He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar. . . . Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. (Gen. 22:9–10)
There is so much going on in today’s passage. Theologians, preachers, rabbis, and many others have spent millennia studying the ramifications of this incident and its theological connection to the sacrifice of Jesus. The imagery of this moment is genuinely compelling—the drama of the angel of the Lord stepping in to spare Isaac, and the miraculous appearance of the ram in the thicket as the sacrifice provided by God, just as Abraham had indicated would happen.
However, what strikes me as compelling is the lack of information the passage provides about the placing of Isaac on the altar. Genesis 22:9–10 makes it sound like an effortless moment, as if it were nothing. There are many questions we could ask about what specifically happened, but that would require more time and thought than this short devotional. What stands out to me is Abraham’s committed faith.
Abraham had obedient, worship, and provision faith, but this moment shows Abraham’s committed faith and trust in the Lord. It is easy to imagine that the binding, placing, and almost sacrificing of Isaac was incredibly difficult for Abraham. His commitment to the will of the Lord was profound. The commitment was to the point of the angel of the Lord, saying, “You . . . have not withheld your son, your only son” (v. 16). Hopefully, we can live such a committed life of faith.
Choose every day to demonstrate your committed faith in God
Chris Whetlor serves as spiritual formation pastor at Real Life Wesleyan Church in Mechanicsville, Maryland, and is completing a DMin in spiritual formation at Wesley Seminary.
© 2021 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.