Gen. 22:1-2 – “Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, 'Abraham!' 'Here I am,' he replied. Then God said, 'Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.'” (emphasis added)
- Isaac was not Abraham's only son. Ishmael was Abraham's firstborn son through Sarah's maidservant, Hagar. Was God in denial? Nooooo. But remember how much Abraham cared for Ishmael, asking that his firstborn be the Covenant recipient even after God promised a son to Sarah in her old age (Gen. 17:18)? Remember that Abraham was forced to reject Ishmael because of Isaac. In essence, God asks Abraham – by faith – to deny his first son exists and love his “only” son, Isaac. I believe Mt. Moriah was indeed the pinnacle of Abraham's sacrifice, but his sacrifice started with Ishmael and continued as he grew to love Isaac, the son God chose for him.
- Notice Abraham didn't call a camp meeting to announce his decision, nor did he ask the boy's mother for her opinion or blessing. He was quietly obedient to his conviction. And when they arrived at the foot of the mountain, he gave little explanation to his servants. He declared that BOTH he and the boy would return from their worship on the mountain, which tells us that Abraham had full confidence that somehow God would restore the boy's life before he had to answer to Sarah!
- First, I think it's hilarious that Abraham made Isaac carry the wood, while he carried the fire. Did he hope God would spontaneously combust the boy, so he wouldn't have parent guilt? Don't we all hope God will let us take the easy way out of our spiritual lessons? But Abraham had obviously taught Isaac a deep understanding of the materials and meanings of God's system of sacrifice. Bravo, Father Abraham!
- Was Abraham's answer to Isaac faith or denial? To a believer, his words are faith. To an unbeliever, they're denial…until they become reality (Gen. 22:13). With his son's wide, questioning eyes turned upon him, Abraham pulled off the miraculous…HE MADE A STATEMENT OF FAITH THAT ALLOWED ROOM FOR GOD'S SOVEREIGNTY. No matter what little lamb God provided, Isaac would know his father didn't lie to him, God didn't fail, and faith would sustain them both.