Mother and Father told me over and over again how God had given them me. I was a miracle, and only through me could Father’s family line be preserved. They made sure, with everything they had to keep me safe.
One day, Father came to me and said, “Tomorrow, Isaac, we are going to Moriah to offer a sacrifice to the Lord.” He didn’t look me in the eye.
“Yes, Father.” Why did he look so sad?
The next day, as the early morning sun was rising, we set out with some servants and travelled for days.
“Why do we have to go so far?” I asked.
“The Lord told me to.” He didn’t say anything else. The trip was silent.
Finally, the place could be seen far off. We left the servants with the donkey and walked on, me carrying the wood and Father holding the knife and the fire.
Something occurred to me. “Father?
Yes, my son?” he said. His voice was shaky.
“Where’s the sheep for the offering?” Father must have forgotten all about it in his old age.
For while, Father didn’t reply. He stopped walking and looked at me. Finally he sighed. “God will provide,” he told me, his voice barely a whisper.
We made it to the place and Father built an altar. He was strangely silent and looking sad as I passed him the wood. I wanted to ask him what was wrong, but something stopped me every time I opened my mouth.
“Come here, my son.” When I looked up, there were tears in his eyes. I walked over and he placed a hand on my shoulder. “I love you, Isaac.” Then he used the ropes to tie my hands and feet. With numbing realization, I knew I was the sacrifice. I was the sheep.
“Please lie on the altar, my son.”
I don’t know why I obeyed him. My mind was too much of a mess to figure out what I was thinking.
Father picked up the knife. His hand shook.
Suddenly a flash of white blinded us for such a quick millisecond I began wondering if it had even happened.
“Abraham!” a steady voice called.
Father stood frozen with the knife looking very sharp above my head. There was no doubt that at that moment, having focused enough to process the events that had occurred and the intentions of Father, I was downright terrified.
“Abraham!” the voice said again.
Father had unfrozen enough to look around. All of a sudden, I began to understand. The voice was the Lord! Was God saving me from the twisted actions of my father?
“Yes,” Father replied, “here I am!” He sounded tired…or was that relief?
“Do not lay a hand on the boy!” I looked up at the bright sky and saw a glance of a glowing figure from heaven. An angel! Relief washed over me like a wave. Finally there was someone who could save me from my mad father.
My heroic angel continued speaking to Father, saying that Father feared God and some other things that I missed because my brain was all scrambled. Wait a minute…had God told Father to kill me? Whose side was God on?
“Thank you, Lord!” Father called, shaking me out of my jumbled thoughts. He pointed to a thicket and ran over to it. I did my best to sit up with my hands tied together. There, caught by its horns, was a ram. Father rescued it from the thicket and took a rope to tie it to a nearby tree.
“Here, Isaac, I’ll help you off this sacred thing.” I didn’t trust my voice to respond, only let him cut the bonds that he had tied and accepted his hand to jump down. My legs were jelly.
I watched the sacrificial procedure as I had many times before. This time I couldn’t look as Father killed the ram. This time, as I felt the intensity of the heat as the fire ate the ram, it was different. I had almost been the sacrifice, the one lying on the altar to the Lord.
“Yahweh-Yireh,” Father said quietly.
I nodded without looking at him. Maybe I couldn’t understand Father’s actions and maybe I couldn’t really understand God’s instructions, but I did know that through it all, God would provide.
This is based on Genesis 22:1-19