Summary: How would it feel to sacrifice your own son? What kind of faith did Abraham have?
A FATHER’S DAY STORY
The man was already tired after walking only a few hours. He knew that it was going to be a long and very weary journey. As he gazed ahead he did not notice much of what was going on about him. He was concentrating on what was in the distance. As they traveled he was always searching for what was on the horizon. He was looking for the tell- tell sign of a mountain. Not just any mountain, but one in particular. Mount Moriah.
When one looked at him you did not see a man who lived a nomadic life, but a man of regal bearing. A man that was used to command and being obeyed. The years laid heavy on his body, but they had not been harsh years. Yes, he appeared old, one could see the long white hair, and the many wrinkles in his face. But his eyes were very clear, his gaze was steady. He walked with purpose. But, now when you looked into his eyes you could see that they were lost in thought.
The days passed slowly and the nights even more so. As he walked his pace began to slow. Not from weariness, but dread. Not because of his age, but because of love.
During the past few days his mind had been troubled. He had not slept well due to his turbulent thoughts. It was only one matter in a life that had conquered many matters. It was only one thought that caused a heavy burden on his heart and the sleepless nights. His legs, though used to long journeys, were now too weary to keep a decent pace. His shoulders though used to burdens seemed especially tired by the weight of his responsibility leading this procession.
He had traveled far through hot days and cold nights. Yes, he had companions for the journey, there were three men with him to share his tent. Additionally there were several animals to carry supplies and wood. His companions recognized that their leader was lost in thought. They recognized from his troubled brow that he was wrestling with his thoughts.
They kept their conversations at a low murmur so as not to disturb the old man. When at night they rested, they sang their traveling songs quietly so their leader could rest.
They had been traveling only three days. Normally, this would have been a very simple journey for them. On this occasion it was a very difficult journey. The reason was Isaac. If God had called Abraham to Mount Moriah to sacrifice an animal it would have been a simple and very easy walk. The fact that Isaac was to be the sacrifice had made this a very difficult walk.
“How could this be?’ the old man pondered, “My son, my son, in whom my inheritance lies, now to be taken away.”
“First he was promised to me, now I am to sacrifice him. Why?”
“How will I be able to look my wife in the face when I tell her what I have done?”
“How can I return home with blood on my hands? The blood of my son?”
“We waited for this child for so many years to the point we began to doubt that God would keep His promise. Now that he is here, why does God want to take him away?”
With a heavy heart an a weary mind, Abraham slowly approached Mount Moriah. Abraham, only days before a joyful father, was now a sad but determined father. He had many questions, but no answers. Yet, he continued to forge ahead to that terrible mountain.
Yes, Abraham questioned, what loving father would not? Yet, Abraham still continued to obey God’s command.
What had led to this?
“I will make you the father of a great nation”, Genesis 12:2 quotes God as He made this statement to Abraham. First, He wants Abraham to leave town and a comfortable life. Second, He doesn’t tell Abraham where he is to go, just to leave town. And then what seems as an enticement, He tells Abraham that he will be the father of a great nation! Abraham is seventy-five years old. Sarai, his wife, is and has been throughout their marriage, barren! Father of a great nation? He wasn’t even the father of one child and now God told him he would have so many that he would be the father of a great nation. You couldn’t blame Abraham if he laughed. But, he didn’t. He packed his bags, took his servants, his wife, and his nephew and left Haran.
I imagine that by this time in his life Abraham had given up on being a father. Most of us have had children by the time we are thirty. By the time we are fifty we are probably a grandfather to at least one child. By the time we are seventy-five, we are probably great-grandfathers. Yet, Abraham had no offspring. He had yet to experience the joy,