When Abraham was tested by God, he was asked to reorder his priorities. The fact that Genesis 22 exists means that this must have been a tough one for Abraham.
What makes this chapter some what controversial is that God never – at any point – commands child sacrifice. In fact, he explicitly prohibits child sacrifice! So why would God instruct Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac?
An idol doesn’t have to be a golden calf. An idol is anything that is more important than God in your life. That could be your wallet. Is your bank account ever going to be big enough? Has the almighty dollar taken control of your life? Maybe it’s your boy/girl friend. In your daily life, do you care more about what that significant other thinks or what God thinks? Children are a gift from God, but have your children taken over your life. I know as the father of five – check that – as the father of one I was overwhelmed and consumed with the day-to-day ins and outs of my little one. Could the “alleged” wants and needs of my children trump my love for God? It can happen.
God knew that it could happen. His command for Abraham to kill his son gave him the opportunity to reset his priorities. The book of Hebrews helps us understand what Abraham was thinking. In Chapter 11, the Great Heroes of Faith chapter, we find the author’s commentary on Abraham and this incident with Isaac. Here we read that Abraham figured that God could raise the dead. So even if I do have to sacrifice Isaac, God can bring him back to me. The precedent for God keeping his promise was high. After all, Abraham was a father well after normal people were able to have children. God had kept every promise so far in his life. Why would God abandon him now?
Want to hear more on this fascinating study of priorities? Watch this Very Important Chapter study VIC – Genesis 12: Abraham Tested.
Please click HERE to view the Bible class slides.