Did You Know?

Eighteen men and no women have been

executed in the United States in 2017.

The Bible passage for meditation, prayer, and reflection, for the week of February 5-11, 2017, is Genesis 22:1-14.  This passage shows the tremendous faith of Abraham, who was willing to sacrifice anything for the Lord.

 

Now after these things, God tested [the faith and commitment of] Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he answered, “Here I am.” God said, “Take now your son, your only son [of promise], whom you love, Isaac, and go to the region of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” So Abraham got up early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and his son Isaac; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and then he got up and went to the place of which God had told him. On the third day [of travel] Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. Abraham said to his servants, “Settle down and stay here with the donkey; the young man and I will go over there and worship [God], and we will come back to you.” Then Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and laid it on [the shoulders of] Isaac his son, and he took the fire (firepot) in his own hand and the [sacrificial] knife; and the two of them walked on together. And Isaac said to Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” Isaac said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself a lamb for the burnt offering.” So the two walked on together.

 

When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood, and bound Isaac his son and placed him on the altar, on top of the wood. Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to kill his son. But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” He answered, “Here I am.” The Lord said, “Do not reach out [with the knife in] your hand against the boy, and do nothing to [harm] him; for now I know that you fear God [with reverence and profound respect], since you have not withheld from Me your son, your only son [of promise].” Then Abraham looked up and glanced around, and behold, behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up for a burnt offering (ascending sacrifice) instead of his son. So Abraham named that place The Lord Will Provide. And it is said to this day, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be seen and provided.” (Genesis 22:1-14, AMP)

 

Isaac was the son for which Abraham had waited 100 years!  And now he was being asked to sacrifice him!  Abraham trusted the Lord.  He trusted the Lord’s promise that he would father a nation, but how was that to happen if he had to sacrifice his son?!  Abraham loved his son, however he also wanted to honor the Lord.  Can you imagine what Abraham must have been thinking during his three-day trek to where the alter was to be built?  Can you imagine his heartbreak and anxiety?  Can you imagine Isaac’s horror and terror when he realized he was to be the sacrifice?

 

Isaac, the son of Abraham, was not sacrificed that day.  Thousands of years later, Jesus, the Son of God would be sacrificed for the sins of the world.  It is believed that Jerusalem was built on the same mountain as Isaac was almost sacrificed!  Here, at the beginning of the Israeli nation, God was foretelling the salvation that was to come.   God was also testing Abraham’s faith.  Abraham would go on to not only father a nation, but to become an example as a pillar of faith for all.  As you meditate on, pray over, and reflect upon this week’s passage, consider what is the Lord is asking you to sacrifice for him?  Look to this passage for encouragement and motivation to stay strong, for the Lord has a plan.

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