Bible reading: Genesis 22
After God gave Abraham Isaac, his one and only son by his wife Sarah, He tested him. Abraham was ordered by God to go to Moriah and offer his son Isaac in one of the mountains there as a burnt offering. Without any word or delay, Abraham prepared everything for the burnt offering, and early the next morning, he and Isaac began their journey.
After three days, they reached Moriah. Abraham set up all that was needed for the offering, but his son Isaac, who didn’t know he was the one to be offered, asked his father where the lamb was for the burnt offering…
It is good for us to study Abraham’s testing and how he handled it and obtained God’s blessings in the end.
When Abraham was called to offer his one and only son as a burnt offering, no objections or questions came out of his mouth, but without delay, he prepared everything in complete obedience.
In our lives, we are called to journey to our Moriahs, too. God puts us in difficult situations to test us. It is during our trials, our deep testings, that God sees our true essences. Would we be obedient, patient, still honoring God in the midst of confusion, hardship, sorrow, suffering, or would we be grumbling at every step? Would we still be thankful, prayerful, trusting and believing Him?
When we are called by God to do something that is outside of our comfort zones, or something we haven’t planned or desired, or when we are called to drop everything and leave everything behind and start our “journey to Moriah”, would we obey right away, or would we do everything in our capacity to delay and find many reasons or alibis not to proceed?
Do we resist His will in our lives, or obey in total surrender?
Trusting, not Doubting
Abraham proceeded to the land of Moriah without doubts but trusted that God’s plans are always for the good of His children and His judgments shouldn’t be questioned. Though he probably thought that his son Isaac should really be killed, even then, he believed that God “raiseth up the dead”.
By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac… Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead… (Heb. 11:17,19)
Abraham was steadfast in trusting God, believing that in His hands, everything would turn out all right. He believed that if one couldn’t bear it anymore, He would find a way out for him or her.
And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering… (Gen. 22:8)
He did not let doubts enter his mind nor his heart be gripped with fear. He believed that God deserved complete obedience and trust, and was determined to walk uprightly before Him.
In our own lives, as we journey to our Moriahs, questions, doubts, grumblings accompany every step, for most of us. But not so with Abraham. Not a single complaint fell off his lips. He knew that complaining was dishonoring God. Oh, far be it from him to dishonor the Lord God Almighty!
Our disobedience, doubts, and complainings prolong the journey and make it even harder. (Remember the Israelites on their way to Canaan?). For some, they might not even reach the peak, where God would have proven us, given us a way out, and showered us with blessings.
Shower of Blessings
But Abraham reached the end of his journey to a mountain in Moriah, and consequently, the end of his painful testing. Just as he was about to kill his one and only son Isaac – how painful that would have been for him! I couldn’t begin to think! – an angel of the Lord stopped him, telling him not to harm his son. It was all a test! A difficult, dreadful, painful test!
The Lord provided Himself a ram for the burnt offering, for when Abraham looked, there it was – a ram caught in the thicket! Oh, what a relief! What deliverance! God is faithful and Abraham had proven that. He’s the God who provides.
Our Lord Jesus Christ – the ram caught in the thicket – our Savior, Redeemer, Deliverer, Substitute.
Throughout Abraham’s journey to Moriah, God saw his faithfulness, his true essence, the innermost part of him, under extremely tough test: that he honored, obeyed, believed, and trusted God with his whole being.
And God was more than pleased to shower him with His blessings!
That in blessing I will bless thee… And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice. (Gen. 22:17,18)
In our own journeys towards our Moriahs, let not disobedience, doubts, unbeliefs, and complaints forfeit the blessings that await us at the end, for He is faithful that called us to go through these passages. In our testings, we are under close observation by God. May He prove our faithfulness to Him as we march forward believing, trusting, thanking, worshiping Him.
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