A lot happened in the lives of Abraham and Sarah in Genesis 20-21. Abraham once again misled a king into thinking Sarah was not his wife, only his sister- which was partially true, for she was indeed his half sister- and again God protected Sarah, and Abraham. (Again?? What was Abraham thinking?) Sarah, at the age of 90, gave birth to Isaac, “he laughs” and this time she laughed for joy (in chapter 17, Abraham had laughed, and in chapter 18, Sarah laughed, both doubting God’s promise to them of a son). Hagar and Ishmael were sent away, but God promised to provide for them and to make a nation from Ishmael, also.
Now in Genesis 22, we find the account of God commanding Abraham to take Isaac to the land of Moriah, onto a mountain, and to offer his son to Him as a sacrifice. What?? This was the son of his old age- he was 100 when Isaac was born. This was the promised son with his wife, Sarah. This was the son through whom God would make a great nation. Don’t you think he wondered why? I would.
Abraham obeyed without question. Wouldn’t most of us be like the preschooler who questions everything his mother says: “But why? Why?”
I don’t know why Abraham didn’t trust God when dealing with the king of Gerar and his wife/sister Sarah but did trust God with his son Isaac. But he did. Completely.
Now, WE are given the whole picture and are told in Genesis 22:1 that “God tested Abraham”. But Abraham didn’t know how this was going to end, and that it was a test. Yet he trusted God and obeyed. We are shown this in Genesis 22:7-8~ “And Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, ‘My father!’ And he said, ‘Here I am, my son.’ And he said, ‘Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?’ And Abraham said, ‘God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.’ So the two of them walked on together.”
God will provide. Why do we worry so much when going through hard times and not understanding how it will end? We know the One Who sees the whole picture, knows how it will end, and always provides!
And of course, God does provide in Genesis 22, but not until the last minute, when Abraham was about to take the life of his son. God provided a substitute for the sacrifice, “a ram caught in the thicket”, verse 13. And here we have a glimpse, a type, of Christ. For God sent HIS Son to be our substitute sin sacrifice. He took our place, on the cross, and paid the penalty for our sins, for MY sins.
All we have to do is trust and obey, which is sometimes quite difficult, but God has given us His Holy Spirit to help us do just that. God has, and will always, provide.
When Jesus tells me “‘All things are possible to him who believes.'” (Mark 9:23b) I need to cry out like the father of the young boy who needed Jesus’ healing, “‘I do believe; help my unbelief.'” (Mark 9:24b)