This week and next our Journey interns are going through several Old Testament stories, so I invite you to join us today for our morning devotional. Like we tell our interns, “Grab your Bible, journal, pens and get ready to dig deep!”
“Then God said, ‘Take you 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.” Genesis 22:2.
Our Journey interns read this verse, along with the whole story of Abraham and Isaac, this morning. This question was posed - Consider your Isaac, your cherished gift given to you by God. Would you be willing to give that gift, which was given by God, back to God even if you could not be assured that it would be returned to you?
We all know the story of Isaac and how the Lord provided for Abraham on the mountain. Inwardly, I struggle to not jump to the end of the story when Isaac is allowed to come off of the alter, replaced by the ram, and make this assumption for my own “sacrifices.” Surrender is a difficult thing, because the truth of sacrifice is that what you are sacrificing may never be returned to you. Here we see Abraham about to give up his son, his promised lineage, Sarah’s miracle, and Israel’s hope up on the alter. Faith such as this is rare. In fact, Abraham is remembered in Hebrews 11 as an example of great faith. As it reads in verse 13, “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, …” It’s here that I begin to understand that Abraham really didn’t know that Isaac would be coming back with him, that he was fully ready to give back what was promised to him. Now I see this great “walk” that Abraham had - he fully depended, unwaveringly, on God and His every word.
I’ll pose the question again, as I did this morning - Would you be willing to give that gift, which was given by God, back to God even if you could not be assured that it would be returned to you? We all have things given to us by God and for many of us, unfortunately, these things can turn into god. Instead, God asks us to hold these things loosely, with open hands, lest they command more attention than the One who gave us that gift.
Jesus, today we ask that you would gracefully help us surrender more to you. We know that all good things come from you and in your goodness you have allowed us to enjoy these good things; by your grace, some of these things for many, many years. Like Abraham, we declare, God, that you are more important than anything and we, too, greet your promises and requests of us from a distance and fervently run after them today. Please grant us the strength to complete the journey and very amen we do pray!