“Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” Genesis 22:1-2
Every night, Martin Luther would gather his family and read a story from the Bible for family devotions. One night, he read the account in which God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. When Luther had finished reading the story of Abraham and Isaac, his wife, Katharina said, “I don’t believe it! How could God ask Abraham to do such a thing to his son? God would certainly not treat His Son like that!” Luther replied, “But Katie, He did.” It’s true.
This remarkable Old Testament story of a father’s willingness to offer up his son is a journey of redemption and sacrifice. What is redemption? What does it mean for Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac? Abraham undergoes the most intense and painful trial of faith anyone could imagine. No one could watch Abraham binding his son Isaac to the altar without feeling his heart-break. God asks the ultimate from his servant Abraham.
No more shocking and horrifying command has ever been issued from God to man. Moriah was a holy mountain to Israel. It was the place that Solomon built the temple and the present site of the dome of the Rock. This command was a test. First, a test of obedience. Second, a test of faith. “Love the Lord your God with all your strength, with all your soul and with all your heart”(Deuteronomy 6:5). God seeks only what He deserves—first place in our hearts.
Pray this morning for God to remove the idols of your heart. Pray for God to restore His love and grace in your heart all day today. Pray for God to take up residence in your heart as the sovereign King. God will not tolerate second place. Pray for more of Jesus and less of you.