Lockstep Lesson

Why did Abraham listen to God when He 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” (Genesis 22:2 NIV)?

Abraham had waited twenty-five years for his heir after God had promised he would be the father of many nations. Isaac embodied that future. So, why would God want him sacrificed? Why would God promise him a son, fulfill that promise, and then tell him to kill the promise? It made no sense.

This was hard. Harder than when God changed his life’s direction decades ago, telling him to “go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you” (Genesis 12:1 NIV). Abraham had walked away from familiar surroundings and, stepping into faith, followed God into the unknown. That was a sacrifice, wasn’t it?

He made it. But could he make this one? Should he? Why would anyone sacrifice his only son?

Abraham’s mind wrestled with this for three days as he and Isaac trekked the 50 miles to Moriah. When they were in view of God’s chosen mountain, Abraham knew the ending. He could say to his servants as he left the donkey with them, “We will worship and then we will come back to you” (Genesis 22:5 NIV).

We will come back?

Somehow Abraham knew that both he and Isaac would come down from that mountain alive. Did he believe that God would resurrect his son? Whatever he thought, Abraham was confident God would keep his promise that Isaac would be the channel to future nations. That assurance, however, did not quell carrying out God’s demand to sacrifice his son.

How did Abraham get to this place in his life’s journey? One step at a time, he had learned to trust God on his faith’s route.

So, Abraham stacked stones for the altar, put wood on top, bound his son’s ankles and wrists with leather thongs, laid Isaac on the wood, clasped the knife in his palm, stretched out his hand for the death cut, and—froze.

God was speaking. “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son” (Genesis 22:12 NIV).

Abraham climbed to faith’s pinnacle because he had reached lockstep with God.

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6 thoughts on “Lockstep Lesson

  1. I always ask myself this question. Lost in the thought that he knew God will keep His promise, I often forget how hard it must have been for him to go through the steps of sacrificing his only son. Lockstep. That’s right. What an example to us.

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    • Judy, As always your commentary is always so thought-provoking. Abraham truly was a faithful servant. I believe they God instilled in him the special knowledge that he and Isaac would come down the mountain together.
      I’m sure the Lord would not have chosen me for such a feat. I believe he does have his very special ones in special places at special times. It also leads me to believe all things work together for good to those that love God and are called according to his purpose.

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  2. Thank you for sharing your God given talent for writing about His word. I am also enjoying hearing about you and Jim through Ruth, she so enjoys your class which doesn’t surprise me. Take care friend. BTW don’t know if I told you that Bob Craig faithfully comes to see me almost every week as he did Norman from the time he heard of the problems he was facing. He also plays golf with our Robert and Kamala almost every Friday afternoon.

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  3. Thank you, Carolyn, for your kind comment. We are also enjoying having Ruth in our SS class. She is such an asset. She did pass on your message regarding Bob Craig. I’m glad he has the heart and energy to keep on visiting you.

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