Day 7 of 7
But don’t take my word for it. We go to God’s Word for instruction. In the story of the patriarch Abraham, we find both the value and profitable results of making plans to obey.
Read Genesis 22:2-18.
Old Testament sacrificial rituals were quite laborious. The process was painstakingly detailed and time-consuming, not to mention messy (what with all that slaying and dismembering going on). But the succinct summary of Abraham’s activity in verse three, outside of the emotional torment invoked by verse two, makes the whole thing sound rather easy.
Yet the assignment Yahweh gave to Abraham could not have been accomplished on a whim. No haphazard spontaneity would enable Abraham to follow through on this mission. It was too arduous and meticulous of a task to accomplish without adequate preparation, strategy, intentionality, accountability, and dedication to detail. Each of these would be required in order to fully obey God’s directive.
Consider the following as it related to Abraham’s plan of obedience.
1. PREPARATION AND STRATEGY: The journey to Mount Moriah in Jerusalem required three days (see Gen. 22:4). This meant gathering supplies ahead of time for overnight camping as well as measuring out rations for food and drink, all in order to sustain the entourage as they made their trip to the place of sacrifice.
2. ACCOUNTABILITY: Abraham’s choice to bring two servants along may have been to provide help in carrying enough wood to build an altar. But, perhaps he brought them along for companionship as he carried out this difficult assignment.
3. INTENTIONALITY AND DEDICATION: Along with the wood, “glowing pieces of charcoal or other embers would have been carried in small pottery containers and carefully nursed along until a fire was needed.”
He refused to leave anything to chance. He didn’t just hope to carry out God’s instructions. He put measures in place to be certain of it. Abraham’s plan put him in position to hear what God would say or do next.
This may not be what we prefer our obedience to feel like. But this is what obedience looks like. When Abraham lived out his trust in God by making plans to obey what he’d been told, his faith was rewarded with the miraculous appearance of a substitutionary animal and the subsequent salvation of his son Isaac.
So what about you? What about me?
Will we, like Abraham, prepare to be obedient to God?
To read more of Discerning the Voice of God, visit LifeWay.com/DiscerningTheVoiceofGod. There you’ll also find teaching videos and other resources from Priscilla Shirer.
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. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah–jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen. And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord , for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
Genesis 22:2-18 KJV