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Journey to Jerusalem Day 13

Monday, March 1 Genesis 22:9-14
9 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. 10 Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 12 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.” 13 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. 14 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.”

This portion of scripture is one that we would like to skip over. God is asking Abraham, father of the Israelite nation, to sacrifice his only son Isaac, the son born in his old age that God had promised many will be blessed through. It makes no sense! We ask how could a loving God ask this? It makes us wonder how much God will ask of us.

Chapter 22 begins telling us that this is a test for Abraham. When God calls, Abraham immediately responds, “Here I am.” Abraham does not hesitate when he hears God’s command to offer Isaac as a bunt offering.

There is more than obedience here; there is trust. God never intended Isaac’s sacrifice but only to test Abraham’s commitment to him. Abraham was willing to sacrifice Isaac trusting that God would somehow restore his son. Through Abraham’s commitment, he saw God’s provision, a ram to sacrifice.

But God provided more. He promised that because of Abraham’s obedience and trust, he would be blessed, and his offspring multiplied as the stars in heaven and the sand on the seashore.

During this Lenten season, remember that God did give up his only son, his only son that he loved. He was the lamb that was sacrificed for atonement of our sins.

Think about sacrifice in your life. To sacrifice is to give up something you love. God will not ask you to offer up your child as a burnt offering, but he will look into your heart and the place he holds there. Seek what he wants you to sacrifice, trust him and know that through obedience he will provide you with more blessings than you ever expected.

Loving God, help us to look inside our hearts and see the place you hold there. Help us to become more trusting in your love and provision.