Day 2—Go to Mount Moriah

You shall have no other gods before Me.—Exodus 20:3
I’m being stalked by a guy named Abraham. He follows me everywhere—my Bible study lesson, the Wednesday-night prayer service, the book I’m reading. What is it with this guy, and what does he want with me? Okay, maybe I’m a little slow, but I’m starting to think God is trying to get my attention, and he is using the story of Abraham to do it.

Perhaps you’re familiar with the account. God promised Abraham that he would be the father of many nations. However, at age ninety-nine, Abraham and his wife, Sarah, were still waiting for a baby. When he turned one hundred, though, the most incredible thing happened. They had a son! Abraham’s greatest longing was fulfilled, and Isaac was his joy.
Years later, God told Abraham to take his beloved Isaac to a mountain to sacrifice him as a burnt offering. Why would God ask Abraham to do such a horrific thing? The Lord was testing Abraham to see whether the love he had for his son was greater than the love he had for his Lord. Although Abraham’s heart was broken at the thought of harming Isaac, he got up early the next morning to set out for Mount Moriah. Abraham knew that to obey God, he had to place Isaac on the altar.
Just as Abraham raised the knife to take his son’s life, an angel of the Lord spoke to him and told him not to lay a hand on the boy. God provided a ram caught in a nearby thicket to be the burnt offering instead.
It wasn’t wrong for Abraham to love Isaac. The problem was that Abraham loved him a little too much. In the book Counterfeit Gods, author Timothy Keller makes this observation: “If God had not intervened, Abraham would have certainly come to love his son more than anything in the world, if he did not already do so. That would have been idolatry, and all idolatry is destructive.”
Are there any idols in your life? God calls us all to surrender our “Isaacs” to him. Don’t be afraid to climb Mount Moriah. Go now, and don’t hesitate. Lay it all on the altar. Your Provider will meet you there and deliver you, just as he delivered Abraham.
Prayer for Today
Father, I desire to hear Your voice more clearly. Help me to have an awareness that I need reprioritizing in my life, putting all idols away, and allowing You to reign in my heart. Remind me that when we bring our appetites and flesh under the direction of the Spirit, this brings You great joy. Thank You that we don’t have to work for Your approval but because You are so full of grace you look for opportunities to bless us.
Verses for additional study:
Genesis 22:1-18
Exodus 20:4
Psalm 24:3-5
Isaiah 42:8