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Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram [hope] caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 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.” Genesis 22.13-14 (NIV)
You know it. That place of, What am I to do now, Lord?
Sacrifice my son? My only son? Lord, You’re not really being real here, are You?
Another rejection? Lord, I was so sure…so certain.
Another no? Lord, tell me – what am I doing wrong? Or, what am I not doing? Or, if I’m doing it right then tell me what to do next.
Abraham and Sarah finally had their promised son. After.All.The.Years. Sarah was probably 108 years old; Abraham 110. You know, youngish to have a 13-year old boy, Isaac. In all seriousness, these two have been through IT ALL. Not one thing has come easily for Sarah and Abraham but now…a son…THEIR son together. Their joy was full and they finally saw feet to their faith.
Then one day, out of the blue, God told Abraham to sacrifice his son, his one and only son, Isaac.
Abraham, take your son and go to the mountain in Moriah and offer him on an altar as a burnt offering.
The Word doesn’t document one syllable of argument from Abraham. Where did that kind of trust come from? Abraham just went. Loaded the donkey with firewood, rope, a large knife, and told his son they were going camping. Off they went.
What was Isaac thinking when his father laid him on the rock, tied him down, and drew the knife? Can we even imagine?
Abraham, stop. Do not lay a hand on your boy. You have not kept anything from Me.
Abraham, shaking and weeping, returned the knife to its sheath, untied his son, his only son, Isaac. Then, off in the nearby thickets and rock outcroppings the bleating of a sheep.
Was he hearing things? Again, the sound of a ram…this time louder and more forceful.
The sound of hope.
Father God, in the mighty Name of Jesus, we come with our planners and itineraries and we lay them down – because Father God, You have a plan for our lives. We see the stone altar, the rope and the smoke – You, O God, see the ram in the bushes. O God, let us not lose hope when the answer continues to be no – help us O God to trust you like Abraham did. You are the God who provides. Today, O Lord, we need something tangible, something we can see or touch – we need to hear the bleating of the hope sheep. We beseech You O Lord have mercy on us. Amen.