When God Doesn't Make Sense

Welcome to Real Life.  Last week, Abram feared he’d never have a child.  This week, he faces the possibility of losing that child.

Abraham Series | Part 3 | Genesis 22:1-18

After 25 years of waiting, Abraham’s son is born.  More years pass.  One day, out of the blue, God tests Abraham:

“Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah.  Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains…”

What?  It seems random, even cruel and out of character for God to make this request.  He never requires a human sacrifice.  In fact, later God calls it detestable when parents sacrifice their children as burnt offerings to Molek.[1]  Why would he ask Abraham to sacrifice Isaac?

The one thing Abraham desired was a child.  A “heart’s desire” can easily become an idol.  Was Isaac becoming more important to Abraham than God?  

Abraham’s response to this test amazes me.  He doesn’t balk.  He doesn’t argue or complain.  He obeys ASAP, leaving early the next morning.  It’s a three day journey; he has three days to turn back.  But, he doesn’t. 

Abraham knows the Lord.  He had been walking with him for more than 35 years. He wholly trusts God’s character, even if God’s command doesn't seem to make sense. 

In the passage, we see glimpses of Abraham’s faith.  When they arrive at the foot of the mountain, he says to his servants, we will worship and we will come back.” Abraham fully believes Isaac will return with him.  God had promised to establish his covenant with Isaac’s descendants.[2]  Abraham believes that God will keep that promise, even if it means raising Isaac from the dead.[3] 

On the mountain, Isaac asks about the lamb for the offering.  Abraham replies, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering.”  Abraham believes God will provide everything he needs.  This verse beautifully foreshadows Christ: God sacrificed his only Son (Jesus the Lamb of God) for the sins of the world. 

Abraham binds Isaac.  He lifts the knife to slay his son. At the last moment, the Angel of Lord stops him. Do not lay a hand on the boy…  Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”  Abraham looks up and sees a ram caught in a thicket.  He unties Isaac.  Together, father and son sacrifice the ram and worship God. 

Abraham calls the place, “The Lord Will Provide.”  What God required (faith, courage, even the sacrifice), God had provided.

When God asks, “Will you obey me - trust me - follow me, even when life doesn't make sense?  Will you surrender to me the one thing you love most?”  Abraham answers, “Yes.”  That’s real faith lived out in Real Life.

Something to think about:                     
  • Who or what is your Isaac?
  • Will you obey God – trust him – follow him, even when life doesn’t make sense?
  • Will you surrender to God the one thing you love most?

Next week:  Abraham, He’s Not Perfect

[1] Jeremiah 32:35
[2] Genesis 17: 19
[3] Hebrews 11:19


  1. That is a great reminder. Perhaps I don't hear God like I should because I've been devoting me to something else.

  2. Thanks for taking the time to comment. :) Notice I didn't give a personal example this week. Abraham's faith in the face of this test is so mind-blowing to me, nothing I've experienced comes close. I am encouraged that all Abraham needed, God provided. I have to believe this will be true for me and for you Den, if we ever face a test like this. Next week, I'll take about how Abraham sometimes failed - something I can easily relate to!

  3. You write very well. I enjoyed visiting your blog. My offer is still there: ask me anytime for any blogging advice. Glad to help and glad we connected

  4. Thanks, Jean. As a newbie, I really appreciate your offer!


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