31. Place God first

Abraham's beloved son was born and grew into a lovely boy and Abraham loved him very much. Life couldn't be better. He was blessed with riches, he had an heir and a loving wife. And then one day God gave him the following instruction:

"Take your son, your only son - yes, Isaac whom you love so much - and go to the land of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will point out to you." Genesis 22:2

That must have been a shock to Abraham and something every loving parent will dread to do. Any loving parent would much rather sacrifice themselves than their children. I know I would. The Bible doesn't tell us here what Abraham's emotions were or how he felt about the situation, all that it tells us is that he got up early the next morning, chopped wood to take along for the offering, took two servants and Isaac and were on his way. He didn't waste any time in being obedient to the Lord. The Bible doesn't say if he told Sarah where he was going. I personally don't think he told her the truth, as I am convinced that she would have tried to stop him.

Then for three days they travelled on to Mount Moriah. That must have been the most difficult three days in Abraham's life. He was walking with this secret on the inside that he had to sacrifice his son. He must have treasured every moment spent with him. He might even have cried before the Lord, we do not know. All that I know is that for me personally, a trip like that would have been devastating.

But then we read in Hebrews 11 how amazing Abraham's faith really was. Hebrews 11 gives us an insight into Abraham's thoughts that we do not find here in Genesis 22:

"It was by faith that Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice when God was testing him. Abraham, who had received God's promises, was ready to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, though God had promised him, "Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted." Abraham assumed that if Isaac died, God was able to bring him back to life again. And in a sense, Abraham did receive his son back from the dead." Hebrews 11:17-19

How wonderful is that?! Abraham believed that even if he sacrificed his son, God will raise him from the dead again. What wonderful faith. When we read this whole event, we see that Abraham never wavered and never tried to get out of the situation. He simply obeyed. And what an amazing testimony to his faith!

Today God wants us to be prepared to sacrifice our dreams to Him as well. He wants us to place Him first always. Sometimes He will even test us to see if we will be willing to let go of our dreams in order to glorify Him. Think about that this week. Is God first in your life? Is He your everything? Is He more important than anything else? And if the answer is no, then start today by placing Him first, by loving Him more than anything else. And once you do, you will start to develop the faith that He wants what is best for you. He doesn't want to take things from you, but He wants to raise you up to a new level where your character is developed to such a point where you can make a real difference for His Kingdom's glory. Then you will start to realise that He can raise your dreams from the dead and give it new life. He can open doors for you that have been shut for such a long time. He can make the paths smooth for you. He can. But place Him above all else and live for the glory of His Name and for His honour.

Thank you Father that we can know that You want only what is best for us. Thank you that we can look at the example of Abraham and marvel at his faith. But most of all, thank you that we can realise that we are his offspring too and we can have the same depth of faith, imparted to us by Jesus Christ. Help us to believe in the impossible and to place You first above all things. In Jesus' Name. Amen

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