Devotions for Thursday, August 4, 2011
Over the next couple of weeks we are going to look at some passages of scripture that explore some biblical examples of authentic faith. We will see people who trusted in God and be inspired by what He did through them and around them.
God wants to grow your faith…so let’s get going!
1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.
4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.5 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.
7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? 8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. 11 And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.12 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.
13 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.14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah–jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.
Pastor Ben’s Commentary:
This is an incredibly moving story when read deliberately, and thought about seriously.
Here is some background information you need to know:
Who was Abraham? Abraham was a man who God had called to be the father of the nation of Israel. God chose Abraham to go to a land that God would show him. So Abraham believed God, and left where he was to settle in Canaan- the land that God had showed him. Abraham had been promised to be the father of this great nation whose number of people would be like the stars in the sky. But it took Abraham a long time to have a son. Finally, after a lot of trouble, time and heartache, God finally gave Abraham the son he had been promised- Isaac. Now that Isaac was here, God comes to Abraham again and asks Abraham to sacrifice Isaac for him.
Essentially the question is this- Abraham, do you love my blessings more than you love me? Are you willing to obey me no matter what the cost?
Abraham showed extraordinary faith in his actions. This faith was expressed verbally in verse 8 when he said, “My son, God will provide himself a lamb.” Abraham believed that He should obey God, no matter the cost, but most of all He believed that God knew what He was doing.
God ended up stopping Abraham from killing His son. He provided a lamb to be sacrificed in place of Isaac.
1. Faith in God means obeying Him.
You can’t say you have faith or trust in God, and not do what He says to do. God has called you and I to obedience, and if we trust Him then we will obey Him, no matter the cost.
2. God can be trusted.
God knows what He is doing. He has a plan for you. It may not look like it now, but He does.
3. Whatever you are willing to disobey God for is your idol.
Whether it is the approval of a friend, a particular possession, a buzz, a high, popularity, sex, or yourself (it really can be anything), if it comes before God it’s gnawing away at your ability to trust Him. You need to get rid of it.
Are you willing to sacrifice anything for God?
10 thoughts on “Real Faith- Day 1”
This story really blows my mind. Zac just told this story and used it as an example on Sunday night, and it struck me then and it just strucked me again, right now. Abraham was a godly man! He was willing to sacrifice his only son, the son he had waited most of his life for, because God asked him to, and God was number one to Abraham despite how much he loved Isaac. Abraham’s faith was incredible. It’s hard to comprehend willing to kill your son for the love of God. I’m not a parent and I won’t be for a long time, but I have three siblings that I love very much, and wrapping my mind around the fact that God would ask me to kill one of them because He is the most important, is very hard to grasp. If I were put in that position, i don’t know if I could do that.. And that scares me. I love God with all of my heart, and I want to live my life to serve Him and honor and glorify Him! But the question is, do I love Him enough to sacrifice what is most important? If I put 100% faith in God that answer should be a 100% yes, but if I only put 60% faith in God then my answer is only 60% yes. It’s all determined upon how much you truly love God and how much faith you really have in Him. God should always be number 1, He doesn’t want to share 1st place or even be considered a second option. We need to get the things out of our lives that is blocking us from loving God and putting 100% faith in Him. We all struggle with it, but it’s so important! & we need to be willing to make sacrifices for God whatever it may be, because He is our number 1! I want to trust God and love him so unconditionally that no other love compares! I want to trust God with my life so fully that I’ll do whatever He throws at me! I want to represent Christ and be a true follower of Jesus, especially in my heart! & like with everything else, we can work on this together and grow our faith in God together! 🙂
Zac told us this on sunday night. What I got out of this is that when god puts you up to something like sacrificeing your son cause god told Abraham to, and wonted to know how much Abraham loved God that he would kill his own son for him. What would you do if God told you to sarifice your only son after waiting so long to get him.
