By Linda Sue Pochodzay Edwards
Julia took one last peek into her backpack. Towel . . . sandals . . . sunscreen . . . comb . . . snack . . . . Yep! She was sure everything was in there. She placed the bag beside the door, then ran to help Mom pack the baby's things. She had always loved little Jared from the first day he was born, but now that he could walk and was old enough to play with her, it was even more fun having a little brother.
While Mom made sure they had enough diapers and all the important things, Julia rummaged through the toy box to find the shovels, buckets, and other beach toys. Finally, they piled everything into the car and were on their way.
Jared jabbered and giggled as she made sand castles and he knocked them down. Julia held his hand tightly and they squealed with glee as they tried to outrun the ocean waves. When Jared became tired and started getting fussy, she took him to Mom, who always knew just what to do.
After having a small snack, Jared fell asleep, so Julia walked along the water's edge picking up seashells. She was careful to choose only the larger shells, and she knew she would have to keep them away from Jared, because he would put them in his mouth. Jared always tried to eat EVERYTHING!
Julia liked being the big sister. She liked to help take care of Jared. She knew she would never, ever do anything on purpose to hurt him, because she loved him so very much.
Abraham and Sarah dearly loved their new baby boy. They cuddled him and fed him. They played with him and giggled when he wrapped his little hand around one of their fingers. They laughed when he smiled for the first time, and they were absolutely thrilled when he spoke his first word. Somehow, before they even knew what had happened, he was walking and talking and had grown to be a young man. Isaac was the joy of their lives.
Abraham spent a lot of time with Isaac, teaching him to love and obey God. He told Isaac the story about how God had talked with him and told him to count the stars. He made sure that Isaac knew he was a special child that had been promised by God. As Isaac grew, he learned to worship God just as his father Abraham did.
One day God spoke to Abraham: "A--bra-ham . . . ."
"I am here," Abraham replied.
"Take your son Isaac, whom you love so much, and go into the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering. I will tell you which mountain when you get there," God commanded.
Abraham loved Isaac more than anything else in the whole world and would never do anything to hurt his son, but he knew he had to obey the voice of God.
Early in the morning, Abraham got up and put a saddle on his donkey. He called for Isaac and two of his young servants. They all went together to chop wood for the sacrifice. Then they started on their journey toward the place God had told Abraham to go.
For three days they traveled, eating food they had taken with them and sleeping on the ground. On the third day, Abraham looked into the distance and saw the place where God was leading him.
"You stay here with the donkey while I take Isaac with me to go worship God," Abraham said to his servants.
Abraham picked up the wood and gave it to Isaac to carry. Then he picked up his torch in one hand and his knife in the other, and they started toward the mountain together. While they were walking, Isaac began to wonder about some things. Finally, he just had to ask.
"Hey, Dad. I have the wood, and you have the fire, but we didn't bring an animal. Don't we need a lamb for the sacrifice?"
Abraham, fully believing that God had everything under control, spoke quietly:
"Yes, Isaac. God will provide himself a lamb for the burnt offering."
When they finally arrived at the exact place God had told him of, Abraham started looking for large rocks to build the altar. Carefully he placed one rock on top of another until the job was done. After that, he placed the wood, which Isaac had carried, on top of the altar. Then, after looking around one last time, he had to do the very hardest thing he had ever done in his whole life.
He gave Isaac one last, long hug, and, with tears in his eyes, he tied up his son and placed him on the altar. Of course, Isaac didn't want to be sacrificed as a burnt offering, and Abraham, as a loving father, didn't want to do it, but they both knew they had to obey God, so there was no struggle between them.
Abraham picked up his knife. . . .
He raised it high in the air above his head. . . .
Just as he was getting ready to kill his own son, he heard the voice of the angel of the Lord cry out from heaven:
"ABRAHAM . . . ABRAHAM!"
"I am here," Abraham replied.
"DON'T KILL YOUR SON! DON'T HURT HIM! For now I know that you fear God. You love Him more than anything else, even more than your own son."
Abraham looked up, and there -- right in front of him -- was a ram caught in the thick bushes. Abraham quickly untied Isaac, then caught the ram and put it on the altar. Abraham used his knife to kill the sacrifice, then used the torch to light the fire.
There on the mountain, Abraham and Isaac worshipped the Lord together. They called the name of that place "Jehovah-jireh," which means, "God is my provider."
The angel of the Lord called from heaven to Abraham a second time, saying:
"Because you have done this and have not withheld even your son from me, I will bless you, and you will have many descendants, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed because of you."
Abraham and Isaac walked down the mountain together, rejoicing that the Lord had provided the ram and made another great promise to them. They met the servants at the bottom of the mountain, and they all started on their three-day journey back home.
Where did God tell Abraham to take Isaac?
How many people went on the journey?
What did Isaac notice that was missing?
Did God want Abraham to kill his son?
What did God provide for the sacrifice?
Always obey God and believe in Him to provide your needs.
A VERSE TO LEARN
"Abraham believed God . . . and he was called the friend of God" (James 2:23b).
Dear God, thank You for all the wonderful things
You have provided for us. Help us to remember
that if we always obey and believe in You,
You will meet our needs. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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