March 15, 2023

Hello Advent Family,

Have you ever witnessed someone grow tremendously in their faith.  It truly is a remarkable and beautiful thing.  God paints us such a picture of Abraham’s growth in the Bible.  He goes from someone who twice lies and says his wife is his sister to a man willing to sacrifice his only son.  Let’s look at the account together found in Genesis 22.

Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. 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 I will show you.” Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.” Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together. When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. 12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” 13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”

I can not imagine the faith it took as he tied up his son and placed him on the altar.  Perhaps Abraham believed that God would stop him.  Perhaps he knew that God would provide the sacrifice in his place.  No matter what his thoughts were the point is that he acted in faith.  He completely and totally trusted God.  So many things creep into our lives that limit our faith.  We rely upon our own strength and resources instead of God.  We trust our own wisdom instead of His.  Abraham had finally gotten to the point in his life where he completely trusted God.  I pray that we would all get to this same place in our own lives.  A place where we completely and totally trust God, even in the face of immense challenges. 

In His Grip,
Pastor Dave