“And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, in the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.” Genesis 22:13-14
From a human point of view, it is unimaginable that a loving father who believed his greatest blessing in life would come through his son would put that child to death. Yet, that is exactly what Abraham did.
When Isaac his son asked about the sacrificial lamb Abraham’s reply was, “the Lord will provide,” whatever else Abraham may have believed about killing his son, one thing he knew to be true, in Isaac lay the blessing of God. In Hebrews 11, we are told Abraham offered up his only begotten son or in Greek ‘the only ordained to be,’ therefore, “in Isaac shall your seed be called.”
Abraham made a crucial mistake years before when he allowed himself to father a child by a woman not his wife in an attempt to fulfill the will of God. He had to live with that mistake and its consequences for many years, he would not allow that to happen again, but would follow God’s instructions to the letter without question.
The great lesson of this story is not that Abraham had great faith, but that God provides what men need to bring Him glory. God and not man provided the sacrificial lamb that accomplished the will of God, “…and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.”
“Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked and behold behind him a ram…” The God who gave Him eyes to see also provided the lamb, and changed his heart so that he might trust. "For God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure" Philippians 2:13.
Christian, what works of grace in your heart can you praise God for?