“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.’” – Genesis 22:2
Scripture reading: Genesis 22:1-14
God wants to use Abraham and Sarah as a second Adam and Eve and deal with the problem that their fall into sin caused and have them live for the other by being people and places where heaven and earth meet that reflect the glorious life-giving, light-giving, and loving presence of God. In order for Abraham and Sarah to be able to do this, they have to live in the Spirit through faith and not in the flesh of the world and the flesh of their sinful hearts. Circumcision as a sign and seal of their membership of God’s covenant community served as a reminder of their identity as well as their calling.
In our Scripture reading, God tests Abraham’s wholehearted commitment to be His redemptive representative in this world for the sake of the world by commanding him to take the son he had waited for 25 years to be born and sacrifice him as a burnt offering, much like Canaanites sacrificed their children. Because Abraham did indeed live in the Spirit through faith by being receptive to the voice of his God, open to His provision and available to the Spirit’s leading, he passed God’s test. You see this in his immediate departure from his home, his telling the servants that he and Isaac would return, his belief that God would provide a sacrifice, his raising of the knife to sacrifice his son and in his belief that God would raise Isaac from the dead if he sacrificed him (Hebrews 11:19).
Suggestions for prayer
Ask your heavenly Father to show you where you may need to make changes in your life to be more wholehearted in fulfilling your calling to be God’s redemptive representative in this world by being a person where heaven and earth meet.
Rev. Dick Moes is pastor emeritus of the Surrey Covenant Reformed Church in Surrey, BC. He and his wife Elsina have five children and 14 grandchildren.