The Very Center
“Jesus, be the center, be my hope, be my song, Jesus” (Michael Frye, Vineyard Songs).
Read: GENESIS 22:9–19
 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.  Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.  But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied.  “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.”  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. 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.”  The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time  and said, “I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son,  I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies,  and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”  Then Abraham returned to his servants, and they set off together for Beersheba. And Abraham stayed in Beersheba.
Reflect: WHEN HAS GOD ASKED YOU TO STEP OUT IN FAITH BEFORE YOU HAD ALL THE ANSWERS? HOW DID YOU RESPOND?
The father and son together, the wood on the son’s back, the long walk, the planned sacrifice at the top of the hill… Does this remind you of anything? Actually, Mount Moriah, where these events take place, is thought to be Temple Mount in Jerusalem—a short distance from where Jesus was crucified (John 19:17,18). Right at the center of our faith, at the key moment that will ensure the fulfillment of God’s big plan to bless the world, is the substitute sacrifice, the slaughtered lamb (Isa. 53:7; John 1:29).
Abraham has passed the test of his faith. An angel lets him know. He has shown that he is ready to obey God however much he has to give up of his own loves, plans and dreams. How could he do it? He relies on God’s promises and on the fact that, somehow or other, “God will provide.”
Then it’s the angel again, showing Abraham that the future of God’s big plan for the world hung on the moment of the poised dagger, as it did on the cries of Jesus in Gethsemane (Matt. 26:39).
Lay out your week’s schedule before the Lord. Pray that through the week he will help you live faithfully and obediently.
Loving Father, thank You for giving Your only Son for me. May I give back to You the offering of my life.
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