It happened after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!”
He said, “Here I am.”
He said, “Now take your son, your only son, whom you love, even Isaac, and go into the land of Moriah. Offer him there for a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I will tell you of.”
Abraham rose early in the morning, and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son. He split the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went to the place of which God had told him. On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place far off. Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go yonder. We will worship, and come back to you.” Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. He took in his hand the fire and the knife. They both went together. Isaac spoke to Abraham his father, and said, “My father?”
He said, “Here I am, my son.”
He said, “Here is the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”
Abraham said, “God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they both went together. They came to the place which God had told him of. Abraham built the altar there, and laid the wood in order, bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar, on the wood. Abraham stretched out his hand, and took the knife to kill his son.
The angel of Yahweh called to him out of the sky, and said, “Abraham, Abraham!”
He said, “Here I am.”
He said, “Don’t lay your hand on the boy, neither do anything to him. For now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.”
Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and saw that behind him was a ram caught in the thicket by his horns. Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering instead of his son. Abraham called the name of that place Yahweh Will Provide. As it is said to this day, “On Yahweh’s mountain, it will be provided.”
Sometimes God will test us to see what we really believe. It isn’t what we tell God that matters but how we actually live. Anyone can say they love God more than anything else,
but the proof is in how we act. God knew that Abraham loved Isaac more than anything in the universe. There isn’t anything wrong with Abraham loving his son. There isn’t anything wrong with fathers loving children, but there is something wrong when we put any love above the love of God. You can see from this record that God really is a jealous God. We are to love God more than everything else.
There was another thing going on here too. This story parallel’s the story of Jesus death for us on the cross. The main difference is that Jesus really did end up being the lamb that was killed. Isaac was only symbolic of Jesus because there isn’t anyone else who could take Jesus’ place. God provided salvation for Isaac by providing the ram, and He provided salvation for us by giving His Son to die “on one of the mountains.” God has provided for all of us and we have good future to look forward to because of it.