After all of the second-guessing and trusting, when Abraham is 100 and Sarah is 90, their faith finally turns to sight—Isaac is born. True to his name (which means “he laughs”), there is much laughter. But Ishmael mocks the child. Insulted, Sarah tells Abraham to send him and his mother Hagar away. The decision distresses Abraham greatly, but God tells Abraham not to worry—he will take care of Ishmael. And he does.
Sometime later, God asks Abraham to do the unthinkable: sacrifice Isaac as a burnt offering. Abraham consents, and when he is about to plunge a knife into the son of promise, God’s angel stops him. God provides a ram to sacrifice instead.
Years later, Abraham buries his beautiful wife Sarah in a cave on a piece of property he purchases—the first piece of the promised land he owns. Then God selects Isaac’s wife, Rebekah, as he continues to weave his tapestry of redemption through Abraham’s family.
The King’s Heart
It’s an intense scene of intense trust. Likely in his teens, Isaac could have resisted or even overpowered his elderly father if he wanted to. Yet Isaac allowed his father to bind him. Then he willingly stayed on the altar. As Abraham trusted God, Isaac trusted his father.
Unknown to them, Abraham and Isaac were a living picture of another Father and Son. In the distant future, the heavenly Father would ask his one and only Son to do the unthinkable—to give his life. The Son would wrestle with what his Father was asking. The Father would hear his cries, and they would break his heart. But the Son, trusting and submitting, would obey—laying down his life. And this time, the Father would not stay his hand.
Why? Because this amazing triune God loves us with an incomprehensible love. He is the Father who will give up his greatest Treasure to rescue us. He is the Son who will lay down his own life to save us. Every bit of the tension we feel in the situation with Abraham and Isaac is one that our good God walked through. All because of his great love for us.