he took you to the edge of your sanity. He grabbed the innermost core of your being and asked you to do the unthinkable.
My friends, sometimes I think God pushes us. I think he pushes us to the edge. And then when we get to the edge of the road, we get nudged into the guardrail until we begin to look over the side of the deep chasm. We see the darkness on the other side and all hope of survival fades.
When all hope seemed to fail, suddenly something happened:
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.” (Gen. 22:9-14)
God provided, when things looked so strange and so bleak. God tested Abraham, and stretched him to the limit. Yet, when the unthinkable arose, God provided.
What has God asked you to sacrifice in the past and present?