One of the most dramatic stories in the Bible is that of Abraham and Isaac (Genesis 22:1-17). Most are familiar with the details, but allow me to quickly recap. God promised Abraham that many nations would come from him, and that the entire world would be blessed through his lineage. Yet Abraham and his wife had grown old and still had no children. But miraculously, Sarah became pregnant and had a son named Isaac. Fast forward about ten years. God told Abraham to offer Isaac, he and Sarah’s only son, as an offering to Him. After all these years, all that waiting, it now appeared that God would take away what seemed to matter most to Abraham.
In case you don’t know the rest of the story, God intervened at the last moment and kept Abraham from killing his son. By being obedient to God even in the face of an extreme and bizarre command, Abraham proved that Isaac was not the most important thing in his life; God was. Abraham would rather kill his son, as well as his dreams, than to disappoint or disobey God. Nothing was more valuable to Abraham than God Himself.
I like to insert myself into the stories of the Bible and try and determine what I would have done under those circumstances. The faith of Abraham is beyond my comprehension. I’d love to say that I would have been obedient like he was, but I have serious doubts that would have been the case. Even if I would have obeyed, I can envision myself living out my days in bitterness and grief. The sobering reality is I would have more than likely valued Isaac over God. How about you?
Unless we are willing to sacrifice that which we hold most precious, we will never experience the fullness of God’s blessing. Abraham did not withhold his son, and the world was blessed by his descendants. Indeed, we might not even have the Book that contains this story if not for Abraham’s obedience. The laws of America, the moral code of most of the world, and the gold standard for generosity and humility all came from the descendants of Abraham. All this came as a result of Abraham refusing to withhold his son.
So what’s your Isaac? What do you consider to be too precious, too meaningful, and too worthwhile to sacrifice in obedience to God? To what do you hold so tightly that you would rather defy your Creator and Lord than to give it up? Is it your children, your house, your career, your money, your job, your friends, or your status? What is it you could not put on the altar if God commanded you to do so? That is your Isaac, and it must die. God will not accept second place in your life. It’s all or nothing. You’ve got to let it go and trust that He will bless your obedience. He will not disappoint you; He will not take away without returning ten times more. He is trustworthy, and He is love. Do you believe it? Do you trust Him? What’s your Isaac? Give it to Him today.