Have you ever been told to complete an unreasonable undertaking? As a child I recall standing on the ocean’s cold, salty shore and being told to jump in. From my immature and inexperienced perspective, I thought my father’s command was outrageously unreasonable. Despite my wavering, and not knowing the outcome, I leaped toward my father’s far off, reassuring, outstretched arms. The salt water swallowed me and for a brief, but long moment, I felt vulnerable until those experienced, outstretched arms helped me safely resurface.

In Genesis 22, God tests Abraham’s devotion and obedience by commanding Abraham to ”take your son, your only son…. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering.” At first glance, God’s instructions seem outrageously unreasonable; however, God’s intent is to see if Abraham acknowledges God’s sovereignty by fully trusting Him for the outcome.

He obeys the Lord, despite knowing the outcome of his unwelcome and uncertain life circumstance of losing his only son, promised by God. Consequently, Abraham’s submission and unwavering obedience to comply with God’s instructions deepens their level of relational intimacy.

What can we learn from Abraham’s response to his perceived dilemma? When our Father commands us to do something we perceive as unreasonable, we should respond in the same manner as Abraham, and declare, “Here I am Lord,” acknowledging God’s sovereignty in our lives by trusting Him for the outcome despite our heartfelt reservations and fears. We should strive to respond with unwavering obedience — the compulsory catalyst for a deeper relational intimacy with Him.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you, Lord, that your are unchanging and completely trustworthy. Help me to daily acknowledge your sovereignty in my life. Help me respond with unwavering obedience to your commands, despite my heartfelt reservations and fears, and to completely trust you for the outcome. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Go Deeper — Contemplate this question throughout your day: Do I want to deepen my relationship with the Lord through unwavering obedience? Read Genesis 22 and contemplate Abraham’s response to God’s command, Isaac’s response to Abraham’s commands, and the outcome of their unwelcome and uncertain life circumstance. Journal your insights and response.

Tags: The Patriarchs Genesis 22
Photo Credit: Bailey Hall