God loves obedient sacrifice.
Picture the scene. Abraham, his servants, and his son Isaac, heading to the mountain top to make a sacrifice to God. Altars and sacrifices were regular events in the patriarch’s journey. Remember, God was leading Abraham on a journey. Abraham didn’t have a permanent residence. In fact, if he had just settled before he reached the promise land, he would not have experienced the fullness of the promise. In Genesis 12:1 we read, “The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.””
Have you ever been required to leave your safety blanket, your comfort zone? Maybe that is your experience this year. We take comfort from the life of Abram. Abram’s mission was full of sacrifice. He was called to leave everything he knew and trust God’s direction. Abram faced opposition and trials, but he kept faithful to God’s word.
During this time, it is important to know that God’s word is constant. Psalms 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” In Isaiah 40:8 we read, “The grass withers and the flowers fail, but the word of our God endures forever.” God’s word is available for you today to guide your steps. It is a constant that, no matter what trial you face, can give you hope and courage.
Abraham continues to be a faithful inspiration. When his faith is tested to the limit, when asked to sacrifice his promised son, he continues to follow God’s direction. I cannot begin to imagine the struggle he experienced in his heart as he prepared the sacrifice. But we read of God’s intervention at the final moment and the preparation of an alternative sacrifice in the form of a ram.
God loves obedient sacrifice. Today, as we consider the changes and difficulties we face as a community and individually, ask God for the faith of Abraham, to be able to follow his direction, no matter the trial.
I finish with the promise found in Hebrews 13:5. No matter what we face, we can find contentment because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. So, we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.”