Summary: Who do you love the most…? And, how much do you love that person…? Now take that love you have and ask yourself…what would you do if God suddenly told you to sacrifice that person…?
What do you love the most…? I read on article in USA Today that listed the 20 most popular things people are buying today. Some of the 20 listed were: cloth face coverings, hand sanitizer, mother’s day flowers (I’m guessing this wasn’t on Father’s day), active dry yeast, toilet paper, the best can opener, all-clad cookware, an affordable robot vacuum, and a good popcorn maker. Do any of those make your list…what do you love the most…?
How about people…who do you love the most…? I remember being a youngster and wondering from time to time if my parents loved me or my sisters more. I did not have the heart to tell my sisters the answer… I also remember my own children asking me the same question about them... Who do you love the most…? And, how much do you love that person…? Now take that love you have and ask yourself…what would you do if God suddenly told you to sacrifice that person…?
Abraham, from our scripture today, loved his son Isaac very much. He was 100 years old when he and his wife Sarah bore Isaac. 100. I was around 41 when my youngest was born, and some days, I think I may be too old to keep up... 100. Abraham had another son named Ishmael, through their servant Hagar. But when Isaac was weaned, Ishmael had laughed or mocked him, so Abraham’s wife Sarah had Hagar and Ishmael cast out. Now, as you can imagine, Abraham was quite troubled by this but God said to Abraham in Genesis 21:13 that He would make a nation, of the son of the slave woman also, because he is Abraham’s offspring.
Abraham could breathe a sigh of some relief knowing that Ishmael would go on to be great, and now, he could be all the more devoted to his son Isaac…remember, he was 100 when Isaac was born.
Have you ever waited for something, or someone, for a long time…? Means so much more the longer you have waited, or the more you’ve gone through. Abraham and Sarah were both quite old when they finally had their son Isaac. Imagine the love they had for him.
And so, in Genesis 22:1 “After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.”” … “God tested Abraham”. “While it is not unknown for God to test individuals, testing must be clearly distinguished from tempting.” (ESV Global Study Bible Gen. 22:1). James 1:13 tells us, “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.” He does, however, test people’s commitment to him (ESV Global Study Bible Gen. 22:1). Look at Exodus 15:25, “And he cried to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a log, and he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. There the LORD made for them a statute and a rule, and there he tested them. And in Exodus 16:4, “Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not.””
Committed… Is the world committed to the LORD? CNN.com reports this past June 24th,
“More than 9.1 million cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. In the US, cases are spiking in some states as the nation continues to reopen. Young people in the South and West are increasingly testing positive. The EU is considering recommending that member states block Americans from visiting their countries due to Covid-19 surge, according to two EU diplomats.” (https://www.cnn.com/world/live-news/coronavirus-pandemic-06-23-20-intl/index.html)
Is our country committed to the LORD? Statues being torn down all over the country…
“California, the most populous US state and the first to implement a statewide lockdown to combat the coronavirus outbreak, is setting daily records this week for new cases” (https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/25/health/california-coronavirus-cases-surge/index.html)
The world, our country, all are having their commitment to the LORD tested. Where is your commitment today? Is it in a statue, some celebrity, something popular, or is it in the LORD…? When I think on various things or people I have admired, promoted, or otherwise idolized in my lifetime, one could just cringe, or otherwise brace themselves for some information to eventually come out that takes that thing, or that person, off the pedestal they were placed on... Abraham waited 100 years for Isaac…do you think he was committed to him? … The LORD was going to find out who came in first when it came to the life of Abraham.
Genesis 22:2, “He said, “take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”” … Whew, that is a lot to unpack.