In Genesis 22 we read the account of how God asked Abraham to prepare to make a sacrifice, and how the thing to be sacrificed was his only son, the son of promise too. This is difficult to work out and seems an odd thing for God to ask. It’s definitely a divine test at a whole other level.
Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” [v2]
However, I think it is a test God asks of us more often than we may care to acknowledge. This is not about sacrificing our firstborn on an altar. In some senses it’s much simpler than that but just as difficult.
God’s question: are we willing to give up what is most precious to us?
Think about those things which have our heart, our attention, our time and our resources. Those things we can elevate and give greater importance than we ought to. The things which can easily get between us and God.
God first. Then family. Then church. I think this is a good way to line things up. But we have to be like Abraham, be willing to let go of what’s most precious and have faith that God will provide and therein lays the test. To let go of what we think is best for something God may provide which is better.
Yet therein lays the wonder as to how much God knows what we need and can bring it us, seemingly from nowhere, out of the ‘thickets’, from the other side of the mountain even.
“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.” 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. 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.” [v12-14]
In 2017, remember…He is the Lord who provides.