Then God said, ‘Take your son, your only son, whom you love – Isaac – and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain that I will show you.’
Genesis 22:2 (NIVUK)
Of all the incidents in Abraham’s life taking his son Isaac to be sacrificed on Mount Moriah is probably the most famous; it is the climax of his life. The narrative is intriguing, riveting, and puzzling all at the same time. As a result, it has been a source of debate for centuries as many have tried to uncover the various nuances of the story.
As I read this story again it struck me that this call for Abraham to go to the region of Moriah was similar to the original call Abraham received:
The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.’ (Genesis 12:1).
In both cases the call was ‘to go,’ and on each occasion Abraham simply went (Genesis 12:4, 22:3). His immediate obedience was remarkable considering what he was being asked to do. In both instances, Abraham was asked to give up his comfortable life. In the first call, he was told to leave his country, his people, and his father’s household, while in the second call he was told to disrupt the comfort of his family by taking Isaac away. Then on both occasions, Abraham was told to go to a place that God would show him later (Genesis 12:1, 22:2). He was not only called to go, but he was called to launch out and go without knowing where he was going, and without knowing how it would end. Finally, in going, Abraham was asked to offer up. At the start, he was called to offer up the safety of his civilization, his culture, and his status. Then he was called to offer up his son.
All of this reminds me of the call Christians are given: ‘Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…’ (Matthew 28:19 emphasis mine). To follow this call ‘to go’ will inevitably take us out of our comfort zones, as we trust God to show us the places to go, and it will involve us offering up our time and resources as we share the gospel message with others.
May our response be like Abraham’s, to simply go where the Lord leads, in the comforting knowledge that Jesus will always be with us (v. 20).
Loving Father, where you lead may we go, sharing the good news of Jesus, knowing that your Son will be with us, and your Holy Spirit will guide us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Study by Barry Robinson
About the writer:
Barry Robinson is a Minister in Grace Communion International
and Regional Pastor for Southern England.
Grace Communion International Camberwell
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