It was by faith that Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice when God was testing him. Abraham, who had received God’s promises, was ready to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, even though God had told him, “Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted.” Abraham reasoned that if Isaac died, God was able to bring him back to life again. And in a sense, Abraham received his son back from the dead. Heb 11:17-19
If God would call me to sacrifice a child of promise as He called Abraham, I would dismiss it as a thought from the devil. Child sacrifice was done only by the heathen. Was it an option for the friend of God? But Hebrews says that it was “by faith” (or in faith) that Abraham offered. Abraham’s relationship with God was close, such that he didn’t doubt or question the voice of God in his life. He determined that if God was calling him to sacrifice his child of promise, then He must certainly plan to raise him to life afterward.
No, God doesn’t call us to lay our children on literal altars of sacrifice today. But God does allow circumstances and events to test and teach us not to hold too possessively those gifts that He gives to us. And yes, God does call us to make tough decisions of sacrifice. To offer up that which from human perspective and logic should not be offered. I suggest that all the sons and daughters of God have their Mount Moriah experiences when God reminds them that they are not their own but the sheep of a Shepherd.
A mount of calling… We were not created to float through life aimlessly. God intentionally created us for a purpose. And that highest purpose is to honor Him in all things. But in the demands and responsibilities of life, our vision’s tendency is to grow dim and to cease focusing on the Center of Living. And so God calls, “Will you go ….? I need you to do … Why are you doing…?” And when we are addressed with God’s Spirit, an answer is expected. And a lack of response is a stubborn response.
A mount of response and decision… When offered a suggestion, command, or question, all persons are expected to respond. And when a response is withheld, then we assume that they did not hear, are stubborn, or are trying to teach another point. When Abraham responded to God’s call, God clarified what He wanted Abraham to do. In our Mount Moriah experiences, God wants His communication with us to be propelled forward by our responding to His call. First “Abraham” sequenced with “Here I am.”
A mount of sacrifice… Sacrifice happens when something is given up or away, not expecting to receive it again. It is cutting the ties to our heart and turning our face the other way. As Abraham set out to accomplish what he, in faith, understood God’s call to be; Isaac, on the other hand, didn’t realize that he was the sacrifice. He observed that there wasn’t an animal with them, but was satisfied with his father’s response that God would provide a lamb. Sacrifice isn’t easy. It’s uncomfortable. It pulls us from our comfort and self confidence. But it is a reminder to our forgetfulness that God is the Owner of life and all that pertains to life; a reminder that we should not cling too tightly to the gifts God has given to us.
A mount of provision... Moriah means “seen of God.” Truly the eyes of the Lord go to and fro, and nothing misses His care. God sees and provides. As in the moments of deep trust, Abraham expressed when sacrificing his son Isaac, so the Lord provides for His friends who trust Him. When God provided a ram as a substitute for Isaac’s life, Abraham exclaimed, “This place shall be called ‘The Lord will provide (Jehovah-Jireh).’” God sends His rain and sunshine on the just and unjust, yet He reserves special blessings and spiritual provisions for those who follow His heart.
A mount of promise… God went a step further than providing and promised Abraham great blessing. The angel told Abraham that because he obeyed God’s call and did not withhold his son, God would bless him, multiply him, and give his descendants victory in the face of their enemies. All nations of the earth would be blessed through Abraham because of his obedience. Praise God! We know now that this “all nations” blessing is Jesus, the provision God made on our behalf.
Can you identify your Mount Moriah? Is God calling you to follow Him? Are you responding? Can you give up those things you hold so dearly? God has provisions for you. He has precious and very great promises for you.
“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2Pe 1:3,4).