And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
A few years ago, I played in a double elimination match play tournament. I won my match on Friday, but lost on Saturday. Down on the state of my golf game that night, I doubted whether to even show up for the consolidation bracket match. However, I convinced myself to show up because I paid the entry fee and committed to play. Little did I know, my opponent had a long night at the bar and didn’t make it to the course that morning. My mere showing up was enough for the victory.
Abraham faithfulness and obedience was tested by God’s command for him to offer his son Issac as a sacrifice. Despite any hesitancies, Abraham proceeded early the next morning with Isaac toward the place God had appointed. With Isaac laid upon the wood of the altar and arm outstretched with knife in hand, an angel of the Lord called a halt to the sacrifice. Abraham was told, “[l]ay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.”
Many times when we act on our faithfulness to God we get disappointed because we aren’t rewarded with a thunderous spiritual clap and ovation. However, God grades on a different scale for our obedience instead of the receptiveness of our audience. Our local church had Bible School and a community breakfast a couple weeks ago and we sent out invitations galore to both events on Facebook inviting all of the community to attend. Many promised to be there and were. However, many did not show up and offered the usual excuses. Instead of being disappointed because of those who did not attend, we directed our appreciation to those who accepted our invitation. God rewarded Abraham greatly for his act of trust and obedience. God’s purpose was accomplished even though it was contrary to what was originally expected by Abraham as he traveled to the place of the sacrifice. Our disappointments are based solely on our expected results of our effort. We will witness to many people in our lives. The odds are that most of them will not immediately place his/her faith in Jesus. There is a certain amount of selfishness in our disappointment. In a sense, we would like to be the person with the privilege of leading him/her to Jesus. However, God has a greater intended purpose for our effort. Some are there to plant a seed, some go to water the seed, and then others reap the harvest. Each stage requires an isolated, but concerted effort to achieve the end result. We can only control our effort and our motive for action. If the time and opportunity are correct, God will already be working on the other side.