Genesis 22: 1-8
1 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied.
2 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.”
3 Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about.
4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance.
5 He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”
6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac,and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together,
7 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?”
8 Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.
A friend once told me, nobody ever really asked Isaac if it was fine with him to be sacrificed by his father, Abraham. It was not written what he felt or if he even had a hint — despite asking — what he was about to be as he went up that mountain with his father. I couldn’t give him a reasonable insight. All I knew was it was a test of faith, that it was for good will, but I never really thought about what could have Isaac felt. Did he figure it out at the back of his mind? did he somehow feel terrified? Fear? Rebellion? Anger? Or was he just plain clueless as stated in the story?
I never thought about it again until a seemingly same situation happened to me..
Putting my own feet into the shoes of Isaac and his father, could it be that they actually hurt? Could it be that they also struggled comprehending God? Of course, it was not written, but what was written was by faith Abraham obeyed the Lord. Yet. . .having faith does not really mean we become immune to pain and suffering.
But there’s greater magic behind all the pain and suffering — Love. Abraham loved God above all that he trusted that God has great plans. Amidst all the pain, suffering and confusion Isaac could have experienced when he was being binded by his father, he (could have) willingly gave himself because he, too, loved his own father.
Meditating more on their story, I was reminded that it paralleled with God sacrificing His own son, Jesus, on the cross. Jesus had great faith in His Father in Heaven, yet He was also not immune to pain and suffering. Jesus, in fact, even wept as He prayed, asking for deliverance from what was to come. But He loved His father and He loved us, that it was all worth it; every wound was worth His love for us.
Could it be that Isaac felt the same way?
Love. Above faith and hope, love is the greatest. (1 Corinthians 13:13) It might not make us immune to all kinds of pain, yet it strengthens us; it gives us supernatural strength to conquer adversities. Love has already won over sin and it will win again. Love will win over a thousand miles of distance; love will win over a thousand years of waiting; love will win over a thousand strikes of pain and suffering.
Love won over incomprehensible plans for Abraham. Love won over fear for Isaac. Love won over pain and suffering for Jesus. And love won over our sins.
It could be that you, too, are struggling right now. But love truly and you’ll find great strength to overcome.
What is it that love needs to overcome in your life right now?