This year I decided to start reading the Bible from the beginning. The last time I did that I was a kid and I wanted to win a prize. I really didn't get anything out of it though because GOD didn't mean anything to me. Now however, it's a whole different story. GOD has changed my life and I need to read how HE worked in the lives of all the people in the whole Bible not just the New Testament. It's kind of a slow read for me because I like to read the study notes too. What I have found so far is...all the Bible stories I heard as a kid have a lot more in them than I ever thought. Maybe I just didn't listen, or read, very carefully back then! So here is one thing that really stuck out to me so far. Actually two things...
Abraham was a man of great faith. I must have heard at least 100 times how GOD told Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac. It always amazed me how Abraham didn't even argue with GOD. He just got up the next day, saddled up the donkey, got a couple servants and his son Isaac, chopped some wood for the fire, then set out for the place GOD told him to go. Now, had it been me, GOD would have had an argument on HIS hands. But, old Abraham he had faith. He knew GOD would supply another sacrifice. The part I never heard before was this...verse 5 in the story.
5“Stay here with the donkey,” Abraham told the servants. “The boy and I will travel a little farther. We will worship there, and then we will come right back.”
This is out of The New Living Translation but I looked it up in a few others and they all say this..."we" will come right back. That's the part I never heard before. Isn't that just soooo cool?!!! Abraham knew...beyond the shadow of "any" doubt...that the LORD was going to supply another sacrifice. Abraham had faith...amazing faith...what I call a "great faith"! But, can you imagine being his son? Now it doesn't say, but I bet that Isaac was a bit scared. After all, he was just a kid. He said to Abraham...
7b“We have the fire and the wood,” the boy said, “but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?”
I believe that Abraham didn't even hesitate when he answered him and said...
8a“God will provide a sheep for the burnt offering, my son,”
But, when they got to the place GOD had told him to go, Abraham built the alter, placed the wood on it that Isaac had to carry, then tied him up and placed him on the alter on top of the wood. Not only was Isaac going to be the sacrifice but he had to carry the wood he was going to be sacrificed on. Hmmm...just like JESUS had to carry HIS own cross that HE was going to be sacrificed on for us! That was something else that jumped out at me! Then what happens next is amazing...
10 And Abraham picked up the knife to kill his son as a sacrifice. 11 At that moment the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Yes,” Abraham replied. “Here I am!”
12 “Don’t lay a hand on the boy!” the angel said. “Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son.”
13 Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a thicket. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering in place of his son. 14 Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means “the LORD will provide”). To this day, people still use that name as a proverb: “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”
Not only does this passage show the great faith of Abraham but also it's like reading about the sacrifice of JESUS...GOD'S only SON.
As a kid...and even as an adult before I was saved...I never got any of this! Isn't it amazing how your eyes...and ears...are opened once you give your heart to JESUS?! I'm glad I listened and started reading from the beginning. I'm thinking GOD has a lot for me to learn this year.
Linking up with Tracy today for Winsome Wednesday!