Some people live so carefully they absolutely refuse to take risks. Everything has to be carefully regulated and kept under control . . . their control. Borders defined, guidelines spelled out, every dime accounted for, no surprises. And after having expended so much time and effort trying to live safely, they end life never having accomplished anything of lasting value. They built nothing, tried nothing new, invested in no one.
Not Abraham! His faith had matured to the point that his absolute confidence in God’s character gave him the freedom to throw caution to the wind and risk everything to obey. What a perfect lesson in theology for his son.
I’ve heard this passage preached countless times, and I’ve never heard anyone talk about the quiet faith of this remarkable young man. He’s the sacrifice, yet he allowed himself to be bound up and placed onto that altar! Obviously, this son learned his theology well from his father—a father who released his son because he completely trusted his God. By the way, Isaac didn’t learn such faith on his way up the mountain that morning. He’d been cultivating it over the years, thanks to his father who modeled it often.
Some of you parents may find yourselves in a similar situation as you read these pages. Your relationship with your child may have reached a point where you have no other choice but to commit him or her completely to God’s care. You would love to work out the details, but you cannot. You know the Lord is good, and you have prayed for a resolution, but nothing has changed. Only God can intervene. And because that is true, you can take your cues from Abraham.
Place your relationship with that son or daughter on the altar today. Surrender him or her to the Lord as an offering. Take this risk. Mentally place your boy or girl on top of the wood, and step back from the altar. Trust God. In His time, He will provide.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.