The account of God asking Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, and then providing a ram as a substitutionary sacrifice raises so many questions. Why would God ask such a thing? Why would Abraham comply so readily? What must Isaac have thought as his father bound him and raised the knife over him?
What stands out to me in reading this story again today is that Abraham trusted God completely. Not only did he not argue with God, as he had over the destruction of Sodom, but He told his servants, "WE will go over there and worship and WE will return."
He didn't know how God would provide, but he knew that God had made a promise to make his offspring as numerous as the stars and God had said that would be through Isaac. God had promised that through Abraham’s son Isaac, all nations would be blessed. Abraham trusted God that Isaac would walk down from that mountain. That profound depth of faith was attributed to him as righteousness.
Why would God have asked such a thing? God wanted to teach Abraham that He is the Lord who provides. Abraham’s weakest moments in his faith, moments like fathering a son through Hagar and lying about his wife, came from doubts about God’s provision. They were the moments when Abraham failed to trust that God would provide. God wanted Abraham to understand that there is nothing He cannot and will not provide for His children. But God determines what those needs are and provides in His way and in His time.
Father, there are so many things you ask me to give to you and to trust you with the outcome. Things much less precious than a child. Help me to have faith like that of Abraham.