What’s Not Done

When God asks you to do the impossible, trust Him and know that He is with you every step of the way.

Genesis 22:1-18

Today’s passage tells an amazing story of a father being asked to sacrifice his beloved and long-awaited son. But an important (and perhaps overlooked) detail of this story is what wasn’t done.

Notice that, from the very beginning, Abraham did not bargain with God to spare Isaac, though this would have been a perfectly acceptable action, according to our human perspective. Scripture tells us only that “early the next morning,” Abraham got to work carrying out each step of the dire task (Genesis 22:3 NIV).

It is Abraham who prepared the altar, who bound his son, and who wielded the knife. Nowhere in this process—which must have been agonizing—does it say that he delayed, hoping the Lord would change His mind. Why? Because he trusted God—so much so, in fact, that he was willing to go through with the unthinkable.

It’s not until the actual act of sacrifice has begun, when the angel called out to him and a ram was provided, that Abraham knew relief (Genesis 22:12). Through both what he did—and what he refrained from doing—Abraham teaches us something about obedience as well as the loving nature of our God.