“Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God.” Genesis 22:12
Fearing God seems to have fallen out of fashion. We sing love songs to Him; think of Jesus as our best friend; spend times wittering with the Lord (and I hasten to add that I welcome all of these ways of relating to the triune God, for we are blessed to worship a God who communicates with us in many different ways). But do we bow our knees and honor him as the infinite, never-ending, all-powerful, holy, holy, holy God?
Because Abraham feared God, he obeyed him, and this obedience is counted to Abraham as righteousness. Abraham was released from following through on his act of sacrifice – it’s the only time in the Bible that God sends the order to halt proceedings. And so Abraham, as the writer to the Hebrews says, is one of a great cloud of witnesses who surrounds us. We who have the benefit of these great heroes of the faith should therefore throw off the sin that entangles us as we run with perseverance the race marked out before us, setting our eyes on Jesus (12:1).
As Isaac carried the wood on which he would be sacrificed, so did Jesus carry his wood – his cross, enduring its shame. Today, in holy reverence and awe, may we fear the Lord, considering Jesus’ sacrifice that we may not grow weary and lost heart.
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Amen.