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Ever since Abraham first heard God's call, he was a man on the move. “It was no light test that was brought upon Abraham, no small sacrifice that was required of him. There were strong ties to bind him to his country, his kindred and his home. But he did not hesitate to obey the call. He had no question concerning the land of promise—whether the soil was fertile and the climate healthful, whether the country afforded agreeable surroundings and would afford opportunities for amassing wealth. God had spoken and his servant must obey; the happiest place for him was the place where God would have him to be” (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 126).

For many years, Abraham roamed from place to place as a nomad. “By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob” (Hebrews 11:9,10).  But eventually he settled in Beersheba, living there well into his old age with Sarah and Isaac.

It was while Abraham lived at Beersheba that God called him to move out in faith once again. During the night when all his camp was asleep, God called him to take his only son to the land of Moriah and offer him as a burned offering (see Genesis 22:2). Abraham trembled at this test of faith. And he prayed as he had never prayed before to have this cup of sacrifice taken from his hand. But God gave him no sign or promise that all would be well. Abraham only heard the words of command: “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah.”

Though his heart ached with each step, Abraham moved out in obedience. “He knew that God was just and righteous in all His requirements, and he obeyed the command to the letter” (Patriarchs & Prophets, p. 153). As he trudged from Beersheba to Moriah, he held onto the promises of God—that “in Isaac your seed shall be called” (Genesis 21:12). The Messianic covenant was wrapped up in the life of his son. But “by faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son… concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead” (Hebrews 11:17,19).

As Abraham and Isaac climbed the mountain, the father spoke in faith to his servant: “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you” (Genesis 22:5). Notice what Abraham did not say. He did not tell his servant, “I will return.” He said “we will…” Both Isaac and I will come back to you. Abraham spoke those words in faith, relying completely on the promises of God.

He took his only son to be the chosen sacrifice, surrendering to God the dearest offering he could ever give. It was only by surrender that Abraham became the “father of the faithful.” For “he did not waver at the promise through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what [God] had promised, He was also able to perform” (Romans 4:20,21).

As we begin our journey to Jerusalem, let us walk in the footsteps of Abraham. To surrender all that we hold dearest and leave behind anything that would keep us from moving forward in faith. For God is calling us, just as He called Abraham, to move out as His witness—a witness in health and strength and a witness in faith and service. Let’s move forward with Jesus!
  • Read Genesis 22:1-19
  • Read Patriarchs & Prophets, pp. 147-155