“And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.”Genesis 22:11-13
I remember when my kids were little, they would get into trouble for various reasons, but it seemed they really never got into too much trouble together. Nate would most likely be the voice of reason and Kate would take a more daring position. Kate was always looking for loopholes, while Nate was trying to find the path that did not end in him getting in trouble. I think of the times Nate would not agree with what Kate was doing, but it was often too late to stop her. It was like a bike going downhill with no brakes that often ends in a crash.
Kate had a difficult time accepting her corrections, so she often got more because she would not obey. On one particular day, she had gotten into trouble and I took her to her room. As I was speaking to her, I saw a white sheet of paper slip under the door. This was somewhat odd, but since we did not have a phone in the room, maybe the presidential pardon was coming via note. I looked at the note and it read in Nate’s childish handwriting, “Have mercy on her please.” He did not go as far as to say he wanted to take her place, but he was pleading for a reduction in her sentence. I took a little off her correction that day and Kate was saved from what could have been.
I think of Abraham here and the faith he had in God to sacrifice his son in obedience to God. He was willing to do what God had commanded him, even though I’m sure he did not know ahead of time what God was going to do. I think of the ram who submitted to his Creator and got himself caught in the bushes to be the substitute sacrifice at the right time. I also think of us, and how God showed mercy on us by sending His Son to be our substitute sacrifice. Jesus did not simply ask for mercy for us, but He became the holy, perfect sacrifice and took our punishment for sin. He provided for us what we could not provide for ourselves. This story of Abraham is an example of what was to come and how God would provide the perfect sacrifice for all mankind.
Do you realize that Jesus took the punishment of your sin? Have you accepted Him as your perfect sacrifice? Do you fear God and live in obedience to Him? Are you willing to do all that He will ask of you? Do you have faith that is pleasing to Him? Hebrews 11:6 states, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Do you by faith diligently seek Him? May we have faith that moves mountains, and may we have ultimate faith in the One who was the sacrifice for us.