February 09, 2015
9 When they arrived at the place that God had told him about, Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood. He bound his son Isaac[c] and placed him on the altar on top of the wood. 10 Then Abraham reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son. Genesis 22:9-10
Until last night*, I had never considered Isaac’s perspective of what his dad (Abraham) did on Mt. Moriah. Or, I should probably say what his dad almost did on Mt. Moriah. Abraham, in obedience to the Lord, almost sacrificed his own son. Abraham, the Bible tells us, lifted up the knife to slay Isaac when God intervened and stopped the whole thing by providing a ram.
I doubt strongly Isaac understood what was going on at the time. But I have a real good feeling he understood everything later. Actually, I have a feeling it was a “Defining Moment” for him. At some point in Isaac’s life, he understood that his dad did what he did (or almost did what he did) in obedience to the Lord. It hit Isaac that God was the Supreme Authority in his dad’s life. His dad obeyed the Lord, no matter what. Isaac was a first-hand observer of this obedience. One of the results was that God was not only the God of Abraham – but also became the God of Isaac as well. In other words, a result of Isaac being a part of Abraham’s obedience to God led to Isaac’s future obedience and relationship with the Lord.
This forces me to ask this question: “Would Luke, Seth, and Birti know that God is real by observing my own personal obedience?” Or, “How do my children actually see me obey the Lord, no matter the cost?” Or, “Do my children see me really walking with the Lord in complete obedience, or just hear me talk about it?”
To put it yet another way: “Would my children believe God is real based on my visible, personal relationship with Him?
Isaac had visual proof that God was/is real. He saw God intervene in a miraculous way by providing the animal for the sacrifice (yes, it was miraculous – have YOU ever seen a ram caught in a bush??? Me either!). He participated with his father in what had to have been an unimaginably difficult thing for his dad.
I don’t know about you, but more than anything else in the world I want my children to know, love, and obey God. For that to happen, however, they must see it play out in real life.
Would your children know God was real and worth following from your personal relationship with Him?? What can you do – intentionally – to obey Him so that they see and know His reality and worth?
*Jay Fennel taught a session on “Recognizing and Celebrating Defining Moments in Your Child’s Life” at the Thrive conference at Brentwood Baptist Church on 02.08.2015.