Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Talk Tuesday-The Altar of Your Heart: Abraham's Sacrifice

Who or what do you worship? What is the most important thing to you in your life? Is it your health and strength, your wealth, your children, your spouse, yourself? What god is on the altar of your heart? Who or what is your first love? The account of Abraham's Sacrifice reveals the faithfulness of GOD and the blessings of obedience. It is also a reflection of the human heart whose altar should be raised solely to GOD.

Abraham and Sarah were both childless and old. Yet the LORD promised them a son would be born to them in their old age. "And the LORD visited Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did for Sarah as He had spoken. For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him-whom Sarah born to him-Isaac." Genesis 21:1-3

The Bible tells us that Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born. This was the child of promise, whom Abraham and Sarah had wanted their whole lives. Imagine the pride, joy and great love his parents felt for him! This was the fruit of their loins, the offspring of their union.

"Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, 'Abraham!' And he said, 'Here I am.' Then He said, 'Take now 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. So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him." Genesis 22:1-3

As they approach the altar Isaac asks his father where their offering is, to which his reply is that GOD Himself will provide. Then Abraham arranges the altar, lays Isaac out upon it, ready to obey the LORD's instruction concerning the child.

"And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, 'Abraham, Abraham!' So he said, 'Here I am.' And He said, 'Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me." Genesis 22:10-12

God's request of Abraham showed Abraham what was on the altar of his own heart. Abraham's act of obedience said many things about who he believed GOD to be. He knew GOD to be the Almighty Creator, the GOD of the universe, to whom all things were possible and there were no limits. Abraham TRUSTED God, Abraham OBEYED God. Abraham put God FIRST, holding no idols, not even his only son, because his love for God trumped his love for Isaac. WOW. I think about that and I am truly amazed. I wonder, can we honestly say that the altar of our hearts completely belong to God? Is He truly our first love? Are we willing to obey Him, even to the point of intense personal sacrifice? Abraham's sacrifice and obedience resulted in unimaginable blessings:

"Then the Angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time out of heaven and said: 'By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son-blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore: and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.'" Genesis 22:15-18

Obedience brings blessings. How has this account impacted you? What is the importance of putting GOD first and worshiping Him alone? What personal revelation did you have while reading this? Click on the comments link below to share your insights with us here at BGO.


Anonymous said...

Amazing. Must be a ‘God thing!’ God has used this story from scripture a couple of times in my life. Both were involving significant relationships. In fact, ‘as it happens’, I was just telling a friend of mine last Saturday how God used him to impart wisdom and a word from God to me from this very account of Abraham’s life. The jist of that story was, I was dating a girl whom I thought would be my wife but we came into a gigantic roadblock. I told my friend Dave, “Dave, I have put Debbie (the girl I was dating at the time) on the altar and I am ready to sacrifice her (the relationship) if needed”. Dave wisely responded, “Ok bro. Now keep coming down with the knife, until God tells you to stop”. Wow. I never thought about that. Guess what. God didn’t say stop and very painfully, we went our separate ways.

The second time this scripture was profoundly used was the day I got engaged to my beautiful wife Hazel. Check this out: TODAY IS OUR 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY!! Again, today’s BGO must be a God thing’! The day we got engaged, the reading from Our Daily Bread was on Abraham and his willingness to sacrifice Isaac? I thought, surely God, not this one. Guess what. Long story short thru some very adverse circumstances, Hazel (and her father) came to my house a few months later and gave me my engagement ring back! Ouch!!! But this time, God restored it and as mentioned, we’ve been married for 10 years today!

Trust God. He always has your best interest in mind, even if sometimes he doesn’t say stop when you think he should.

Anonymous said...

Yes ... I once heard and continually remember that, when we look back at the mosaic of our lives, from a supernatural perspective, when we see how perfectly faithul God was in guiding and crafting everything together, we will be totally amazed!! That helps me to trust and obey in the current moment.

Congrats on your 10th anniversary1!