Dear Heavenly Father,
Abraham called the place where he offered Isaac, “Yahweh will provide” (Gen 22:14 LEB). What a beautiful way to commemorate your love and mercy. You provided a ram in place of Isaac, and many years later you provided your only Son, Jesus, in place of the whole world. Hallelujah, what a Savior!
Today in Your Word
Today you told me about Isaac’s birth and how you tested Abraham’s faith. Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born. The author of Hebrews said that “by faith” both Abraham and Sarah received power to conceive (Heb 11:11–12). They believed you could accomplish what was physically impossible, and their belief was grounded in the fact that they “considered him faithful who had promised.” The years passed and Isaac grew into a young teenager. At that time, you decided to test Abraham’s faith by asking him to offer Isaac as a sacrifice. If you tested Abraham, you will also test me. You test my faith to refine my character and to build the spiritual muscle of endurance (cf. Deut 8:2–3; James 1:2–4). Your goal is not to harm me, but to make me more like your Son, Jesus Christ. Abraham obeyed without delay. He was so convinced that you would keep your promise, that he believed you would raise Isaac from the dead! (cf. Heb 11:19). What a wonderful example of what to do when life’s circumstances seem to contradict your promise! James said that Abraham demonstrated the kind of faith that justifies us before you—it is a faith that obeys! (cf. James 2:21–24). After Abraham finished offering the ram, you swore by yourself that you would keep your promise to bless him. Hebrews says that you did this not only for Abraham, but also for me, “so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us” (Heb 6:18).
You asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, not because you want or condone human sacrifice, but because you wanted Abraham to sacrifice Isaac in his heart. This showed that Abraham loved you more than he loved what you had given him.
Father, give me a love for you like Abraham. May I hold nothing closer to my heart than I hold you. Help me in times of testing to stand firm in the faith, always trusting you for the future.
Thank you for the story of Abraham and Isaac! If you could give Abraham the grace to pass such a test of faith, I know that you will see me through my own times of trial!
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Suggested Hymn: “Abraham, When Severely Tried” by Charles Wesley.
Meditation Verse: Genesis 22:18.