“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” Gen. 22:12 (NIV)
Today’s verse is from the memorable episode when God calls Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac on Mt. Moriah. As Abraham was about to sacrifice Isaac, the Angel of the Lord stops him and speaks the words recorded above.
In these words we learn the reason that God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son.
God wanted to know if Abraham loved his son Isaac more than Him.
It was Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son that proved his ultimate love for God. God tells us that we are to love Him with ALL our hearts, souls, mind and strength. God was testing whether Isaac was an idol for Abraham.
God may not call us to sacrifice our children…but He may provide a scenario in which our love for Him is tested. There is no question Abraham was feeling all kinds of emotional pain as he undertook the journey to Mt. Moriah with Isaac. Abraham was being asked to sacrifice his legacy…his future.
When God deals with our idols, it is painful.
But if He doesn’t deal with them, we remain enslaved. In his book Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller says that we need to “demote” our counterfeit gods. If our idols are not demoted, they will keep us entrapped and prevent us from fully experiencing the abundant life God has planned for us.
In the end, God prevented Abraham from sacrificing his son and blessed Abraham by multiplying his descendants far beyond his imagination! As we suffer through the pain that comes with demoting our idols, we should remember that God plans to bless us in ways far beyond our imagination as well.
As you identify your idols…begin the process of demoting them by giving them over to the Lord. Though it may be painful and frightening, we can trust God as Abraham did.
Prayer: Lord, show me the idols I have created in my life, and help me offer them to You.