What Would You Give Up?

I bought this really cool audio Bible on Audible.com a week ago.  It’s called the Word of Promise and it’s a dramatized, unabridged reading of the entire Bible.  I listen to it going back and forth to work.  This evening we got to the part where Abraham is told to sacrifice his son Isaac.

I’m sure most people are familiar with the story from Genesis chapter 22.  But as I listened tonight, I began to digest it in a more simple way.

For just a moment, forget about the obvious Messianic foretelling.  Forget about the fact that we are talking about a man, not a lamb who was about to be killed and offered to God.  Forget about whether or not Abraham knew God was going to provide a ram…  I want to think much smaller.

God promised Abraham that he would be the father of many nations.  He promised that Abraham would have a son.  Abraham had to wait for it…  and wait for it…  But then it finally happened.  His faith must have been flying high when Isaac was born. Doesn’t our faith always soar when He blesses us?

But later God tells him to sacrifice the child and He points out specifically “whom you love”.  From the Biblical record, Abraham didn’t argue, he just obeyed.  He just did it.  I think that I would argue in my head that God GAVE ME THIS BLESSING, surely He isn’t asking me to give it up!? Why is He taking the thing I love, that HE gave to me, away from me!?

See, I am thinking as I listen to this that God probably asks us to give up things all the time.  I mean things that we hold dear to our hearts.  Things that are material and things that are intangible.  We all have so many areas of our lives that we would refuse to take to Mount Moriah and offer up to God.

God tested Abraham.  Abraham passed the test.  I began to feel conviction about the many things that I wouldn’t be able to put on the altar in sacrifice to God because they are too important to me.  The idea struck me that we all need to be much more aware of what’s in our hearts and who is the Lord of those things.  Can He take them from us?  Will we let Him?  Is He really our God?  Do we trust Him more than the stuff He gives us?  I’d really like to be better at this.  I pray that He reminds me of the bigger picture on a daily basis.