When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called the name of that place, “The LORD will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided.”
Comment: I guess that we could argue that this ending is almost unbelievable but rounds the story off very well – almost like a fairy tale! Some see the story as making God cruel and unreasonable. The Muslims say that the Jews got it wrong and it was Ishmael whom Abraham took up the mountain. There is no evidence for that but it would fit what they want to see of Ishmael’s place in history. In the orthodox conservative churches the story is believed as told – and all glory to God. What an example of testing, obedience, provision and God being in control. But much more it is seen as an example of Jesus, the Lamb of God, provided as the ultimate sacrifice for the death which every human being deserves because of his/her sins. It fits very well if we see Isaac as the chosen child of God and the Cross as being the ultimate sacrifice to meet the needs for forgiveness and restoration of Father to child relationship for the sinner with the Holy God.
Prayer: Help me to see the whole picture of Your promises and prophecy.