A rough story from our sermon this morning.
How many times have you heard the story of Abraham on Mount Moriah? Ready to give his only son to God. Have you ever thought of it from Isaac's point of view?
He wakes up one morning to his dad shaking him awake. It's early, and he wonders if they are under attack. Instead, his dad loads up some donkeys and servants, and tells him they are going on a journey. Would you be worried? Maybe asking what was going on? But no, Isaac trusts his dad, and he trusts his God. He does ask his dad one thing. He says the have the fire and the wood, but no sacrifice. His dad has anything but reassuring answer. "God will provide the sacrifice."
Does Isaac worry now? No. He just keeps walking. Finally they get to where they can see the range of mountains ahead of them. His dad takes the wood off the donkeys and puts it on him. Then he takes the fire in his hand, and telling the servant that they will return after they are done sacrificing, he starts off into the mountains. Isaac follows. There is still no sacrifice. The sun must have been hot.
Finally, they stop on the top of one of the mountains. Mount Moriah. Isaac looks around, right over the next hill is a large city. Salem, of the Jebusites. But here it is lonely, deserted. There is still no sacrifice.
Laying the wood in a altar, he looks around. It's a barren place, scrub brush covers much of the ground, and still there is no sacrifice.
The wood is layed, the fire ready, and Abraham turns to him.
"Come my son, I will tie you up. For God has commanded that I sacrifice you to him."
What thoughts flashed through Isaac's mind? Did he think of yelling for help from the nearby city? Did he think of tackling his father and getting away from this madman? No. He let his father tie him up, and lay him on the altar. He trusted his father, but more, he trusted God. Seconds later, Abraham raises the knife over Isaac's chest. He starts the plunge, but a voice stops him.
"Abraham! Abraham! Do not touch the boy. For I know that you serve me. Take the ram that is caught in that thicket, and sacrifice him instead of the boy."
Can you imagine the relief Isaac must have felt? Obedience does not mean that you enjoy what is happening. Abraham untied him, they sacrificed the lamb together, and then traveled to the servants and then on toward home.
Abraham demostrated a love for God unheard of during those times. But Isaac showed a trust that has worked it's way down through history to us. If we can show that trust toward God, that even if he asks us to die, we'll be ready to obey, we will have succeeded in obedience.