Genesis 22:1-18 is an account that deserves much meditation and reflection. Just as God tested Abraham, whom the Lord considered a friend, God will, in His good grace, tests each one of us insofar for us to ascertain the strength of our faith and our determination to love Him, follow Him and obey Him with all that is within us.
What then is the “son” that the Lord may place before the furnace of sacrifice? The word of God gave us a clue. He said in verse 2, “…your only son, whom you love…”. The subject of our love will be tested. The Lord does not forbid nor punish us for having love, or loving someone or something. For love itself is a characteristic of God Himself. But what we love, needs to be subjected to the ultimate love we for Him. Only God is worthy of all of our love. He alone deserves our hearts and lovingly reciprocate love back to us.
Today a thought dawn on me, that throughout my life, I have yearned for recognition. I longed to be accepted, to be honoured, to be loved. That others would recognise me even if through my hard work, sacrifice or pretence of knowledgeability. Sincere compliment and genuine appreciation could go a long way in motivating me to do more – even to the extent of foolishly pursuing them like an addict. Who cares whether I am a people-pleaser? What mattered is that people were pleased with me more than someone else, or compared to sometime ago. Yet how that pride fell me. Because I failed to make God the whole subject of my devotion and love, my faith became rootlessly superficial and I, hopelessly vulnerable.
This was a small test. And as Abraham prophetically pronounced, “God himself will provide…”. God provided a way out. In my failure, He provided a way for me back to Him.
I was so glad to read that Abraham passed the test! What unspeakable joy to learn of the unsurpassable blessings that God bestowed upon Abraham and the affirmation of the covenant that was set in the beginning of Abraham’s journey of faith. As for me, it is my prayer that God will give me strength to please Him alone. May my walk of faith be centered on Him, His mysterious presence that abide with me wherever I am, and the confidence to walk in obedience no matter the fear or cost. All these, that I may become a simple, lowly, God-fearing Christian all the days of the rest of my life, till the colours of this earth fade at the dawn of heavenly reunion.