The Trust of a Child
Isaac was the son of Abraham. Abraham had waited...and waited...and waited for Isaac to be born. So when Isaac finally arrived, Abraham was VERY happy.
But God was not done with the story. A few years later, when Isaac was bigger but still a kid, God asked Abraham to do something really strange and unexpected. He asked him to sacrifice Isaac.
To sacrifice something means to give it to God. When Abraham was alive, people would usually sacrifice their food to God to show their love for him. They would put it on an altar and burn it. Isaac was obviously a LOT more precious to Abraham than his next meal. So, it would have been VERY hard for him to sacrifice Isaac. But he loved God and wanted to obey.
So, he took Isaac up a mountain. On the way, Isaac noticed that they hadn't brought any food along with them for the sacrifice.
Isaac turned to Abraham and said, "Father?"
"Yes, my son?" Abraham replied.
"We have the fire and the wood," the boy said," but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?"
"God will provide a sheep for the burnt offering, my son," Abraham answered. And they both walked on together. Genesis 22:7-8
Isaac probably thought that made sense. Abraham would have taught him how God provides for all our needs. But once Abraham built the altar and put Isaac on top of it, he must have realized that he was supposed to be the sacrifice.
And he didn't resist.
Now that's a lot of trust. And it wasn't just Abraham that Isaac trusted. He trusted God, too.
Trusting God is a huge part of our faith. And Isaac, as a child, shows us what that looks like. He knew his father Abraham was right. God would provide the sacrifice. And if that sacrifice was supposed to be him...well, then, God must have a reason.
And that's the hard part of trusting. Isaac didn't know God's reason. He didn't know why this was happening. When strange and unexpected things happen to us, we don't know the reason, either.
But here's the good news. We don't need to know the reason. We just need to trust that God knows the reason.
And when we trust God like Isaac did, and like Abraham did, amazing things can happen. In this case, Isaac didn't die. God provided another sacrifice for Abraham at the last minute, a sheep whose horns were tangled up in a nearby bush.
AND the whole thing happened so that every generation living after them would see Jesus in this story! You see, God the Father was asking Abraham to do what HE was going to do. He was going to sacrifice his son, Jesus. And like Isaac, Jesus was willing to give up his life because he trusted his heavenly Father.
Trusting God like that is NOT easy. But the more we know God, the easier it gets. Check out the Read, Make, and Take activities below to grow closer to God this week and trust him more!
As you read or listen, imagine Abraham reading these words to Isaac after their experience on that mountain. Which verse or verses do you think would have stood out to him? Which ones stand out to you?
And if you have a copy of The Jesus Storybook Bible, read Sally Lloyd-Jones' version of this story about Abraham and Isaac called "The Present." She does a wonderful job of explaining how this story connects Isaac and Jesus!
Pray in color and focus on trusting God. To begin, find some blank paper and either colored pencils or crayons. Then, write TRUST in the middle of your paper. Talk and listen to God as you continue to doodle, draw, and write on the paper. You might want to ask him to help you trust him more, thank him for being so trustworthy, or anything else that comes to mind. And keep drawing when you run out of words...God might bring something else into your mind that he wants you to know!
Write down Proverbs 3:5 somewhere you can see it and memorize it this week.