Lent Day 6: Abraham Chose Another Way

Thankfully, and in full due to God’s graciousness and patience, Abraham learned from his mistakes.  Twenty five years after the God’s original promise (and a couple of name changes later) God made good on his original promise by providing a son for Abraham through Sarah.  This is remarkable!  What is even more remarkable is that God asked Abraham once again to trust Him. God told Abraham to do the unthinkable – sacrifice this promised son.  Now I don’t know about you, but I would have had a hard time not taking control in this situation. Time and experience were a good mentor to Abraham, and he was able to fully release control of his son to God.

1 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

2 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.”

3 Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. 4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5 He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”

6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, 7 Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”

“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.

“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”

8 Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together. (Gen 22:1-8)

Are you kidding me!  Can you imagine this heart wrenching decision that Abraham had to make that day?   Once again he was asked to trust God or take control.  Unlike his decision fourteen years earlier to take matters into his own hands with Hagar, this time Abraham trusted God and released control.  I’m in awe of his belief that God would make a way.

2 replies on “Lent Day 6: Abraham Chose Another Way”

Shawn, you and I have a mutual good friend, Kim Howell. She sent me a link to your blog, and here I am.

Control… I have struggled my entire life to accede control to God. Would I give up a child for God? I just don’t know. Would I give up myself for one of my children? Without even thinking of it. Too many things control me other than God. Even this morning I asked myself if my job was controlling my life. Your Day 4 post is about fear being behind control. It sure is for me. How do we get past it to letting God take control?

By the way, Shawn, how do we deal with Abraham’s duplicity before his servants and his own child? If he was fully prepared to sacrifice Isaac, then when he told his servants to stay behind until the two of them returned, he was not speaking truthfully. If when Isaac asked him about the lamb for the sacrifice, he demurred (was not entirely truthful, in fact), when he said “God will provide…” Shawn, I am asking a serious question when I ask how do we deal with Abraham’s duplicity? Why did Abraham – who believed God would provide what was needed – not tell the truth to his servants and his son? Should we not be strong enough in our faith to say to those around us, “I’m with Him!” even if it means saying a hard truth?


George – good to hear from you. Kim is a wonderful woman of God. I am glad you are taking a look at the blog during this season of Lent while I am writing about control. I have a few thoughts about your question about Abraham. I believe that Abraham had grown in his trust in God to the point where both statements were not duplicitous. Even though God had told Abraham to sacrifice his son, he whole-heartedly believed, “We will worship and then we will come back to you.” (v.5) He didn’t know how it would happen, but he believed that somehow he would return with his son. The same it true for his statement to Isaac,“God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” Abraham believed that God would still provide the lamb, even as he was tying his son to altar. Abraham knew the character and nature of God. He was willing to sacrifice his only son if it came to that, but in the depths of his being he believed God would provide. That is why he changed the name of the Mt at the end of the story.

Those are my thoughts. Have a great weekend. Shawn

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