God calling Abraham to sacrifice Isaac has always been one of my favorite Old Testament scriptures. But lately, it has taken on new meaning. Like a fresh coat of paint on a dingy wall, I’m seeing this story with fresh eyes.
I’ve been doing a lot of promise standing lately, you know, standing on God’s promises. My promise standing has been prompted by my current life-season. You see, my family is waiting on God. And as we wait, I’ve been trying to keep myself occupied in a godly sort of way.
Jumping back to Abraham, in Genesis 22 God calls Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. This is his only son born of Sarah, the one he has waited for a mere 25 years. No big deal. As Abraham and Isaac climb up the mountain, Isaac asks, “Hey Dad, where’s the animal for the sacrifice?” Abraham responds, “God himself is going to provide the burnt offering.”
Wait…what? I thought Isaac was the offering??
A couple things are going on here. Abraham either believes God will raise Isaac from the dead after he is sacrificed. Or, Abraham believes he won’t have to sacrifice Isaac after all.
Which it is, I’m not sure. But what I can say is Abraham chose to stand on God’s promise to make Abraham a great nation through his offspring. Abraham chose to believe that God is true to his word.
Everything was stacked against that promise. God told Abraham to do the very thing that would end Abraham’s earthly lineage. Why would God do that? It didn’t seem feasible that Abraham’s line could continue. Yet, Abraham believed God. He trusted God.
If you’re not familiar with this story, Abraham walks in obedience and, in the last moment possible before Isaac is killed, God provides a substitute sacrifice.
Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” ~Romans 4:18
God’s been giving me a lot of time to practice this discipline, this promise-standing. I’m learning it is a choice to stand on his word. A rather hard, daily choice. Nevertheless, I’m learning too that God is proving faithful; he has not put me to shame for believing his promises.
What insurmountable mountain are you facing today? Does it seem as if God will not follow through on his promises?
Whether or not we are facing mountains, we are still called to trust God. What’s keeping you from standing on his promises and from believing God means what he says?