He [God] 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 I will show you.” Genesis 22:2
Obedient. . .Even Unto Death
Abraham must have been heartbroken. God had told him to sacrifice his beloved son. Through Isaac, Abraham and his descendants were to be blessed. It could not have made sense to Abraham, but he trusted God and responded in obedience. Isaac, too, knew the love of his father, Abraham, and trusted him enough to follow his instructions.
Abraham modeled obedience to God for Isaac to see. If his father said that God would provide, that was enough. They did not know God’s plan, but they trusted God to be in charge. It is hard to trust God when we do not understand his plan, when we cannot make sense of what God is calling us to do.
Rather, we long to preserve the illusion that we are in charge of our life. We want God to work things out according to our plan, but that is not the way God works. God asks us to trust him and to obey.
On this Good Friday, Isaac’s model of submission and Abraham’s model of obedience, reminds us of Jesus.
Jesus knew that he would die on the Cross. Yet, the evening before, he questioned His Father in the Garden of Gethsemane, “If it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as You will.” God did not take away the cup of sacrifice from Jesus, and he went willingly with the soldiers. Jesus, like Abraham, was obedient to the will of His Father.
Everything that Abraham, Isaac, and Jesus did came from their obedience to and trust in God. When they obeyed, they were blessed. And, ultimately, we were blessed.
Can we model obedience even when life does not make sense? Do we model lives of obedience for others to see?