Real Sacrifice – Genesis 22:2
“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…” Genesis 22:2
When God told Abraham to sacrifice his son, Abraham obeyed and God intervened at the last minute by providing a ram Abraham could sacrifice instead. No matter how many times I read or heard the story, I missed three words with a powerful message. WHOM THOU LOVEST. It’s no surprise Abraham loved his son. He may have even had a greater love and appreciation for his son since the Lord had delivered His promise his long-barren wife had a child past child-bearing years. And God had promised Abraham he would be the “father of many nations (Gen. 17:4)” At last, Abraham had the son through whom this promise would come. So why bother with the words WHOM THOU LOVEST? God never wastes a word; He had a purpose in including them.
I believe He used these words to SPEAK TO US, specifically to tell us true sacrifices for Him may involve WHOM – or WHAT – WE LOVE. How often do we convince ourselves we are making “sacrifices” for God by baking brownies for a neighbor, driving a friend’s kids home, visiting someone in the hospital, giving away clothes we don’t wear, volunteering at a nursing home, tossing some money in the offering plate, etc., not that there is anything wrong with this. In fact, there may be great sacrifices in any of this. But the truth is that some of us may jump into more comfortable, easier acts of sacrifice and service, and refrain from or resist sacrifices that involve giving up someone or something we dearly LOVE.
How do we respond when God calls us to end a relationship that is interfering with our availability to Him, let go of a friendship because it displeases Him, sell our dream home to support a missionary, quit a hobby because He wants us to spend that time studying His Word, or cancel a vacation to help someone in need instead?
Is there anyone or anything YOU LOVE He has asked you to sacrifice that you are still holding onto?