Journey to Jerusalem Day 12
Second Sunday, February 28 Genesis 22:1-14
1 After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2 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.” 3 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. 4 On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. 5 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.” 6 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. 7 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?” 8 Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.
You might do well to read James 1:2-4 after you have read through today’s passage. If you do, you should get a clear sense of what a true, deep discipleship looks like. Imagine, if you will, Abraham counting his test from God “all joy” as he underwent it: as he saddled his donkey, as he cut the wood, as he lifted up his eyes, as he took in his hand the fire and the knife, as he answered his son, his only son Isaac, whom he loved, whom he was preparing to kill.
My reading of this passage and tomorrow’s completion of the narrative does not uncover any words whatsoever that suggests Abraham, the father of the faithful, joyfully lived out those three days of his “trial.”
His joy was placed on hold, perhaps, until those three days were over. Sound familiar?
Take joy in this, friend: God wants and wills nothing but the absolute best for his people.
Do you believe this? Yes, you may quickly reply, “yes I believe that God wants nothing but the best for me and my family!” Then you had better get prepared for your test, a test that is not given because God doubts, but rather because he already knows the depth of your belief in his ultimate goodness.
The test is meant for you, because God wants to show you the depth of your belief in his goodness through you.
Lord Jesus, no one has been tested as you were. We who are far weaker follow you to our testing knowing how frail we are, but how strong you are and that you are with us. Live through our weakness, reminding us of the joy that waits.