Abraham was referred to as a friend of God; he knew and trusted God from experience and interaction. In the book of Genesis 22:2, God asked Abraham to offer his son Isaac as an offering. Abraham did not withhold Isaac from God, early the next morning he set out for the place that God had told him to do it.
Abraham got Isaac at an old age and he loved him dearly. Then God asked him for a sacrifice of this very son. We can only imagine what as going through his mind as he walked to the place of sacrifice. The question we too must ask ourselves is this: why would God ask him to sacrifice his only son? Is it possible that something had happened since he became a father? Had he maybe replaced his devotion and worship for God with adoration for Isaac? Was his focus now more on the son than it was on God?
God does not take nor allow human sacrifices yet He ordered Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac for Him. We know that Abraham fully trusted in God and believed that even if he was to sacrifice his son Isaac, God was more than capable of raising him from the dead. When Abraham finally reached out his hand and got ready to slay his son Isaac, God stopped him and provided a ram for the sacrifice. God finally saw that Abraham's fascination with his son was gone and He saw the extent of Abraham's love for Him.
There are three things we can learn from this. Firstly that nothing is really ours, everything belongs to God. Everything is entrusted to us for safe keeping, these include our children and our property. We are but custodians of all that we think we possess. When God asks for them, we should be ready to give them up. Jesus Christ called off his disciples from their homes, their families, their engagements, their hobbies and asked them to follow him. Those that hesitated were considered unfit to serve him.
Secondly, God's purpose is not to harm us but to make us better. He may put us through a hard time to sort out our attitudes or to mold us in preparation for what He has laid ahead of us but His plans are always for our own good. Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future". God has nothing but the best lined up for us.
Thirdly, we only get a breakthrough when we let go and let God be. Abraham's relationship with God changed when He reached out for the knife to slay the boy Isaac. In Genesis 22:12 God declared, " now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son". In verse 16 of the same chapter, God now went on to swear by Himself, that because Abraham had not withheld Isaac from him, He would bless him and make his descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the sea-shore. If Abraham's attention had somehow steered away from the Almighty, then God had now managed to bring him back to focus.
Our concept of who God is should be that He is a great God who should be served with reverence so that when He asks anything of us, we can give it to Him without holding back because our miracles and blessings lie in our obedience. We may be attached to our cars, our houses, our careers or our relationships at the expense of serving Him; God is asking us to let go and let Him be.
May these words (sermons), from various men and women of God be a blessing to all.