Then God said, “Take your 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.”
When I think of the story of God asking Abraham to sacrifice his son, I think of God’s creativity. There are two things that God showed Abraham in an incredible way through this request. God has the option to simply tell us of his character and describe what there is to know about him. God also has the option to show us these things, and He has a habit of doing that by what we can best be described at the time as unusual methods. Through this request to Abraham, God was showing something about his own character as well as something about Abraham’s character.
The testing of our faith is never so that God can learn where we are in our walk. He already knows that. When God tests us, it is for us to realize where we are and who we are. The recognition of our faith is something for us to reach. Once we realize the truth of how far we have come, that increases our faith for greater things. In showing Abraham where his faith was, God also showed Abraham his own character. God’s request was for Abraham to sacrifice his treasured and loved son. This son was a promise from God. It is a clear parallel to God’s sacrifice of his own son Jesus Christ for us. In this interaction, Abraham is learning not only about his own faith but also about God’s love.
Abraham learned not only what it takes to exercise faith that calls for great sacrifice, but he also learned what it is like to give the son you love for a holy purpose. We see no indication in scripture that Abraham ever questioned God’s request or motive here. He simply obeyed knowing that the sacrifice God requested would be for a holy reason. He trusted that God’s way was right and good. In doing so, he was able to feel even a portion of what God felt at the thought of sacrificing his own son for us. Father, give us faith that walks faithfully obedient in the time of testing according to your command, and give us hearts that desire to learn more of You and your character in the process.