The Command to Sacrifice Isaac
22 After these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, ‘Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ 2He 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 that I shall show you.’ 3So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; he cut the wood for the burnt-offering, and set out and went to the place in the distance that God had shown him. 4On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place far away. 5Then Abraham said to his young men, ‘Stay here with the donkey; the boy and I will go over there; we will worship, and then we will come back to you.’ 6Abraham took the wood of the burnt-offering and laid it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together. 7Isaac said to his father Abraham, ‘Father!’ And he said, ‘Here I am, my son.’ He said, ‘The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for a burnt-offering?’ 8Abraham said, ‘God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt-offering, my son.’ So the two of them walked on together.
Reflection by Lynne Buell
This is a difficult scripture to read if you are not familiar with how the story ends. It’s full of stuff that reminds me of a plot you would find in a murder-mystery novel or movie script. It’s puzzling from the reader’s point of view and makes one wonder what exactly is going through Abraham’s mind when God summons him to sacrifice his son. The real truth is evident; first, that Abraham doesn’t seem to be driven by blind faith, especially because he considers Isaac’s birth was a miracle. Therefore, Abraham sets out to obey God without hesitation, acting with complete trust in God, and he does not doubt for a second of God’s goodness and love.
Comfort and restore us during times of uncertainty. You will save us God and continue to show us your way. Amen.