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!”Genesis 22:9-12 NIV
“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.”
Many will question this account and God’s call for Abraham to sacrifice Isaac his son, especially since this is forbidden elsewhere in the Scripture. But I think that misses the whole point of this encounter. The sacrifice itself was unimportant. What mattered was Abraham’s obedience and faithfulness to God. Was there anything that Abraham placed more value in than God? Anything that he would not be willing to give up if the Lord asked it of him? Isaac was the most important thing in Abraham’s life. All of Abraham’s hopes for the future flowed through Isaac. But he gave him to the Lord. And God gave him back.
What is the “Isaac” in my life? Is there anything that I have, or am, that I would be unwilling to give up for the Lord? Is there anything in my life that means more to me than he does? As he did Abraham, he calls on me to sacrifice my Isaac. To surrender it up to the Lord. He may return it to me, or he may not. But regardless, he wants no idols in my life. Nothing that means more to me than he does.