“By myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” (Genesis 22:16-18)
The offering of Isaac was Abraham’s ultimate test of faith. Although we are told it was a test, Abraham believed the command to be absolutely real. He had waited faithfully for many years for the Lord to provide him with an heir so you would think that he would be upset or at least confused because all the promises God had made depended on Isaac for fulfillment. But, no matter what thoughts Abraham may have had when the Lord gave him this command, he obeyed immediately and without question because he had great faith. Abraham knew by now that God was faithful to His word. He had fulfilled all His promises even though he himself had wavered and sinned. Abraham knew that the Lord would fulfill this one just as He said. He believed God would raise his son up from the dead because He had sworn to fulfill His promises through Isaac.
Abraham passed the test. He showed that he was willing to trust the Lord above everything else. The Lord blessed him with a final confirmation of the promises with an oath that was the absolute guarantee of innumerable descendants and great blessings on them as well as on the nations of the earth.
As for us, when we look at Abraham’s test and his faith, we must consider how we would feel if the Lord gave us such a command, that is, to sacrifice that which we value above all. No doubt most of us would be afraid, confused, doubtful, and unwilling to even take the first step. But consider it we must. What is the most important thing in your life? Would you be willing to give that up if the Lord asked? And He does ask. When He calls us He asks us to give up material possessions, relationships, hobbies, pastimes, values, philosophies, worldviews, and political affiliations, anything that we prize or take pride in, anything which value seemingly more than our faith in Jesus. Perhaps, as the pandemic has demonstrated, we value our physical lives more than our faith in Him. We hide in our homes unwilling to even risk going out, not even to Church lest we catch the Corona virus. While we must be careful, we must still carry out the business of spreading the gospel of faith in Jesus Christ even though we are stuck at home. We must follow not the dictates of fear spread by the media and the government, but what God has called us to do.
If we rely on our faith and act as the Lord commands, we will find ourselves blessed both in this life and the next. The reason is that we rest upon the solid promises of God who does not lie or waver. He will carry us through and reward us for our faithfulness.