June 07, 2023

Walking Into the Unknown

Genesis 22:1-14

So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide.

—  Genesis 22:14

Leaving Cornelius Creek on the Appalachian Trail one morning in Virginia, I began the long, steep climb to Apple Orchard Mountain. Stopping frequently, I leaned against trees to catch my breath. As I struggled up the mountain, I thought about Abraham’s hike into the mountains with Isaac.

God told Abraham to take his son Isaac to the region of Moriah and to sacrifice him as a burnt offering on a mountain there. So Abraham obeyed. Reaching the mountain, they slowly climbed to “the place God had told him about.” Isaac noted that they had no lamb for the burnt offering, but Abraham said, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” Abraham then bound his son and placed him on the altar. But as Abraham took the knife to sacrifice his son, God stopped him, saying, in effect, “Now I know that you trust me above all else.”

What a horrifying scene! We might ask, “What kind of father is Abraham? And what kind of God is this?” Or perhaps we should ask, “What was God actually planning and revealing here?” Looking back, we see that while Abraham was being tested, he also trusted God to provide the lamb in place of his son. And looking ahead, we see that God provided his own Son, Jesus, as the Lamb of God, who died in our place to pay for our sin and give us eternal life (John 1:29; 3:16)!

Father, while we struggle to understand this test of Abraham, guide us to live by faith, knowing that your own Son gave up his life for us. Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!