A Confusing Command

A Confusing Command

Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey . . . and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.
–Genesis 22:3

God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you” (Genesis 22:2). This test involved that which was most important to Abraham–his son Isaac.

Think how illogical that sounded to Abraham. To do such a thing would result in not only emotional turmoil for Abraham and Sarah but more importantly the loss of the vision God had given to Abraham. If Abraham killed Isaac, there would no longer be any great nation that God had promised.

After receiving such a command, many of us would question whether we had truly heard the voice of God. But Abraham had heard God’s voice too often to have mistaken it for anything else. Furthermore, Abraham understood that God was perfectly within His rights to demand such a sacrifice. You see, in the land where Abraham lived, the Canaanites routinely entered into child sacrifice. It was not that these Canaanites loved their children any less than Abraham loved his, but their superstition, their sinfulness, made them think they could appease their angry gods by making a sacrifice. I imagine as Abraham witnessed those horrible, horrible sacrifices, he silently thanked God in his heart that God had never asked him to make such a sacrifice. But it came as no surprise to Abraham when God did demand such a sacrifice.

How did he respond? Look at verse 3: “Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and Isaac his son; and he split wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.” He got up early the next morning and began his march to Moriah.

This is another indication of why Abraham was known as a friend of God–when God spoke, Abraham obeyed immediately and completely. I don’t know about you, but having been commanded to do such a thing, I would think the next morning would have been a great time to sleep in, to think things over, to be sure this is what I wanted to do. Not Abraham–he arose early in the morning to do what God had commanded.


Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Saying Yes To The Impossible”” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2009.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org