(A portion of today’s Old Testament reading, Genesis 22:1-18, from the NKJV):
Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!”
And he said, “Here I am.”
Then He said, “Take now 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.”
So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.”
We all know the story of Abraham and how he was willing to sacrifice his son Isaac when God asked him. Isaac was the son of promise, the one through whom God specifically vowed to make Abraham’s descendants like the stars of the sky and the sand on the seashore. Abraham believed, he held nothing back from the Lord, and the New Testament tells us he was a type – a foreshadowing of what God the Father Himself did in giving His Son to be sacrificed for the world.
Today in this reading I noticed another parallel I hadn’t seen before. Abraham took his son and two servants and headed off to the destination God had appointed. “Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off.” Abraham journeyed during those days … days of uncertainty, of doubt (or at least strong temptation to doubt), of dread, of sadness; heading toward an outcome he could not see … and arrived on the third day.
Jesus was crucified on a Friday … and on the third day He rose from the dead. For the disciples and the women who were with them, those days were filled with uncertainty, of clear and definite doubt, of dread, of sadness, and of fear. They were heading toward an outcome they couldn’t see, and though Jesus had promised them He would arise again they just didn’t understand … so they didn’t grasp the certain promise in the way that Abraham had. They had no journey, they merely sat in a room and waited … for what?
The point is that we don’t always know the outcome of the trials we are facing. Even if we know God’s promises by heart, we do not know exactly how He will bring them to pass. We have Abraham’s example of strong faith, and the disciples’ example of weak faith, but in both instances God was faithful to do what He had promised, and everyone involved was overjoyed to see the result.
We can build our lives on this fact. God’s sufficiency is not dependent upon the strength of our faith. God’s sufficiency is Truth, and we can depend upon it and take hold of it. Whether our grip is strong or weak, He is faithful and He will come through.
Thanks be to God!