This story tugs at my heart a lot. I love God, i love serving Him, and I love being surrounded by Godly people. I love it more than anything.. but do i love God enough to where I would sacrifice everything I love? I honestly can’t answer that with a “Yes”. I pray that I will be able to live my life for God 100% without any doubts in my mind. I can’t stress enough how much I love God, and how thankful I am for sending His son Jesus to die for me. It kills me that i’m so selfish to where i wouldn’t sacrifice my family or something like that. When Zac spoke about this story and sacrifices Sunday, i felt God speaking to me through him. Honestly, would I be willing to give up what i love the most? I want to be at that point where I can say yes, without a doubt! I love this story because it shows that Abraham had so much faith in God that he was willing to sacrifice his son for God. Because of Abrahams undying faith, God didn’t make Abraham sacrifice his son. Now thats the kind of faith we should be living by! Because what Pastor Ben said is right, we can trust God! 🙂
Well I feel like you probably know what I think about this passage! lol But there is another side to it that we don’t think of often and thats Isaac’s side! I cant even image what was going through his head, he had sacrificed with his father before, he knew that they should have a lamb to sacrifice, thats why he asks where it is! and what do you think Isaac’s response was when Abraham started wrapping him up with rope so he could sacrifice him? I know what my response would be ” UM Dad your so not sacrificing me” I would freak if my dad was like “well Zac God told me to sacrifice you so…..here we go” lol it sounds funny but thats what happened. But Isaac had just as much faith as Abraham did that God had what was best in mind all along and they we willing to obey! The 2nd cool thing is this if you remember God promised Abraham that he would be the father of a great nation, and that was possible through Abraham’s son Isaac and the children Isaac could have. But when God said to Abraham sacrifice your son to me, that meant Abraham couldn’t be the father of a great nation like God promised. Sometimes we do not understand the way God does things, he does things that we do not always get and we think we could do a better job than God! We have to trust and have faith that God knows exactly what he is doing! Even if I do not understand what God is doing, I have to know that God is in control and will take care of me!
I have a little different view on this Bible history devotion. One thing to think about is that Jesus’s blood line came from Abraham and Isaac. So God knew all along that this was going to happen but He maybe wanted to teach Abraham and Isaac something through this all. One cool thing to think about is that when we do what God asks’ of us, not without question because I think Abraham had some serious questioning going on in His mind… (questioning=not understanding but still having faith to trust God knows what He is doing)… But God can do some major things with us and in our family tree. I know there was a time in my life where I had to say no to 3 of my priorities in my life so I could say yes to what God wanted me to do. It was a scary thing to move God up to #1 but because I was able to have faith and trust in Him I am at Sonshine, married to one of the Godliest men ever. It completely changed my family tree because I said yes to God. It was a pivotal choice in my life. I think for Abraham and for Isaac this was a pivotal place. To even think of what Isaac is thinking is beyond me but also to know the love of your father and heavenly father afterward and the faith your father had. It might have given Him a push in the right direction to continue to lead him on the path that eventually lead Jesus to be born so many generations later.
I think that sometimes we forget that decisions that we make do not affect our life…the ripples of our bad and good decisions can reach for generations to come. I want my grand-kids and my great grand-kids to know how much I love my Heavenly Father and that affects them to want to know and love Him too. I want to leave a heritage of faith and love in Jesus Christ.
My application is to love God with all of me so I can be used for His glory today and forever more.
That’s a incredible story and one of the things I learned is that 1. A faith not tested is a faith that can’t be trusted, and 2. God may tell you to give up something in now but in will be worth it in the end like in verse 13.
Ryan- Good stuff man. That’s one of my favorite sayings, especially when I’m in the middle of something difficult. I know it’s hard to see when you are in jr. high and high school, but following God is totally worth it. It’s worth it when I see guys like you Ryan make good choices and want to make a difference and follow God too. Proud of you!
What I got out of this message was that Abraham was willing to sacrifice his only son to please god and to say that was his only son. Another thing that Abraham was willing to do anything god told him to do because he was a man of great faith and new that god would do anything for him and I feel that we should have faith like Abraham and be able to sacrifice things and even tear dow the idles in our back yard.
Andrew- What does having faith look like for you right now?
I don’t think there was a person in the room Sunday night that wasn’t grapping w the question “could I sacrifice the most importantt thing in my life?”. It took 8 yrs for mikayla and then 10 years to have Mackenzie. I understand how it feels to wait a long time for children. I don’t know how I would actually be able to sacrifice them if asked. Easier said than done for sure. I think Abraham had 100 percent faith that God wouldn’t take his son. Imay be wrong about that. I agree w Zac. Can u imagine how Isaac felt? He definitely had to have strong faith also. -f not can u imagine how uncomfortable it was at their dinnwr table that night?