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Daily Devotional: Fear of the Lord | A man with his head bowed holding a black hat on his chest. Daily Devotional: Fear of the Lord | A man with his head bowed holding a black hat on his chest.

Daily Devotional | Abraham’s Fear of the Lord

In the Marines, new recruits learn to obey their commanding officer quickly and without hesitation. When responding to a command, they say, “Sir, yes sir!” Why? Because in the heat of battle, there is no time to debate. The commanding officer knows the best action and cares about the safety and success of the troops.

Genesis 22 tells about Abraham and his son Isaac. Abraham’s actions clearly demonstrate his fear of the Lord, a fear that responded with complete and unquestioning obedience. The key that unlocks today’s story, is God’s words to Abraham: “Now I know that you fear God” (v. 12). He didn’t mean “fear” in the sense of fear of punishment but in the sense of awe and reverence.

When God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son, Abraham’s obedience was prompt. Though he had lots of time to think during the three- day journey to Moriah, his faith didn’t waver. And even though Isaac was his only son and the next step in God’s promises and covenant, Abraham’s faith extended to believing that God would raise Isaac from the dead if necessary (Heb. 11:17 19).

Abraham trusted God to keep His promises. He figured that whatever God commanded must be right— He had His reasons and a sovereign plan. Abraham staked everything on his absolute belief in God’s loving faithfulness. His obedience was rooted in his reverence and love for the Lord. In doing so, he passed God’s test. He withheld nothing from the Lord. He valued the Giver above His gifts, even the precious gift of a son. “His faith was made complete by what he did” (James 2:21–23). He lived wholeheartedly in the fear of the Lord.

God’s provision of the ram for the burnt offering is a hint of what is to come when He gives His own son to die on our behalf (John 3:16).

Go Deeper

How did Abraham respond to this difficult task? What does it look like for us to obey God without question and holding nothing back?

Pray with Us: Lord, we confess that often we don’t want, or don’t know how, to obey. Thank You for Abraham’s example of wholehearted obedience. Thank You, Lord Jesus, for Your obedience unto death that gave us a way to salvation and freedom.

BY Brad Baurain

Dr. Bradley Baurain is Professor and Program Head of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at Moody Bible Institute. Bradley has the unique privilege of holding a degree from four different universities (including Moody). He is the author of On Waiting Well. Bradley taught in China, Vietnam, the United States, and Canada. Bradley and his wife, Julia, have four children and reside in Northwest Indiana.

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