“And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son, whom thou lovest, even Isaac, and get thee into the land of Moriah. And offer him there for a burnt-offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.”Gen. 22:2
Let me ask you a few questions. Was Isaac the perfect will of God for Abraham? Wasn’t he the son of promise? Didn’t they wait 25 years for God’s promise to come to pass in giving them Isaac? And didn’t the Lord appear twice to Abraham and speak to him concerning Isaac?
But like all of us, Abraham felt the need to help the Lord along concerning his promise. He went to Egypt, picked up Hagar, and eventually had a son with her named Ishmael. We know from Genesis 17:18, and 21:10-11 that Abraham loved Ishmael.
But yet in the above verse, please take special note of something that most overlook: “And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son…Isaac.” God did not even recognize Ishmael as Abraham’s son!! And why is this? You have to go to Galatians 4:28-30 to understand this. But in three places in Genesis, Ishmael is called Abraham’s son. So then why does God say to Abraham concerning Isaac “thine only son?”
I think Abraham saw him as his son. And I think everyone else saw Ishmael as Abraham’s son. But God didn’t. Because Ishmael wasn’t the son of the promise given to Abraham. Ishmael was the son of works and of the flesh…and of impatience.
And then the day comes. A day like any other day. The day that God tells him to offer up his son. Just think of it, by now Isaac is a young man. Several commentators have weighed in on this question. Leupold wrote: “He may by this time have arrived at the age of some eighteen to twenty years.” Josephus stated: “Now Isaac was twenty-five years old.” Adam Clarke said: “It is more probable that he was now about thirty-three” Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown asserted that Isaac was “then upwards of twenty years of age.” J. Curtis Manor described him as “a youth of sufficient strength and agility to carry a load of firewood up a mountainside.” Keil and Delitzsch affirmed that “this son had grown into a young man.”
In any event, they had grown up together. A father and his only son…his only child for that matter. And a child of his old age…meaning that Abraham treated him much different than we do our children in our youth. In our youth we are impatient, overbearing, correcting too much, etc. Because we haven’t really lived life and made all the mistakes that parents do. But Abraham was much older, and had probably been instrumental in the upbringing of Lot and therefore knew children.
Abraham loved Isaac. He loved him with everything in him. But he was willing to offer him up as a sacrifice. He knew he was getting Isaac back. He didn’t know how he was going to get him back; he just knew that he was getting him back. Hear his faith in Genesis 22:5 when he says, “Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go over there to worship; then we’ll come back to you.” Pretty powerful, isn’t it? Abraham said, “we’ll come back to you.” I can still remember where I was at when I saw the beauty of that statement. I was in a classroom reading the Word in Winfield, KS in May of 1988 when the revelation of Abraham’s faith in that statement was made real to me by the Spirit.
Am I willing to give my all for the Lord? Are you willing? What will the Lord ask me (and you) to offer? He’s already asked us in the New Testament to offer ourselves to Him. To give ourselves unto Him with no reservations. Can you travel to that place that He will show you, and offer it all up to Him? It’s a journey my friend to get there. You have to forsake it all to make it to that mountain. You have to forsake the world, you have to love Him more than your spouse or your children…even your own self.
Mary of Bethany gave it all when she broke her box of Alabaster…which is representative of her giving Him everything she possibly could at the time. Just as the old hymn says,
Precious Lord, my flask of alabaster
Gladly now I break in love for Thee;
I anoint Thy head, Beloved Master;
Lord, behold, I’ve saved the best for Thee.
Dearest Lord, I waste myself upon Thee;
Loving Thee, I’m deeply satisfied.
Love outpoured from hidden depths within me,
Costly oil, dear Lord, I would provide.
I pray that I am really willing to give it all to Him. He gave it all for me. He gave it all.
“Dearest, and most precious Heavenly Father, we come to You today in the greatness, and in the beauty of that hallowed and holy Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. We come to You because of Jesus – we come to You in the Lord Jesus – and we come to You through the Name of the Lord Jesus. Father, bend Your ear to our prayer of wanting You more than anything else. Bend the heavens and come down in a cloud and repeat to us what You did to the three on the mount of transfiguration, ‘This is My beloved Son, listen to Him!’ And Father, bend me, O – bend us. No more games Father, no more playing church. We want to Love You. Let Your light dispel all darkness…let Your life drive out all death…and let Your love cover everything else. Teach us the truth Father; the truth as found in Your Son…the truth as found in Your Word. Heal us of our deafness, our blindness, and our lameness. We want to hear, we want to see, and we want to walk again in You. Expand us O God and increase us. Let the sphere of Your Son enlarge our hearts to obey and to follow. Keep us on track with the truth. Help us not be deceived by an easy gospel that doesn’t require anything of us. Put Your wisdom in our hearts. Continue with us Lord on our journey to the good land. Let us eat of You, and drink of You; and let us really believe again…like we did when it was first brand new. Let us love You that way again Jesus. Let us love You like they of old loved you.”