He said, “Take 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.”
Jim had only wanted one thing for as long as he could remember – a brand new Element skateboard. He had even saved to help his parents pay the $150 for a tricked-out board. On his birthday, he finally got his wish. His parents didn’t even use his money – they surprised him and sprung for the entire thing.
But one month later, Jim’s heart was broken when his parents came to him and told him they needed him to give up the board. “We won’t make you give it up,” they told Jim. “But we could really use the money.”
A ton of thoughts raced through Jim’s mind.
“Why give it to me at all if you’re just going to take it away?”
“How much will the money from my board help?”
“You know how much this board means to me. Can’t you find something else that doesn’t mean so much?”
After a day filled with these and other thoughts, Jim sighed deeply. He picked up his board and went to his parents. “Here,” Jim said. “You can have the board. I’ll just keep saving up and we can get it again some day.”
His parents smiled, and tears filled their eyes. “We already found another way to get the money, Jim,” his Dad said. “But it means so much to know that you would give up the thing that means the most to you.”
Of course, this is a simplification of the story of Abraham and Isaac. Abraham and Sarah had waited literally 100 years to have a child. Isaac was something that meant more to them than anything else in the world. So when God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac to him on a mountaintop altar, it had to be the most gut-wrenching decision Abraham ever had to make. But, since Abraham trusted God, and God asked him to do it, Abraham took Isaac to the top of the mountain to sacrifice him to the Lord.
Of course, we know that God spared Isaac’s life and provided an alternate sacrifice. But Abraham’s willingness to put everything he had on the line for the Lord proved that God could trust him with anything – and that He could use Abraham as the foundation for a special people, set apart for Him.
What’s your Isaac? What is the one thing that, would be the hardest for you to give up, even if God asked you to do it? If there’s anything that you value more than the Lord, it will have the potential of getting in between you and Him. For me, it’s my family – my precious wife and daughter. But we all have something precious that is dear to our hearts. And if we’re to truly grow as close as possible to God, we have to be willing to put Him ahead all of that.
Today, pray that the Lord will give you the strength to begin putting Him ahead of anything else in your life. You may never have to give up the precious things, but your willingness to do that will open up the possibilities for you to reach new levels in your walk with Him.
Reflection copyright © 2016 Doug DeBolt.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.