TO CHEW ON: "'In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.'" Genesis 22:18
Isaac had obviously been with Abraham before when he made an offering, for he knew what things were needed and noticed that they didn't have one of them. Abraham's answer to Isaac's question, "Where is the lamb?" was masterful in its avoidance. He didn't say, "You're going to be that lamb." Instead he said: "God will provide for Himself the lamb," which was not only tactful, but prophetic.
His answer illustrated his faith—a faith so genuine it earned him a big section in the Hebrews 11 gallery of heroes (Hebrews 11:8-10; 17-19). He believed that because Isaac was the child of promise, God would achieve His purposes through Isaac even if He had to raise him from the dead to do it.
What are our Isaacs? Is it our sense of calling? Our hopes and dreams for a marriage, or a project? Our careers? Our own children? Whether these things have already come to pass and we're clinging to them (in almost idolatrous fashion) as the answer to how God is going to make our lives significant, or they are still in the future, could we tie them up and put them on the altar like Abraham did Isaac?
Talking about offerings, I am reminded of another "offering" passage: "I beseech you therefore brethren by the mercies of God that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God which is your reasonable service" - Romans 12:1. Paul is pleading with the Roman Christians to sacrifice their very selves.
Abraham's faith got a big promise from God: "In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed." Was God talking about the seed of a son, or the seed of faith, or both?
There is a "seed" promise for us too if we make that "living sacrifice" of ourselves and all the things that are dearest to us. Here it is:
"I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives. Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity" - John 12:24-25, NLT.
PRAYER: Dear God, it is hard for me to sacrifice my "Isaacs." Each relinquishment is a test of faith in You and Your promises. Help me to have the unflinching faith of Abraham to let You have complete control and say over all those things that are dearest to me. Amen.
A personal note:
I have, over the years, dabbled in writing poetry. I have recently re-published a collection of my efforts in e-book format. First published in 2004, Calendar is a collection of poems on the themes of nature, personal experience, parenting, aging, and faith. In case you're interested, it's available from Smashwords.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.