If you visit Jerusalem you can see the Dome of the Rock, an Islamic shrine built in the late seventh century and long recognized as one of the world’s great architectural masterpieces. This is also said to be the site of Solomon’s Temple (2 Chron. 3:1). In Abraham’s day, it was known as Mount Moriah (v. 2).
When God commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, the patriarch responded with faith and obedience. “Here I am” is the response of a true worshiper (v. 1). Having miraculously experienced the fulfilled promise of Isaac’s birth in his old age, he was now asked to sacrifice that same fulfilled promise, the apparent future of his family and of God’s covenant.
Yet there’s no indication he hesitated. No doubt he had time to reconsider during the three-day journey, but his faith and obedience held firm. When Isaac asked, Abraham responded, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering” (v. 8). The New Testament adds that his faith extended so far as to believe that God would raise Isaac from the dead if necessary (Heb. 11:17–19).
It’s important to note that God tested Abraham, not tempted him (v. 1). God does not tempt people to do evil (James 1:13–15), but He does test us in order to confirm our faith and prove the quality of our commitment. Abraham passed this test with flying colors (v. 12)! His actions demonstrated conclusively that he valued the Lord above all. All-in faith in God is the only genuine kind there is (Luke 9:23–24; John 12:24–26).
Since God did indeed provide an animal for the sacrifice, Abraham named the place “The LORD Will Provide” (vv. 13–14). This is the first specific example of the substitutionary principle in Scripture (see Rom. 5:6–8).
>> Spend some time today reflecting on the quality of your faith. Are you living wholeheartedly as a follower of Christ? If not, pray for God’s help to strengthen your faith (Mark 9:24).