After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” So, Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son, Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. Genesis 22:1-3.
Having heard this story from the time I was a little girl, I didn’t understand the faith Abraham could have in God. Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.” Genesis 12:1-2. Abraham was 75 years old. Sarah, his wife, was without a child. Can you imagine Abraham listening to God and being told to leave home? I wondered if Abraham was concerned about not having a map, supplies as they traveled, and no hotels along the way. They must have been a large group traveling for he took all his supplies, servants, livestock, Lot, his brother’s son, and left.
Abraham listened to God’s voice when God promised a son would be born. Sarah heard and laughed. But God’s Word was true, and Isaac was born. When God spoke to Abraham, he again obeyed.
Then God gave Abraham the commandment to sacrifice his only son on the mountain. After these things, God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” Genesis 22:1. And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac, his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So, they went together.
And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went with both of them together.Genesis 22:6-9.
Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” Genesis 22:10-12.
Our Father God continues to test His children’s faith in Him. What does it take to say to our Lord, “Here I am”? It comes from knowing God and believing Him in all that He is from the first verse of the Bible to the last two verses. “In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth.” And He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.
God is a Giver of Gifts, giving us Grace through the death, burial, and resurrection of His Only Son, to providing talents and abilities to do the work He has prepared for us. How many times I did not want to be obedient to my parents’ rules? I always wanted to do other things. As a classroom teacher, I soon learned chaos reigns if every student wanted to do something different. Growing up is the time to learn to obey our parents and our God. Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. Ecclesiastes 12:13b.
How is this possible? Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. Philippians 2:4-7.
All of this is given in the second great commandment– “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” John 13:34. Loving others like Jesus helps us say, “Here I Am”, when someone needs our help and understanding. Loving others, helps us to obey the commandment in Matthew 28:19-20, Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Jesus knew about willingness. Before the soldiers arrested Him, He prayed. And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” Luke 22:41-42. The next verse says an angel strengthened Him.
In Trust, Humility, Patience, Goodness, Kindness, Gentleness, and Self-Control, lays Love and Joy. Where does Love and Peace come from? It is taught by Jesus. Denying Jesus means we turn our backs on life, truth, and peace. Peace, I leave with you; my peace I give to you. John 14:27a.
Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:3-4.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10.
I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work and meditate on your mighty deeds. Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God? Psalm 77:11-13.
I will sing praise to Him–You give life, You are love; You bring light to the darkness; You give hope; You restore every heart that is broken, And Great are You, Lord! It’s your breath in our lungs, we pour out our praise to You Only. (Ingram/Jordan/Leonard)