Keywords: blood, brokenness, obedience, provision, sacrifice
"And he said, Take now thy son, thine only [son] Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of."
A burnt offering is something that God utterly consumes. There is nothing left, except the blood; all of it ascends in smoke to Him and the offerer is without whatever it was that he put on the altar.
It is a picture of the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ on my behalf. He didn't hold back anything but gave Himself for me, shedding His blood that I might be forgiven. He was God's only Son, beloved yet taken to Moriah.
That place name could mean "bitterness of the Lord" but it comes from three root words, "the place", "to see", and "Yah". In the active voice it means "to provide" or "furnish". In the passive it means "to appear". So it can mean both a place where God provided (the lamb for the sacrifice) and a place where the Lord Himself appeared. Certainly, He was involved, not only in the sacrifice situation of Isaac but entirely in the sacrifice at Calvary.
He was asked to go to a place of God's choosing. The sacrifice was to be made there, not where Abraham may have picked (if it had been me, I would not have picked any location, just dropped the whole thing). Abraham's responsibility was to go to the place.
This week, we have been asked to go to a place of God's choosing. (Who in their right mind would pick to live in Moose Jaw?) And in that there are some sacrifices. Our son must be given up to God. Not to die (I trust) but to His care. I can't be here to mother him.
Another one is leaving family and church family. Some of it I have been prepared for but some is not easy. Val and Liz have become special to me. And one other person always will be special. But that must be put aside so that the mountain can be climbed. Perhaps the greater sacrifice is leaving this valley, at least at this point. Who knows what else may be put on the altar after we get there.
O.C. says if we obey God, He will break us away from those traditions we have that misrepresent Him. Whatever Abraham thought about God, in his climb up Moriah, he was tested to the hilt. And I am finding the same. As I struggle with the enormity of the lifestyle change we are facing, my thoughts about God, His ability to care for and sustain us, my faith is tested too. Do I really believe what I believe? At first, I thought not, but as I repeat in my mind the realities of His Word, I find the strength to gather together whatever I need for this journey and make those first steps.
Again, O.C. says remain true to God and God will purify my faith. I don't have to ask Him to test me. He will do that, in His timing and in His manner. I just have to obey what I know and listen for His voice.
APPLY: Go on willingly. Enter into each sacrifice, each climb up the mountain in trust. This God who asks the impossible of me is there to answer His own request if I but lay all on the altar and do what He says. People are already marvelling that the load carried has not broken my spirit. Little do some of them know that it is because of a broken spirit that the load can be carried.
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