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.
- What was God thinking? It says that God was ‘testing’ Abraham. Which, I guess, means would Abraham be prepared to do whatever God asked. It allows us to think that God would never have allowed Isaac to be killed as such sacrifices were strictly forbidden in the constitutional and sacrificial laws when they were ultimately delivered through Moses. And God is NOT a God of double standards.
- What was Abraham thinking? He’d been promised that Isaac would be the father of a huge nation. Was he relying on God being able to raise the dead? Was he depending on God to show a better way out of this than Isaac being slaughtered? He was coming to trust God more and more. His answer to Isaac (“God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.”) suggests that Abraham might have been beginning to understand more fully God’s ways.
- What did Abraham’s workers think? They weren’t stupid and 1+1 doesn’t equal 3. Did they suspect that the old man had lost his marbles?…..That fatherhood was too much for him?
- What was Isaac thinking? His question to Abraham showed that he was thinking – where was the sacrifice he wondered. Did the answer that he got satisfy him completely?
Comment: Help me to not try to get answers to all the theoretical possibilities, but to maturely trust You with a child-like but not childish faith.