Today I read a devotion about Abraham and Isaac. I have always struggled with this piece of Scripture, because I just can’t imagine being faced with that kind of request from God. How could God ask Abraham to kill his son that he prayed so long for!? What kind of a cruel God would put someone He loves through such a heart wrenching test? I know of course how the story goes, that God intervene’s before the deed is done giving Abraham a beast to kill instead of Isaac. It is a gospel picture of the Lord’s grace for us. And Abraham passes this test, and is praised for his faithfulness. But Abraham would have had to of walked away from this situation with a completely different understanding of possessions. Because, even though he was a rich guy, he would have had a revelation that he actually possessed nothing. In the end, it all belonged to God. And God could want it back in an instant. Our hearts can not be tied to anything over God Himself. Read this wisdom from A.W Tozer from his book The Pursuit of God.
“God let Abraham go through with it up to the point where He knew there would be no retreat, then forbade him to lay a hand upon the boy. The old man lifted his head to respond to the Voice and stood there on the mount strong and pure and grand, a man marked out by the Lord for special treatment, a friend and favorite of the Most High. Now he was wholly surrendered, utterly obedient, a man who possessed nothing. He had concentrated his all in the person of his dear son, and God had taken it from him…I have said that Abraham possessed nothing. Yet was not this poor man rich?…After that bitter and blessed experience I think the words “my” and “mine” never had again the same meaning for Abraham. The sense of possession which they connote was gone from his heart. Things had been cast out forever. They had now become external to the man. His inner heart was free from them. The world said “Abraham is rich,” but he knew that he owned nothing, that his real treasures were inward and eternal.”
Can you imagine if we all thought that way? What if we all knew the reality that we own nothing. What if we didn’t tie our hearts to our house, our money, our children, our spouse…and we tied our hearts to God?
God blesses us with everything, but we own nothing.
Picture Credit: Art by Gaspard Dughet (1665) and taken from www.nationalgallery.org.