In Genesis 22, we see the ultimate test of Abraham’s faith. God asked Abraham to take his only son to offer him as a sacrifice. Now this was the same son that God promised Abraham to multiply his seed as the sand of the sea. This was the son that Abraham bore when he was over a hundred years old when Sarah was ninety. This same son whom Abraham waited for and hoped for beyond hope, God asked Abraham to offer as a sacrifice.
And knowing the heart of God better than anyone, Abraham did not hesitate, but obeyed the Lord. He took his son with the wood and the fire and made his way to do what God said. Understandably so, Isaac was puzzled and questioned his father. “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering””(Genesis 22:7)? Abraham’s response was unflinching conviction in God’s character. “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son” (Genesis 22:8).
So Abraham built the altar and reached out his hand with the knife to slaughter his son. Only then did the angel call out to Abraham. “He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me”” (Genesis 22:12).
What a relief at this point in the story, when Abraham realised that he did not need to sacrifice his son. “And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son” (Genesis 22:13).
I don’t know if I have as much faith as Abraham and I believe that I would have many words for God if he asked me to do something like that. To sacrifice the very thing that we hold dearest. I suppose Abraham was so acquainted with God that he though God would either raise Isaac back from the dead, give him another son or provide another sacrifice. Either way, God proved to Abraham that he would meet his need for a son of promise, provide a seed for his inheritance and provide the sacrifice for his offering.