When Abraham was seventy-five years old and Sarah, his wife, was sixty-five, God made them a promise — Sarah, who was childless, was going to give birth to a son. Twenty-five years went by before God fulfilled that promise — Sarah was ninety and Abraham was one hundred. Hebrews 11:11 says, “By faith, Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past age because she judged Him (God) faithful who had promised.”
When God first made that promise to the couple, Sarah laughed. In Genesis 18:14 the LORD confronts her with this question, “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” What about you and me? How would we respond if the LORD put that question to us?
In Jeremiah 32, the LORD put that same question to His prophet – “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for me?” (vs 27)
In Psalm 147:5 we read, “Great is our LORD and mighty in power; His understanding has no limit.”
In Luke 1:37 Jesus said, “For nothing is impossible with God.” In 18:27 Jesus said, “What is impossible with man is possible with God…”
Jesus, in Matthew 19:26, made a similar statement, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
The scriptures are loaded with examples of men and women who come to believe that there wasn’t anything too hard for God. In Philippians 4:13 the Apostle Paul declared, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
I want you to know that I believe there isn’t anything too hard for the LORD. I believe He can heal my spine so I don’t have to have surgery. It may be that his plan is for me to have the surgery, which is fine with me. But until then, I am assuring Him that all I need is a word or a touch from Him and all will be well. (Thank you for praying with me and for me.)
So, God kept His promise to Abraham and Sarah, and Isaac was born. I am sure we can imagine how blessed this couple felt the dream of every couple was to have a son and that dream was now a reality.
Isn’t it amazing how things can be going along so well and then God asks us to do something that seems unreasonable and impossible? We feel overwhelmed and maybe even inadequate.
In Genesis 22:2 we read of God speaking to Abraham and making the following request — “Take your son, your only son – yes, Isaac, whom you love so much and go to the land of Mariah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I will show you.”
God had told Abraham that through this son, he would become the father of many nations. If Abraham obeyed and Isaac died that would never be possible. Isaac was probably thirteen. I am sure the bond between father and son was very strong. Do you have someone or something in your life that you really cherish? You know in your heart that the LORD is saying “Give him or her to Me. Surrender that item to Me.” We read in Genesis 22:1 that God “tested Abraham’s faith.” Perhaps that is what He is doing to you or me, right now. How will we respond?
It is never easy to let go of someone or something we love and cherish. I have been at that point on a number of occasions when the LORD asked me to surrender to Him someone or something that I highly valued. At times I even said to Him, “You are asking too much.” Imagine me saying that to the One who sent His Son to give His life on the cross to atone for our sins. What may seem unreasonable to us isn’t to our Heavenly Father because He knows how He wants to use the experience to shape our lives. He is equipping us for the perfect plans He has for our lives.
Abraham had walked with God long enough that he knew he could trust Him. So, he went to Moriah; built an altar, and even put his cherished son on it. At the last moment, God stopped him and he offered a ram that was caught in some bushes nearby.
God will allow you and me to be tested to see how committed we are to Him. Abraham passed that test. In Genesis 22:12 God said to him – “Don’t lay a hand on the boy!” The angel said “Do not hurt him in any way, for now, I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me, even your son, your only son”
No wonder Abraham, over the years, has been known as “The Father of the Faithful.”
Listen to how he is described in Hebrews 11:17-19, “It was by faith that Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice when God was testing him. Abraham, who had received God’s promises, was ready to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, even though God told him, ‘Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted.’ Abraham reasoned that if Isaac died, God was able to bring him back to life again. And in a sense, Abraham did receive his son back from the dead.”
The path to divine blessedness in your family, career, or ministry will be determined by your willingness to obey God’s commands whether or not they make sense to you or not. God’s ways are perfect. He sees the whole picture. He wants the best for you and me. We can trust Him.
So be it, LORD,