“God said, do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him. For now I know that you fear God seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son from me.”
These are God’s words to Abraham as he was willing to sacrifice his son in obedience to God. God had said in the very beginning of Genesis chapter 22, verse two. Take your son, your only son Isaac. Even the emphasis there on this is the promised son, your only son. Take him whom you love, go to the land of Moriah and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.
And the very next verse says Abraham rose early in the morning and did exactly what God said. And he went with his son Isaac to this altar. He laid him on top of the wood, reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. That’s what verse 10 says. Immediately verse 11 says, the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, Abraham, Abraham. And then we have the verse that I just read, verse 12. Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him for now I know that you fear God seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son from me.
So think about it. What verse 12 clearly teaches us is that fearing God leads to faith in God, trust in God, with that which is most precious to us. Let me say that one more time. Fear of God leads to faith in God, trust in God with that which is most precious to us. All throughout this chapter, Abraham had said God will provide a sacrifice and we know based on James chapter two, that’s exactly what this chapter is about in Genesis 22. When James is talking about the relationship between faith and works, James writes in James 2:21. Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works and faith was completed by his works. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, Abraham believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness and he was called a friend of God.
Oh, put this all together. Fear of God leads to faith in God, trust in God with that which is most precious to us. And it’s in fearing God like this and trusting God like this that we experience the depths of friendship with God. Ah, don’t you want all of these things in your life today? Fear of God alone, not fear of man or fear of anything in this world that leads to faith in God, trust in God, with everything in your life, every facet of your life, your life itself and everything that is most precious to you and you can trust God with. Fear of God, faith in God, and a depth of friendship with God. Like not just friendship with any person in this world as wonderful as that is. We’re talking about friendship with the creator God of this world.
Ah, so we pray. God, we want these things in our lives. We know that Abraham though not perfect in a variety of ways, is shown here as a picture of the kind of faith that we want. He’s the father of our faith in many ways. And so I pray for my life. I pray for all those who are listening right now. We pray that you would give us a fear of you that leads to fear of nothing else, no one else in this world. A fear of you, reverence for you, awe of you, worship of you, that leads to faith in you and trust in you. God, we pray that you would help us to trust in you with all our heart, with everything we have. We trust you with our lives. We trust you with our families. We trust you with our futures. We trust you with everything we have.
You are infinitely worthy of all of our trust. You are faithful in every way. So we put all of our faith in you. God help us not to hold anything back. Help us not to have any area of our life where we withhold trust from you. God, we pray for fear of you, faith in you and in the process, God, we say we want to experience the depths of friendship with you even today. God, I just pray this over everyone listening right now. No matter what they’re doing today, tomorrow, God help them to do it in friendship with you. Help them to walk in close relationship with you. God, help us to experience the fullness of what you’ve made possible for us in sending your son, your only son Jesus to die on a cross for us.
Jesus, we praise you for giving your life as the son of God that we might be forgiven of all of our sins and we might have the joy and privilege of friendship with God. God, we praise you for your love for us. You love the world so much that you gave your one and only son that whoever believes in him will never perish but have eternal life, have eternal friendship with you. We want to live in that to the full today. We want to live in all these things to the full and the fear of you, with faith in you and friendship with you. We pray these things in the name of Jesus your only son, O God. Amen.