Kids. If there is one thing I would like to tell God is off-limits, it would be “Don’t touch my kids!” Seriously. You can wreck me. You can toss me around in the fire. But Lord. Oh please. Be gracious with my children. The mama bear comes out from within me and I want to put limits on what God can and cannot do.
However, we are too often reminded that we don’t get to play God. Ultimately, it is He who is calling the shots. It is He who is in control. In Scripture, we see the ultimate test is given to Abraham in Genesis 2:22,
Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love–Isaac–and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”
God permits us to be tempted by the Enemy in order to reveal the inner motivations of our heart. Every trial, big or small, can lead us one of two ways: to temptation or to trust. Matthew Henry says, “Strong faith is often exercised with strong trials.” Abraham’s faith is being put to the test. God instructs him to “Take his son.” His one and only son. The son he waited to hold in his arms until the ripe old age of 99. The son God promised by saying “I will give you more descendants than can be counted (Gen 17:2).” Yep, that’s the one. Abraham’s son. Not his servant. Not his bulls. Nor his lambs.
Difficult obedience demands determination.
Add to his misery, the journey to the Mount Moriah was three days long. Abraham would have to contemplate God’s instructions over and over in his mind. Would he obey? Would he turn around? What in the world is God doing? Abraham’s obedience would have to be deliberate.
Sacrifices came with a lot of pomp and circumstances. There were a lot of procedures to be followed. Don’t forget, we are talking about Old Testament law. Isaac was a teenager, and I am sure he was ping-ponging questions off his dad. Or was he silent? Could he see the solemn expression in his father’s eyes?
Abraham did not waver. His steps were steady and sure. With mighty faith, He continues to take steps of obedience. Unshaken. Faithful. Whoa. I wish I could always say the same.
“God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” Genesis 22:8
My husband hung up the phone and briefly filled me in. Our five-year-old son was sitting on top of a ladder. The very, very top of the ladder, mind you. He was watching his Papa tinkering around in the garage, and he got cold. Stretching out his shirt, he tucked his knees up under him. His petite little body lost balance. Nothing could be done to stop the fall. Landing, smack dab on the top of his head on an unyielding, concrete floor.
Eyes glazed back. Unresponsive.
Mother instincts kick into high gear and Nana buckles that little guy into the car seat. Speeding, she heads straight to the E.R. Praying. Worrying. Praying. Worrying. On a high-speed pendulum, her emotions swing.
With God in control, we never know the road we will travel.
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