YHWH’s command was enough!
I have no idea what was going through the mind of Abraham as he was leading his son to slaughter. YHWH’s command was enough! He wasn’t about to question the wisdom of his God. With Job he would simply exclaim, “the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21). I, for one, do not want to ever be tested like this.
My fear of failure is as real as the sun that shines down upon us. But equally as real, I say to my shame, is the difference between my faith and that of Abraham’s. Abraham has two very famous says attached to his name: 1. Abraham believed God and it was attributed to him as righteousness (Ge.15:6; Rom.4:3,9; Jm.2:24), and 2. Abraham was called the friend of God. (2Chron.20:7; Isa.41:8; Jm.2:24). Of course, it is James who brings these ideas together for us: “Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar?
You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS,” and he was called the friend of God” (James 2:21-23). Its easy to fall prey to the silly discussion over justification by faith verses justification by works. James dismisses all doubt by insisting: But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works” (Jm.2:18). The acts of faith performed over the lifetime of Abraham is proof positive as to why he got to be called “father of us all” (Rom.4:11), Jews or otherwise—that, is, if we “follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham” (Rom4:12). God told him to move to Palestine on a promise that this land (which he had never seen) would belong to his descendants: He did! God told him he was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah: Abraham interceded to save the righteous! (This shows his godly character). God told him that he was going to have a son in his old age that would be his heir: He believed in the impossible! God told him to sacrifice that son: He went to do it believing that God could bring Isaac back from the dead. After all, he had been promised, “IN ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS SHALL BE CALLED.” (Heb.11:17-19).
We live in a time where even Christians are guilty of dismissing a call to obedience, to the most basic command of God, as a matter up for discussion. I wonder what might have happened to our faith and Christian witness if all of us who call ourselves Christians had as easily fled to our prospective places of worship in recognition of the sin pandemic, as we have to our homes in response to this viral pandemic? Abraham wasn’t perfect, but he knew that being a friend of God was something that he desired so much, that he simply did what God told him to do. After all – YHWH’s command is enough! firstname.lastname@example.org