Will You Sacrifice Your "Isaac"?

ADVENT ~ Day 11
December 10, 2009

Scripture Passage:
READ Genesis 22:1-18

As we continue to fix our hearts, minds, souls and bodies on the Reason why we celebrate Christmas, I'd like to recap something we touched on yesterday. We talked about how we all need to “go tell it on the mountain” like God told Abraham when he went to sacrifice Isaac on Mount Moriah.

According to the ESV, which is the “word-for-word” translation of the Bible, the first time God uses the word “love” is in our Scripture reading today (specifically, Genesis 22:2). I’ve often wondered if the writer of the song, “Go Tell It On The Mountain”, wrote this because God told it on the mountain first; Mount Moriah:

“And the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven and said, ‘By myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.’ ”
~ Genesis 22:15-18

Do you see the parallels?

God took His Son, His one and only son, whom He loved, and waited a long time to send to earth; the only heir to the Throne
Abraham took Isaac, his one and only son, whom he loved and waited a long time to have; Abraham’s only heir
Jesus carried His cross up the mountain
Isaac carried the wood for the burnt offering up the mountain
On the third day Jesus rose to set the captives free from their anguish due to sin
On the third day, Abraham saw where God was ultimately going to set him free from his anguish in sacrificing Isaac
God carried the “tools” by giving the authority for His Son to be sacrificed
Abraham carried the “tools” to sacrifice Isaac
God the Father and the God the Son were together
Abraham and Isaac were together
Jesus is the strength of God’s right arm and He wore a crown of thorns on His head
God the Father provided a ram, caught by its horns (its strength) in a thicket; a thorn bush
God the Father so loved the world, He gave His Son to be sacrificed to save sinners
Abraham so loved God, he was willing to offer his son as a sacrifice, but God intervened

I’m so thankful that God has revealed His mystery to me; the salvation of sinful souls through faith in Jesus Christ alone. I’m so grateful God chose to share His divine secret of Christ’s Gospel with me. But am I thankful enough, and mindful enough that I am willing to sacrifice my "Isaac", just as willingly and quickly as Abraham did? If I’m honest, I will have to say that this is not always the case with me. Not only that, but I also have more than one “Isaac”. I have many. I have many desires of my own, things I’ve grown to love and become very attached to: family, friends, ministries, hobbies, doctors and even food. You see, I’m a creature of habit and I detest change.

Being this way, has its pros and cons. The pros are that I really love God and depend on Him first and foremost because He is never changing. Therefore I am often faithful in matters as well, because I don’t like to change, I detest not being able to keep my word. I say what I mean and I mean what I say.

The cons are that I get too attached to things here on earth. I have a tendency to not find new doctors for myself if someone moves or something happens. I remember after I gave birth to my youngest son, Kevin, my OB GYN moved to VA. I was so distraught that I cried and didn’t see another OB GYN for the next 6 years. Because I don’t deal with change very well, it’s very easy to throw me for a loop. Change is scary for me. So as you can see, I have many “Isaacs” I need to daily sacrifice; and these are only a few of them.

Thoughts to ponder:
Who or what are my "Isaacs"? Am I ready and willing, like Abraham to sacrifice them to the Lord? Why am I holding on to them so tightly? What is it about God I don't trust, that causes me to seek things of this world to bring me any kind of satisfaction? If God were to test me today, would I pass or fail?

Holy Father God in Heaven, You are our good Teacher. You alone know all things. Father, I know that You would never test me beyond what I can bear. I know that, more than an earthly teacher desires for their students to learn their lessons well, You Father God who are the perfect Teacher desire even more greatly that we find victory in all things through Your Son, Jesus!

Therefore I know that You will only test me on things that I am capable of passing with flying colors. Please help my unbelief! Please help me in the areas of my heart where I am not fully trusting You. Oh, forgive me Father for my selfishness and self-centered way of thinking! Forgive me Father for so often forgetting why Jesus came.

I'm ashamed to admit that I get so carried away with my daily life, that I forget about sharing Your greatest Gift; the Gift of Eternal Life in Your Son with others around me. I have no idea how I get so caught up in the daily routine of things, that I can forget something of this magnitude.

Oh Lord God, thank You for being so patient with me. May I not misunderstand Your patience as Your slowness to act, and misuse Your time of patience with me, as an occasion to continue to sin. Help me to sacrifice my "Isaacs" so that my life might be something beautiful in Your sight.