“Then they came to the place of which God had told him; and Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.” Gen. 22:9
Abraham has spent many years walking with God, and now is in the midst of his last trial. Even for righteous Abraham, this is the culmination of a lifetime of preparation – years of building steps of faith upon faith leading up to this point; It is all too easy to briefly read this story in order to summarize it in our minds, too easy to marvel at the faith of Abraham to do what God asked of him without asking what significance it has for us.
Just as Abraham is tested, we too are tested. We have the benefit of being able to read his story to gain wisdom, and insight into how our Creator wishes to interact with us; to know what He wants from us. But if we do not ask how the story applies to us personally, we cannot gain anything from it.
Abraham heard from God, and went to Moriah to carry out a specific deed.
Have we heard from God at all? Do we know where God wants us to go, or in what direction? Once we know, are we willing to make that journey? And once we arrive, are we prepared to give to God the thing closest to our hearts?
As followers of Christ we often sell ourselves short, assuming that because sanctification is a lifelong process and we will not ever be perfect this side of paradise, we don’t try hard enough. After passing this final test, Abraham has reached his spiritual pinnacle; he is done building altars, and God is done testing him. He is, essentially, sanctified. We too must aim for this. Jesus said “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matt. 5:48)
It is also too easy to think that such a drastic and bizarre test surely only applies to someone such as Abraham and is far removed from us. And surely the promises given to Abraham in exchange for his obedience were far greater in scope than God would give to us… right?
Have we listened for God’s voice? Have we went where He’s asked us to go? Are we prepared to give Him what He’s asked of us? Do we believe His promises?