Abraham’s Obedience | Bible Story

Abraham's Obedience

After God miraculously gave Abraham and Sarah a son named Isaac in their old age, He tested Abraham’s faith and obedience in an incredible way. 

One day, God spoke to Abraham with a tremendously difficult command: “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. There you must sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I will show you.”

Abraham's Obedience

Can you imagine how devastated Abraham must have felt hearing this? After waiting nearly a hundred years for the promised son who would carry on God’s covenant, he was now ordered to sacrifice Isaac as an offering! The son he loved more than anything, through whom God promised Abraham’s descendants would become a great nation.

Yet despite how unthinkable and heart-wrenching this request was, the Bible says “Abraham got up early the next morning” to obey God. His many years of walking faithfully with the Lord gave him the strength and trust to immediately move forward, even without understanding.

Abraham gathered some servants and supplies for the journey, including a knife and fire to perform the sacrifice. He had the wood cut for a burnt offering. Then Abraham set out to the place God had described with his only beloved son Isaac.

On the third day of their travels, Abraham could see their destination mountain in the distance. He instructed the servants, “Stay here with the donkey while Isaac and I go worship over there. We will return after we’ve gone ahead.”

What incredible confidence Abraham had that God would provide, either by stopping the sacrifice at the last moment or by raising Isaac from the dead! Abraham truly believed God’s promises would still come true through Isaac.

As they walked up the mountain together, Isaac began to wonder, “Father, we have the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the sacrifice?”

Abraham replied, “God will provide the lamb, my son.” Little did Isaac know that he was the sacrificial lamb that God had commanded!

When they arrived at the place God had specified, Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood. Then he bound his son Isaac and laid him atop the wood on the altar. Abraham reached out and took the knife, preparing to plunge it into his son to obey God’s command to sacrifice him.  

But at the very last second, the Angel of the Lord called out from heaven, “Abraham, Abraham! Do not hurt the boy in any way!” God had seen that Abraham truly feared Him and held nothing back from putting complete trust in the Lord.

Looking around, Abraham saw a ram caught by its horns in some nearby bushes. He quickly sacrificed that ram on the altar in place of Isaac as an offering to God. Abraham named that place “The Lord Will Provide.”

Once again the Angel called down, “Because you have obeyed me and have not withheld your only son, I will indeed bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Through your descendant, all the nations of the earth will be blessed – because you have obeyed!”

What an incredible act of faith and obedience from Abraham! He didn’t withhold his most precious son from God, but trusted that the Lord would still keep His covenant promises, one way or another. God stopped Abraham at the last possible moment, sparing Isaac’s life because of Abraham’s willingness to obey wholeheartedly.

After passing this ultimate test, God reaffirmed the covenant blessings to Abraham and his future family line descended from Isaac – that they would become a great nation, and through them, the entire world would be blessed. This would come true through the Messiah, Jesus Christ, who was the promised descendant to bring salvation to all people.

When Abraham and Isaac returned from the mountain, they rejoined the servants and made the long journey back to the land of Canaan. We can only imagine the joy, relief and renewed faith Abraham felt after nearly sacrificing Isaac, only to have God provide a ram substitute at the critical moment.

From this pivotal event, we learn the utmost importance of being obedient to God, no matter how difficult or impossible the situation may seem. Like Abraham, we must trust that our Heavenly Father’s ways are higher than our own, even when His commands don’t make sense to us.

Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his only beloved son Isaac out of obedience shows the depth of faith he had in God. It foreshadowed how God would later sacrifice His one and only Son, Jesus, as the perfect sacrificial lamb to take away sin. Just as God provided the ram for Abraham, He provided Christ as the sacrifice for all of humanity.

By passing this ultimate test, Abraham became the brilliant example of true obedience, faith and covenant relationship with God that all His people would look to for generations to come.