This week our daughter-in-law posted something on Facebook that I found interesting. She wrote: “Sometimes you just have to place your Isaac on the alter and just trust.” I understood her meaning to be that there were times in your life that you may not understand God’s purpose, but you believe in Him and trust in Him anyway.
Of course her reference was to Abraham and the time he was told to kill and offer his first born son Isaac as a burnt offering, (Genesis 22). It turned out to be a test and he was not actually forced to sacrifice his son, but he didn’t know that when he was taking action to obey whatever God told him to do… it was a test of his faith! Understanding all of this I replied, “Isn’t that the truth!” I said this because there really are times when we have to trust in God, even though we can’t see the final outcome ourselves. Our grandson, (her first born), however replied, “I’m not sure how I feel about this…(offering of the firstborn),” I love his dry sense of humor!
If you go back and read Genesis 22 you will see that God let Abraham get all the way to the point of actually raising the knife to kill his own son before He stopped him. In Genesis 22:12 we read of God speaking: “And he said, Let not your hand be stretched out against the boy to do anything to him; for now I am certain that the fear of God is in your heart, (trust me completely), because you have not kept back your son, your only son, from me.”
There is so much that goes on in our world that we will never understand. We have no idea how God works or how he influences people or the powers that rule. It’s not up to us to try and understand it all is it? We (as Christians), just believe that God ultimately has our best interests in mind.
That’s the power of one of my favorite verses that the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8:28. Where he wrote: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
Paul could write these words because he understood from experience the idea of trusting that much…. He had put himself in God’s hands in utter and complete trust on more than one occasion. His life was threatened, he was thrown in jail, he was beaten to the point of being left for dead and was eventually killed for telling others about Christ. Yes, he understood what trusting in God was about, even when bad things were happening in his life.
Could it be time to place your Isaac on the alter of sacrifice? Could it be time to trust in God so much that you would give up your most precious thing for God? Can you give up that thing you are clinging to and turn your life over to God? You see the real issue is: “What is holding you back from giving yourself to God?” “What are you holding onto that is keeping you from serving God with unbridled trust?”
I can imagine Abraham pleading with God, “Let me offer myself, not the son I love,” because that’s what I would do. But Abram was a man of greater faith than I… perhaps he trusted God more than I do. He was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to God, simply because God asked him to. What are we holding back from God? Where is our trust…..
Russ Lawson is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with his column Today’s Challenges. He is semi-retired and an elder at the Mid-County Church of Christ. He can be reached at email@example.com. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.