One day, God dealt Abraham an untenable command. “Take Isaac, whom you love, and offer him as a human sacrifice on a mountain I’ll show you in Moriah.”
Abraham got up early from a restless night’s sleep and woke his son. He saddled a donkey, and cut up some wood for a burnt offering. Taking a couple of servants with him, he and his son headed north for Moriah. After three days of travel, he looked out and saw the place God had designated for the altar.
“Stay here with the donkey and supplies,” Abraham told his servants. “Isaac and I will go up, worship, and then return.” Abraham gave the wood to his son, while he carried the lighted firepot and the knife. They walked together up the steep hill to the place of worship.
“Father,” Isaac called out as they walked along. “We have fire and wood, but where is the lamb for our offering?”
“God himself will bring the lamb, son,” Abraham said, a lump welling in his throat. They continued to walk on together. “God always provides for the faithful.”
When they reached the right spot, Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood accordingly. Next, he bound his son and lifted him up onto the altar.
As Abraham brought the sharp knife close to the boy’s throat for a quick, clean cut, and with burning tears pouring down his face, an angel from God called out from the spiritual realm. “Abraham!”
Abraham halted, the knife tremoring in his hand. “Here I am,” he ejaculated.
“Don’t harm the boy in any way,” he answered. “I know now that you fear God, since you’ve withheld nothing you treasure.”
Abraham cut the cords that bound his son and wiped the tears from his bloodshot eyes. He looked up and spotted a ram, its horns tangled in a thicket. Taking the ram, he put it onto the woodpile in place of his son and offered it up as a sacrifice to God.
For the remainder of the time they worshiped on the mountain, and neither Abraham nor Isaac spoke. Amidst the smoke and silence, the angel called out. “God promises by his own name that because you’ve been obedient and not withheld your treasure from me, I will absolutely bless you and make your family members as numerous as the stars in the sky and sand on the beach. They will conquer their enemies, and by them, all nations will be blessed.”
Abraham and his beloved son returned to the servants who were camping below, unaware of the profound experience both men of God received. In the morning they got up and traveled down to Beersheba.
Abraham settled there, and word reached him that his brother Nahor became the father of eight sons, of whom, Bethuel became the father of a little girl named Rebekah.
Inspiration: Genesis 22