Lay It on the Altar


What is your Isaac? Would God have you lay it on the altar?

Then God said, "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about." Genesis 22:2 NIV

What is your Isaac? Would God have you lay it on the altar?

Abraham was a wannabe father for many years. He loved his wife Sarah, and together they were barren. Sarah was well past the age of child-bearing, so they had given up hope of God blessing them with a son when Isaac was conceived. They even took matters into their own hands by trying to give Abraham a son through Sarah's maidservant. But God who is never late brought them the gift of Isaac in their old age. What a blessing Isaac was! They had waited their whole life for Isaac, and now God was calling Abraham to sacrifice him on an altar.

I have a sense that Isaac could have stood between Abraham and God. Abraham had left his homeland, going to "a place" God would show him. He stepped out in real faith. It is obvious from the reading of Scripture that Abraham had a close relationship with God. He could clearly hear God's voice and he quickly obeyed God's commands. Now that Isaac was in Abraham's life, perhaps Isaac interfered at times with the close relationship between Abraham and God. Maybe God, who looks at the heart, could see a devotion to Isaac, in the heart of Abraham, that could one day take first place over his devotion to God? Whatever God saw in Abraham's heart, He tested Abraham with Isaac's life. Abraham passed the test!

Now back to you and me. What is your Isaac? This morning, as I took my early devotion walk through my neighborhood, I sensed God saying to me that it was my new house. We moved here less than six months ago. It wasn't the biggest, most expensive house we looked at, but it was by far our favorite. I have my own study, where I can pound on this keyboard. The room has two walls of windows overlooking our scenic backyard. God's creation speaks to me each time I am here. I love this place! God told me this morning to lay my house on the altar! Perhaps He could sense in my heart a devotion to my home which might someday compete with my devotion to Him? Whatever God saw, I believe He had me to lay it on the altar.

What is your Isaac? What would God have you to lay on the altar? Is it a home, like in me? Is it a child, like Abraham? Is it your spouse, your work, your boat, your checkbook, your stock portfolio, your retirement? I certainly can't name all the options, but you can. What in your life has grown to such an importance that it threatens your relationship with God? God may call you to lay it on the altar!

Abraham passed God's test. Will you and I?

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