Grace From the Start: Day 6

The sacrifice of the long awaited Son.

Sarah and Abraham waited so very long for this son.  They waited years for a child.  God promised them a son when they were old and they waited again.  Sarah took maters into her own hands and Abraham conceived a child with the servant of Sarah.  The promised child finally arrives.  The child Abraham conceived with the servant is cast aside into the wilderness.  God hears the child crying and provides for him and his mother.

“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.”

 And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven and said, “By myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” So Abraham returned to his young men, and they arose and went together to Beersheba. And Abraham lived at Beersheba.”

{Genesis 22:1-19}

Abraham is asked to Sacrifice his son.  This son who was hoped for but they believed would never come.  This son who had been promised by God.  This son who they waited for so long for.  I do not want to miss what Abraham says to his young men when they are going up to sacrifice.  Abraham has all the supplies except something to sacrifice.  He has the wood, he has a knife, but no lamb.  Abraham knows what God has asked him to do.  God has called Abraham to sacrifice this long awaited for son.  But what does Abraham tell his servants?  “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.” {Genesis 22:5}  The faith of Abraham tells him that God is going to do something here.

My mothers heart and head can not understand this story unless I see it as a picture of God showing Abraham, Isaac, Sarah, and us that God is the one who sacrifices.  God is the one who redeems.  God is the one who gets the job done.  It is God showing us he is in the business of redemption, not Abraham, not Isaac, not us.

God does not require Abraham to sacrifice his one and only son.  The Father sacrifices his one and only son.  The Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, will get the job of redeeming done.

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