THE BINDING OF ISAAC
After these things, God tested Avraham. He said to him, “Avraham!” and he answered, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love, Yitz’chak; and go to the land of Moriyah. There you are to offer him as a burnt offering on a mountain that I will point out to you.” (Gen 22:1,2)
When I first read this passage, I was struck first with Yahveh’s demand that Avraham sacrifice his only son. How could God do that? How could He violate His own prohibition of sacrificing human beings? Then, I was struck with Avraham’s reaction, as we read further into the passage: Avraham got up early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, together with Yitz’chak his son. (Gen 22:3) What must have been going through his mind, that would enable him to follow Yahveh’s command? So, I attempted to reconstruct the messages Avraham created, that convinced him to accede to God’s command.
“Yahveh told me, through Isaac would emerge many generations of family.”
“Yahveh’s promises are true and would never be withdrawn.”
“If I sacrifice my son, then he will be resurrected, because Yahveh’s promises are true and will never be withdrawn.”
What faith Avraham had for Adonai Elohim, the Lord God. I can only imagine the battle that he initially felt within and then settled with the faith he had for God. Then I thought: “How would I react, if Yahveh told me to sacrifice one of my children?”
First, realizing this question was irrelevant, as Yahveh had never made the promises with me that He made with Avraham, it would be silly to even think this way. So, with that thought in mind, I considered one of the promises He had made to me:
- A long life.
- A ministry, with His guidance.
- A deep love with my beloved wife.
- Eternal life with Him, after my physical death.
These four promises mean everything to me. Thus, a more significant sacrifice would be giving up my deep love with Chantal, for whatever reason. I considered this potential sacrifice carefully. The reasons why He would ask this are irrelevant, frankly. The issue is, He has made this promise to me and He would never rescind it. But He might ask me to relinquish this promise. How might I respond?
For what possible reason would He ask me to give up such a deep love, a love that has buoyed both of us for many years? Realizing this line of thinking was getting me nowhere, I retreated to my default position: If my Lord God asked me to do anything, it was for a valuable purpose, even though I do not understand. Just His asking was imperative for me to agree, and, so, I would. He is my God and He deserves all my life. I know, if He wanted something from me, there was something He wanted to give me that was of even greater value. What and when were questions outside my understanding.
CONSIDER: What sacrifice would we be willing to make, if asked by Yahveh? Is God so important in our lives? Would we be willing to give up even our greatest treasure for Him?
ACT: I urge all of us to sincerely face these questions and answer them as truthfully as possible. These are the most important questions you could ever face.
PRAY: Abba, Beloved Abba, we are so blessed that You would care for us. We are so blessed knowing that You gave Your only Son for us. I pray you help us develop a deeper relationship with you; I pray you give us the courage to face your deepest questions and commands. In Your beloved Name I pray.
May the God of Avraham, Isaac and Jacob bless you richly.
To read a preview of my new book, A Journey Through Torah: An Introduction to God’s Life Instructions for His Children, Volume One: Genesis, please click on the link, below: