Obedience Is Better Than Sacrifice

ABRAHAM AND ISAACIn a recent article that I published, titled “Speak Lord For Your Servant is Listening,” the discussion was about Samuel’s call from God into the Ministry. In today’s article God’s call came to Abraham, along with specific instructions. This call was a test of Abraham’s faith.

“Abraham Test” – Gen. 22:1-2
Golden Text: God called “Abraham!” He replied, “Here I am.” God commanded Abraham, “Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of .”

In obedience to God’s instructions, Abraham got up early the next morning with a purpose and a plan.  Abraham’s plan was to trust God. He saddled his donkey, got two of his servants, his son Isaac, took the wood that he cut, and set out for Mount Moriah.

Three days later and still traveling, Abraham could see the place at a distance. He commanded his servants to wait there while he and Isaac went to worship. He told his servants that he and the boy would return. Abraham and Isaac continued on, they carried the wood, the knife, and the fire to set the sacrifice ablaze.

The only question that Isaac asked his father was “Where is the sacrificial Lamb?”  Isaac noticed that they brought everything except the sacrifice. As I pondered my thoughts, I wondered just how many times had Isaac seen this ritual performed? He had to know every step and detail of the required atonement for the sins of the people. Was he afraid at this point? Did he trust his father as much as his father trusted God? Faithful Abraham’s response to his sons question was, “My son God will provide a lamb for the burnt offering.”

The Burnt Offering
This kind of offering was described as “that which goes up to God.”  It was termed “whole” because the entire offering was to be burnt upon the altar. It was termed “continual” to teach the nation of Israel that their sinfulness required a complete and continual atonement and consecration. This sacrifice, offered every morning and evening, points to Christ’s atoning death for sinners and His total consecration to God (Luke 2:49). The burnt offering spoke of Christ’s passive obedience and His submission to the penalty required by human sinfulness. It also refers to His perfect obedience to God’s law by which He did for us what we are unable to do for ourselves.

Abraham and Isaac proceeded on to the place, the secret place of worship. Upon reaching the place, Abraham arranged the wood on the altar that he built and placed Isaac on the wood. Then he reached for the knife to slay his only son Isaac.

NATURAL DETAILS:

  • Abraham went to the mountain which represents another level.
  • He took his son, his only son as the sacrificial lamb.
  • He carried the wood.
  • They brought the knife.
  • The fire to set the sacrifice ablaze.

SPIRITUAL DETAILS:

  • Abraham took Isaac to the secret place; the high place of worship (Ps. 91:1).
  • God gave his only begotten Son, Jesus, as the atoning sacrifice for mankind (John 3:16).
  • Jesus carried the tree, the cross (John 19:17).
  • The Word of God is the double edge sword (Heb. 4:12).
  • The Holy Spirit is the purifying fire (Jere. 23:29).

With that being settled, let’s continue …

God’s call came a second time to Abraham along with further instructions.

“Abraham, Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. “Do not lay a hand on Isaac; Do not do anything to him” the angel of the Lord called out. “Now I know that you fear God. Because you did not withhold your only son Isaac from me.” (v. 11:12).

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. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah Jireh (v.14). Jehovah Jireh means “The LORD will provide.”

The moral of this story pertains to trust and faith. The Gospel is totally based on “FAITH” in Jesus Christ and His Cross. In Abraham we see the obedience of faith. Faith is a part of the Christian life from beginning to end. This is one of the most important messages to the Christian, second to our command to love. Abraham knew God and he trusted him. He knew that God was able to raise the dead, and he knew that it was possible for God to raise Isaac from the dead. Abraham must have reasoned these things and asked himself “what is the worst thing that could happen?” God had to have a better plan. Abraham trusted that God would supply the sacrifice. otherwise he would not have told the servants that he and the boy would return. Abraham believed God, and God was faithful to supply a ram stuck in a bush! Because of his faith, Abraham’s name is recorded in the “Hall of Fame.” It reads as follows:

“By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac, and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, ‘That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure. It was the faith of Abraham that the blessing came through Isaac” (Heb. 11:17-19).

FINAL WORDS

If God has spoken a word to you and has asked for your greatest possession, give it to God and trust Him. God will never take anything from you and not give you an increase on your offering. Many people give into ministries that ask for money, making statements like, “If you sow $1000, you will be blessed.” You don’t ever have to give money in order to be blessed. You are already blessed, if you are a child of God.” If God Himself has not spoken directly to you about sowing a special seed, or if the Holy Spirit has not prompted you to give, my advice to you is to “Wait on the Lord!  The Lord will not ask you to fund a vision that is not going to advance His Kingdom. Most people who feed into false prophets demands for money usually are “seeking the hand of God and not his face.” Pay your tithes and any additional monies that you give, be certain that the Holy Spirit is leading you to give.

“What is more pleasing to the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams” (1 Sam. 15:22).

Bottom line: “Obey God and Leave the Consequences to Him.”

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3 thoughts on “Obedience Is Better Than Sacrifice

  1. I really enjoyed the breakdown of the symbolism of Abraham sacrificing his only son. I always thought that this story was only foreshadowing Jesus as being the ram in the bush, but now I see that the whole thing is a foreshadowing of Jesus’ sacrifice to atone for our sins. Also, I agree wholeheartedly that we should consult God in every area of our lives including financial matters. He will lead and guide us to sow where He wants us to. May God continue to bless and keep you for sharing his magnificent word!

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    1. Thank you for your comment! God extends His love in so many ways. Some of His ways are expected, as well as obvious. But many of His ways are to be discovered or revealed as we grow in wisdom and gain knowledge in spiritual matters. May God continue to increase your understanding as you continue to seek His ways. God bless you.

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