The obedience of Sons
““Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.”” Genesis 22:2 NLT
God instructed Abraham to sacrifice his one and only son Isaac, the one he loves very much, the one he was promised to have at his old age even when Sarah’s womb was dead. The one who was probably his last born child considering his age.
How could God give gifts and the take them away? This was a test of Abraham’s faith and his obedience in God, and there is no doubt about it. But more than that, it was a test of Isaac’s obedience and trust in his father, and the God of his father.
“So Abraham placed the wood for the burnt offering on Isaac’s shoulders, while he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them walked on together,” Genesis 22:6 NLT
Isaac carried the wood up the mountain with his father. Clearly his father Abraham was old and not having as much energy as Isaac. I believe that Isaac was even helping pull his old father up the mountain, in obedience, not knowing that he is to be sacrificed.
Seeing that him and his father had everything they needed for the sacrifice but not an animal to sacrifice, he asked:
“Isaac turned to Abraham and said, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “We have the fire and the wood,” the boy said, “but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?” “God will provide a sheep for the burnt offering, my son,” Abraham answered. And they both walked on together.” Genesis 22:7-8 NLT
We can learn a lot from this interaction between father and son. Firstly, Abraham would not have been wrong to say to Isaac: “You are a sacrifice. God instructed me to offer you as a sacrifice”. But he didn’t, because sometimes we have to ‘call things that be not as through they were’, no matter the ‘truth’.
Secondly, declarations of our father, our God-led father, into our life are very important. ‘God will provide a sheep’, he declared.
“When they arrived at the place where God had told him to go, Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood on it. Then he tied his son, Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood.” Genesis 22:9 NLT
Check how obedient Isaac was when he was being tied up by his father. He also could not have let his father build an altar without his help, and he didn’t even ask questions when he was tied up and being told to climb the altar. He held on to the declaration of his father: “God will provide a sheep”, even if ‘my’ tied up body is on the altar right now and am not sure what may come of me, I believe in my father, he a good man, A God-led man, and I will obey him, as he obeys God, no matter the circumstances.
He could have outran his 100-years old father as a seventeen year old boy, but he didn’t and obeyed, even if it means losing his life. What a great and obedient son Isaac was. Are you an obedient son?
“Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a thicket. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering in place of his son.” Genesis 22:13 NLT
It was up the mountain and the ram couldn’t have gotten there by itself. God really provided. Faith and obedience brought provision. For Abraham, his obedience and fear of the Lord brought him blessings. To Isaac this episode proved his obedience and complete trust he had towards his God-led father.
Am just wondering what was the conversation between Abraham and Isaac on their journey back home.
‘Were you really going to kill me father?’ Isaac probably asked. ‘I told you that God will provide, didn’t I’, Abraham probably replied.
May we be like Isaac; good, obedient and trusting sons, who are willing to carry the wait for their father whilst he’s fulfilling God’s assignment, who don’t ask unnecessary questions but do as told even if risking their life, and who don’t cost his father blessings due rebellion. May God bless all the good sons in Jesus’ name.
Faith and obedience working together bring about provision.