Ornament: Ram (Semi-homemade ornament from wooden sheep purchased at a local craft store with horns of felt glued on)
Scripture: Genesis 22:1-14
The Jesus Storybook Bible: Pages 62-69 The Present
Day 5 Synopsis: At this point in our journey through the Old Testament, we come to the story of Abraham being asked by God to sacrifice Isaac. This seems like such a strange and even cruel request by God. It made no human sense to kill the only child that would fulfill God's promise of many descendants for Abraham. Without Isaac, there wouldn't be any future chosen people of God (known as Jews.)
Now that I am a parent, I understand how awful it would be to think I would have to sacrifice my only son. I honestly don't know if I would have been as obedient as Abraham. Not only did Abraham get up and go to do what God asked of him, he got up early to do it. I would have been dragging my feet late at night.... if I had moved at all. But the incredible part of this story is that not only did Abraham fully trust God to provide, he acted on His trust. Then God showed up at the last minute and provided a ram in a nearby bush to be sacrificed in Isaac's place. God really wanted to know if Abraham trusted him even with his most treasured item, his son. (The son, Abraham waited 99 years to have!) But God did not necessarily want Isaac to be sacrificed, only to know that Abraham was fully devoted to Him.
This story of Isaac and the Ram is eerily similar to the future story of Christ's death on the cross. (This is not a coincidence.) Isaac carried the wood he was to be placed on for the offering and Jesus carried His own cross to Calvary. Isaac trusted his father and Jesus trusted His Father. Jesus is God's one and only son (like Isaac was for Abraham) and God chose to sacrifice Jesus for our benefit. However, with Jesus, He was our "Ram." Jesus paid the price of being the sacrifice instead of us.
When life doesn't make sense, this story of Isaac reminds me that God has it all under control even when I don't understand or see the whole picture. If God chose to give us His one and only son, why would he choose to hold back anything but the best for us? The answer is, He always does what is best for us even when life hurts and doesn't make sense. Will you trust God to provide for you too?