Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.
To be completely honest, I would not be able to obey God if he asked me to sacrifice my son. As a parent, I love my son more than any other human being on the planet. I would rather sacrifice myself instead. Even thinking about being in Abraham’s situation makes me uncomfortable and overwhelmed. That being said, we know that Abraham had a relationship with God that no man on earth (aside from Adam) had ever known. He had spoken with God multiple times and God had been showing him and his family favor up until this point. So when the one true God asks you to do something, how do you say no? How do you know you’re not crazy? The only possible answer is that God’s voice must have been so clear and so familiar to Abraham that he knew this was truly from God.
So far in Genesis, Abraham has gone through quite a few experiences that he must’ve been leaning on through this request. He has trusted God enough to leave his home and set out for an unknown place that God said would be his. He has been shown favor with his possessions and family and has even been promised to become the father of a great nation. He has stood before God and begged for the lives of his family in Sodom and not only was not destroyed but was actually heard. Finally, Abraham has been given a son in his incredibly old age just as God had told him. God has provided in just about every way imaginable. As I recall those moments, I can see how Abraham could follow through with God’s request. He has been tested time and time again just to be shown how God always provides.
However, I know that there must have still been doubt creeping into his heart as he made his journey to the place God told him to go and sacrifice his son. He must’ve been wondering why he had even been asked to do this. It seems to go completely against the very nature of God. He must have been replaying how he would answer for what he has done knowing that if he returned home without his son, his wife and family would surely leave him for good. He must have been struggling with the thought of ending his sons life.
The approach I took while writing this song was to balance the line between those doubts and the experiences Abraham had been through. I believe, as he got closer and closer to the place he was to sacrifice his son, he must’ve reminded himself of those experiences and how God always has provided for him. I believe he must’ve known that even if he had to end his sons life, God was powerful enough to raise him to life again. He had to believe that even though this request seemed evil, God was purely good and just. Abraham put his trust in God even though he didn’t understand, which is something I believe everyone will one day have to choose to do for themselves.
Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of
the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.”
“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know
that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only
Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He
went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.
So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said,
“On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”