“Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you” [Genesis 22:2]
This verse reminds me of a well-known verse in the New Testament that says, “God so loved… that He gave His only begotten Son” [John 3:16]. Now God is asking Abraham to sacrifice his son and He seems to strongly emphasise that it is Abraham’s only son, whom he loves. God does not ask Abraham and will never ask us to give something that he Himself is not prepared to give.
It must have been a very tough thing to offer his own son as a sacrifice to the Lord, but Abraham did so without complaining or pleading for more time to spend with Isaac. Early the next morning, Abraham set out for the place that God had told him to go to. His obedience was instant and total.
Oswald Chambers once said that maturity does not depend upon a person’s age but upon their obedience. Obedience is important because it is the language of love. Jesus said, “If you love me keep my commandments” [John 14:15]. Because we love Him we cannot help but obey Him. It is love for God that makes us obey Him. We don’t obey Him in order to love Him, but we obey Him because we love him. Love is the motive behind obedience. John more than any other Gospel writer emphasized love, and yet more than any other spoke about obedience! The two go together [See John 14:15, 21, 23-24; 15:10].
Obedience is important because it is the twin of faith. Faith and obedience always go together. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down but obedience to what God had commanded Joshua was the evidence of faith. By faith Abraham offered up Isaac [Hebrews 11:17], but it was an act of obedience. Faith increases when we obey God. In response to the disciple’s request to increase their faith, Jesus told a parable about an obedient servant [Luke 17:5-9].
Obedience is important because it is the key to blessing. Deuteronomy 28:1-68 is an exposition of the blessings that come through obedience [verses 1-14], and the curses that come through disobedience [verses 15-68].
Why do you think it is that in our modern culture obedience has been more equated with authority and submission to authority and less with love?
Are you prepared to obey God and, like Abraham, give to Him whatever He asks of you?
Would you apply the quote from Oswald Chambers, that maturity is not dependant upon age but obedience to your own life? What difference would obedience to God make in your own life?