The more I think about the request God made of Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, the more I realize the importance of obedience in the grand scheme of God’s plans. Ponder this for a moment, Isaac was a strapping young lad of 17 years while Abraham was over 100 years old (or very near to it). Upon reaching the altar, Isaac must have realized that he was THE SACRIFICE. He could easily have overpowered his father and ran away from Mt Moriah. In the grand scheme of things, Abraham’s obedience to the directive of God was not an issue. He obeyed. Despite whatever pain he must have felt in his heart, he obeyed. This was after all his love child. The Child of promise. The child who from his loins would have been the start of many generations. His actions showed a complete trust in God – that no matter how this situation looked – no matter what the circumstances looked like – he was not going to lose sight of who he knew God to be. God had cut a covenant with him that his son would be the forerunner of generations to come. Genesis 15:4-6 (ESV) Verse 6 says “He believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness” There was absolutely no reason for him not to continue believing God. Because he knew God to be a covenant keeping God, and because he believed, he decided to trust God right to the very end
Let’s pause there for a minute.
In Job chapter 1, we see where the devil enters the court of God. When God asks him where he has been – his response “Just roaming the earth to an fro [paraphrased].” In other words, “mi just a walk bout fi see ‘ow mi can stress out people” (in Jamaican parlance) or “I don’t really have anything to do, just walking around trying to stir up trouble.” Obviously he is no stranger to the court – he is the accuser after all.
So picture the scene:
Devil: I seem to remember that you made a covenant with Abraham – riches and generations and all of that
God: and your point?
Devil: I’m sure that now that he is blessed beyond measure and get the son he has always wanted, that he will not obey you now. In fact, I’m pretty sure he will do whatever he wants.
God: You’re wrong and I will prove it. Abraham is a righteous man.
The rest of the story is history. Abraham did obey and so did Isaac. (They were both given free will). As Abraham was about to sacrifice his son, he was directed to a ram that was caught in the thicket by its horns (in that way it was unblemished). Consider this, in Jewish law, any sacrificial animal had to be separated from the flock for three days. Therefore, if God (who never breaks His own laws) already knew that Abraham and Isaac would obey, He would have had that ram waiting in the thicket three days prior to Abraham’s arrival.
What is a covenant especially as it is mentioned in the Bible? According to www.dictionary.com
a. the conditional promises made to humanity by God, as revealed in Scripture.
b. the agreement between God and the ancient Israelites, in which God promised to protect them if they kept His law and were faithful to Him.
As long as the laws handed down by God were kept, God would keep His promises. As history has shown us however, even when we have broken those laws, His Grace and Mercy causes Him to stay His hand giving us a chance to repent, even though He has the right by His covenant to enact punishment. (Don’t you just love Him?)
Can God depend on you to be obedient no matter what? Sometimes we feel that we are ready to make all kinds of promises to God, often without weighing the costs, then comes the time of testing…..
Sylvia M Dallas
Poet, Author, Photographer and Teacher of the Word and CEO and Director of Creator Services at The Publisher's Notebook Limited based in Jamaica. She is married to Rohan Dallas, is a proud grandmother, loves coffee (Jamaican, of course), loves great tasting and healthy food, love to cook and is an unabashed follower of Jesus Christ. Her books AND THE PRISONERS HEARD THEM, THE RIGHT KIND OF INTIMACY and THE BED DEFILED are available on Amazon.