He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”…
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. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.” 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.” (Genesis 22:2, 9-12 ESV)
This passage shows what God requires of all of us – a willingness to give up that which is most precious for His sake. Jesus said, “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. (Matthew 10:37 ESV)” This shouldn’t surprise as the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God will all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. So, what are you not willing to give up should God demand it of you?
The good news is that God only demands from you that which is advancing his purposes and for your good. Isaac would become the means of fulfilling all of God’s great promises to Abraham because Abraham was willing to sacrifice him. He is a foreshadowing of God giving up His son as a sacrifice. Because of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac, the Lord says, “now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” Because of God’s sacrifice of Jesus we can say, “now I know that you love me, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.”
Lord, thank you for your most precious gift! May we see this as an expression of your love for us and embrace it! May we not squander that love or take it for granted but respond by trusting you wholeheartedly knowing that “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:32 ESV)”