In the book of Genesis chapter 22 we see in Abraham three vital aspects of the kind of faith that pleases God – obedience to God’s voice, right attitude, and expectation of God’s goodness in spite of what the natural mind would say.
Gen 22:2 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.
Gen 22:3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.
Gen 22:4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.
Gen 22:5 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.
God said to Abraham to take the son of promise, the son Abraham loved, and to offer him as a burned offering on one of the mountains.
There is no other account anywhere in the Scripture of God commanding anyone to offer their child as a sacrifice to Him. In fact, normally only a pagan god (a fallen angel) would ask such a thing. Abraham did not understand why God was asking this, but he knew the voice of God well enough to know it was God. The significance behind Abraham sacrificing his son for God is the subject of another message.
The amazing thing is that Abraham obeyed God here. Abraham was willing indeed to offer to God the thing or person that was most dear to himself.
Sometimes God asks from us small steps of obedience. Other times, the obedience God requires involves sacrificing something we really value. Perhaps even something God has promised to us, something we’ve waited for and received by faith.
If we want to have the faith that pleases God, we need to be willing to give to God whatever He demands. There will be rare occasions in our lives when our obedience is tested to such an extent.
A Worshipful Attitude
The Scripture says that Abraham said to the men with him, “I and the lad will go yonder and worship”. Abraham wasn’t going with a bitter attitude towards God. In the midst of this great trial of his faith, Abraham was going to worship and adore God.
Our God deserves worship. Real faith enters into worship, believing wholeheartedly in the characted of God. Worship is an attitude which brings us to the place of hearing the voice of the Spirit and receiving miracles in our lives.
An Expectant Hope
Abraham said, “I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and will come again to you.” Abraham’s language indicated that he believed that in spite of the fact that he was going to offer his son as a burnt offering, somehow they BOTH would return. The Scripture says elsewhere in the New Testament that Abraham believed that God could raise his son Isaac from the dead. This is exactly the kind of faith we too are called to have. We have to believe that God is the God who raises the dead.
Faith and hope work closely together. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for”, therefore, when you are walking in faith, you must also be hoping for something. Hope is a positive expectation of good. God wants us to believe that He will do for us all that He has promised.
Its not only about obeying God. Its also about having a worshipful attitude in our obedience, and expecting God will do everything for us He promised, even if He has to raise the dead to do it.