“Daddy, Daddy,” Ian said. “Where are we going?”
The man towering over him smiled. “You’ll see.”
Ian’s tiny legs rushed to keep up with his father’s large strides. Father promised an adventure today.
I can’t wait to see what it is.
Ian followed his father down the path. A dog barked in the distance, causing Ian to stiffen. He latched on to his father’s hand. Two boys played catch in a nearby field. A group of girls kicked themselves higher on a swing. The park was hustling with activity.
Father stopped by a bench. “Have a seat, Son.”
Ian sat, legs dangling over the edge. “What are we doing?”
Father knelt in front of him and pulled out some rope. “Do you trust me, Son?”
Father wrapped the rope around Ian’s body and fastened him to the bench.
Ian squirmed. “What are you doing?”
The dog barked again—louder this time.
Father finished tying him. “I had a little chat with Jesus today and He wanted me to do something.”
The barking increased. Ian peeked over his shoulder. A black dog ran toward him. Ian tried to kick himself free. “Daddy, he’s coming. Protect me.”
Father stood and crossed his arms.
Tears fell down Ian’s cheeks. “Daddy, aren’t you going to help? The dog will bite me.” He kicked harder.
“Don’t worry, Son. God will provide.” His father didn’t move.
“Rufus wait,” a girl said. “Come back.” She ran toward them, leashing dangling in her hand.
The dog stopped in front of Ian, dark eyes glaring. He growled.
Ian screamed. “No!” He closed his eyes and held his breath, waiting for teeth to sink into his flesh.
Nothing happened. He squinted one eye open.
Rufus sat at Ian’s feet and licked his hands. Ian giggled.
Father knelt and removed the ropes. “See, Son. God provided. He wanted us both to trust.”
What kind of a father would sacrifice his own son? Well, that’s exactly what Abraham was about to do. He lured Isaac to the mountain on the pretense that they were going to worship. Why?
Let’s take a look at this father and son’s unique story.
Abraham followed God’s instructions. Isaac was the son Abraham and Sarah never thought they would have—their pride and joy. Then, God asked Abraham to take Isaac, tie him to an altar, and sacrifice him as a burnt offering. What? Can you imagine what may have gone through this older man’s mind? God, are you kidding? Why would you ask such a thing? You just gave Isaac to me and now you want me to kill him? Of course that’s not what happened. Abraham didn’t even question God’s instructions. He just did it. Wow. I have no idea how he could have done that. I don’t have children, but I can’t fathom having to give one up like this. But Abraham was willing. What is God asking us to sacrifice today? Is something holding us back from truly worshiping Him? How about we stop questioning and just follow His instructions!
Abraham trusted. Do you wonder if he hesitated? Perhaps they reached the spot, started to gather the wood, and he stopped? No, this man totally trusted God. Even when Isaac questioned where the lamb was Abraham replied, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” He trusted God—explicitly. Do we? With every core of our being?
Isaac didn’t flinch. Picture this with me. Your father grabs you, binds you with rope, and lays you on top of an altar. You know what’s coming next. Wouldn’t you try to get away? Scream? Kick? Something? Not this son. He didn’t even flinch. Why? He trusted his father—with his life. Literally. He knew his father wouldn’t lead him astray and that there was a reason for what he was doing. Do we flinch when bad things come our way? When we get scared? Let’s take a lesson from this boy and simply trust.
This story has always amazed me. Even more so today around this time of year—Father’s Day. I’ve often wondered how a father could do what he did. Was he a bad parent? Didn’t he love his only son?
Do you get the symbolism? Abraham loved his only son enough to sacrifice him for the Father he loved.
And this is exactly what God did for us. He gave up His only son to die for us. Jesus trusted His Father as He hung on the cross—explicitly. He didn’t flinch.
What kind of a Father would do that? One who loves us unconditionally.
Now that’s the ultimate sacrifice!
Give me your thoughts on the story of Abraham and Isaac. Would you have done the same thing?
Genesis 22:12 (NIV)
“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
I’ll Fly Away
(written by Albert E. Brumley, performed by Paul Brandt)
Father’s Day was yesterday. My father was such a kind and gentle man who loved me no matter how many times I disobeyed him and my mom. I miss him dearly. One of his favorite songs was “I’ll Fly Away.” Jeff and I recently saw Paul Brandt in concert and I loved when Paul sang this song. I immediately thought of Papa. I could picture him playing his guitar, tapping his toe, and belting out the words.
Listen and feel free to tap your toe! I know my dad is!